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Advice on choosing a carry gun

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by The Unknown User, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. The Unknown User

    The Unknown User Active Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    I've thought about this quite a bit, so I'll keep this short. I got my LTC-A ALP on Tuesday, and I got a 10/22 to start shooting. I've started thinking about what I want for a carry piece, and ended up with a decent list of handguns I was interested in:

    - P99
    - PPK/S

    - P226
    - P229
    - P239
    - P232

    - 642
    - 442
    - 340PD
    - 1911

    After shooting a bunch of stuff when jar took me as well as at the 7/4 shooter, I realized a couple of things:
    - I'm more comfortable with smaller calibers
    - I prefer single-stack to double-stack

    After handling all but one of the handguns (P99) on my list at a gun store nearby, I realized a couple of other things:
    - I don't think I'd enjoy carrying any of the Sigs, except the P232
    - I didn't like the way the P232 felt in my hand

    So, that more or less leaves me with the revolvers, and the Walthers, as well as the 1911. The only thing I don't like about the 1911 is the price: $800 or more is more than I want to spend. I'm a student working part-time with money saved for this, but I don't want to go broke (I guess I picked the wrong hobby).

    I'm not ruling out the 1911, as it is a comfortable gun to shoot, and even though the recoil was more than I felt totally comfortable with, it wasn't an issue with the 1911.

    At this point, I'm leaning towards the PPK/S or the 642/442. When I picked up the PPK/S, I had this "WOW!" reaction to it. It felt great in my hand; it fit my hand perfectly, unlike the PPK, and the weight to it felt great--not too much, not too little. I actually had to tell myself out loud that I wasn't buying anything that day. [laugh]

    I didn't have the same reaction to the 642 or 442, as I know both are quite popular, common, and clearly trusted. My reaction alone to the PPK/S is making me lean that way, but as jar aptly put it, I might want something a little bigger.(A .380 is just a shorter 9mm, if I remember correctly.)

    So yeah, I'm just not entirely sure what I should be looking for right now. I'm open to any advice on how to choose a carry piece. Are there any handguns I should consider that I haven't listed?
  2. Shung

    Shung Participating Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Geneva, Switzerland
    just a question.. Have you ever thought of a PX4 ? 9mm or .45 ?

    its pretty compact, and very easy to shoot. less recoil with its rotating bolt..

    that would be my advice...

    off course, glock is always a good one for this kind of things..
  3. Goblin

    Goblin Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    The high ground whenever possible
    Try some .38 revolvers before you decide. They're dead easy to carry.I just carry mine in my front pocket. I don't live in gangland or anyplace like that so it's plenty for me!!:)
  4. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Senior Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Upper East Tennessee
    Sig P220...don't forget that one... Its a 45 acp (large caliber, single stack)...and the only Sig I ever liked.

    Small caliber, single stack... Bersa Thunder 380, Springfield Armory EMP 9mm.
  5. 1/7GRUNT

    1/7GRUNT New Member

    May 31, 2008
    N MS
    I have a Smith 442 and I love it. Don't let people scare you about the recoil, I didnt think it was bad at all. The weight is perfect for carry. Drop in a pocket and forget about it. Get one, you wont be disapointed! Then after you graduate get another, and another, and...
  6. blackcash88

    blackcash88 member

    Mar 30, 2008
    Kahr PM9
  7. tbeb

    tbeb Active Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Northwest Indiana
    I'm happy with a 642 loaded with +P Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. JHP's in a Mika pocket holster in my front pants pocket. I've owned snubbies from Colt (Detective Special), Smith and Wesson (a model 49 and a model 37), Taurus (an older model 85), and Charter Arms (an older Undercover .38). I like the 642 the best.
  8. Picard

    Picard Active Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    You can't forget the CZ's, some of the best autoloading handguns ever made.
  9. Werewolf

    Werewolf Senior Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Well - you ruled out my 1st choice which would have been a Sig P226 in .40. 9mm would be OK since you said you liked smaller calibers.

    If you don't mind my asking what about the SIGs don't you like. I find them to be the verry comfortable in my hand albeit not the most accurate.

    They are the most reliable of the semi's I have ever owned - 1000's of rounds and not a single failure of any kind which cannot be said for my Cz's, Smith's and Kimbers.

    Don't rule out the Sigs.
  10. CWL

    CWL Mentor

    Jan 6, 2003
    You want a smaller caliber and singlestack along with reliability & ease of operation?

    Kahr P9.
  11. The Unknown User

    The Unknown User Active Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    Werewolf, it's not that I didn't like the Sigs, it's that I thought they were a bit bulkier than I could realistically conceal. I've shot them, and I love them.

    I didn't like the feel of the P230 in my hand, which is why I don't like that one.
  12. Craig_VA

    Craig_VA New Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    what is a LTC-A ALP?

    From context, it is pretty easy to figure the first part is License to Carry. However, the rest is not obvious.
    Be kind... please remember that each state uses it's own bureaucratic jargon and abbreviations.
    BTW, if Massachusetts is as much of an anti-gun mess as I assume, congrats on getting the license.
  13. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Senior Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    36° 31' 47.1742" X -87° 21' 34.0301"
    Please, before you buy, shoot a Makarov, preferably in 9x18. Single stack, slim, reasonably sized, as reliable as a revolver. They are an amazing design. Easy and pleasant to shoot, too.
  14. The Unknown User

    The Unknown User Active Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    Oops, should have clarified:
    - LTC: License to Carry
    - "A": A-class LTC (as opposed to B-class); A is for high-cap and concealment, B is for low-cap
    - "ALP": All Lawful Purposes; no restrictions on the LTC

    The CLEO where I filed my application is known for being really awesome; took 5 weeks to get the license.
  15. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2008
    SouthEastern FL
    I LOVED my PPK/S back when I had it. Tough times forced me to let it go. It was easy to carry, dead-on-balls accurate for such a compact package, and well-finished. I was a LEO when I first got it, so it was my off-duty and back-up weapon.
    I don't have a CCF permit now, though one is in the works. That PPK/S, purchased new in 1990, was my last handgun purchase, until the other day. I bought a Bersa .380 from the new Gander Mountain store near me (forty miles away.) I have to go back and pick it up on my next day off, which won't be 'til Thursday.
  16. romma

    romma Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    I carried My PPK/S all day today. Nice choice, but some would say that .380 is not enough stopping power... Some days I carry a .32, some days my 9mm, and some days in between with the Walther.
  17. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    If you wanna try a cheap experiment before you commit your hard earned money put three pounds on your belt and walk around all day with it.

    You will find that small and light are the two prime characteristics to have in a daily carry pistol or revolver.

    The little PM9 is outstanding. So is a 10 to 15 ounce S&W .38.

    The truth is you will probably never pull your weapon. And after lugging a big old .45 around long enough you will stop carrying it.

    If you can find something that is one pound or less loaded it will be a frequently carried weapon.
  18. basicblur

    basicblur Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2003
    Consider how you're going to carry before selecting weapon?

    I have a PPK/S and it’s a surprisingly accurate, enjoyable little gun, but iff’n memory serves, from some of my reading I seem to recall Massad Ayoob didn’t like the PPK/S since it could accidentally discharge if dropped (no firing pin block)? I may not be correct with the technical details, but I’m pretty sure he preferred guns that could not fire if accidentally dropped? Jest something to think about…?

    Anywho…you’ll get the usual chatter from the “I don’t need no stinkin’ safety” or “anybody that doesn’t carry one in the pipe is a fool” responses, but as a civilian, you might want to consider the possibility of accidental discharges (they’ll probably cause you more grief than someone who carries a gun in an official capacity).
    One might first consider exactly how you intend to carry the weapon before first deciding what gun you chose?

    If so, while it’s not on your list, I kinda like the carry options of the HK USPC in Variant 1. It allows you multiple carry options up to and including:
    1. Round in chamber (if you’ve decided you want to go that route)
    2. Hammer down (safety also acts as a de-cocker)
    3. Safety on
    I like the safety on the USPC as it falls to thumb just like a 1911 (convenient and big enough to easily manipulate).

    To me, the USPC in Variant 1 is ‘bout the safest way for a civilian to carry iff’n you’ve decided you are going to carry with a round in the chamber.
    (My USPC 40 is also the softest shooting 40S&W I have).

    You may now start your “anybody that doesn’t carry one in the pipe is a fool” flames! :D
  19. dvcrsn

    dvcrsn New Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    If you like revolvers-also look at Ruger revolvers in 357 mag (since you can also use 38 specials). A used Security or Service six is apt to be cheaper, an SP101 is more compact (look at one in 327 mag), the GP is accurate and very strong
  20. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Participating Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    Remember that if you ever should have to use it it will probably be at a distance of under 10 yards and you won't notice recoil. Make sure the finish is durable too. I have had my SW model 36 refinished twice due to carry wear. I blame half of that on sweat and the other half on extensive open carry in a humid environment.

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