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CCW Buying First Gun. I have questions.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Shelstin, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Shelstin

    Shelstin Active Member

    First of all, I live in a rural area where rentals are not an option. That's out. I do, however, live in an area where several friends have guns they will shoot with me at large thick metal plates of varying sizes and colors, at varying distances, and for scores and bets. It's a blast. The SW Sigma 9 I shot has a horrendeously long DAO trigger, in my opinion, and because of that not very accurate for me. Here is what I am looking at, and here are my thoughts and concerns.

    I am going to IWB carry, so I would like a small pistol with a manual safety system and a decocker. That may be difficult to find, and I may have to go a different direction. If all else fails, I may go with the glock 26, even though it has no external safety. The HK P2000 is probably my dream girl, but a little too pricy perhaps. We may come back to that. Help me out here! I have confidence in the glock, because almost every LEO that I know personally swears by them in every way and claims that safety is not an issue as long as proper handling skills are aquired and followed. Fair enough. My first desire is a short, crisp trigger, on a gun with with good concealibility, I would actually prefer a good DA/SA trigger set up, with a decocker. I've been told that I am too concerned about safety. If I ever need to pull, God Forbid, I will not aquire my safety, the gun will be pulled from me, and I will be shot with my own gun or worse! I kind of doubt that, but ok. I like the SW M&Pc, the Springfield XDMc, the HK P2000, and a few others. What are the triggers comparable to? I could buy any of those and be happy IF the trigger was right. What grips would fit a smaller hand best? The Glock is a slightly wider grip and I hear complaints there. I have a SW 22 that is awesome to plink with, and if I could find that trigger on a CC gun, I would like that a lot. Any help or thoughts, or recommendations would be appreciated. I might throw in that I am new to this world, either in experience, hunting with bow or gun, or blowing big things up on the fourth of July. I am just not familiar with this specific market and lifestyle. But it's time!
  2. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Buying a gun is a personal choice
    I don't know you, your tastes and what you like or dislike

    How you carry is one of the MAJOR factors, some can/will shove a brick like a glock or XD down thier pants

    Others like something in the line of a classic pocket pistol or a KelTec

    So, what you describe is mostly found on LARGER service pistols, The pistols you like are not the best for IN-the-waistband Carry. You are all over, and looking at full size guns (it's how wide not long that counts in IWB) for CCW IWB. Read a bit here or on CCW boards

    A larger gun has more rounds, A larger caliber has fewer
    A lighter gun is easier to carry, and harder to shoot
    A smaller gun is easier to hide, and MUCH harder to shoot

    So, the Ideal CCW gun, a itty bitty pocket monster in .50AE with a 12round mag....
    wouldn't be itty, nor bitty, nor fun to shoot.

    What might be pleasant in 9mm or .380 is uncontrollable in .40
    A same size weight pistol in .380 and 9mm will be easier to shoot in the lighter .380 etc...

    your ergos and your likes are yours, sorry, but you need to go fondle the merchandise and TRY IT ON, cause a butt in your kidney every time you sit down, sticking your self when you bend over, the pain of metal rubbing your hip....

    AHH, the pleasures of CCW. A good holster/carry method avoids most of that pain...
    and what fits me, won't fit you.
  3. Shelstin

    Shelstin Active Member

    Shadow, I understand and appreciate your comments. I fully realize that I was all over the map regarding my thoughts. The Kel Tec or Ruger LC9 is too small, and not what I am looking for. I am not totally unfamiliar with pistols. I have carried a 4" GP100 in my vehicle for 20 years. I probably will continue to do so. It's just not a CCW.

    Realistically, the Sig 239 with DA/SA is what I am looking for in a less expensive package. It is what I want at 6.6 L and 5.01 H and single stack width. Likewise, so is the HK P2000 @6.81 and 5.04. If I were in a stressful situation, I think I would appreciate the DA first round to help prevent an unexpected discharge. As a guy new to CC, it's a concern now, although in several months it may not be. I may have to come up with the bucks to get what I want, and cut corners elsewhere in my budget. Who needs tires, anyway...

    A nice, light trigger is the most important thing that I can come up with, other than fit. A Ruger SR9C fits my hand and my budget, and has a thumb safety, yet those that I have shot have a DAO trigger that doesn't feel quite right. If I were to have night sights installed and a trigger job it might work. It just seems a little "cheap" in my hand. I don't know how else to explain it. What are your thoughts on that?

    The Glock 26 is a little wide, but I shoot it fairly well although I feel like I need to readjust my grip on every shot because of that. I feel like I need to rotate my hand out and forward a bit to reach the trigger. I like the glock trigger. I also don't feel totally at ease with the trigger safety being the only safety, if that makes any sense.

    For that reason, I am looking at the Springfield XD sub compact. It has the grip safety, which makes me feel a little more secure regarding accidental discharge if it were to be picked up by someone not familiar with a weapon, ie, kids. (That's my main concern with a glock. I don't have young kids, I secure my weapons if I know someone is coming over, but I still have those thoughts,) It fits a little better than the Glock 26, and although I have not shot one, I have dry fired one. The trigger seems to be one that I would like, but as you said, that's a matter of taste. I have not shot one. Once again, if I don't like a trigger, I guess I can get it worked.

    I guess this is my question. Is there a DA/SA subcompact, maybe single stack for width purposes, with a manual safety and a trigger in the 11.0/4.5-5.5 trigger pull?

    I VERY MUCH appreciate any thoughts, comments,, or even constructive criticism about my thought process. I am trying to learn. I know I over analize pretty much everything in my life...I have been told that numerous times! Thanks for your help!!
  4. Cemo

    Cemo Well-Known Member

    A Sig P239 in 9mm would be a good option with it's DA/SA action and decocker. The P239's are very accurate and fun on the range. IMO you don't need a safety (P239 don't have) on a DA/SA for CCW. You will find the Glock 19 9mm to be the same basic size as the P239 but holds 15+1 rounds. It is a little bigger than the Glock 26 but some people prefer it, including me, over the 26. If a person has issues with the 5 lb. on a Glock they can be easily and cheaply fitted with a NY-1 trigger which increases the pull to 8 lb. and makes it feel like a DA revolver. On the used market you can find Smith-Wesson Model 3913 and 3914 9mm DA/SA single stack autos and 6904 and 6906 double stack autos. These S&W's are thin in the slide and are excellent for IWB carry. Do not over look the compact allow frame 1911's. Their thinness makes them ideal for IWB carry. They do have the thumb safety that you have to remember to slip off, but on range time will take care of that. Typically the single action trigger on the 1911's make for very accurate shooting. Good luck with your selection.
  5. 458lottTN

    458lottTN Member

    Most DA/SA guns with frame mounted decockers do not have manual safeties. To get a decock/manual safety combo you'll probably have to look at guns with slide mounted decockers. The only exception that comes to mind is the Bersa Thunder 9. It's about as bulky as a Glock (13 round mag in the compact if memory serves), and mid-20something oz (with alloy frame). It's a pretty nice gun, though, in the mid $300 range. The Bersa's safety works like a 1911 - up for safe and decock, down to fire. No cocked and locked, though.

    Oh, yeah, the Taurus 800 series... forgot about them and I own one! I've got a PT845... excellent features. Very slim for a double stack, very light, interchangeable backstraps, frame mounted decock/safety (up for safe, down to fire, down further to decock, cocked and locked option), nice trigger (better than Sigs to me), fully ambi, price point around $400. I think they are making a compact now. Taurus never suffers from lack of variation.

    What kind of price are you looking at, by the way?
  6. bobalou

    bobalou Well-Known Member

    Beretta 21a Bobcat, 22. Tip up barrel. Hardly any kick and cheapest to shoot. You can't practice if you can't afford to shoot. You practice with cheap stuff, keep it clean, and keep it loaded with stingers. You can always move up in caliber with more confidence. With practice you'll be able to get off 7 shots in less that 2 seconds and hit your target. Bullet placement is the most important factor in stopping your human predator along with much practice. Everyone is going to tell you that it's too small a caliber. For what you need, it will be perfect. Most people can't afford to practice with the higher calibers and therefore not proficient with the weapon. Practice enough and it will come to you automatically without having to even think. It's called muscle memory. Other than that you could also opt for a 38 snub airweight, very easy to use but expensive to practice with and has a lot of kick or recoil which decreases the amount of shots being able to get off in a short period of time with accuracy. Seven shots in 2 seconds will stop anyone. Seven shots increases the shock factor exponentially. Like getting shot by a 12 gauge shotgun with double ought buck. Just remember, no matter what anyone says about it not being powerful enough, if you can't control the gun or afford to practice with it, you might as well buy a can of pepper spray or a stun gun. I keep a 9mm (second cheapest round ) in my car and a beretta 22 in my pocket. Bring it on.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  7. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Um, yeah, read what he posted, and I doubt he wants a .22, or that gun
    the Tomcat is the same, but in .32, but most of what he wants is going to be found on compact versions of service weapons.
  8. Shelstin

    Shelstin Active Member

    I may have over looked the Taurus handguns, considering the features that I am looking for. I remember the Taurus from 30 years ago, most likely. I don't remember much good about them. I assume that they have improved and changed, and from what I hear, many of their models are Beretta clones. I understand that they may be cheaper because they have cheaper Brazilian manufacturing costs. That may or may not be true.

    I am hoping to keep things below 500, although that figure is not locked in stone.
  9. Delford

    Delford Well-Known Member

    Not too many folks on this forum mention Ruger P series but I bought a P345 for CC and use a High Noon Split Decision IWB holster. I occasionally use a Fobus paddle holster as well. With my girth and height either combo works for me. Price range is around $350 to $450 used to new. Mine was used and priced near the middle.
  10. Dolph92

    Dolph92 Well-Known Member

    I second the 239. Wife and I have 2 one in 40 one in 9.

    What I like
    Easy to shoot and very intuitive
    The de-cocker is perfectly placed and just works well.
    The trigger guard on the 239 is longer than most other options. Its shaped like that to accommodate gloved hands, I live in Mn it's cold I wear gloves a lot in the winter and I am not talking thin leather gloves I mean man gloves. Stuff you wear when it -20 out. I can draw the gun from the holster and get my finger on the trigger without hassle.
    They are reliable
    They have night sight options
    They are accurate.
    Double action pull is smooth and easy
    40 Cal option can swap barrels out to 357 sig

    What I don't like.
    Price. They are a little more than other options but this is a small gripe the quality speaks to the price
    Lower Capacity than some options. 7+1 in the .40 and .357 sig and 8+1 in the 9mm
  11. bobnailer

    bobnailer Well-Known Member

    Wow, gun taken away, used against you... wow.
    Um, what kind of situations do you plan to be in where someone is going to take your firearm away from you? If you put yourself in a position where this could happen, well maybe you need to not go there in the first place.
    If you're talking about being in a rural area, out and about in the woods perhaps, I'd say keep your wits about you and if for ANY reason someone surprises you, get the drop on him/them, don't wait for an invite because it ain't coming.

    I don't understand the fixation you have on decockers, but if it's a "must have", I owned a very very nice .380 Beretta 84f, golden sabers or hornady critical defense... 13 round mag, one up the pipe... 14 rounds to go downrange; it has a de-cocker.

    I carried it for years in an IWB holster, Uncle Mike's.

    Glocks are very nice, but unless you have the discipline to never, ever, touch that trigger until you actually need to, it's an accident waiting to happen. Worse yet are those guys who say you should not have any ammo in-battery when carrying a Glock. Nice, so when you get jumped, you ask for permission to charge your gun BEFORE firing commences! That's a non-starter.

    If you want more BANG... you could carry a Colt Officer's "Compact" model 1991A1 .45acp which fits nicely in small hands, or even a Springfield Armory GI Champion .45acp with 4" barrel, both 1911's have very slim profile, but pack a wallop, have a manual thumb safety AND a grip safety too. Yup, I'm a 1911 guy, but that 1911 is very low profile. You can carry a 1911 cocked-locked and all you have to do is flick off the thumb safety and you're in the fight.

    Also, you're potential assailant will see the muzzle end of your .45 that always says, "Go away!" in any language.

  12. Shelstin

    Shelstin Active Member

    Bob, I agree. I can't see a pistol being taken out of my hand and used against me. That is what some seem to say when you speak of a manual safety on a CCW. I don't really buy that.

    Let's be honest. If I wanted to plink at 30 yards, I would take out my S&W 22. I am not really concerned about my safety, either. I just figure that we have Second Amendment rights, and we need to use them. When reading through these forums on this or other sites, it seems to me that some that carry are looking forward to the day when they can pull their weapon. You tube is full of idiots pretending to be experts. If I ever have a need to use a CCW, it will most likely be at 4 feet rather than 40. Shooting bullseyes at that distance is not a major concern, although I do enjoy shooting occasionally. It's nice to hit what you aim at. I also don't plan to get into a firefight with terrorists, where I may need 18 rounds. Realistically, if I need more than 8, I'm probably screwed anyway. It kind of cracks me up when people talk of carrying "17 in the clip, two mags on the hip"..where in the heck do these people live? Afghanistan?

    I appreciate the input!
  13. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Well-Known Member

    I have an XDm .40 with a 3.8" barrel. It is still a little big for IWB carry. I usually carry it OWB at home. It seems a little thick for IWB even for a bigger guy like me, so I'm assuming that the XDmC or the XDsc would be a little thick as well.
    I have been looking at the Taurus Slim series pretty seriously. They have a the PT709 in 9mm and the PT740 in .40 S&W. I have rather big hands and they seem to fit me pretty well, but it is a small grip, so I was somewhat surprised that it fit so well. It is a DAO, but it does have an external safety as well as a Glock type safety in the trigger. I didn't dry fire it, so I'm not sure how the trigger is, but I am pretty impressed so far. Very well could end up being my next gun purchase.
  14. 458lottTN

    458lottTN Member

    If you really like the Sigs, but the price is prohibitive, see if a local shop can get you a Certified Pre-Owned model. They are often department trade-ins or contract overruns that have seen little use or have been refurbed. We get them from several distributors and directly from Sig. They're the ones in the red boxes. Downside- you may have to be patient to find the config you want (especially in a non service model). Upside- you get a like new Sig with a factory warranty at a used price.

    As far as Taurus goes, their current offerings are a different ballgame than their old guns. Over the past ~5-10 years they have really stepped up the QC. I put them on par with Ruger these days, no doubt. They still make the Beretta and Smith clones, but they have expanded their line considerably. They have several different families of polymer framed guns with varying features. Check out their online catalog. I think they are worth a look for anyone looking to spend under five, and specifically if they're trying to beat the price of a Glock/XD.

    +1 Hunter on the slim series, but the grip is VERY slim. Think Kel Tec PF9 or Kahr P Series. Better feel than a micro .380, though.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  15. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Ok, here is a fun gun, two actually and both have MOST of what you want

    The CZ82 ~200
    the Polish P64 ~200 and smaller
    both in 9x18 Mak

    the P64 isn't that bad, its single stacked, shoots a round that is WIDER than 9mm para/nato/... at a speed that is faster than .380, any ways, the both work great and if you want DA/SA leave the P64 trigger and hammer springs alone, The double action is about 20# ( yes I thought the gun was broken the first time I tried the DA) BUT the SA is scary target light ,maybe 2# SA. It has a safety/decocker (on the slide) and is walther PP size, just a tad to big for your pants pocket.

    The only downside on the CZ 82 is that it requires you to manually drop the hammer, no decocker, BUT if you remember to take your finger of the the trigger it's safe, as that allows the internal hammer block to function. Trigger is Both DA and SA are AWESOME, smooth, and it works IWB as the slide is really narrow, with just the grip being fat (12+1)

  16. Shelstin

    Shelstin Active Member

    I am getting some really good info here. I appreciate it. I can't honestly explain why I feel such a need to get my CCP. I may not carry much at all, but I have been told that once I get use to the idea, I will. I find it interesting how many people carry that I was unaware of. Like I said earlier, I live in a small town.

    How is my rationale on the need for a double stack mag and it's girth vs a single stack and it's lack of capacity? Unless you are a LEO, is there a need for 15?

    Another random thought...since I keep comparing everything to the Glock 26, is that what I should just go with? If it doesn't work out for me, I don't think that my son would have any issue with me giving it to him. With his job in a large metropolitan area, often getting off late at night working as a waiter as he helps put himself through school, he needs a CCW worse than I do anyway.
  17. CZ57

    CZ57 member

    Get the XDm Compact .40 and you will have the CCW you need and with the extra 16 round magazine and extension you'll have a great range gun.;)
  18. Shelstin

    Shelstin Active Member

    Is there a sub compact in the XDM line? What is the trigger like? I know that the specs on the XDM read 5.5-7.5, and that's quite a difference in feel.
  19. ET

    ET Well-Known Member

    If you are not concerned about your safety you might want to reconsider buying a gun to carry. Every one I know who carrries does so because they are concerned for their safety. That is why we/they practice ad nauseum to get it down pat so we do not make a mistake and get innocent people killed. If you are only going to carry because you can, then I'm just not sure that is the right reason to arm yourself.

    I have not met or seen anyone who posts on these forums who "are looking forward to the day when they can pull their weapon". Quite the contrary. Every gun owner/carrier I know or see on these forums wants the exact opposite. Please don't confuse being ready with "looking forward to pulling their weapon". There is a big difference & you need to realize the difference. We constantly practice so that we don't make a mistake if a situation presents itself. Being prepared isn't hoping the day will come. None of us want that day to actually come, but if it does we will be ready.

    It is really great that you know in advance that you will only need a certain amount of ammo when you are attacked. The flaw in that thinking is that there are gangs in this country that attack innocent people. If two or three people attack you then you might appreciate the additional ammo that an extra mag or two offers.

    A person hyped up on meth won't magically fall down with 2 or 3 bullets in them. Depending on the caliber you might have to empty the whole mag into one person. That leaves you with an empty gun unless you have a spare on you. Plus carrying extra mags is an insurance policy in case the one in your gun fails when you need it the most... It happens.

    One of the first things we learn is to put distance between us and our attackers. Hopefully you will be shooting at a distance of more than 4 feet. If not then your original fear that you later backed off of (you know the one where your gun is taken away from you ) will probably come true.
  20. Shelstin

    Shelstin Active Member

    ET, you really let me have it, huh? I guess I need to clarify myself on a few points. I'm not really concerned about my safety, thats true. That's not to say that I haven't been nervous at times. It also wasn't MY fear that I would have a gun taken from me and used against me. It was an example others used on another board to justify their use of guns without manual safeties. I had to go back to the top and re-read my quote, and I see your confusion. It was poorly written. The key to doing ANYTHING well is drilling it until it becomes second nature. The more stressful the situation, the more opportunity for a screw up. That's why we practice and maintain skills.

    I will stand by my second statement. I think that there are people that look forward to the opportunity to use their weapon, just as there are people that look for a fight. That's never a good thing. Certainly a minority, but out there. I don't think that anyone will argue that 99% of the people we all know are good people, but laws and rules are for the 1% that aren't.

    Don't confuse my curiosity about the experience and thoughts of others regarding CC with a lack of experience on my part in the ways of the world. I wanted to raise my kids in a smaller town, away from some of the reasons that people feel a need to carry. That does not mean that I have not been there, and it doesn't mean that small towns are immune from the issues in the cities.

    I appreciate your thoughts on carrying extra clips. That's understood. But, that's one reason that I am looking for opinions here. Personally, I don't see a need for a lot of capacity in a self defense situation. I also understand things happen. I carry three arrows in my quiver when I bow hunt. Some guys carry eight, some six, no one else that I know carries three. I know I am comparing apples and oranges. Obviously, you feel differently. I'm good with that.

    If I could create distance, I probably wouldn't need a CCW. It would be pretty hard defending yourself in court if you shot someone while backing away at 20 feet. I'm not an expert, I don't claim to be, and that's why I'm here.

    Once again, I appreciate the advice that I have been given.

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