A great day.. Couple of questions to go with it.

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by WinchesterAA, Jun 25, 2008.

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  1. WinchesterAA

    WinchesterAA Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    So my fiance finally decided that she needed a pistol. She doesn't know too much about em though and designated me the selector of the pistol. She's pretty little and really wanted a small gun, so I said she'd probably be pretty close with a small kel-tec pistol. The only ones they had there were the PF9s, so she got one of those. Next step was to shoot it in the range.

    I did the honors of firing the first magazine just to make sure it wouldn't explode, and give her a heads up on how the recoil was. It was a little snappy. Nothing like a seacamp, and quite manageable albeit somewhat painful due to the sharp edges in the grip. Changing my grip a bit to compensate made it a lot better, and I was surprised at how accurate I was with it. Next up was her.. She didn't get along well with the grip at all, as I figured she wouldn't after shooting it, but as soon as I got home I found out about the hogue handall jr. My thoughts exactly as to how to remedy the situation. The grip was fine for her, it was just sharp. Cover it in rubber and good to go I suspect.

    She wears really tight pants, though, and I was wondering what holster options might be available.. The pockets she has in most of her pants won't fully cover her cellphone, the pants she wears are pretty tight but have space for the pistol I think. She always tucks her shirt in, and she came up with the idea on her own that carrying it in the purse is a bad idea, because "That's what someone would steal!"

    Ankle holster might work pretty well, but maybe there's a better option out there somewhere. This realm of pistols is entirely foreign to me, but I've enjoyed it so far.

    And the next part is about my high-standard crusader compact. It's really, really accurate. The only problem is that it shoots about 3 and a half inches low at 10 yards. Further out and I have to aim towards the top of the page or off of it entirely to hit around the middle.

    I talked to the gunsmith at the range I went to, and he asked to fire a few rounds. I said go for it, and he discovered the same thing. Said I would need to get a lower rear site, or a higher front site.

    Don't know if I'm actually asking a question or not, but any comments/suggestions anyone could offer would be considered and appreciated.

    Great day, though.. New pistol to mess with, got to shoot my other new pistol and realized how much better with firearms in general I've gotten in the last year, especially with pistols.. now just gotta tie up the loose ends and everything will be ready for everyday use.

    All I need now are holsters for both, and ammo.

    I'm leaning toward the hidden asset holster from bearclaw for the crusader compact, and am just beginning the search for the kel-tec holster.

    Best part of all.. No failures to feed from any pistol.

    100rds through keltec, 150rds through crusader compact.
  2. Owen Meany

    Owen Meany Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Winchester wrote:

    I assume that her wardrobe is not going to change to accomodate carrying the gun - as it shouldn't, and can't, for most people in most cases.

    The frequently recycled concealment advice to "dress around the gun" is sheer nonsense, because it applies only to a small minority whose clothing choices are apparently not already dictated by their employment and their lifestyle.

    For the rest of us, who must maintain a neat, professional appearance (well-fitting pants, tucked-in shirts), the gun and holster combo must be chosen to work with a pre-established mode of dress. To complicate matters in the case of your fiancee, women have many fewer carry options than men do because of their smaller size and tighter/more revealing clothing. Loose clothing on women looks very unusual in this day and age, and is apt to draw at least as much unwanted attention as a poorly chosen gun/holster combo might - not to mention that a sudden change of clothing style for someone of either gender is another undesirable attention-getter (at least for close acquaintances), regardless of whether the new wardrobe conforms to current fashion sense or not.

    What I'm getting at here is that I think you may have gone at things in the wrong order. I believe that, in her case, she should have heavily researched all the holster options that are out there and determined exactly what she could conceal, and how, before any firearm was purchased. In other words, the concealment strategy should have been already determined before the hardware came on the scene.

    Now, I must admit that the chosen gun, the PF-9, is one of the smallest guns out there anyway, so you didn't do too badly, to be sure. A male of virtually any size and dress could be reasonably sure of concealing that gun with ease. For a woman, it might be OK, but it might just as well not be. Depends on body size, type and clothing, and what holster and where. I'd say it's likely a borderline proposition, particularly for a small lady with tight pants.

    If it had been I selecting the gun, I would have gone the P3AT/Ruger LCP/Kahr .380 route, or maybe even a Seecamp .32. And, to be frank, given current female dress styles, I'd have my doubts about successful on-body concealment of even those guns - provided we're talking about genuine, deep concealment, which is the only way to go so far as I'm concerned.

    My carry rig recommendations:

    If you are committed to the PF-9 as the carry gun, SmartCarry is probably the way to go. Maybe you're already familiar with it. If you're not, don't listen to the inept, chortling fools who blather on about "shooting yourself down there". Buy it and be amazed. It is a fabulous concealment system, and lets you hide things that you would otherwise never be able to. But even it has its limits, and I'm a little doubtful if a PF-9 would hide well on a small woman this way. But if the Kel-Tec going to be concealed at all, it'll likely be by means of a SmartCarry.

    A belly band is a second option, though it is hot, restrictive and simply darn uncomfortable compared to SmartCarry. Worth checking out, though.

    As you mentioned, ankle carry might work if her pants are wide enough (probably are, given current style) and she can take the admittedly light weight on her ankle.

    If you can bring yourself to go with the smaller .380s/32s (P3AT et al.), then the above three options still exist, of course, but you also might be able to get away with pocket carry.

    Well, them's my suggestions, pardner. Hope things work out for you and her. Let us know how you do and what decisions you come to. The evolution of personal carry strategies is something I never get tired of hearing about.
  3. WinchesterAA

    WinchesterAA Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    Well, kicking in at 300$ the PF9 is in the general vicinity of the size of pistol she'd prefer to carry. It's a good learner as she doesn't have her CHL yet and can't carry anyway.

    She's on her way over now, and we're gunna mess around with different ways to hide it on her person. After that she'll be able to give me the requirements the holster needs to meet to be suitable to her.

    The main benefit of her current job means she's wearing an apron at all times, so she could theoretically conceal a desert eagle, but only at work.

    Worst case scenario, I buy the pf9 from her and use it as my own, or sell it and use the proceeds for a more suitable option, if indeed the pf9 isn't suitable that is.

    I suspect that I can come up with something that'll work. I appreciate the accurate response, and the smartcarry is indeed something that would probably fit the bill.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    That advice from the "gunsmith" at the range is bass-ackwards.

    A lower rear sight will make the gun shoot lower.

    A higher front sight will make the gun shoot lower.

    Since it is already shooting low, either option would only make it worse.

  5. WinchesterAA

    WinchesterAA Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    @Rcmodel - I don't know what that guy was thinking, TBH.. I'm wondering though if I should try removing some material from the front sight. The only thing holding me back is figuring out how to refinish the sight so it's not a shiny silver surface.

    When I put the center of the frontsight along the top edge of the rear sight I hit pretty close to home. I mean, worst case scenario I punch that sight out and put a new one in, which is what I'd have to do anyway if I wanted to have a dead on pistol.

    I'm wondering, though, what the deal was.. That really struck me as kinda odd, I mean, I knew I was right to begin with, then he said something in total contrast. I didn't have time to argue about it, but needless to say, he's not gunna be working on any of my guns that's for darn sure.

    If anybody ever does again, it'll probably be Ed Vandenberg.
  6. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    NC Sandhills
    Its possible that all she needs for successful concealment is one size larger in pants and a good IWB holster. We ladies are often a bit too vain to want to do that though. LOL

    I'm the complete opposite in body type, but the currently popular babydoll shirts seem to have been made specifically for successful concealed carry. Here are a couple photos from my experiments last month:




  7. presspuller

    presspuller Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    A 9mm is not really a pocket gun no matter how you try to dress it. I do carry mine there sometimes but its not the best option.
    I know a lot of folks use an ankle holster but I think they are a good way to get yourself killed. If you need it NOW you aint gonna get to it for a few seconds at best. I had a cop tell about his partner getting killed because of that problem.
    There is all kinds of holsters out there for carrying just about anywhere on the body you would want to(and some you may not want to)I have seen some that attach to a womans bra to use under her shirt/blouse for instance.
    The main thing is get her comfortable with it and it will work itself out.
    Good luck.
  8. FreeinAZ

    FreeinAZ Member

    Jun 10, 2008
    Kel tec makes a belt/pocket clip for the 3AT that could most likely be made to fit the PF9. My wife carries one in the back pocket of her shorts or pants a lot of the time, with the pockets that have a flap. As long as the pants aren't so tight they take my breath away also, this works and does not show. Practice with the draw whatever way you decide, and good luck.
  9. springmom

    springmom Member

    Dec 20, 2005
    Spring TX
    First, I'd suggest that she spend some time reading www.corneredcat.com. And point her toward www.womenandguns.com also, as some of the issues that she'll face (which are different than for you guys) she can talk about with more women than she'll get here.

    She probably will need to go to something a wee bit looser, to be comfortable carrying. Depending on how short-waisted she is, even something the size of a PF9 can end up digging into her ribs (NOT a lot of fun, take my word for it) whereas, on a guy, it will be quite comfortable. I disagree that it's impractical to "dress around the gun"...it doesn't take a massive overhaul of wardrobe or a total change in style; but it might mean needing to get the next size up, or getting a misses size instead of a petite or junior size in slacks or jeans. A tee shirt can't be so short that it rides up when she sits down, but neither does it have to drag to the bottom of her rear either. Despite the oft-repeated advice about Hawaiian shirts untucked, it is entirely possible to conceal a small handgun wearing a nice tee, a polo type shirt, or (depending on the holster) even a tucked in blouse.

    What is difficult is concealing wearing a dress. Almost no women's dresses are built to easily conceal a handgun unless you wear a belly band or a thigh holster (neither sounds particularly comfortable to me, myself).

    Send her over to womenandguns. She'll get more feedback from more women and that will be helpful.

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