CCW: Full Sized Vs Sub Compact

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Monkeybear, Aug 30, 2007.

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  1. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    For me, the smallest I'll carry is a j-frame and in a semi auto, something a little more mid size like a Glock 19, commander size 1911 or USPc. Currently, I'm kinda torn between my fave 1911 vs. something much lighter like one of my polyguns...bottom line tho, it really comes down to what you like & what you can carry comfortably ;)
     
  2. Dean407

    Dean407 Member

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    I think it totally depends on body type and mode of dress. I carry my P2000SK with a 13rd mag and Xgrip giving it the same grip as the regular 2000, but slightly shorter barrel. The benefit is longer grip which should be easier to grab. I carry IWB with VMII. You can shoot it at the range with the extended mags and get comfy enough with the short mags. I find the flat base plate mags more comfy than the stock mags.

    Check out the longer mags w/ Xgrip or flat based mags b4 you trade her. Get them at CDNN.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Socrates

    Socrates Member

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    Full sized 1911 requires a gun belt, something like the ones Dillon sells, that look like dress belts, but are much stiffer.
     
  4. koja48

    koja48 member

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    I've carried a full-size 1911 for years, either in a shoulder rig, IWB, or MOB. All provide good access & concealability, depending on activity & situation. On occasion, I do carry a sub 9, usually as a BUG. Whatever you choose, practice to become proficient. And remember: Belts -- they don't just hold-up trousers anymore . . .
     
  5. Erik

    Erik Member

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    The way I see it is that if you are going to dress around the gun than dress around a larger one. Obviously, there's a point of diminishing return, but most people can conceal "full sized" guns just fine.

    Now if you're not planning on dressing around the gun then your in pocket, ankle, or other deep cover territiory and yea, you're going to have to go smaller with the guns.

    But we all knew that because it isn't rocket science, right?
     
  6. Sylvan-Forge

    Sylvan-Forge Member

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    Dean407 has a good plan.

    General comments:
    I've recently converted from primary carry of the P2000 SK to the Glock 19.
    The G19 is lighter, holds more rounds, is the same size, has better balance and has a full grip. My only complaint with the Glock is the el-crapo trigger guard which gives me GlockFinger (pains the knuckle of the middle finger) which I'm in the process of rectifying with judicious use of the Dremel tool.

    After some trigger modifications, accuracy is now about the same between the two. Mag insertion is nicer with the Glock.

    Best of luck Monkeybear.
     
  7. Monkeybear

    Monkeybear Member

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    Thanks,

    Actually I went to a gun shop this weekend and I asked about any CZs that the seller might have. He mentioned that he did not have any love for CZs but that he sold Glocks. I said, well then show me a 9mm Glock compact. He gave me a Glock 19 and I actually really like it. I have fired a Glock 26 and hated it more than anything else I have ever pulled the trigger on.

    I was thinking about getting a CZ P-01, because it is so close to the CZ75 format that I love only smaller. The only thing that worries me is the rubber grips and hammer getting caught in my clothes. Now I think I may look into the Glock. Top Gun Shooting Range rents out Glock 19s so I'll rent one and see how I like it.
     
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Without bothering to read the whole thread,

    I am sometimes baffled by the 'carry gun' culture that has been created since so many states went CCW. I suppose I'm not baffled so much as annoyed.

    This is the tool you are trusting your life with. Why would you use anything other than the gun you shoot the very best? For MOST of us, this means a full-size pistol. Heavier guns have less recoil, and longer sight radius, thus increasing the likelihood of good repeated hits.

    COMFORT is a very distant second priority to me. The way the gun magazines say it, if a normal sized person carries a full-sized auto, they will lose their balance when they walk down the street, and if they carry a compact, they will forget it's there. My experience has shown neither of these to be true. If you give a petite female who has never carried before a sub-compact Glock to put in her waistband, she will absolutely know it's there. If you get a mall ninja who is brimming with joy because precisely four weeks ago he turned 21 and got his permit in the mail today, you can hang a full-size Desert Eagle under his left armpit and he will swear he doesn't feel it, because he's so exited he's allowed to carry.

    I think a lot of it is marketing between the mags and the manufacturers. They try to convince us that you need different guns for every facet of your life. I carry a good full-size 1911, the same for open-carry, concealed carry in ANY weather, (improvise, adapt, overcome) outdoor activity, and if I were allowed, I would carry it to war. Pick your best caliber, in the best platform that works best for YOU. You said you are already used to .45, so look at Sigs, H&Ks, Glocks, 1911s, etc in that caliber.
     
  9. Sylvan-Forge

    Sylvan-Forge Member

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    Some good points, mljdeckard.

    I often wish I could find the "one" sidearm for all occasions.
     
  10. Monkeybear

    Monkeybear Member

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    mljdeckard- I agree completely. I fell under the notion that if it wasn't as small as possible that I would never be able to conceal it and would succumb to discomfort causing me to leave it at home. Obviously the most important thing is whether I will be able to, and I truly hope that I never have to, be able to protect my loved ones or myself with it.

    While function is the most important part, concealment is a requirement. While I have decided to carry a larger platform I would still like to be able to conceal in accordance with Texas law at least somewhat comfortability in 100+ weather with 90% humidity.

    I have spent some time at gun stores with the Glock 19, FNP-9 and the Walther P99. I would still like to carry something as light and concealable as possible without sacrificing my ability to shoot it confidently. I like them all but I haven't actually shot any. Aside from that it seems to me that the Glock 19 would be the easiest to conceal and the Walther would be the most ergonomic. The FNP-9 seems a good middle ground and like all compromises it isn't very exiting.
     
  11. lanternlad1

    lanternlad1 Member

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    I'm waiting for the PX4 Storm Sub to arrive. Supposed to be a good shooter, as well as a good carrier, at least according to Guns and Ammo (and they would never steer me wrong :rolleyes:)
     
  12. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    You'll get all sorts of guru advice to carry a full size and bare the pain. You may do that for some years. But, at some point, you're going to figure out what a PITA it is and you're going to figure out how effective some of the little pocket sized subcompacts and small revolvers are and once you do and get a subcompact and find out how easy it is to tote, you'll put your full sized gun in the safe.

    Just my personal experience. You don't need no 1911 to defend yourself. A Kahr or Kel Tec or Smith and Wesson J frame in a pocket beats a 40+ ounce gun you left in the car.
     
  13. zeroskillz

    zeroskillz Member

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    FWIW, I carry a 229 all the time here in Texas. I just throw a button up shirt over it and I'm fine. I carry it in a Milt Sparks VMII, which I'd highly recommend. they're the best I've found for IWB carry, hands down. A 226 or 220 will fit just as well in my holster (pretty much) and conceal just as nicely.
    HTH
    -Ted
     
  14. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I've been carrying for 12 years, and never for one second have I thought that a smaller gun is a good trade off for the gun I handle and shoot the absolute best. If I wasn't committed to the idea of doing "whatever is necessary" to defend my life, I shouldn't carry at all.

    My back is just fine.

    One point that might make my situation a little different is that in Utah, we are not required to conceal. If I have ever flashed or printed, I'm not aware of it, but I don't really have to worry about it as much.
     
  15. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    Sometimes, mere 1/10th of an inch can make something perceptively more comfortable, whether its a bit smaller to ease concealment, or a bit larger to make it more comfortable to grip when shooting. With carry rigs, a slight change in angle or position can make an enormous different in concealment or comfort. We are also built differently, which causes different weapons to jab us in different places. The FBI tilt causes most grips to jab me in the ribs, so I tend to like straight-draw, or nearly so, yet with straight-draw, pistols such as Glocks and the HK P7, with large squared-off protrusions at the rear of the slide, will jab me in the ribs with their slides. I would rather carry a full-sized 1911 in a vertical scabbard, than a Baby Glock in just about any strong-side-hip rig! I generally like to carry full-sized weapons as much as possible, and have in the past concealed my 4" S&W M58 .41 mag duty revolver IWB, because it was either that or my J-frame snubby. (I was a broke rookie cop back then.) Longer weapons are sometimes more stable than shorter ones; I found the 4" N-frame more stable than a later-purchased 3" N-frame, and when worn IWB, the 3" poked me in a certain spot, whereas the longer weapon bridged over that spot, causing no discomfort. I noticed the same thing with 1911 pistols; a Government-sized 1911 is comfortable IWB, whereas a Officer's ACP-sized 1911 jabs me with its muzzle. I no longer own the 3" N-frame nor the Officer's ACP. I seem to have rambled a bit, but just wanted to share some experience, as I have carried concealed for nearly a quarter-century, and experimented quite a bit with small, compact, and full-sized handguns. FWIW, I am of thin build, and carry in a hot climate.
     
  16. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    I just got one of the HK p7psp imports that are available now.WOW carries like a compact shoots like a full size.If you can try one.
     
  17. chalkie

    chalkie Member

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    My most carried is a S&W 66-1 3"bbl, in an IWB DeSantis. :D
    Bug is a Kel-tec PF9 in a uncle mike's cheap holster.
     
  18. pogo2

    pogo2 Member

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    Maybe weight, rather than size, is most important

    The original poster said he shoots better with full size guns than subcompacts, and is moving to a Sig P226 from an H&K P2000sk. Of course the Sig is also a lot heavier, maybe 34 ounces empty (I own one) vs. 22 ounces for the P2000sk. Could it be the weight, rather than the dimensions, that make the Sig easier for him to shoot well? Weight steadies a gun and absorbs recoil, I think.

    I have guns of all weights and always find the heavier ones easiest to shoot well. I have the most trouble shooting a S&W 642, which weighs 15 ounces empty. It seems to move all around as I try to aim, and has a heavy DAO trigger which also moves the gun as I pull it.

    Some guns are dimensionally small, or sub compact, while having substantial weight. These might give the best combination of small size for concealment with lots of inertia for a steady shooting platform. Something in all steel with a smooth trigger would fit this spec.

    Here are two candidates - both subcompact - a steel Kahr K40 which weighs 26 ounces empty, and a steel Colt Officer's model which weighs 30 ounces empty. Both are slim and concealable with good smooth triggers and slim profile.

    [​IMG]

    colt22.jpg
     
  19. rj112275

    rj112275 Member

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    with a good belt and holster, a full size, or compact pistol carries just fine. 6 of 1, half-dozen of another in my opinion. my sp101 or sig p220 both carry fine in a belt hostler. the problem comes when dress or laziness doesn't permit carry a large, or even ~compact pistol. in those cases i carry a j-frame that fits a pocket or easily conceals on the ankle.

    i definitely think the sub-compact would be carried more often and provide more carry configuration options. if you don't shoot a sub-compact well, then my suggestion is practice. .38 and 9mm are cheap to practice with. i wish i could say i always carry my .45, but truth is my .38 is more often with me when i go for a quick trip to the grocery store.

    i think the sub-compact is a great option to have.
     
  20. BikerRN

    BikerRN member

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    After reading the original post, here's my $0.02 on the subject.

    I carry a "Full Size" and a "Compact" daily. having been in two "encounters" I can personally testify to the fact that no gun is too big when the fecal matter hits the rotating thing and you can never have too much ammo.

    Of course, my daily Off-Duty Carry is a pair of Revolvers. :)

    Biker
     
  21. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    I like the 5" barrel, due to the longer sight radius. If the weapon were ever
    needed (and I hope it isn't}, that automatically gives you somewhat of what
    we call a "Tactical Advantage". Sure, I own a 3" Kimber sub-compact, but
    my main "go to" gun is a 5" Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special in .45 ACP!;)
     
  22. XD-40 Shooter

    XD-40 Shooter Member

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    I have a Taurus Millenium Pro 40 that is my CCW. This gun is considered a "compact" and I think its the ideal size. The barrel is 3.25" and it has a finger pad on the magazines, so I can have a complete grip, no pinky hanging off.:p In my opinion, these guns are the ideal size for CCW, not a true sub-compact, but big enough to get a full grip on and be accurate with, but small enough to carry.:D
     
  23. Shootcraps

    Shootcraps Member

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    I've carried Government 1911s with just a t-shirt and shorts. Gotta have a good belt (not necessarily a gun belt) and IWB holster.

    My current CCW is a Springfield V10 Ultra Compact (Officer Model size) with lightweight frame.

    Try a S&W 1911 with Scandium frame. Weighs a lot less. You can even get it bobtailed.
     
  24. Monkeybear

    Monkeybear Member

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    Not really into 1911s or any gun with a safety lever for that matter.
     
  25. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    For the most part, with me smaller is better. My H&K USP45C was bought expressly for carry and it's been carried very little. Far too big for my comfort. Now, it's mostly Kimber Ultra CDP .45, Glock 26, and KelTec P32. Heavy emphasis on the P32, as it's my always gun. Flush mount mags, always. Vacationing changes it up some, as does cold weather, but this is the norm. Something else could come along and toss a wrench in all this, but hey, that's why we keep buying, right?
     
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