Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

First time CCW gun

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by conw, Aug 17, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. conw

    conw Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,364
    Hi guys, I am a reader of the THR forums and first-time poster. I admire your knowledge and diverse opinions. So I want to ask a question about, or get some opinions on, potential options for first CCW for me.

    A) I like cheap ammo, 9mm would be nice, but I don't think .38 special is much more expensive...for training and just plain plinking

    B) I will be training extensively, and if I narrow it down more, it may come down to which gun fits my hand better, "feels" better, etc.

    C) Cheap price is good, but I want a good deal too, and if I get more bang for my buck but have to pay more I'll be satisfied.

    The options (tentative, in no particular order):

    S&W SW9VE: Like the price tag, seems reliable from reading, fairly concealable, nice capacity compared to other options.

    kel-tec PF-9: Love the size, apparently the kinks are mostly ironed out...if it's reliable enough, seems like the best option, considering price. Hard to find around here!

    Charter arms undercover (.38): Best of both worlds? Hear it's ultra-reliable, I like the price, nice size, excellent weight, good stopping power. Can it occasionally hold .357, or is it strictly .38 special?

    S&W J-frame airweight 642 (.38): Like the hidden hammer. worth extra $$$ over CA UC? Nice looking gun.

    EAA Windicator: Just threw this in here because some people seem to think it's better than the CA UC. I dunno, would like opinions on it.

    As you can see I'm all over the place. But hopefully you can weigh pros and cons, etc. I don't want to hear "get a glock." If you have a clear winner out of these, tell me why. And I appreciate any and all suggestions. This may come down to whether you like autoloading 9mm or revolvers better, and that's ok too.

    C
     
  2. USAFrenegade

    USAFrenegade Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Westminster CO.
    I just bought my wife a Rossi .38 special, and she loves it. the rounds are cheap, and the gun is dead on upto 35 ft. it's a snubnose so it doesn't have range, but most gun fights are with in conversation distance. I carry a Springfield XD .45 and i swear by it. rounds are more expensive but it is totaly worth it. I know both my wife's and my gun will fire every time no matter what.
     
  3. GunNut

    GunNut Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    Washington State
    S&W 642 would be the only of the revolvers you mentioned that I personally would spend my money on. You would be well armed with the 642 and be able to carry it very easily.

    A cheap good quality 9mm that i'd look at is the Kel-tec P11, 10+1 rounds in a very concealable gun.

    In bigger guns there are many good ones, but they take more effort to carry.

    If you want bigger look for a used Glock 19, they can be had for $350 or so and are one of the best CCW guns out there.

    Good luck and take some kind of basic handgun training class,

    Steve
     
  4. conw

    conw Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,364
    Thanks.

    I appreciate the input. The 642 sure is nice lookin'. Can it tolerate some .357 reliably, for actual CCW, or is it just a .38? I know some .357s take .38 but I dunno about the reverse being true of the 642...

    Glocks are nice but I prefer sacrificing a BIT of capacity in order to keep it pretty small. Can't afford to buy a big "winter" gun, summer CCW, AND glove box piece all right now! So I figure on getting a smallish piece for everything.

    I definitely plan on taking a class, etc, etc, shooting a lot, and so on, so don't worry about that. Whatever I get I'll know how to use it, which is the most important part obviously! :)
     
  5. GunNut

    GunNut Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    Washington State
    The 642 is a .38 special only gun, you have to buy a .357 magnum to be able to also shoot .38 special in it.

    How about a Glock 26? Close in size to the 642, but 10+1 rounds of 9mm.

    The 642 will work fine for CCW, but something like the Glock 26 would give you a little more capacity, range and accuracy.

    Either way good luck,

    Steve
     
  6. Black Adder LXX

    Black Adder LXX Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Messages:
    894
    Location:
    South Florida
    The 642 is on my list. If you want 357, you might want to shoot ANY 357 snubby before you buy... If you want to go 357, maybe a Ruger sp101, a little more weight to help felt recoil, and no internal lock.
     
  7. DrDavidM

    DrDavidM Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Taurus pt140 pro

    I really like my pt140pro. You may hear some bad things about them ,but I have never had a problem with mine. I have shot cheap ammo, defense ammo, mostly reloads and never had a failure of any sort. The trigger is a little stiff. I have numerous handguns and it continues to be my carry of choice. Of course they also make it in 9mm.
     
  8. redneckrepairs

    redneckrepairs Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,116
    Of the guns you listed either the 642 or the Kel-tec would be my choices. If going a smith auto i would suggest either bump up to the M&P or look at the 39xx series ( 3913 ect.. ) if you want a thinner auto . They do cost a bit more than a sigma but it imho is money well spent .
    After many years of ccw i have pretty well settled down to a couple of Kahrs and am extremely happy with both of them . I will suggest you also look at the Kahr CW series ( avalable in 9 and .40 ) . It is a bit more economical than the p series and is getting good reviews .
     
  9. BADUNAME2

    BADUNAME2 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,262
    Location:
    Alger, OH
    Are you an experienced shooter, new to CCW, or altogether new? If can already shoot well, the guns you listed are all viable options. If not, and you're wanting the gun to learn to shoot with, as well as to carry, then I'd suggest getting one that's easier to shoot, for a first gun.

    The Sigma is difficult to shoot well, because it has an absolutely horrendous trigger. The new generation is affordable, and reliable from what I've heard.

    Kel-tec. I've had experience with p-32s, P3ATs, and P-11s. I've not yet shot one of the PF9s, however. In my experience, they have been reliable, surprisingly accurate for such a small package, and affordable. However, the triggers are failry heavy, and as small guns the recoil and short sight radius make them difficult to shoot well.

    The revolvers: first off, the .357 Magnum cartridge is derived from the .38 Special, being the same thing, merely using a case which is 1/10" longer, and a lot more powder. As such, .357s can shoot .38s, but not vice versa. Once again, snubbies aren't easy guns to shoot, but they are generally reliable, and fairly easy to carry.

    Differences between snubbies and compact autos, for carry purposes: if you wear dockers or other loose fitting pants, snubbies can often be effectively pocket carried. the autos you've mentioned, though on the small side, are probably better holster guns than pocket guns. If you wear jeans or other close fitting pants, a slim auto on the order of p-32 or p3ats can make better pocket guns than the snubbies.

    For learning to shoot, as well as carry, I can't think of a better gun than a CZ75b. they're inexpensive, ($350-400) 9mm, high cap, reliable, and accurate as all get out.

    Full size guns aren't that hard to carry, as long as they're slim. To me, bbl length is easy to hide, grip length slightly less so, but width is amlost impossible. I can hide a government model 1911 easier than I can a kel tec P11.

    As always, ymmv.

    ~~~Mat
     
  10. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    5,456
    Location:
    In the land of make believe.
    I would suggest a Glock 19 or Glock 26. They are great carry guns and relatively cheap.
     
  11. okiewita40

    okiewita40 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Messages:
    445
    Location:
    Northeast Oklahoma
    As far as the revolvers go You really can't go wrong with either the charter or the smith. I would recomend a bit heavier smith than an airweight if your just starting out shooting.

    The sigma is a good defensive weapon for an auto. They are cheap to get. you get the S&W warranty. And the triggers are not as bad as they are made out to be. I carry a sw40ve everyday. I have to use a glock for work but I prefer the feel of my sigma over a glock. My sigma has never had a FTF or FTE in almost 3000 rounds.

    Best of luck to you in whatever you choose.
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    22,120
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    conwict, welcome to the forum...

    I own and carry a S&W M638 Airweight which is almost the same revolver as the M642 and I'm very happy with it. Like said above, the M642 is rated for .38 Special +P, but it's not a .357 Magnum. Firing a ultra-light .357 Magnum is not pleasant so I would suggest you test fire one before you decide to buy a Aitlite.

    ALSO, some people in this thread have told you a snub nose revolver is only for up close SD, that's NOT true. Those who feel it's only good for short SD are not willing to spend the time to become proficient with their handgun. The short sight radius and barrel does make it more difficult to shoot well but the gun itself is no less accurate than revolvers with a longer barrel. I can shoot my snub nose very well at distances of 25 yards and some old-timers I know hit 3"/4" groups out to 50 yards. I'm very tired of hearing a snub nose is a "belly gun" just because it's not as easy to shoot well as a 5" pistols.

    As you know, revolvers and pistols are very different so you will have to decide which you feel more comfortable carrying and shooting. That will be your first decision, then which gun in the group to buy will be next. Like you have already said, it will probably come down to which is most comfortable in your hand. That goes a long way to shooting it well.

    Good luck with choosing and always make safety job #1.
     
  13. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    5,434
    my .02...

    Of the pistols and revolvers you listed, the 642 is the only one I would trust.
    The PF9 is larger than necessary, the Charter is unproven (and Charter Arms revolvers of recent production have come up sort in the relaibility department) and so on.

    As far as the relentless Glockers go...
    A loaded G-26 weighs about twice what a loaded 642 weighs. If you think that insignificant, give each a try. In all fairness, it also has twice the magazine capacity. That said, I have yet to find a double-stack anything that is a viable CCW.

    Good luck, Rich
     
  14. Richard.Howe

    Richard.Howe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Messages:
    887
    It really does depend on how you plan to CCW, doesn't it?

    The ONLY pocket-carry piece that's worked for me has been the S&W 340. However, if you're willing to take the next step to an IWB (inside waistband) rig, then I can carry my huge-mongous Glock 21 without a printing problem, and I'm a 5'-10" 165-lb guy.

    So, if you want to go IWB, given your self-imposed limts (cheap, comfortable to shoot, and reasonable price), I really would suggest a G19. They're commonly available for under $500, parts are ubiquitous, the platform is proven, it's a comfy piece to actually shoot a lot, and its manual-of-arms is simple.

    Runner-up suggestion would be a Sig 229, but that's a bit more spendy.

    Just my experience: stay away from the Kel-Tec, Charter, and EAA offerings. Yes, they are initially cheaper. But is your life, and the life of those with you, worth an extra $200?

    The lightweight snubby revo is a great tool, but be aware: shooting a small, light snub is no fun, and you're therefore not likely to practice with one very much, which actually makes them dangerous (for most people) in my opinion. Yes, they're diminuitive and feel nice in the hand, but they really are an "expert's weapon." Don't believe me? Try shooting aimed doubles at 10 yards with any reasonable .357 load!

    Rich
     
  15. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    5,456
    Location:
    In the land of make believe.
    Orionengnr: I think it would be a better CCW simply because of capacity and in my area 9mm is cheaper than .38. However I also prefer autoloaders to revolvers. However as a beginner he may have an easier time using a revolver. But I think reloading a revolver is a little harder than an autoloader. Especially if your left handed (like I am).
     
  16. Rokman

    Rokman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,046
    Location:
    The Lone Star State
    I carry the S&W 642 or the G26 on a regular basis and am more comfortable with the 642. I do like having twice the amount of ammo available with the G26 without having to reload. Practicing with 9mm should be way cheaper than .38 special.

    I just mentioned these two handguns because I don't own any of the others that you have shown interest in. I do think that hammerless on a carry revolver would be the way to go. I came real close to buying a S&W 638 but thought the single action option would be a real lint catcher. Good luck with your purchase.
     
  17. normal

    normal Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Illinois
    If you want more bang for your buck with a CCW gun, I would recommend the XD 9 subcompact. It is easily concealed, is plenty powerful enough, and it's cheap(er) to shoot. You can also put the 16 round magazine in it for home defense. It is accurate and very reliable. It is definately multi talented.
     
  18. conw

    conw Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,364
    Thanks, again!

    Lots of replies, thanks everyone.

    The only strike thus far against the Sigma is the trigger, which I will have to try for myself, and the only thing I might not like (apparently) about the 642 is the recoil/comfort factor.

    BTW, is the 642 identical to the 442 except for color? If so I like the way the 442 looks.

    A little about me: I'm ~6' 200ish (fluctuates, I am into weight training) and I have shot quite a bit. No experience with revolvers that I can recall, though. I am 20 years old and will be 21 in November, so I am going to go CCW whenever I can get my permit.

    Like I said, I really get into learning new things, so I'm not worried about a "learning curve."

    I like the look/idea of a revolver, but autoloaders are cool too...the extra clip I could carry is a definite bonus.

    So far it looks like the 442 is winning for reliability and size though.
     
  19. EAFO

    EAFO Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Tampa
    1911 with a 22lr conversion kit?
    you get cheap practice with the trigger, and 45acp for when you need it
     
  20. conw

    conw Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,364
    EAFO,

    Like the suggestion but it's just too bulky. As stated basically I need something that fits in a pocket and doesn't pull my pants down...also the 1911s I've seen are just plain heavy... right?

    Nice gun but not my "match."
     
  21. kashton

    kashton Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    PLEASE don't buy a .357 revolver snubby :scrutiny: !!! Shoot a .357 medium to large frame revolver and then imagine scaling that down to a 12 oz. handgun. OMG it would be horrific. Go with the .40 cal G27 / S&W 642 (maybe with crimson tracer grips).
     
  22. ndolson

    ndolson Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Messages:
    164
    I'm very happy with my Glock 26. 10+1 rds of 147gr +P 9mm in a very compact package. I can get fist sized groups at 25m with it too, very accurate despite it's small size.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also have a Kimber Pro Carry II 1911 that I plan to use as well when I'm wearing the right clothing. I've found it to be a little harder to conceal than my G26 (obviously).

    [​IMG]
     
  23. conw

    conw Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,364
    I am def leaning toward the 642 kashton.

    I am welcoming any and all replies still, I am flattered to have 20 replies to my thread, be it ever so 'umble. ;)

    Another question to tack on here, what should I expect to pay for my CCW class/license? I saw $100 quoted on one website, and $300 on another.

    I know how to fire and load a gun, I know about escalation of force, I know how to avoid a confrontation. I want the bare bones of it. How LITTLE can I get away with paying and not cheat myself? $100 sounds decent but I am a college student, $50 would be perfect!

    Thanks as always.
    C
     
  24. conw

    conw Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,364
    Bump, would love to have the CCW class question answered :)
     
  25. skud_dusty

    skud_dusty Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    257
    Depends on where you are. In Oregon, I got my license for $90. $25 for the class, $65 for the license, background check, and fingerprints.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page