Quantcast

Handgun width and CC Comfort

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Demos, Dec 19, 2014.

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

    Demos Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    128
    Hi Everyone,
    I am going to start conceal carrying soon and have been having a hard time choosing a firearm. I have a Sig P229 with a weapon light and Berreta 92FS but I don't really have a desire to CC it since they are both big fat handguns. So I started looking at different 9mms that don't have external safeties and aren't Glocks since I don't shoot Glocks well and ran into a problem. I don't know what will be comfortable. For instance, the Springfield XDS is .9" thick and holds 7+1 it the same size XD is 1.2" wide and 13+1 capacity, which is now super close to the fat 1.4" wide sig p229. Now this is just one example of what I have seen a dozen times.
    I suppose my question is what are the big factors in CC comfort. Is it the width of a gun and is there a big difference between .9" and 1.2"? Or is it the length and or height of a gun, or is it all a matter of a good holster and belt?
    If it matters, I'm a lefty, 5'8" and 155lbs and most of the times I wear jeans and a t-shirt. I'm also not terribly concerned about printing, just making sure I have a setup that is comfortable enough that I actually use it.

    Thanks,
    Demos
     
  2. Styx

    Styx Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Messages:
    1,449
    I really never cared about with personally when it come to IWB CC. To me, weight and length are the main deciding factors but YMMV. What might be uncomfortable or an issue to you, might not be to everyone else.

    I carry a M&P Shield, and I frequent the S&W forum. The conciseness there seems to be the same as mine. Members who have CC the M&P 9c (9mm compact) have all stopped carrying it and replaced it with the Shield. They all say it's like a night and day difference even though on paper, both guns appear to be similar in size...

    If you're wanting a thin un-Glock like (I don't really like Glocks either) firearm, then you should be looking at single stacks. You also want something that is somewhat lightweight, ambidextrous, and does not have an external safety. The first gun that comes to mind is the Walther PPS.

    Walther PPS: What James Bond Should Use

    It's thin (.9″), has an ambi mag release, no external safeties, can hold up to 8 rounds, and is lightweight...
     
  3. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,829
    Location:
    Big Sky Country
    Bear in mind that if you haven't been carrying before it will take a bit of getting used to. It might feel strange having anything IWB for awhile. But soon you'll feel naked without it.
     
  4. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,685
    Location:
    Illinois
    There is lots to read and try out if yer new to CC....first off, what caliber guns do you shoot best? Smaller guns carry easier and hide better/print less but are also harder to shoot well. Lighter guns are easier to carry for 12 hours but recoil more and have less capacity.

    It's all a balance of what you shoot best, how you dress, where you go, how much printing is OK (if any) and where you carry and in what type of holster.

    For me pistol thickness is more critical than height or length until barrel get longer than 4" or so - I carry inside the waistband at the Appendix area and I'm thin enough and big enough that I can hide huge guns there. But great big guns are heavy and after sitting in meetings or walking and driving (or running/moving/working) for 10 hours a heavy pistol gets very heavy.

    Deciding what pistol works best for you for concealed carry will take a lot of experimentation and thought about where you will carry, what you will wear, holsters, carry position, deployment if you need it, etc but IMO it all starts with finding the individual pistols that are inherently comfortable and accurate, in your hands, and that you can shoot and place multiple accurate follow ups with right out of the box! Once you find your "best bet" pistols then you can train, buy holsters and gun belts, buy clothes, and learn/develop the details.Not to confuse the issue...generally, thin, light guns conceal the best.

    You can hide weight, length, and height but thickness seems to be the biggest bug-a-boo in CC for most folks.

    VooDoo
     
  5. JR24

    JR24 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    3,667
    Location:
    Upper Midwest
    So true.

    Me personally, the only width that really matters for CC (IWB) is the grip width. The frame largely resides in my pants, so that's really not too much of an issue. For me the key is grip length, I like them at right around 5" total height, allows me to conceal easily under a t-shirt that isn't too baggy.

    For comfort, IWB, I prefer a holster that will spread weight and won't slide around. My preference is either the hybrid kydex (Crossbreed supertuck, Alien Gear, Comp-Tac Minotaur, etc) or a leather in the style of the Milt Sparks Versamx (or Galco V-Hawk, or several others make a similar style). The holster is probably going to be hit and miss as you figure what works for you.

    THE MOST IMPORTANT PART (IMO) for comfort is a good belt. I've been using Crossbreed's and its great. Beltman makes good ones, there are several other brands I'm sure you can find. But a good belt and good holster makes carrying even the biggest guns easy, and easy to dress around.

    Just my experience. YMMV
     
  6. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    I don't think width matters much at all for comfort. Maybe for concealment under light clothing if you are comparing double stack to single stack, or single stack 9 vs double stack .45, but for comfort...meh.

    Grip length, especially the backstrap, is what has the biggest impact on concealability and comfort IME. Especially when seated, such as in a car, for long periods as an example.

    Good equipment is the biggest thing. The holster secures the gun, the belt secures the holster. Yes this means you want a gun belt. And a good holster. If it's adjustable you'll want to play with the options to get it just right. How far forward/back, ride height, cant. You may try different holsters before finding the one that is just right, but if you get a good well regarded holster you should be alright with it. Then again we all end up with a drawer full of unused holster along the way.
     
  7. jhb

    jhb Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    954
    Location:
    dixie, but some call it florida
    Guess it depends on your shape and size and comfort levels.

    I don't find grip length an issue if I carry at 15 degree cant. Many others can't stand a full size grip. I don't get it but I'm not them.

    I don't find barrel length an issue either.

    A good holster makes all the difference to me. I carry full sized steel guns. As long as I have a quality comfortable holster set up right I don't find size or shape an issue for comfort or for concealing. We can advise ya all day long but truth is its gonna take your own experimenting to find the right answer for you. I know cause I tried long ago to get good advice and I did....for the people who were telling me.....but what worked for them well, didn't for me.
     
  8. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    South Africa
    I carry a small pistol, one of the thinnest 9mmP pistols out there, Taurus PT709. Maybe I don't have the latest and best holster for it, or I carry it wrong, but I can't imagine myself carrying anything thicker than it. It still prints, depending on what shirt I use. I can just imagine if it was 5 or 6 mm thicker...

    So yes, in my humble opinion, the thickness of a pistol does matter, that said, it still is possible to carry a 32mm wide 45 auto Glock very discreetly, as some here might tell you.
     
  9. oldbear

    oldbear Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,159
    Location:
    South East Coast
    Demos, over the 40+ years I tried carrying everything from a Walther PPKs through a Colt Combat Commander. The one thing that will make or break your C/C experience is a good belt and holster. Carry what you like and think will work for you but DON'T SCRIMP in the leather gear.
     
  10. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    What belt and holster are you using?
     
  11. JDR

    JDR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,553
    Carrying the smallest, lightest gun available certainly has its drawbacks. Generally these guns are difficult to shoot well, may lack stopping power and recoil can be a problem. What good is the handgun if you can’t hit or stop what you are shooting at? The objective is to carry the smallest, lightest gun, without sacrificing accuracy, dependability and stopping power. For my purposes, "IMHO", the H&K P30 9mm fits the bill.
     
  12. Double_J

    Double_J Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    570
    Location:
    Melbourne Florida
    I carried a US .45 full size for several years under a loose fitting shirt or light jacket. I also spent some money buying a good holster and belt for it. Try several good holster/belt combos before you say you can't comfortably carry a certain pistol. I am 5'8" and at the time I was ~185 pounds so I am not a big guy at all and I had no problem with this setup for 10-12 hours of carry daily.
     
  13. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    7,517
    Location:
    Back on Puget Sound
    For me, handgun width doesn't affect my "comfort." If I'm carrying a 9mm, I routinely carry SIGs (P-228 or P-229, occasionally even a 226) in a Kramer Belt Scabbard (nice, thick horsehide OWB pancake) or a Milt Sparks VM-2 (IWB) and am able to get through eight or twelve hours of packing comfortably.

    Cheap holsters and thin belts make for uncomfortable carry, no matter the size of the handgun.

    I don't believe in carrying little guns nor do I want to "forget that I'm carrying a gun because it's that comfortable." Others have already noted the negative aspects of not carrying full-size handguns. And as the wise man Clint Smith once said, carrying a gun should be comforting, not comfortable.

    I do understand that there is the occasional time and place when one must pack a little gun if one packs at all, but truly, carrying a full-size gun doesn't have to be uncomfortable, nor does it have to print.
     
  14. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    It is physically impossible for me to carry a full size Glock in my summer (and much of spring and fall) clothing without printing.

    I could wear hawaiin shirts or look-at-me-I-have-a-gun vests, but would rather not.

    YMMV
     
  15. JTQ

    JTQ Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    8,186
    Location:
    NW Florida
    I don't know what people have against square bottom shirts, especially in the south. You pretty much have to try pretty hard not to see this as a common style of dress in the south, especially in the summer. Did you ever watch "Two and a Half Men" with Charlie Sheen? His entire wardrobe was made up of cargo shorts and square bottom button up shirts.

    The Wilderness Tactical Sonoran shirts http://www.thewilderness.com/sonoran-shirts/
     
  16. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    I don't want to wear button up shirts or shirts with a collar.

    I know that a lot of guns can be concealed if you change your wardrobe. But a lot of us aren't willing to change everything we wear, or wear two shirts, or have chest hair sticking out, or wear a button up collared shirt all closed up in southern heat.

    And two and a half men sucks


    Now, during cooler weather, I can throw a longsleeve button-able flannel on over the t-shirt and conceal a lot more, even when it's only like 50* and thus not jacket/coat weather
     
  17. tarosean

    tarosean Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Messages:
    7,102
    Location:
    TX
    For me there is... I carry a 1911 all day long IWB, but a Glock bugs the living heck out of me. I admittedly like the weight of the glock but that little bit of thickness is undo-able.

    Course I am not one to buy Pants 20 sizes too big just to accommodate my CCW. When I take it off at home, I dont want my jeans around my ankles or like the hipsters now-a-days... LOL
     
  18. fluffi

    fluffi Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Width matters little. A tenth of an inch isn't much. Barrel length is fairly easy to conceal,to a point.The grip is the hardest part to conceal. For me weight is the most important. Don't forget to factor in ammo weight. A Glock 17 is light,.....when it's empty.Police and military usually carry full size, I.E.heavy weapons all day but on a 2" duty belt balanced out by other equipment
    If you dont believe me,put a 20 oz bottle of water in your pocket and carry it around for a day.
     
  19. short barrel

    short barrel Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    367
    Beware of the super skinny, super short 9mm's that carry as easily as a .380. We know a .380 is a ridiculous choice even for the smallest of elderly diseased women due to its lack of velocity/penetration/expansion, which makes the little bitty 9's seem like a good choice. But they are not. A super compact 9mm in no way represents the terrific qualities of that round. Horribly inaccurate and too much jump for fast follow ups. (There will be those who disagree.)

    As much as I dislike plastic guns, my choice for an out-of-the-box reliable and accurate c/c gun, are the sub-compact 9mm's (not the super compact), my choice being a Ruger SR9c, if you can get comfortable with the safety.

    Either that or an aluminum frame 1911.
     
  20. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    Weight that flops around in your pocket is incredibly different from weight secured in a good holster on a good belt (esp since you probably need cargo pockets where there's even more movement to fit a 20oz bottle)

    Don't believe me? Take your carry gun and put it loose in your pocket it for a day. Or even just a fully loaded 17 round magazine loose in a cargo pocket.
     
  21. short barrel

    short barrel Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    367
    As Warp said, width ain't all that big a deal. It is the weight that makes an everyday, all day carry gun uncomfortable. For many years I carried a full size all steel 1911 just stuffed into my britches at the right hip. Neither width, length, nor grip size bothered me. It was the weight.

    It's all about compromise, and for me that means a lightweight .38 or a plastic 9mm of sufficient size that I can easily hit at 25 yards. I much prefer the 9mm because of the capacity and extra range accuracy, but sometimes an aluminum frame .38 is an easy comfort.
     
  22. tactikel

    tactikel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,366
    Location:
    Northeastern Illinois
    "Beware of the super skinny, super short 9mm's that carry as easily as a .380. We know a .380 is a ridiculous choice even for the smallest of elderly diseased women due to its lack of velocity/penetration/expansion, which makes the little bitty 9's seem like a good choice. But they are not. A super compact 9mm in no way represents the terrific qualities of that round. Horribly inaccurate and too much jump for fast follow ups. (There will be those who disagree.) "

    Short Barrel I disagree with your assertions, and your tone. The .380 is hardly a ridiculous choice for SD. A single stack 9mm compact has great value in many carry situations (warm weather, deep cover, backup, etc). What does the phrase "smallest of elderly diseased women" have to do with the HighRoad? .380 rounds have killed many thousands in the last 100 years. Please rethink your post.
     
  23. Warp

    Warp Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    9,656
    Location:
    Georgia
    I'm thinking the comments about .380 were a bit of sarcasm.

    If not, we can ignore them as hyperbole.
     
  24. chuckpro

    chuckpro Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    175
    I have gone full circle. I have 1911, xds, and so on, I am carrying a 224 right now because i have discovered that the grip length is more important than width.
     
  25. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    South Africa
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice