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Huge confusion picking my first ccw handgun

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Jabr0ney, Aug 23, 2011.

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  1. Jabr0ney

    Jabr0ney Member

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    I'm currently twenty turning twenty one next month so here in Florida I can finally carry. The problem is I'm lost as to which gun to buy

    Cost: trying to keep below 500. Cheaper the better

    At first I was almost positive I wanted either a j frame or a sp101, but then I considered ammo cost. It's going to be my first handgun so I want to get A LOT of practice in. This leads me to then deciding to get a 9mm semi

    My next sure decision was a kel-tec pf9. After going to shops and doing research though I've detered away from it. All shop owners told me it wasn't a range gun and wouldn't hold up to the abuse of costant shooting. Also a gun that I have to break down and sand and polish almost every piece as soon as I buy it new, doesn't seem like a quality firearm to me.

    Now I'm looking at anything from a cz p-01 to a Springfield xd9 sc. I'm basically looking at small double stacks now since those seem to be able to take a lot of range time. Since they are double stack though, that means thicker and I'm not sure how easy it will be to conceal.

    I'm open to any and all input and suggestions!! Since it's my first gun I'm open to a 1911 style or even a DAO since Ill be starting fresh and practicing a lot

    Main requirements: under 500, 9mm or another cheap but adequate caliber, easy to conceal.
     
  2. FruitCake

    FruitCake Member

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    Kahr CW9, slim,9mm, easy to conceal in your price range.
     
  3. Pyro

    Pyro Member

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    I haven't bought a modern handgun yet that I paid more than $150 :what:
    Not counting my cap n' ball revolver, good luck CCing an 8 inch Colt Navy.
    Out of the three, I can and have carried each one (though not at the same time).
    Keep in mind you get what you pay for and each one required maintenance to get up and running to 100%.

    Kel-tec definitely rings a bell to what could fit your package.
     
  4. Jabr0ney

    Jabr0ney Member

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    Is the kahr cw9 good for constant range shooting?

    And believe me I really really want to love keltec. Great concealable guns, cheap, made in my own state, but they seem like they can't hold up to a lot of rounds through it. They give the pf9 a 6000 round life expectancy compared to a cz p-01 with a 35,000 round life
     
  5. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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  6. Fisherdave10

    Fisherdave10 Member

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    About a month ago I bought my first CCW handgun. I was in the same boat as you and did a lot of looking around, reading and researching. I ended up choosing a Ruger SR9c stainless. I really like this gun. I called around to find the best local price and found a shop which had the gun for $395. :) That's cheaper than Budsgunshop.com. The OTD price after tax was $433ish.

    Right after purchasing it, I removed the magazine disconnect. Later, I used liquid flitz (highly recommended) to hand polish the striker and some of the internals to smooth things out a bit (not that the trigger is bad). The striker channel had a few small metal chips and oil that needed to be cleaned out. The trigger and internals are very similar to a Glock and the trigger pull feels very similar. I think my trigger is slightly lighter than a Glock, and very crisp.

    After 50 factory rounds and 250 reloads down range I like the trigger and it has been 100% reliable. It's my EDC and I carry it in a Kholster holster about 4 o'clock. I keep the 17 round full size magazine in my pocket and carry with the 10rd magazine (no extension) plus one in the chamber. Some people complain about the loaded chamber indicator and the manual safety. I wasn't sure how much I would like those features, but after a month of use, I LOVE both the LCI and manual safety. If you don't like the safety, you can leave it off. I don't think it would ever accidentally flip on.

    I like the sights. While I can make tighter groups with my brother's M&P40 it is still very accurate, especially for a compact carry gun. It is a joy to shoot. Recoil feels like a full size gun.

    While there aren't as many after market parts as a Glock could have, there are a growing number of parts you can add. Galloway Precision makes many parts. http://www.gallowayprecision.com/sr9409c40cparts.html Last month, Ruger released a .40 version of this gun. I chose 9mm over .40 due to ammunition costs.
     
  7. malakili

    malakili Member

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    I might suggest the Ruger SR9C for your purposes. galleryofguns.com has them for $439 right now.

    It's in 9mm, 3.5" barrel, comes with a big 17rd mag for high capacity and a short 10rd mag for concealability. Rugers are known for taking lots and lots of shooting without complaining.

    I have the full size SR9 and like it a lot. Super reliable, good feel, easy to shoot well.

    One caveat: The SR9 series comes with a mag disconnect, ie you can't shoot the gun unless the mag is in place. But if this doesn't bother you, it's a solid choice.

    LOL, looks like fisherdave beat me to it!
     
  8. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    I think your original choice of the J-Frame is the best selection for a new shooter, but you could look at a used Glock or a Ruger P series or their SR9.;)

    LD45
     
  9. Bob Shoots

    Bob Shoots Member

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    options

    I suggest that you go to your local gun shop and look at their used weapons. Handle then and get the feel for it. Settling for a gun (or anything else) is a sure way to buyers' remorse. Don't be afraid to wait for what you what. Impatience is the enemy of smart decision making.
     
  10. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    Good advice above about looking at used guns. Heck, you should even look at the pawn shops for some of the older models like the Smith & Wesson semi-autos like the 3913 or the CS9. I only recently discovered the CS9 and had I know it existed before I bought a "modern" gun I might have gone that route instead simply because I prefer a hammer for conceal carry. Subjective? Absolutely, but we are talking MY piece of mind, no one elses. And that's how you should look at it. Find out what works for you. Good luck! It's a lot of work.
     
  11. Jabr0ney

    Jabr0ney Member

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    I plan on going to a local gun range and shooting a few rentals, but they don't have too many choices.

    The sr9c looks very good. Can someone explain what the pros and cons are of the magazine disconnect? I don't see why it's a problem
     
  12. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    You can do a lot worse than a Kahr. But in your price range it'll serve you quite well.
     
  13. MyGreenGuns

    MyGreenGuns Member

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    I spent 9 or 10 months shopping before I bought my CCW. Dont rush, you'll end up regretting it. Go to a good range that rents guns and try them all out. Pawn shops and used guns are going to be cheaper, but you might want to bring someone with you to help you check them out. Read lots of THR articles, but try them for yourself before you decide. You're lookin at pretty much what I bought, but what works for me isnt for everyone.

    I'm not a fan of the tiny polyguns as they seem to be "emergency use only".

    (My 1st handgun) Paid $530 for a new XD9 4" barrel (full size). No conceal problems with a loose overshirt. I carry it @ 4O'clock in a Galco Summer holster. I believe the subcompact has a shorter grip and it might be a little easier to conceal in trade for capacity. I have massive amounts of range time with this one. Can hit 4-5" groups at 150ft. Don't feed it wolf ammo.

    (My 2nd handgun) Paid $300 for a used S&W 637 J-frame 1-7/8" barrel (.38spl). I carry it at 12O'Clock with a clip holster (can post pic if you like). Massively easy to conceal under a T-shirt. But shorter barrel makes it a shorter range weapon, I dont shoot at more than 25ft.

    Good luck, have fun!
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  14. EchoBravo

    EchoBravo Member

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    How about a CZ-82? $250 and you're in business. 9mm Mak available for cheap on the 'net. Just another idea- I don't have one...but want one!
     
  15. Fisherdave10

    Fisherdave10 Member

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    The magazine disconnect prevents the gun from being fired (or dry fired) by blocking the striker whenever the magazine is out of the gun. If you have the magazine disconnect, your gun will not fire without a magazine inserted.

    Magazine disconnects are very controversial.

    "Pros" 1 If your weapon was ever taken from you, you could drop the magazine and render the gun useless while you escape. Massad Ayoob has said several LEOs have had their lives saved by this 'feature' after a BG got a hold of their gun (IMO, for CCW the likelyhood of that happening is close to zero). FYI, Very few modern pistols have a mag disconnect and law enforcement tends to prefer a 'straight' pistol without a disconnect or manual safety such as a Glock. Just because some lives have been saved because of a disconnect, doesn't mean lives have not been lost because of a disconnect.
    2 If you leave your loaded gun simply laying around the house :banghead: it would not fire (at least it's not supposed to) if it got into the wrong hands unless a magazine was inserted.

    "Cons" 1 If you're doing a 'tactical reload' and you need to fire before you can insert your magazine, you would only hear a click. No bang.
    2 I believe if one was accustomed to believing his gun was made safe simply by removing the magazine, he may develop unsafe handling habits. (just a personal opinion)
    3 Some magazine disconnects such as the one on my dad's Browning Hi-Power make the trigger feel pretty bad.
    4 It's a mechanical device. All mechanical devices (manual safeties included) can and eventually will fail. Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.

    Many believe magazine disconnects are only installed on guns to appease liberal law makers, since they tend to believe "safety" devices on guns = gun safety. Any reasonable gun owner knows REAL safety is your brain, not a device.

    If you have the magazine disconnect in an SR9c, you cannot dry fire your weapon without causing damage to your striker. I wanted to dry fire my SR9c without a magazine so I removed it. I think the trigger pull was also improved by doing so.

    I believe the fewer the things that could prevent my gun from firing when I need it to, the better. It only took a few minutes and I honestly feel safer with it removed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  16. almherdfan

    almherdfan Member

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    I went through several pistols before selecting the Ruger SR9c and NAA black widow (22LR/22WMR). I would also recommend the Bersa Thunder CC in .380. I shot a 9mm Kahr on Sunday & was very impressed.

    Just handle/shoot several before you spend your $500.
     
  17. jonmerritt

    jonmerritt Member.

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    Just get one of each and try them out.
     
  18. Jabr0ney

    Jabr0ney Member

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    Hey greenguns could you post a picture? Interested to see how well it conceals

    Thanks fisherdave for all the help. I'm def going to keep the sr9c option open. The magazine disconnect doesn't seem like a problem to me since I probably won't be dry firing any of my guns without snap caps anyway
     
  19. thefamcnaj

    thefamcnaj Member

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    I would go with the ruger Sr9c great gun in your price range. Or a Glock 26 if you are willing to pay an extra 50 dollars. The glock will hold up to any abuse you can through at it.
     
  20. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Shoot it first, please

    A pocket mouse can* be a pain to shoot, an may not be your cup of tea,
    the right gun, in the right holster carried the right way...
    it will take a bit to find, and DON'T assume that because XYZ said "this is the PERFECT CCW" that it will work for you.

    Becuase YOU are YOU, and what works for ME, probably won't work for YOU.
     
  21. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    Going to a GS with a range can help you out in your situation. If you have any friends that have CCW that they carry, You can ask them for their help as well. Shoot a few rounds if there willing to help you out.

    I carry a PT-145 Mil pro Sub Compact and its fine on concealing as long as your dressed correctly. Remember that, Sometimes your gonna need to dress around your gun.

    I really can't help you in a choice for your caliber as I do not own one personally. The only thing I can recommend is what I stated above about range rentals and if your friends can help you out as well if the CCW.
     
  22. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    Jest spitballing here...

    I'm an XDSC owner (both 9 & 40)-it's my main CCW, but as you already know, being a double-stack it is a little thick.

    I've been in the market for something a little thinner for hot weather/hard to conceal situations and just recently picked up a Ruger LC9. Lots of folks seem to toss out the Kahr name, and for a while they pretty much had the smaller gun market covered, but I've never warmed up to 'em, and the Ruger is quite a bit cheaper.

    AFA the magazine safety-I think most folks that just automatically tell you to remove it are the victims of folks in the past removing it from old Browning High Powers. On the Browning, the magazine disconnect affects the trigger-many folks removed 'em to improve trigger pull/feel. On most modern designs (you'll have to do your homework), the magazine disconnect should be of a design which will not affect trigger pull.
    I recently picked up a Police Special M&P in 357 SIG which has the magazine disconnect-doesn't bother me, so I leave it alone.
    Also note that I understand some LE agencies specify their guns have a magazine disconnect, as some say during historical confrontations/struggles when an officer realizes he's not going to be able to retain his weapon, he's been able to drop the magazine, let the BG have the gun (now useless), and have time to gain distance/time and draw his backup gun.

    On my XDSC, I did have to add a Pearce Grip Extender to take care of the danglin' pinky-the extender really 'locks in' ye olde grip.

    AFA trigger jobs...give it a 1,000 round trigger job before you even consider messing with the trigger.
    One o' my pet peeves is everybody gettin' all bent outta shape 'cuz they don't have the perfect trigger. I practice like I think my gun will be used (if/when not at the range), and as such, I practice using a 'controlled slap'-for SD, when your life is on the line, don't be surprised if you don't completely ignore travel, reset, riding the sear, yadda yadda yadda...
    'Course, I learned on DA revolvers, so I've never been trigger sensitive.
    Consider this little bit o' wisdom from Ayoob (I had to laugh when I saw it, knowing it would PO a lot of folks): A light trigger pull is, more than anything else, a crutch for bad trigger technique.

    Oh...happy birthday, and don't wait 'til you perfect the mechanics before you start learning the legal aspects of carrying/using a gun in SD!
     
  23. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    You need to decide on the type of gun you want. Sub-compact double stacks you are looking at the Glock G26, SR9c and S&W M&P 9c as the major contenders. I'd shoot all 3. I own and carry the G26. I think the sub-compacts just get it right. Its still big enough to use on the range or if you need to defend yourself, has an adequate capacity and is small enough to carry.

    Here is my advice, don't get hung up on getting it perfect out of the box. Get something that you can practice with even if its not the perfect carry. Right now you need to shoot and learn to shoot. After you are carrying awhile you are going to know a lot more about carrying and what you want in a carry gun. You may want to go bigger but that is rare. You may find them too thick to carry comfortably. You may be like me and find them perfect but they will give you good service, something to practice with and a place to go next if you are not happy. If you go smaller you really have to start making compromises on something and you just are not experienced enough to know what compromise to make for you.
     
  24. MyGreenGuns

    MyGreenGuns Member

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    1st pic ~ Clip holster ~ hooks to pants, hang it near a beltloop
    2nd pic ~ Shirt covering
    3rd pic ~ Gun exposed

    I dont recommend a braided belt for carry, but with my .38 it holds up fine. For any larger gun, buy a GUN BELT. Heavier stitching makes stronger base. I'm at my mom's house, asked her to take the pix. She said, "I never know when you're carrying a gun." I told her, "thats the idea."

    (bigger pix, slow connections beware)
     

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    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  25. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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