Need Help Deciding On Carry/Self Defense

Not open for further replies.


Apr 8, 2012
I'm looking for a home defense/conceal pistol. I've looked at quite a few and I think these are what I have it narrowed down to.

Springfield XDM .45ACP 3.8 Compact - This seems to be a popular gun right now, everyone that I read that owns it loves it. But it is a little big for carrying.

Kimber Ultra Carry II or Eclipse Carry II - Kimber makes a great .45, but I have read quite a few reports of the the 3" Kimber's jamming up. The Kimber was appealing because of it's small size for carrying, and it seems to be a really accurate gun, but I'm concerned about the jamming.

Beretta PX4 Compact .40 - This its the cheapest gun of the three and everyone seems to rave about it that owns it, but I don't like the ambi safety on it. It also doesn't come in a .45 in the compact version so I would have to get a .40

Part of me is questioning if I really need the .45, I think shooting an intruder with anything accurately with bonded self defense ammo should stop them, and 9mm is much much cheaper than .45 - but a lot of people are telling me for self-defense a .45 is the way to go.

I can't speak to the others, but I was looking at the PX4 compact in 9mm. I thought I would like it. Handeling it, however, changed my mind. That thing is a little brick, and feels fatter than it is. The aabi saftey didn't bother me, but the position of it did. Too high for my taste. So I ruled that one out. Still looking for my CCW.

I'm sure I'll start a war up here, but personally, I'm ok with 9MM as a defense round. I'm even thinking of getting a .380 for a summer pocket gun.

The perfect one however has proven elusive.

Check out a Beras Thunder Pro UC. I think they make it in 40.
Last edited:
Defense Round

My thought exactly about the 9mm, especially with the newer JHP ammo. I can shoot it a lot more for a lot cheaper, which in theory practice makes perfect.

But the .45 definitely has a lot more momentum behind it.

I guess really I'm more torn between the XDM or the Compact 1911. the Compact 1911 is nice, but from what I read it may not be as dependable as some of the larger 1911's. I think the recoil spring life is only 3000 rounds.
Recoil springs are cheap. Buy spares and change them as needed.
Drawing from a holster sucks. I went with LCP with American Eagle FMJs. Inexpensive, reliable, small and light.
If you are only wanting the 3 that you mentioned then i would go with the Kimber Ultra Carry. Kimber makes a great gun. I have the Ultra and i have loved every minute shooting it, never had a hiccup with it. However, if you are looking for a nice, compact, reliable, comfortable for summer carry the Kimber Solo Series is a very nice choice as well. Its 9mm and it packs a punch but is small enough to conceal comfortably and easily.

Beretta is not a gun that i would trust my life with. I have shot several between leisure shooting and military experience that they are not as reliable as pretty much every other gun on the market. Take my advice like everyone else's though. We all have our likes and dislikes. Its whatever you are comfortable with. I recommend going to a store that has all of the models you are interested in and shoot them. Take your CC holster and try it out at the range to see how comfy it is to pull from and see the difference between them all.

In the end it doesnt really matter what any of us think. Its all about what you are comfortable carrying, pulling, and shooting that matters most!

Good luck, let us know what you decide.
If you go the compact 1911 direction, might I suggest the Springfield EMP in either .40 or 9mm. I have one in .40 and cannot find a single thing I don't like about it. And I really am trying to. Now granted, I've only got about 150 rounds down the pipe but, she will without a doubt be my primary carry weapon once I get the correct holster for my needs. Accurate as all get out and comfortable to shoot and the all metal frame of the .40 make recoil handling fairly easy.

And as far as a compact carry pistol, I'd recommend the Ruger SR 9c or the SR 40c. I have the full size and SR9 and use it as a daily carry. Fairly light, accurate, great ergonomics, real easy to use and control, and with 17+1 capacity, is pretty hard to beat. And the compact 9mm has a 10+1 and a fullsize 17+1 mag with exstention for home defense. As well as being less than $500, is a great value.
I think im leaning more towards a 3" barrel, the XDM is the exception.

So between the Kimber Ultra Carry, R40c, and the XDM 3.8 40/45 which is the most accurate?
I have the Kimber Ultra II .45 and love that gun. The last few days, I've been carrying my Husband's XD compact .45 as an experiment. Of the 2, I think the XD is a little more comfortable. As a woman, the sharp edges of the Kimber grip digs into my skin and is a little uncomfortable (I carry IWB about one o'clock). I also like the XD because it will hold more rounds. That said, I have never had any problems with my Kimber and I shoot it frequently.

I saw the Solo mentioned. I bought one and loved it at first, but I'm selling it now. My biggest complaint about it is that it is SOOO picky about ammo. My Husband reloads, and it HATED reloads. Out of a box of 50 handloads, I had 7 failures to eject. I only had issues with it twice with factory ammo, but it was enough to convince me to sell it. I don't want to buy ammo to plink with just because it doesn't like the handloads.

As far as accuracy between the Kimber and the XDM you mention, some of that will depend on which one fits you better. Grip size, grip angle, etc will come into play.

Just my 2 cents. :)
IMO .45acp is over-rated and 9mm under-rated. I do prefer .45acp, but for a small, effective CCW a 9mm can't be beat. The XD45 Compact is a nice gun, but the XDM does nothing for me. Most 3" Kimbers run fine, some don't. I'd get a Glock 26, and for really small a Kahr PM9.
Part of me is questioning if I really need the .45, I think shooting an intruder with anything accurately with bonded self defense ammo should stop them, and 9mm is much much cheaper than .45 - but a lot of people are telling me for self-defense a .45 is the way to go.
How many of those people actually carry a .45 Auto each and every day. A lot of the times many have an opinion what someone should carry but are not willing to carry that gun themselves.

IMO carry what you can shoot well and carry something you will carry all the time. I carry a light .38 Special revolver daily and go nowhere without it. If you buy a heavy full size gun will you carry it all the time? Everywhere? Every day? The trick is to have the gun all the time...
For self defense, the .40 and the .45ACP are about equal. And the 10mm is a bit more powerful.

Each of these is more powerful than the 9mm but less than the .357.

Any of those 5 would be a good choice however.

You need to shoot them and see how each of them feels for you.

Whichever one feels the best, get that one, whether 9mm or .357 or anywhere in between.

I only mention the .357 becaue it is the next most powerful gun in that range.

Archangel is right though, that the big heavy guns are a drag, even though they get the job done every time, they weigh a lot, and you need to counter-weight the other pocket with a couple of loaded mags if you are not using a shoulder holster.

A belt holster is probably your best bet, but then you always need to wear a loose jacket.

But then, I never go anywhere without a loose jacket anyway. Mine is leather, and looks really good. Very expensive too.
Last edited:
Not open for further replies.