Quantcast

Quest for the "ideal for you" carry gun

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by FL-NC, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    4,878
    Location:
    Fl panhandle
    It seems to me that many people who carry a handgun (me included, for sure) have bounced back and forth, regarding make, model, caliber, design, etc. We (or at least some of us) change our thought process, or are driven by influences ranging from the newest thing, or talk at the range, what we read in magazines, etc. in this quest. We end up spending a lot of $ on guns, accessories like holsters and magazines, ammo, and so on- only to change our minds and move into another direction. Over the years, I have carried compact 1911's, a Sig 228, 5 shot wheel guns, Glock 19, 26, and 43, Ruger LC9, various DA 380's like a PPK, a P7M8, and some that I can't remember now. We end up trading or selling that last perfect gun (usually at a loss) in order to get that next perfect gun. Sometimes we end up running around in circles. As for me, I'm about sick of this. I have been carrying the S&W shield 9 for about 2 years now. My second one- I stupidly sold the first when the Glock 43 came out, only to realize I liked the shield better, so I got another. Other calibers and models of the shield have been released. I've handled them, and I acknowledge the incremental improvements. Still, the older model is fine. Its "good enough"- reliable, accurate, concealable. I think I'm done chasing down "perfect". It pains me to think of how much $ and effort I have dumped over the years in this endeavor. Some of those guns were really expensive, and now I am carrying a pretty darn good gun that PSA has on sale for $250. Does anyone else feel the same? And I'm not just glorifying the shield or any other specific handgun.
     
  2. labnoti

    labnoti Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,255
    It comes in part as a result of not having a clear goal or purpose identified. No doubt you carry, "because." And that's about all you can say. We can come up with arbitrary criteria like the weight, size, capacity, cartridge, ballistics, and on and on, but when the purpose is vague, it's easy for us to change our mind and while we thought sub-20 oz. was a requirement, now we'll carry 30 oz or more. We thought we needed it to be .45, but later 9mm is better, or .380 is enough. Enough for what?

    Some people are content simply to avoid being unarmed. Others can't stand the condition of being any less armed than law enforcement. Some people keep traditions they see as part of their identity and persona, and other people pursue the latest trends and products.
     
    Growlers, LRDGCO, Jeb Stuart and 3 others like this.
  3. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    2,591
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    There is no “perfect” gun. There might not even be a perfect gun for us.

    In my case I went from a PF9 because it was small to an XDs45 because I wanted a 45. But I found when wearing dress clothes the PF9 is much better. I’ve also figured out that there are times when more rounds would be nice, so I’m thinking about going to a M&P 2.0 9 Compact as an EDC and having the others for when I need smaller, or want the larger caliber.

    As someone caught in a shooting unarmed in a so called “gun free zone” I can tell you the perfect gun is the one you have. The next best is the one you have and shoot well. So I’m all for having something unless prohibited by law then being proficient with all of them.
     
    vba, Derek Zeanah, fordtrucks and 8 others like this.
  4. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,920
    Oh, good grief! I could write a book on the changes I have made in the 16 years I have been carrying. 8 calibers, 12 makes, every model of holster you could think of. So, yes, I am still in the position that you are describing, and may never escape it, but I am loving the process!
     
  5. Doc Samson

    Doc Samson Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Almost NoVa
    I usually carry my Sig P238 but when I carry a nine, I make it a S&W Shield! I've had it for a few years and, while I was okay carrying it in regards to weight and positioning, it never seemed to ever be comfortable... until last night. I'd been through a couple of holsters, different belts, and different positioning but never seemed to find a combination that allowed me to forget I was wearing it. Last night, I had everything on and, for some reason, just scooted the holster back a little more than usual. It truly made a world of difference and I was able to sit in my truck and eat in a restaurant without even noticing it was there. Sometimes just a very minor adjustment can make a world of difference!
     
  6. Thomas Mayberry

    Thomas Mayberry Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2018
    Messages:
    123
    I've been there and hope to be past it now. Over the past 25 years I've carried Glock 23 and 27 with a 642 as a fall back "always" gun. More recent years a Commander 1911, Kahr K40 and the same 642. Got tired of playing musical guns and wanted "the one" that would be my sole EDC. More capability than the 642, less weight and size than the 1911. After researching and test firing several I chose the Shield 9mm. So far so good. Hopefully my search is over.

    I've always had a bit of envy for those who found their EDC mate and haven't changed for decades.
     
  7. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    1,180
    I've got a hammer in my toolbox. There are other tools in that toolbox. And I have other toolboxes, for different types of work. I do a lot of steel work, but haven't used my carpentry tools or plumbing tools in a long while. When I need them, they'll be there waiting.

    Stop selling your guns, and you won't keep feeling like you're losing money. That's my two cents.
     
    fordtrucks, qwert65, Bang! and 11 others like this.
  8. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    10,480
    Location:
    The Land that Time Forgot
    Absolutely nope!

    Personally I am a pretty frugal person, but I have three hobbies that cost me significant amounts of money, firearms, reloading, and road tripping to places I want to see and go hiking in.

    For me, owning and shooting the guns I want is part of what makes me happy. I also enjoy learning about and watching for new and improved designs that are ideal for concealed carry. I like dealing for and trading for new guns. There’s a limit of course, but if there is measurable benefit to a different gun than what I own, I will enjoy buying and carrying a new gun. That doesn’t mean my other guns will all get traded away right away though.

    Personally I enjoy the quest for a gun that’s closer to perfect than what I have, but if your content, then cool.

    I plan to keep my eyes on new options. That doesn’t mean I’ll be buying everything, but I don’t see myself ever getting sick of seeing new designs on the market, and contemplating their application to my lifestyle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  9. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    6,408
    Location:
    South Eastern Illinois
    Light, small, reliable, accurate, potent. Not necessarily in that order.
    Six carry guns, and I'm still looking.
    The easiest one to carry isn't necessarily the best.
    My SR9C is my favorite, but the LCP is soooooo easy.
     
    sparkyfender, fordtrucks, JDR and 5 others like this.
  10. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3,179
    Location:
    Iowa
    I have settled on 9mm polymer strikers as the ideal for carry. My most carried are a Steyr S9, Walther PPQ and a Ruger LC9s Pro. I have carried IWB but most often use good leather OWB holsters now and always have a spare mag.
     
    vba and FL-NC like this.
  11. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    616
    Location:
    northeast
    IMG_1726 (2).JPG IMG_1712.JPG I had a PC Shield 9 w/night sights I foolishly sold to justify buying a model 10 that caught my eye although I don't regret buying the model 10. It didn't take me long to regret my decision and now I'm looking for a used Shield again. In the meantime I got a SP101 2.25" DOA 357 for EDC and will rotate with the Shield if and when I get another. It aggravates me whenever I think about it. My original intent when selling the shield was to carry a P226 9 OWB under a coat and the SP IWB appendix carry in the summer. The SP is comfortable IWB/appendix and is big enough to shoot 38spl+P all day at the range.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
    sparkyfender, fordtrucks and FL-NC like this.
  12. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,120
    Location:
    Tennessee
    IWB with internal phosphate coating:

    20180224_125357.jpg 20180224_125434.jpg

    OWB (concealed) with Red Dot:

    IMG_0001.jpg IMG_0004.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
    vba, HPCadm17, Mike .45 and 4 others like this.
  13. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2019
    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    Broward County, Fl
    At work I OC a 6" Anaconda. Reason being, it impresses anyone stupid enough to seriously reconsider thoughts of robbing a pawnshop that sells guns. If they're that stupid they probably think a .44 mag will kill them deader than a 9mm. I have several guns that would be more convenient but they lack the visual.
    My current CC is a .380 Bersa Thunder. Very impressed with the gun and the price point.
     
  14. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,120
    Location:
    Tennessee
    By my calculations, they would be about 4x deader from a .44 mag than a 9mm :D
     
    TomJ, ancientnoob, Indigo22 and 4 others like this.
  15. Zendude
    • Contributing Member

    Zendude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Texas
    My search has come full circle more than once. I’m pretty sure I found the best for me a few years ago when I first took up handgun shooting and concealed carry. It is fun to try new products though.
     
    FL-NC likes this.
  16. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2019
    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    Broward County, Fl
    So..... that life and the next 3 incarnations?
     
  17. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Messages:
    719
    Location:
    Kansas
    This is a bit of the path I have taken with 380s. The bulk of this post was written about a year ago, maybe a bit longer than that. In the meantime, the Kimber Micro 380 became a regular EDC along with a Browning Compact 1911-380. However, after ove 50 years with th e1911 platform, I am slowly leaving it.

    First, I like 9x17 as a cartridge. As such "it's only a 380" will not mean a lot to me. I reload 9x17, I have several years experience with it and am aware of the weaknesses, and strengths, of the 9x17. I am satisfied with it.
    1911-springfield.jpg
    Yes, I have certainly used other calibres. When I went through the academy I carried a Mi Spec 1911 A1 in 45. Later on, I was told that I could not carry a 380 by the Sheriff. Even though I didn't work directly for him, he made the rules.

    [​IMG]

    For several years I carried my Colt 380 Government Model. Things I liked, it is a very good sized pistol. It shot well and, with the right magazines, was very reliable. It also has the best trigger I have experienced on a 9x17(light and crisp) . Things I didn't like: I sometimes found the safety off, the sights are terrible, and it is now an out of production gun, which limits parts availability. The safety, I was not the only person that experienced this. Once we started paying attention to this, several others who carried the same model reported this same issue. It is a series 80 pistol; so, as odd as it sounds, it wasn't a show stopper.

    The sights are an issue. They are just not too good and I am close to thirty years older than I was when I got it. I know I can send it to Novak and get good sights put on it. That brings me to the third issue, it has been out of production for many years and is going to continue to be harder to get parts for. I don't want to chop the slide up for sights, drill out the safety for more positive action, when these are parts that cannot be replaced. I just feel it is time for this one to be on the range and in my safe, not on my belt.

    [​IMG]

    In the meantime, I purchased a Glock 42. A thousand rounds or so through it, using a Mantis shot analyzer, and I am now at a level that I am satisfied with it. I think you can see that I added things to it. Those would include, grip tape, Glock Nite sights (I don't recommend them), extended slide release, I also had some trigger work done to get it to within factory specs.

    I never really liked the Glock. On paper it is great. I just never saw it as anything more than it was, a tool. It lacked artistic flair. I shoot it well, it is reliable and accurate, I just don't like it. It is a random tool. Yes, it works well. There is just a lack of something. I would not hesitate to recommend a Glock 42; I guess it is just a little too utilitarian. I don't know, it just isn't a gun to get enthused about. There is no emotional binding. I suppose that can be an advantage for an EDC.

    [​IMG]

    I then purchased a Kimber Micro 380. First off, I really like the size, the look, and the sights. If it had a grip safety, it would be "The Gun." It had reliability trouble out of the box and I had to do some file work to get it right (This should come as no surprise to other Kimber owners). At this point it is reliable. I now have over five hundred rounds with no stoppages.

    It is accurate, I attribute that to the single action trigger (still not as good as my 30 year old Colt though) and the great sights. The sights were the reason I went for the Kimber over the similar Colt Mustang (I just didn't like the angular look of the similar Sig).

    The recoil is a bit snappier than the Glock 42, I attribute that to the narrower grip on the Kimber. This one still may become a favorite. However, I still haven't taken it through any official firing course. For a while become my EDC, as far as liking it, I definitely like it better than the Glock 42; but that is entirely subjective (It isn't a "plastic gun" thing. My favorites also includes my braced CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1, which is a plastic 9x19). As I said before; If it had a grip safety, it would be "The Gun."

    That led to me visiting a gun store and looking at the Browning 1911-380. Frankly, I liked it. It had the grip safety (the grip safety thing may just be a holdover from the standard 1911, but I just feel that it should be there), it just felt like quality. I was able to compare, side to side, the Baby Rock, the LLama 380, my Kimber, and the Browning. That being said, the store did not have a range.

    Of the three, the LLama 380, the Baby Rock, and the 1911-380, if I had been told to put them in order of price, it would have been easy. The 1911-380 was leagues ahead of the other two in oeral feeling of quality, "fit and finish" as it were. The Baby Rock looked better than the LLama, but still nowhere near the more expensive Browning and Limber. Further, the Baby Rock and the LLama appear to be blowback, where the others use some form of delay.

    I ended up purchasing the Browning 1911-380 Black Label Medallion Pro
    1911-380.jpg

    I really thought this would be the one. However, the years are starting to show. The problem is that I have developed a bit of arthritis in my thumb. In a few long shooting sessions, I noticed that I am not hitting the safety every time. This led me to one I got a couple of years ago.

    WALTHER-SMITH-WESSON-PK380-380-ACP-WAN40001-017.jpg
    Not my gun, for some reasons I don't have any good pictures of my Smith & Wesson scroll marked PK380

    The paddle release is great. I have a bit of trouble hitting the mag release due to the same issues with the same thumb that isn't reliably hitting the safety. Being DA/SA it can be carried with the safety off. While it gets no praise from the gun community I seem to be going back to it.

    Why not the Glock 42? The issue with that one is something I have mentioned elsewhere. It seems that the slide is coated with a material that is used in non-stick pans. It is hard to get a grip on. Frankly, it is harder to manipulate the slide on the G42 than it is on the 1911 or the High-Power.

    So, I have ended up with a niche gun that seems to fit my needs. If I decide that I really do like this configuration then the PK380 may become an HK P30sk. I am going to wait a while first.
     
    unclenunzie and Jeb Stuart like this.
  18. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Location:
    Deepinnaheartta, Texas
    I'm on my fourth carry iteration, and recently I have found MY perfect carry pistol. SIG P365, pocket carry. The search is over. I am highly confident that this will be my final CCW, at least until I can no longer rack the slide. Note, I'm not a SIG fanboy, it just works for me. :cool:
     
    Safety First, sigp6 and FL-NC like this.
  19. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    4,890
    Location:
    wichita
    The sooner you realize the "quest" is really a journey and not a destination the better off you'll be.
    Enjoy the journey.
     
  20. IdaD

    IdaD Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2018
    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Idaho
    My current rotation is a 9mm Shield and a 2.0 Compact. The Compact shoots awesome but it’s on the big side to carry. I admittedly am a little inflexible on totally changing how I dress to accommodate a gun. The Shield carries great but I’m not as proficient with it. Luckily I enjoy shooting a lot so, time permitting, I’m getting better with it. I carry the Shield in a Vanguard 2 and I think it’s about a perfect carry pair,and I don’t feel undergunned with 16 rounds of 9mm.
     
    FL-NC likes this.
  21. Boarhunter

    Boarhunter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    539
    Location:
    Huntsville, Alabama
    I do not have a perfect carry. I have a current carry. And tomorrow may be a different "current" carry....

    Over the last 45 years, I have carried most everything. And most all handguns I own, or have owned, were real or potential carry guns. I like variety.

    Today I carry an older Kimber Ultra CDP 45 that is as sweet to carry as it is to shoot, backed up with an extra 10-round mag. Ready Tactical kydex gear.

    But last week, I was carrying a Smith 43c 8-round 22 and speedloader on my belt, also in Ready Tactical kydex.

    So I like variety. Extreme variety.

    What does not change is the Smith 43c that I carry in my pocket. That never changes.

    BOARHUNTER
     
    SCMikeyP and FL-NC like this.
  22. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Is anybody going to San Antone?
    I carry what's needed for the given job. An m&p 9c is my main carry and a 642 is a backup if I'm hiking or hunting the Ruger Redhawk or a Smith N frame of some sort come with me along with a rifle or shotgun.
     
    FL-NC likes this.
  23. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    4,485
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    I went on a similar journey to OPs, but have had a Glock on me (19, 26, or 43) for majority of my years of carry. No plans to change in the foreseeable future, and I may add a G29 for hiking.
     
    vba and FL-NC like this.
  24. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Messages:
    778
    I’ve had a similar experience to the OP. The best way to truly know if a gun is right for you is to live with one for awhile. Over the years my preferences have evolved and so has my carry guns. I always come back to revolvers it seems, but I’ve sampled a number of autoloaders along the way. It’s a fun but tedious process. I wish I’d kept some I’ve gotten rid of for sure.
     
    FL-NC, Zendude and bersaguy like this.
  25. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,117
    When I was able to legally carry (I had lived in California for a number of years) I found myself trying different holsters and different guns only to find that I liked my original concealed carry gun that I kept near me when I lived in CA. An S&W 442. For me, it is the perfect CCW. One pistol that I also like very much is my Remington RM380. I called it my 442 backup.
     
    FL-NC likes this.
  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