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What would be your general recommendation for CCW?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Skribs, Nov 27, 2012.

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  1. Skribs

    Skribs Member

    Oct 29, 2010
    Lakewood, Washington
    Well I'm glad a few people see the question I'm asking, instead of trying to disect the question and use it to "enlighten" me. I'm well aware that there are different hands and preferences, I just wanted to see what the starting point would be that you would build off from.

    Psyop might have said it better than me. If someone walks into a gun store, which one would you hand him first and say "how does this feel?"

    So true! I started on a XDm compact in .40, but I've since changed to an M&P compact in 9.

    I'd also like to point out that most of the easily-concealed pistols (such as the Ruger LCP, for example) do not fit the hand very well at all (too small to get a comfortable grip) and do not shoot very well due to sharp recoil and the poor grip. So I agree, it isn't always "what fits". Although I don't carry my LCP much anymore because I don't like practicing with it at the range.
  2. mdauben

    mdauben Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Huntville, AL
    I honestly think many of the previous posters are way overthinking this. The OP was obviously not looking to actually base a first gun purchasing decision for himself or someone else on the results of this post so all these qualifications and counter arguments seem pretty pointless. Its just a hypothetical question as to which gun we might chose, all other factors being equal. :rolleyes:

    I'd probably agree with you on the recomendations for the Glock 19. Its got a lot going for it, small enought to be easier to conceal but not so small as to be hard to handle, good capacity, chambered in a competent SD round, reasonably easy to shoot to combat accuracy. With proper training and assuming the hypothetical individual didn't have especially tiny hands it should serve anyone reasonably well. :cool:

    Unless the carrier had a specific need for a pocket gun, I would not recomend a snub nose, particualarly as a first or only gun. Even with normal pressure rounds they can be tricky for new shooters to handle and the short barrel and minimal sights make them hard to shoot accuratly. Now, a J-Frame with a 3 or 4 inch barrel and good sights (like the S&W Model 60 for example) is another matter. ;)
  3. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    Jul 28, 2005
    Lewisberry, PA
    I'd answer the same way I'm answering here.

    I begin the conversation with several direct questions.

    • How will you carry it?
    • How often will you carry it, and for how many hours at a time?
    • How much experience do you have with shooting, or even any at all?
    • Let me see how big your hands are . . . How strong are they? Any hand or wrist issues?
    • How mechanically inclined are you, and how much effort are you going to put in to learning how it works and maintaining it?
    • Will you practice with this gun every month? How many rounds?

    Depending on those answers then we’ll actually start looking at guns.

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but only the young and inexperienced think a big question like this can be answered simply and easily.

    Once you get out, meet people and do this sort of exercise with regular folks you’ll find people who have really small hands, arthritis, mothers who have kids hanging all over them during the day – you know, just basic life stuff – then you’ll understand there is no universal starting point.

    Yeah, except that we're not all equal. We're all different.
  4. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

    Feb 15, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Like others i don't agree with the premise of the question but i would have to say a small .38 revolver is hard to go wrong with.
  5. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

    Oct 17, 2010
    1. S&W Model 12
    2. Colt Cobra
    3. Glock, S&W M&P, Spr. XD or equivalent Ruger pistol.
  6. AFDavis11

    AFDavis11 Member

    Dec 10, 2011
    I would recommend a snub nose revolver and emphatically point out the stupidity and danger associated with any Glock.

    That has always been my advice.

    If I get a few more parameters, such as prior experience or safety skills, then I typically point out that Glocks are simply a bad choice, but an option for the well trained.

    I usually emphasize safety for the first carry gun. Revolvers first, then heavy double action pull autos, if they have some gun experience.

    The lack of safety is the second most likely point that will remove my personal right to carry, so it's important to me.
  7. grptelli

    grptelli Member

    Jan 31, 2012
    I test shot alot of ccw guns before I purchased. I started with a pps 9mm, then got a jframe and just olast week a shield 9mm. Do I need 3 ccw guns -nope, but the wifey said go for it so I did. I have also taken conceal carry classes and and additional/enhanced shooting classes to sharpen my skills. I also shoot weekly....

    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
  8. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Okay...first off, make a list of the handguns that appeal to you for whatever reason. Just a wish list. May include revolvers and semi autos.

    Next, go to a gun show or a gun shop where you can at least handle some of these handguns and see if they feel "right" to you.

    If you can narrow that list it down a bit, perhaps you can spend some time at the range, and if possible, try a number of different handguns to see if any of them really work for you.

    If you have to pay a nominal fee per gun, and buy ammo, that will still be the best money you will ever spend.

    It is unrealistic to expect that you can root through hundreds of guns to find "the one" in one day's research.

    If you can find something that fits your comfort zone for manual of arms, you shoot it reasonably well, and you can see yourself being able to conceal it...you are well down the road to success.

    There is a good chance that you may later see something else, try it, like it better, and move in that direction. IMHO, that is fine, and is a natural progression. There are a lot of temptresses out there. :)

    When I got my CHL I had a Glock G23. I shot it fairly well (qualified easily) but never found a way to conceal it effectively or carry it comfortably. My CHL instructor was a big fan of J-frames (and their equivalents) so I went on a j-frame spree for the next year, trying a number of j-frames in .38 Spl and .357 Mag, steel, alloy, Scandium...Spent a fair bit of money on that experiment, but in the end, j-frames were not right for me.

    Found a Kahr PM9 and all was well for a while. Then I found a Kel-Tec P11. Four extra rounds in a similar sized gun...what could go wrong? Maybe the fact that it was heavy, had a terrible trigger and was unreliable....for starters.

    Went through Kel-Tecs, tried more Glocks, tried revolvers in larger calibers in Scandium and steel frames...tried more of this and more of that.

    I won't try to add up all the money I spent trying this and that for a period approaching ten years...but for the most part, I bought used at reasonable prices, so when I subsequently sold them, I didn't lose a lot.

    The search For The Perfect Carry Pistol has been, for the most part, enjoyable. I can tell you where I am today, but a year or two from now, circumstances may lead me somewhere else. What works for me is immaterial to you.

    And unless you have a fair bit of time and money to spend, my method may not be viable for you.

    What you really want is what works for you. How do you get there? Again, the best advice I have is to try everything you can lay your hands on. Buying ammo is cheap compared to buying firearms. Find friends or other THR members to shoot with, swap pistols for a mag, do what you can to experience as many options as you can.

    Ooops... I almost forgot. I think there are two types of people out there.
    Type A buys what he likes best, but keeps reading magazines and online reviews, and is forever looking at the next greatest thing.
    Type B buys (for example) a 642 and is happy for life.

    I think you know where I fall in that example. :)
    If you are a type B, you are blessed, because you will have peace of mind, which I will never have.

    Not that I am complaining. :)

    Happy hunting, Rich
  9. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Frozen North
    Still looking for my EDC

    been at it a while
    have a CZ82 that floats in and out of rotation

    have a P32, yeah, it's a bug, but it's also the one gun I have on me when I leave the house for sure, no matter which holster or gun I have, it's in my pocket.
  10. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

    Aug 17, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    And I would say get a Glock and a snubbie is what you carry when you can't carry a better gun. Which I guess pretty much explains why there are gun forums and so many different gun makers.
  11. Rexster

    Rexster Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    SE Texas
    I do not do catch-all recommendations. One thing I do is ask how of their own auto maintenance is performed themselves. A person who cannot change their own car's oil and spark plugs would probably not keep an autopistol properly maintained, IMHO, so that indicates a revolver.

    Some folks have little hand strength, so would be poorly-served by a heavy DA trigger pull, whether auto or revolver. If hand strength is not due to a chronic health issue, of course, I recommend strength training.
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    Actually that's both true and false to a point. While I agree a J frame is a very good carry handgun it's not for the novice for several reasons.

    The DA trigger on a small revolver is hard to master.
    The very short sight picture multiples mistakes and the novice will make mistakes.
    Light revolvers enhance felt recoil making follow up shots more difficult.
    Because of the enhanced felt recoil many won't practice as they should.

    There are more but I think you get what I mean. While the revolver is simple it's not easy to shoot. Like I said, they are difficult to shoot well leading most who don't shoot them well to believe they are not accurate, not true of course. IMO J frame revolvers are not for the novice but for a more experienced shooter.
  13. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

    Oct 7, 2011
    What is wrong with buying a good looking pistol that also serves as a CCW?

    For example, IMO a H&K USP, Beretta M9, or Smith&Wesson M&P pistol is very sexy. They also happen to be very good CCW handguns. 1911's are great pistols too, but may require a bit more knowledge and experience to use as a first CCW pistol.

    On the flipside of that, if we didn't care about how our CCW's look then we should all carry Glock's, Keltec's, Taurus, or Hipoint's. Nothing against those brands, but some of us can agree they are not the best looking.

    Going back to my very first CCW pistol purchase a few years ago, I had a choice between 3 guns: Glock19, M&P9, and XD9sc. I went with the M&P because it looked great, fit in my hands well, very well-balanced, high-quality and finish, and is American made. I'm sure the same can be said about the Glock and XD, well except they are not American made.

    It took me about 3years to warm up to a Glock. I now carry a Glock19 and also shoot it in 3-gun. But if someone gave me $500 to buy another pistol right now, I would buy and M&P9 in a heartbeat.


    So on the topic, I would recommend in random order:
    1. M&P9 (with ext safety)
    2. Ruger SR9c
    3. XD9sc
    4. Glock19/26
    5. USP9c
    6. 38Revolver
  14. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I took someone shooting last night who had never touched or fired a gun in her life. We started with a .22, then tried an M&P that was too large for her hands before renting CZ-75 which was much more comfortable for the shooter.

    She held my Gen 3 Glock 19, but the grip was too large so we didn't fire it; it was still a starting point, just one that was quickly dismissed. Point being there's a huge swath of difference between this thread, which is narrow in scope with certain unrealistic parameters, and the real life business of introducing a new shooter to firearms.

    I take back what I said earlier about this being a civilized discussion with no one coming into the thread and bashing on another brand. It's interesting that as long as it's directed toward Glock it's okay, but multiple posters were complaining about non-existent comments where those of us who suggested that brand got smacked down for non-existent bashing of 'everything else.'
  15. elrowe

    elrowe Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Hopefully other states are the same, but in KY CCDW courses, we're actually legally required to teach a block of instruction on choosing guns for carry students and prohibited from making an endorsement of a particular selection. Without looking at the book at the moment, we have to discuss and display (at least diagrams of) 1911s, S&W semi autos, revolvers, and Sigs (I may have missed one or two) as part of the class.

    That way the guys that typically say J-frame for every woman or Glock for every man don't lead as many folks down a bad first choice (for them) path.
  16. Tcruse

    Tcruse Member

    Oct 24, 2011
    A couple of comments:
    1) No matter how careful you are, your first gun will probably not be the one that you stay with long term. (My first purchase was KelTec P11 - exactly what I thought that it was, worked fine, however, after extended range time uncomfortable hand from harsh re-coil and long hard trigger hampered accuracty)
    2) I have tried wheel guns on numerous occasions and they are just not something that I would ever want to own or carry. Too front heavy, having to manually remove spent shells, low round count, and uncomfortable grip shape.
    3) 1911 pattern guns are easy for beginners to shoot at the range, but there is a lot of things to remember for safe carry and lots of things needed to keep the gun in best condition. Also, probably not really best choice for ccw. So, not on my recommendation list.
    4) There is a lot of different opinions on what is best gun for people with small (or fat hands with short fingers). I have tried a lot of different guns, including CZ75B (least best fit), Barretta 92FS (good), Tarus PT92 (good), M&P 9 (OK), Styer (OK), Barretta PX4 (good), Ruger P95 (very good), and Glock. Glock G3 26 and Glock G4 17 are my current best of breed picks. Suspect that Ruger SR9 and Caracal C are also good choices but have not shoot either.
    5) I am in the "simple" no extra manual safety or other distractaction for a SD weapon. At best case you will be under a lot of pressure, and the fewer things that can go wrong the better.
    6) Practice with .22LR (like Ruger MKiii 22/45 or SR22) is a very good place to start the shooting habit/training. First make shooting fun and peasurable experience so that the new user will actually practice after the "new" wears off.
    7) Find a range that is a friendly place for new shooters and offer classes, shooting leagues, fun events ..... (Locally, ShootSmartTX.com is one good example). Renting a lane by itself is only one part of the equation.
    8) Stay with 9 mm. Smaller gives you more expense (ammo price) and no real difference in recoil. Larger gives you more expense and need for more skill to carry and only marginal (if any) more stopping power. A DE 50AE is not a good choice for carry.
  17. tacxted

    tacxted Member

    Sep 11, 2012
    Maine, USA
    The whole time I would be talking to the "customer" I would (in my head) be thinking of a sub-compact 9mm or a compact .38 special. S&W and Glock come to mind.
  18. walnut1704

    walnut1704 Member

    Nov 26, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    So what you're really asking is.."What gun is so universal that anybody could shoot it". Duh. A .38 revolver. Anybody who's watched TV knows how to load it and fire it. An expert could do very well with one, a beginner would probably get a shot, or two, off.
  19. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Frozen North
    Um, except, I won't touch one, not for CCW, my curve is nonexistent
    I learned on autos, what I know, wheelie guns aren't even on my horizon

    *well, except maybe for a 'Hand of God' or an inexpensive brass frame C&B (these are BP guns BTW..)
  20. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    Another answr you don't want to hear. The perfect carry gun is one that fits your hands well, is the largest caliber you can comfortably manage in the largest frame size you will consistently carry and be able to conceal. All this varies with body shape, effort put into carrying the gun and willingness to learn to control recoil.
  21. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    We just can't shift this discussion from hardware to mindset, can we. So be it.

    When I decided to carry a gun, I didn't shoot a whole bunch of guns or study ballistics tables; I did my kind of research--talking to experienced CCW-ers. After a couple of months of contemplation about why I wanted to be armed and realizing I had my head in the right place, I bought a 642 and applied for my Virginia CHP. I guess I'm the one guy in 500 somebody noted; I still carry that 642 almost exclusively.

    Still, I recommend now that new shooters try as many guns that meet their criteria as they can get their hands on, but note they need to know their criteria first. Trying guns that will prove ill suited to a given shooter's needs is a waste of time and too often leads to an inappropriate choice.
  22. Tcruse

    Tcruse Member

    Oct 24, 2011
    In Texas you will want to qualify for ccw using a semi-automatic, since if you do not you can not carry a semi-automatic only revolver. With a Semi-Automatic qualification you can carry either.
    As far as maintenance I do not think that you will ever find a gun that requires less or is easier to maintain than a Glock Gen3 or Gen4. Fewer parts than most (all?) and very easy to field strip (or complete disassembly, using one small tool). Also, Glocks can take a lot of abuse and still work every time.
    Now, I agree that you probably will never show your Glock to your friends to brag about how good it looks or how much it costs.
  23. Dave P.

    Dave P. Member

    Jul 9, 2011
    If they really want a carry gun either a Glock26 or a Ruger LCR.
    Want a handgun for the house then it's a Glock17 or Ruger GP100.
    And I'd push in the direction of the revolver, to me they are somewhat more
    idiot proof...at least for a firearm.
  24. Hit_Factor

    Hit_Factor Member

    Nov 20, 2011
    St. Joseph, MI
    5 shot 38 revolver or sub-compact 9mm semi-auto.
  25. EBK

    EBK Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    my answer would be just a vage as the question is.

    I would simply say anything between .22 and .45 and from a company with a good reputation. With more info we could narrow it down from there.
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