This is a discussion on Have a few questions?? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; With Wisconsin finally passing concealed carry, I plan on going through and getting a permit. I never figured we'd get it passed so I have ...
With Wisconsin finally passing concealed carry, I plan on going through and getting a permit. I never figured we'd get it passed so I have never looked into guns ideal for it, or how I would carry. So since I have about 4 months before I can even apply, Im researching my best options for pistols and carry. Im looking for opinions, facts, what works for you.... I know no 2 people like the same thing when it comes to CC, but when I get to purchasing these things it would help to know what others like. Ill give you all a little info on me that may help with suggestions for every aspect of concealed carrying. Im a big guy at 6'5" 250lbs, so as long as the pistol is concealable I can handle just about anything. If my Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 magnum that I use deer hunting wasnt so big Id consider that, but I do know even if I could conceal it the weight alone would get to me after a while. Im not looking for the top of the line most expense pistol, but something thats affordable and reliable. And on the carrying how you carry in the summer and the winter.
Sorry for the long winded questions, just trying to figure out as much as I can before I purchase anything. I like being very informed by people with real world experience, rather than trusting a gun salesman that has probable never tried half of the stuff in inventory.
I carry a full size 9mm owb in a pancake holster, I am not so much worried about printing as I am being comfortable.
Selecting a Handgun for Defense: Part 1. Semi-Automatics
Selecting a Handgun for Defense: Part 2. Revolvers
I'd also suggest the books, Concealed Carry, In Gravest Extreme and Stressfire as well as Backwoods Home articles written by Massad Ayoob. They'll not only cover some of the laws and mindset that are important, but also how to conceal, draw and handle a firearm within the context of self defense situations. You'll also likely want find some of the information on this site helpful in defining what you're looking for Cornered Cat - Table of Contents Now I know the background may be pink, but the information is universal.
Also take a look in this thread, What do you carry? and see the pictures of how people of various builds are concealing various firearms, while far from analytical data it can give you some ideas.
You have a stated familiarity with revolvers, there are many DAO revolvers on the market intended for carry, but revolvers width tends to make concealment difficult, so you might prefer a Semi-auto given the different role requiring a different tool to suit your needs.
For what it's worth I most typically conceal a Glock 27 in a inside the waistband holster with a shorter but similar build to what you've described yourself as. But there are many solutions to the same question in this game, so you've got options, and hands on is probably the best way to narrow things down.
Glock Certified Armorer
Congrats to you, and the state of Wisconsin.
You may also want to consider your primary reason for carrying when making a decision. While all CCW firearmes are for the protection of the carrier, and other innocents if need be. You may want to consider the actual threat level from other people, and from local animal population. For example if your lifestyle, or busines takes you into higher crime area's a high cap auto pistol may best fit your need. Or if you are in a rural setting and may encounter predatory animals, a larger Cal. revolver may work better.
Another consideration would be your level of comitment. Sometimes it's hard for us firearm enthusiasts to understand that some people just want a gun to work, and not require constant tinkering, upgrades, accesories, conversation, opinion, companion guns, the list could go on and on... Again if your looking for nothing more than a well functioning tool...
Everyone offering advice will tell you to do some research. I'm going to parrot the good advice already given. The internet is fine for abstract research. I'd advise you to visit gun shops. Handle some firearms. See what fit's your hand, lifestyle, and needs. Remember... this weapon will (hopefully) be your constant companion. Also look at holsters, and carry methods. Most of us try several before finding that one or two that works.
Contrary to what you may hear, Glock is not the only conceal carry handgun maker on the market. Best advice I can give you is go to the gun store and handle as many as you can, to find what feels good to you. Then start checking the shooting ranges to see if one of them have what you interested in to rent and shoot. Settle on what feels good and shoots good for you.
Added thought: You might want to look at what caliber you intend on carrying. Once that is decided, start narrowing your field from there.
Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.
NRA Life Member
^^^^ what ARcher (and other have said). Start narrowng the field by considering caliber: obvious factors: 9mm--smaller rounds--less impact force but more of 'em in a given platform: .40 S&W: little bigger than 9mm--faster, tad more "snap" in the recoil; .45 ACP--BIGGER rounds & bigger holes but fewer round count. Handle 'em all, operate the controls, & don't just play with it, but "FEEL" it in your hand--I know this sounds a bit wierd, but hold onto the grip and as you handle the safety, decocking, etc, etc have all your focus on literally feeling it in your hand, looking for that "AH--THIS is THE one). When you "feel" it, you will know you have a winner. If it "feels" right, you will shoot it better than something that doesn't "feel" right. Oh yeah--don't forget two things--have fun and take a rag to wipe the drool off the counter
Scott, US Army 1974-2004
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
- Ronald Reagan
Everyone here is already telling you to do research so I'm not going to parrot that info. Here are a few basic rules when looking for the best gun for you (not the best for me or anyone else).
Shoot the largest caliber gun that you can shoot effectively. A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .45. For me what works best is is 9mm. Don't let anyone tell you that 9mm is a wimp gun, it isn't.
The smaller the gun, the easier it is to conceal but the harder it is to shoot. Mouse guns carry easy but stink to practice with. I suggest a smaller frame gun but not a pocket pistol at first. The Glock 19 is universally known as one of the best all around pistols on the market. It is small enough to conceal and large enough to shoot effectively. I would use the G19 as a baseline for where to start. Glock's aren't for everyone and you could hate how the G19 feels, that's OK. Just use it's size and capacity as a starting point for your search. Ask yourself questions like "From the G19 do I want a smaller or larger frame gun?".
Lastly, don't buy a gun in some fringe caliber like 10mm or .357 Sig. Buy something in one of these 5 calibers (you'll thank me later): 9mm .40 S&W, .45ACP, .38 Special or .357 Magnum. These are the "big five" of defensive pistol calibers. They've all been around a while and can be found on the shelf of any local gun store and Wally mart. They all will do the job on a BG if you put them on target.
Well that's all for now, good luck in your search.
"For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands." Deuteronomy 16:15
That big wheelie will be a little difficult to CC...
Go to a range and fire different sized guns....don't listen to what we tell you...as it is ultimately your decision
Magazine <> clip - know the difference
martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know
You're going to get a wide variety or answers to this question, so I will pile on early.
First how do you dress, what do you do for a living? This may be a big factor. Can you go daily with an untucked shirt so as to cover a gun that is carried on your waist either inside the pants or outside the pants? I prefer to carry OWB, (outside the waistband) in a Fist #9 for most of my pistols. A few I have some IWB (inside the waistband), mostly Crossbreed Supertuck holsters for some specific guns, when I want to wear a closer fitting shirt or when I want the option of tucking in my shirt while carrying. I wear either square cut bottom , button up shirts, or moisture wicking underarmor type shirts from Target that can be had for 11 bucks or so.
With this method I can carry any number of guns from little .380's to various 9's with 12-17 rd capacity, or a Ruger SP101 .357 mag, and even 45's whether it be a 1911 or XD service model. Most days it is a 9mm. A good belt and holster is a must to keep the gun in close and have enough support for all day carry. This is method of carry has served me well 99% of the time. I choose to change my manner of dress slightly so I can carry how I want.
When I can't carry in my prefered method, I will use a shoulder holster, or pocket carry during those few times that my manner or dress needs to be different than normal.
If you can work your daily attire properly, you can carry just about any gun you find that you like. If you have a job that requires a certain type of dress or certain activities that severely limit your means of carry, the options will be limited and then you have to really consider size of gun and location.
I would focus on how your think you want to carry first, then find a gun that will fit that method. There are many more guns out there than there are place on your person to carry. Finding the gun that fits is probably the easier task. You simply need to determine if you want a revolver or semi auto, a gun with or without a safety if you choose semi auto, if you want double, single action or the various "safe action" trigger pulls. There are many guns in each of those catagories and they come in all different sizes and calibers.
As atctimmy suggested, stick with a common caliber. Depending on how much you intend to practice and how your financial resouces are caliber can be very important in the decision.
Good luck and great that WI is coming on board. Now I won't feel so bad when going to visit family up there.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
You opened up pandoras box! Needless to say you're going to get a bunch of responses. Heres my .02. Coming from someone Of a similar build, I can say you honestly can conceal more gun than you think. I have a glock 26, sig p238 and just recently got a kimber 9mm. I'd say the two biggest factors for someone our size should be caliber and single or double action. From there, shoot the guns that fit your needs, then make a decision. I dare say having the right holster can make carrying a full size 1911 doable for someone your size.
I'm finding that there is no single carry gun that meets my needs. Sometimes I want to go big, sometimes I want to carry light. Sometimes I want an auto, sometimes a revolver. So I've got at least 3 in the rotation. Probably going to add another one.
In other words, you don't have to get it perfect first time because you'll be refining your options as you go along anyway. I'd start with choice of caliber, as that will help narrow your choices down.
"It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."
I forgot to add that most times it's the holster that makes or breaks a carry gun. Get a great holster and a good gun belt and you will be happy with a howitzer on your hip. Get a crummy (read that to mean cheap) holster or a saggy belt and you won't be happy carrying anything.
"For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands." Deuteronomy 16:15
As you begin to look at all the different handguns available and suitable for CCW — and I suggest that if possible you try shooting as many of them as you can before settling on one — you may find (as others have posted) that there is no one handgun that will do it all. That's what I've learned after a quarter-century of CCW. I have two carry guns: a Sig P220 Carry SAO (large frame .45 ACP) and a Sig P238 (pocket-size .380 ACP). I'd love to carry the P220 all the time, but sometimes you have to downsize and go with something more concealable.
Springfield TRP Armory Kote, Springfield Trophy Match, Sig Sauer P220R SAO, Glock 35 with Heinie Slant Pro sights, Springfield Armory XDs 45, S&W Model 29 Mountain Gun, PTR-91F in 7.62mm NATO, Springfield M1A1, Sig 556 Patrol Rifle and Benelli M2 with 10-round magazine