Looking for a "Unicorn"

This is a discussion on Looking for a "Unicorn" within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Thank you in advance for any and all help!!! I am looking for recommendations for a concealed carry gun and seem at a loss. I ...

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Thread: Looking for a "Unicorn"

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    New Member Array LonestarRider's Avatar
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    Looking for a "Unicorn"

    Thank you in advance for any and all help!!!

    I am looking for recommendations for a concealed carry gun and seem at a loss. I am fairly new to pistols and currently own a full size Springfield XDm 9mm that was recommended to me to learn with to get familiar with handguns before getting a smaller gun for EDC. I love it, am very comfortable with it and shoot really well with it. Due to the fact it fits me like a glove and I like the grip safety the logical choice for EDC would be an XD subcompact or XDs.

    Here's the hitch: ME! I need to conceal whatever I get and I am not big. I'm 5'9" and weigh 140 lbs fully clothed with rocks in my pocket. Although I'm right handed, I'm left eye dominate and actually shoot left handed. I am a teacher so can't carry to work (yet!) and when I am not at work usually wear cargo shorts/pants or jeans with a shirt as I live in central Texas so can't totally dress to the gun with a parka etc. The idea of pocket carry in my cargo shorts/pants is appealing to me but obviously limits options on EDC.

    So please offer up any suggestions of guns and methods of carry for someone my size. I am leaning towards an XDs in 9mm or XDsc due to my positive experience with my XDm and love the grip safety but worry they may be too large to hide. I thought maybe something small like a Nano or Kel-Tec. I have heard Kel-tecs can be hit or miss on quality and I just shot a Nano and did not like how it shot. I am not opposed to a 380 either just because I may be more likely to find a decent size gun that "fits" me. I am we'll aware of trade offs of caliber versus knockdown power but think something is a hick of a lot better than nothing!

    Thanks again for any advice you all can provide. Side note: I went to a local range and rented what fit my criteria, which was the Nano and XDm compact. Everything else was duty size or 1911s which can't be hidden on me comfortably.

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    VIP Member Array OutWestSystems's Avatar
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    If you are new to shooting I wouldn't recommend any of the really small guns like the LCP or LC9. I would recommend a Ruger SR9c. Good shooting gun, small enough to conceal with a little effort and big enough to shoot with just a little bit of practice.
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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    First of all, welcome to the forum!!

    Based upon what you wrote I would suggest something along the lines of a Glock 26, Glock 19, or even a J-frame S&W 5 shot 38 Special or Ruger LCR in the same caliber. All would be easily concealed, and all but the G19 could be even carried in a pocket holster. Outside the Waist Band (OWB) carried can be achieved with any number of holsters for these models as well. So the method of carry for you is flexible. Just some thoughts....
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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    I'd say since you are familiar with the XD series like the controls and get the hits stick with what works. Not my choice but if it works for you go with it.
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    Welcome to the site ......... I would say a Ruger SR9c large capacity mag. avail. and feels great to shoot and hold .
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    Welcome to the forum. I'm not a fan of the XD platform, but if you are happy with it, I am happy for you. What is your waist size vs. chest size? Smaller hips with a larger chest facilitate IWB carry at the 3:00/9:00 positions. Add a 20-degree forward cant to the holster riding low along the belt-line on a gun belt, and you will have print-free carry with a compact, and possibly even with a full-size double stacker. If your waist and chest are more parallel in size with each other, moving the holster more toward the 6:00 position will hopefully reveal the sweet spot where the gun is both comfortable and concealed. These are my two recommendations for IWB holsters:
    The Brommeland Max-Con V, (arguably) The Best IWB Holster On The Planet - YouTube
    Ohio Special IWB - MidWorld Holster
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    I'm going to offer you a couple of thoughts; take them for what they are worth...

    First off, I think it's very possible for a person of smaller stature to carry an XD subcompact and conceal it. Also, a baby Glock would be an even easier choice to conceal. I wouldn't get so hung up on the grip safety of the XD. Personally I think they are a liability, but they definitely are a personal choice. I guess what I'm saying is that a Glock, properly used, is just as inherently safe as an XD. Safety isn't about a device, it's about you.

    Secondly, you don't have to wear a parka to conceal a firearm to the point where nobody will see it. Texas isn't going to lock you up because you are wearing a t-shirt and your gun prints a little at certain times. Unless you have some personal reason for wanting to seek the highest level of concealability, it's not really that big of a deal. Most folks go through life with their head in a cloud and won't ever notice a gun that is only covered by a simple t-shirt.

    Lastly, I personally believe that shooting a fighting pistol with your non-dominant hand simply because your cross eye dominant is tactically just a bad idea. If you've just learned to shoot that way to adjust for your cross dominance, then just unlearn it and re-learn how to use your strong side properly. The absolute best advice I can give you is to invest in some quality combat handgun training. A good instructor will help you adjust and ultimately succeed in the best way to use a fighting pistol. They'll also be able to really give you some in depth scenarios and explanations as to why it's just a handicap to rely on your non-dominant hand for something as important as deploying your weapon in a high stress, life or death situation.
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    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    as well as you might like the XDs/9mm, i suspect both it, and the S&W Shield, would be slightly too large for pocket carry. a Kel-Tec PF-9 or Kahr PM-9/CM-9 would fit most pockets, as would a Ruger LCR or S&W alloy J-frame revolver. i've often carried a Smith 642 or a CM-9 in a front pocket. if you need even smaller, a Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec P3AT are decent choices.

    Tru-Spec (TRUSPEC.com) and UnderTech (MASTEROFCONCEALMENT.com) have some interesting undergarments with built-in holster, that might work, especially the Tru-Spec undershirt. these might work with an XDs.

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    Member Array floggindave's Avatar
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    I carry the fullsize xdm 3.8 @ 3 oclock and it hides really well. im 5'10" and 195lbs though. the xds is next on my list, and I have been lead to believe it carrys in pocket just fine. like you, I like its safety system and find the pistol to be an ideal carry gun. its nice to keep the same system between firearms. I have seen hickok45 on youtube keep his in a pocket holster, which he said he had been carrying for weeks, if I remember correctly. I would say you could do an xdm compact or xdsc no problem, just remember to have a proper gun belt and a holster that covers the trigger.

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    Senior Member Array Zralou's Avatar
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    Try looking at the Taurus 709, or the sccy, both are under $300 and small enough for deep concealment.

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    New Member Array LonestarRider's Avatar
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    Wow! thanks for super fast responses and great advice.

    Waist size is 30" and my chest size is a whopping 36"!!!! ( you should see my biceps! I never leave the house without those guns!!!!!)

    TX Expat: thanks for all the advice. Curious why the grip safety may be a liability? I like your suggestion of getting additional training as I am sure it will only help. However, do you feel it's really necessary to shoot with right hand given i have always done a lot of things both left and right handed? Or does using right hand basically just allow more options on guns? Also shot my sister's glock 26 and while it shot well and I was accurate with it the grip felt too big front to back for me. It felt like I was holding a 2x4.

    Thanks again to all of you and your suggestions!!!!

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    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LonestarRider View Post
    Wow! thanks for super fast responses and great advice.

    Waist size is 30" and my chest size is a whopping 36"!!!! ( you should see my biceps! I never leave the house without those guns!!!!!)

    TX Expat: thanks for all the advice. Curious why the grip safety may be a liability? I like your suggestion of getting additional training as I am sure it will only help. However, do you feel it's really necessary to shoot with right hand given i have always done a lot of things both left and right handed? Or does using right hand basically just allow more options on guns? Also shot my sister's glock 26 and while it shot well and I was accurate with it the grip felt too big front to back for me. It felt like I was holding a 2x4.

    Thanks again to all of you and your suggestions!!!!
    Just my personal experience.. Like you, I'm right handed but do tons of things lefty. My instinct reflex is my right hand though. Perhaps that's what he was alluding to.

    Edit: Welcome to the forum!
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    XDs is very comfortable for IWB. Here is mine (XDs .45) in a DeSantis holster that I use while waiting for a better one to come.




    The Gen 4 Glock 26 comes with adjustable back straps for a better feel in the palm. Hard to beat 10+1. With a good IWB they disappear.


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    Quote Originally Posted by LonestarRider View Post
    Wow! thanks for super fast responses and great advice.

    Waist size is 30" and my chest size is a whopping 36"!!!! ( you should see my biceps! I never leave the house without those guns!!!!!)

    TX Expat: thanks for all the advice. Curious why the grip safety may be a liability? I like your suggestion of getting additional training as I am sure it will only help. However, do you feel it's really necessary to shoot with right hand given i have always done a lot of things both left and right handed? Or does using right hand basically just allow more options on guns? Also shot my sister's glock 26 and while it shot well and I was accurate with it the grip felt too big front to back for me. It felt like I was holding a 2x4.

    Thanks again to all of you and your suggestions!!!!
    The grip safety thing is sort of like a caliber thread. Some folks like them, and some do not. Here's my personal take and how I came to it...

    I used to EDC an XD subcompact. Practiced with it pretty regularly and even took a class with it. I had long conversation one evening about why a buddy, who is a firearms trainer, didn't like the grip safety on the XD line. He explained that, while it's unlikely, there might be times when you cannot get your gun to fire because you aren't manipulating the grip safety properly. We went round a few times over it (all good naturedly) but in the end I told him I would do some extensive testing on his theory and give him an honest report after I did so. I'm never one to take anyone's word just because, but I'm also not one to discount other perspectives simply because I don't agree with them, so the only thing I could do was test his theory.

    Long story short, I spent two days testing various unusual scenarios. Things like lying on my weak side and drawing the gun with my weak hand. Picking the gun up from the ground with my weak hand. All sorts of stuff that probably will never happen, but could happen... Anyway, the bottom line was he was correct. It didn't happen often (only twice if I remember correctly), but it did happen. For whatever reason, I didn't have enough grip on the weapon to disengage that safety.

    I bought a Glock and sold the XD as soon as I had function tested it. It may have been a one in a million, but we carry for a one in a million in the first place, so for me, it made sense. I was also switching calibers away from .40, so that played a big part as well. I can't say for sure if I would have switched simply because of the grip safety, but since I wanted to move to a 9mm carry gun, it was a no-brainer for me to lose the grip safety too.

    I'm not saying that everyone should avoid them at all costs; it's just something (else) to consider. Should you consider a subcompact XD? Yeah, I wouldn't rule one out completely; however have a look at the Glock 26 and the M&P compact as well. All are great striker fired weapons, all are very concealable and all of them are safe just so long as you understand where the most important safety is located (your head). My XD was a rock solid performer so I have no questions about how well it would do the job. It really boiled down to how well I would do the job, and I decided to KISS it as much as possible.

    On the right handed/left handed thing, I say that because if you find yourself in situation that requires you to deploy your weapon, one of the first things that the body will lose is the fine motor skills. If you are truly ambidextrous, this may not matter much as you'll suffer similar function loss from both hands, but for most folks that are truly reliant on one hand, that fine motor skill is going to have a more drastic effect on your off hand. Only you can really determine how much you rely on one hand versus the next. If you can take a combat pistol class and do everything well shooting reversed like that, then no problem. I know there's no way I could though and I'm cross dominant like you, but I'm definitely dependent on my dominant side.
    blitzburgh likes this.
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    Senior Member Array royal barnes's Avatar
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    Don't dismiss a Government Model or Commander size 1911. With a good IWB (Brommeland has been mentioned) a full size 1911 is fairly easy to conceal.
    Beans likes this.

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