Start SUB compact or Compact?

Start SUB compact or Compact?

This is a discussion on Start SUB compact or Compact? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm not sure whether to start carrying with a SUB compact or whether a compact will be small enough. I'm 5'10" @ 215lbs and believe ...

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Thread: Start SUB compact or Compact?

  1. #1
    Member Array Dean407's Avatar
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    Question Start SUB compact or Compact?

    I'm not sure whether to start carrying with a SUB compact or whether a compact will be small enough.

    I'm 5'10" @ 215lbs and believe I can conceal most anything if I wanted.

    However, it just seems in reading various boards that most folks end up getting a smaller gun for CCW.

    Hvae any of you started to carry a compact and regretted it only to go to the SUb compact models?

    What about the other way around? Started with Sub compact and decided a compact would be better?

    I plan to get premium leather holster for whatever I get.

    In which order do you feel is the most important considerations as far as size...

    1) Gun thickness
    2) overall length
    3) grip length.

    What is all this business about inside waistband?

    I guess it's my body type, but I have enough of a "V" shape that it seems to me the obvious set up would be a shoulder harness with gun on lest side.

    I always have a lot of extra shirt material on the sides even with 'slim fit' shirts.

    I just don't want to buy a gun I like without giving enough consideration to daily CCW.

    In the end, it's up to what I can tolerate, but just want to feedback from folks who have 'been there and done that'.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Ok you asked that impossible to answer question . For myself and myself only i like thin an light guns , so i carry Kahr plastics . My big gun fits most folks definition of compact . Ill say if i cant have my Kahr give me a 5" 1911 to carry . I know its weird but that is the next step up in concealment . the butt counts for more than the slide when you hide . I do have a pm9 and a p3at , both are fine guns , and fine backup to my normal primairy which is a p9 kahr . If i take my time i can bust clay pidgens with my pm all day at 25 yards , i can grab the p9 and keep it pidgen sized grops at 15 laying on my back left handed . IMHO get the smallest formfactor / largest caliber you can shoot and go with it , for me the combo is 9mm kahrs .
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array DirtDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean407 View Post
    Hvae any of you started to carry a compact and regretted it only to go to the SUb compact models?

    What about the other way around? Started with Sub compact and decided a compact would be better?

    I plan to get premium leather holster for whatever I get.

    In which order do you feel is the most important considerations as far as size...

    1) Gun thickness
    2) overall length
    3) grip length.

    What is all this business about inside waistband?

    I always have a lot of extra shirt material on the sides even with 'slim fit' shirts.

    I just don't want to buy a gun I like without giving enough consideration to daily CCW.

    In the end, it's up to what I can tolerate, but just want to feedback from folks who have 'been there and done that'.

    Thanks!
    Yes I started with USP-C 40 and went to P2000SK, P229 then P239. Apparently I haven't learned my lesson as I am looking for a P220 Carry Elite!

    Thickness and grip length to ME are the biggest factors, I'm 5'9" and 198 on a good day. I can hide the P229R in MS VMII with no big deal. It gets a lil heavy at times. The P2SK is a different story. It's carried in a FIST #20 (w/no snaps) and it disappears!

    All my carry holsters are IWB, either VMII or CTAC or FIST #20 (no snaps) waiting on MaxCon V.

    If your rig is what you can "tolerate" you won't be carrying it that long. IMHO
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  4. #4
    Member Array Dean407's Avatar
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    It does seem sub compacts are more versatile. Often the subbies can take the full size mags and with an extension the grip basically becomes a compact size.

    DirDog: So, of the 2000sk and 239, which is on your side more?

    Is the XD 45 compact too big for you or you just aren't feelin' the XD?

    The Dan Wesson CBOB in 10mm looks really pretty and thin and has enough rounds of 10mm to do the job. Reliability seems iffy on 1911's though, plus nearly $900.

    There's a gun show this weekend and I may pop in and see if any deals help make up my mind. I bet due to my stupid small hands single stack is the way to go- ultimately. Though the XD grips are quite nice as well. Then there's the MPc 9mm.

    Well, at least there's plenty of choice out there!

  5. #5
    Member Array okgr8outdrs's Avatar
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    I carry a 4" XD-9 which is almost identical in size to the XD45ACP compact. I started with it and bought a 3" subcompact to carry in a bellyband when I need to wear a tucked shirt.

    I carry OWB and prefer the larger gun. I like the greater ammo capacity, and with the longer slide and barrel, solid guide rod and 22# recoil spring the recoil is much easier to manage than with the subcompact, which is a bit "snappier". The triggers feel identical between the two, and I have matching Trijicon sights on both. I only have 1 magazine for the sub, all the rest are full size and can be used as spares for either.
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  6. #6
    Member Array stickybeatz's Avatar
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    I've carry the M&P9c and I love it. The ergonomics are great and it's really light weight.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean407 View Post
    In which order do you feel is the most important considerations as far as size...

    1) Gun thickness
    2) overall length
    3) grip length.
    You forgot the one I think is more important than all of these: Gun/Owner Compatibility! This, IMO, is possibly the most understated consideration when finding a gun. Folks who have trained for years have said they forget all that and just point and shoot in the moment. I'm not saying all people, or that you can't train past that. I am saying that you won't know until you find out the hard way. MY advice: Find a gun that aims naturally to where you point it.

    Aside fom that, I'd say grip length. Good Luck.
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  8. #8
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBrombach View Post
    MY advice: Find a gun that aims naturally to where you point it.
    I have never understood this. What exactly does this mean? Every gun seems to shoot where it is pointed.

    Aside fom that, I'd say grip length. Good Luck.
    I agree with this. I recently posted I haven't shot a gun that I did not like. Yesterday, I went to the range and shot a Glock 27 and the grip was very uncomfortable and I have [probably] smaller than average hands.

  9. #9
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    I have never understood this. What exactly does this mean? Every gun seems to shoot where it is pointed.
    Intuitive pointing, not slow target shooting.

    Draw a Glock from a holster and fire fast.
    Then draw an XD and repeat.

    One will be closer the X than the other, the two guns have different grip angles. More guns have the same angle as the XD, Glock has a more unique geometry.

    It is important to find the gun that you are most able to shoot fast. Some people never really master the Glock, or vice-versa.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    I have never understood this. What exactly does this mean? Every gun seems to shoot where it is pointed.
    This is in reference to the obtuse angle of the grip, measured from the bore axis, through the vertical, to the grip. Some pistols, such as the 1911 and the XD, have a grip angle that is relatively close to vertical. This is more comfortable and natural for many American shooters, as the hand is held at a more relaxed angle. Others, such as the Glock, have a more swept grip angle, that is uncomfortable for some shooters (myself included). However, many people find the Glock to fit them naturally, and feel awkward handling a 1911 or XD. I'd suggest that you find a range that will take the time to let you handle each firearm, and shoot each one. If one really jumps out at you and feels like an extension of your arm, then you've probably found your carry piece.

    In this example, this Springfield XD has a grip angle of about 95-100 degrees, whereas a Glock has a 105 degree grip angle. This may not seem like much of a difference, but other factors, such as the contour of the grip and backstrap, play into people's perceptions of a "comfortable and proper" grip.


  11. #11
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chooie View Post
    Others, such as the Glock, have a more swept grip angle, that is uncomfortable for some shooters (myself included). However, many people find the Glock to fit them naturally, and feel awkward handling a 1911 or XD.
    Some people are equally fine with either, I'm one of those guys.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Thanks for pickin up my slack, Pete and Joe. I like to actually shoot a little without using the sights to get a feel for what aims naturally for me.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Zundfolge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean407 View Post
    However, it just seems in reading various boards that most folks end up getting a smaller gun for CCW.

    Hvae any of you started to carry a compact and regretted it only to go to the SUb compact models?

    What about the other way around? Started with Sub compact and decided a compact would be better?
    I started with a full size gun (because thats all I had), I moved to a compact, then a sub compact ... now I'm much more comfortable with compact so the sub compact is relegated to times when I need to be extra discrete (like church or business meetings).

    I would recommend starting with the sub compact and then upsizing as you feel more comfortable carrying.

    I plan to get premium leather holster for whatever I get.
    So a good plan is to get a gun from a company that makes a sub compact and a compact that are based on the same design, then usually the holster for the compact will work for the sub. I have a Kahr K9 holster that my MK9 rides in ... likewise my Steyr S40 is carried in a holster originally designed for an M40.

    In which order do you feel is the most important considerations as far as size...

    1) Gun thickness
    2) overall length
    3) grip length.
    I'd say grip length is the most important factor followed very closely by gun thickness. Overall length is a non issue unless you're trying to pack a longslide.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array downrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBrombach View Post
    Thanks for pickin up my slack, Pete and Joe. I like to actually shoot a little without using the sights to get a feel for what aims naturally for me.
    exactly. that technique shows how you'll react in a tense situation. anywho, when it comes to concealment, compact or sub-compact, it really does come down to butt length and overall thickness.
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  15. #15
    Member Array Dean407's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. I knew it was a very personal choice. We all need to make our journey to feel a certain comfort level with our carry gear I suppose.

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