How much of a weight difference is significant?

How much of a weight difference is significant?

This is a discussion on How much of a weight difference is significant? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; At what point should one consider a difference in weight to be significant for 'carryability' ? I have been following the ' smallest 9mm ' ...

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Thread: How much of a weight difference is significant?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    How much of a weight difference is significant?

    At what point should one consider a difference in weight to be significant for 'carryability'?

    I have been following the 'smallest 9mm' thread with great interest on behalf of my tiny daughter who will soon be carrying. I've also been poking around looking at small 45s. Her ability to conceal the weapon is paramount, so I'm thinking single stack and am comparing dimensions (I think .25" is significant; I do not think .015 is significant, for instance) and weight (here's where I need help).

    For those of you who have the experience with multiple weapons for concealed carry: at what point would YOU say, "Heck, that's about the same weight" versus "Well, that one there's significantly heavier"?

    Probably recommendations for specific weapons should be posted on the "smallest 9mm" thread since others will be more likely to see them there (or post in both places), but I would love your thoughts on how heavy is 'heavier'.

    Note that my short list for her consideration at this point includes the tiniest of 45s, Kahr CW9, Taurus Slim, KelTec PF9, Ruger LCP, KelTec P3AT, and Diamondback 380, with my leanings being towards the CW9. It will be her decision, of course: I'm just getting a list of what I want her to be sure to try on.
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    Ex Member Array targus's Avatar
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    No one can give you a definitive number as to what constitutes "too much" extra weight. 1oz? 4 oz? It's all subjective to EACH and every person. I've been amazed at people who complained they "couldn't" carry a spare magazine because it was "too heavy" and/or "too bulky". And, we're talking SMALL magazines and not a double stack 15 round Gl19 mags or anything. I've also been amazed at people who say they can carry some pretty beefy (in size and weight) firearms concealed, too.

    Some people would say pocket carrying a Kahr PM9 would be "too much" for them. Honestly, I went from pocket carrying a Kel-Tec P3AT to a PM9 and both carry setups had two spare magazines in a holder in my left pocket. I gave a second thought to the extra weight of the PM9 and magazines. Never even really noticed it all. Same goes for size. I tend to wear looser jeans and shorts so the small thickness difference was never an issue.

    Bottom line is you have to find out what works for you. Same goes for your daughter in question... Of all the guns you listed, I'd pick the same one you are leaning towards...the CW9. The small .45s are often finicky and reliability can be questionable. Not a fan of Kel-Tecs as I do not think they are "quality" firearms. Sure, they're small, neato and relatively inexpensive, but I can't get past the CHEAP feeling overall. I know as I've had a few over the years and still hang on to a couple of reliable (took a LOT of work to get them reliable) P3ATs as deep, deep backups and/or novelties, even though I've never carried them since getting the PM9. Doesn't help that .380 ammo is extremely hard to find in many places, too.

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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    I'm one of those who think that the PM9 is a little to heavy for pocket carry. The width and size is fine, it's just not comfortable to pocket carry for me. For pocket carry, I have a Kahr P380. It's light enough to disappear and the light weight keeps it from bouncing around everywhere when I walk quickly.

    I'm short (5'1"), so I tend to stick to lighter and smaller guns. I do usually carry the smallest and lightest gun I can. My EDC in the fall/winter is a Kahr PM9 (~20oz. loaded) in a Crossbreed MiniTuck. It's the first gun that I actually think is perfect for IWB carry. Previously, I carried a Kahr MK9 (~28oz. loaded) and I could feel the weight all of the time. I carried a Glock 27 prior to the MK9.

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    As targus suggests, "too much" is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. Let me add my vote for the CW9... I carry that when I'm at home, because it's so flat and light I barely notice it's there. It also gives my medium-large hands a full grip, unlike the Millennium, my other compact 9.

    One data point I can offer is with my snubs. I have 2 Tauruses; one is an all-steel M85 and the other is an alloy-framed, shrouded-hammer 851. The steel gun is 21 ounces empty, and the alloy gun is 16 ounces. The difference is barely more than a quarter pound, but for me (not a small guy at 5-11, 210) it's noticeable when I carry them in my front pocket. I like 'em both, but the lightweight job is just that much nicer to tote around.
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    I agree with targus in that it you really need to just find the pistol that suits your individual tastes. When I went looking for a pistol to carry, I found that it was not so much the weight of a gun that mattered to me, as it was the overall feel of the gun. Two pistols may have weights that vary by only a fraction of an ounce, but one would feel much better in the hand, or in my pocket, etc. For instance, my wife chose the Ruger LCR over an S&W Airweight, both of which weigh in at 13.5 oz., but to her, the LCR just fit her better... as she says, "it just felt right." It doesn't really matter how light your gun is if you cannot grip it / control the recoil / etc.

    All of the guns you have listed are fine choices (I personally have the KT PF9 and love it), so just let her try them all on for size and tell her not to let the clerk push her into buying one she doesn't like.
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    Ex Member Array targus's Avatar
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    Wow, tokerblue. I'm sorry (and, frankly, a bit "hmmm") that you find a tiny PM9 "too heavy" to pocket carry as I'd believe "thickness/size" before "weight". Seriously, how much heaver really is a 6+1 PM9 over a 6+1 P380? P380 loaded is a hair over 12 oz and the PM9 is a hair under 16 oz, loaded as well. Less than four ounces in weight difference overall...loaded. I wouldn't even notice the difference. The slightly larger thickness of the PM9? Sure, but definitely not something to worry about at all.

    Are y'all that weak up in CT now? Just kidding. I lived for years over near Waterbury...and absolutely hated it. LOL

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    And that's what I wanted to hear: tokerblue thinks 4 ounces is significant, targus does not. That's suggestive that somewhere around 4 ounces is where I ought to consider it significant. Thanks, guys!

    I also am a firm believer in 'what fits her' and 'what she wants' - I was just hoping to rule out Desert Eagles and the Dirty Harry revolvers, and give her a list to use when trotting around to the gun shops.

    Welcoming more responses, too... keep 'em coming!
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    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    As I've said in other threads, I personally don'r consider the tiny bit of weight difference to be a deterrent in choosing my carry guns, and I do tend to stick to smaller framed revo's and single stack pistols due to short, stubby fingers. But, I'm also conditioned to carrying anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds of "stuff" in my pockets and on my belt anyway...not counting the firearm. That aside, I would suggest another thing to consider, that being the weight of the firearm and performance in the shooter's hand. The ultra light mouseguns can have a tendency to malfunction in the hands of many shooters, particularly those with weaker wrists of less "training". Often, at least in my experiences dealing with new shooters, they tend to think that "small" means "manageable"....not always true. I would suggest to get the largest handgun that can be effectively carried, for it's ability to offering better overall handling, and the heaviest that can be managed, day in-day out, for it's ability to negate some of the recoil and make prolonged practice more pleasurable.

    Small and light ain't always the best!

    just my opinion


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    I IWB, OWB, and pocket carry a Springfield XD40sc which is significantly heavier than the PT709 or 442. I also carry a SP101 which is a lot heavier than the 442 and it doesn't pose any issues. It really depends on what you're wearing and how you're carrying. If I'm wearing gym shorts or jogging pants, the 442 is easy to pocket carry. Any other types of pants the others are fine (especially with a belt).
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    Ex Member Array targus's Avatar
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    Paymeister, why are none of the subcompact Glocks on your list?

  11. #11
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    I don't think the weight of the gun is as important as how it shoots. The lighter the gun, generally, the harder the recoil and the more the muzzle will rise off the target. This will result in having to take the time to lower the gun, re-aim or point and re-fire, valuable seconds you may not have. Also the harder recoil in the hands of a tiny, weak person might lead to limp-wristing and FTF in semi's. A heavier gun will absorb more recoil and shoot smoother overall. The trade off is more weight to carry around. Concealed carry is mostly a matter of what you are willing to sacrifice for the gun not to look like a lead weight in a pocket or pull your shorts down calling attention to the fact that you are carrying something heavy. Having to shoot the highly concealable mouse gun could be a disaster if you can't control the effects. Just as an example, I often carry a Kel-Tec P3AT because it fits easily in the pockets of my cargo pants or shorts without sagging them down or printing in its DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster and even holds an extra mag. and I don't have to wear my shirt out. However, on the range it is the worst pistol I have ever shot and I am comparing it to a Ruger Redhawk .44 mag. A couple of mags and your hand will be sore. From what I've read on this and other sites, limp wristing results in FTF or FTE. I've put about 300 rnds. flawlessly through mine and I have no reason not to trust it. The majority of people, I'm sure think about carrying, not shooting because thankfully, 99 % of us, thank God, never have to pull the trigger to save our lives, but IMHOP having to pull the trigger is what it should be all about.

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    Member Array DIXIETWISTER's Avatar
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    I do know this...it is better to have a light gun she will carry and hates to shoot vs a heavy gun she will not carry and loves to shoot....jmo.
    I love my PF-9, but i am sure she will love the cw9, let her shoot them both and the Taurus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    And that's what I wanted to hear: tokerblue thinks 4 ounces is significant, targus does not. That's suggestive that somewhere around 4 ounces is where I ought to consider it significant. Thanks, guys!

    I also am a firm believer in 'what fits her' and 'what she wants' - I was just hoping to rule out Desert Eagles and the Dirty Harry revolvers, and give her a list to use when trotting around to the gun shops.

    Welcoming more responses, too... keep 'em coming!
    I agree with the 4oz. being a significant difference. I think it also depends on the carry method and the shape of the gun and other contributing factors that your daughter will have to work through on her own...

    I can pocket carry a G26, or SP101 in my cargo shorts and be very comfortable, but I can't carry either IWB/OWB because I have back issues. I can carry a CW9 IWB comfortably, due to it being thinner than the others.The LCP and 642 can be carried anywhere.

    I think the CW9 might be ideal, but wouldn't rule out the LCP or the 642...
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    It will Differ for everyone but I break it down like this

    15-24 oz's
    24-29 oz's
    29 + oz's

    Example. My Taurus 709 weighs in around 21 oz fully loaded. My PF9 weighs in around 16. I can't tell a difference between the two however I can tell a difference between the 709 and my PT145 (28 oz fully loaded). I can't tell a difference between the 709 and a glock 19 (30ish oz) but I can tell the difference between my pt145 and my full size 1911 (37ish oz fully loaded). Hope this helps
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  15. #15
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Weight makes little difference when one is well equipped in mind, body, and soul...and in gear. It's all in how you do it pretty much. I simply love the Glocks, but I also carry a full size SIG at times. You have to adapt to your chosen weapon in any way you are able. If you can't, then choose another. How many of our soldiers do you think have complained about the weight of their weapon? (my small attempt at putting things into perspective)

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