First CC handgun...input appreciated

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Thread: First CC handgun...input appreciated

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    Member Array lambo969's Avatar
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    First CC handgun...input appreciated

    Hey everyone, I am looking into purchasing a hand gun for self defense and concealed carry, as well as for just shooting for fun. I have decided that semi-auto is the way I wish to go, and then thought about size. I originally decided on a full size 9mm (mostly because the ammo would be cheap and the gun would not punish my arms every time I shot it). But I was thinking, if a CCW permit is in my future, would it be better off to go for something described as 'compact'? My only worry is that I am a big guy and my hands are slightly larger than average, and the compact gun will not feel right as compared to a standard size weapon. I know it ultimately comes down to what feels good in my hands, but I don't want to miss out on any benefits either way....full size accuracy vs. easily concealable, etc. Any input is greatly appreciated.

    As for what I am looking in to buying, I've come down to the Ruger SR9c. I like the fact that it has the extensions on the 10 rd. magazine and the adapter on the 17 rd. magazine so I can still have that full hand grip feel. Any suggestions on a good first gun would also be great. (suggestions other than Glock?...I know they are the 'most reliable gun' out there and are milspec weapons, but I am not going to be rolling around in a sand pit or swimming through a muddy river in order to shoot this thing)

    Thanks for the help!

    -crl

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lambo969 View Post
    Hey everyone, I am looking into purchasing a hand gun for self defense and concealed carry, as well as for just shooting for fun. I have decided that semi-auto is the way I wish to go, and then thought about size. I originally decided on a full size 9mm (mostly because the ammo would be cheap and the gun would not punish my arms every time I shot it). But I was thinking, if a CCW permit is in my future, would it be better off to go for something described as 'compact'? My only worry is that I am a big guy and my hands are slightly larger than average, and the compact gun will not feel right as compared to a standard size weapon. I know it ultimately comes down to what feels good in my hands, but I don't want to miss out on any benefits either way....full size accuracy vs. easily concealable, etc. Any input is greatly appreciated.

    As for what I am looking in to buying, I've come down to the Ruger SR9c. I like the fact that it has the extensions on the 10 rd. magazine and the adapter on the 17 rd. magazine so I can still have that full hand grip feel. Any suggestions on a good first gun would also be great. (suggestions other than Glock?...I know they are the 'most reliable gun' out there and are milspec weapons, but I am not going to be rolling around in a sand pit or swimming through a muddy river in order to shoot this thing)

    Thanks for the help!

    -crl

    It would be much better for you to just go ahead and buy a full size gun that can conceal well, instead of taking any compact model gun, and then extending its grip to full size. And that is because the length of the grip is what affects concealability the most. A slightly longer barrel is no problem to accommodate.

    I would say just go ahead and get a full size S&W M&P. It is a bit smaller than the full size Glocks. They are very ergonomic and comfortable to shoot, and one of the better full size guns to carry concealed:




    Definitely check the gun out at your local gun stores, and see how you like the feel of it in your hand.

    .

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    Member Array YFZsandrider's Avatar
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    I won't comment specifically on the SR9, as I have never fired one. But I will say that trying to decide on one, 'all-purpose' handgun may be somewhat of an impossible task.

    You may start out with a compact, then realize that, for you individually, it is far more comfortable to conceal a sub-compact size. On the other hand, you may find that you really can't shoot anythng in a smaller size al that well. Also, any improvement in accuracy gained by a full size gun over a compact, is most likely going to be marginal. You have to realize what the hangun's purpose is... its a close distance, self defense weapon. The need to be ridiculously accurate with it, is fairly ridiculous itself.

    If you want somewhat of a marksman handgun for fun at the range, then get that. If you want a gun of a concealable size, then get that. Whatever you decide, don't settle on anything that doesn't feel good in your hands. If its not pleasureable to hold and shoot, then you most likely won't.

    As I stated before, picking one gun and resisting the temptation to purchase another, is somewhat of a losing battle. You may find yourself going through several different carry options, before you settle on one that suits you best. You're going to have to decide on your personal compromises between high capacity and shootability, with concealability.

    just my 2 cents. Others will have theirs.... maybe you'll end up with a whole dollar when its all done!
    COTEP member and 1911Forum reject

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    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    Okay, you know about Glocks. That would be my first suggestion, but...

    I would go with something you will actually carry. You may be tempted to go "big and bad", but depending on your size and experience with 5 lbs on your belt, you may lose some enthusiasm for carrying!

    Your first should be something that isn't flashy, but practical; not the smallest, but the most compact package that you can trust.

    Perhaps first you should consider the round you intend to bet your safety on. Good rule of thumb is the largest round you can comfortably control. Some folks with arthritis or other physical ailments look at the .380acp. Some can handle the .45acp just fine. Perhaps you might split the difference and go with the 9mm or the .40s&w.

    Lots of platforms to shoot every one of these (and not all good things begin with "G" and end with "lock") that I could easily, after personally firing good defensive rounds through them, see myself carrying everyday for the defense of myself and my family.

    Kel-tec makes well regarded entries in the sub-compact market, Sig has great reviews on their CC firearms, Smith and Wesson and Ruger seem to make the best revolvers (which is another set of possibilities), etc.

    No offense to any forgotten company, but the point is that there are lots of choices, take your time, and decide what's best for you.

    I carry .45's. That's because I'm a big guy, I can hide a 1911 with no effort on a hot day, and I like the round's abilities. Most folks carry in the 9mm-.40s&w range, and they have shown great success in their choices as well. The guns are certainly smaller!

    Have fun and good luck!

    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Donít mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

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    Member Array YFZsandrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LanceORYGUN View Post
    It would be much better for you to just go ahead and buy a full size gun that can conceal well, instead of taking any compact model gun, and then extending its grip to full size. And that is because the length of the grip is what affects concealability the most.
    wouldn't he be better, then, to get a smaller gun that has a smaller grip/handle, and extend it with a larger mag and extension... versus, getting a full size, that he cannnot do anything about the grip of?!
    COTEP member and 1911Forum reject

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    Member Array Paul Kersey's Avatar
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    I would recommend the S&W M&P or one of their revolvers. You can never go wrong with a wheel gun.
    It's like killing roaches - you have to kill 'em all, otherwise what's the use?

    keep your nose in the wind, and your eyes along the skyline.

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    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YFZsandrider View Post
    wouldn't he be better, then, to get a smaller gun that has a smaller grip/handle, and extend it with a larger mag and extension... versus, getting a full size, that he cannnot do anything about the grip of?!

    No. It is silly to get a handgun with a full size grip, that has a chopped off shorter barrel. For that will do virtually nothing to improve concealability. And you give up all of the benefits of having the longer barrel length.

    He says that he is a big man and has big hands, and that he wants a large comfortable grip. Since that is what he wants, there is no point for him to get a short gripped handgun. Shortening just the barrel will not make it a true "compact" handgun. The gun will still be just as difficult to conceal.

    .

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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Kahr P9, or Sig P228/9. Glock 19 would be my first suggestion though.
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    kpw
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite75 View Post
    Kahr P9, or Sig P228/9. Glock 19 would be my first suggestion though.
    +1 except I actually like the K9 better than the P9. The 228 and G19 are compacts, not sub compacts. They still shoot similar to full size guns but conceal a bit easier. They also fit my larger hands pretty well. CZ also has a few models that fall into the same size category.
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    I have big hands as well (XXL gloves), and have no issues with handguns in the "traditional" compact sizes - Glock 19, Sig P228, etc. Unless you have truly monstrous meat-hooks, anything in this size category should be ok.

    I also disagree with the "get the full sized model" idea, because you CAN use flush fit mags and keep the grip shorter on a compact - you can't on a full-size. It just gives you more options, and the increased barrel length is of marginal value for most guns, and most shooters, under most circumstances.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    RKM
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    Just bought a Kahr MK40 for pocket carry but it's not really a range gun. I'd get a compact gun, not sub-compact. I may be biased to my Glock 30, but it's so good it's hard not to recommend. Good size, good caliber and will fit most sized hands (though many complain they're too blocky). I have a houge handall on mine and it made all the difference. I thought it fit my hands perfectly fine before.

    There are many many options out there. Sig p229, 3" 1911's, HK USP compact, XD compacts. There are a lot.

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    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lambo969 View Post
    Hey everyone, I am looking into purchasing a hand gun for self defense and concealed carry, as well as for just shooting for fun. I have decided that semi-auto is the way I wish to go (IMO a good decision), and then thought about size. I originally decided on a full size 9mm (mostly because the ammo would be cheap and the gun would not punish my arms every time I shot it) (again in my opinion a good decision for a FIRST gun). But I was thinking, if a CCW permit is in my future, would it be better off to go for something described as 'compact' (I believe "compact" would definitely fit your needs. However, I recommend going to your gun shop/range and holding/firing several choices before you make your final decision)? My only worry is that I am a big guy and my hands are slightly larger than average, and the compact gun will not feel right as compared to a standard size weapon (again, HOLD and hopefully SHOOT several selections prior to choosing). I know it ultimately comes down to what feels good in my hands, but I don't want to miss out on any benefits either way....full size accuracy vs. easily concealable, etc. (full size vs. compact size has nothing to do with accuracy unless you are shooting at great distances, however it will obviously play a factor in concealability depending on how you decide to carry your weapon). Any input is greatly appreciated.

    As for what I am looking in to buying, I've come down to the Ruger SR9c. I like the fact that it has the extensions on the 10 rd. magazine and the adapter on the 17 rd. magazine so I can still have that full hand grip feel (out of curiosity, WHY are you considering/talking about mag extensions on your new weapon. Buy the weapon that is right for you/your hand and extensions will not enter into the equation) . Any suggestions on a good first gun would also be great. (suggestions other than Glock?...I know they are the 'most reliable gun' out there and are milspec weapons, but I am not going to be rolling around in a sand pit or swimming through a muddy river in order to shoot this thing) (again, out of curiosity, if you know that a Glock is the "most reliable gun" out there, why should it make any difference if you carry it in the mall, out to dinner, to work, on trips, OR swimming in a muddy river or rolling in a sand pit? It would appear to me if it's concealed, then you aren't carrying for "show" you're carrying for "GO" when it's needed.)

    Thanks for the help!

    -crl
    My comments are in BOLD above. With that being said...I recommend you hold/shoot a Glock 19 (compact) and/or a Glock 17 (full size)...Just my opinion mind ya!!!! Welcome to the forum!!!!!!
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

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    Try before you buy.
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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    The Ruger SR9c is an excellent choice for a CCW. The issue here is whether one gun can be "perfect" for CCW and home defense.

    Unlikely.

    Instead, you really want to have firearms dedicated to their respective tasks. For a home-defense handgun, size and weight are immaterial. Get the biggest, baddest weapon you can control. There are almost no limits in this regard except your skill in handling.

    A CCW is a galaxy of trade-offs. You want something easy to carry, light, yet powerful and accurate. There is no gun that maximizes these attributes, so you will make sacrifices in the areas in which you are willing to compromise.

    My neighbor is now carrying a Ruger LCP because he was willing to downgrade firepower to .380 in exchange for lightweight and concealability. I don't want to go below 9mm so the SR9c fits my calculus. But for home defense, I've got bigger and better options than the Ruger. So I suggest you plan on 2 guns. Secure the home first, then arm yourself for concealed carry.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    I agree with Shockwave, right up until the last sentence. You can defend the home with a pistol suitable for CC. It is harder, IMO, and especially for someone new to carrying, to CC a "home defense" gun if that gun is a full-size, full weight handgun. My first "general purpose" gun was a compact, a G23, and it served both as a CC and an HD pistol admirably.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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