Help me pick a smaller EDC?

This is a discussion on Help me pick a smaller EDC? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I currently have a Taurus Judge Public Defender with a polymer body. It's a fine gun but I'm discovering it's a bit cumbersome. I'm saving ...

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Thread: Help me pick a smaller EDC?

  1. #1
    Member Array MerryMama's Avatar
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    Question Help me pick a smaller EDC?

    I currently have a Taurus Judge Public Defender with a polymer body. It's a fine gun but I'm discovering it's a bit cumbersome.

    I'm saving up for a new EDC and would love some suggestions. I'll most likely carry in an ankle holster or belly band. I favor revolvers but am not limiting my options.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    SP101
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    I carry a S&W j-frame and it tends to fold quite nicely to my body type.
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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Any lady who can carry and handle a T. Judge can handle about any thing out there.

    I am not an expert, but I would go with a R. SP101.
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    Member Array paullie's Avatar
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    consider the ruger lcr, i love mine

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    Two favorite small ones...

    My favorite smaller guns for carry are the S&W 642 airweight .38 revolver and the 9mm Kahr MK9. Both are about the same overall size and conceal well, but the revolver is lighter weight (15 oz.) compared to the steel Kahr (24 ounces). The Kahr holds 7 shots of 9mm, however, compared to only 5 rounds of .38 for the revolver. The Kahr also has better sights, a better trigger, faster reload and is more accurate at a distance.

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  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    I have a S&W "Bodyguard" .38 revolver, polymer frame, comes with integral laser. Very light and thin and comfortable to carry.
    and...it's not too obnoxious even with +p Gold Dots.
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  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    MerryMama - I didn't get to welcome you in your other thread, but let me welcome you, here. :smile The way I see it, we need more moms like you on the playground. The more of us "good guys/gals" there are, the safer it will be for our children.

    OK, on to your question.....

    I don't really have a specific suggestion, only a general one.

    I remember your excitement in the other thread - you're now seeing how that initial excitement in having thought that you've "definitely got the right gun for the job" needs to be tempered with the realities of the real-world. This is what many of us legal concealed-carry citizens face, each and every day.

    Your thinking is now that if the firearm is smaller, it will make things easier.

    This is only really true in terms of concealment and "carry-ability."

    It may surprise you that smaller pistols can be just as hard to shoot - if not harder - than their larger counterparts. The lack of recoil absorbing/dampening mass is a physical reality, and there's also personal differences, too (i.e. if you have smaller hands, you may be able to hold on to the pistol better, and may actually be better able to mitigate recoil than someone with larger hands). Sights that are not optimized for "combat" as well as a short(er) sighting radius will also often conspire to work against you with some of these smaller pistols, who trade traits of their larger counterparts in the effort to be smaller and easier to conceal/carry. Switchgear ergonomics and operation is another area where problems may arise - in what is perhaps the greatest irony of all, the slides of some of these smaller autoloaders offer extreme resistance to racking chambering, due to their strong recoil springs and is then compounded by the small size of the firearm, which makes it harder for the operator to grab on to.

    So what does all of this mean?

    It means that there's more to it than just size.

    Sure, having a smaller pistol that's easier and more comfortable to conceal and carry will likely mean that you'll have it on your person more often - but at the same time, it's not going to do much good if you cannot operate it efficiently and shoot it with good proficiency.

    The first thing you need to do is to get out to some stores or a gun-show and really get your hands on a few of these smaller pistsols. See, physically and first-hand, what sizes you're willing to work with and how that may or may not affect your chosen self-defense caliber selection. Try them on for-size.

    And then just like a pair or shoes or a a car, you've gotta put in a few steps or miles with a "test drive." If you have friends/family who owns the firearms you're interested in, or if you have a local store/range that allows the ability to rent their firearms for range-time (or if you have a relationship with a store, and they're willing to let you buy, then try, and if you don't like it, then return!) - DO SO. Yes, it may be expensive to send rounds downrange. Yes, range-time is expensive. Yes, rental fees can start adding up. But all that is to prove to yourself that what you choose you will actually use, and be able to use with good proficiency.

    Part of the equation is having the gun on you.

    Part of the equation is having a gun that will work properly and will have the ability to stop the bad-guy(s)/girl(s).

    Part of the equation is having the training to know how to use the firearm, and use it with good proficiency.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    If you like revolvers, you can't go wrong with an SP101. If you still want lighter than that, the J frames are something to consider.

    Nothing against the polymer framed LCR's or other ones like it, but I just can't get my head around that concept. I will have to see how they hold up over the long run to accept the concept I think.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Member Array bwaltman's Avatar
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    I have a Ruger LCR in .357 and I love it. I would highly recommend it.

  12. #11
    Member Array MerryMama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSiWRX View Post
    MerryMama - I didn't get to welcome you in your other thread, but let me welcome you, here. :smile The way I see it, we need more moms like you on the playground. The more of us "good guys/gals" there are, the safer it will be for our children.

    OK, on to your question.....

    I don't really have a specific suggestion, only a general one.

    I remember your excitement in the other thread - you're now seeing how that initial excitement in having thought that you've "definitely got the right gun for the job" needs to be tempered with the realities of the real-world. This is what many of us legal concealed-carry citizens face, each and every day.

    Your thinking is now that if the firearm is smaller, it will make things easier.

    This is only really true in terms of concealment and "carry-ability."

    It may surprise you that smaller pistols can be just as hard to shoot - if not harder - than their larger counterparts. The lack of recoil absorbing/dampening mass is a physical reality, and there's also personal differences, too (i.e. if you have smaller hands, you may be able to hold on to the pistol better, and may actually be better able to mitigate recoil than someone with larger hands). Sights that are not optimized for "combat" as well as a short(er) sighting radius will also often conspire to work against you with some of these smaller pistols, who trade traits of their larger counterparts in the effort to be smaller and easier to conceal/carry. Switchgear ergonomics and operation is another area where problems may arise - in what is perhaps the greatest irony of all, the slides of some of these smaller autoloaders offer extreme resistance to racking chambering, due to their strong recoil springs and is then compounded by the small size of the firearm, which makes it harder for the operator to grab on to.

    So what does all of this mean?

    It means that there's more to it than just size.

    Sure, having a smaller pistol that's easier and more comfortable to conceal and carry will likely mean that you'll have it on your person more often - but at the same time, it's not going to do much good if you cannot operate it efficiently and shoot it with good proficiency.

    The first thing you need to do is to get out to some stores or a gun-show and really get your hands on a few of these smaller pistsols. See, physically and first-hand, what sizes you're willing to work with and how that may or may not affect your chosen self-defense caliber selection. Try them on for-size.

    And then just like a pair or shoes or a a car, you've gotta put in a few steps or miles with a "test drive." If you have friends/family who owns the firearms you're interested in, or if you have a local store/range that allows the ability to rent their firearms for range-time (or if you have a relationship with a store, and they're willing to let you buy, then try, and if you don't like it, then return!) - DO SO. Yes, it may be expensive to send rounds downrange. Yes, range-time is expensive. Yes, rental fees can start adding up. But all that is to prove to yourself that what you choose you will actually use, and be able to use with good proficiency.

    Part of the equation is having the gun on you.

    Part of the equation is having a gun that will work properly and will have the ability to stop the bad-guy(s)/girl(s).

    Part of the equation is having the training to know how to use the firearm, and use it with good proficiency.

    All good advice I believe a few of my friends may have something smaller that I can test at the range. I don't mind forking out for some ammo to find something I really like.

    I'm still very excited about carrying the Judge, although I'm seeing a few potential problems with it being an EDC. Hopefully, I'll learn these aren't actually problems but that I'm just a newb still learning the ropes. It will most likely be a couple of months before I actively pursue a new piece so I have time to figure out what works for me.

    Right now my issues are
    1.) I'm new to concealed carry didn't realize there are so many options. It's slightly overwhelming at first
    2.) Clothing for chicks is NOT designed for concealed carry. Really - how do the ladies pull it off?

    I made an ankle holster that will work and I can conceal but the Judge is a bit heavy there so now I have a belly band in the works. I'll most likely end up using that until my holster arrives.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    The wife has found that she prefers a belly band for daily carry. Previously a .380, now a single stack 9mm, at times a J frame.

    When she is walking/jogging in the morning she uses a compression shirt. Undertech UnderCover - Ultimate Compression Concealment Clothing with the purchase of a shirt you get a free belly band. I am not trying to promote this particular brand, since I am sure others work just as well. This just happens to be what she has used. She also has the shorts but uses those pretty infrequently.

    Good luck in your search, hopefully you have some folks that will help you out, as being new to the concealed carry world can be costly when experimenting.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MerryMama View Post
    Clothing for chicks is NOT designed for concealed carry. Really - how do the ladies pull it off?

    I made an ankle holster that will work and I can conceal but the Judge is a bit heavy there so now I have a belly band in the works. I'll most likely end up using that until my holster arrives.
    If you don't like the weight of the Judge, you probably won't be any happier with the SP101 which Ruger lists at 25-28 oz. depending on the model. I suggest an airweight S&W like the 642 or 442. I would not go with the scandium versions for shootability.

    As for how women address carrying - have you checked out corneredcat.com or Lima's (Limatunes) posts and youtubes (Limalife). They have some really good info for women who carry.
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    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    If you want a revolver look at the S&W Airweights or Ruger LCR. I love the SP101, but it is rather heavy for Bellybands or ankle carry. Also look at the smaller 9mm autos that are comeing out. The Ruger LC9, Diamondback DB9, SigP290, and the Kahr line of single stacks. I would also take a look at the Glock 26 Gen4. Good luck and have fun.
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  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MerryMama View Post
    All good advice
    Glad to be of-service, no thanks needed.

    I believe a few of my friends may have something smaller that I can test at the range. I don't mind forking out for some ammo to find something I really like.
    Great!!! That's half the battle, right there!

    I forgot one thing in that list of "where to go" - you should also check with your local/regional concealed-carry advocacy group, too. These are men and women like you and me: "the good guys/gals," and we'll all do anything in our power to help each other.

    Given the different ways we're all built - forgetting the difference between a man and a woman - there will be a wide range of different firearms being carried and also in how they are carried.

    I'm still very excited about carrying the Judge, although I'm seeing a few potential problems with it being an EDC. Hopefully, I'll learn these aren't actually problems but that I'm just a newb still learning the ropes. It will most likely be a couple of months before I actively pursue a new piece so I have time to figure out what works for me.
    Good, take your time.

    The reason I say that is because:

    Right now my issues are
    1.) I'm new to concealed carry didn't realize there are so many options. It's slightly overwhelming at first....
    Yup, that's it, right there. You've nailed it. There's SO MANY choices out there. It's not even like you can just say "this gear sucks" or "that gear is great." There's so many awesome gear-builders and so much awesome stuff out there: but you know what? not everything fits everyone the same, so one person's ideal holster may or may be the same, for you. And heck, even the cheapest manufacturers still have their one or two gems...again if it fits your needs.

    Same goes for your choice of defensive firearms.

    2.) Clothing for chicks is NOT designed for concealed carry. Really - how do the ladies pull it off?

    I made an ankle holster that will work and I can conceal but the Judge is a bit heavy there so now I have a belly band in the works. I'll most likely end up using that until my holster arrives.
    Like ksholder said:

    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    As for how women address carrying - have you checked out corneredcat.com or Lima's (Limatunes) posts and youtubes (Limalife). They have some really good info for women who carry.
    It's funny, but I just cited these two same resources in another thread, in another Forum. When something's good, it's good. limatunes/limalife's videos and posts (and her husband's) aren't just only for women: a lot of times, they contain gender-neutral training/tactical subjects. I'd recommend them to anyone!

    Also, YouTube - ‪faliaphotography's Channel‬‏ - faliaphotography has some really good videos on this topic, too.

    It's definitely not easy for women.

    I'm keen on the subject because while my wife does not carry, we have left the door open for our daughter to make that choice for herself, when the time comes. And in case she does decide to carry, I want to be well-informed, and to serve as her guide. So, I've been involved in a few of these discussions, so that I can learn what I can.

    From discussions on my local concealed-carry community Forum, I've learned that there's a lot that you ladies have to work through or work around - i.e. non-standard positions/styles of belt-loops, belt-loops that are too small and/or too weakly stitched, etc.
    MotorCityGun likes this.

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