Small concealed carry guns

This is a discussion on Small concealed carry guns within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey guys, I'm new here. Been reading for a while but first time poster. I'm going to be taking my CCW coarse & applying for ...

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Thread: Small concealed carry guns

  1. #1
    Member Array JoshJ10's Avatar
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    Small concealed carry guns

    Hey guys, I'm new here. Been reading for a while but first time poster.

    I'm going to be taking my CCW coarse & applying for my license within the next month, & have been considering my choices for the right gun.

    I was pretty sure I wanted a S&W 642 as my first carry piece. Until tonight anyway. Me & a couple buddies went shooting to try my friend's new LC9, & I rented a 642 to try one out.

    I love the way they look, feel in my hand, & how easy the shape of the gun is to conceal on me( I'm 5' 7" & 140lbs).

    I was pretty set on this gun, even after the first couple cylinders. Then I noticed with every shot, my trigger finger hurting worse & worse. Its like the trigger hit my finger when the gun recoiled. I probably only shot 20 rounds, & right now I have a blister & an aching finger. One of my friends was the same way, the other had no discomfort at all.

    If it wasn't for this, I could get over me not being able to shoot very good with it & practice till I mastered this gun & carry it every day. But after this, I don't this I would WANT to practice with it.

    My buddies LC9 on the other hand was a joy to shoot. We were making head shots from 25 yards, & rapid fire was a breeze.

    My question: Is this a characteristic of DAO J frames? Or is it just something person specific?

    Thanks!

    Josh

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array orangevol's Avatar
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    Welcome...I have both a 642 and LC9 and prefer to shoot the LC9 over the 642. Just easier and more accurate for me.
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    Member Array xeero's Avatar
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    I tried the 642 and LCR to help choose between the two. My buddy and I both looked the LCR trigger way better.

    The 642 trigger was way harder to pull and I think it was even a bit painful for me too. I always practice one handed including weak side. It wasn't very easy. I'm planning to get the LCR. Btw, i'm the same height and weight as you are.

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    Sounds as if it may be the way you are holding the 642? Either way , find what fits you and works the best.
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    VIP Member Array multistage's Avatar
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    Glad to have you. I shoot a J-frame model 60-14, and have not found anything like what happened to you. In my opinion, a better set of grips would help. A lot. Combat grips (all three fingers on the grip) is the only way to go. You may be squeezing your trigger finger awfully hard to compensate, and blistered it. There is a world of aftermarket grips for 642's, or any other J-frame. No gun should blister you. But, should you choose a different path, the Ruger 9mm ought to be a daisy. Nice to carry. When you talk defense guns, most folk will say that the 38 and 9mm, while certainly capable, are not the most powerful chamberings available, and they are right. Their recoil is much more manageable than a 40 or a 45 (THIS IS NOT MEANT TO START YET ANOTHER WAR). Less recoil is a good thing. But when you put those "easier" recoiling cartridges in a small frame like the LC9 or J-frame, the recoil is not quite so easy. If you handle the Ruger better than the Smith, by all means get one. But I think a better set of grips would help you out on the 642. In my opinion, either is a good choice, and would serve you well.

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    Member Array Schwebel's Avatar
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    I have an LCR .357 and a 642. The LCR (with 38's) is much more pleasurable to shoot than the J-frame. The grips cover the backstrap, unlike the stock 642's which can draw blood after a long range session. The LCR's trigger is great stock. I find that the J-frame is much easier to conceal however. The huge rubber grips on the LCR tends to stick to my t-shirt and print in the warmer months if I IWB carry it. Grips, after market parts and holsters are a dime a dozen for the J-frame. Also most places around me are selling the 642 for $369, a pretty decent bargain IMHO. Each are great guns, glad you shot them both before you bought. Honestly you can't go wrong with either. If you get the LCR, get it in .357, last time I checked it was only like $80 more.

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    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience with the 642 (titanium airweight version). I found the trigger to be surprisingly difficult to pull, which CAN BE a good thing for a small pocket carry gun as it will help avoid ND, but can also negatively impact your accuracy. Afterwards, my trigger finger was numb and hurt for a few days. It didn't blister, but it did peel a little so obviously the skin wore a bit.

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I am smaller than you, and I haven't experienced anything like that with my 442.

    It may be how you're holding it, or it just may be that your hand geometry is different.

    As previously mentioned, there are several types of grips available that can enhance the snubby experience
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

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    Member Array RmScadd's Avatar
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    Welcome from the Tampa Bay area
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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    I own a 442 and I had the exact same thing happen to me the first time I took it to the range. Mostly, it is because felt recoil is stronger on a lighter and short-barreled gun (physics!), but it also has a lot to do with how you are gripping the gun. Nonetheless, I suggest you look at other guns since snubbies can be painful to shoot if you don't have a lot of firearms experience. For a first carry gun, I think that a snubby is perfect since it is easy to conceal and very reliable, but it can be painful to shoot them regularly and you need to practice a lot to become proficient with it. I suggest you look at other guns like the Ruger LC9, Walther PPS, Kel-Tec PF9, Kahr CM9 or a Glock 26. These guns will still be snappy since they are light and small, but they will be easier to shoot than the snubby and are perfect for CC.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    Member Array JoshJ10's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great replys guys!

    While this was my first time shooting a snubbie, I am not new to shooting by any means. I've shot everything from .22LR, to S&W 500 Magnums and never really had a problem. The weird thing is my friend who had no problems in my size & build, & the one who had the same problem is around 6' & built bigger. I tried gripping the gun a few different ways, but none seemed to help any.

    The only pistol I currently own(so sad... I'm very excited about adding another again! lol) is a Ruger P345, which I love but is a bit to big for me to carry comfortably. I want to get a gun that is small & light enough for me to carry ALL the time. Even when I get home in the evening. I was looking at the LCP, but liked the 642 for the .38 over the .380. Those little bugers are expensive around here!

    I'm really thinking about getting the LC9 now, for the size, weight, concealability, power, & price, I can't think of anything that's got it beat for me right now.

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    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    Have to echo that it is likely your grip that is causing you pain.

    It sounds like you know what you want in the LC9. I would try to shoot as many weapons as possible before buying one unless you find a dream gun that just feels right.

    You can dress around most weapons. Carrying a Smith & Wesson 40c is no issue at all if you are willing to dress around it. I carry one IWB tucked daily and it disappears. Granted I am 5'10" 210lb. I have read that it is easier for a skinny guy to ccw than a fat guy (have also read the opposite).

    I have a CZ 2075 RAMI BD on order for the wife for when she gets her CCW (trying to schedule the class with my instructor.) I may have to order one for myself as well. Great little gun!


    CZ-USA -> CZ 2075 RAMI BD
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    Member Array JoshJ10's Avatar
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    It may very well be my grip, but I haven't really had great experiences with Smith & Colt revolvers in the past to be honest. Rugers wheel guns I've been fine with, however. Just weird. I really wanted this gun, & still really like it as far as how well it conceals & how it feels in my hand... until I fire it lol If I have to put bigger grips on it, that just kinda defeats the purpose for me.

    Since I've never carried bofore, I'm just worried if I get a gun that I HAVE to dress around, I won't carry all the time. And I want to always cary, because it's the time you don't think you'll need it that something will happen.

    Anyone with an LC9 or a similar sized gun, how easy do they conceal in shorts & a tshirt?

  15. #14
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    You might want to consider the Bersa Thunder Plus in . 380 cal( 9mm short). The plus can handle 15 rounds and is easy to conceal. Check out the whole Bersa line: many people LOVE their 9mm. Good luck & good shooting!
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    If you are planning to carry a certain gun, I would see if I could locate one to carry around the house prior to getting your permit, I think several of those more experienced can echo the "try before you buy" because some gund just don't fit certain methods of carry for certain folks, so many variables come into play... size, weight, carry method, way you dress, lifestyle, where you live, etc... if you live in the city or travel to a higher crime areas you may want more capacity, some people can carry a LC9 in their front pocket but for some it don't work... I am sure many have bought a gun for carry and it didn't work, a holster that just wasn't right, you may be able to get some of that solved prior to carrying full time

    I will also issue the following advice in favor of a secondary gun... carrying concealed means our defense weapon is hidden and because of that we may not have access to our only firearm in some situations, if you carry IWB and tucked and you standing great, but sitting or carrying something... different positions may even neccesitate different guns. I have found that it is not any more inconvienent to slip a secondary gun into my pocket or on my ankle or IWB...
    "The greatest pride is to think you are humnble enough." CS Lewis

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