Carry Gun Advise for a Small Man with Small Hands
Thank you in advance for helping me out. The summary is: I'm ready to select a concealed carry weapon and need help addressing my small size and attire.
I guess the title says it all (and is maybe belittling as well, pun intended). My "range gun" is an M&P 9, standard barrel, with the APEX duty trigger/sear and RAM (installed myself). I'm now shopping for/debating a carry weapon. I selected the M&P because it had only a trigger safety, had a good reputation (particularly with the APEX mods), had interchangeable palm swells, and was American made.
The carry challenge is my size, complicated by my typical attire. I'm 5'6" and about 160lbs. I'm not "chunky", I keep pretty trim. I have very small hands. I typically wear a size small glove and even then the fingers are too long. I think an ideal glove would be a small fist with extra small fingers. As such, shooting in general can be a challenge, particularly in trigger reach. I can shoot the M&P fine, but tend to push down-left when pressing the trigger because my finger drags the frame, particularly after a long practice day. I also have to rotate the gun to get my thumb to the magazine release. I can work with and through all of these issues, but want to select the best weapon for the given variables.
As to my attire, it's very casual. For summer, usually cargo shorts and a t-shirt. Winter is jeans and a sweater, maybe a jacket or coat if it gets unusually chilly (I live in a warm climate obviously). I will change my attire if needed, but hope to find something that will work at least for the most part with what I'm used to. I think this will put me in the pocket gun category or maybe a slim/short IWB category.
I'm aware of the weaknesses of smaller options: lower magazine capacity, double action only triggers (some cases), double action first round (some others), shorter sight radius, shorter barrel (lower velocity), three-finger grip, etc. That said, I'm attracted to the smaller options not only because of their concealability, but also because they might run better in my hand.
Below is my "short list" and what (I think) I know about each:
Ruger (LCP/LC9): Solid reputation, decent dual action triggers, very compact, magazine safety (don't like)
Kahr (PM/CM9): Variable reputation, highly regarded triggers, magazine/nose down in battery problems, no safeties other than the trigger
Nano: Immature reputation, decent trigger, high barrel axis but still accurate with moderate recoil, compact but not like a LC9 or PM9
PPS: Basically a full size but slim, not a pocket gun, good trigger, unique mag release, intriguing to me as a IWB option for my small frame
1911: Slim and can be IWB in short barreled guise, excellent trigger, carried in condition 1 for best defensive value (I'm not worried about learning this method)
Sig (224 is of interest): Variable reputation in later years, highly regarded triggers except for the DA initial pull, solid function, wide because double stack, no safeties other than the trigger
I'd kind of like to stick with a 9mm because I can share ammo, but will be flexible. I need a weapon I can practice a lot with, so options like the Rohrbaugh were out. I want something I can hammer and hammer, get good with, and still feel I can rely on if needed. There are a lot of others I looked at, but I'm concerned about the double stack magazines and/or larger chassis (PPQ, Steyr, larger framed Kahrs/Sigs, M&Pc). My intention is to hit a LGS and just wear them out, but I'm wondering if any of you have immediate "no" votes because of some aspect. For example, I was leaning toward a CZ75 as a range gun until I held one and the trigger was way out of reach.
Thanks for reading through all this and again for your advice. Looking forward to getting involved.