Shopping for first handgun for concealed carry

Shopping for first handgun for concealed carry

This is a discussion on Shopping for first handgun for concealed carry within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok, so I have decided to take the plunge and get my CWP. Class is tomorrow and am really looking forward to it. I have ...

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Thread: Shopping for first handgun for concealed carry

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    Member Array Calamitus's Avatar
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    Shopping for first handgun for concealed carry

    Ok, so I have decided to take the plunge and get my CWP. Class is tomorrow and am really looking forward to it. I have 90 days before the permit will be in my hands and I want to get geared up. I don't want to waste time and money trying to find a good setup for carrying and could use some advice, mostly on the gun for now, the rest has to wait until I choose my CCW. I have decided to get a 9mm semi-auto pistol with double stack magazine. I am 5-10 or 11 and 230 lbs so concealing a thicker gun is probably not a problem. I like the SA XD series, both the sub-compact and regular 4" are comfortable to shoot. Would the 4" be as easy to conceal as the subcompact with extended mag? With the same number of rounds I'd like the better accuracy of the longer barrel but not at the cost of concealability. What other guns are in these categories (sub compact and compact) with double stack mags? Thanks!
    Murphy was an optimist...


  2. #2
    Member Array Steve J's Avatar
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    look at the Ruger SR series, they come in 9 & 40 full sized and compact. I carry the SR9c my son carries the SR40. Both conceal good both double stack, both are good shooters and Rugers are made in America by Americans.
    What ever you decide to buy go to a range rent some shoot them, find what fits your hand and style of shooting the best. Practice alot enjoy.
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    The barrel length really doesn't have much effect on conceal-ability, The grip has more to do with it.

    As to the gun, it depends on what your comfortable with. If you want a striker fired gun , the XD or M&P series are both fine choices. If your interested in a hammer fired weapon I'd look at the CZ line. P-01 in a de-cocker model, or the CZ75 Compact in a safety model.
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    A guy your size can easily conceal a full-sized 1911, and the grip length (call it the 'height' of the gun) on a 4" XD is the same as a 1911. Just choose your holster and carry position well.
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    Member Array CZRex's Avatar
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    Yep, what ^^ said. The length of the grip is what will determine how well you conceal and how comfortably you do it. Officer length 1911's are easy to hide. The XDm 45 Compact 3.8 that I just sold was easy to carry. I sold it due to ammo prices and the fact that I'd acquired a CZ75 Compact that blew me away. Those funds were spent for a CZ Rami 2075 9mm that I'd always wanted. If you look at CZ's (and you should) be sure to look at the Compact 75 D PCR. What I like about CZ is that you have second strike capability. The DA trigger feels like that on an LCR, but the subsequent SA pulls are very sweet.
    Also, look closely at the S&W MP line.

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    You should go to a range and rent a few different types and shoot them all side by side. The range may let you shoot some if you plan on a purchase there. guns are like rabits they seem to multiply and I don't think you will own just one.
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    As posted above, the barrel length is going to be less of a consideration than the grip length, so for maximum concealment go with a short grip (less capacity). That said, a good IWB rig should conceal just about any mid frame pistol. Obviously, your cover garment makes a difference, as well as the position you choose to wear the pistol.

    As far as pistol choices go, I would highly recommend that you handle as many as you can and then rent the few "top" choices that feel best to you. Every person is different and so you will get every opinion under the sun as to what 'the best' is, but none of that is going to actually tell you what's best for you. Personally I think if you stick with a brand that has a solid reputation, and it feels good to you, you can't make a 'wrong' decision. The XD is a fine pistol, along with the M&P choices, Ruger SR line and the Glock offerings are all good candidates for a quality CCW pistol.

    The absolute most important thing is to practice with your carry gun. Go out and shoot it as often as you can because your proficiency with it is going to depend a lot more on how much you've worked with it, than what brand of pistol it is.
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    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    Excellent advice re: "test driving" your top choices and gun sizes. XD, M&P and the compact and subcompact Glocks all would be good to begin your carry experience. Plus they are easy to maintain and quite reliable. Any pistol (almost) can be carried in a concealed manner under a variety of conditions, you just have to find what is comfortable for you and select a quality belt and holster that will put (and keep) the gun where you want it.
    Chose a weapon that goes bang EVERY time!

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    Distinguished Member Array BlueNinjaGo's Avatar
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    I have the XD 9mm subcompact, and I love it. Flush 13 round mag for carry, 16 extended for bedside. If you can comfortably carry a larger gun, I see no reason not to. But personally, if I need more than 13+1 rounds to protect myself/family and make a safe retreat, I need to reevaluate where I am and adjust accordingly.
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    Member Array Wreckingba11's Avatar
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    I'm 6'4 and 230lbs. I can conceal my 5in xd 9 in a iwb holster. Keyword CAN, not want to.

    Anyhow, look at the m&p shield. It's a 1.5 stack and extremely comfortable. I love the xd line and I've owned a sub compact but for me it just wasn't comfortable.

    IMHO get a slimmer gun and carry a spare mag.
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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    I picked the SA XD40 SC, and put it in a Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro. Great rig!
    Hiram25
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    Member Array MLittle's Avatar
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    I don't own any Springfield pistols, but they have a good reputation. I was going to suggest that you also look at the Glock 19. Believe it is classified as a compact 9mm pistol and is considered one of the best all around handguns for concealed carry and for home defense. Very reliable and high capacity. You're a good sized person, so concealing it would be no problem. I'm 5'6", 160lbs and I conceal a Glock 30sf or Sig Sauer P220 , both 45acp pistols every day. It's really all about the holster and belt when it comes to effectively concealing a firearm.

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    Member Array TTPower's Avatar
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    don't forget to consider the weight of the fully loaded gun. if the gun is heavy, you'll end up leaving it at home. if you ask me i'll go with the sub-compact. try carrying the 4" XD fully loaded around the house for a whole day and compare it to carrying the sub-compact.

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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Your size gives you more options. As it has been said weight can be an issue even for larger people.
    a Full size single stack like any Ruger SR series or a slightly smaller Double stack like Ruger SR9C may fit your needs.
    The MP or the XD series are also great options. Take your time spend wisely at least the first time then go nuts with the second,third, ect.
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    9mm Glock or double stack S&W M&P in a Brommeland Max-Con V on a Wilderness Instructor belt will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in pistols you are disappointed in and a drawer full of holsters you will never wear. At least that was my experience. The Brommeland Max-Con V, (arguably) The Best IWB Holster On The Planet - YouTube
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