Realistic carry gun weight

This is a discussion on Realistic carry gun weight within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My carry gun of choice in weather where I can wear a cover shirt or more is a full size 1911. I have a couple ...

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Thread: Realistic carry gun weight

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array JDE101's Avatar
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    My carry gun of choice in weather where I can wear a cover shirt or more is a full size 1911. I have a couple of good belts and both IWB and OWB holsters, and just got a Miami Classic II, as well. If the weather is hot and I'm wearing shorts and a tank top, then it's a snubby in a pocket holster. But anytime I can wear clothes, I carry the 1911.
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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    I have carried everything from a full size 1911 to a Ruger LCR. Pretty much any handgun (within reason) can be comfortably carried with the right belt and holster. Note I said within reason. Of course everyone's definition of what's reasonable will be different.

  4. #18
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    I CC 12-14 hours a day. I wear a Minotaur MTAC @ 4-4:30 on a gun belt. Depending on what I'm wearing, I carry either a M&P 40C (approx 22oz) or a 1911 (approx 32oz). A good gun belt makes all of the difference in the world.
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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Anything at or under 26oz fully loaded works for me, more than that and it quickly becomes too uncomfortable. I can appreciate all the folks with the 30+ oz stuff, but also know that some dude with a NAA PUG could wreck the day. For me, having the biggest and baddest handgun strapped to my waist is kinda moot. The big heavy stuff is great at the range, but IMO, for all day carry, thin is in and light is right.
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  6. #20
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tet4 View Post
    Lately I've wondered if this is really detrimental to new shooters and ccws by putting too much emphasis on the weight of a gun and not enough on things that may matter much more, like shootability.

    So, from personal experience, I would love to know what your personal thoughts are on what are realistic weights for different types of carry guns.
    My first carry gun was a ~31oz Browning BDM 9mm semi-auto, with OWB holster. Even with 15+1 and a couple spare magazines, it was wonderfully comfortable to carry all day, every day. I don't recall the specific holster I had, at the time, but it held the gun close to the body and comfortably. It's a bit like an excellent, close-fitting backpack. If the weight is distributed well enough to seem just part of the body, weight (for the most part) is irrelevant.

    Pocket-carried a ~16oz S&W 442 revolver, for years. Also had a basic OWB (leather, mid- to high-ride) but preferred pocket carry.

    And I've carried a ~28oz CZ P-01 9mm with a couple of spare mags in both IWB and OWB holsters.

    I appreciate the abject fear and/or loathing many have over "heavy" guns, given we're in the age of Glocks, plastic and scandium/titanium. Seems a bit misplaced, though, to discard out of hand so many excellent possibilities merely because of weight.

    IMO, with an exceptional belt and holster, a ~30-40oz gun/gear load isn't problematic to carry. My search has been for a sidearm that is uber-reliable, accurate, has ergonomics that match me, has controls that are easy to manipulate, and that I like to shoot. It always seemed to me that gun/gear weight was a secondary consideration.
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  7. #21
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    I agree for the most part. With a good gun belt and holster the weight isn't a HUGE factor, although it does still come into play.

    Currently carry a G23 and for me this seems to be good. Concealable (not the best, don't care), light (for size, again not the best), and most important to me shootable (full grip, accurate and comfortable to shoot all day long for practice).
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  8. #22
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Weight does matter...

    The lightest gun I have carried is a S&W 642 airweight, at 15 ounces empty, and the heaviest is a full size 1911 at 38 ounces empty. For belt carry I have decided that 30 ounces is about the maximum I like, and for pocket carry 15 ounces is plenty. Compact Glocks like the 19, 23 and 36 are just about right for me, and most aluminum framed Sigs are pushing it a bit.
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  9. #23
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    My Glock 30 is about the max I'd carry, a G36 would be better.
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  10. #24
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    Belt, holster and fitness level make a huge difference. I wear either a 1.75" leather gunbelt by Boston Leather or a Wilderness Tactical with a holster that spreads the weight of the firearm (Pure Kustom, MS, CBST). I think it is also important to have a strong core. Regular exercise including core strengthening exercise will keep the lumbar area strong and make it easier to lug around a good defensive firearm.

    It also aids in concealment. If your chest and shoulders are wider than your waist, your shirt will drape nicely over your firearm.

    I'll concede that it's easier to carry my G36 than my G20SF. But the 20SF can be carried all day without me complaining. I also have carried a full size 38 oz 1911 all day with no issues.
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  11. #25
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    I had a Kahr K9 and love it, but I have to agree that it's heavy. For the weight, I would rather carry something with more rounds or a bigger caliber.

    I've personally found that a 30 oz Glock 19 (15 round mag) is about as big / heavy as I'm comfortable with. I recently got a G27 for the 40 cal and smaller size, but the weight difference is negligible. With a good belt and holster, IWB versus OWB is also a negligible difference to me.

  12. #26
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    I'm of the opinion that handguns marketed for concealed carry use are far too light in weight and shrunken in size. A 25 oz. threshold weight and with adequate ergonomics isn't out of line for a handgun in a reasonable self-defense caliber. Many are half that which is ridiculous. It's popular though.

    A steel Smith & Wesson J-Frame .38 Special is quite lightweight in my view.
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  13. #27
    Distinguished Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
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    I have CC'd for getting close to 27 years and because of the way I made a liveing ,in the constrution trades a smaller pistol was all I could hide. I used a revolver in my pocket for 20 years. Then for a couple years a pf-9 pocket carry mainly and now a pair of kahrs get in the rotation.

    CM9 for when pocket CC works and a cw9 for when IWB is practical. Also just picked up a tcp 380 for when smaller is just a most have once in a while. For CC I also don't mix trigger pulls, no long and short triggers. I hunt with revolvers and have shot some in matchs on and off and have several full sized semi-autos but don't carry them. Never felt under gunned with a compact or sub compact. Never wanted to have to dress to cc larger handguns ether and no cover up unless weather makes it nessasary. Hard to hide a full sized glock ,cz or 1911 in shorts and t shirt or with a botton down shirt and dress slacks.

  14. #28
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    The sum total of several factors is far more important than weight, in my opinion. I have worn 5" all-steel 1911 pistols all day long with no issues, when I used good, stiff, wide gun belts, and holsters that did not ride too high. If the belt was too flimsy, and/or the hoster carried the weapon too high, the comfort equation would not be as favorable.

    Balance is important. I can wear two SP101 revolvers, or an SP101 and a K-frame, spread apart, quite comfortably, even though the total weight is quite substantial.

    Fitness matters. When I have let my core get weak, carrying anything can sometimes be a pain. I am not saying one must be an athlete to carry comfortably, just saying that a moderate amount of exercise can make carrying things, including guns, easier.

  15. #29
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    The heaviest gun I have carried over the last several years is a 1911 gov't model. It definitely isn't too heavy with a quality gunbelt and decent holster. However, a lighter gun is a bit more comfortable. For small and light, I like a G26 and for a little more oomph, I go with a CCO LW most of the time. I would never go for a lighter weight gun if there were any questions about reliability, and my ability to operate it with 100% confidence and shoot it accurately.
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  16. #30
    VIP Member Array dawei's Avatar
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    The heaviest gun I carry as a CCW is my Taurus® Mdl 617SS2 357 Magnum, it weighs 32.2oz loaded, (29.2oz unloaded).
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