Pick a gun for me!

Pick a gun for me!

This is a discussion on Pick a gun for me! within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi everybody! I am sort of new to the world of pistols and I'm asking everyone here to pick out a concealed-carry gun for me. ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array BelaOkmyx's Avatar
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    Pick a gun for me!

    Hi everybody! I am sort of new to the world of pistols and I'm asking everyone here to pick out a concealed-carry gun for me.

    Be assured your contributions will not be wasted, like they are on a lot of newbie posts asking for advice. I will most definitely buy a gun recommended to me here, and I'm going to give you a bit of info as to what my requirements and abilities are.

    1 (Major). Ease of carry! I live in CT which is a state where showing a print can be considered an act of intimidation so it must be easy to conceal. I'm limiting myself to guns weighing less than a pound

    2 (Major). Sturdy enough for a lot of practice! I'm aware that a well-placed shot from a small caliber is better than a poorly placed one from a large caliber (not to mention the safety implications of missing) so I want one that I can take to the range and get a lot of practice with, until my skills with the weapon are far above average. But I read stories about small pistols wearing out, getting cracks and such from extended use. That's not something I ever want to happen. Most of what happens in a (gun)fight is unpredictable but one thing I can control is how good I am with the gun, so a weapon that is for emergency use only is not an option for me. Price is not a concern- I'm thinking of this as a lifetime purchase, a couple of hundred dollars more is a non-issue.

    3 (Minor). Intrinsic accuracy. I realize that where accuracy of a shot is concerned, the skill of the shooter is more important than the accuracy of the gun, but I prefer a gun that I'll eventually be able to fire really nice groups with.

    4 (Minor). Ease of maintenance. Preferably something that I'm not going to have to worry about constantly cleaning and maintaining. It's going wherever I go, so it could end up being exposed to the elements and dirty conditions.

    5 (Minor). Attractiveness and pride of ownership. A nice looking gun that looks like something from an old movie and not from a violent video game will help in selling my girlfriend on the idea of me walking around with a gun! Also something with a good reputation so other shooters will realize I'm serious about the commitment to carry and use a weapon and took the time to pick a good one.

    More about me: I'm male, big and strong. I have no habit of violence or tendency to get into trouble, but I do have a part-time job (completely legal!) where I am often carrying $10-20K in concealed cash, so if I do get into a bad situation it could possibly be against a professional.

    I'm looking forward to everyone's advice, with an open mind.


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I carryed a Colt Commander when I had to transport bearer bonds from the brokerage to several locations but advice is cheap and you are the one who must go to a place that rents and find out what suits you. Your the one that needs hands on and no matter what is said here you make the choice that way its not I should not have gone that way or why did I listen to them good luck

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Maybe a bit beefier than you're looking for but if you're considering a revolver, I would check out one of the different types of Ruger SP 101 that's out there. Certainly rugged and dependable. They're little tanks that fit in the palm of your hand and some models are .38 special and .357 magnum. You're certainly not going to wear it out fast. That is of course, if you're looking for a revolver. The best thing to do would be to shoot it, (or any) before you buy it and make sure that it works out. It's really hard for anyone to say what a good firearm for anyone else would be but you're going to get some pretty good pointers from others here that will at least put you on a good track. Good Luck!! And let us know what you end up with. Ruger® SP101® Double-Action Revolver Models
    Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME

    Crossman 760 BB/Pellet, Daisy Red Ryder, Crossman Wrist Rocket, 14 Steak Knives, 3 Fillet Knives, Rolling Pin-14", Various Hunting Knives, 2 Baseball Bats, 3 Big Dogs and a big American Flag flying in the yard. I have no firearms; Try the next house.

  4. #4
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    Welcome from a former Nutmegger, now in the AZ desert.

    While it's a good thing to define your requirements, I would suggest a degree of flexibility in meeting them. Your #1 (under a pound) goes against your description of yourself (male, big and strong). Even the smallest gun I carry with any regularity - a lightweight J-frame snubby - is 15-16 ounces unloaded. The very popular "baby" Glock (G26) is 20 oz empty and 28 oz loaded. So I think you need to start with addressing how the gun feels and shoots, then consider if the loaded gun will be too heavy. A good holster and belt are essential for carrying a serious sidearm comfortably. I occasionally carry a "lightweight" 4-inch 1911 which is 28 oz empty, and with a good carry rig I know it's there but it's not objectionable.

    Sturdy enough for lots of practice? As long as you don't buy junk, and stick with respected names, most guns these days hold up quite well. Full-sized steel or polymer guns (think cops guns) are about a durable as you get.

    Accuracy - very much a function of the "system" comprising the gun, ammunition, and shooter. Most defensive guns aren't target guns, but will hold 3-4 inches or better at 25 yards.

    Ease of maintenance - I like my guns, and a shoot a few of them a lot, and the ones that never let me down are typically the filthiest. White-glove cleanliness is nice if you've got lots of time but it's not a requirement. And decent guns should go thousands of rounds without needing anything more than a fresh recoil spring.

    Attractiveness and pride of ownership? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some folks think Glocks are attractive, but I sure don't. Same for most Sigs. (And I own one of each.) I personally find a lot of beauty in the simple, clean lines of a 1911, but again, that's highly personal. I'm smiling at your description of a a gun that looks like it's from an old movie and not a video game! How about a nice revolver? Talk about a classic look! A nice Smith & Wesson K-frame like a 3-inch Model 13 (that's what the FBI issued, before automatics took over) might be just what you need. They're not made any more, but if you look around you can find a lot of lightly-used ones. And for pride of ownership, skip the off-brands like Kel-Tec, Bersa, Hi-Point and Taurus and stay with S&W, Colt, Springfield Armory, Sig, Ruger, Beretta, etc.

    Here are a couple of specific suggestions: Kahr P9 - about 18 oz empty, 7+1 capacity, very flat and compact 9mm. Ruger SR-9c - a little heavier (23 oz), but 17+1 capacity in 9mm. Springfield Armory EMP-9 - scaled-down 1911 (classic design!), heavier still at 27 oz, 9+1 capacity. All of these are belt guns, too big for pocket carry, but with a bigger payload than a pocket pistol. I'm skipping pocket pistols because a) you're new to shooting and pocket pistols take a LOT or practice to master, and b) your requirements suggest to me something bigger than what a pocket pistol can deliver. You can always add one (like a J-frame snubby) later.

    By no means a comprehensive discussion or set of recommendations, just some stuff for you to chew on. Good luck and keep us posted on your search.
    StarPD45, sensei2, KBSR and 1 others like this.
    Smitty
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  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    The way a gun fits the hand is so very important, and cannot be determined by a poll.

    The GP100, as shown in my avatar at right, is a perfect fit in MY hands, and it is possible that no other weapon is its equal if I had to draw and fire accurately with the utmost urgency. Yet, it weighs more than twice your stated weight limit. Its little brother, the SP101, is much easier to conceal, but has a smaller ammo capacity, and still weighs well over a pound. I have noticed that the 3" SP101 is a bit easier to shoot well than the snubbier 2.25" version.

    Regarding ugly guns, the Glock G19 and G26 are certainly worth consideration, with a long history of being really good weapons.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array clarkston_cz's Avatar
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    GLOCK 19..simple to operate and no heavy double action to mess with, or speed-loaders or quick strips to fumble with for a reload.

    I used to tell first time gun owners that a revolver is the best and you can learn basic fundamentals on them, but Glocks really
    rule the roost!

    (this coming from a guy who carries a CZ and a LCR, but also a Glock 357 on some days)

    You can also find 9mm much cheaper than .38 special.





    Any questions..feel free to PM or email me.


    Best of luck with purchasing your handgun,,,others are right behind you!
    KEV


  7. #7
    Member Array Garzilla68's Avatar
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    I agree with Smitty's first recommendation. I carry two pistols, and the Kahr P9 is one of them. While I considered the PM/CM9, the short grip was just a "little" uncomfortable. The P9 has a longer grip where I can get my third finger on the bottom of the grip. Shoot's more accurate than I currently can, and I know this because one of the guys at the range competes and shot a clover at seven yards. Maintenance and breakdown is easy, and mine didn't suffer from a "break-in" period. No failures whatsoever. If you do decide on a Kahr, message me. These guns are pretty tight brand new. This is why Kahr recommends a 200 round break-in period before carrying. I can provide a link that provides a procedure to "break-in" that Kahr before going to the range. The other pistol I carry for going out jogging, gym, or where general pocket carry is required is the Kel-Tec P3AT. Be careful considering this one. My experience is that you can get a good one or a bad one. I've still got the good one, but sold the bad one (full disclosure, of course!). I polished up the one I have, and that included rails, barrel, slide, and feed ramp - basically any part of the gun that contacted another part of it. 300 rounds through it, and no failures. The other one I had was parkerized, with a black barrel. didn't polish the barrel, because I wasn't convinced I was going to keep it. Don't know if this contributed to the stovepipes, but I did replace the extractor with a new one Kahr sent me, and it still had the same problems. Great little gun though. Snappy, but great for deep concealment. had to get a +1 magazine extender, because the grip was just too short for my comfort. I wouldn't recommend it as a first or primary concealed carry, though. Great back-up gun (BUG)! Let us know what you decide to go with!

  8. #8
    Member Array Garzilla68's Avatar
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    Glock 19 is nice too! Just a little heavy and broad for IWB (inside waist band) carry for me. That's why I went with the Kahr P9. I've got a G19 on layaway, but I have the G23 as a bedside gun.

  9. #9
    Member Array minimalbrat's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of carry. I am sure many will try to help but there are a few things you really need to understand. No one can pick a gun for you. You need to rent a few and try them. How a gun feels in the hand can't be told to you. How a gun can be concealed on your type of body can't be told to you. How much recoil you will be comfortable with can't be figured out for you. I carry a Ruger sr9c even with my little hands. While it isn't a big gun it isn't a tiny gun either and is over a pound. You say you are big and strong so I don't think under a pound really is something you should have to worry about.

    How a gun looks isn't going to make a woman more comfortable with you carrying it lol. Knowing you practice and follow safety practices is going to make her way more comfortable than how it looks.

    I also don't think I would worry to much about what others think of your gun. I have a sweet little old taurus .38 snub nose special. Darn thing is accurate and easy to shoot. Not everyone likes a taurus. I stopped letting what others think of the name brands I have of things making a darn bit of difference to me by the time I got out of high school lol. You are going to find some love one brand and hate another. I happen to have a Taurus .38 snub nose special, Taurus 709s and a Ruger sr9c. All of them have their good points. Looking at a glock 19 now lol. My husband swears by walthers and Smith & Wessons.

    Sounds like what you could really use is a nice target pistol, I happen to have a Ruger Mark II. Practice makes one more confident and helps to improve basic skills and a .22 is cheap to shoot too. Might not be a bad idea to pick up a target pistol along with you ccw.

    Basic maintenance on a gun gets easier with practice too. Once you decide on a firearm you tube is a great place to find videos on cleaning and such.
    usmcj likes this.
    Our House Is Protected By The Good Lord And A gun. You Might Meet Both Of Them If You Show Up Inside My House Uninvited.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    Weeeellllllll.....after looking through your points I conclude you want a very light and compact firearm that is not only durable and reliable but attractive and chambered at a minimum in 9mm? Ya? Me too.

    My three common carries are the LCP 380, CM9, and Glock 26. Sometimes the Glock 19. They all serve a purpose, and they have all been reliable/durable, but I would call none of them, 'attractive'.

    Might want to look at the Springfield EMP, Kimber Solo, or Smith Shield.
    Last edited by IAm_Not_Lost; December 19th, 2012 at 06:16 AM. Reason: additional info needed
    "Brilliant. So now we got a huge guy theory, and a serial crusher theory. Top notch. What's your name?" - Paul Smecker

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array KBSR's Avatar
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    After reading your criteria twice, I'm almost convinced you're really just messing with this forum. Under a pound, and attractive to your girlfriend? Really? Really?

    If you're serious about protecting yourself and your loved ones, you've already had some really good suggestions. I carry a Kimber Ultra Raptor in .45ACP, and a Kimber Solo Carry in .9mm on a daily basis and feel pretty safe. :) There are lots of Kimber bashers on here, some for good reason, some because they just can't see spending the king of money you have to spend to have a Kimber, and some that are just jealous. I'm thinking your girlfriend will like the way they look, since that's one of your criterias.

    Be safe.
    " But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... Baa." Col. Dave Grossman on Sheep and Sheepdogs.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard. My attention span wasn't long enough to get through all your criteria, but a Glock 26 or M&P 9c is hard to beat as a small, effective carry weapon. Your girlfriend might not thing it's cute enough, though...
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
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    I love Tiberius/Maggie.

  13. #13
    Member Array Jesters Dead's Avatar
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    Pick a gun for me!

    If part of the criteria to conceal carry is that the gun must be attractive enough to please your girlfriend, you don't need a gun. You need a new girlfriend. ;)

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    One pound?

    The most difficult item in your list of requirements is the one pound weight limit. I personally have a lot of handguns, and only 2 of them are that lightweight - a Sig P238 in .380 caliber, and a S&W 642 in .38 caliber, as shown below. These are both good guns, but I generally consider them as "backups" to a more significant gun. However, if you are serious about the one pound limit, these will both work if you know how to shoot them well.

    My personal preference for a lightweight gun that meets your various criteria (except one pound weight) is the Glock 36 in .45 caliber. This gun only weighs 20 ounces empty, but gives you 7 rounds of a very significant caliber in a slim gun that is easily concealed and quite accurate.



    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesters Dead View Post
    If part of the criteria to conceal carry is that the gun must be attractive enough to please your girlfriend, you don't need a gun. You need a new girlfriend. ;)
    Or maybe just a new pair...
    BurgerBoy and KBSR like this.
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
    Clint Eastwood

    I love Tiberius/Maggie.

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