Lefty Conceal Carry Advice
This is a discussion on Lefty Conceal Carry Advice within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm a left-handed shooter and looking for my first conceal carry pistol. I'm interested in a 9mm for ease of point-shooting, ammo capacity, and ammo ...
December 21st, 2012 04:10 PM
Lefty Conceal Carry Advice
I'm a left-handed shooter and looking for my first conceal carry pistol. I'm interested in a 9mm for ease of point-shooting, ammo capacity, and ammo price.
I am concerned about safety (my own and my toddler's) while I carry so I feel strongly that I need a pistol with a manual safety. The problem is finding a good safety that is ambidextrous in a platform that I like.
From what I've read lately, I would really like a S&W M&P Shield 9mm. It sounds like a very portable pistol and it seems to have great shooting characteristics, but my main issue is that it has a single left-side safety switch. Is this too big of a hindrance for a lefty shooter to overcome?
To the lefty shooters out there...how big of an issue is this?
Other pistols that have caught my eye are the Sig P938, Ruger LC9, and the Springfield XD's and the characteristics that are important to me are:
-Ambidextrous controls (especially safety and would like a mag-release to be ambidextrous)
-Portable size (maybe 6" - 6.5" length and 4" height)
-Comfortable point and shoot
-Easy follow-up/second shot targeting
-Loaded chamber indicator
Are there any lefty shooters (or experienced shooters in general) that have any advice for a newb CCW guy?
Thanks in advance guys
December 21st, 2012 04:21 PM
One secret that many lefties have discovered is that standard magazine release buttons are already placed to give us a tremendous advantage at reload time: use the trigger finger to release the mag! The limitation is that some may have flexibility issues that make this move difficult, and some tiny weapons, especially if the shooter has larger hands, might make this movement impractical. With 1911 pistols, SIG pistols, Glock pistols, and Third-Generation S&W autos, it is quicker and handier to release the magazine with my trigger finger, when shooting lefty, than to use my thumb, when shooting righty.
December 21st, 2012 04:24 PM
For a carry gun the safety must be on the right side , otherwise it takes too long to disengage. Several guns do not have a manual safety, however a good holster would work just fine to protect for pistol from AD's. if a manual safety is a must there are pistols out there. Ambi mag release and such don't seem to matter, just use you middle or trigger finger to release a mag.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
December 21st, 2012 04:26 PM
I believe the Ruger SR9c fits what you are looking for. Has ambidextrous thumb safety and mag release. Also has a safety built into the trigger.
Rule #1. Cardio
Rule #2. Double Tap
December 21st, 2012 04:40 PM
Regarding safety levers, I learned to shoot with a 1911 pistol, before ambidextrous safety levers were common. My solution, back then, was to simply carry on the right side, and learn to shoot well enough with either hand, becoming functionally ambidextrous. When I was in a police academy in 1983 and 1984, revolvers were mandated for all cadets and rookies, and I made it a point to learn double-action shooting at a very high level. Double-action weapons need no manual safety levers, as the longer trigger stroke, and to some extent, the weight of the trigger pull, make an unintended discharge much less likely. Moreover, any weapon's true safety device is located between the shooter's ears, and is exercised via control of the trigger finger. The trigger is not a carry handle! Regardless of the number of safety levers, keep the finger outside the trigger guard until one is "on" the target.
If one absolutely needs a safety lever, consider the Glock, which places an actual safety lever on the face of the trigger, making it totally ambidextrous. If there is a better lefty pistol out there than the Glock, I don't know what it would be, which, to be clear, means others may well be equal. As age takes its toll on my body, and my right wrist in particular, I just bought a 9mm Glock to be my lefty geezer gun. (All else being equal, I shoot long-stroke double-action handguns better righty, and shorter-stroke pistols better lefty.) This purchase was based strictly upon utilitarian practicality, being as unemotional and unbiased as I could convince myself to be.
December 21st, 2012 04:43 PM
I think the Kimber Solo has ambidextrous thumb safety and mag release. I would have purchased on if it had of been double action.
"Lets Be Careful Out There!"
December 21st, 2012 04:49 PM
As for loaded-chamber indicators, I have no use for them. In the dark, they may be invisible. The ones that can be felt, might not be so trustworthy when one's hands are trembling during an adrenaline dump. (Fingertip sensitivity goes down the drain during body alarm reaction.) Nothing except a manual chamber-check is truly reliable for knowing if a round is inside the chamber!
My recommendation: Leave your primary weapon loaded, all the time. Secure it VERY well if you have to separate yourself from it, and then, if you need the reassurance, or if ANYONE other than you has access to the secured storage, check the chamber manually when you remove it from secured storage.
December 21st, 2012 04:50 PM
I am a lefty as well. Welcome to the forum. I recommend and CCW with a full size s&w m&p 9mm. It has ambi safety, slide lock/release, and mag release...everything a lefty would need. It is a tack driver also with no ftf or ejects sofar in over 600 rounds through it. It has a 4.25" barrel and holds 17+1. Check out the Crossbreed iwb holsters also. They are very comfortable and conceal well.
December 21st, 2012 05:18 PM
I really like the XD platform. The mag release is ambi so I don't have to twist my trigger finger. I also have large hands. I like the safety on it too. I can do a very easy combat clear of a double feed left handed. I've never had one in 2k rounds but I practice anyway. The xd9sc is my daily carry and I have a 4.5 at home.
The other pistol i looked at, because its 100% ambi is the taurus gen2 24/7. I tried one and it shot great and was easy to handle. It has a manual safety like you seem to want. I don't like manual safeties or double action myself but I will probably get the taurus since I must admit I really liked it.
December 21st, 2012 05:19 PM
You may be mentally stuck on the safety thing. I'm not saying that is a bad thing - safeties are fine. But you are also limiting your options. If you are worried about your toddler shooting the gun - then you need to have it either in the holster or in a safe. If it's in a holster - nothing can touch the trigger. It isn't going to "go off". If it's in a safe - same thing. I have guns with safeties, and guns without safeties. I keep my finger straight and off the trigger at all time until I'm ready to fire.
That said - the gun market has a wide range of products available. Some with safeties, some with 3 safeties, loaded chamber indicators, cocked striker indicators, magazine safeties, grip safeties....all of these can be good things. Whatever you are comfortable shooting and carrying is the bottom line.
December 21st, 2012 05:25 PM
Be aware that toddlers have indeed managed to manipulate safety levers and then fire weapons!
December 21st, 2012 05:36 PM
Beretta PX4 Storm - My carry piece is the PX4C (compact) Ambi manual safety, ambi slide release, reversible mag release.
FNX-9 - Ambi manual safety/decocker, ambi slide release, ambi mag release
CZ85B - Ambi manual safety, ambi slide release, reversible mag release.
Para Ordnance P14 - Ambi manual safety (I had it added), std slide release, std mag release.
Any of the above would work fine for carry. The Para is a little large and I understand the newer ones may be questionable.
There are several lefty friendly pistols out there. Sigs are not one of them. Glocks do not have a manual safety. Springfield EMP comes to mind: nice weapon, but expensive.
Of the above 4, the Beretta PX4C fits your criteria most closely. Comfortable to carry, very controllable recoil, has a loaded chamber indicator, but I have never looked at mine.
"If you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot."
December 21st, 2012 06:24 PM
I'm a lefty and have used "right handed" pistols all of my life. Like Rexster mentioned, that can sometimes be an advantage. I bought a Gen4 Glock 27 and immediately switched the mag release to left handed operation. It was unnatural because in 30 years or so of shooting I never did that. I quickly switched back since I knew under stress I would revert back to what I know.
Personally, I believe that you should be familiar and comfortable with standard (right handed) features as you never know what you may have sometime down the road.
I never liked Glocks until I started shooting them. The "lack of a safety" (which isn't true, but there is a lack of a manual safety) concerned me. If you are keeping your finger away from the trigger / trigger guard area and careful when holstering the pistol (so nothing jams the trigger) it is fine. Just need to be a little more careful, but ultimately being careful is a good thing. A good, consistent trigger pull will help with accuracy.
The best thing to do is go to a range that has rentals and try 2-3 different pistols. One will likely feel better / more natural for you. There may be similar models of different sizes (e.g., Glock 19 vs Glock 26) that you can try next. Once you find the pistol you like you will find that there are many good ones (although expect to buy a handful before you find one you really love).
Finally, you should always carry with a round in the chamber and always assume that it is loaded. Indicators are fine, but a simple "press check" is easy enough to do if there is ever any doubt.
Hope that helps.
December 21st, 2012 07:50 PM
Many Thanks to you all for your great advice.
I have a Model 96 Beretta now and have found that I do actually use my trigger/middle finger on my left hand to engage the mag release so maybe I should keep it as is on my CCW pistol.
As far as the safety goes, my intent in bringing up my toddler was the possibility that she may walk or hug me on my carry side and I want to lower my chances of an AD. I would always keep the weapon locked up when not carried.
The loaded chamber is more of an OCD thing, so it sounds like I should get over that.
I looked at the Kimber Solo but had heard of issues with the MIM parts within their guns causing trouble over time, so I've tried to avoid them.
I will take a look at the Beretta PX4 and the Ruger SR9 and another look at the full size S&W M&P's. I was very impressed with its feel in my hand. I just need to recheck the size to see if it would be a feasible carry gun for me.
Thanks again all of you its very refreshing to have an open forum like this. Thanks for your help.
December 21st, 2012 07:52 PM
I have 2 Kimbers, both have an ambi safety.
KNOWLEDGE: A tomato is a fruit.
WISDOM: Not putting a tomato in a fruit salad..
Search tags for this page
ambidextrous concealed carry pistols
ambidextrous m&p shield
best ambidextrous handguns
best ambidextrous pistols
best handgun for lefties
left handed concealed carry pistol
m&p shield ambi mag release
m&p shield ambidextrous
m&p shield ambidextrous mag release
Click on a term to search for related topics.