Advice needed

Advice needed

This is a discussion on Advice needed within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I grew up with guns but have not carried one or kept up on technology for last 20 plus years. Used to carry 44 mag ...

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Thread: Advice needed

  1. #1
    New Member Array saddlemaker's Avatar
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    Advice needed

    I grew up with guns but have not carried one or kept up on technology for last 20 plus years. Used to carry 44 mag in bear country and 22 for snakes when I was a field geologist. Now I am an artist and I do outdoor art shows and festivals. I usually have an inventory of silver buckles and leather goods of about $50K and at the end of a show maybe $500 to $1K in my cash box. I am usually the last one off the street after a show and loading up after dark. First thought about 1911 Colt 45 but now think something about the size of snub nose 38 special would be more appropriate. What would you advise: revolver or more modern automatic? I am 69, in good shape, small stature and not going to win any bar fights.


  2. #2
    New Member Array denzburr's Avatar
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    The short answer is what you are more comfortable shooting and carrying. Lots of options out there - either revolvers or modern autos will do the job. 1911 works fine if that is your thing but i'd consider the lighter commander length models if you are going to carry. I have a SW1911 E Series Gov't and I can say it isn't a fun carry gun. It an be done but there are a lot of easier ways to accomplish the same task.

  3. #3
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    As a coin collector I can understand your concerns, my preference in an EDC is a 3 inch 1911 but any size will conceal well, now as to revolvers there are plenty of fine choices available, myself I would chose one in either a three or four inch in 357. A S&W Model 19 is only slightly thicker than a 1911 and gives you the choice of either 38spl, 38spl +P or 357, which should take care of any defensive carry situation.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    VIP Member Array multistage's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum saddlemaker. I used to do that as well.

    You are gonna hear it all. Get a this, no, get a that. Your Colt would be just fine. There is a reason that the design has been around for 102 years.

    Your wheel gun would also be just fine. Again, an old, proven design that still does great. Heck, carry 'em both. I would, and have.

    If you already have something that you are comfortable and competent with, run it. New and improved is not a substitute for tried and true.

  5. #5
    Ex Member Array MJB_17's Avatar
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    I'm going to offer another perspective from a younger generation...Take a look into modern, compact polymer framed semi autos. I'm not saying that you should go that route, but I think it is wise to at least get a feel for the Glocks, M&Ps, XD, SR, etc. Handguns have come a long way in the last 30 years and what in 1985 was new and unproven (ie polymer frames) today are proven technology. Every minute of every day tens of thousands of police officers trust their, and our, lives to modern semi auto handguns. They come in all sizes and the right one will suit anyone regardless of stature or age.

    By the way, welcome to the forum.

  6. #6
    Member Array DaveInEdmonds's Avatar
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    Nothing quite like the thought of staring down the muzzle of a .44 Magnum to keep somebody from trying to take your stuff. Personally, I'd open carry that thing.
    hammer2213 likes this.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddlemaker View Post
    First thought about 1911 Colt 45 but now think something about the size of snub nose 38 special would be more appropriate. What would you advise: revolver or more modern automatic?
    Whatever most suits your preference, effectiveness of draw/firing, clothing/belt/holster selection, and lifestyle. Some don't want a gun that's "too" big; some prefer OWB or openly carrying; some want to carry as deeply/discreetly as possible; some want only certain calibers. You won't know until you've tried out a few.

    I'd suggest getting to a couple of "rental" ranges and taking a number of different guns through their paces. There are pros/cons to any choice, in terms of size/weight, concealability, recoil characteristics, "firepower" (number of rounds, effectiveness of rounds). You've got time in the saddle with a bigger-bore gun, so any caliber should do you well.

    Uncertain whether in your state you're criminalized for "printing" on a concealed-carry gun. If not, many of the larger guns might well be best for you.

    Some options to consider (assuming you can find them, either at stores or in the hands of you meet at the range):

    • H&K P2000, or P2000SK (compact)
    • HK USP
    • HK45, HK45 Compact
    • CZ P-01, D Compact PCR, or 2075 RAMI
    • Browning Hi-Power
    • Springfield XDm, XDs
    • Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact Pro
    • Bersa BPCC
    • Kahr K9, P9, CW9
    • Ruger SP-101, GP-100, Redhawk .44 (KRH-444)


    Each has a different combination of size/weight, capacity, concealability, feel in the hand. The ones I've highlighted in bold would be the few I'd most prefer, given that I've owned or tried out each of the above. YMMV.

    The nice thing is, no purchase is a "forever" sort of thing. Try one out, take it through its paces, then swap it for something else if it doesn't work for you. Once you've found one that works well for you, get a decent holster/belt and enjoy the new carry gun.

    Welcome to DC, by the way.
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  8. #8
    Member Array BelaOkmyx's Avatar
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    Whatever you can shoot well and carry easily. Keep in mind that you are going to be carrying stuff and loading trucks so you don't want anything bulky or easy to dislodge when you are doing your thing. A 38 snubnose is certainly sufficient.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    Welcome, Saddlemaker! Good to see you here at DC. I can understand your confusion; there's been a lot of change in the last 20 years. And as much as the guns have changed, I think the holsters have changed even more. It used to be you chose between an OWB belt holster or IWB, maybe a shoulder rig if you're in and out of the car a lot. Your choices were pretty much brown leather, black leather or horse hide. Now there are tons of options ranging from Kydex to leather to hybrids, even kydex with a leather liner. A fellow can get "paralysis by analysis" pretty quick.

    Just to clarify, are you listing the snubbie and the .45 because you already own them? Or are you open to picking up a new gun? When asking for "what should I buy?" advice you'll mostly hear what we bought. That might be useful but it might not be. Your circumstances will dictate much and help you narrow down the options. A few things to ponder:

    Concealability- how import is it that the gun hides well? What type of clothes do you normally wear? If you always wear a blazer or jacket you can probably carry any gun. If a T-shirt and shorts is your normal wardrobe you'll probably want to look at other options.
    Comfort/weight- how big an issue is this? Can you lug around a 2.5 lb large frame auto all day? Can you keep it concealed in hot weather (or is that an issue?)?
    Training- how much are you willing to train with the gun?

    Those are just a few issues.

    If the gun has to hide well, that doesn't rule out a large gun like the 1911 but it does change how you'll dress. IWB (inside the waistband) can help hide a large gun. Obviously smaller is easier but if you're determined to carry a given gun you can usually make it work. A J-frame, on the other hand, will disappear in anything more than Speedos! Of course, there are some "new" guns that combine good firepower with low weight and size. Something like a Glock 19/23 is small yet easy to shoot. A Beretta Nano is considerably smaller, around the size of a 5 shot snub, yet holds a couple more rounds, is easier to shoot and faster to reload. There are lots of guns in the size range that fall above compact but are smaller than a 1911: Browning Hi-Power, HK USP Compact, Glock 19/23, S&W Shield, Beretta Nano...more really than I can name. You'll have to consider what size range you want and then do a bit more research.

    How much work and hassle will you tolerate to CCW? How much of the time will you be armed? If you're just going to wear the gun while working shows and stuff maybe you'll be willing to tolerate more weight and bulk. It depends, too, on how active you are. If you're bending and carrying stuff all the time you must take care that the gun is kept concealed, even if it's hot, etc. However, I don't want to make too big a deal of this. A good holster and quality gun belt will help a lot with making the gun easy to wear all day.

    How much will you train? A 1911 is best carried cocked and locked, and that necessitates a lot of training. Something like a Glock or a revolver requires less training. In the middle are the SA/DA autos. If cost isn't a huge issue something like an HK with a LEM trigger or a Sig with a DAK trigger will you a very safe-to-carry gun that's very reliable and accurate. No matter what you get, you really should train with it. Learn to shoot with either hand and practice quickly reloading it. Any gun can malfunction, so if you CCW you should practice drills to clear the gun and get back in the fight.

    It's really a great time to be getting back into guns. Lots of exciting developments in firearms and holsters.

    Again, welcome!

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    I am 60 an recently have gone back to revolvers. The reason is I am just not as fast as I used to be. In the split second you need to act I do not want to flick a safety or rack a slide I want to pull my sp101 an shoot. I also recomend a S&W Mod 60 either are very easy to carry all day. Get a good action job by a reputable gunsmith an you will be very happy with your choice. For you glock fans I can tell you that drawing an firing when you get up in age is a recipe for limp wristing a round. Just a thought from a older guy.
    BelaOkmyx likes this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array DJC7's Avatar
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    All these other guys can offer much better advice/info than me so I'll just say welcome from a fellow geologist!
    ”One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.”
    ~Thomas Jefferson


    "Carry your gun - it's a lighter burden than regret."
    ~Breda

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    What are you most familiar with? do you have health concers that would make racking the slide on a semi auto difficult ( arthritis, low strength grip, etc) If you are most familiar with revolvers, carry a revolver. A 3" barreled Ruger SP101 or GP100 in .357 mag is easily concealable for most people and is potent medicine. Also, with .357 mag you can load it with .38spcl if lower recoil is your thing. If you dont want the recoil of a revolver and can operate a semi auto, yhere is a whole slew of options in everything from .380 up to 10mm. smith and wesson M&P, Ruger SR series, HK, FN, Springfield, etc etc. I recommend going to a local gun store, and holding everything they have to see what feels good to you. you dont buy shoes without trying them on and you shouldnt buy a gun without holding it first.

  13. #13
    New Member Array saddlemaker's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. I plan to go small as I only feel the need to carry at a show during takedown after dark. I realized that I have several of the models mentioned as Blue or aluminum training guns for making holsters. Just need to make or take a holster out of inventory and wear it around the studio to see which works best for that. The range will come next. Thanks again.

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