This is a discussion on Newbie: What to Carry? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Alright DC, I know this forum is probably 90% of this exact question; however, I will bump it up to 91%. As I have recently ...
I know this forum is probably 90% of this exact question; however, I will bump it up to 91%. As I have recently completed my CCW class, (application submission pending), I have now moved onto the question of what will I carry. I am leaning heavily towards a .357, but have not researched different company's models yet. I feel this is a good caliber to get the job done and not waste shots, should I ever need to take any, but lacking experience with revolvers, I would love some advice. I have had limited experience shooting a 3" (rough estimate) barrel .357, and rather enjoyed it.
Those of you who own compact or snubs, how do you like them? Any major issues I need to be aware of? Other suggestions/opinions?
I have read the "Part 2" thread on what to carry regarding revolvers, and feel a revolver is best for me. I own a Taurus 9mm semi-auto, and love it. It was my first gun, and I have gotten rather good with it at the range, and shot perfect at CCW. All in all, I have been around semi-autos enough to be familiar with their unique behavior and issues.
In the mean time, I will be researching on my own, but just wanted to hear (or read, haha) advice from people who know more than I as well. Thanks in advance!
I agree with Easy8. Imho if your going to carry a .357 carry a steel one. I love my Ruger sp101 with 3 inch barrel.
You will get numerous opinions about caliber and revolver vs auto; the only thing that should matter to you is shot placement and function. I wouldn't want to sway you anyway other than try a few different guns at the range and see what YOU shoot well and feel good and you can comfortably conceal once you get your permit. That said, I carry a full size 1911 and love it.
I think guns are like insurance. I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
A 3" SP101 will do the job nicely, and it is a TANK!
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
I am also partial to snub nosed and .357 revolvers, with S&W being my favorite brand. My favorite is the model 66 (stainless) or the very similar model 19 (blued). I use boot grips and a pancake holster behind the hip. These guns are all steel and weigh about 32 ounces empty, so they handle .357 recoil very well.
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington
NRA Life Member
GOA Life MemberMoving to a new location
I went with my CPL instructor's and Massad Ayoob's combined advices:
My instructor said carry as big a caliber with as many rounds as you are comfortable carrying.
Ayoob's said have a wardrobe of holsters and guns of various sizes (but always have the holster in the same spot for muscle memory).
So I have five carry pieces from a full size XDM to the diminutive Ruger LCP. They all have their uses and time/place. Also there's a IWB, OWB and pocket holster for each.
My 2 cents.
I have snub but it hardly gets shot. I prefer my Glock 27 and
23C. I don't like the tigger of the the Smith or how it only holds five rounds. My Glock 27 holds ten and my 23 holds 14...
But it's a nice gun just not my choice for a primary.
In God and Glock we Trust
...if you go .357, a Ruger SP101 2+ or 3+ or GP100 3" conceals well...hefty enough to soak up recoil...as will the M65 and M66 Smith and still conceal easily...you may find that a good +P .38 round is the easiest to shoot well in any of the above...and hits count more than that extra power...you'll have the option either way...Welcome...
Always a fun topic!
OK. So let's look at mission. In the home, go big or go home - and you're already home. So go for shotgun, AR, 44 mag, whatever you can shoot.
The street mission is different. You aren't trying to pick the threat up, spin it around and drop it, you're trying to get away to safety. Most people try to avoid bullets. So on the street, if you point a gun at somebody, they will probably decide to go away. If you do have to shoot, chances are you'll be throwing some lead downrange and be moving away from the threat yourself.
Yes, you can carry .357 but it's heavy. It will get old real fast. You can carry 9mm, 8 rounds of Corbon DPX in a slim LC9 or S&W Shield that just disappears and you won't even know you're carrying it. Or you can pack a high capacity Glock or SR9c with 18 rounds of 9mm and throw a lot of lead downrange in a very manageable package.
It's hard to make the case that you'd need more than 5 or 6 rounds of .38 spl for most use cases on the street, because your opponent will likely not want to have bullets in the face or groin. And that's a much easier carry than .357. So carry what you like. Big and heavy as you want. Chances are, you'll eventually come around to looking at something smaller and lighter and comfortable.
"It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."
How will you carry most often? OWB or IWB, or pocket?
I carry either a CZ 75D PCR, a SW 640 Pro (all steel .357 snubbie), or a SW 637 (or 642) airewight (Aluminum alloy framed .38).
No matter which revolver I am carrying it is loaded with .38's. I can point shoot .38's accurately enough to "get the job done" at 5 - 7 yards five times. With a .357, it's much more difficult to stay on target (for me).
The bonus of a .357 snubbie is that it is all steel (stay away from the scandiums, too light in my opinion) and recoil with .38's is very minor.
Any of revolvers mentioned above - SW or Ruger - will serve you quite well. I do think the 686 is a bit large for CC, though. It's an L frame and a lot o' steel to be lugging around all day. Same with the GP 100 - that's a big gun for carry (at least for me). I'd stay with the SP101 or the Steel j-frames.
You may want to get an internal hammer (SW 640), or a bobbed hammer (SP101 or a model 60 with a bobbed hammer). However, if you are carrying OWB or IWB that is really not necessary. The hammer catching is mainly an issue for pocket carry if you do not cover the hammer with your thumb when you draw.
-PEF, Refugee from the Island of Misfit Toys
I am seeing a lot of SP101, S&W640, and GP100 shout outs, perhaps I will investigate these three for product reviews and when I hit the range.