Advice on my conceal carry choices

Advice on my conceal carry choices

This is a discussion on Advice on my conceal carry choices within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Well I've been researching for quite a long time the options for conceal carry out there; and as you all know there are a lot. ...

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Thread: Advice on my conceal carry choices

  1. #1
    Member Array kronos's Avatar
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    Advice on my conceal carry choices

    Well I've been researching for quite a long time the options for conceal carry out there; and as you all know there are a lot. I am turning 21 in just a month and getting ready to get my permit in Florida. I am a college student in Michigan that is transferring back to a college in Florida after Christmas--so that's some more time before I can actually carry in Florida.

    Now, I am not completely new with firearms. I have not owned a firearm before but I have shot some and fondled more than I can remember. That shooting experience extends only to the Cuban Makarov Pistol in 9mm makarov, and .22lr Marlins. I have however fondled, taken down and reassembled and cleaned everything from Glocks, XDs, Sigs, and Kahrs. I am looking for a gun compact enough that I may not be tempted to leave home. I'd like a gun that could be carried IWB at all times with no more than shorts and a t-shirt, as that is what I usually wear in Florida. The occasional jeans and cargo pants I assume would just make it easier. I have no doubt the "gun bug" will bite me as soon as I buy my first firearm and that would inevitably lead to more purchases. However, with college expenses and other non related expenses that comes with becoming an adult, (not quite what I thought as a kid ) at the moment I can only afford one gun. Of course that would need the CCW fees, a good holster and gunbelt (I've heard great things about CB, Mtacs, and Beltman). That being said I'd prefer if the gun also had a rail since that would make it easier for a home defense/nightstand and carry gun. If possible I'd prefer a gun without an external safety. Although I do not like to rule out any calibers, I'd like to go with a 9mm because of the softer recoil, capacity, and lower prices. That being said, I have no doubt I could handle .40 s&w or .45 auto loads. I stand at 5'8 190 lbs, and if it makes any difference as to what felt recoil is concerned, I've yet to be bested in my weight class in my college in upper body weight lifting, for whatever that's worth..

    Essentially, after a lot of research I have narrowed down my choices to the Walther PPS, M&P Shield, Sig P239, and S&W 3913 (yes the LadySmith). Each has their own little thing I am not too fond of. The PPS, and its backstrap safety and limited support at the U.S. and one year warranty, The Shield with its manual safety and (to me) less appealing, almost tacky rail (of course nothing that undermines the functionality of the firearm), the P239 and its much heavier weight because of the slide material, and the 3913 that is out of production though still can be found at gunbroker. Of course looks should never be the most important thing but to be honest, being the my first gun I want something i can fondle (safely) as much as possible. Locally I have the option of using the shooting range ran by the Sheriff's Office, so becoming used to a handgun and enough practice should not be a problem.

    I understand there is no such thing as the perfect gun, and that there is a tool for every job. At the right time I would love to have a selection of guns from which I can pick at my leisure, and I will in the future. For now this what I have to work with. I'd appreciate your input on my choices and which one you favor as a first handgun. Although I am sure I have seen many of the other options feel free to suggest a different choice should you think it fits the bill.

    My apologies for the lenghty post and thank you very much in advanced for taking the time to read through my dilemma.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    I'd get to a place where I could rent those guns and see which one feels best. Having said that I sure do love my P239. Still, hard to beat a Shield for carry comfort.

    Good luck and welcome.
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    Senior Member Array USM1976's Avatar
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    Handguns are personal items just like a hammer is to a carpenter or a set of golf clubs to a golfer. So, like any tool, it must fit you hand (ergonomics). You have selected great handguns, so, the next step would be to try to find some gunshop/range which will rent handguns
    and shoot them. The 3913 might be a problem, and I'm curious as to how you decided a 3913 should be part of your selections process.

    FWIW, I like to carry full size handguns in 40 S&W and .45 ACP. I'm 5' 7" and have had no problem concealing them for the past 35 years. I particularily like my S&W Model 411.
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    Member Array Sarge65's Avatar
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    Don't rule out the S&W MP Compact in either 9 or .40. Very comfortable to carry all day long IWB/OWB even in FL. Being a rather large individual, I prefer OWB, but with the right holster, I can carry IWB when necessary. Also, fits very nicely in a cargo pocket and doesn't move around. And I agree with Brad426, check at your local range and see if you can send a few rounds downrange. Good luck in your search.
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    All those you list are fine, it's a personal preference situation for you right now, only solved by rental or at least handling them in your LGS.
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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    Buy one. Try it. And prepare to buy many more.

    There is no one gun that will solve all your problems.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    A S&W 3900 series might do you very nicely. Yes, they're out of production, but they're highly reliable, durable, well-regarded, and well-supported by gunsmiths. Of course, even with how many were produced, over time they'll begin to have their issues with parts supply. Still, they're recent enough they might be a great choice for you. Reasonably sized, slimmer than most. Some choices with safety or no-safety (ie, the 3953 was DAO without safety, which can be found for $400 or so, if you're patient).

    A good one for the list might be the CZ 2075 RAMI 9mm. Fairly compact, only a tad wider than the Glock 26, known for its reliability. Can be had in alloy frame (or polymer frame, if you go into the used market); with manual safety or with decocker.
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    Senior Member Array Alex_C's Avatar
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    I recently bought a Shield and have nothing but great things to say about it. Regarding your concerns, the safety is easily ignorable and I'm not sure what rail you're referring to as it does not have one.

    Of course, the only proper answer is to try as many out as possible or at least fondle them and go from there.
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    Member Array kronos's Avatar
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    Yea I agree with everyone that the wisest choice would be handle and shoot the firearms in question. I imagine it would be difficult, maybe even counterproductive to decide otherwise. I'd still like to know everyone's experiences and ideas should they carry any of these firearms as to guide my decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by USM1976 View Post
    The 3913 might be a problem, and I'm curious as to how you decided a 3913 should be part of your selections process.
    It happened while I was researching the Sig P239. Many people had suggested to look into the 3913 as its supposed to carry similarly well in a size package of adequate size.Granted, of my choices, the 313 is the one I'm least sure of.

  10. #10
    Ex Member Array all357mag's Avatar
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    Bud, you're thinking this to death! It's not rocket science. Get something that feels good in your hand, practice with it, and enjoy!
    USM1976 and Primalgunner like this.

  11. #11
    Member Array kronos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_C View Post
    Regarding your concerns, the safety is easily ignorable and I'm not sure what rail you're referring to as it does not have one.
    Ah my apologies I must have looked at the shield and assumed it was a rail for subcompact sized light

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    Distinguished Member Array squid86's Avatar
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    Best thing you can do now since you have narrowed down your search is to go rent them all and shoot them. Find the one that fits you the best. This choice is totally up to you, if you don't feel comfortable with it you probably won't carry it. For me personally I like the M&P, the Sig is too heavy and I'm not a big revolver guy. The Walther I wouldn't put down either, they are comfortable guns and concealable. Again this is my personal feelings, YMMV.

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    I don't think you can go too far wrong with any of the choices you mention.

    My one suggestion, as it would be your home defense weapon as well, would be to consider something with a bit more ammo capacity. For example, a Glock 26, M&P 9C, or Ruger SR9C would be larger than the Shield or PPS, but not much larger than the P239 or 3913 (and I think lighter); each of these three holds at least 10 rounds in their standard "concealment" magazines, and each can use higher-capacity magazines from the larger weapons in their families. So, you could carry with the smaller magazines, and at night, swap it out with a larger 17-round magazine, and snap a light onto the picatinny mount if you want to. Also, these slightly larger guns are likely to hold up better to long-term use of more powerful +P ammunition, which is generally considered to be better for defensive use than standard pressure 9mm.

    Since you prefer not to have a manual safety, the Glock 26 or the M&P 9C (which can be purchased without a manual safety) would probably be better than the SR9C.
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  14. #14
    Member Array kronos's Avatar
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    maxwell97 I have heard quite a bit about the M&P 9C as well. It seems to be very nice and reliable firearm that also fits my needs. My only question or slight concern would be whether the 9C can be as easily concealed as the Shield under most any circumstances in very hot and humid weather. Granted as was said before, many people cc full size guns without much problem so I know it is possible.

  15. #15
    Member Array sparkykb's Avatar
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    Given your parameters I'd be looking at 2 pistols. M&P 9C and the Glock 19. Probably leaning towards the G19 but hey, I really like that gun and for good reasons.

    The M&P 9C is gonna be easier to conceal than the G19 by a very slim margin but loose a few rounds capacity, plus it has a short rail. The G19 is gonna be a little longer in the grip but add a few rounds capacity. The G19 will be compatible with more weapon mounted light options. Besides, the G19 is roughly the same size as the Sig P239 but nearly double the capacity. I have yet to really see the appeal of the 239 when compared to other pistols of it's size.

    If you really want to get crazy you could go for what I'd consider the best concealed carry/general purpose HD pistol I can think of. My "if I could only have 1 pistol" type of pistol if you will. That pistol would be a Glock 19 chopped to take Glock 26 mags done by someone like Cold Bore Customs. Sight radius and barrel length of the G19 and the full length rail to go with it. Short concealable grip of the G26. Run 10 round mags for best concealment. Add a +2 extension for a normal carry capacity of 12+1. Or slap any other 9mm mag be it 15/17/33 rounder and a flashlight on the rail for nightstand duty. Added plus of using G19 or G17 mags as spares while carrying for extra capacity if you have to reload.

    If I didn't have a G17 for nightstand duty and the ability to choose between a G19 and G26 for concealed carry....I'd have one. As I said, if I could have one pistol and one only, it would be a G19 chopped to take G26 mags. It's hard to justify getting one for myself when I have the other options, but I still plan on getting one built sometime soon just so I don't have to worry about switching between the G26 and the G19 depending on how hot it is outside.

    Just something to ponder.

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