Concealability vs effectiveness

Concealability vs effectiveness

This is a discussion on Concealability vs effectiveness within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just looking for some opinions here. I believe that if you carry, you should carry pretty much all the time. Why? To be comfortable with ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array drjay9051's Avatar
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    Concealability vs effectiveness

    Just looking for some opinions here. I believe that if you carry, you should carry pretty much all the time. Why? To be comfortable with a carry weapon. There are those who "strap in on" every so often and those who Iknow are not that comfortable carrying or they print their weapon due to poor concealment.

    I know many of you claim to carry for example 5 in. .45 all the time with no problem.

    Im a big guy and I find this a bit difficult at times.

    So the question, what's the smallest weapon with effective caliber you carry "all the time" fully concealed without any problem? Yes effective caliber is the one you can control and place a round or two center of mass. I would argue that although a .25 auto such as Beretta 950 is controlable, even two in center of mass may not be effective.

    Personally I choose the Taurus CIA with +P. I have carried in the past Glocks, Kimbers and Para P12, but not easily all the time. The little snubbie goes in the front pocket of Dockers with a nice pocket holster. Even the vest pocket of a suit. I have yet to find a semi auto that does this as well. Yes there are guns like the NAA Black Widow and a pistol or two such as the Secamp but again effective rounds?

    Your thoughts?? BTW: My backup: the Beretta 950 in .25 loaded with Hornady XTP. Kept where? Right next to my other vital equiptment. Not a great round but a quite concealed back up weapon.


  2. #2
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    Almost every SD shooting school I've been to or heard of recommend 9mm or better. A Glock 26 or 19 is light and compact, reliable, hold bunches of bullets and hard to beat for what you described.

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    The smallest weapon I carry is a S&W 640 /357.
    I usually carry a Glock 23 in / .40 or a Glock 27 / .40
    In the summer for some reason I really like to carry a 5" .45ACP!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

  4. #4
    New Member Array drjay9051's Avatar
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    Thumper:
    Thats been an issue with me. I live in S. Florida and carrying a Kimber 5 in or Para P12 just wasnt practical! Yeah, I know just wear the shirt out. If I'm wearing baggy shorts with elastic waist how do I carry a "heavy" five in. auto without the shorts being pulled down? If I had a belt with a nice IWB no problem. Ever carried your 5 in in a "belly band" Is this possible.

    I really do like to carry condition one but didnt work "all the time"

    Thought about commander or officer size but concerned about reliabilty in smaller frame. To me reliability is a MUST

  5. #5
    Member Array richardoldfield's Avatar
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    drjay9051, everything is a trade off. I, like you, knew my carry gun was going to be a 1911A1 Government but that got old fast. I then tried a 5 shot J f rame but I felt insecure. Eventually, I settled on the Bersa Thunder 45 as a compromise. The 45acp is a caliber I respect and the Bersa is compact, lightweight, reliable, accurate, and very reasonable. Regards, Richard

    PS I tried a lot of car/carry guns before I settled on the Bersa

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    Member Array tpdtom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
    Thumper:
    Thats been an issue with me. I live in S. Florida and carrying a Kimber 5 in or Para P12 just wasnt practical! Yeah, I know just wear the shirt out. If I'm wearing baggy shorts with elastic waist how do I carry a "heavy" five in. auto without the shorts being pulled down? If I had a belt with a nice IWB no problem. Ever carried your 5 in in a "belly band" Is this possible.

    I really do like to carry condition one but didnt work "all the time"

    Thought about commander or officer size but concerned about reliabilty in smaller frame. To me reliability is a MUST
    I'm new here too but not new to this dilemma. I would go a step further and say that reliability is EVERYTHING ! I arm myself with one of many .45 1911s in the vast majority of cases, but sometimes opt for a 9mm. Sometimes it's just because I want to carry my BHP or H&K P7M8, other times it's hot and I need the easy concealability of my Kahr PM9. A good pocket holster is essential for me in the Summertime, but I still have to wear shorts with beltloops, maybe one size larger, and with generous pockets.

    A Commander of one kind or another, maybe my Wilson CQB Compact or S&W Scandium are my favorite CCW weapons. I find them to be 100% reliable, much more so than a Micro or Officer's model. I see that Gary Brommeland has an active role here. His Max Con IWB holster is awesome. That combined with one of his gunbelts and your good to go under a dark colored polo shirt. Of course, untucked or under a cover garment. The bottom line is, you have to dress around your choice of weapons, or at least what you have available...Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
    Thumper:
    Thats been an issue with me. I live in S. Florida and carrying a Kimber 5 in or Para P12 just wasnt practical! Yeah, I know just wear the shirt out. If I'm wearing baggy shorts with elastic waist how do I carry a "heavy" five in. auto without the shorts being pulled down? If I had a belt with a nice IWB no problem. Ever carried your 5 in in a "belly band" Is this possible.

    I really do like to carry condition one but didnt work "all the time"

    Thought about commander or officer size but concerned about reliabilty in smaller frame. To me reliability is a MUST
    dray,

    I sure understand your delema. Even the Glock 27 is no better than the Springer .45 as far as weight etc.

    I bought a SmartCarry for summer use when I wear shorts and carry a S&W 640 or sometimes the G27. If you have the room you can carry a larger weapon but it's a lot less comfortable. Not my first holster choice but it works. I'm too fat for "belly bands"! Like others have already said, everything has it's trade-offs!

    Keep trying different options, you'll find one you can live with!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

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    Senior Member Array slimjim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpdtom View Post
    I see that Gary Brommeland has an active role here. His Max Con IWB holster is awesome. That combined with one of his gunbelts and your good to go under a dark colored polo shirt.
    This brings up an excellent point. Having an excellent carry rig (i.e. holster & belt) really can affect what one carries.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    25% of the time a Bobtailed Smith & Wesson Scandium Commander in a Bromeland www.brommelandgunleather.com Max Con V, IWB holster. 75% of the time a Kimber Ultra Carry II in a Sam Andrews www.andrewsleather.com pocket holster. Both are .45 ACP, both are carried, concealed and accessed very comfortably and well.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
    If I'm wearing baggy shorts with elastic waist how do I carry a "heavy" five in. auto without the shorts being pulled down?
    Might I suggest not wearing baggy shorts with an elastic waist? Carrying a decent sized autoloader requires some compromises. A good belt/holster combination definitely helps, but you need to combine that with the right pants (something that will take a good, sturdy belt) and cover garment. Not every outfit is suitable for concealing a full sized pistol. It's really up to you how much you want to change your wardrobe to accommodate your armament, but as far as I'm concerned, self protection is more important to me than comfort or style. As Clint Smith said, "A gun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable."

  11. #11
    Member Array denverd0n's Avatar
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    It's all a matter of trade-offs, and each person has to make their own decision about the correct balance point for them. If you want to go armed when all you're wearing is a swimming suit and a pair of sunglasses then you're pretty much limited to things along this line...


    If you are willing to dress in a full-length trench coat all the time, then you can probably conceal one of these...


    You pays your money and takes your choice.

  12. #12
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    As I have mentioned before - lifestyle and garment options allow me to OWB large and heavy. My preference - and EDC is 226 ST - in K&D Eagle Defender - about as comfortable as it gets.

    I will always carry sized to reasonable max and only downsize occasionally if some event and clothing really limits me.

    I'll add too this is 16/7 carry - which not only means I am used to its presence but more important, should I ever (hopefully not) need it, there will not be that grope into space realizing that this one time I need it, I forgot to put it on!!

    I also add another caveat - from choice I attempt to always carry the same - it is totally familiar and is totally ''muscle-memoried".
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    I've found very few circumstances where I can't carry my Ultra CDP II. I feel much better with .a 45acp at hand. I've definitely modified my wardroble to accomodate my weapon of choice. That said, as a BUG, and in those rare occasions when I'm not able to carry the 1911, a Kel-Tec P3AT (.380) fills the bill. I've no desire nor need to go any smaller than that.

    The important thing is to have a top-knotch carry rig, including a proper belt. It makes a tremendous difference. The fine craftsmen who participate here can help you pick one to suit your physical stature and manner of dress, but you must still be willing to make some compromises. Maybe a larger pants size, or longer shirt tails, or always wearing an over-garment.

    It also behooves you to practice your carry technique, just like your marksmanship. Once you get your method dialed in to suit you, it just gets easier and more comfortable, the more you employ it.
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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    Member Array John Wesley's Avatar
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    drjay9051,

    I can comfortably carry a Ruger 345 (45 cal) in a belly band all day long. It has a 4-in barrel. My Beretta 92 (5-in barrel) does not work in my belly band. The bottom of the barrel wants to stick in my ribs.

    My only concerns with it are access time and sweat hurting the gun. When hot outside I have removed the gun to see beads of sweat on the body side. - Have never had a problem with rust though using stainless steel guns.

    Everyone is different... you might want to give it a try.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array cockedlocked01's Avatar
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    Answering you question, & obviously it's only my humble opinon, but I think a .380 or possibly a .32 is the smallest "effective" round. Ballistically, a .32, .380, & a .38 (Out of a sub-2" barrell), are VERY close.

    I'm not comparing the 3 rounds & saying that they definitely are. I'm just saying that ballistically, they're close. & that's only if you're comparing the .32 & .380 to a sub-2" barrelled .38.

    I've carried an AMT .380 back-up, but it's not reliable enough for me, yet. If I could buy one here (California), I would carry a Kel-Tec P3AT. That gun's small & light! BTW, a Kahr PM9 is about the same weight as an airweight J-frame revolver, but it's thinner & shorter.
    "Use human means as though divine ones didn't exist, and divine means as though there were no human ones." Baltasar Gracian
    Integrated Close Combat
    NRA Member
    Glock 19 & 26, Kahr CM9 & P45, Para P12, Kel-Tec P-32, S&W 442, & Dan Wesson 14-2.

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