Compact or Full-Size Carry?

Compact or Full-Size Carry?

This is a discussion on Compact or Full-Size Carry? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm torn between the Ruger SR9c and Springfield XD subcompact, especially now that prices have come down on the XD. But I'm also torn whether ...

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Thread: Compact or Full-Size Carry?

  1. #1
    Member Array GMC's Avatar
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    Compact or Full-Size Carry?

    I'm torn between the Ruger SR9c and Springfield XD subcompact, especially now that prices have come down on the XD. But I'm also torn whether to just get a full-size SR or XD? I probably wouldn't carry all the time, since 'weapons' are illegal at work. How easy/hard is it to carry a full sized gun? I'm also thinking about trying IDPA, which is also why I'm thinking full size.
    Thanks for the help
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  2. #2
    BBI
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    If you're willing to purchase a good belt and holster, and possibly modify how you dress a bit, carrying a full size is just as comfortable and only fractionally more difficult to conceal than a compact.

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    Senior Member Array Hatrix's Avatar
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    If you're considering IDPA check out the newish CZ P09.

    I carry a full size M&P daily, usually just under a teeshirt or a flannel, both IWB and OWB depending on how I feel that day. A good holster and belt is vital, especially the belt. Invest in a good gun belt and you'll be able to carry pretty much anything.

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    Member Array dean1818's Avatar
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    This is an excellent question

    The trend today is to get the latest micro pistol

    In most cases, the shooter doesn't shoot the micro pistol very well, AND is limited with only a handfull of bullets in his pistol

    I have gone full circle (almost)

    My first pistol was a P226 I was crazy accurate. I loved that pistol. it was too big for comfortable IWB CCW. (Sold it.. head slap.....DUH!)

    I purchased a Bersa UC... too fat, sold it

    I purchased a Kahr K9.... it was too heavy for pocket carry, sold it

    I purchased a CM9...... light enough gun, very thin..... finally came to the conclusion that I couldnt get to a pistol in a pocket with enough speed to draw, or fumbled ..sold it

    I purchased a M&P 45C....... thick gun, bought a crossbreed. ...... but..... I am still not enamored


    I purchased a M&P Shield..... amazingly comfortable in a IWB Remora holster......... but..... I am still not enamored


    With all of these pistols, I shot them "OK"..... except for the SIG... which was just amazing in accuracy

    So..... I am going to buy a P229 from CDNN in the next few weeks

    Its big and heavy....... but I am going to start carrying something that may be less comfortable, but I can consistenatly get hits with...


    The moral of the story is, carry what you shoot well and have confidence in, is RULE NUMBER ONE
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    Tor
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    Carrying a full size gun is not hard, if you have the "equipment" to do it (holster, belt, cover garment). You can still use say a Glock 23 or similar size gun as an IDPA gun. It depends which division you're shooting in.
    If you're going to shoot IDPA, I would buy my carry gun first (compact or sub compact), then buy a full size gun for IDPA. I know it's more dough, but you'll eventually buy an "IDPA gun only" anyway.
    Guns are "illegal" at work. So you'll have to disarm in the car, I assume. That means you would want a rig that's easy to take off (not a 5 inch barreled OWB mounted fullsize).

    Plan ahead before you buy your EDC. Summer / Winter carry, IWB, OWB. You won't be carrying all the time? Well you should get into a habit of doing just that, except for work. Anytime you leave your house, you should carry your EDC. As the matter of fact, you should get to the point where you forget your wallet, car keys and cell phone before you forget your carry gun. You should get to the point where you feel "nekkid" without it. Good luck.
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    Senior Member Array PhaedrusIV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBI View Post
    If you're willing to purchase a good belt and holster, and possibly modify how you dress a bit, carrying a full size is just as comfortable and only fractionally more difficult to conceal than a compact.
    This has been my experience, exactly. At the same time, it's nice to have options.

    There are times/places when I could carry a full-size gun but would prefer to carry something small. It doesn't have to be all one way.
    It all depends, of course, on what YOU want.

    One example that illustrates the point: I got a nice Kydex IWB rig for my 4 in. XD.45 Service pistol. I can carry that comfortably with no issues.
    My XD9 Sub-Compact fits inside that same holster, perfectly. Is it any easier to carry ? No. Why ? The holster is exactly the same size for either one.
    I did exactly the same thing with the G19/G26. This way I have two options. Options are good !
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    In general, larger handguns are easier to use. The have larger grip surfaces, the controls are less likely to be crowded together and the sight radius is longer.

    If you are willing to deal with the larger frame and heavier weight, full-sized handguns are an excellent way to go.
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    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    Either one would be fine as a do it all gun. Even idpa.

    The important thing for me is a full grip so all your fingers are on it. That's my preference.

    Most, but not all, try all the different sized guns before finding their favorite. I use different sizes at different times.
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    Distinguished Member Array palmcoaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean1818 View Post
    This is an excellent question

    The trend today is to get the latest micro pistol

    In most cases, the shooter doesn't shoot the micro pistol very well, AND is limited with only a handfull of bullets in his pistol

    I have gone full circle (almost)

    My first pistol was a P226 I was crazy accurate. I loved that pistol. it was too big for comfortable IWB CCW. (Sold it.. head slap.....DUH!)

    I purchased a Bersa UC... too fat, sold it

    I purchased a Kahr K9.... it was too heavy for pocket carry, sold it

    I purchased a CM9...... light enough gun, very thin..... finally came to the conclusion that I couldnt get to a pistol in a pocket with enough speed to draw, or fumbled ..sold it

    I purchased a M&P 45C....... thick gun, bought a crossbreed. ...... but..... I am still not enamored


    I purchased a M&P Shield..... amazingly comfortable in a IWB Remora holster......... but..... I am still not enamored


    With all of these pistols, I shot them "OK"..... except for the SIG... which was just amazing in accuracy

    So..... I am going to buy a P229 from CDNN in the next few weeks

    Its big and heavy....... but I am going to start carrying something that may be less comfortable, but I can consistenatly get hits with...


    The moral of the story is, carry what you shoot well and have confidence in, is RULE NUMBER ONE
    Funny that youre making that choice. I have been toiling with the same thing and (although I have numerous glocks) have two pistols that now are dominating my daily carry. An HK USP Compact 45 and after a holster Im having made gets done, the Sig P229 .40 S&W
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    I've got a compact but I always find myself reaching for the 1911. After I got a good belt I've found that it's actually a very comfortable carry. Most of the time it's like my wallet, I don't really even realize it's there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean1818 View Post
    This is an excellent question

    The trend today is to get the latest micro pistol

    In most cases, the shooter doesn't shoot the micro pistol very well, AND is limited with only a handfull of bullets in his pistol

    I have gone full circle (almost)

    My first pistol was a P226 I was crazy accurate. I loved that pistol. it was too big for comfortable IWB CCW. (Sold it.. head slap.....DUH!)

    I purchased a Bersa UC... too fat, sold it

    I purchased a Kahr K9.... it was too heavy for pocket carry, sold it

    I purchased a CM9...... light enough gun, very thin..... finally came to the conclusion that I couldnt get to a pistol in a pocket with enough speed to draw, or fumbled ..sold it

    I purchased a M&P 45C....... thick gun, bought a crossbreed. ...... but..... I am still not enamored


    I purchased a M&P Shield..... amazingly comfortable in a IWB Remora holster......... but..... I am still not enamored


    With all of these pistols, I shot them "OK"..... except for the SIG... which was just amazing in accuracy

    So..... I am going to buy a P229 from CDNN in the next few weeks

    Its big and heavy....... but I am going to start carrying something that may be less comfortable, but I can consistenatly get hits with...


    The moral of the story is, carry what you shoot well and have confidence in, is RULE NUMBER ONE
    I'm right there with you. I've tried guns of all sizes and weights, and have gone back to big, heavy guns for EDC. The micro guns have their place, I carry a P938 as well as a bug, but for me a full size pistol like my P226 or 92FS is the way to go. With the right belt and holster set up, along with a can-do mindset, carrying a big heavy gun is no big deal.
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  12. #12
    Member Array true grit's Avatar
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    It is far easier to carry a compact every day than full size. Most full size firearms get left at home when you have choices. For your stated purpose start with the full size for IDPA and range use then get a compact later. I am partial to the XD which I use for competition and often carry the XDm compact for EDC. Try renting then at a range before you buy so you know that you made the right choice.
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    Senior Member Array Struckat's Avatar
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    With a good belt and holster you can comfortably conceal a much larger weapon than most people think. I have gone through several carry guns, and they keep getting g bigger.

    If you ever have to use it, you are better off with bigger.
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    Senior Member Array PhaedrusIV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bama61 View Post
    I've got a compact but I always find myself reaching for the 1911. After I got a good belt I've found that it's actually a very comfortable carry. Most of the time it's like my wallet, I don't really even realize it's there.
    ^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^

    The 1911 (somewhat surprisingly) is very easy to carry, in large part, because it is quite slender. The slide thickness (width) is about like a Springfield XDS.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMC View Post
    How easy/hard is it to carry a full sized gun? I'm also thinking about trying IDPA ...
    Depends on the person: body shape, fitness, the specific size/shape of the gun, the quality of the belt and holster, and where you carry it on you.

    Carrying a large-frame sidearm is certainly not for everyone. I find it relatively easy to do, but I tend to "print" a fair bit almost without regard to what clothing I wear. Which is why I tend to go with a tad more colorful, pattern-rich clothing and a covering garment, which helps hide things. But with many folks, it just blends in. If your shape and gear allows for that, consider yourself blessed.

    That said, you'll just need to try it. I'd suggest something on the mid-sized or smaller end of the sale, something with as trim of a grip area as you can get away with, something that tends to be flatter and thinner than others, along with a good belt and holster. Ensure your clothing is the decent cut and drape to accommodate, as not all clothing does.


    My suggestion

    If you're looking to get into IDPA, it's a good opportunity to try your first combination. Pick a decent mid-sized gun with some capacity, along with a reasonable concealment holster and quality belt. Learn about carrying and dealing with draw situations in your street clothes while in the IDPA matches. Think hard on what's working for and against you, with that combination. On your next sidearm purchase, make adjustments accordingly.
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