New to CCW J-Frame or Small Semi-Auto

This is a discussion on New to CCW J-Frame or Small Semi-Auto within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a HK UPS45 for my main training weapon but it's too big for cc. In a fairly short amount of time I'll be ...

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Thread: New to CCW J-Frame or Small Semi-Auto

  1. #1
    Member Array markp's Avatar
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    New to CCW J-Frame or Small Semi-Auto

    I have a HK UPS45 for my main training weapon but it's too big for cc. In a fairly short amount of time I'll be carrying (not before legal, waiting on permits etc). And I can't decide between a good carry gun.

    I've shot all the Glocks like 19,23 and 26,27. My guess is that the 26 or 27 is about as large as I want to go, although the 23 size feels SOOO much better in my hand. I don't want to get something and not wind up carrying it bc it's too big.

    The guy I took the CCW training from said most people that buy semi's for cc find that they are just too big and heavy so they wind up buying J-frames later.

    Questions are:
    1. Those of you out there who have gone from semi to J-frame your input is appreciated and vice versa.
    2. I doubt I could re-load a revolver if I was stressed so 5 rounds seems kinda low to me, do people actually carry a J-frame and extra rounds. Any stats on how many rounds are used in defense, I know all gun fights and situations are unique but if I found out that the average was 2 rounds I prob wouldn't worry about the capacity.
    3. To those out there who carry G23 or G19 where do you carry (on your body) if you carry inside waistband with those what happens when you sit down?
    4. The grip on the 26,27 seems a bit small to be getting to quickly if need be. By this I mean stressed out of my mind, clearing shirt/coat and getting fingers on grip (do you go thumb first into pant line?

    Thanks for any and all help.

    Just for referece I don't really have any problems with aim, recoil, dexterity, etc. I'm a large shouldered small waisted 6'1" at 170lbs

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array lowflyer's Avatar
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    I have one of each. I carry the XD45C mostly. I use the 642 for backup and for when I can't conceal the XD for some reason.
    Whatever doesn't kill you postpones the inevitable.

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    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    nothing wrong with the j frame. i carry one 50% of the time and a g27 the other 50%. got the clip draw for the j frame, love it. my wife switched from a g19 to a j frame, she said it was eazer to carry. i carry a speed strip in my pocket for one reload. but five shots should work, only on tv you will need more bullets. the j frame is inside the pants, with clip draw, the g27 is inside pants with galco udc and/or shoulder holster w/ galco miami classic (two g22 mags other side for reloads).
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

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  5. #4
    Member Array Catalina's Avatar
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    I completely agree with the guy you took your CCW class from.

    Quite often I'll leave the confines of home with a Taurus 85CH or a Kel-Tec P3AT instead of a medium to large frame semi automatic.

    The J-frame is so easy to carry in a pocket.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    If you like the USP and want a smaller weapon, consider the USP Compact or P2000 Subcompact. My USP Compact .45 is my EDC and I don't find it a problem size wise.

  7. #6
    Member Array badgerw's Avatar
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    I carry every day, typically from the time I get dressed (0630) until I get undressed for bed (2100).

    I work in an office M-F from 0700 to 1700. "Business casual" is the dress code.

    My EDC gun is a 3" Kimber 1911. I've experimented with carrying my J-frame (S&W 642 with CT-405 grips) in lieu of the 1911. The J-frame is more comfortable, but the 1911 is more comforting.

    I practice with both guns (and my Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380ACP) regularly.

    I can hit faster and more accurately under pressure with the 1911 than I can with the Mustang, and with the Mustang better than the J-frame.

    In terms of stopping power, the .45ACP beats the .38 Special, which beats the .380ACP.

    I normally carry one reload on my belt. That gives me 8+7 of .45ACP, 7+6 of .380ACP, and 5+4 of .38 Special.

    YMMV one hell of a lot.

    Bill

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array BIG E's Avatar
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    I carry a S&W 642 daily and really like it. I feel most comfortable with OWB carry, but I also carry IWB when it's necessary. When I have to tuck in I use pocket carry.

    I do carry extra rounds in a speed strip.
    Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!

    -- Theodore Roosevelt --

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    Senior Member Array Super Trucker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a_kayaker View Post
    I carry a S&W 642 daily and really like it. I feel most comfortable with OWB carry, but I also carry IWB when it's necessary. When I have to tuck in I use pocket carry.

    I do carry extra rounds in a speed strip.
    Same here except I carry a S&W340. There are times when I will carry a bigger gun, but I will still have the J-Frame. They are small light weight and always go BANG.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    My time in Nam put a permanent message in my head about ammo--I never want to run out, so always carry at least one reload. Think about that Salt Lake City Trolley Square incident--if you were caught up in the middle of that you'd likely feel better with more than five rounds on board.....

    For the Glock 26, I had Nate at UBG make me a single mag pouch and it works slick. http://www.ubgholsters.com/

    For the J-frame, I carry a speed strip in a "Most Versatile Ammo Pouch" by Simply Rugged. http://www.simplyrugged.com/leather_goods/index.html

    I also learned to carry plenty of water, but I broke that habit....
    "It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out Clint Smith

  11. #10
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    [QUOTE=markp;304231]I have a HK UPS45 for my main training weapon but it's too big for cc. In a fairly short amount of time I'll be carrying (not before legal, waiting on permits etc). And I can't decide between a good carry gun.

    I've shot all the Glocks like 19,23 and 26,27. My guess is that the 26 or 27 is about as large as I want to go, although the 23 size feels SOOO much better in my hand. I don't want to get something and not wind up carrying it bc it's too big.

    The guy I took the CCW training from said most people that buy semi's for cc find that they are just too big and heavy so they wind up buying J-frames later.

    Questions are:
    1. Those of you out there who have gone from semi to J-frame your input is appreciated and vice versa.
    2. I doubt I could re-load a revolver if I was stressed so 5 rounds seems kinda low to me, do people actually carry a J-frame and extra rounds. Any stats on how many rounds are used in defense, I know all gun fights and situations are unique but if I found out that the average was 2 rounds I prob wouldn't worry about the capacity.
    3. To those out there who carry G23 or G19 where do you carry (on your body) if you carry inside waistband with those what happens when you sit down?
    4. The grip on the 26,27 seems a bit small to be getting to quickly if need be. By this I mean stressed out of my mind, clearing shirt/coat and getting fingers on grip (do you go thumb first into pant line?

    Thanks for any and all help.

    1) You're Welcome
    2) Carry a Speedloader in the pocket
    3) IWB at 3:30 When I sit down, I sit down
    4) I don't own a 26/27, but I do have a Kahr PM9 and find that I do reach for it "thumb first".

    For me the J-Frame is a BUG, I either carry a Glock 19 or an N-Frame S&W. ALL Revolvers have at least 2 reloads, and autoloaders have at least one. Bianchi Speed Strips are great for carrying a reload for the 38/357 Revolver.

    If you went with 2 Airweight J-Frames, one in each front pocket, you wouldn't be down that much in the ammo department, and you would have a gun accessible to either hand. Also, you could have your hand on the weapon and nobody the wiser.

    Biker

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array cockedlocked01's Avatar
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    I carried a S&W 442 (Still have it) as a back-up on the street & as a primary off duty gun for over 7 years. Then I bought a Glock 26, for more firepower. Went back to the J-frame until I bought my Kahr PM9 last summer.

    Point is, I kept looking for something lighter when I switched to the Glock. Sure, most of the time I carried the Glock, but I seemed to need & want something lighter quite a bit.

    You're never going to re-load a J-frame quickly with speed strips, but they're the best way to carry an extra 10 rounds. I carry mine in my strong side back pocket when I carry my 442.
    "Use human means as though divine ones didn't exist, and divine means as though there were no human ones." Baltasar Gracian
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    Glock 19 & 26, Kahr CM9 & P45, Para P12, Kel-Tec P-32, S&W 442, & Dan Wesson 14-2.

  13. #12
    jt1
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    Two 642's. One strong and one weak. You never know when your strong side may be injured or entangled. For most people in low risk activities ten rounds are good (laser grips make all the difference). A few speed strips are easy to carry (but pretty usless without a solid training and pratice schedule). I use DeSantis nemesis's for PC and Blackhawk speed classic's for OWB, IWB just will not work for me. Autoloaders will get the job done, I used various makes for years as service and BU pistols and have no problem with them but you must be willing to put in the extra time for maintenance and proper manual of arms training and pratice to ensure they will function or be able to apply immediate action to put them back into service. You can have problems with the 642 as well, but there are a lot less things to go wrong and the immeditate action is to contuine to engage and deploy you weak side BU. As far as grip size goes, try this the next chance you get. Grip the weapon with your little and ring finger, your middle finger is the trigger finger and your index finger is pointing at the target. Depending on the hand your aim will be either left or right about two inches and about two inches high. This is the same as laser grips when aligned in boresite mode. This takes pratice but will give excellent point shooting results if you can handle recoil (and on a revolver if you keep your finger away from the end of the cylnder). Now, about that stress. Generally it is a good thing and will keep you alert and alive but you must do your part. Your part is two things, first you must become mentally prepared to take whatever action is required to reduce any threat you encounter. This mental conditioning will make the difference by allowing you to identify and evaluate a threat and plan and execute an approprite course of action in a reasoned timley manner. If you are mentally prepared you will not panic and you gain an edge in both time and tatics. Second you must become proficent in the maintenance, deployment, and engagement of your chosen weapons. You must pratice to the point where your reactions are automatic and result from muscle memory. You will not have time to think of any of the mechanical actions you must take during an engagement, once you commit yourself to combat your entire focus must be maintained on your primary/secondary targets until the threat is neutralized and the area secure.

    AS ALWAYS

    JT
    Last edited by jt1; February 25th, 2007 at 04:12 AM.

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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    I have three carry pieces that I can mix and match. A 4" 1911 LW Commander, a 3" Micro 1911 are my primaries and a S&W 638 snub in +P .38 for BUG or when I can't use the others. I like the .45's for the caliber and the J frame will just plain disappear and weighs next to nothing. I carry a speed loader for the snub and a spare mag for the 1911's.

    Thing to consider with a snub is they need a far amount of practice to get really accurate with. Most people just blow it off and consider them a face to face weapon but with practice you'd be surprised how accurate you can get with them, even out at 40' or so. A good trigger job can help here as well.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Suggestions

    The poster finds the J frame revolver a little too small because of the 5 shot capacity, and the Glock 23 a little too large because of the size of the gun. But the Glock 27, with its short, 2-finger grip doesn't suit him either.

    It sounds like he needs a gun that allows a 3 finger grip and gives him maybe 8 or so rounds of a powerful caliber, yet is as small and compact as possible for easy concealment.

    A couple of alternatives come to mind. Since he likes H&Ks and already has a big USP45, maybe he should look at the fairly new P2000sk model in .40 caliber. This gun weighs 21 ounces empty, has a 9 round magazine, and just barely allows a full finger grip, with its magazine extension allowing a place for the little finger. It would be a good compromise gun between the larger Glock 23 and the smaller J frame:



    The other possibility would be a 1911 with 3 inch barrel, which would weigh about 25 ounces empty and give 7+1 rounds capacity with the right magazine. This would also give a minimal 3 finger grip in a very thin gun that is easy to conceal. A Kimber Ultra or Colt Defender would work:


  16. #15
    whw
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    Questions are:

    2. I doubt I could re-load a revolver if I was stressed so 5 rounds seems kinda low to me, do people actually carry a J-frame and extra rounds. Any stats on how many rounds are used in defense, I know all gun fights and situations are unique but if I found out that the average was 2 rounds I prob wouldn't worry about the capacity.

    Everything I have read says that a majority of "civilian" deadly force encounters happen within 21 feet and are over before you have time to pull the trigger 5 or 6 times. Those numbers change dramatically for the LEO's.

    3. To those out there who carry G23 or G19 where do you carry (on your body) if you carry inside waistband with those what happens when you sit down?

    At different times, I have carried a G26 and a J-frame IWB or on a belt holster. The J-frame is a little easier to hide. If you want an explanation of why, do a search on Grant Cunningham. He has a blog archived that contains and article about why revolvers are easier to conceal than pistols. A good holster and belt make the difference. Post a thread on the holster section of this site and you will get several responses from the best holster makers in the business.


    4. The grip on the 26,27 seems a bit small to be getting to quickly if need be. By this I mean stressed out of my mind, clearing shirt/coat and getting fingers on grip (do you go thumb first into pant line?

    The 19 and 23 are much easier to grasp than the 26 and 27, even when you aren't stressed. If I had it to do over, I would probably go with the 19 instead of the 26. There is much difference when you consider the dimensions, but delta associated with ergonomics is substantial. If you were to add a grip extension on the 26, you end up with the same size grip as the 19, but with a shorter barrel.

    As advice from a civilian who has tried about everything, buy the semi and the j-frame. Carry both when traveling into the dangerous territory. Semi on strong side and lightweight j frame in weak side pocket. In safer areas, or when going to the mail box, the lightweight j-frame drops in a pocket and you are ready to go. No need to gear up.

    Practice with both and get some training.

    whw

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