How do you go about finding the perfect CCW gun for you?

This is a discussion on How do you go about finding the perfect CCW gun for you? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've probably spent well over 2,000 dollars trying to find the perfect everyday carry gun for me. The range I frequently shoot at doesn't rent ...

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Thread: How do you go about finding the perfect CCW gun for you?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    How do you go about finding the perfect CCW gun for you?

    I've probably spent well over 2,000 dollars trying to find the perfect everyday carry gun for me. The range I frequently shoot at doesn't rent guns, and there are no gun stores where I can test fire guns. I've purchased 1911s, a couple snubnose revolvers, and two XD pistols, only to have them either be sold, or traded off for other guns. The other day I went to the range, to practice with my XD45 ACP, and I saw a guy shooting a Glock 21. I put my XD down, and asked the man if I could shoot his Glock. He gladly let me fire a few rounds, and I got tighter groups with the Glock than I did with my XD45 at the same distance. I'm starting to find that Glocks are the best option for me, but I'm still uncertain. I love my XD, but since its my primary CCW gun now, I still can't practice with it as much as I'd like to because of the cost of ammo for it. I'm thinking about trading it in for the Glock 19. The CCW class is coming up soon, and I need something I can shoot well, especially if I plan to carry it. All of the guns I have purchased so far I thought seemed to fit my hands nicely, but to me, actually firing them is the real test.
    Last edited by SubNine; April 20th, 2007 at 06:44 AM.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Dakotaranger's Avatar
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    Shooting and finding something that fits your hand is about the only way.

    I settled on the Springfield 1911 because I could hit better with my Colt Gold cup, but didn't like the beaver tail digging into my side. And I could afford the Springfield.
    "[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons.
    They are left in full possession of them."

    Zacharia Johnson (speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention,25 June 1778)"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." ~Alexander Hamilton

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    Go For The Glock

    If you've tried the Glocks and you seem to shoot the Glock format well then go for it.
    Trust your gut.
    The only other thing I can think of would be for you to hang out at the range a bit more and politely ask other shooters if you can try out some different pistol makes and styles.
    Many other shooters would be happy to allow you to "test shoot" or evaluate their various handguns.

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    its definitely all about trial and error in one form or another.
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

    Just call me a pessimistic optimist !

    U.S. Navy vet 1981-1992

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    VIP Member Array eagle5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artz View Post
    its definitely all about trial and error in one form or another.
    Artz is right. You find a gun that fits your hand and is comfortable to hold then you go an shoot it. You might like how it shoots, you might not. If you like its shootability, you then proceed on to how well it conceals with various methods/rigs. If you don't like the gun's shootability or its concealability, you begin the process over with a different gun.

    For those who have the money and resources available, the trail and error process may never end, especially with new and/or improved guns and models coming out year after year. Others find a gun that works well for them and stick with it.

    In all honesty, I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect gun for concealed carry. Why? Because every gun has it shortcomings and tradeoffs. Which is ideal in one scenario may not be ideal in another scenario. Gun A may shoot better but isn't as concealable as Gun B. The list goes on. It really comes down to what overall works best for you and is within your financial and other limitations.

    This is just my personal opinion and I know there are others that would disagree. Regardless, good luck in your pursuit and keep us apprised of your findings.

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Trial and Error

    I agree with Artz above that trial and error is the only way. You can read articles, listen to other people and study websites, but you actually have to make your own decision based on a "hands on" test drive and what is important to you.

    I enjoy the process of trying different guns and methods of carry, and have gone through a lot of candidates and possibilities. Right now, if I had to pick the best one for me it would be this Kimber Pro CDP in a Kramer horsehide scabbard holster. It seems to be the best combination of reliability, accuracy, caliber, size and feel for me.




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    Member Array crankshop1000's Avatar
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    I already had a short list when I stopped at the gun shop. Both owners happened to be carrying the 642-2 that I had on my list. That spoke louder than words for me. Small enough to be invisible,light,reliable with the capability to shoot 38+p. The price was right to at $380. Chuck.

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    I've done the same thing - bought lots of guns and sold them for something I thought would work better. Although I have only recently entered the CCW arena, I have been preparing for a long time.

    First I thought I'd carry a full size .45 - a Kimber Custom II. While I loved that guns look/feel/shooting it was WAY to heavy to consider for CC. Plus I somehow got the only Kimber that was a lemon and I didn't feel I could trust it.

    So I sold it and bought a KelTec P-11 9mm. I thought "This is it, I'm going to carry this gun". Trigger was very rought, but more importantly before I hit the 200 round mark I started to FTE. Closer inspection revealed a crack in the slide at the bottom of the breech face. Knew right then I would never trust the gun so I sold it (of course informing the new buyer of the problem).

    Then I bought the Glock 26. I took my CCW class with this gun and instructor told everyone in the class that I had THE best combination of firepower and concealability in that gun. I loved the way it shot and I started getting holsters together. During this time I discovered that the double stack magazine made it very uncomfortable to conceal IWB. So I sold it.

    Then I bought the Bersa thunder .380. So far very reliable, small and easily concealable. But now I'm thinking I should have a larger caliber. This time I'm not selling, but I will be buying another gun to do the job.

    So I can totally relate to your situation, but unfortunately there isn't an easy way to skip all the steps until you settle on the right gun. You have to spend a lot of time with each gun, try defensive shooting techniques (2-chest 1-head drills etc.) and see how it works for you.

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    I still havent found the " perfect" ccw gun , and likely never will . For now tho for me at least my Kahr(s) get the nod as the least objectionable .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

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    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    I never thought that my EDC would be a Colt Mustang. But everything is so right about it. My needs will change from time to time or situation, or seasonal, or ???. Thats why there is no perfect choice FOR ME .
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

    Just call me a pessimistic optimist !

    U.S. Navy vet 1981-1992

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    Shoot lots of guns and buy sevearl.

    I have found guns I love to shoot buy them carry them and find out I don't like to carry them. I then start the process over again sometimes it is just the holster that needs to be changed, soetimes the gun.

    Right now I am carrying a snubnose revolver.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    Member Array Kompact9's Avatar
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    I'm with RedneckRepairs, I love my Kahr. However, I'm starting to warm up to my Kimber Custom II slowly but surely. I just ordered an McDaniel II for it and will be trialing it soon. It's just a coincidence that my wife also likes my K9 a lot! Oh the joy of being able to share...
    noli nothis permittere te terere...

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    Member Array Ping Ping's Avatar
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    First, I check to see if it says 1911 on the slide. Then it must go bang everytime. Beyond that, no criteria.
    "Happiness, is a warm gun" -St. John of Liverpool

    Proud to be an infidel.

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    Member Array jercamp45's Avatar
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    Well.........

    Quote Originally Posted by Ping Ping View Post
    First, I check to see if it says 1911 on the slide. Then it must go bang everytime. Beyond that, no criteria.
    Nice answer!

    Shoot everything you can, and after reliability and power and fit.....consider concealability. There will always be trade offs and compromises.
    I started with a 1911 30 years ago, I tried about everything else since, and kept coming back to the 1911 format. It 'felt' right, it was powerful, reliable and thin for IWB Concealed carry.
    I made certain allowances......now I carry a Concealed Carry Officer's model.......alittle shorter, abit lighter, but still a 1911 in .45 ACP.
    The Glocks are a good choice, though the 1911 actually has MORE safety features(and are thinner and easier for most to shoot accurately).
    But, in the end, it is your gun, your hand, your carry needs and methods and your wallet that makes the final choice.
    Do remember, carrying a handgun for self-defense is meant to be comforting, but it is not always comfortable. The smaller you go, the less you get...accuracy, power, controlability, and in many cases, reliability.
    I decided I wanted a handgun that has a better shance of stopping that as yet unmet gent that wants to carve me up, bash in my skull, or other wise harm me or my loved ones.....stop him as fast as possible. So I altered my dress code abit, bought a good belt and holster and 'cowboyed up' and carry what I think will work best in a bad situation, not what I thought I could hide in my pocket.
    Your call..........

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array kylebce's Avatar
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    I know what you mean about trial and error and trade. I really like the Glocks. I got the G19 last Nov and love it. I carry it more often than guns before it. One cautionary word- after I got mine, I was thinking "maybe I need more caliber, I should have got a G23 in.40." Well, if you may have the same thought... Buy the 23 and get a 9mm barrel for it. It's cheaper than owning two glocks... like me. But hey it's another gun, who's complaining?
    G-23, 27, 35 (all .40)
    G-29 10mm
    H&K 45c
    Les Baer Thunder Ranch 5"

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