Need help picking carry gun

Need help picking carry gun

This is a discussion on Need help picking carry gun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello everyone, just wanted to get a few of your opinions. I'm a new CCW holder and am looking for the right gun for a ...

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Thread: Need help picking carry gun

  1. #1
    New Member Array karma's Avatar
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    Nov 2007

    Need help picking carry gun

    Hello everyone, just wanted to get a few of your opinions. I'm a new CCW holder and am looking for the right gun for a carry, I plan on getting more a nice collection of hand guns further down the road, I however only own rifles as of now, although I have shot many different types of handguns and rifles.

    I am considering 1 of 3 guns as of now, a Sig Sauer P226, or the P228, also am growing quite fond of the Kahr PM9. looking for 9mm luger caliber in any of the above handguns.

    I understand the P226 is a amazing gun, and have read a lot of possitive things about it Reliable, Durable, quality made, however it is a full size gun and I wonder how it would work out as a concealed carry. The P228 is the compact version of the 226 so I've read and it seems like a good choice however it doesen't hold the same track record as its big brother.

    the Kahr seems well made and real similar to a Glock. I have held the Kahr at the gun shops and it feels good in the hand and the trigger action is amazing. Although it is a bit pricey. however the polymer would be a nice thing to have in a carry also.

    I am looking to spend around $500 or below, so obvisouly a used gun will have to work.

    what should I look for in a used handgun? besides the obvious, bore condiction, action, and trigger pull?

    any helpful advice would greatly be appreciated.

    oh I am average build for a 24 year old, about 6 foot tall, 170 ibs. a full size pistol fits my hands perfectly. I can also hold and shoot a compact gun with no problems as well.

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Member Array Obiwan's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    The more you want to carry, the more you'd like the Kahr. Some people have probs with plastic Kahrs and prefer the steel ones so do a lot of research on various gun forums. The SIGs are great, but unless you start wearing covering garments (Hawaiian shirts, etc) think about pocket carry. That's where the Kahrs shine.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Anchorage Alaska
    I don't know much about SIGs, but I do know that many people have nothing but good things to say about them. I am considering one in 9mm. Right now I carry a Glock 19, which fits my hands like a glove, but may not work for you. My advice to you is, if you can go to a firing range and see if they rent guns, or ask other handgun shooters if you can try out their pistols. I know nothing about Kahr, so I can't give you much about that either. In your price range, I would consider a used Glock or XD, or a revolver. Polymer handguns are great for everyday carry, depending on the size.

    I used to own two XDs, and they're good guns, but the lack of replacement parts turned me over to Glock.
    USMC rule # 23 of gunfighting: Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

    I am the God fearing, gun toting, flag waving conservative you were warned about!

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  5. #4
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Your right the 228 doesnt have the same track record... it has a better one.
    "Just blame Sixto"

    I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.

  6. #5
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    State of Discombobulation
    I've been carrying for twenty years, or a wee bit more.

    I've carried a wide selection of different handguns during that time and find myself always going back to a J-Frame Revolver. It can be carried, if an Airweight, on the ankle, in the pocket or on the belt.

    I also have a Kahr PM9. For what it is I love the little plastic bugger. It has the best DAO Trigger I've found on any "bottomfeeder". Still, as lightweight and compact as the Kahr is, I still prefer a J-Frame. The reason is manyfold. I can shoot from my pocket, it is easier to draw from the pocket and it will not go out of battery if I jamb it in to my opponent's gut and pull the trigger.

    If you are like most people the "newness and novelty" of carrying a gun will wear off quickly. You will learn that it's really a pain in the rear. I carry two Revolvers, the J-Frame is my BUG. The reason I do this is because I've seen enough good situations go bad quickly.

    Take care and good luck.


  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Array matdicdad's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    SE Virginia
    I carry a Kahr P9. It has performed flawlessly through probably 200 rounds. I paid $600.00 for mine. A couple of weekends ago, at a gun show, I saw a new one for $450.00. I think you can find one in your price range,

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Central FL
    The Kahr is a good gun. I've had no experience with Sigs. Best thing to do is TO TRY the guns you are interested in, if at all possible. Feeling it in your hands is a good start, but actually shooting one and seeing how it feels is another matter.

    Perhaps there is a range in your area with a rental gun of the type you are considering, or you may have a shooting buddy with a gun you are interested in.

    That said. I'm happy with my Kahr K 40, which is all steel and bit large than the PM and also a .40 SW caliber. Very accurate and controlable in my hands.

    You may also which to take a look at the Glocks, also great guns, IF they fit your hands and shooting style. Again also a good shooting gun in my hands.

    SW MP series may interest you, also the Springfield XD series.

    Less expensive are the Keltecs in 9mm. PF 9 and also their model 11.

    Check around on for more info and price comparing.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array kavity's Avatar
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    May 2007
    I love my 642 J-frame. I got the gun, holster, speed loader, and a box of self defense ammo for under $450. Its an amazing little gun and I take it everywhere. I have an XD...I actually got it first but I never carry it because its uncomfortable to carry in the clothes I wear.

    5 shots of 38sp are more than enough for most self defense scenarios.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Land of 10k Lakes
    Quote Originally Posted by karma View Post
    I am considering 1 of 3 guns as of now, a Sig Sauer P226, or the P228, also am growing quite fond of the Kahr PM9. looking for 9mm luger caliber in any of the above handguns.
    Quote Originally Posted by karma View Post
    the Kahr seems well made and real similar to a Glock. ... however the polymer would be a nice thing to have in a carry also.
    Quote Originally Posted by karma View Post
    I am looking to spend around $500 or below, so obvisouly a used gun will have to work.
    First, welcome.

    You might be able to find a nice CPO P226, but I don't think you will find one at that low of a price. That price range is perfect for a NIB Glock G19, and you had mentioned "the polymer would be a nice thing." I carry one as well and I would definitely recommend buying one.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: DW V-Bob 1911, S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9,
    and Glock G26, G19, G23C, and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
    Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    I just glanced at and saw several used certified 226s for around the $500 mark. Good gun - might not always be easy to conceal. Depends on how you dress from day to day. If you wear shirts tucked in or suits, it probably isn't the best choice. If you can wear a jacket or an untucked shirt, you can get almost anything...


  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Like you, I am relatively new to concealed carry, and spent a bit of time doing the same research you are now doing. I wanted something that is highly reliable, accurate, and around the $500 mark.

    I looked at used SIGs, Kimbers, Glocks, and settled on the XD. Sigs and Kimbers are nice, but the used ones I found in my price range were pretty beat up. I went with the XD over the Glock for two reasons. The grip angle fit me better, and I like the backstrap safety. Like the Glock and a revolver, the XD will fire as long as you have a proper grip, but I feel I am much less likely to have a ND or AD.

    A NIB XD will run you right around $500.

    Best advice is to go to a range and rent whatever you think might interest you, and shoot them all.

    The right gun for someone else is not necessarily the right gun for you.

  13. #12
    VIP Member
    Array Thumper's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Dayton, Nevada
    Go with the P-228, you will not be sorry!
    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."

  14. #13
    Member Array RochPersDef's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Rochester, NY
    In my experience, the Kahr is thin, but it can be uncomfortably thin. I do lectures and classes on CCW where the subject of choosing a firearm for carry is covered. Smaller may be more concealable, but not easier to shoot.

    I am 6' tall, weigh 185 or so, and have the average athletic build. I carry a Glock 17 in an IWB made by Rusty Sherrick all day long. No comfort issues, no concealability issues, nothing.

    Now, with that said, do not listen to those that say you have to go small to carry. Smaller guns bring more issues than larger ones. It really is the grip length that is the hardest to hide. Done right, you can carry almost every gun out there. I would look at the Glock 17's or 19's, the Sig 228's, the XD 4" size and the like. MY first choice, based on my training and experience seeing what fails on the range during training, would be the Glock. Next up would be the Sig's.

    Here's the best advice I can offer:

    Carry the biggest gun, in the biggest caliber that you can handle and conceal. period.

    Don't fall for the smaller is better idea. You'll regret it. Everyone I know that went to a compact size gun for carry eventually got the larger size.

  15. #14
    VIP Member
    Array archer51's Avatar
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    I know it isn't on your list of guns, but don't rule out the CZ P-01. Including link to CZ website

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    I went down to the range today with a fellow defensivecarry forum member, and he let me shoot his SIG 220 combat. I'd never shot a .45 and i was putting tighter groups that with my s&w 9mm. Nothing but good things about the sig. Should really look into the XD line by springfield. Easy to conceal, insane point and shoot capabilitiy, and comes in pretty much every caliber and size.

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