Frustrated--need a lot of help
This is a discussion on Frustrated--need a lot of help within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi, I found this site through a Google search. It seems like this is a pretty active forum, so I decided to post.
I have ...
July 9th, 2008 01:17 AM
Frustrated--need a lot of help
Hi, I found this site through a Google search. It seems like this is a pretty active forum, so I decided to post.
I have a big dilemma: I recently received my concealed carry license, and so the next natural step is to purchase a concealed carry weapon.
The problem is, I have no idea what I want. Well, that's a lie: I have a pretty good idea. I want a handgun in a decent caliber that I can easily carry concealed on my person. I really like single-stack autoloaders, and although I do like revolvers, I'm not too keen on them.
I have a short list of handguns I'm looking at (it used to be very long, but having eliminated some since I didn't like how they felt in my hand, it's been shortened):
S&W 1911PD (scandium commander)
S&W 60, 642
So, for my comments on each:
P239: Comfortable, alebeit slightly too short for my hand. Seems a bit too heavy for concealed carry, but it's available in 9mm.
PPK/S: Fits my hand perfectly. I had to talk myself out of buying it right then and there. I'm concerned that a .380 won't be enough to stop an attacker, and that the cost of .380 will catch up with me. If this weren't a .380, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
S&W 1911PD: I like the idea of carrying a .45, as it's definitely got that "I'm a guy" appeal to it. It's slightly too long for my hand, and I'm not sure if a .45 is something I'm comfortable shooting. Actually, the fact I'd even question shooting a .45 is a good sign I probably shouldn't buy one.
Ruger SP101: I love it. I love the way it feels in my hand, and I like the sounds it makes when you pull the hammer back, or open the cylinder. That's probably not a good reason to buy it, but hey. :P
S&W 60: I like the idea of a snubby that I can feed .38s, but still could feed .357s, which are probably the best round to stop another person if (god forbid) you had to.
S&W 642: Obligatory. Everyone and their mother has one of these, and it's highly recommended.
To be honest, the idea of carrying a small- or medium-sized autoloader appeals to me a hell of a lot more than carrying a revolver. I really don't like how the revolvers won't be accurate at any significant distance because of their short barrels, and while I hope I never need to be accurate past 21 ft., I want something that will give me the ability to do so if the need should arise.
Before I remove the PPK/S from my list, I have to ask: Is the .380 adequate for self-defense? Some people say no, citing it's rather poor ballistic performance compared to the 9mm. Others say it's the minimum autoloader caliber. Others consider the .380 to be the line that marks where the bad calibers start.
Handgun Cartridge Power Chart - Condensed Version
Looking at that makes me thing. The penetration is okay, but the kinetic energy output isn't that great. The one-shot stop rate isn't good, either.
So, answer me these:
1. .380: Good or bad?
2. Which should I carry out of those I listed?
3. What other small 9mm handguns should I try? (No Glocks or M&Ps; already tried them, and I don't like them)
July 9th, 2008 01:17 AM
July 9th, 2008 01:22 AM
July 9th, 2008 01:35 AM
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
July 9th, 2008 01:40 AM
Kahr K9 is a nice single stack 9mm. If you're going to belt carry, you won't notice the weight with a good belt and holster, and Kahr metal frame pistols have a very good reputation for reliability. The extra weight will help to control recoil with hot +p loads, if you are so inclined. Simple to operate, smooth trigger, decent caliber, single-stack....what's not to like? I'd take it over a Sig P239 any day.
Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.
July 9th, 2008 03:30 AM
Sounds like you should keep hitting the ranges, renting as many different guns as possible.
I'm under the assumption that buying one or two guns won't break the bank. So, here is what I would recommend. Purchase what feels good in the hand, knowing that as you gain proficiency over the next month or two of weekly shooting, you'll begin to see why it's right/wrong for you. At the point of 3mos, I think you'll have enough saddle time with it to know: will it work, or will something else be better. At that point, you'll have an inkling of why that second choice would be better. That may sound an expensive way to go, but you can, for the price of a couple hundred dollars, simply sell out for another unit if you decide that another would be preferable. You need not be permanently saddled with a choice that doesn't fit.
Above all, know that you won't be carrying something that (a) doesn't feel right, (b) makes you wince about shooting, or (c) is so heavy/awkward that it's uncomfortable to carry. Pick something that matches your clothing choice and preferred mode of carry (IWB, OWB, pocket), as you'll want to ensure you properly conceal it.
As for caliber, there are lots of opinions on that. My backup gun is a .380ACP. I view it as an acceptable minimum. Not preferable, mind you, but there aren't a lot of other choices in 9mm that approach the size. A .45ACP isn't bad, either. The recoil profile is different than, say, a 9mm. Hard to know if you'll like or dislike it until you actually shoot a few. Each gun will behave differently in a given caliber, so try several.
If you haven't already handled these, consider them:
- Kahr K9, or P9 for weight-reduction. For me, the K9 is the most perfect fit to my hand, though the controls are tight and edges are sharp. With some tuning and a frame "melt," this would be one heck of a choice in single-stack 9mm format.
- HK P2000SK. Again, a wonderful fit in the hand, for me. One trouble is the magazine release, which is positioned such that I cannot generate sufficient force to eject the thing (thanks to an old fracture in the hand). But, it's small, concealable, easy to carry, easy to use. It's got an ambidextrous slide release and mag release, so it's suitable for lefties as well.
- Any of several 1911 style options, including: STI's Escort, Off Duty, Rogue and LS9; Springfield's EMP 9mm, Micro Compact; Kimber's CDP Ultra or Pro carry; Kimber's Aegis 9mm; Colt's original Officer's; any of a number of CCO-format 1911's (officer's frame with a commander-length slide), such as Para Ordnance's CCO.
- If the 1911 format grabs you, but perhaps the trigger layout intimidates you, consider Para Ordnance's LDA line of pistols. They've got a wide range of choices. One will certainly fit your hand. Consider the PDA 9 LDA or the Carry 9 LDA. Both are single-stack mites that are extremely easy to conceal. Both have the LDA trigger, for those that prefer to not have the standard 1911-style trigger system.
If you've ever held an STI, they can be a thing of beauty. If you ever get out to Arizona, consider looking up these folks: Thunder Mountain Custom. They always have a large number of STI's in stock, so they can be great for handling different guns and trying them out.
Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
self defense (A.O.J.).
How does disarming
the number of victims?
Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos)
NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.
July 9th, 2008 04:22 AM
July 9th, 2008 05:18 AM
Welcome to the board and congratz on getting your permit!
1. .380. opinions vary. I'm a .45 person myself. But found carrying a .45 in the summer time more difficult and bought myself a .380 for summertime. YMMV depending on your style of clothing. Also, depends on the ammunition you put in the .380.
2. You really need to make that decision yourself. Those are all good firearms you have listed. Myself, I'm a autoloader person. The guy down/up the list will be a revolver person. Obviously, you want something that you can conceal, first and formost. But a very very very close second, IMHO is one you are comfortable with. It's going to be practice practice practice.
However, don't discount your snubby revolvers based on accuracy. Remember the statistics. Encounters happen within ~7 feet, low light.
I came very close to buying a S&W airlight.
3. Springfield EMP. High price might shy you away though.
"I no longer list firearms I own as a signature. Why give them another list to use when they come to get them?"
July 9th, 2008 05:41 AM
You should also look at CZ's
I carry the CZ PCR in 9mm
July 9th, 2008 06:28 AM
Welcome to the forum.
What you want for your first carry gun is one that you can carry in the most situations you will encounter.
If the PPK/S fit your hands perfectly that for a semi that would be what I would go for.
If you like revolvers, either the Model 60 or 642 would work well. The 642 would be a great pocket carry option. The ability to shoot 357 with the heavier Model 60 (or a Taurus Model 605) would be a great solution for IWB or OWB.
Get yourself a good belt and a couple different holsters for what ever gun you decide.
"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.
July 9th, 2008 07:07 AM
Regardless of what I think, or anyone else things about the "best" caliber or handgun, what matters is you. Choose the weapon that appeals to you the most, that combines the benefits and compromises of fitting your hand the best, and the weight of carry. That is the handgun you will carry all the time and enjoy shooting.
July 9th, 2008 07:24 AM
First off, Welcome Aboard!
Now as far as your choices are concerned, the Sig would be at the top of my list. The .380 is a small round but I believe it's a viable SD caliber. I'm of the mind-set that I'm gonna carry the largest gun/caliber I can comfortably conceal. For me (I'm 5'9", 185lbs.) the Glock 23 (.40) fits perfectly winter or summer. I'm looking at getting a 1911 and a SP101 here soon, but that's just me............
I don't know what other guns/calibers you've looked at but Kahr, Springfield XD series, and Glock have excellent options within your critera, but with what you've posted, I'd say go with the Sig. Ultimatly it's your choice and what your going to want to carry and trust. Have you been to a range that rents the guns you discussed?
"Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008
(Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay
July 9th, 2008 07:28 AM
Welcome to the forum and it looks like you've been doing your homework.
A few comments:
PPK/S- I have one and it has never failed in any manner, so far total reliability. IMHO the .380 is a marginal defense cartridge, though an appropriate caliber for a BUG/pocket pistol; and shot placement is always important regardless of caliber. My PPK is a nice gun, it is pretty thin, but it is pretty heavy for its size. I rarely CC mine, there are better choices out there. Right now I CC a G-27 or 1911, and sometimes my LCP, it just depends? I'd suggest you take a close look at Walther PPS, they are thin and come in 9mm or .40. Some may say they are a bit ugly, but I'm willing to buy one and carry it.
Sig P239- I think they are great CCW and I intend to get one in DAK SAS, I just haven't decided on 9 mm or .40? At least I'm using that excuse to delay parting with my $$$.
S&W 642- As you already know a great CCW revolver.
1911's- There are a lot of great one's to choose from and typically a favored choice by lot's of folks for a CCW. Personally I have a Colt Defender and it has functioned perfectly. If you choose a 1911, you'll need to thoroughly train and practice so you'll function instinctively with this platform. It is a big caliber, and as the saying goes no one has ever wished for a smaller gun during a gunfight.
I think that you have made some good choices, but you're at the point where it typically becomes a personal decision.
Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.
July 9th, 2008 08:00 AM
The real problem with this thread....
The real problem with this thread....is that I already have 16 handguns and with all the very good info and reports that you guys give.....it just makes me wanna buy another
You can't go wrong with any of the info given or the guns listed....just get what fits you. And remember, unless your very different from all these other guys here....this wont be the last gun you get.
Kobra Carry | HK
P7M8, P2000sk, P30s | Sig
P238, P239SAS, 1911 C3, P232, P938 | Colt
Defender, Mustang Pocketlite, 1911 | Rohrbaugh
R9 | Kimber
Covert Ultra II | Browning
HP, Buckmark 22LR(suppressed| Walter
PPK(1966) | Kahr
PM9 Black Rose |
July 9th, 2008 09:06 AM
Add this to your list. I carry a Kahr P9: lightweight, single stack 9mm, fits a medium size hand well, 3,000 rounds, NO malfunctions. I carry it IWB with a Bianchi #100 holster just under my right elbow; very comfortable. Easy to shoot.
Experience with PPK/S: recoil shock is hard on the hand; cleaning presents a problem with a tiny spring that pops out and gets lost easily; underpowered.
I recommend the P9 as an all around good carry choice.
July 9th, 2008 09:42 AM
Welcome to the forum!
What part of MA are you from? I'm impressed you got a LTC there. When I lived there the PD said I didnt need one and wouldnt give it to me. Now, no one gets to tell me what I do and do not need or can and cannot have. Kind of sucks that you have to choose off of an approved list of firearms in MA.
I have on occasion carried a .380. The ammo is pretty expensive and if you are not sure you can afford to practice with it then I would say don't get the ppk.
I would give a vote for the sig or a single stack 9mm 1911 if you are unsure about the .45. In all honesty, once you get used to recoil, the difference between shooting a .45 and 9mm isn't all that much.
Benjamin Franklin once said, "he that would supplant a little liberty for a little safety deserves neither".
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