First CCW weapon choice question.
This is a discussion on First CCW weapon choice question. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; OK, I really want to help you so I took two hours and spent them typing this and doing some more calculations, using my own ...
January 18th, 2009 04:18 PM
OK, I really want to help you so I took two hours and spent them typing this and doing some more calculations, using my own opinions (keep that in mind) and my own experience with hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of research and shooting.
Out of your choices,
Originally Posted by uvamosk
The M&P 40 Compact will be the easiest to conceal and IMO is the best choice out of your listed handguns, unless you don't need to conceal, in this case get the SIG 229.
This is a little long but it has some interesting information if you would like to learn a little bit about a few different choices you may not have considered. I don't know what your price range is though.
1. The M&P 40 Compact
Originally Posted by uvamosk
2. The M&P 40 Compact
3. I weigh the stopping power in my own mind using many different factors, but the most important to me are: I want the biggest possible bullet that I shoot accurately with, and the one with the most momentum while taking into consideration the bullet's grain. This comes down to the Winchester Ranger "T" Series .45 ACP +P rounds that will travel consistently above 950 fps in a HJP through my 4 inch 1911, that spreads into 6 sharp talons (hence the name Ranger "T'", Talons) that cut through flesh (I know it sounds morbid, but the goal is to stop your attacker and blood vessels will be destroyed more easily by these rounds if they are placed properly, which will quickly result in fatal hemorrhage; I have also read that Black Talons, or Ranger "T"s, may make a difference in 3-5% of police shootings: 1 in 20 such instances. So buy some Black Talons if you want the cool black tip or better yet, some Ranger "T" Law Enforcement (LE) rounds from Gunbroker. There are a few boxes of most calibers on the Gunbroker.com website but make sure they are legit. They make a great self defense round.
Recoil is extremely subjective and the same round may vary significantly out of differently built handguns. However, I imagine out of your choices, that the M&P 40 Compact will have the most kick, based on the fact that the M&P 40 Compact weighs 21.9 ounces w/o a magazine and the USP Compact weighs 23.5 ounces w/o a magazine. The higher bore axis on the H&K may also play a role in the kick difference, not sure exactly how though so I won't comment on it. I personally prefer the grip on the M&P Compact much more than the USP Compact so this would aid in my ability to control the weapon's recoil. The Sig is a little heavier I believe because it is made out of a steel frame if I remember correctly, so it should kick less. It weighs 32 ounces with a mag, which is pretty heavy. Then again, I carry a 42 ounce (with full magazine and one in the chamber, 7+1 230 gr .45 ACP +P) 4" 1911 IWB at 4 o'clock or in my Smartcarry holster.
If you want to hear a very intelligent argument for the debate over "stopping power", and you have some minutes to spare, read these articles sometime, preferably after you read this post because you will be able to relate them better:
Law Enforcement/Military Cartridge Effectiveness Study
The difference in the Momentum of a different rounds from reliable Ranger "T" tests that I calculated the data from (just to give you an idea about which caliber to choose for your personal self defense round):
These are pretty cool:
-------------------Test barrel length (inches)--Ft/sec--Meters/Sec
147 gr. 9mm--------------------4---------------990--------302
124 gr. 9mm +p-----------------4---------------1180-------360
127 gr. 9mm +p+----------------4---------------1250-------381
125 gr. .357 SIG----------------4---------------1350-------411
165 gr. .40 S&W----------------4---------------1140-------348
180 gr. .40 S&W----------------4----------------990--------302
230 gr. .45 ACP-----------------5---------------905--------276
230 gr. .45 ACP +P-------------5----------------990--------302
The 230 gr. 45 ACP +P rounds have the same speed as the 9mm but have approximately 36% more weight in kgs. It also expands approximately .14 inches more in the Ranger "T" tests in diameter. IMHO, that is a big enough difference to warrant a .45 ACP +P as my carry round if I can shoot it quickly and accurately as necessary for close deadly assault defense. Otherwise I'm running... The .40 Cal Ranger "T" 180 gr only expanded to .60 and .67 inches in diameter while the .45 ACP +P expanded to .79 inches. The .40 180 gr is also 22% lighter than the 230 gr .45 ACP and is a smaller bullet. The 9mm +P and +P+, as well as the .40 165 and 180 gr, are both excellent cartridges, but I prefer the one that has the maximum potential in the majority of situations.
------------------Kg (converted from grains)-----Momentum (k*m/s)
147 gr. 9mm--------------------0.00952------------2.88 kg*m/s
124 gr. 9mm +p-----------------0.00804------------2.89 kg*m/s
127 gr. 9mm +p+----------------0.00823------------3.14 kg*m/s
125 gr. .357 SIG----------------0.00809------------3.33 kg*m/s
165 gr. .40 S&W----------------0.01069------------3.72 kg*m/s
180 gr. .40 S&W----------------0.01166------------3.52 kg*m/s
230 gr. .45 ACP-----------------0.0149-------------4.11 kg*m/s
230 gr. .45 ACP +P--------------0.0149-------------4.50 kg*m/s
I calculated these last night after debating whether to spend $200 bucks on a new .357 SIG barrel and 2 magazines for my Sig P239, but I decided not to after I worked out this data.
I choose the 230 gr. .45 ACP +P in my Ed brown Kobra Carry 1911. It is the biggest bullet I can feasibly conceal carry IMO, and I like the Ed Brown 1911 platform that delivers them. The Glock 30 is also a great choice, and so is the XD45C.
I have owned and sold off many different pistols and I now own 4. I'd like to add an M&P 40 Compact or a Glock 27 to my collection soon for ankle carry because the Kahr stainless MK40 is a bit too heavy.
So, here is what I have sold over the past 2 years:
H&K P2000SK .40 LEM
H&K .45 Compact DA/SA
Glock 27 .40 S&W (two of them)
Glock 23 .40 S&W
Glock 19 9mm (my first pistol)
Glock 17 9mm
S&W 642 .38 Special +P with CT grips
S&W model 60 .357 Magnum, Pre-lock
Kimber 3" Ultra Carry II (Not cheap, and it didn't deliver for me. The 3" Ultra Carry II that I owned failed to feed many, many times while I was using Winchester White Box range ammo 230 gr. It even stove-piped a live round, never seen that before. I know that it was a 3" model and that they sometimes have issues, but if it is a failing concept then don't market them. It doesn't make sense to me. Anyways, I decided not to buy a Kimber again and instead to go for the real deal).
Now I own these 4 guns, they are all great for carry and the best of the best IMHO for my specific purposes. I CC everyday in either a IWB at 4 o'clock, a Smartcarry holster, or a Galco Belly Band (Note, in the pictures there are Speer Gold Dot Hollow Points and not Ranger "T"s or Black Talons):
Sig Sauer P239 .40 S&W (Not VERY expensive, but about 40% more $cash$ than a Glock or M&P) Not light but not too heavy, about 2 lbs with a full magazine. It conceals very, very well in a nice IWB holster (ex. and my recommendations based on actual experience with them all: Tucker Leather "Heritage" or "The Answer" IWB (go to operatorsedge.com if you want the Tucker in about 3 weeks, a shorter wait time than if ordered straight from Tucker. I will HIGHLY recommend both of those holsters, as well as OperatorsEdge. The Tucker holsters ride lower than the VMII, which is an advantage for my build, and I especially like the Tucker "Heritage" after trying one on a few weeks ago with a Glock 30. It only has leather surrounding the pistol, instead of one side of Kydex like "The Answer" holster has. This Sig also has some of the best night sights I have ever seen, which is one of the most important aspects of a fine CCW IMO. I like them, and am more accurate with them then I was with the H&K .45 Compact or the H&K P2000SK .40 LEM. The Sig is also very reliable and accurate and is just as easy to strip down to clean as a Glock IMO. I never liked the Sig series until I owned one, kind of like my cat. Same story there. They both grew on me as I owned them. I even like it better then the two H&K's that I owned, which were hard to beat IMO. The Glock 23 is also a fantastic weapon with 13+1 rounds of .40 S&W in a very compact frame, consider it too if you are on a tight budget. The Sig has a much smoother trigger pull and the SA trigger is light, which makes it more accurate when I shoot it. I carry the Sig P239 with a round in the chamber decocked, and it weighs in at 2.2 pounds chambered with a full magazine.
Ed Brown Kobra Carry 1911 in Stainless Steel .45 ACP About 2.6 pounds with a full magazine and chamberd, 7+1 or an 8+1 clip. I carry the Kobra cocked and locked with the safety on, hammer cocked, and one in the chamber. It is my favorite Concealed Carry Weapon by a tiny margin over the Colt Python. They are both just sweet. I can rapid fire as fast as possible and put all of the rounds in the area of a paper plate at 3 yards, that is good enough for me in my mind for self defense scenarios. I can put all 8 rounds in a circle with about a 5 inch diameter at 50 feet taking my time. The night sights are even better then the Sig p239's, which are already hard to beat. The Hammer has a smoother action as well. It was $2,600 though, but well worth it all. And you just can't beat a high end 1911 trigger, no contest there really. It is unfortunately much more difficult to clean then a Glock, XD, M&P, or Kahr, and takes about three times as long when I clean it.
2.5" Colt Python .357 Magnum in Stainless Steel (My absolute favorite revolver OF ALL TIME, and I acquired it last year. It is also one of my favorite handguns of all time). It weighs in at 2.5 pounds with 6 rounds of "Black Talons" chambered. I carry the Python with all 6 rounds chambered, I don't leave one chamber open in case the trigger is accidentally pulled because I trust myself to be safe around firearms and I know to watch out for complacency. The .357 Magnum is an absolutely devastating round as I have read from experiences by coroners. This one is also a pain to clean as there are 7 barrels essentially.
Kahr MK40 Elite 2003 Stainless Steel Slide and Frame Kicks like a mule and I usually use it in my Galco Belly Band if I need deep, deep concealment under my shirt. Otherwise it goes in my Uncle Mikes ankle holster or my Smartcarry (It weighs a LOT for it's size: 1.8 pounds with a full magazine. It also only holds 5+1 or 6+1 with a magazine exention of .40 S&W. It isn't a lot but it isn't something to laugh at because I am a dang good shot with it. It is one of my most accurate guns and in a life or death situation, the recoil isn't going to worry me. I carry the Kahr 5+1 most of the time, sometimes 6+1 with the finger extension if I can conceal it. Kahr MK40 Elite 2003's are hard to find, or were hard to find for me when I wanted one, and they aren't cheap either.
If I had to take ONE of these into combat or a life and death situation it would be the Ed Brown Kobra Carry loaded with Ranger "Talons" in .45 ACP +P. It not only packs the most punch, but it also expands to the greatest diameter (almost .80 inches fairly consistently, as opposed to .6-.65 with the .40 and .62-.70 with the 9mm loads), which would make a difference if it passes near a major blood vessel or the heart. And I know I can drill all 8 shots in less than 2-3 seconds within the size of a paper cup at 3 yards, which is a pretty average distance for actual assaults and shooting scenarios.
It all comes down to personal preference and when you pick up the right gun you should know it. Go with what feels the best when you shoot it and go with what you are most accurate with, because shot placement overrides all of the data above.
Last edited by kashton; January 18th, 2009 at 06:18 PM.
January 18th, 2009 06:10 PM
January 18th, 2009 06:15 PM
USP 40c vote
I can't comment on the S&W auto, but I've owned the USP 40c for about 4 years and it is an excellent gun. It is reliable and accurate, and very easy to conceal, being almost exactly the size and weight of the Glock 23. I have a lot of faith in my USP 40c after a few thousand rounds of flawless performance.
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington
January 18th, 2009 06:27 PM
While I can appreciate the above VERY long post a great deal (I too am a nerd for the technical stuff), I think that you already answered your own question when you said that the M&P fit you like a glove. I too have had this experiance with the M&P. It has the best agronomics of any handgun that I have ever had the pleasure of shooting. I have since replaced a great deal of my stable with M&Ps. I have 2 in .45 and one in 9mm.
I would lean toward the 9 as the recoil is less (and I am assuming that it is a concern for you due to your size/stength) AND the cost of ammo is the cheapest centerfire that you will find. We can get into ballistics and argue all day long but the advancements in ammo have brought the 9 in +P to par or above (in manys peoples opinion) with .40. 9mm is a slower round and tends to do more of it's damage at center mass vs. going all the way through and not causing substantial internal damage.
Ultimately YOU have to be confident with your weapon as an extention of your body. ONLY practice and LOTS of it will do this. Shoot as much and as often as you can afford and enjoy your new purchase! I know I do.
BTW- I carry .45 due to it's stopping power and I just plain shoot it well. I shoot 9mm due to it's cost and the fact that the egronomics are identical to my .45 is a bonus BIG time! I can switch between my two full frame M&P without any change in comfort or control.
**EDIT** Just read over the post and I missed my point a bit... I mean to say that you should not only buy on quality and cost but a often missed factor is comfort! Comfort in the company that made the product, comfort in your hand, comfort in how you shoot and comfort in how you carry. For me the M&P fits the bill 100%, for the next person that may be a Glock, SIG or dare I say a Taurus
Pray for our nations leaders!
January 18th, 2009 06:37 PM
well, I bought my first gun just a few weeks ago, a Smith and Wesson M&P9c and I carry it in a supertuck. I have to say I'm quite pleased. While I still would like to get a smaller pocket gun in the future for times when I just can't carry my M&P, the M&P does great. Actually took it to the range yesterday and it was nice and accurate with WWB 115 and Federal HST 124.
Smith & Wesson M&P9c
Nitecore EX10 R2
SOG Access Card 2.0
January 18th, 2009 06:39 PM
You'll never know for sure what you'll like until you can shoot it. If at all possible, borrow or rent any of the guns that interest you, that's the way to go.
Short of that, I would say save your loot for the SIG!
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
January 18th, 2009 06:45 PM
You need bigger pockets Steve! I can fit my FS M&P 45 in mine!
Originally Posted by BamaSteve
In all seriousness. That is where my 642 fits the bill perfectly.
Pray for our nations leaders!
January 18th, 2009 06:51 PM
wow, yeah, I dunno if I could fudge that one. I suppose if I had to I could(haven't tried though)
Originally Posted by nosights
Smith & Wesson M&P9c
Nitecore EX10 R2
SOG Access Card 2.0
January 18th, 2009 11:44 PM
What Thumper said. SIGS are fantatic pistols and won't let you down in time of need.
Originally Posted by Thumper
Sportsterguy-NRA Life Member
Join the NRA today, or don't complain when your guns are taken away!
January 19th, 2009 12:07 AM
My first carry pistol was a used P229 in .40 S&W. It is still my favorite carry. I can drive nails with it. The only down side is the first DA pull. It is long and can cause you to pull it off target. That makes the 1911 SA only a better bet for that problem. But, I would still prefer my P229 and risk a bad first shot because I have 12 more. I don't think I would like the DAK trigger.
January 19th, 2009 12:13 AM
Of the ones you listed: M&P 9c
if you're open to suggestions, Glock 19.
9mm is more than adequate, I don't personally feel that you're really going to gain anything significant by going with the .40 (I'm issued a G23 for work and while I shoot it well, don't particularly care for it).
"Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.Matt K.
January 19th, 2009 10:16 PM
Sorry I took so long to reply.
I was also looking at the Walther P99 as well.
They seem to be a little more than a M&P but I like the over all gun and I have handled one of them also.
I think I might scrap the USP Idea unless I can get them to come down close to 500$ mark for it if its still at the dealer its been there for over a year now.
I have been looking over the H&K P2000sk and can say it very well might be what I want. Only problem is the cost.
I will see if there is any at the dealers I go to maybe I can handle one.
If I could I would probably choose the SIG 229r problem is most of them I see around here are in the 800+ market used.
I am also starting to lean towards getting something that has a threaded barrel option. As living in Kentucky I would love to own a silencer. Though that is something I could live with out.
I appreciate all the help.
I have handled a Glock and I just didn't really care for the feel of it in my hand.
So far only two of the firearms I have handled have impressed me with their feel and that was the S&W M&P and the HK P30 the Sig 229R was nice but felt a little big but not much.
January 20th, 2009 12:07 AM
The HKP30 is in my opinion the best 9mm range gun on the market. Notice I said range gun. Why? Simply because the grip rubs your skin off like sandpaper. I can't carry mine for that reason, unless you always wear an undershirt.
Originally Posted by uvamosk
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
Laws are restrictive but sometimes necessary to maintain a civil society. Rights are nonrestrictive but are always necessary to maintain a free society.
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