Looking for my first concealed firearm...

Looking for my first concealed firearm...

This is a discussion on Looking for my first concealed firearm... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey guys, just found this forum and have to say I am really excited to be a new member. Here is the situation: I am ...

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Thread: Looking for my first concealed firearm...

  1. #1
    Member Array TheOhioan's Avatar
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    Looking for my first concealed firearm...

    Hey guys, just found this forum and have to say I am really excited to be a new member. Here is the situation:

    I am turning 21 here in a few months and am trying to scope out a handgun to make my year-round carry, however since I am in school I won't be carrying everyday. I am thinking about an IWB or small of the back holster and want your guys opinions on a few things.

    1. Would a 1911 model be fitting for a first time holder? (I am 6'5'' and 180 lbs

    2. What are some good compact 1911's in the 500-600 dollar range?

    If I do not get a 1911 I am looking at a glock 19 and 23, or an XDc .45. I have tried to get my hands on a few subcompacts and have held the glock 23 ( loved it) but am just kind of unsure about what I want right now. Obviously I plan on renting all the guns I would potentially carry when I can.

    For the TL;DR: I need some good recommendations on first time carry guns!


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    this is like asking any other general question. you will get many different answers.

    the real answer is "the one you can shoot well and keep hidden" that is the best gun for you.
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
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  3. #3
    Member Array TheOhioan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbrenke View Post
    this is like asking any other general question. you will get many different answers.

    the real answer is "the one you can shoot well and keep hidden" that is the best gun for you.
    Unfortunately, this is an answer I keep running into, but understand as well. I guess then I should just ask what are some cheaper concealable 1911's. Another problem I run into is finding a range that has more than a few 1911's to rent...

  4. #4
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    Correct, this question 'which gun' question is like asking which pair of shoes should I buy...loafers or ties?

    But a Kimber my be somewhere in your future.
    I'm just sayin'...
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    I am not an advocate of 1911s for beginners. They are just too finicky and have a lot to learn about the proer functioning and care of their system. You mentioned the Glock 19, I think that would be an excellent first gun. They are so easy to work on, and rugged and overall a very user friendly platform. Thats is what I recommend you start wih and then move up to a 1911.
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    Member Array smartas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOhioan View Post
    Unfortunately, this is an answer I keep running into, but understand as well. I guess then I should just ask what are some cheaper concealable 1911's. Another problem I run into is finding a range that has more than a few 1911's to rent...
    Here are some suggestions that may help...
    1- start reading and spend time considering what you've read.
    2- where do you work and what are your intentions wrt carrying?
    3- go shoot... find a range that rents all kinds of pistols in different calibers and shoot.
    (You'll hear all kind of opinions concerning carry caliber, don't worry about that) right now, just find several guns that work for you.
    4- what works for you? this is where you figure out how much training you've had, how much your willing to get and, what your plans are for practice. I shoot minimum of 50-75 rounds/week from holster along with practical shoots.
    5- what can you afford? you mentioned 1911 which are great guns, use them for competition, would never carry one. My issue with a govt model is locked & cocked in a IWB with about a 4lb trigger pull when the safety is off... IMHO you need to have your act together in a high stress environment so your sure of exactly how you will react.
    so your left with plastic wonders (glocks & XD's, etc...) or the Double action/Single Action group. I carry the latter because there aren't any active safeties and with practice your first double action shot is as accurate as a single action shot. But the best part you have 14lbs of trigger pull to realize that you are pulling the trigger.

    Bottom line this is going to be the weapon your planning on banking your life on and your going to carry it always...

    I carry a 229R 40 in the winter and a 239 40 in the summer with two extra mags.


    Hope this provides some value...

  7. #7
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    After shooting them you'll narrow the field considerably.

    I ended up with a .45ACP because that's the caliber I shoot the best. The 1911 is the weapon I prefer again, because it's the weapon I shoot the best. I love SIGs too but almost always carry a 4 1/4" 1911.

    So it's totally personal choice but, use your shooting as a guide.
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartas View Post
    3- go shoot... find a range that rents all kinds of pistols in different calibers and shoot.
    (You'll hear all kind of opinions concerning carry caliber, don't worry about that) right now, just find several guns that work for you.:
    Ditto...this will trump everybody else's opinion (which can all over the map).

    Rick

  9. #9
    Member Array MSGTLEGO's Avatar
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    A good first gun is on you feel comfortable with and can put "HOT LEAD ON TARGET" in a stressful situation! Practice is Key!

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  10. #10
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    concealed sounds like the key and finding rental guns that are easily concealable may be difficult.

    Do you have friends that have a CCW?
    Is there a local gun club to make friends with gun owners?

    The thing is, without actually putting 100-300 rounds down range, you really don't know if you fit the gun or if the gun fits you.

    Without carrying it for a few hours, you don't know much about how it conceals or about the holster you chose. Holster choice is PARAMOUNT for some guns and not so much for others.

    For 24/7 carry (for me) something like the Keltec P3AT or LCP is very difficult to beat but they are tiny .380's.

    The Baby Glocks G-26 are too fat for me
    I had HUGE reliability issues with my Kahr P-40 (but many others have had no issues) single stack .40 S&W
    the list goes on and on and everyone's list will be different.

    You have to decide how much effort you are willing to put into concealment, what size gun you are willing to carry, what caliber you want, how much capacity you want, how you are going to carry and a ton of other issues. THEN we can try to help you chose a gun. But in the end it is all about what works for you.

  11. #11
    Member Array TheOhioan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartas View Post
    Here are some suggestions that may help...
    1- start reading and spend time considering what you've read.
    2- where do you work and what are your intentions wrt carrying?
    3- go shoot... find a range that rents all kinds of pistols in different calibers and shoot.
    (You'll hear all kind of opinions concerning carry caliber, don't worry about that) right now, just find several guns that work for you.
    4- what works for you? this is where you figure out how much training you've had, how much your willing to get and, what your plans are for practice. I shoot minimum of 50-75 rounds/week from holster along with practical shoots.
    5- what can you afford? you mentioned 1911 which are great guns, use them for competition, would never carry one. My issue with a govt model is locked & cocked in a IWB with about a 4lb trigger pull when the safety is off... IMHO you need to have your act together in a high stress environment so your sure of exactly how you will react.
    so your left with plastic wonders (glocks & XD's, etc...) or the Double action/Single Action group. I carry the latter because there aren't any active safeties and with practice your first double action shot is as accurate as a single action shot. But the best part you have 14lbs of trigger pull to realize that you are pulling the trigger.

    Bottom line this is going to be the weapon your planning on banking your life on and your going to carry it always...

    I carry a 229R 40 in the winter and a 239 40 in the summer with two extra mags.


    Hope this provides some value...
    There is definitely some really valuable points here. The 1911 points especially hit near home. I am currently a student full time so I only really need to carry when walking outside of campus. I think I am narrowing it down to the glock 19 and 23, and the Xd's as those are in my price range. But I would like to get a gun that I can carry IWB without wearing a pant size way larger than mine. The glock sub in single stack 9 seems interesting but I really do not think I will be carrying an extra mag. I plan on shooting about 100-200 rounds every month, which may increase if I get .40 or 9mm as they are obviously a little cheaper.

    Also, a quick question about the XD. Is there any difference between the 4'' XD in .40 and the XD compact in .45? I mean in terms of size etc... couldn't find a compact at my local gunstore and the guy working there tried to tell me they do not make the XD in a compact...

    Thanks again everyone for the input, and this is a great community

  12. #12
    Member Array coriantan's Avatar
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    The XD does come in a .45 compact model. The difference between the .45 compact 4" and ANY of the other 4" models is the grip. The compact .45 has a shorter grip and comes with 2 magazines. 1 - 10 rd and 1 - 13 rd with a grip extension.
    Size comparison: XD .45 compact 7.3" Long x 5" High w/ compact mag or 5.75" High with extended grip mag.
    XD .40 4" Service Model 7.3" Long x 5.5" High
    XD .40 3" Subcompact 6.25" Long x 4.75" High w/ Compact mag or 5.5" High w/ extended grip mag.

    I got the XD subcompact 9mm for my first carry gun. LOVE it! I carry with +P+ Jacketed Hollow Point. Super hot stuff that has ballistics pretty much the same as the .40 S&W but cheaper to shoot practice ammo. IF you go with a 9mm, make sure it is rated for at least +P so you have the option of hotter SD ammo with similar ballistics to the .40 S&W.

    Why XD? Price range was my first point. Second, personally didn't care for the feel of the Glock compared to the XD. Third, I'm left handed and don't like any of the guns with thumb safety on the left side. Fourth, I personally just liked the XD better than any of the other guns in the price range, but there are some other great options out there for the price.

    The Khar CW9 or CW40 is a great lightweight and thin gun for concealed carry, especially good for IWB. 99% positive reviews on it. Taurus makes some good options, both in semiauto and revolver, but you should look up info on the Millenium series before buying any of those. Glock is the highest price I looked at, but barely more than the XD's.

    I want to get a 1911 some day, but now that I have a great carry gun, I can learn more about the 1911 and decide how much I want to put into one without the pressure of buying a cheaper version just because it's in my price range and I want to carry it. When I get one I'll probably carry it, but I can save up and buy a really expensive one, if I choose, without any pressure.
    ~Coriantan~

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  13. #13
    Member Array TheOhioan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coriantan View Post
    The XD does come in a .45 compact model. The difference between the .45 compact 4" and ANY of the other 4" models is the grip. The compact .45 has a shorter grip and comes with 2 magazines. 1 - 10 rd and 1 - 13 rd with a grip extension.
    Size comparison: XD .45 compact 7.3" Long x 5" High w/ compact mag or 5.75" High with extended grip mag.
    XD .40 4" Service Model 7.3" Long x 5.5" High
    XD .40 3" Subcompact 6.25" Long x 4.75" High w/ Compact mag or 5.5" High w/ extended grip mag.

    I got the XD subcompact 9mm for my first carry gun. LOVE it! I carry with +P+ Jacketed Hollow Point. Super hot stuff that has ballistics pretty much the same as the .40 S&W but cheaper to shoot practice ammo. IF you go with a 9mm, make sure it is rated for at least +P so you have the option of hotter SD ammo with similar ballistics to the .40 S&W.

    Why XD? Price range was my first point. Second, personally didn't care for the feel of the Glock compared to the XD. Third, I'm left handed and don't like any of the guns with thumb safety on the left side. Fourth, I personally just liked the XD better than any of the other guns in the price range, but there are some other great options out there for the price.

    The Khar CW9 or CW40 is a great lightweight and thin gun for concealed carry, especially good for IWB. 99% positive reviews on it. Taurus makes some good options, both in semiauto and revolver, but you should look up info on the Millenium series before buying any of those. Glock is the highest price I looked at, but barely more than the XD's.

    I want to get a 1911 some day, but now that I have a great carry gun, I can learn more about the 1911 and decide how much I want to put into one without the pressure of buying a cheaper version just because it's in my price range and I want to carry it. When I get one I'll probably carry it, but I can save up and buy a really expensive one, if I choose, without any pressure.
    The only thing that makes me rather reserved about subcompact is the size, whatever gun this is will be my personal carry and home protection for a few more years until I get outta school and have a full time job. Which is why I was leaning towards a .45 or .40 in a compact size, so I could have a bit of a jack of all trades.... But I am worried about being able to carry during the summer with a glock 23 or XDc.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOhioan View Post
    The only thing that makes me rather reserved about subcompact is the size, whatever gun this is will be my personal carry and home protection for a few more years until I get outta school and have a full time job. Which is why I was leaning towards a .45 or .40 in a compact size, so I could have a bit of a jack of all trades.... But I am worried about being able to carry during the summer with a glock 23 or XDc.
    Curious why you say size (as if size matters)...its how you use it that matters.

    Have you shot any sub-compacts?

    Rick

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOhioan View Post
    The only thing that makes me rather reserved about subcompact is the size, whatever gun this is will be my personal carry and home protection for a few more years until I get outta school and have a full time job. Which is why I was leaning towards a .45 or .40 in a compact size, so I could have a bit of a jack of all trades.... But I am worried about being able to carry during the summer with a glock 23 or XDc.
    I carry a 19 everyday, all year long. With good holsters and proper dress, you can conceal it easily without looking like a slob.

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