The Right Size? Seasoned CCW'ers advice needed

The Right Size? Seasoned CCW'ers advice needed

This is a discussion on The Right Size? Seasoned CCW'ers advice needed within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; As mentioned in my sig line I own and carry a XD 45 4" with stainless steel. As much as I love the gun, I ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Tros's Avatar
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    Question The Right Size? Seasoned CCW'ers advice needed

    As mentioned in my sig line I own and carry a XD 45 4" with stainless steel. As much as I love the gun, I am starting to feel I am dressing up far too much to conceal it properly. With that in mind, I have started looking into various size of pistols and whatnot.

    The issue I am running into is I have started looking hard at J-frame and similar-sized semi-autos for pocket carry. My worry is that since I feel the XD 45 is too large for my to comfortably carry that I am doing a typical knee-jerk reaction and possibly hurting myself by going too small.

    It's a common problem for a person to knee-jerk from one extreme to the other, so I was hoping that maybe people with various gun size ccw'ing could add their touch of experience on the gun size issue.

    My hope for my next ccw weapon is rather simple; I want to be able to wear regular fitting jeans, and t-shirts while concealing. I would also like the option of still looking acceptable while wearing a button down shirt and khakis.

    I know at one time or another I will have a BUG, and this is part of what compels me to buy a j-frame, however I'm still not sure how confident I am for it being my primary ccw weapon for a year or two.

    Like I said, I am looking for people with experience on the issue, and some input. Thank you in advance.
    Beretta 92FS


  2. #2
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    I would suggest the Sig P239. I honestly don't know how big the XD45 is....but the P239 is very easilly concealable. If it's too small for you the look at it's big brother the P229.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
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  3. #3
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    Options are always good. Even though I'm an obvious supporter of CCW, I've always said that I'll never let CCW run my life. If the situation and dress calls for a pocket gun wearing shorts and a Tshirt, thats what I'll do. If I can conceal a bigger weapon comfortably and not look like a Chester the Molester wearing a trench coat in July, I will.

    I really suggest you take a good hard look at the J Frames, they have been around a good long time for a reason. If you'd rather go with an auto, Kahrs in 9mm are hard to beat. KelTec also makes an inexpensive but a very adequate pistol for that purpose too.
    Last edited by SIXTO; April 22nd, 2009 at 09:09 PM. Reason: typo
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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    +1 to Sixto.

    I carried an XD45 for the last two years and just switched to an XD45c. Warm summer days I carried a CW9 (previously) and now a PM9.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
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    I picked up a XD .45 Service a few weeks ago. 14 rounds of .45 is a good feeling.But I don't have any leather for it yet.
    What I do carry is a USPc in a VM II, a Compact Kimber in a VM II and a 642 in an Andrews IWB.
    USPc 55% of the time.
    Kimber 25%
    642 20%
    It would be hard to carry my XD on a daily basis because of the size, and most times I can't over dress.
    I think to CC 100% of the time most people have to change guns, and there needs to be a J-frame in everyone's safe.
    Good luck
    GUN CONTROL= I WANT TO BE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF THE GUN

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  6. #6
    Ex Member Array GreenHorn's Avatar
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    I cant even come close to hiding my Kimber 5" on my body.
    I currently packing the Kahr PM9 right now (first day of CC carry)!

  7. #7
    Member Array NoNameMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    If I can conceal a bigger weapon comfortably and not look like a Chester the Molester wearing a trench coat in July, I will.
    I think I've seen that guy.

    +1 for the P239 in (I would lean toward .357 SIG). Have you considered compact 1911's. They conceal well IMO.

    The XD is on the large side, but I conceal an XDm. I can see how others may have a problem here though. What kind of holster and belt are you using? Getting the right holster and belt combination could help a lot if you haven't tried that yet.
    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

  8. #8
    Member Array maddy345's Avatar
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    I carry the XD45 almost every day in a crossbreed supertuck. I'm 6'3", 170 pounds. THe only person that has ever noticed me carrying it is my wife and that is because she came up and put her arm around me.

    I carry at 3:30 with the holster adjusted to full cant. I normakky have just a t-shirt or button down untucked to cover it up.

    Since you are already familiar with the XD and its functions then why don't you check out the XDSC in either 9 or .40?


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  9. #9
    Member Array MrGlock45's Avatar
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    I carry a G30SF in a Smart Carry...my usual mode of dress is a pair of dress slacks and dress shirt, and weather permitting, a sport coat. The only pants that I wear are pleated (including Dockers). The Smart Carry is both very comfortable and concealable. My other method of carry for the same gun or it's big brother the G21SF, is inside the waistband with t-shirt underneath and a sport shirt or square bottom dress shirt worn out. Never been made even by close friends who know I always carry. I've had a CCW for 35 yrs now, so I guess that qualifies me as being eminently qualified to answer your question. But do keep in mind everyone has different body shapes and needs, so your requirements may be different than mine are. I am 5'7" and 180lbs. Good luck in finding the right gun/carry method for your needs.
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  10. #10
    Member Array GLOCK23FAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Options are always good. Even though I'm an obvious supporter of CCW, I've always said that I'll never let CCW run my life. If the situation and dress calls for a pocket gun wearing shorts and a Tshirt, thats what I'll do. If I can conceal a bigger weapon comfortably and not look like a Chester the Molester wearing a trench coat in July, I will.

    I really suggest you take a good hard look at the J Frames, they have been around a good line time for a reason. If you'd rather go with an auto, Kahrs in 9mm are hard to beat. KelTec also makes an inexpensive but a very adequate pistol for that purpose too.

    Excellent advice!

  11. #11
    Member Array blgoode's Avatar
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    I can hide a full size 1911 IWB with a button up short leave ****. Even a T shirt if its not too tight. I am 5"8" 160lbs so I aint big at all.

    It prints as much in the length of the grip as my Glock 19 does in the width area. If I carry with NO PRINT AT ALL its Glcok 26 all the way.

    Alot of the time a J frame is in my pocket as a BUG.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Smaller guns

    I think the longer you carry a full size gun without actually getting into any major gun battles that utilize such a gun, the more likely it is that you will start thinking about something smaller to carry. It sounds like you are going through this process now.

    A small gun like a J frame, Kahr or Keltec is a very useful thing to have, and they sure do conceal more easily than a full size. My two personal favorites are an airweight J frame model 642 and a Kahr MK9. They are about the same physical dimensions, but the aluminum frame revolver weighs 15 ounces while the steel semiauto weighs 24 ounces. I will mainly use the J frame in a pocket and the Kahr IWB on the belt. I could actually carry both at once easily, but generally don't.

    These are both smaller capacity and caliber guns than your present .45 XD, but that may not matter in most encounters where you need the gun. I believe the most important things with a carry gun are reliability and being able to get it out quickly and use it accurately.
    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    Wink I dress for comfort, comfort involves "protection".

    Quote Originally Posted by Tros View Post
    I am starting to feel I am dressing up far too much to conceal it properly. With that in mind, I have started looking into various size of pistols and whatnot.

    The issue I am running into is I have started looking hard at J-frame and similar-sized semi-autos for pocket carry.

    My hope for my next ccw weapon is rather simple; I want to be able to wear regular fitting jeans, and t-shirts while concealing. I would also like the option of still looking acceptable while wearing a button down shirt and khakis.
    Is that botton down shirt going to be tucked in? If the shirt won't cover the pocket concealment / printing may be an issue with "regular fitting" jeans.
    IMO you might have the best luck with a 380 like the LCP or P3AT in pocket carry, based on the clothing factors mentioned.

    I wear loose "carpender" jeans or shorts with an untucked loose fitting shirt everywhere but work. I typically have a 380 in the pocket with either a PM40 or Glock 33 positioned at right of zipper in a thin Kydex clip on holster.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Elk Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenHorn View Post
    I cant even come close to hiding my Kimber 5" on my body.
    I currently packing the Kahr PM9 right now (first day of CC carry)!
    I carry a full size Kimber 1911 TLE in a Cross Breed Super Tuck with problem of concealment. Dress pants and dress shirt normally. Last week I had lunch with my Pastor after church he asked if I had a permit to carry concealed. I said yes, so he asked me why I did not carry. I untucked the golf shirt I was wearing to show him my .45.

    In most cases I would not reveal my weapon, but I trust him not to tell anyone. He was surprised I had a full sized 1911 and he did not notice.


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  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    You cannot go wrong with a good J Frame revolver, although for me I use mine mostly for work (something I can grab to take to work and easy to hide out of sight in my vehicle). I also use it for when I make quick trips to the store or fast food drive thru. Other than that it sits in the safe ready to go. Most of the time I manage to put on jeans, white under shirt, belt, holster, Glock 19, and two spare magazines, and to cover it all up, an XL button up shirt. I am willing to deal with the slight discomfort of having a holstered pistol on me because concealed carry is not supposed to be comfortable, it is supposed to be comforting. If you find a good belt and holster, that will make all the difference, trust me I know from experience, and so do many others on here.
    USMC rule # 23 of gunfighting: Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

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