It's a BUG, no it's full sized, no it's a...

It's a BUG, no it's full sized, no it's a...

This is a discussion on It's a BUG, no it's full sized, no it's a... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ironically I was thinking of this earlier even before the impromptu XD9SC acquistion, and I was realizing there is a huge segment of the gun ...

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Thread: It's a BUG, no it's full sized, no it's a...

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    It's a BUG, no it's full sized, no it's a...

    Ironically I was thinking of this earlier even before the impromptu XD9SC acquistion, and I was realizing there is a huge segment of the gun market of products that blur the line between a primary and a BUG.

    These guns are too large to consider true pocket pistols for the most part, but they are not full sized either.

    Examples:

    XD subcompacts, Glock Subcompacts
    Kel Tec P11, imho
    Taurus Millenium Pro
    Ruger SP101 with 3" barrel
    S&W K frame with 2.5"-3" barrel

    These guns are a noticeable step up size wise from your snubby J frames with 2" or shorter barrels, your tiny .380s, and your NAA revolvers, but no one really considers them true mouse guns.

    This size category offers a lot of advantages. For one, most people who decry small guns often criticize capacity and power. Well the XD9SC holds 11 rounds of 9mm... you know what, that doesn't suck! As far as I'm concerned that's more than adequate capacity. The SP101 handles powerful .357 Magnum loads just fine, and honestly five rounds is enough to ruin some gangbanger's day, not to mention more interesting possibilities like loading it with hardcast 158 grain loads for a very small gun that could take down a very large animal.

    You also typically get full sized or at least larger sized controls, you avoid the issues tiny parts present, and you get a meaningful sight radius. Plus, I think bigger = better in terms of controllability, which leads to better shot placement.

    And you sure have to admit they're easier to carry.

    The downside as I see it, is that it's really not that much more trouble to carry a full sized gun that does the same thing but better. You have to invest in good holsters to really make the most of these smaller guns anyway, and by the time you do, you could have bought a rig that would enable you to carry a superior tool.

    But still, people's bodies are different shapes, and in my experience smaller people with smaller hands naturally prefer the compact to the full sized, the K frame to the L frame, etc.

    I believe this portion of the market will continue to grow, as it has already, exponentially. But due to their size, I think they blur the line between what's considered a "fighting" handgun (oxymoron, I know) and a "backup" piece.


  2. #2
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    Much blur Euc - always is and always will be probably. Definition too depends in part I think on individual's perceptions and needs.

    I am as you know a full size devotee but if I really have to downside then R9 BUG can become 1 and with 6+1 it will not be too useless!!!

    I still always say - carry the biggest you can - and still feel comfortable and concealed !
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Way back when .... we called this exact size the " off duty " it was best shown at the time by the dick specials ( for the compact folks ) or the 2.5" mod 19/66 smith ( for the tactical folks) it was smaller than a full bore duty gun , but retained most of the benifits in cal and shootabiilty i personaly welcome it back because the particular nitche has been neglected to a degree between the drive for smallest or the one that holds the most rounds lol

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Repairs
    the particular nitche has been neglected to a degree between the drive for smallest or the one that holds the most rounds lol
    I agree... it seems like it's been the last half of my life that this niche has come back in full force.

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    Member Array duckhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    This size category offers a lot of advantages.
    You hit on a bunch of the reasons I finally went with a Kahr - it's a great size for me. I've been a 1911 guy for 12 years now, and was leaning towards a Commanders or Officers model when I got my CHL. After doing a little research and renting guns at the range I ended up with a K9. As I've noted before, it's a solid little pistol designed with CCW in mind from the outset, not a chopped full size. I think that this avoids some of the compromises inherent in changing the basic design of a pistol to enhance concealability.

    Having a pistol this size has ensured that I carry ALL the time, not just when my wardrobe allows me to carry a full size piece. Easier to shoot than a micro, chambered in a major caliber, and easier to carry and conceal than a full size. IMO just like Goldilocks - this size is "just right" for my application.
    "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final." - Bill Jordan

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    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    I find my GLOCK 26 fits my carry needs exactly. Thats why I chose it. I find that it is very easy to conceal. As mentioned before 11 rounds of 9mm is not a bad thing. Plus I'm more than accurate enough with it for ccw purposes. I find this middle ground is the best place to me. Granted I don't have a CHL yet, but I have been carrying it around the house in my C.T.A.C. nearly every time I'm home just so I can get used to it. Also I don't have a GLOCK 17 yet so I can't really comment on the differences in concealability. As for the mouse guns I feel that some of their designs are testing the limits of engeneering and are inherently weaker in design.

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    Yes, I can understand what you are saying. I carry Commander sized 1911's most of the time. And it is hard to find a small sized pistol that you are comfortable with. I used to have along time ago a Titan .25 that was very reliable and accurate but it's a .25 and I know anything is better than nothing. Now I have several of the smaller versions of our favorite pistols. Rossi .357mag. 2" S/S, Para WartHog is little toranado carries 10+1 of .45acp, and the new CZ100 seems smaller than it really is. It mostly depends on what I'm wearing and where I'm going as to what I carry. I feel confident that I can go any place and not be noticed.

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    I find my GLOCK 26 fits my carry needs exactly. Thats why I chose it. I find that it is very easy to conceal.
    My wife carries her G26, and has an unproven Skyy CPX-1 as her BUG.

    Granted I don't have a CHL yet, but I have been carrying it around the house in my C.T.A.C. nearly every time I'm home just so I can get used to it.
    Great way to begin getting comfortable! The folks here gave me that idea a few months ago.

    Also I don't have a GLOCK 17 yet so I can't really comment on the differences in concealability.
    Tougher - that's my primary.

    As for the mouse guns I feel that some of their designs are testing the limits of engeneering and are inherently weaker in design.
    I don't know anything about engineering, but I just love "Little Things": pistols, small electronics, other "minaturized" stuff. Guess that comes from growing up before the era of the wide-spread silicon chips - back in the days of tubes, then transistors.

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    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    I just think gun makers are packing too much into too small of a package for their own good. Don't get me wrong I love all the small autos. But it seems like a miracle that some of them even function.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    The downside as I see it, is that it's really not that much more trouble to carry a full sized gun that does the same thing but better. You have to invest in good holsters to really make the most of these smaller guns anyway, and by the time you do, you could have bought a rig that would enable you to carry a superior tool.
    That's exactly what keeps me from carrying this size, though I love them. One of my favorite guns is a 2 1/2" S&W K-frame. But, it's really not much more work to carry a 3" N-frame and a 1911 is as flat as the K-frame, etc, etc. Still, I would like to see more of this size rather than "smallest with the most capacity" (to borrow from RR..).

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array tex45acp's Avatar
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    It's funny you should start a post about the size of your BUG. I hired a LEO about 4 weeks ago as a part time instructor on his days off. He followed me around for the first two weeks getting to know the business and his job. In the fourth week we were talking about false identification and how to spot it, so I pulled out my Texas DL to show him some points of interest to look for. I store my Texas CHL behind the DL and he spotted it and stated that he didn't know I was legal to carry. He then asked me why I did not carry at the office, and I told him I do, and have for over 5 years. He looked at me funny and then I pulled out of my right front pant pocket my Taurus PT-145, unloaded it and handed it to him. He was amazed that I could conceal a gun of that size and caliber without being made. I think he was a little embarrassed that HE didn't make me. I then pulled out the spare magazine from the left front pocket and he just about fell off his chair. I asked if he carried a BUG and he pulled out, what I think was a Beretta .25 acp. He really liked the PT-145 and the caliber as well. The next day I came in with my Kel-Tec P-11 and spare mags in the same manner. I purposely left the Taurus in my office, on top of my desk, so he could see it when he came in. He commented that I should carry it, so if it was needed, I would not have to run back here to get it. I then pulled out the Kel-Tec and he just laughed!!! He said "I see you have been doing this for quite a while." I ageed and told him I carry everywhere it is legal. His remark was "I have known you and been around you for several years and never have known you carry". Later I showed him my method of carry for my 1911's while still carrying the PT-145 as a BUG. I then showed him my 2" SP-101 that was my first CCW.
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  12. #12
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    I don't carry a 3" auto anymore. I had a PT140, but found despite the short length the thickness was the downfall. I picked up a 1911 4" and find it is more accurate and easier to conceal than the PT. I may look into a Kel tec or such, but have yet to find the right pocket auto for me.

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    Distinguished Member Array AnimalKracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky
    I don't carry a 3" auto anymore. I had a PT140, but found despite the short length the thickness was the downfall. I picked up a 1911 4" and find it is more accurate and easier to conceal than the PT. I may look into a Kel tec or such, but have yet to find the right pocket auto for me.
    The only 3" 1911 I have is the WartHog, this is a nice carry piece just a little wider in the grip not much. It is shorter in the grip than a regular 1911, holds 10+1 .45acp, and with a good IWB holster just looks like a cell phone under a tee shirt. I usually pack a Commander sized 1911.

  14. #14
    Senior Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    ...The downside as I see it, is that it's really not that much more trouble to carry a full sized gun that does the same thing but better. You have to invest in good holsters to really make the most of these smaller guns anyway, and by the time you do, you could have bought a rig that would enable you to carry a superior tool...
    That's a good point. And although I didn't snippet it, it's also a good point about different "bodies".

    I kinda hate to admit this but for some time I've been wondering why a Glock 26 (9mm subcompact) couldn't be a good primary gun. This started several years ago when I entered a GSSF match with a G-26 and tied for fifth place out of 40 some entrants. Plus, I actually moved the G-26 down one place because I tied for second place with a G-34 (9mm practical/tactical).

    Maybe one gives up a bit of accuracy due to sight radius, but in the overall scheme of SD, ranges are generally not going to be long enough for sight radius to matter.

    So why the sub-compact when a larger gun will conceal just about as well? Well, Euc, has pretty well delineated the advantages of a smaller gun. In addition, I believe another answer lies in "just about". There are lots of things we do that causes a print or partial disclosure of a concealed handgun. Simply bending over to tie a shoe can cause a gun to become an obvious lump in that light cover garment. It may even pull the garment up enough to disclose the gun.

    Almost always, going to a sub size gun means giving up lots of ammo and this is true of the G-26 too but to a lesser degree. There's gonna be 11 rounds in the gun, plus a possible 17 rounds in a spare G-17 magazine. And if desired, a second G-26 can be carried in an ankle holster with 11 more rounds. Would I dare suggest a third in a shoulder hoslter or cross draw on the belt?

    I guess one question is how is one better off with a full size gun for SD than an appropriate smaller size? Normally we hear sight radius, recoil, capacity, accuracy, etc. We've already mentioned that sight radius is not likely going to be a factor for SD ranges. Recoil isn't an issue either, at least not with a G-26. There's no doubt in my mind that it has less recoil than a full size, steel 1911 and far less than most snubby revolvers.

    That brings us to accuracy. You're gonna have to convince me that there's enough difference in accuracy at SD ranges to make a difference between a large gun and subcompact Glock - I just don't see it. Not that the G-26 is as accurate as a larger gun, but that it's close enough at SD ranges not to matter.

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