Pistols for deep concealment

Pistols for deep concealment

This is a discussion on Pistols for deep concealment within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi there - first post on this forum. I recently picked up my first handgun, a full size M&P 9mm as a home defense & ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Cycler's Avatar
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    Pistols for deep concealment

    Hi there - first post on this forum.

    I recently picked up my first handgun, a full size M&P 9mm as a home defense & fun gun as my wife finally came around. While I was at it, I also picked up a CPL mostly to make life easier because of the privileges associated with it: e.g. not accidentally breaking the law while transporting and being able to use the CPL to purchase over the counter. Anyhow, after taking the class, reading this and other forums, and the way the economy has gone, carrying often/regularly has become more interesting to me.

    I've purchased an IWB holster for my FS9 and carry very rarely for a couple of reasons - size & weight, the fact that I work in pistol free zones (idiotic) and that I absolutely cannot afford to get 'made' while at work or with certain friends - that last part is absolutely not up for debate, I know whom I work/hang around with and the consequences of being made are just not worth it. To that end, I've been looking at the smart cary holster and a smaller gun for cary. I often wear dress clothes (i.e. shirt tucked in) and that looks like the most concealed option out there (and yes I realize that there are tradeoffs).

    The guns I'm considering so far are the M&P9c, Walther PPS (probably in .40 but possibly 9), and Kel-Tec PF-9 or something like it (e.g. LCP). At present the PF-9 is in the lead simply because it's so much cheaper than the rest. M&P9c is also appealing because I really like my FS9, bigger ammo capacity and it seems smart to not switch guns between fun shooting and CCW. Or to put it another way - practice with what you carry.

    Because I think it's worthless to cary an unloaded weapon, I'm a little bit worried about carrying a striker fired gun like the 9c or the PPS in a cloth holster like the smart cary. I'm also not too keen on thumb safeties as I'm not sure I'd be able to work it if I was in a situation, and generally like to minimize complexity. The PF-9 is DAO and I'm a bit concerned about being able to hit what I want with a DAO gun but I like the safety aspect of it in a cloth holster.

    Well, now I'm just rambling so I'd like to hear people's thoughts on the following issues:

    Weight, 9c weighs about double the PF-9, PPS somewhere in between. I feel that almost certainly a more comfortable gun is one that's carried more often.

    Safety in a cloth holster - I'm totally comfortable with a striker fired gun in a holster with one in the pipe, what I'm worried about is an accidental discharge from something catching the trigger or something like this - accidents happen, even when you're really careful. I imagine this would apply a lot to the 9c and PPS, almost not at all to the PF-9. I would also imagine that one could safely pocket cary a DAO gun - true?

    Cost: the PPS is expensive! 9c is pretty expensive, PF-9 or LCP's are relatively inexpensive. Is the extra cost "worth it"

    Thanks in advance and I'm eagerly awaiting your responses!


  2. #2
    Member Array Trumpetchuck's Avatar
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    Welcome Cycler, Michigan here too.

    I carry a M&P9c and am VERY comfortable with it.

    It is striker fired like the Glock. I would not have any worries about that.

    It is comfortable and the weight (to me) is not an issue. Very often I don't even notice I wear it.

    The 9c is very accurate also.

    Lst week at Target.

    50 rounds at 7 yards. 20 center mass, 10 double taps at center, 10 head shots in under ten seconds.
    "Don't be afraid to see what you see.
    -Ronald Reagan-

  3. #3
    New Member Array royyount's Avatar
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    I have the PF-9 and carry it daily. For a CCW, I think it is great. At the range, I can hit what I am shooting at with no problem. Keeping in mind that it is not a target pistol, you can easily hit the center mass with this little gun. I really like how thin the gun is. In my Comp-Tac Pro Undercover kydex, it just disapears under any untucked shirt. The trigger on the PF-9 is a bit heavy, but after 100 rounds at the range, I could not complain about it. It felt pretty smooth to me. You might want to check out KTOG.Org - Kel-Tec Owners Group for more info on the PF-9. On a side note, I would not compare the PF-9 with the LCP since the LCP is only in .380. I would stick with the 9mm. I hope this helps ya.

  4. #4
    Ex Member Array United93's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    I think the M&P9c in an IWB holster might be the best choice for you, given your familiarity with its big brother. OMO.

    BTW, I am not a big fan of 'mouse guns', simply because they do not perform as well as larger weapons when and if TSHTF. A balance must be found.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!

    One often-overlooked factor in concealability, when comparing a full-sized versus compact version of the same pistol, is WHERE the larger pistol prints, or bulges out against the clothing. With Glocks, for example, in my normal carry location, on my body, it is the outside rear corner of the slide that pushes outward on the cover garment. Therefore, my "baby" Glock G27 was no more concealable than my full-sized G22, as this particular dimension is the same with both pistols. Moreover, the opposite rear corner of the slide poked me in the ribs. It didn't take me long to settle on carrying revolvers on my own time, just using the bigger Glock for duty, and selling the "baby" Glock.

    I now use SIG P229s for duty and most CC. Among other things, a P229's slide protrudes less, to the rear.

    I will defer to others' opinions of the pistols you are considering, as I know little about them. Same for the "cloth" holster concept; I have never really wanted to try that. I have used a now-discontinued IWB rig with a swiveling belt loop to carry certain revolvers forward of the point of the hip bone, in an "appendix" position. If you don't need the whole gun to be below the waistband, you may want to search for "appendix" and "AIWB" carry methods.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array BradyM77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cycler View Post
    I would also imagine that one could safely pocket cary a DAO gun - true?
    You can...if you have a pocket holster! I carry a PF9 in an Uncle Mikes Size 3 Pocket Holster everyday and I don't notice it at all. My wallet and keys cause more trouble than my pistol does. It doesn't print and with the pistol being so slim it's completely comfortable.

    As for the other possible choices I can't say because I don't own any of them and I don't form opinions until I fire a weapon myself. But I will say that the PF9 is "mouse gun" size, with the bark and bite of a bigger gun (9mm).
    "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!" Bart Simpson

  7. #7
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    Hi Cycler, and welcome to the Forum!

    I made my choice for a concealed carry handgun I could hide anywhere when I "held my nose" and chose the Kel Tec P3AT in .380 ACP. After an initial period of unreliability it smoothed out and is now dependable. It is easy to conceal and offers more punch than similar sized .25 ACP pistols.

    I always carry a larger more effective fighting handgun whenever possible.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  8. #8
    Member Array llred's Avatar
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    You could always carry a small revolver. You can even find some that are chambered for 9mm.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetchuck View Post
    Welcome Cycler, Michigan here too.

    I carry a M&P9c and am VERY comfortable with it.

    It is striker fired like the Glock. I would not have any worries about that.

    It is comfortable and the weight (to me) is not an issue. Very often I don't even notice I wear it.

    The 9c is very accurate also.

    Lst week at Target.

    50 rounds at 7 yards. 20 center mass, 10 double taps at center, 10 head shots in under ten seconds.
    Wow Trumpet, thats really good shootin!!!
    I hope I get that good. I tend to push my head shots (mozambique drill) to the right. They hit the target, just not centered as well as I would like. I think I may do some shooting this weekend. What better way to celebrate those that help protect all our rights then by exercising the second.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    A Ruger LCP .380 or a Keltec P3AT (.380 of course) makes good sense for a pocket pistol. The only trouble is if you can find .380 ammo in your area. Otherwise S&W's 642 .38 special snubby is quite popular on this forum and makes a dandy pocket revolver.
    God bless our troops!

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    I would recommend the 9c you already have the full size, it'll eat the same ammo. Nice thing about the SmartCarry you wont notice the weight of the pistol at only 2lbs loaded. It's a real good shooter worth the $$$.
    While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3

  12. #12
    Member Array thepierce's Avatar
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    I'm officially jealous of your M&P...
    I too want the compact, but will have to wait.
    As far as the smartcarry is concerned, I have been wearing it for a week with a full size xdm (about the same size as your m&p). It took me a bit to get used to it, I have to put the gun in the right side pocket so the grip doesn't stick out in front of my hip. If you wear it low enough you will forget about printing.
    Also, the trigger is nearly impossible to manipulate through the two layers of denim.
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    Psalm 144:1 "Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle"

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array thebigdl86's Avatar
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    I welcome you to the forum. As far as your dillema goes, the M&P9c would my choice IF I WERE YOU, since you have the FS it just makes sense since you will be familiar with the features of the gun already. It is a fine gun as well, i used to own one in fact. If your worried about price though then the pf9 will do fine. I would lean away from smartcarry though. Nothing wrong with them, just not the best way to carry your pistol IMO. A good IWB worn crossdraw at about
    10:30-11:00 will make just about anything dissapear if you are willing to try crossdraw. It is also quicker then the smartcarry would be. Just my .02
    "Anyone worth shooting, is probably worth shooting several times."

  14. #14
    New Member Array ksuwildcat's Avatar
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    Already been said, but I go with a S&W Airweight revolver (638-3). Works PERFECT with the smartcarry. Simple, light, and reliable.

  15. #15
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    I know it's not a "pistol" but... after carrying my S&W M&P 340CT for a while now I can say I've never owned a handgun easier to carry in more ways/places. It's an outstanding "deep cover" weapon, excellent for backup, and absolutely safe and reliable! A light weight J Frame is hard to beat and there are plenty of used ones available at a savings.
    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
    superior skills."

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