Rookie Concealed Carrier...looking for gun advice!

This is a discussion on Rookie Concealed Carrier...looking for gun advice! within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey all, I'm new here. I just got my CCL here in Texas, and was going about the grueling task of selecting a handgun to ...

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Thread: Rookie Concealed Carrier...looking for gun advice!

  1. #1
    New Member Array whtlghtn49's Avatar
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    Rookie Concealed Carrier...looking for gun advice!

    Hey all, I'm new here. I just got my CCL here in Texas, and was going about the grueling task of selecting a handgun to carry. While I've basically grown up with a gun in my hand, I am new to the "concealed" idea and wanted some "seasoned veterans" opinions before I purchase!

    In selecting a gun, my criteria, in order, are to be:
    1. Concealability & comfortable concealed carry
    2. Stopping power
    3. Price
    4. Ease of use

    I really want something that I can conceal IWB preferrably, possibly shoulder or ankle if I have to. That is why size & weight are two big criteria.

    Here is a list of guns I've been considering. Any pros/cons/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    In no order:

    Walther PPS
    Kel-Tec PF-9
    Kimber Ultra Carry II
    Para Carry 9
    Glock 26, 27, or 33
    SIG P239
    XD Sub Compacts
    H&K P2000SK

    Opinions on these, or any other suggestions? Also, if you have one of these, and an IWB holster or other comfortable way to carry it, please recommend that as well!

    Thanks guys!

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  3. #2
    cmb
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    Senior Member Array cmb's Avatar
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    First I would change the order and make reliability #1, from the list you have that shouldn't be an issue... I have learned after a few days my full size 9mm and a full size 1911 aren't uncomfortable.

    You may want to add Kahr to your list since you do have some guns over $600. Taurus also has the 709 slim out now.

    I personally have a PF9 and love carrying it, it is light I have had no trouble with mine but it does not like 124 grain hps, I stick with 115's. It's less than 16ozs loaded and thin. Does not fit my pocket, I do not like ankle carry personally.

    You also do not have what I consider a pocket gun on the list LCR, LCP etc... you may want to look at some, conveinent, light small, good back ups...

    Shoot all you can, carry if you can while at a range or at the house, borrow friends. Very personal decision different strokes for different folks and this question is asked alot, there are many other threads that cover what people carry and why as well as pics and holster options. Check those out.

    Consider you normal mode of dress and environment also, construction work, suit tie, business casual, whatever... that played into mine, but as soon as I can get to the range and do some more drills I will probably bump up from pf9 to full size 1911. I am 6'0" 205 and wear dress pants (with extra pockets, not the big cargo pocket, just slim xtra pockets) and tucked in polo shirt most of the time.

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Aha! The mythical 'stopping power' has reemerged.........
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Wow; you've asked an open ended question for sure. You've also listed a number of good weapons but they're all over the map as far as cost, size, etc.

    Here's a few thoughts:
    1. Caliber: .45 or .40 = better stopping power but there's quite a bit of snappyness on the .40 and just a good'ole thump with the .45. Bigger folks who can handle the recoil do well with these depending on the gun. I personally perfer the recoil of the .45 over the .40. The 9mm is a cost effective workhorse. I believe it's a great choice because you can buy it hot with all different kinds of bullets or you can buy mild, economical FMJ rounds for extended practice.

    2. Capacity: Seems to be a trend to highter and highter capacity. I think for LEO's, milititary or people who live or work in BAD areas then you need the capacity but I believe that for 90% or better of all civilians 8 or even 5 rounds is more than adequate.

    3. Concealability: the thickness of the weapon and the length of the grip are the two things that affect concealability more than anything else. After that comes the holster/carry rig and then the selection of clothes. autos that are "single" stack are likely to be the easiest to conceal. Large capacity guns Like the HK's or Springfield XD's with staggered mags are going to be tougher due to the thickness. This has a lot to do with your body configuration. the larger, taller, and thicker you are from front to back, the easier it is for you to conceal a larger gun.

    4. Comforts: It's the holster and belt, the holster and belt, the holster and belt. Really it is. The combination of a good holster and VERY VERY Stiff belt that is 1.5" makes a big difference. Then it boils down to the weight. I think a lot of folks go over board when starting out and carry huge duty type weapons and a 100 rounds and find out what LEO's and military know already, that packing gear all day is a pain in the butt and other places. That's why polymer pistols are so popular but remember, the less a gun weights the more comfortable it is to carry the the harsher it is to shoot! Comfort also has to do with how well you handle the recoil. If it's too much blast you get one shot and the 2nd one is eithe way off or you take forever to get back on target. Or worse, the recoil is so bad you flinch or pull the first shot anticipating the recoil. Comfort also has to do with how the weapon fits YOUR hand, not mine or the guy next to you. Funny thing is, a lot of guns feel good in the store but feel different while you're firing them!!

    5. Capability; in order to be effective you need to be good with your gun. that means you need to be able to practice so cost of ammo is a consideration. You need to be comfortable shooting it a bit at the range. and the gun and carry rig have to set up so you can carry it well, carry it long, and be able to smoothly draw and present.

    Now based on all of this you see what guys go through different guns and have boxes of old "hardly used" holsters, etc.

    Not knowing anything about you I can only say talk to a lot of different folks and be real when you consider weight and comfort. Assess your threat level and don't load yourself down with a huge heavy gun plus two extra mags because someone else does.

    Make room in your carry concept for a good simple led light like a surefire and a decent folder.

    The PF9 its a good value for what it is and it'll conceal easily on IWB. It's lightweigh polymer so it'll be pretty snappy, especially with plus P rounds.

    I would also recommend you look at the Kahr line of guns. They're not cheap but they're very thin (easy to conceal), they are very reliable, and they don't have any external controls other than a slide release.

    I believe there's a place for simplicity in CCW. Truth is, if you ever have to use it, you'll likely be doing it very quick. The less safetys or levers you have to use the better. A simple DAO is the simplist you can get.

    If you decide to get something with a safety, practice alot with it.

    I'm also of the opinion that rotating through carry guns or changing them like we change socks is a bad idea. Once you've experimented and filled your holster box I think it's a good ideas to settle on your main carry gun and ammo and stick with it.

    I'm also of the opinion that no matter what else you get, eventually you ought to get a J frame .38. It fills a niche and you'll want it eventually.

    Well that's enough from me. There's a lot of folks who are so knowledgeable on this forum. They can help and straighten out anything I got wrong.

    Do yourself a favor and make sure you really think through the implications of carrying too....

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    Distinguished Member Array Wasabi's Avatar
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    Glock G33 and/or PM9 (Kahr can be pricey).

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    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    Of the guns listed, I would go with the Glock 27 or Glock 33. It is a great platform. If you go with the 27 or 33 you can buy a 9mm barrel, .40 barrel, or .357 sig barrel and shoot all three calibers in the same gun.

    No reason to get a 26 and limit your options to shoot the other calibers (the other caliber barrels won't fit).

    Other than the Para9, I think they are all good choices.....as long as you are willing to put some work into the PF-9, or send it back to the factory to get it tip top.

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    You might also want to look at the CZ line of guns. Priced right, and very reliable. My EDC is a CZ75 P-06, I also have a CZ RAMI .40 if I feel I need to carry something smaller.

    As mentioned earlier, redo your selection criteria and place reliability at the top of the list. A .380 that fires all the time, every time, is 100% better than a .45 that fires most of the time!
    Last edited by archer51; July 18th, 2009 at 06:47 PM. Reason: added thought

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    New Member Array whtlghtn49's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great advice already, guys. I will definitely be checking out Kahr's line and adding them to the mix.

    Yes, reliability is & should be my #1 priority, and by selecting the models I have, I believe they all offer reliability. Of course, I can't say that the Kel-Tec PF-9 will be AS reliable as a Glock after being frozen in a block of ice, but as far as being in an IWB holster, exposed to very few, if any, elements, I think they will all be rather comparable.

    Being a bigger guy (6'3" 225lbs) and having plenty of high-powered handgun experience shooting .44 Mags, ,454 Casulls, and .357 Maximums competitively, recoil doesn't bother me too much. That being said, if 2 guns are identical but for the kick, I and everyone else would choose the softer shooting gun everytime!

    I'm probably not the type of guy that is going to be carrying 2-3 guns on myself at all times...just seems pretty impractical to me. I will carry one gun, and possibly an extra mag. I will also always have my Kimber full-sized 1911 in my seat holster by my right leg.

    Does anyone carry any of the aforementioned guns IWB, and if so, is it comfortable & accessible?

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    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    Find a range that rents guns, or a friend/someone who owns the guns you are interested in, and shoot the hell out of them. Pick the one you feel most comfortable/are the most accurate with and get yourself your own. Then start your personal quest for a what you think is a comfortable method of carry - i.e. IWB, OWB, shoulder, angkle, pack, bellyband, etc. Just some FTI, what works for someone may not work/be as interesting to others.

    That out of the way, and since you are in texas - similar weather to where I'm at - try a HK45 in a Safepacker for EDC and a S&W 438 in a pocket w/ a pocket holster for more formal/sitdown occasions.

    Just my 2 cents.
    I can no longer keep track of threads as I used to. If you need to contact me, PM me instead of asking me something in the thread. Disclaimer - No legal advice issued anywhere. Take care.

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    From your list...

    The Kimber Ultra Carry or the Glock-26...
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    VIP Member Array old grunt's Avatar
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    Working from your list: Glock 26 meets the requirements nicely! Good Luck!
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    Get a S&W snubbie in 357 magnum especially since you are not overly sensitive to recoil. Should the revolver idea not appeal to you, get a SIG 229 in 40 caliber. You can get by with something less expensive, but ultimately getting either of these will not leave you wanting.

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    I would go with an XD 9 SC or a Glock 26
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    Distinguished Member Array Arko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    You might also want to look at the CZ line of guns. Priced right, and very reliable. My EDC is a CZ75 P-06, I also have a CZ RAMI .40 if I feel I need to carry something smaller.

    As mentioned earlier, redo your selection criteria and place reliability at the top of the list. A .380 that fires all the time, every time, is 100% better than a .45 that fires most of the time!
    I agree. CZs are overlooked gems. You can get a real bargain in a great gun.
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