I am brand new to the world of CCW. I have just been OK'd by the state of New York to carry. I'm sure you all have been asked more times than you care to think of, but I'm looking for advice on caliber, and make to carry. I'm sure that I will only ever have one gun, so I want to make as good a choice as possible.
I am on a somewhat limited budget (around $400). I think that a .40Cal is about as small as I want to go, although am open to suggestions. I am not totally opposed to a revolver, but think an auto, being somewhat flat, is better for concealment.
I have done some looking at the Bersa Thunder series, and I also kind of like the Springfield models. Any input would be helpful.
One more thing is that I am a left handed shooter, so ambidexterious use is manditory.
Thanks in Advance
borrow some and see what fits your hand. many shops or ranges/clubs have some loaners you can try. you need to be able to hit with it under extreme stress with screaming, crying, etc. going on around you. for that reason, i use a 38 special j frame sw revolver. i imagine one can always remember to pull a trigger, if taking off a safety does not occur unconciously.
just a thought.
I would suggest that you have room in your budget for good carry gear. This can range upwards of $200 depending on what you decide to carry. Carrying without good gear will ultimately keep you from carrying at all.
Having said that go with the largest caliber you can carry within your budget.
Welcome to the Forum Roadking, congratulations on getting your permit. Both Bersa and the Springfield XD series are getting great reviews, though there seems to be some corrosion issues with the XD finish on all but the .45ACP (the .45 has a better finish). I've got a 4" XD45 on layaway myself.
Without knowing your handgun experience it's a bit hard to suggest any particular model, I personally prefer a 1911 in .45ACP but that requires "Condition 1" or "Cocked and Locked" carry in order to be ready for the worst (loaded chamber, hammer cocked, safety engaged) - some folks are comfortable carrying that way, some aren't. Para Ordinance does offer their LDA 1911 that allows for hammer down, double action carry and they usually get good reviews as well.
Glocks are also fine weapons and most lefties seem relatively pleased with the control setup.
Don't overlook the J-frame revolvers. In .38 +P or .357mag they make a nice pocket gun and aren't that uncomfortable or difficult to conceal in a belt holster.
As far as calibers to keep in mind: .38spl, 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 Sig, .45 ACP, .357mag, 10mm will all save your butt in a pinch provided you do your part. Shot placement is always critical so it comes down to what format you prefer, what capacity you're comfortable with (5 rounds in a J-frame or 10 to 15 in a hi-cap auto).
Wish I could be more helpful but it's really such a personal decision that the best advice I can offer is go to a gun shop and handle as many guns as possible then rrent whatever you can. The gun needs to fit your hand as naturally as possible or you either won't shoot it often or won't carry it as often as you should.
Caliber: with modern bullets, just about any caliber is OK (40, 45, 357, 9mm, etc).
Revolvers: there are several thinner revolvers out there that work OK for concealment. My favorite is an SP101 (.357) ($300-$350). S&W makes some lightweight ones in .357 and .38. They will cost you more, but they are much lighter to carry.
Autos: they have a higher capacity and faster reloads. Springfields are good guns, there are many people on this forum that have them.
Which one: chiefs-special-guy hit the nail on the head with the suggestion to try some out. If you are only planning on buying one, spend some time holding them in gunshops and renting them to shoot at a range if at all possible. If you aren't comfortable with it, you won't practice with it and might not carry it.
Also: don't forget to budget for a quality carry holster. That will add to your budget, but (again) if you aren't comfortable with carrying, you won't carry it.
If it helps, my carry gun is a Ruger SP101 in .357 carried IWB. I've carried it so long, I can't even tell it's there anymore and a longer shirt covers the protruding grip.
Hope it helps.
And welcome to the forum.
Hi there. Ya looking for an auto or revolver? I am a LH shooter too. I use autos , but revolvers are good too.
Alot depends on what fits your dress code, hand size and "just feels right" . Handle and shoot as many guns as possible to find what fits you best.
I feel caliber matters less than what fits you best. Any modern HP's should work effectively.
As Scott said, the gear you choose will make a world of difference both in how stable your gun is and how comfortable it will be over long hours of carrying. Just as important as which holster you buy is what belt is holding the thing in place. Regular belts just don't cut it, we've ALL tried it in the beginning and almost all come around in time.
There are several great holster makers right here on this Forum. They're the best in the business and they're always willing to offer advice when asked.
In your price range and for what you want it for , give serious consideration to the taurus melineum pro series , and as a side note from what you have stated re budget ect ... i would say take a look at the 9mm its cheaper to shoot and you may well be able to budget more practice time/ammo that way anyway just my thoughts on the subject i could well be wrong ya know lol
You have come to the right place and you can be sure that everybody will have their opinions on what to carry. I would agree that 9mm be a good choice if you are giving consideration to a .40.
The ammo is cheaper, more readily available, and their are so many excellent personal defense loads on the market. Being possibly your only gun, I would look at others over the Bersa. Glock, Kahr, and Springfield XD series have my vote for reliability, concealability, and simplicity to use. It has been mentioned, but most important and YOUR feeling on comfort and what is right for you. Search previous forums on what people carry and why. There is a lot of good info here and again, welcome!
Welcome from me too Roadking (another biker here!) :smilez:
There are of course many choices and if you are a lefty then I can but repeat another suggestion, which is as much as you can - to go try any and all platforms you can.
We can suggest x y or z ad infinitum but - you must finish up with something reliable, that fits and with which the manual of arms is quickly second nature to you - easily.
Many folks like .40, and that's fine but - do not rule out other cals yet - it is IMO better to have the gun that feels great, shoots great (for you) and which you can conceal well. of course you must allow something within the budget for carry gear like good belt and rig - but I am delighted NY has given you the permit. That is excellent news.
Welcome To The Forum!
Thanks for registering. :usflag:
I'm not sure offhand but does NY restrict handguns like MA and CA? If so that could be somewhat limiting in your options. Best I can recall, it's just the hi-cap mags that are limited to 10 rounds but I'm not certain of even that.
A used Glock or XD would probably work nicely in that price range. The Bersa is a good gun but I'm not certain it's ambidextrous. You might even consider a Kel-Tec P11. With the fluff and buff treatment outlined on www.ktog.org, they can be very reliable little guns. I'd rather have a Kel-Tec with me when I need a gun than be unarmed because I'm saving up for something better. CTAC makes good Kydex holster to fit the P-11 for reasonable prices, and if you get a Wilderness belt to carry it on you'll be set for well under $400 total. Best of luck to you.
I currently only have 2 handguns. A Ruger MK II (.22) for practice and a GLOCK 26 (9mm). I have shot quite a few other makes including Springfield XDs, various SIGs, various 1911's, and many revolvers. My next purchase wll be a Kahr PM9 and it will be for pocket carry.
I personally love my GLOCK. I've put over 1500 flawless rounds through it. It is very accurate and I can't recommend GLOCK enough. That being said I think the Springfield XD line might be better for you due to the fact that the XDs have an ambi mag release and GLOCKs do not. Either the XDs or GLOCKs should be within or near you price range.
But also keep in mind that the double stack guns will be harder to conceal. If you don't think you could confortably conceal a double stack handgun, I'd go with a single stack like any Kahr pistol. Also you will need a good holster. If you like leather there are many good holster makers on this forum. If you like kydex I and many others will suggest www.comp-tac.com. I have one of their C.T.A.C.s and its perfect.
Get the extended slide release so it will be easier to engage with your left hand and you will be all set.