Selecting a CCW gun for female wear in hot weather

This is a discussion on Selecting a CCW gun for female wear in hot weather within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi everyone, This is my 1st time here, but have been lurking for awhile. Searched & read a gazzillion threads on these forums and have ...

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Thread: Selecting a CCW gun for female wear in hot weather

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    Member Array buggysmama's Avatar
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    Selecting a CCW gun for female wear in hot weather

    Hi everyone,

    This is my 1st time here, but have been lurking for awhile. Searched & read a gazzillion threads on these forums and have learned a lot in a short amount of time.

    I've decided to become a gun owner. I consider this a really serious decision & have thought a lot about it, came to the conclusion that this is something I have to do for my safety, hubby's safety, and the safety of our 2 kids. We have 2 young children (both <4 yrs old), so any gun I purchase will be in either in a gun safe or safely holstered on my person.

    Also intend to get my CCW permit after I take a beginner's gun class next month w/my sister. We're taking the class at a range where you can rent guns by the hour. Ideally, I'd like to shoot the gun I'm going to buy BEFORE I purchase it. But this place doesn't have all of the guns that I'm considering.

    So here's my question...how in the world do you narrow down your selections? Here are the issues I've been pondering:

    - has to be comfortable enough for me to carry every day.
    - I live in Arizona. It's bloomin' hot here for 5-6 months of the year (read: CCW w/heavy clothes is not an option). Hence, I'm afraid that something really heavy is going to get annoying really quickly.
    - price: I don't want to spend $1200 on a gun, but $600 is ok
    - am trying to decide between 9mm and .38.
    - I am female, but do NOT have small hands

    I went to a gun shop last weekend and handled a few guns...quickly decided that revolvers are probably not for me. I liked how the Ruger LCP was very lightweight, but the grip was awkward. Couldn't figure out what to do with my ring & pinky fingers...I think that the grip on the Ruger LCP is too small for me.

    Thus, the grip on a Keltec P3AT is probably going to have the same issue, right?

    Sheesh, I've got a list of 14 different guns that I'm considering. I think that I need to go back to the shop & try on the others for size. In the meantime, I'd appreciate input from you knowledgeable folks.

    *** Edited to add ***
    Whatever I do end up purchasing, it has to be a gun that is reliable. In other words, I intend to do a fair amount of target practice so IF I was in a situation where I had to fire the weapon, the shot would hit its target.
    Last edited by buggysmama; February 15th, 2010 at 12:47 PM. Reason: add info about use

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  3. #2
    CMR
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    Kel Tec PF-9 gets my vote.

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    Couple of candidates...

    Given your preferences and constraints, I would think something in a single stack 9mm polymer frame gun would fit you best. This would be lightweight and easy to conceal, yet would give you a full hand grip and magazine capacity of about 7 rounds. I believe the two best candidates on the market at present are the Kahr P9 or the Walther PPS. Both guns have been on the market for awhile and have proved themselves to be reliable.



    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

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    Just a suggestion but try the keltec pf9. It's a bit bigger than the p3at and with the pinky extension it fits my whole hand. It's VERY light and VERY small. you can conceal it with nothing more than a t-shirt, I carried one for over a year. It's a 9mm but it has bite. It's not a very fun gun to shoot, when loaded with 9mm +p it shoots like a light weight .357 mag but it's good at what it was designed for, protection. With a pinky extension on the mag and a hogue handall jr (slip on rubber grip) The pf9 is a great little gun. Also, with the right holster you can conceal just about anything so take your time and find something you really like don't just go on size alone.
    Vermont does not issue Permit/Licenses to Carry a Concealed firearm. Vermont allows anyone
    who can legally own a firearm to carry it concealed without a permit of any kind.

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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    No matter which you select you will have to modify your dress around the pistol. My wife carries a Walther P99C (compact 9mm) and with a good OWB holster it hides easily behind an untucked shirt or in an IWB with a tucked top.

    She prefers to carry her's with the finger tip magazine allowing a solid, full handed grip which makes recoil very easy to manage.

    bosco

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    You're doing the right thing--trying out different guns...shoot many types.

    If you're choosing between 9mm and .38.....well, the .38 is most likely to come as a revolver. I would still recommend you try .40 or .45.....it might surprise you.
    Have you checked out Cornered Cat
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

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    There are a number of guns that are both comfortable to shoot but still small enough to conceal. I'll also try to keep it within your price range. All of these firearms I have personally shot and compared while looking for a compact 9mm that was both comfortable to shoot and carry.

    The Glock 26
    This is Glock's smallest 9mm. It contains a double stack magazine which makes it a little thick and therefor a little bulky. It also has a more "square" frame so I find it to be easier seen under clothing than a more rounded frame though that would depend heavily on your body and clothing type. However, it is a very reliable, durable and accurate gun. You won't go wrong as far as function. Standard magazine capacity is 10 rounds.

    The S&W M&P9c
    The S&W M&P9c is probably the most comfortable compact 9mm I've ever shot. It is as great for concealing as it is for just shooting on the range. With its interchangeable back-straps and extended magazine, it's one of the more versatile carry guns that is also a pleasure to shoot. It is also very accurate and reliable. Again, due to it being double-stack it can be just a bit thicker but this may not be an issue depending on body type. It also has a capacity of 12 rounds allowing for many rounds to be thrown down range.

    The Walther PPS
    While its capacity of 6, 7 or 8 rounds (depending on the magazine size) shies in comparison to the guns mentioned above, its single-stack frame makes it significantly slimmer than the afore mentioned guns and therefore more concealable. This pistol is certainly a fine piece of equipment and a rather comfortable shooter. It comes with interchangeable back-straps similar to those of the M&P but because of how thin it is it can feel a little awkward in the hand, though not uncomfortable. It may not be comfortable to put hundreds of rounds down range with this gun, but it won't be painful either. This is a concealed carry gun more-so than a range gun but a good shooting gun.

    The Sig Sauer 239
    While you are starting to get a little more pricey with the Sigs they are also worth the money. Sigs quality and service make them some of the best handguns on the market today. The 239 is a single-stack 9mm (though it comes in .40 and .357 Sig). Its heavier frame absorbs a lot of recoil making it one of the most comfortable shooters listed here. They are availabe in the DAK (Double Action Kellerman) model, which is a DAO (Double Action Only) system with two trigger reset points, and a lighter, smoother pull than that of traditional DAO handguns. In short, the trigger is easier to pull, consistent, and more comfortable than the DAO or DA/SA models. If you want to know more about the difference between these types of triggers just let me know. I'd be happy to explain.
    The 239 still has lower capacity than the Glock or the M&P at 8 rounds for the 9mm.

    The Taurus Millennium PT111
    This 9mm is back on the side of the higher capacity with standard 10 round magazines. It's also on the lower budget side of things as well. While Taurus, as a company, has had a troubled childhood and spotty reputation in the past, they have come back as a credit to the firearms community. Each firearm also comes with a lifetime warranty for the life of the gun so if anything ever does happen to the pistol the most you will ever be expected to pay for its repair is shipping and handling. It's extremely light and small so can take a little adjusting to, but with a firm grip a confident handler will be mastering this firearm in no time at all. Also, unlike some of the other firearms mentioned here, this Taurus comes equipped with a thumb safety and relatively light DAO trigger. Take down can be a little tricky, but once that is mastered this little guy can be a delight, both to carry and to shoot.

    The KelTec PF-9
    This just is both light and thin, setting itself somewhere between the Taurus and the PPS in feel and recoil. Unless they have done something new to their triggers since the last time that I shot one they can have rather heavy, long triggers that slap the finger a bit, sometimes to a numbing degree if you are doing a lot of shooting. They are, however, light and compact and can be good little concealed guns.

    I know there are more swirling around in my head so if I think of another I'll add it.

    And, as a woman, let me say that comfortably concealing, even in blazing heat, is possible. Your greatest ally will be your holster/gun combination.

    Welcome to the forum!

    PS... Thanks Pogo.. I forgot the Khar 9.

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    Member Array buggysmama's Avatar
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    thanks - you guys respond so quickly! hadn't really considered .40s, so will look at those, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buggysmama View Post
    thanks - you guys respond so quickly! hadn't really considered .40s, so will look at those, too.
    If you are thinking of expanding to the .40 or .45 the good news is that most of the models that I and others have listed above come in a .40 variant. They just aren't going to be as comfortable shooting, in fact they might be down right painful after a few hundred rounds but that's up to you to decide.

    I, myself, carry a .45, but USUALLY a full-frame one to absorb the recoil. I have and still carry a small, alloy frame .45 but after 300 rounds in two days it pulled a tendon in my hand and left me in a considerable amount of pain.

    Since you are shooting for defense and usually no more than 8 rounds or 16 if you reload, it's not an issue, but if you are planning on taking your new purchase to classes or do lots of training where you may have to shoot more than you might want to consider the effects of heavy recoil on your hands.

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Great review/advice Limatunes.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    One thing to consider is what safety measures you want on a gun. I know you will have it safely away from your children BUT they do reach, grab, tug, etc...I personally would want a manual safety until they are older. The trigger safety that is found on Glocks is a safe design BUT not enough for me if I am going to be carrying around young children. Once they are alert and wont be hanging all over you, then I would be absolutely fine with it. However, thats just my opinion.

    I am a Taurus fan and I think the PT111 would be a good option. The PT709 would be the PERFECT gun BUT they are new to the market and some ppl have had a few issues. You might still want to check it out though.

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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Lima, we would welcome your views on the Taurus Slim when you get a chance...
    Recently updated website: http://www.damagedphotorepair.com

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    Welcome to this mess of wayward people with nothing better to do (myself included) than to hang out on this forum. Anyway, I too live here in ‘Lizard Spit’ Arizona where it easily runs 112-116 in the summer so nothing is going to be sweat-free.

    With consideration to being new to guns, I highly recommend a revolver for beginners. With respect to basics; motor and sensory skills are more easily taught and learned (retained) on this platform. Fact is, you’ll likely end up with one at some point anyway, so might as well shoot two birds with... it.

    Regards,
    Dan
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
    ~ Stephen King

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Of all the handguns you are considering I would lay them out, side by side, and ask myself one very important question:

    "If I knew I was going to be in a gunfight, and could only have a handgun, which of the one's I have laid out here would be my choice?"

    That should make your selection for you. I myself have gone with larger guns, like the Hi Power and 1911, Glock 19 or 3" GP100 as I find them easier to shoot under stress. I find those size guns to be a good compromise between concealability and shootability. If I can't shoot a 50 or 60 round "qual" course with the gun I am carrying, I won't carry it.

    I carry in a hot, dry desert environment and have no trouble dressing around the gun. It may take some expirmentation on your part, until you come up with a good Belt/Holster combo that works for you, but it will be worth it IMO. I favor my Hi Power with Cargo Shorts, untucked Polo Shirt and flip-flops.

    Biker

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    PM sent from fellow zonie'...
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
    ~ Stephen King

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