First Concealed Carry Gun!

First Concealed Carry Gun!

This is a discussion on First Concealed Carry Gun! within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey guys, I'm just about to buy my first concealed carry weapons and I have a few questions about it! People have always talked well ...

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Thread: First Concealed Carry Gun!

  1. #1
    New Member Array Willthewise1's Avatar
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    Oct 2019

    First Concealed Carry Gun!

    Hey guys, I'm just about to buy my first concealed carry weapons and I have a few questions about it! People have always talked well about glocks so those are kind of the main ones I was looking at.

    Glock 19 - This is is probably the front runner for what I want to daily carry. I've talked around with people in law enforcement and this is normally what they say I should carry. Has a good magazine size and has a slot for an attachment. The only down side is maybe the size.

    Glock 26 - I've been reading a lot about this gun and have seen a lot of good things about it. obviously, its a bit small then the Glock 19 which would be nice.

    Glock 43 - I was looking at this gun originally because of the size but I don't like the fact like it has 6 rounds per mag.

    P365 - Also heard some good things about the sig guns but think you're going to pay a premium I try and stay away since glock is cheaper. That doesn't mean I wouldn't pay it but since its my first CCW I wanna try and keep it basic.

    S&W M&P Shield M2.0 - When I've gone up to stores the people at the glass windows always recommended it and told me to look up more information on it. Like I said before it just seems to me that sig and glock are two of the top contenders so I tend to lean towards them.

    If anyone has any other suggestions I'd be more than happy to listen. I know people say that it depends on the person and how they shoot but out of shooting all of the especially from the Glock 19 and Glock 26 which feels the best?

    Now, let's about about holsters. I'm pretty sure I want to carry IWB but is there any benefit to carrying appendix or ankle? What is a trusted brand that I can go out and buy?

    I know people talk about weight a lot and being able to concealed the gun. I'm 5'9 165 pounds so I'm not huge or anything but I'd like to be comfortable while carrying but obviously still have it if I need it. If there any thing good upgrades that are worth getting let me know. I'll probably want to changes the sights on the gun and add a flashlight but any other good changes let me know!

    If there's anything I should know just let me know and thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Member Array stukinNY's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Well North of the Sewage, NY
    Any of the models you mentioned are useful for something. I would suggest a original shield 9mm, which you can find for $249 online now, and with a $50 rebate on top of that. Start with something quality, street tested and approved. Spend the rest on a belt, holster, mags, ammo and training.
    Old Man, Haywood, bigpapa and 1 others like this.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Orlando, Florida
    understand one thing. A concealed carry gun is one that you will have on you 24/7, 365. I had a friend that would only carry a SIG 220.....except he never had it with him because it was too big. Always left it in his truck.

    The Glock 19 and 26 will be the easiest to shoot well, but the hardest to conceal. They are bigger and thicker than any of the others on your list.

    I carry a Glock 19 or 26 and any one of the last three listed as second guns, but that is me. If I carry just ONE, it will be my Glock 26. I wanna be able to hit what I aim at, and I know the last three will be real iffy past ten yards. Little guns with lots of ammo are great, but still not as easy to handle as a larger gun. Physics. Some here will disagree.
    deadguy, ETXhiker, Risasi and 1 others like this.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array RonM0710's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Spring City, TN
    I would be looking at the new Springfield Armory Hellcat. It is a 9MM the size of the Glock 43 or the Sig 365 but carries 11+1 in the flush mag and 13+1 in the included extended mag.
    "Lets Be Careful Out There!"


  6. #5
    Nix is offline
    Distinguished Member Array Nix's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Howdy, Will!

    Great set of choices you've got there.

    My experience is with the G19 and G26 (from your list). Between those, the G19 is a bit easier for me to shoot well, but I find the G26 easier to carry and conceal. So, I end up carrying the G26 more often than the G19. As Zonker points out, you want a pistol that you will feel comfortable carrying all the time.

    I will say the Sig 365XL looks really tempting to me. If you can, try to shoot each and see if you have a preference.

    Holsters are a tricky thing to recommend. Every one is different and the holster that works for me, may not be ideal for you. For a Glock, I kinda like the Vedder holsters: simple and well made. I also have Nelson holster (DC member/sponsor) for my Glock 26 for strong-side carry, it's a great option and a really nice holster.

    Goo dluck with oyur search and keep asking questions!
    ETXhiker and bigpapa like this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Array Talldog's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    New Hampshire
    If at all possible, you should find a place that will let you shoot the guns you're considering. You will learn a lot, but even that won't tell you much about what it would be like to carry the gun you choose. It can be a long process. It was for me. Fortunately, I can afford buying and trading in guns (within reason), so it's been an enjoyable journey. And when you get to where you want to be, it's all good.

  8. #7
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    Array ShooterGranny's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Southeast USA
    My son is just starting to look for a gun for himself. Yes, he is taking training, both individual and classes, as he searches for the right gun for home defense and carry. He feels that the S&W Shield EZ is a perfect fit and pleasant to shoot, but would like to get a 9mm. He really liked the Glock 43 a LOT but wants a gun with an external safety since he is a new shooter and feels the extra measure of safety is wise.

    I suggested that he look at a S&W Shield in 9mm. He said it is WAY TOO SMALL to be comfortable in his hands - and he does not have large hands at all.

    What does this have to do with you and your questions? It is sharing experience from a man who is going through the same process, and who is an engineer. (Engineers research EVERYTHING, forever, in case you didn't get that reference point.) The reason he is learning toward the Shield EZ in .380 is because his wife will most probably be learning to shoot also and I know her and know that any gun with much recoil is absolutely not going to work for her. My son can get another larger caliber gun for himself. They can afford two if that is best for them.

    As others have and will continue to point out, the price of the gun is half or even less than half of what you will spend for a complete package: Gun, holster(s), sturdy gun belt, cleaning supplies and beginning amount of ammunition. If you have a budget, try not to look at guns that cost more than you really can afford, realizing that the gun is the beginning of expenses.

    You refer to the people in the glass windows. You NEED to go to a range that rents guns, get instructions and try a few different guns! What is perfect for one person is the worst possible choice for another person. And that is a fact.
    Getting old was not on my list of "things to do" in the Golden Years!

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  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array RedSafety's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
    Springfield, MO
    Find someplace to rent and shoot them. There are a large number of popular conceal carry pistols because everyone has different tastes and wants. Buying a Glock because "everyone" is buying one is plain stupid. Yes, it's a very nice, reliable pistol. but it may not be right in your hands, especially after pulling the trigger a few times. All your choices are very good, reliable pistols. Personally, I would skip the G19 because of the size. But that depends on you if you can conceal it. Some people can, but it will take more effort to do so and stay concealed. If it works for you, go for it. In my search, I narrowed it down to 3 guns. All were highly rated and very popular. One shot with one of them was enough to say no. Nothing wrong with it, just not for me. I ended up looking for a good deal on either of the other 2 as they shot well and fit my hand pretty well.
    Nix, M1911A1 and bigpapa like this.
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
    Where you will end up after carrying a concealed handgun is a guess even for you right now so any Glock will keep its used price up pretty good if you ever want to trade it off for something else down the road. Which you likely will, trust me.
    Any of those on your list are quality built and reliable so your on solid ground.
    I have carried something like 35 handguns in my life and my most carried gun today is a S&W 642. That is not a recommendation at all for you just saying your tastes or lifestyles or carry needs will change over time. Personally I would recommend something thin over capacity for starting out and you may realize that a larger gun is not that hard to conceal once you get the hang of it if you want to make the commitment.
    The P365 XL is big enough to shoot easily and small enough to hide easily but, the standard P365 or the Glock 43 are both super easy to conceal and for me both very tame to shoot. They may not be for you so try and actually shoot some.
    Happy handgun hunting.
    Nix, Hoganbeg, Old Man and 2 others like this.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array TSKnight's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    SW MN
    Welcome to DC!
    Some good info already posted.

    You have a pretty solid list that covers a good range of sizes.
    While I carry a G19 much of the time, there are times when it is too big for me to conceal reliably. For those times I pocket carry a Ruger LCP. Choices are always nice to have. The gun you leave at home or in the car will do you no good when you need it now and the car/home is miles away.

    As a first carry gun, I don't think you can go wrong with the S&W Shield 2.0. Half the money of a new G19 in a reliable and easy to carry package.
    Old Man, Wavygravy and bigpapa like this.
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  12. #11
    Ex Member Array starlights's Avatar
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    Sep 2019
    - all depends on your needs and comfort levels
    - when I was a kid I swore i'd CC such-and-such gun one day
    - when I became an adult I LOL'd at the size and WEIGHT of such guns
    - too heavy, too big, and I'm not stuffing something inside my waist-band and calling that comfy
    - can't carry on belt because it doesnt get that cold here

    - for ME pocket carry and LIGHT are what works.. so my fav is the 340PD
    - for YOU you must determine what you want in REALITY

    - come up with a primary choice and 2 or 3 'backups'
    Old Man likes this.

  13. #12
    New Member Array Willthewise1's Avatar
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    Oct 2019
    @stukinNY I'll have to take a look into that.

    @zonker1986 Yeah, I'm fully aware of that it's just hard because I've seen some of the small weapons wit the bigger clips and some people saying they malfunction so I'd rather carry something heavier that is more reliable. But also on the flip side have never had to carry something that weights that much so I can't really say for sure. Almost everyone in law enforcement that I've asked has said the Glock 19. Some of them said Glock 26 because you can't make a bigger gun smaller and since they take the same mags it didn't really matter to me other then people saying Glock 19. Which I think a 19 would be easier to shoot and since I can add an attachment on it too easier.

    @RonM0710 - I'll look into it.

    @Nix - I appreciate those comments. It seems that both are over all guns I guess when I go to the range I'll be able to have a feel for them a little bit better. Since it's my first gun I'd rather have a gun I can shoot well with but like everyone says I'll be carrying it all day so comfortability is vital! I've seen very good things about the Sig 365XL but I saw one saying it jams a good bit too and so I didn't wanna go that route but who knows. Thank you for the hostlers comments I know for the most part I can't go wrong with any of the gun but I feel like hostlers are another story! Wanna buy something that fits well but also is durable.

    @Talldog - I feel that, there isn't many good places to shoot around here that rent. The only one on there list is a glock 19 and there pretty expensive if they did have the other guns I wanted to shoot it'd be at least like $100 to go out there and shoot. I have a friend who is exarmy and he said I can shoot some of his guns but he's so hard to get into contact with.

    @ShooterGranny - Thank you for all this information hoping to get to the range this weekend!

    @RedSafety - I definitely agree with you on that but I stated before they are pricey around here but thank you!

    @forester58 - I really want to like the P365 XL but there's a good amount of reviews that says the gun needs a little bit of work. I understand that carrying a single stack makes the gun slimmer and probably an overall smaller gun which means less weight but I'd rather carry more ammo and have a bigger gun but that may just be me. Looking at the P365 NITRON MICRO-COMPACT is pretty enticing though.

    The more and more I think about it my mind is going to the P365. Any thoughts on it?
    zonker1986 likes this.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array M1911A1's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Northwest Washington State
    Very small pistols are experts' tools. They are not for beginners.

    Pistol shooting, in general, is very difficult to master. You can't just buy a pistol and bang away.
    Receiving some training from a professional teacher will prove extremely useful.

    And I'll add my vote to several others, who suggested try-before-you-buy.
    You can find a shop or range which will rent pistols for you to try (on their premises, of course).
    Rent as many different pistols as you can afford to, perhaps in five-gun batches. (More than that will only tire you out.)
    Take careful notes on every gun you rent. Then go home and re-read your notes, and take your sweet time when making your choice.
    Retired Leathersmith and Practical Shooter

    "Qui desiderat pacem, pręparet bellum."

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member
    Array Old Man's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    Welcome to the DC Forum. Looks like you are studying, reviewing, asking questions, and wanting to get your first concealed carry firearm "right".

    All of the handguns you have listed are currently being carried by someone who participates on this forum. Each one of the five you have listed will work and work well, if they will work for you. Try to shoot each one, if you can. At least hold them and see what you think. They all feel different, carry different, and have their good points.

    For a long time, whenever someone would pose the question, "Which first handgun should I purchase?" the majority answer has been "Glock G19". While not Gaston's first, it is certainly one of his most popular models for self-defense. It does a lot of things well. Large capacity (if you live in a free state), small enough to comfortably conceal carry for most folks, and long enough grip and sight radius to shoot fairly easily. It will work for a nightstand home defense weapon, vehicle weapon, and concealed carry weapon. The G26 will conceal easier for some, but at a loss of capacity with the supplied magazine and most persons can't get a full grip on it, so their pinky hangs below the grip. The G43 is even easier to conceal, but as you have identified, it suffers from capacity issues. The Sig 365 has better capacity than the G43 in only a slight larger size. Sig has seemed to overcome the initial roll out problems and many persons have found the 365 perfect for them. Last on your list is the S&W Shield 2.0, which a lot of persons find easier to shoot than the G43 due to the grip length, slightly longer sight radius, and three dot sights versus the ball and cup on the Glocks. The Shield has a couple more cartridges of capacity than the G43. I have only heard of one case where anyone had any quality issues with one of the Shields on the DC Forum, and S&W made that right.

    I have carried all except the Sig 365XL. I have nothing against the 365 at this point in its product life and wouldn't hesitate purchasing one if it fit my needs.

    If suddenly all of my handguns went up in smoke (oh yeah, that did happen, I forgot!), and I was looking at starting over knowing what I know now, I would purchase a an original S&W Shield, like @stukinNY suggested. Half or less money than one of the Glocks or Sigs. In my neck of the woods, anywhere from $100 - $150 less than the 2.0. Now, some will say that their life or the lives of their loved ones is priceless, and I would agree. Purchase what works for you. But, just for me, I would purchase a S&W Shield .45 ACP. If 9mm was my thing, I would get it in 9mm. I would pick up a Kydex IWB holster on eBay for around $25 and buy a 1,000 round case of 9mm FMJ and a hundred rounds of carry ammo from one of the online distributors like and away I would go to get some instruction and range time.
    forester58, TSKnight and bigpapa like this.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array CreedDryrot's Avatar
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    Dec 2017
    There's a lot of great advice and things to consider in these posts, OP. You've also picked out some good pistols. One thing I would take a look at that might preclude one or two, is what accessories are available and at what price. You wouldn't be the first person who bought a gun only to find out nobody makes the holster you want for it. Magazine pricing can vary too. Good luck!

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