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Let me start out by saying, I'm an old fart who grew up with Colt's 1911. I have had a CCW in Ohio for 6 years. I have been carrying a Colt 1903 in .32 ACP, or a Colt Commander in 45 ACP.
I am concerned that the 32ACP doesn't have much (if any) stopping power. The Commander is heavy to carry all day.
My wife, also has a CCW, carries a Bersa Thunder in .380.
Ammunition for most is hard to find. The .380 is near impossible to find.
I have a chance to purchase a Walther P38, in 9mm. Although I have never been enthralled with the 9mm cartridge (small fast vs large slow...........you know the argument). I would like some recommendations.
Thanks
 

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Possibly the best suggestion you can get is see if there is a place near you where you can try out a variety of different models, and see if one of them "speaks" to you. But, I'm sure you'll find there will be no shortage of recommendations. :wink:
 

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I am just not a fan of 9mm semi autos. I find most are to lightweight and prone to muzzle flip. Personally I'll take a S&W J-frame over a bottom feeder anyday.
Go rent and shoot a J-frame revolver, you may become a "wheelie" like me:yup:
 

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While I may question your choice of gun (I've never been enthused about the design of the P38, especially for a CC gun) I wouldn't worry too much about the 9mm cartridge. With modern ammunition, the 9mm is a very respectable self defense cartridge.

Hoss
 

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If you want to stick with the .45 acp, but don't want the weight of the 1911 try the poly frame guns. Glocks, XD's, M&P's ones like that.
 

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All I carry are 9MMs ,but thats just what works for me .
If you like big ,slow bullets, that cool too .:smile:
Its hard to go wrong with a .45
Try a Glock G36 or G30 , you may like "The Dark Side":image035:
 

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Nothing wrong with a 9mm for CC, although i'd think that if a commander sized 1911 gets too heavy to carry, wouldn't the P38 be even heavier? It's a full size, all steel handgun after all.(going from memory, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

I would think you'd be better off with a compact or subcompact polymer pistol if weight was a deciding factor. Glock, XD, M&P, H&K, etc...
There would also be the advantage of larger magazine capacity with those as opposed to the 8 in the Walther as well.
 

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I have a P-38 and wouldn't think twice about carrying it over a Colt Commander. I can see no advantages in the P-38 over the Commander.
 

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I have both a 1911 and a Walther P38 ac45 that was made in the winter
of 1945.The pistol in incredible shape as it was brought back to the US by
three Greek resistance fighters who set up a candy shop that my father worked in.They had three and they told him to take one.He got holster,magazines.
As far as 9mm for ccw it's hard to walk away from a glock 17,or 26 that holds 18 rounds.I carried my 45 pistols alot more before I had a neck fusion on levels as it sapped all my sterned from my arms and hands.I have a s&w 45
99 as thats an awesome pistol with the best trigger i've come across.Since my
neck issues I find myself shooting my Ruger 357 security - six that in stainless,
I also have an old bulldog 44 spl Charter House circa 1970
 

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Ah, the endless possibilities. :image035:

I think you owe it to yourself to try an XD. I carry one in 9 sc and love it. No muzzle flip issues, great carry gun and FUN to shoot.

+1 on he J frame suggestion as well.


By the way, those Colt 1903 are great little guns (although I agree that .32 is a little underpowered for defensive purposes). My grandfather had one as his issue gun back in the day as an LAPD cop. Now my Dad takes care of it.
 

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The Commander is heavy to carry all day.
Are you using a good quality belt and holster? If you are, maybe a lightweight Commander would be more comfortable.
 

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I second the notion of a XD9sc. 13+1 of 9mm in a very concealable size, with a great trigger for a striker-fired, polymer frame gun.

It may one I have to get soon.
 

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I would think the Walther P38 is more of a historical show piece and maybe a range gun than a concealed carry gun. I haven't seen many holsters available for it, but then again I haven't really looked for a holster for that gun. With that in mind, if you want to go 9mm, there are tons of choices. I can throw out my favorite CC 9mm which is the Glock 19, but not everyone can warm up to Glocks. The XD series is also fantastic, and there are tons of other guns too. My suggestion is to go out to a range that rents guns and see what they have for you to try.
 

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Recommendations

In general, P38s have a poor reputation for quality and accuracy. Many of them were mass produced by the Germans during WW2 without much care to fit and finish. I don't know anything about the particular one you are looking at, but in general I wouldn't rate a P38 as a good carry gun.

You didn't mention if your Colt Commander is all steel or aluminum frame. Assuming it is all steel, it would weigh about 36 ounces empty and more when loaded, so I can believe that it becomes a heavy load by the end of the day. It is a thin gun, however, which helps in concealment.

But since you mentioned weight as a consideration and seem willing to go with 9mm, how about a compact 9mm with either aluminum or polymer frame? The best brands are very reliable, feed hollowpoints well, and have good accuracy. I would suggest:

1. Glock 19 - polymer, 22 ounces, 15+1 capacity.
2. Sig P239 - metal, 27 ounces, 8+1 capacity.
3. S&W 3913 - metal, 25 ounces, 8+1 capacity.
4. Walther P99 - polymer, 25 ounces, 15+1 capacity.
5. Kahr P9 - polymer, 18 ounces, 7+1 capacity.
6. CZ 75-P01 - metal, 27 ounces, 14+1 capacity.

Here is a Lunde photo of the CZ 75-P01 wearing wood grip panels:

 

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A Lightweight 1911 knocks off about 8 ounces, you could drop to a 4" barrel. You've probably thought of this. Could go Glock 30/36, I would prefer the 30. Might even consider the 3" 1911 though I wouldn't. The Revolver may be the weigh to go but they do weigh near a lightweight (pun intended). I have a LW SA 1911 and love it, while my small 9mm kinda disappears, I know I have the 1911, but that is ok, still concealable.
 

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My apologies for this question as it is not directly related to this thread, but a new term to me has been introduced. Can someone briefly explain "muzzle flip".
 

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If you are familiar with the manual of arms of a 1911 and weight is your CCW concern then I suggest that you take a long look at the S &W 1911 PD which is an alloy frame.

The pic is of a Commander style 1911 which weighs in at 28 ounces and IMHO that makes it an excellent CCW. I have caried mine for a number of years now and have found it to be 100% reliable and accurate. I wear mine in a CTAC holster with a good gun belt and it is extremely comfortable. No need to give up the 1911 because of weight.
 

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Buy a Smartcarry holster and keep your Commander. If you determine after a few months that you just don't like the Smartcarry, you won't be out much money, and can always sell it.

In that case, opt for an aluminum framed 1911. Since you've carried a 1911 for many years, I believe you should stick with it.
 

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Not to derail your thread, as you have been given some very good suggestions, 9mm ammo is lightyears above what it was when I started shooting.

Back in the day all anyone could get to feed reliably was 'ball ammo. If the choice was between 'ball in 45 and 'ball in 9mm I'd take the 45 any day of the week and twice on Sunday. With that said, I'd look at a lightweight Coomander, since that's what you are used to. The other option is to go polymer. I have no problem carrying a 9mm today, as long as I can pick the ammo.

If it were me, and it's not, being that you are used to the 1911 platform I'd opt for an alloy framed Commander and a 5 Shot "snubbie". I do of course believe in carrying more than one gun, and spare ammo, but that's fodder for another discussion.

Also, I would take a hard look at how you are carrying your gun, and what you are using to carry it. Your belt is the foundation of the entire carry system, much like the foundation of your house. I spend a lot of money on belts and holsters, but I generally only have one or two holsters per gun as I know what will work for me from expirience.

There is a reason companies like Milt Sparks, Mitch Rosen, Greg Kramer and Matt Del Fatti have waiting list. Their quality is second to none, with Matt Del Fatti being the absolute pinnacle of custom holster making IMO.


Biker
 
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