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Need to optimize carry situation

2248 Views 22 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  10thmtn
I have a few unique needs when it comes to carry. I need to be in deep concealment, don't have a lot of clothing options, and sometimes have to change in public. I prefer IWB, but given the above need to be able to change to pocket carry as well "on the fly". I am using a P3at now, but would prefer a heavier caliber. I have a PM9, but have had issues with reliability (see other posts) and I'm not sure I will ever regain confidence in it. It's also a little big/heavy/prints for the pocket (fist kydex iwb or pocket holster).
I'm thinking of j-frame (340, 442, LCR). Also thinking of changing both KT and PM9 to P380 as being more tolerant of +P .380 loads. Or should I just stay after the PM9 until it runs right?
Any thoughts appreciated
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While light and reliable, the j-frame will be thicker than what you are used to. Excellent gun but, try one in a pocket at your dealer first. My lack of dress code is not an issue but yours is. Another option would be a second P3AT. This would open up more concealment options and double your capacity, reliability,etc.
I find a J-frame too thick to pocket carry easily. It’s not hard to slip in a pocket, but it’s thick and bulky.

For your situation, a mouse gun like the P3AT/LCP (or two) may be your best option. It’s definitely not ideal as you say, but it beats a sharp stick. I would recommend a Smartcarry for a larger gun, but if you often have to change in public (I won’t ask) it might not work either.

Also, have you looked at the Taurus Slim? I’m not a big Taurus guy, but it’s an option.
I would suggest working to get the PF9 to function correctly, even if it means sending it back to Kel-Tec. From what I've heard they have a pretty good customer service Dept. and it has a lifetime warranty, so it should work out eventually. If you're not comfortable with it though do what YOU feel is best for your situation.

IMO, the P380 from Kahr is a excellent choice in a DOA .380 platform. Unless I'm mistaken they will handle the +p rounds, but I'm not real sure there is a true +p .380 round out there, but there are hotter ones I'm sure, Buffalo Bore comes to mind and MagTech. I have the LCP .380 and I like it allot, but if I could chose between the two, I'd go with the Kahr too.:bier:
The problem you are having is not so unique in that we (CCers) all would like highly concealable gun that work like full size service pistols.
That is hard thing to find !
Also the trouble you are having with the PM9 is not unique ether.
I've owned two Kahr handguns (pm40 and cw9) and both were not worth
the money I spent on them and I traded them for better gun.
If your stuck with .380 then check out this ammo and it may work for you
untill you get the PM9 working like you need it to.
380 Auto +P Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
Decide what firearm you want to carry. Make sure that it's not too big and bulky and then you might want to try an Alessi Ankle holster.
If you need to change in public, I would think your only real options are a fanny pack (which would let you carry almost any handgun) or pocket carry (which limits your choices).

I also have had many issues with 3 different Kahr polymer pistols. I would not consider any of their offerings.

For pocket carry, I would suggest a Ruger LCP (or two). My wife has one with the Crimson Trace Laserguard. Excellent combo.

If you go the fanny pack route, try a Glock 26 or 27.

Good luck - keep us posted.:bier:
I would, in this order:
1. Work with Kahr to get the PM9 in perfect working order and prove it. It's worth the effort becasue of the balance of weight, caliber, capacity, etc. Then I'd buy a smart carry holster and try it. It totally gets around all of the dress issues "IF" you are comfortable carrying this way.
2. Try an S&W 642 airweight. Fist follow the good advise above and try it in your pocket. The cylinder does make it a bit bulky and depending on how big or small you are, or whether we're talking dress pants, dockers, or jeans, they can print a bit depending on the pocket holster that you end up with.
3. Last resort....very last resort; stick with the pocket .380 like your P3AT. Let's face it, the P3AT/Ruger LCP is the ultimate pocket pistol because of it's size, weight, and flatness. You can get an NAA .380 but they feel chunky and heavy.

Some will recommend a "tuckable" holster. Get the PM9 running right and you can try the tuckable BUT I personally don't like them becasue you still end up with an unexplained loop on your belt and for some reason that bothers me. I also think it would be a pain to always be making sure my shirt was bloused just so. In business casual you'd see a buldge under your shirt unless you blouse it and that changes throughout the day. And if someone ever asks you what that loop is on your belt (chances are they NEVER will) but if they do, what do you say?

Still we're all different so you might want to consider a tuckable holster solution before stickign with a pocket carried .380.

It's not easy optimizing our carry set up!!
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You can do a lot with a P-3AT for concealment...few other pistols will equal it's small size. If you are satisified with using it, try this...

Deep Concealment
Need to change clothes?? Sence when did Superman carry?
I'd stay on the PM9, mine is a mainstay for me. Also, I'd add a Jframe. I carry a 442 a lot. It's a back up when in uniform, and it rides in my pocket otherwise . It works as well in shorts and tshirt as it does with a suit and tie.
A airweight Jframe with a decent pocket holster... you wont be looking back.
Also the S&W 642 .38 special and the Ruger LCP .380 are both great weapons for deep concealment especially during the warm weather months. I have the former. Put those puppies in a pocket holster and your good to go. Perhaps down the road I may purchase the LCP but I first need to find my S&W Chief's Special .45 ACP. The latest in my handgun quest.

During the colder months I conceal via loose sweaters with IWB holsters. My winter carry line includes my Kimber Ultra Carry II .45 ACP and my wonderful S&W 6906 9mm. No printing to date. As with deep concealment one has to be constantly aware not to expose the gun such as reaching above a supermarket aisle. Remember it is CCW is a way of life!

As a matter if fact, I need to go sweater shopping. Although I dont generally like to go to the mall and shop for clothes there is always an exception for concealment wear!
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Need to change clothes?? Sence when did Superman carry?
when he worked in a place with a "clean" zone.

I think the Taurus slim may be too big. I did get out and shot an LCR and 638 today. LCR sure has a niiice trigger. I got to handle but not shoot an M+P 340. I think they might work. Still ok for the pocket (in the "clean" outfit it has an interior back pocket I can surreptitiously slip it into: smartcarry would raise questions about incontinence...) 340 sure is light, and a little smaller, with better sights, but worse trigger and $250 more.

I will keep trying the PM9, but I'm not sure how many trouble-free rounds I'll have to shoot before feeling confident.

I'm carrying cor-bon's in the P3AT. I only have one pocket available, so 2 is out, and that doesn't solve the bigger issue of caliber.

I think I'm going to keep the P3AT and try to learn to love .380, keep working with the Kahr (everyone needs a project), and save up for an LCR or 340: I can sure see a role for them. In jeans, I can IWB a "real" gun.

Thanks for all the input
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Is it dangerous in a "clean room"? Sounds like the P3at is best...
smartcarry would raise questions about incontinence...)
And I'm guessing that isnt good in a "clean room".
Is it dangerous in a "clean room"? Sounds like the P3at is best...
Not so dangerous, but no locker for the street clothes.

And I'm guessing that isnt good in a "clean room".
It's never good. Which raises questions about the smartcarry I have never seen posted before...just how moisture resistant is that backing?
someone needs to do one of those tests where they pour that blue liquid onto it from a beaker to test absorption :)

I had a problem with a kahr as well, a polymer one. It didn't eject correctly, apparently the ejector was off-kilter due to a deformity in the poly frame. I've since got a k-9, the same gun but steel framed, and it is my EDC. The thing doesn't jam, period, and it's as accurate or better than my G-19. The only gun that I can shoot straighter with is my G21, a full size .45 glock. Even then I have to ry really hard. I'm looking to pick up either an MK9 soon as an option for pocket carry, to give my SW model 60 a rest.

For your situation I'd get kahr to fix the thing or replace it, then I'd trade it for another kahr, a metal one. Better yet, see if the store you bought it from will take it back as a return, or fix it in house. Save some shipping costs. That package is hard to beat when it comes to balancing reliability, weight, capacity, power and concealability. A j-frame or PM9 sized gun should be able to be switched from one pocket to another if you have a decent pocket holster and maybe a handkerchief to cover it with.

A weird idea: what about a belly band or something underneath a pair of boxers? or an ace bandage type deal for around your upper thigh? You wouldn't have to carry like that all the time, you could strap it to your leg in the bathroom or something before you get changed, then switch it back after you get changed back into regular clothes. Invisible, discreet, and an elastic band wouldn't take up much room at all when not in use. The gun's secure and on your person the entire time, and ace bandages and the like are made for comfort against the skin. If I still had a tiny poly framed gun like a PM9 I'd try it out to see what it felt like for you, but alas...

Along the same lines, assuming you keep an undershirt on, what about transferring it to a regular old belly-band when changing?

Alternately you can hollow our a portion of your shoe...

Or swallow it and bring it up later...

Or mold a set of fake butt cheeks with a holster compartment...

Good luck, hope I helped a bit.
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Kahr is sending me a new mag catch. Not exactly sure why that's supposed to help, but I'll try it. I may also try some Wolf mag springs and a feed ramp polish.

what about a belly band or something underneath a pair of boxers?
Great idea. Might be able to just carry the CZ. Draw could be a real problem though.

I shot a 638, sp101, and LCR this weekend. Loved the LCR (especially the weight and trigger), except on reset it kind of makes a click halfway back, which feels like a semiauto reset, so I would stop there and the pull for the next shot, and nothing. I don't like that as I try to "ride the reset" for rapid fire usually. The smith and Ruger didn't do this, but the initial pull was both harder and not as smooth. Hadn't really done much with revolvers, and whether or not I get the PM9 working, definitely going to have to get one at some point.

Anyone know if the 340 trigger is lighter than the 642 triggers?
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For deep concealment a 642 SW CT in a Desantis Nemisis or Super Fly is hard to beat. I hear the remarks about it being a bit thisk but this is off set by the shape of the revolver not being as square as most semi auto pistols. I have the Kahr PM 9 it carries best in a Nemisis in the rear pocket.
Got and installed new mag catch + spring, as well as recoil spring/guide rod. Did a "fluff and buff" (though couldn't quite believe I was doing a kel-tec on a Kahr)
Took it out this am, 200 rounds, mixed FMJ and JHP, slide lock reloads, tac reloads, rapid fire, etc. Perfect.

Now the question I have to answer is when will I feel confident in it?
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