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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm waiting for my carry permit to come in and I'm trying to figure out what I want to carry. To start with I'm a rookie shooter. I've shot a shotgun a half dozen times and I've shot 3 pistols. I've got a retired marine from church that's teaching me to shoot. He's a 1911 guy and had some old Israeli BHPs. The first time I came out there to shoot I had borrowed my preachers LC9 and shot it and the hi-power.

Obviously, the BHP was much easier to handle/fun to shoot. Being a new shooter, I really didnt like the recoil of the LC9. I kept flinching when I shot and would even close my eyes toward the end of the trigger pull sometimes. So I bought the BHP. I'm kindling of kicking myself right now, but I own a gun, so that's good and I can always sell it.

But the idea of carrying a single action cocked and locked freaks me out at the moment. I think for a carry gun I want to be able to just point and shoot and rely on a holster so I don't accidentally shoot my self in the leg...or somewhere else.

Considering I didn't like the recoil of the lc9, what would you suggest for a new shooter with low recoil and preferably 9mm? Though I would be willing to carry a .380 or .38 revolver as well. I'm leaning towards a revolver some days anyway.

How would a glock 19 or 26 compare to the lc9? What about the XD9 sub? I like the idea of the grip safety. I wouldn't mind carrying cocked and locked in that situation as much. Plus, I've already put about 200 rounds through a 1911 style gun so that is what I'm most comfortable with, but I'm so new that really doesn't matter.

Oh and I usually wear dress khakis/slacks with either a polo or dress shirt, except on Sundays I'm in a suit and tie. I'm a little stocky, 5'6" 220. So I'm thinking something small enough to go in a wallet-like pocket holster.

I know that's a lot, but I would appreciate any help.
 

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My advice is to start with a bigger gun a d work your way smaller as you shoot and carry more. The reasons being that 1) it's good to learn to conceal a bigger gun and realize that the whole world is NOT staring at you and 2) smaller guns are more difficult to become proficient with due to their short barrels and stout recoil.

I also had more experience with a 1911 grip angle, so I got a Ruger SR9 because it uses the same angle. It does have a safety, but I leave it disengaged when in the holster.
 

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Being a new shooter, a single action is probably not a good choice. Some 1911s (and similar) have VERY light triggers and there are a lot more fine motor skills required to operate them, under extreme stress those are going to go out the window. I've never understood why people think the 1911 is a good CCW, there are way too many things to snag on clothing. A DAO pistol like the Glocks or the M&Ps is a much better choice, they're pretty much idiot proof and very good for CC. Provided that you use a proper holster that cover the trigger, the chances of a ND are very small.

If the LC9 is too much for you, there is also the LC380 that came out recently. It is the same size as the LC9 but is chambered in .380 so the recoil is less.
 

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Welcome HoosierLife.

Flinching can be unlearned with practice. It's natural to flinch, when considering your are holding a controlled explosion in your hand.

The BHP is an excellent gun, but it's a full sized pistol and you need a solid rig (a good holster and gun belt) for comfortable carry. It's also not amenable to "deep concealment."

It sounds like you would benefit from a compact sized pistol. These are bigger than subcompacts and slightly smaller than full sized pistols. Think G19, CZ 75 Compact, etc.

Like you, I am not a fan of cocked and locked carry. I know it is perfectly safe to do so, but it's not my bag. That is why I carry a double action/single action semi auto when I am not carrying a revolver.

What I did when I was in your shoes was go to a firing range and rent some pistols. Try them out and see what you like and what works for you. Who knows, you may even find a sub-compact that works for you.

What works for one will not work for another. You'll get a lot of recommendations but they are meaningless until you try them out. Most firing ranges have a good selection of guns to choose from - probably more than you will ever try.

And don't over analyze this - when you find a gun that works for you - one that seems to point naturally for you and that feels good in your hand - go with it. And if you cannot find a gun like that, then pick one and practice with it, and eventually it will become second nature to you.
 

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Good advice given so far.

Can't go wrong with a Glock 26. Great first CCW gun. If you want to step up in size and capacity go G19 and you can always use it's mags in the 26.
 

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Actually I think it's good you're learning with a 1911, I believe it's easier to go from a gun with a manual safety to one without, as opposed to the reverse. Depending on your budget I might suggest a KLCR from Ruger, which is the .357 Magnum version of the .38 Special LCR, but you can still shoot .38 Special with it. The KLCR is slightly heavier than the LCR, which helps with recoil, plus if you want to shoot the more powerful .357 later, you have the option. In terms of size it's on the small side even for 5-round revolvers, I think roughly the size of an lc9, but thicker in the middle (being a revolver) and thinner elsewhere. And it's got an excellent trigger pull.
 

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I Also think a Glock 26 would be a good choice. The felt recoil is not bad and they carry very easy.
I would also recommend a steel framed S&W J frame in 38.
 

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I've been shooting for over 30 years and still haven't figured out which gun is right for me.

A revolver always seems like a good place to start...and I've come full circle back to the Ruger LCR as my carry gun of choice. Revolvers are simple to operate, reliable, accurate, and safe. Otherwise, I'd look at a smaller Walther, H&K, or Sig. I wouldn't carry anything less capable than a 9mm, but .45 ACP is my favorite old-school round. So, a 1911 ain't a bad choice. I sometimes carry a Glock, but I think you need to have a little experience and confidence to operate a Glock safely. Which ever handgun you select: practice, practice, practice.

Did I manage to leave you more confused? Welcome to my world.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well if I plan on pocket carrying, what would be your suggestion? I really don't know what other options to even entertain at this point.
 

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Ruger SR or SR c in 9mm. Plenty of fire power and it has some good safety features for first time carriers. It feels like a M&P but shoots like a Glock.
 

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If you don't like the impulse/recoil of the LC9, then you are fooling yourself into thinking you will like a even smaller handgun and it's felt impulse/recoil. You won't be able to hit the broad side of a barn, because of the flinch you will have firing any of those small guns.

Compact size guns like G19, H&K P2000, Sig P239, older SIG P228 or Sig P229, M&P 45c with thumb safety, M&P 9c with thumb safety, H&K USP 9 Compact are just a few I would recommend. These compacts will soak up felt recoil pretty good, and still be small enough to conceal well.

Learn to shoot really well with a full size or compact gun and you will be a much better sub-compact/pocket pistol shooter. Good luck.
 

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Well if I plan on pocket carrying, what would be your suggestion? I really don't know what other options to even entertain at this point.
Ruger LCR with .38+P SWC or JHP. Too easy.

...or a S&W Shield in 9mm...or a S&W J-frame like the 640.

The crucial thing, IMHO, is to practice with which ever weapon you choose. Practice, practice, practice.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ruger SR or SR c in 9mm. Plenty of fire power and it has some good safety features for first time carriers. It feels like a M&P but shoots like a Glock.
Hmmm..I've been comparing these and I really like them. Could I carry the sr9 in my pocket or the src with the 17 round mag in my pocket. And I've read it has a real short trigger pull. Could that be an issue in a stressful situation?

And what does a "striker pistol" mean? And how does the trigger safety work? I just want something that will be relatively safe to carry with one in the chamber and be able to pull it out, aim and fire as fast as possible.
 

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Whatever you do, don't settle for the HiPoint! The Glock 19 is a great all around gun for range time, home defense, and CC...I personally love my Glock 17 but many guys prefer the Glock 19 or 26 for CC...honestly though, you need to shoot (or at the minimum hold and get the feel of) any gun you are considering purchasing.

After you get your EDC gun bought, get a solid gun belt, and then build your holster around your gun, your clothing requirements, and what your preference is (IWB, OWB, etc.) I wouldn't settle for a pocket pistol for your main EDC gun, but that's just me.

If you go for a ultra compact gun, make sure you are fine with either your pinky not being on the grip at all or getting an extended mag, which really takes most guns out to the regular compact grip size in my opinion.

But just my $0.02...congrats on preparing to better defend yourself and others...stay safe!
 

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Hmmm..I've been comparing these and I really like them. Could I carry the sr9 in my pocket or the src with the 17 round mag in my pocket. And I've read it has a real short trigger pull. Could that be an issue in a stressful situation?

And what does a "striker pistol" mean? And how does the trigger safety work? I just want something that will be relatively safe to carry with one in the chamber and be able to pull it out, aim and fire as fast as possible.
I doubt whether these could be considered pocket guns, unless you have really REALLY big pockets, like maybe cargo pants pockets. The things to remember are that you'll need SOME kind of holster to cover the trigger for safety, even if carrying in a pocket, and make sure it doesn't look like a gun to everybody. The short trigger pull isn't a problem as long as it's properly covered by the holster, you use the manual safety (which the rugers have), and you NEVER touch the trigger until you are actually shooting.

A striker-fired pistol uses an enclosed spring-loaded striker to hit the firing pin, which hits the primer on the cartridge to make it go off. Many guns use a hammer instead of a striker for this. It doesn't matter a whole lot, both work.

My thoughts are that the best pocket gun is a 5-shot .38 special, like a smith and Wesson j-frame or ruger lcr. They're more reliable than the really small autos, and very safe to carry because you have to pull the trigger a long way (which pulls the hammer all the way back and drops its, so it doesn't store the energy used to strike the firing pin). But, something like the SR9c or Glock 26 gives you more rounds, if you can carry in a waistband holster or maybe ankle holster.

I would recommend the Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry, by Massad Ayoob. Some very good tips in there.
 

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I agree with maxwell that you might want to consider a snubnose revolver instead of an auto. There are a lot of choices and the alloy ones with hot loads are a bit more difficult to shoot well, especially for a new shooter but you can learn how to shoot one well in 200-300 rounds with a decent instructor.

Something like the S&W 642/442 would be a good choice. A lot of folks like the Ruger LCR but I don't like the trigger which is what most people say they like about it vs. the S&W's.

As much as I like Glocks, that wouldn't be my first choice for a new shooter nor would something like the 1911. A revolver is simple, easy, effective and with an alloy frame, very light. Do not shoot +P rounds until you know how to shoot. I've had my 442 for 20 years and shoot standard pressure rounds for SD. Anyway, that's one person's opinion for what it's worth.
 

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I would say the Ruger LCR if you are dead set on a pocket gun only. A Glock19 if you decide upon an inside the waist carry.
 

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Here's what I did. My first handgun purchase was, as a newbie, a fairly large pistol somewhat similar in size to the Browning Hi-Power. It was a Browning BDM 9mm. In fact, the best-shooting gun I've ever shot is the BHP. The BDM took me awhile, but I got darned proficient with it. As a larger pistol, it takes somewhat greater planning to be able to carry it well. Takes the proper clothing, a great belt and holster, carried at the right spot along the hip. Actually, that's not all that different than with any other gun, but a large gun stresses those choices even more.

I spent ~2yrs learning to shoot it well, partaking in IPSC competitions, reading up on the laws, thinking through the nature of self-defense, of carrying a deadly weapon, and of all the ramifications. I took my time, found competent instructors, took a good number of courses, and kept improving. I leveraged a couple of good rental ranges nearby, allowing me to try a good number of different guns. Over time, I added a small S&W revolver, another large pistol (the CZ P-01), and a couple of smaller .380/9mm type pocket pistols. For each, I spent a good amount of time hammering on the new gun, evaluating its reliability and suitability to task, ejecting those that didn't cut it. That method worked well for me.

If looking for a strictly pocket-sized gun, then something no larger than a snubbie revolver (ie, Ruger LCR or S&W Airweight style would be just fine. Pistol or revolver. With a decent holster, it'll carry IWB or OWB, or even holstered in the pocket if your pants are suitable for carry there.

If willing to go the IWB/OWB route, along the hip, then depending on your body's shape/size and the quality of your choices in belt, holster, clothing, covering garments, you ought to be cable to easily carry and conceal most anything up to and including that "big" BHP.

My suggestion: Try the Hi-Power out, by getting an excellent double-hide "gun" belt and a great holster. Carry it whenever you can, starting at those places where concealment isn't that big of a deal, where you can test out how it works with your clothing and lifestyle. Make minor changes to clothing as needed. Play around with the carry mode and position, until you find the best spots along the waist. Realize you might well require a different holster, perhaps one with much different cant (forward, straight-up), perhaps something that pulls the gun in tighter to your body. (One of the reasons many of us have drawers full of holsters, 'cause this DIY selection of the 'right' holster can be a time-consuming process.) Myself, I've carried the Browning BDM for years and I don't see any reason you shouldn't be able to deal with the BHP, so long as your selection in gear/clothing is spot-on. Once you've learned what you can from carrying that, you'll appreciate the pros/cons of going to something else in terms of what it'll get you, versus what you'll give up. (You've already seen the LCP is no BHP, in terms of recoil and accuracy.)

I wouldn't rush it. Take your time. Evaluate the pros/cons of your selected gun, gear, clothing. Make suitable changes. Learn from those changes. At some point, you'll find a great match for you.

As for getting the "willies" over carrying a single-action cocked and locked, it's not for everyone. I'd work hard with a 1911 guy to ensure you learn the right behaviors, instilling the proper handling into your muscle memory and techniques until you've got it down. It can be a great way to learn. Just get it right.

If after a time you find you can't get past it, then you'll need to look for a different gun. Lots of them out there. There are many in the ~6.5-7.0" OAL size range that might do you well, presuming they fit you nicely: Glock 19, CZ P-01 or 2075 RAMI, H&K P2000SK, Bersa Thunder UC Pro, perhaps the Kahr K9/P9/CW9. Or, any of the smaller revolvers, perhaps including the Ruger SP-101, Ruger LCR, S&W Model 640/642/442 series. Any of these should serve you well.

Here's a search tool: Handgun Database search @ Genitron.com.
 
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