Author Topic: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?  (Read 23175 times)

Offline Nate

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CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« on: October 06, 2012, 06:31:25 AM »
 How many of you started with a 1911 or glock 19/23 sized pistols and now regularly carry something smaller like j frame sized revolvers and glock 26 or p3at sized pistols?  What drove your decision to change from a larger sized piece to a smaller one?  I am trying to decide on a carry gun at the moment, and size matters!

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 07:01:35 AM »
Frankly, my wife influenced my decision.  We both have 1911's, but she can't effectively carry one concealed unless it's in a shoulder rig under a winter coat.  Therefore we worked our way backwards down the size and power scale.  She prefers the Ruger LCR so I went with a J-frame Smith.  Why do it this way?  Training and bulk ammo efficiencies play a big role in the decision. 

My daughters (11&13) are too young to have CCL's, but they can both run a snub .38.  All four of us own/can run a 1911.  22's are a gimme.  All but the 11 year old can handle a 12gauge pump, although my 13 year old still has to go to port arms to rack it.  Everybody can handle an AK/SKS as well.  Long bolt guns are another matter, but from distances ranging from 3 inches to 300 yards ammo stocking is simple and that converts to more training time.

Offline PrepperJim

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2012, 12:14:23 PM »
I thought long and hard about my CCW. Basically, it came down to what cloths I normally wear and what type of gun I could conceal. I live in Houston, TX so a jacket is needed about 7 days a year. After 5 pm on week days and all weekend, I wear shorts with big pockets ("pocket shorts"). The most convenient for me is a small, 9 mm that will fit in the pocket and not be visible. I don't think I could get away with anything larger.

I don't have an IWB holster. Well, I have two and I hate them both. There is no way I could get away with wearing one and go undetected just wearing a tucked in shirt. Fashion is moving towards men untucking their shirts. I could probably get away with it if I wore a t-shirt under the shirt. My plan is to try this out this winter and see how it goes.

The bottom line is I chose to go small because the cloths I wear won't support a full framed gun. I tried a number of guns at the local gun range and ended up with a Kahr PM9. I am happy with it. It shoots well after I broke it in and found an ammo that was reliable. I must report I had problems with FMJ and loading it 6+1 or 7+1. I tried different JHP until I got really reliable with Hornedy Critical Defense 115 grain JHP. Once I put 100 consecutive rounds through it with no failures, I bought a bunch of it.

So, for me, smaller met my needs. YMMV.

Offline The Professor

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2012, 05:37:44 PM »
I'm the odd-man-out, I guess.

I believe a concealed carry handgun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable.  The increased control, "aimability," increased power and (arguable) reliability of a full-sized pistol makes it what I carry on a daily basis.

I like big guns. I run them in IDPA, 3-gun and various "tactical" matches for fun.  In my case, I went bigger, not smaller.  for the past 18 years, I've carried H&K USP's of one form, or another.   I started with the standard USP45 and my wife bought me an Expert model 10 years ago.  I've carried the latter on a daily basis, ever since.

I don't find it difficult to conceal as long as I have a proper belt/holster combo or my waistbag.  I live in Colorado, currently, so I experience 110 degrees to -19 throughout the year.  No, I can't wear wife-beaters, flip-flops and cut-offs when it's hot, but. . .I wouldn't want to be wearing them, anyway, if I were to be assaulted.  Besides, that form of dress is not in my particular personal style.

But, I have no problem wearing the Expert with a pair of mags and a Surefire with a light pair of pants, t-shirt or muscle shirt and an open, button-down short-sleeve shirt.

Better yet, I can wear whatever I want if I carry the pistol in a fanny pack.  I do have smaller guns, but I generally relegate those to Back-Up status.

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Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2012, 05:54:45 PM »
Quote
I believe a concealed carry handgun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable.

agreed.

I have carried a 1911, sig 239, m&p9c, colt mustang pocketlite and Beretta 92fs. I'm 5'3".


Offline riptide

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2012, 06:41:01 PM »
First pistol I owned was a stainless 45 commander size pistol, so that is what I carried for a few years. Got my Georgia carry license over fifteen years ago and carried 1911 or Glock most of the time since. But the light weight Kimber and Glock 17 are just too much bulk for me in any reasonable belt holster in the Atlanta heat. Latest summer carry pistol is a KetTec PF 9....solidly reliable with Hornady 115 grain Critical Defense.  I call it my pound of cure (If I fail the ounce of prevention test).

Avoid the problem it you can, deal with it if you can't.

Offline Veritas

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2012, 07:05:29 PM »
I believe a concealed carry handgun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable.  The increased control, "aimability," increased power and (arguable) reliability of a full-sized pistol makes it what I carry on a daily basis.

I do have smaller guns, but I generally relegate those to Back-Up status.

Amen. I carry a full size Glock .40 and a LCP backup. I recognize there  are times when carrying a bigger gun isn't an optional but that is rare. After much thought, consideration, and numerous handgun classes, I have come to a personal decision about carrying a full size handgun. I believe this gives me a higher percentage chance of not only surviving, but decisively winning a gunfight. I know from experience that full size handguns are more accurate, quicker and easier to aquire a good target picture, and are easier to shoot well than a pocket pistol.

Offline Jeff NH

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2012, 07:40:04 PM »
I started somewhat small (Walter PPS) and have ended up somewhat big (Springfield XDM). When I go for a run, I carry the LCP or PPS and I'll try running with the Springfield XDS tomorrow.

Offline BradyM

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2012, 08:15:33 PM »
I went the other way.  Started out with something relatively small (Ruger SR9C) and went larger (Commander sized 1911).  I thought concealing a weapon would be difficult, but after getting my CHL and carrying for a while I realized its not as difficult as I thought.  Like previously stated you can't wear a wife beater and shorts, but you can wear shorts and a tshirt untucked.  Belt and holster make a big difference.  I've found I need to carry the larger gun a little higher to conceal well. Still carry the SR9C for some things, but not as often.

Offline SuperDuty

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2012, 12:47:01 PM »
My path is similar to BradyM. Started with a Ruger LCR and now carry either a Glock 19 or Glock 36.

Offline Sequanti

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2012, 03:23:02 PM »
I'll chime in with other as going from small to bigger. I started with a S&W snubby (5-rounds) and now more often carry a Glock 19 (15-rounds). The Glock 19 with a good quality holster (Crossbreed supertuck) is more comfortable then the snubbie in a cheapish holster carried IWB. The snubby still gets to ride for quick trips to the store and times when deeper concealment is desired, but with the right holster the Glock 19 conceals and carries well.


Offline hillclimber

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2012, 05:17:35 PM »
I used to carry a full sized pistol, but started carrying a P3AT because I can carry it 100% of the time.
I still have other handguns that I carry, but the little 380 gets carried all the time.
If I could pull off carrying a larger handgun all the time, then that's what I'd do. There's a big difference between a gun that gets carried "when you carry" and one that gets carried "all the time".

Offline Scottman

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2012, 07:12:56 PM »
Does anyone have troubles working the pf9 with winter gloves?

Offline riptide

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2012, 07:43:06 AM »
Does anyone have troubles working the pf9 with winter gloves?

I have shot mine with thin unlined leather gloves. Anything thicker and I would have to yank the glove from my shooting hand to work the trigger. It is much more of a warm weather carry choice for me.

Here in Georgia the Fall temperatures have arrived and  my Kimber 45 is more likely to be in my holster.


Offline ncjeeper

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2012, 11:53:53 AM »
I bought a full size glock as my first gun. I bought it way before NC allowed CCW. Once the law was passed to allow concealed carry I traded in the glock for a compact 40. Much easier to carry concealed.

Offline Poet

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2012, 06:51:17 AM »
I started with a Sig 220, went to a full sized 1911, then to a "cammander" sized 1911. When I got tired of the high price of training ammo and the weight of the guns I had I traded a Kimber Pro Carry 2 for a Ruger SR9c. I haven't looked back since. For "deep" (deeper that is) concealment I carry a S&W 640 +p.

Here we can either open or conceal carry so I carry as the situation warrants and own several holsters for different carry needs.

Offline Joe in TN

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2012, 07:39:56 AM »
Nate, go with what is comfortable for you.  I'm a bigger guy but my influence on firearms is heavily weighed on the teachings of Col. Coopers and my family that were/are law enforcement.

The first rule (for me) when deciding what is going to be my concealed carry pistol is that is has to be  a revolver.  They don't jam, automatics do.

Second is adequate stopping power, I feel a .38spl, of larger, fits that bill just fine.

Lastly is comfort/ease of carry.  BLUF, if it's not easy for you to carry year around you will leave it at home sometimes.  Your carry gun at home does you no good when you run into a shithead.

I personally carry a Ruger LCR .38+P.  I love it.  Accurate, lightweight, hammerless and I just can't say anything negative about it.  Have fun shooting and finding the gun for you,

Joe

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2012, 09:38:04 AM »
Does anyone have troubles working the pf9 with winter gloves?

Pick up winter gloves designed to text while wearing. They even have a thumb hole.  This makes is supper easy to shoot with gloves on.

endurance

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2012, 10:37:49 AM »
I have a Kahr PM9 and a Springfield XD9 and carry whatever I can carry comfortably given the weather, my attire, and the venues I'll be attending that day.  I'd say that during the summer about 2/3rd of the time I'll carry the PM9, during the winter 2/3rds of the time I'll carry my XD.  There are locations and events that warrant a larger gun, so I'll change what I was planning on wearing.  An example would be a wedding or other family gathering.  If I'm going for a trail run or hike I'm probably going to carry my PM9 for both comfort and ease of concealment.  I also see it as highly unlikely I'll be engaged in a major firefight while hiking, whereas my ventures onto college campuses, into malls or movie theaters significantly change my threat assessment.

To me, I see it as extremely unlikely I'll ever need a gun, but if I do, I want the right tool for the job.  I've gone 45 years of my life including a stint as a cop and besides putting down injured animals, haven't needed a gun yet.  But that doesn't mean I want my first time to be a poor performance because I brought the wrong tool for the challenge ahead.

Offline CR Williams

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2012, 12:02:59 PM »
I went from sub-compact to compact, actually, the last time I changed.

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2012, 05:05:17 PM »
I went from sub-compact to compact, actually, the last time I changed.
Understandable!  Training with a sub-compact is not fun or comfortable compared to a full-frame gun.

Offline pokeshell

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2012, 06:49:30 PM »
I have jumped all over the place. I think the most important ting is that you carry something. Right now, I am carring a sub compact 9mm Glock. I am really thinking about switching to a smaller .22 that has many rounds. The study that Jack keeps referring to in the podcast has really got me thinking. I can accurately place 5 or 6 shots of .22 very quickly. Also the gun club I am a member at only allows rimfire on the moving  target bays, and I am getting pretty handy. We do lots of work with 5 rounds, drop the mag move, 5 more rounds,  move.

With the .22 I can pull the trigger faster than some full automatics I have fired. Plus, I am much more accurate.

Offline technicalanarchy

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2012, 07:57:08 PM »
I started with a.G19 and went to a G26 now its.a stubby in the pocket. I carry where ever I go and the gun  comes off when I go to bed.. just so its habit.

In the winter I might carry my G19 or p 220 just for kicks but about 500 they drive :bananas.

Offline Mexican_Hippie

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2012, 10:15:14 PM »
Why are you trying to decide on a single carry gun?  Why not have multiple for different situations?

Offline mike77

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2012, 11:22:05 PM »
Why are you trying to decide on a single carry gun?  Why not have multiple for different situations?

I don't know about the OP, buy my reason is price. Right now, I can't afford multiple carry guns along with holsters and other associated equipment.

endurance

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2012, 04:44:44 AM »
I don't know about the OP, buy my reason is price. Right now, I can't afford multiple carry guns along with holsters and other associated equipment.
Valid point.  And it makes options like the sub-compact 9's that have a magazine extension to give you a more comfortable weapon to shoot when training a nice option.  I guess that's the direction I'd lean if one was the only option today.

Offline Nate

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2012, 04:58:20 AM »
Can't afford more than one right now.  I want to buy something that is durable, reliable, small and light enough that I will want to carry it and something I will be happy with and stick with for a long time.

For the revolver platform, a J-frame or LCR fits these criteria.  For autos a glock 26 seems to fit these criteria.  Being left handed I have found it near impossible to operate the slide release on most of the slim 9's.  I can do it no problem on a glock.  Some of the small .380's were easier for me to operate like the sigp238 and keltec's p3at.  However, I am not sure if the keltec fits all of my above criteria.

endurance

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2012, 05:23:37 AM »
I think you're going in the right direction.  While I love how small my PM9 is, it's is not a weapon you could ever become a great shooter with.  First off, it's too damn small to shoot comfortably.  Second, a Glock will last you 250,000-600,000 rounds before the probability of major system failures reaches a statistical significance worth noting, while a PM9 will reach that same failure probability in about 5,000 rounds.  Finally, both the Glock 26 and the Springfield XD9 Subcompact are guns that are super small, easy to conceal, but with a long magazine with the finger pieces on them, makes it feel and handle just like their bigger brothers, which gives you the chance to go to the range for the day, fire off 200+ rounds, and not have hands with the look and feel of hamburger.

I will note, I can't shoot 50 rounds comfortably out of either my J-frame Smith or my PM9, so if training is part of the reason for buying, do yourself a favor and factor that into your math.

Offline mike77

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2012, 08:05:22 AM »
Valid point.  And it makes options like the sub-compact 9's that have a magazine extension to give you a more comfortable weapon to shoot when training a nice option.  I guess that's the direction I'd lean if one was the only option today.

That's exactly why I'm looking at the slim 9's. My thinking is that I buy something that is most concealable that I can carry most often. I'll add to it down the line when I can.

endurance

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Re: CCW gun size: how many started big, changed to small?
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2012, 08:14:18 AM »
That's exactly why I'm looking at the slim 9's. My thinking is that I buy something that is most concealable that I can carry most often. I'll add to it down the line when I can.
It's why I wouldn't mind gun shopping in California sometimes.  High quality slim 9s just aren't the fashion, thus you're left with few choices at most gun stores.  The nicest I've handled is the Sig with a single stack (can't recall the model number).  That said, I've really become a fan of the striker-based triggers vs. the hammer-based designs.  I just prefer the consistent feel, so the Sig doesn't make my list of potentials for me.