Ideal Dimensions For a CCW FIREARM

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by Tackleberry1, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    The purpose of this post is to share my personal experience with just about every size and caliber type of handgun over my 16 years of carrying a concealed firearm on a daily basis.

    It is not meant to endorse or deride any platform or manufacturer and in no way will my experience be shared by all due to numerous factors such as body type, size, and mode of dress.

    I am not big or small, I'd say average at 70" and 180 lbs. I have at one time or another chosen carry guns with sizes ranging from my S&W 629 6 shot .44 Magnum, "Big Gun", to my NAA Guardian .32 ACP, Tiny Gun, and about everything in between to include 4" and 5" 1911's, Sig 226, XD .45 Service, CZ 75 B, Ruger SP 101 .357, and my latest, the Kahr PM 9.

    What I've learned in my 16 years and several THOUSAND dollars spent on guns and holsters is that the ideal CCW weapon does NOT need to be Quick Draw fast, knock down a Grizzly powerful, or shoot the eye out of bird in flight accurate.

    What it DOES need to be is "no BS concealabe" yet, large enough draw with a proper shooting grip, powerful enough to stop a violent attacker with multiple hits to the thoracic cavity, and accurate enough to do all of this at a distance of 7 to 10 yards.

    Given my experience I've come to the conclusion that ideal size CCW weapon FOR ME is a reliable auto pistol no taller than 4" from top of slide to bottom of mag well AND no wider than 1" measured at the thickest part of the slide.

    Most readers will take issue with the 1" dimension because yes, this does relegate the choices to single stack guns only but that OK by me. I'm not looking to be the guy who saves the day during the next LA Shootout so I don't need 16 + rounds in my gun.
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    I am the guy, who like most of you, would only draw and fire if cornered and only if life was at stake.

    As you can fell from my list of past carry guns, I'm no stranger to high capacity or hi power cartridges. They all have there place and I adore each of them for thief own virtue, however, for those of us who work in an office and can have no chance of our CCW being noticed, well these dimensions WORK. The Kahr PM 9 has been my daily office carry gun for 4 of the last 16 years and I don't see it being replaced anytime soon but to each his own. There a few single stack autos in both 9pm and .40 S&W out there that fit within this profile.

    Good Luck and I hope this helps someone spend less on guns and more on practice ammo.

    Tack
     
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Thank you for the input. I seem to be along the same thoughts.
     

  3. roscoguy

    roscoguy New Member

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    I agree with you regarding size of CCW, but that doesn't allow a whole lot of choices beyond Kahr PM9/40. Any others worth considering in 9mm or greater?
     
  4. wbaker

    wbaker New Member

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    Kel-tech p-11
     
  5. jmeekhof

    jmeekhof New Member

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    I switch between a ruger lc9 and a Taurus 709 slim. Both are about equally comfortable and similar in size.
     
  6. vincent

    vincent New Member

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    GREAT post Tack, thank you!!! :cool:
     
  7. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    4 years ago when I reached these conclusions the only viable options "for me" were either the Kahr PM9 or the Rohrbaugh 9. I chose Kahr for two reasons. I did not like the Euro mag release on the Rohrbaugh or the $1000.00 price tag.

    The last 3 years have seen uber compact 9mm offerings from Taurus, Kimber, Ruger, Kel Tech, and many many others. Honestly, I have mine so I've not compared dimensions on the newer offerings but I'm sure some comparison shopping would reveal several options in the $300 to $400 range which is a dramatic improvement to the short list of $600 to $1000 option limitations of just 4 years ago.

    Happy Shoping

    Tack
     
  8. BikerRN

    BikerRN New Member

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    That and good training will take you further than any firearm.
     
  9. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Very True

    Tack
     
  10. roscoguy

    roscoguy New Member

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    Not to split hairs, but all of these are over 4" in height. The Kel-Tec P-11 (& PF-9) are close @ 4.3", but the LC9 & Taurus 709 are both 4.5" or better. All are certainly in the ballpark though.
    Has anybody here carried or shot the Kel-Tec PF-9? After looking at their web site, I'm actually thinking about one of these.
     
  11. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    I pocket a cm9 and iwb a cw9
     
  12. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Roscoguy

    I have not shot the Kel Tek P9 but I did own a P11 for several years which I believe is the double stack predecessor to the P9.

    I think the P9's are about half the price of the Kahr PM9 at roughly $300 VS $600. Nothing against Kel Tek but thier triggers are very heavy and no where in the same league as the Kahr triggers.

    I would suggest you go dry fire the new Kahr CM 9 and a KT P9 side by side. The CM9 is a budget version of the PM. Not quite as fancy but retained the PM lines EXCELLENT trigger.

    Do this and I'm confident you'll drop the extra bill on the Kahr.

    Good luck

    Tack
     
  13. dahur

    dahur New Member

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    I am seriously looking at the Kahr CM9 for those reasons. I want to carry in my front pocket.

    I sent all my paperwork in last week for my CC, now wait up to 6 weeks. (NM)
     
  14. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I noticed most guns mentioned here are 9 mm. What about a .380, like the LCP?
     
  15. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Winds,

    Minimum stopping power is subjective and some trust the .380 in this role however I think most of us view this cartridge as more of a "back up" round than a primary defensive round.

    For me, the 9 mm is at the bottom of the acceptable power zone for a cc weapon.

    I've zero time with the LCP other than holding 1 at my LGS. One of my criteria for any handgun, CCW or not, is that it's got to be large enough to hold in a propper shooting grip. For my hands, the LCR and everyother mouse gun ".380 or smaller" out there fail this test. They are just too small for me and just do not offer enough terminal performance.

    Tack
     
  16. Greg_E

    Greg_E New Member

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    The "PERFECT" concealed carry weapon is the one that you are comfortable enough to wear and have with you where ever it is legal. There are times when I go to the local gun shop and we have this conversation. When I ask them if I can see it, I often hear that it's at home right now because I didn't have time to get it out of the safe and blah blah blah. To me carrying a concealed weapon is a lifestyle. Your gun won't help you one bit sitting at home! I carry a Kimber Ultra Carry II and it is on my side whenever I leave the house. If I need to remove it due to legal restrictions, I lock it in my gun safe in the trunk. I agree that the absolute smallest caliber would be a .380, but I carry a .45ACP with +P ammo to maximize the firepower I may need someday. I guess what I'm trying to say is wear it all the time so you have it if you need it. It's far better than needing it and not having it any day! SHOOT STRAIGHT and stay safe!
     
  17. roscoguy

    roscoguy New Member

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    Actually, there are plenty of the newer round of highly concealable handguns offered in .380 (or smaller) caliber:

    Ruger LCP
    Diamondback DB380
    Kahr P380 (the one I own)
    Kel Tel P-3AT
    S&W Bodyguard 380
    Tarus 738 TCP

    There are mixed reviews on ALL of them, naturally, but most of them seem to have some real fans. Nothing wrong with these as a class (to me), but I was looking for something within the size constraints of the OP & since I already have a reliable .380, I was hoping that someone knew of a reliable 9mm or .40.

    This thread was about the OP's opinion of the perfect size for a CCW and was NOT meant to be another of the ubiquitous caliber wars, but we've drifted a bit off subject... ;)
     
  18. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I'm sorry. I was the one who took this thread of track. :eek:
     
  19. roscoguy

    roscoguy New Member

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    Ouch. I wasn't knocking your question about .380s. It was at least as much on-topic as mine was about 9mm/.40 guns. Ask away; I'm sure many here have actual experience with the ones I listed & many others. ;)

    It just seems that whenever a thread about small & highly concealable firearms is posted, people tend to turn it into a discussion about whether they would trust the stopping power of any caliber mentioned. To me, this is a tangent too often taken & not really helpful in light of the actual topic.
     
  20. Zodiac131911

    Zodiac131911 New Member

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    Has any one had experience with the new springfield xd 3.8. As far as caliber goes carry what your most accurate with. I would rather have a .22 I could hit with than a .45 that I couldn't. Just my personal opinion.