Need Help Picking my 1st concealed carry handgun

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by Willis_Prime, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Willis_Prime

    Willis_Prime New Member

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    Hello Everyone. This is my 1st post here in your community and I need some feedback from you knowledgeable people. I currently have a Montana concealed weapons permit but I recently moved to Washington state and realized its useless here. I signed up for a class this Saturday for the Utah permit and am now in the market for a new Concealed Carry handgun. I am looking for something easily concealable, with or without a holster, reliable and rugged. I work late in a not so nice part of town, and that is the reason I will be carrying. Price is an issue as i don't want to spend over $500 on it. Ive recently been looking at Ruger's new LC line of handguns and they really interest me. I like how the LC9 feels in my hand and it is super lightweight and the 9mm round is a plus. I also like the LCR chambered in .357. I have heard mixed things about Kel-Tec, mostly from people who are not owners. So, let me know what you guys have to say! thanks! - Willis
     
  2. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    Currently I carry a S&W Bodyguard 380. IF you are interested in any 380's, I'd highly recommend it.

    Now for 9's or 38/357. I'd have no problem at all purchasing any of the Rugers or Kel-Tecs you mentioned. I think the Rugers feel more substantial than the Kel-Tecs, but I've looked at a lot of research on the KT's and would feel very comfortable relying on one. Check out the Ruger SP101 as well. It will be far more comfortable and controllable than the LCR, particularly when firing 357. I can't imagine carrying 357 in anything lighter than an SP101; it would be brutal. I carry the SP101 in pocket, but I typically wear cargo shorts and pants, so I've got big pockets. I wouldn't recommend it if wearing jeans for pocket carry.

    Actually, carrying 357 in a snubbie may be a moot point. You lose a lot of ballistic effectiveness out of a short barrel. 38+P is probably the maximum efficiency you can get out of a snubbie. That opens up your choices to the S&W snubbies and Charter Arms as well. (I haven't heard any complaints about Charter)

    With a $500 budget, you might also want to check out the Ruger SR9c, and Bersa's. I think the Kahr's would be over budget, but a great option. The new Kimber just isn't getting very good reviews to be recommended as a possibility regardless of budget.
     

  3. deathkricket

    deathkricket New Member

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    I picked up a ruger LCP a week ago ( .380 ) and im in love with it, everytime i leave the house it comes along, i recomended one very much, just deer god dont shoot it without ear plugs, its like putting a glock .40 right next to your ear and pulling the trigger, i was hoping the 7 rnds would go fast cause dear god it hurt, but it is light easy to control and a very awsome gun and it runs around 280 to 320 so its not to much.
     
  4. Willis_Prime

    Willis_Prime New Member

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    that sounds pretty good. and I own a glock 40 and put over 100 rounds through it yesterday, so i definitely know what you mean.
     
  5. Double_tap

    Double_tap New Member

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    Im a Glock man myself and its just an opnion but I LOVE my Glock 30sf. Its a sub compact 45acp with a 10 round mag plus 1 in the chamber and the way it is made it fits perfect in your hand, but like I said just my opnion your going to have to go with what your most comfortable with. Good luck in Washington and in your search for your CCW
     
  6. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    The reason I carry is because a cop is too heavy.


    Go hold a few, shoot a few, see what you like, but most importantly get something you WILL carry everyday!!

    Don't get something that gets left behind because it's too bulky/heavy/cumbersome, etc....

    All good suggestions here, but you have to decide what you like.

    I carry a M&P 9compact AND a lcp .380( in RaZZZberry). :cool:
     
  7. Willis_Prime

    Willis_Prime New Member

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    I do love the feel of my Glock 22 chambered in 40. Unfortunately i cant carry it concealed. I shot my friends Compact Glock 9mm and I did not like how it felt in my hand. I have medium size hands and could only fit 2 and a half fingers on the grip. I will look into them a little more because i didnt realize they were so inexpensive.
     
  8. Firearms4ever

    Firearms4ever New Member

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    I recommend you go to various gunshops and get a feel for what's out there, and if there are ranges with rental programs try out a few too. I carry either my Ruger SR9c or Glock 26 on my hip with my Kahr PM9 in my pocket in the spring and summer. In the winter and fall I carry my Springfield Mil-Spec 1911a1 in a shoulder holster, and I'm looking into a pocket .45 ACP, .357 magnum, or .40.
     
  9. Willis_Prime

    Willis_Prime New Member

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    your reason for carrying cracks me up! I'm not completely sold on a .380 yet as a round to bet my life on. ive shot several but im not sure about them. Would you carry it as your primary concealed weapon? I have not done a ton of ballistic research on the round though and I am by no means an expert. And i do agree with you i want something i will not forget to take with me everyday. I have held but not shot several pistols and am trying to get a good feel for what suits me. unfortunately i do not have a local gun store with a range :(.
     
  10. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    I have a different plan with my .380 that I do a 9mm+p or .45acp.

    With my 9mm+p or .45acp I'm shooting center mass and loading with premium hollow points.
    With the .380 I'm loaded with full metal jacket and going straight for the head. This is assuming I'm VERY close to the goblin. I want fmj's for penetration with that little round. I can draw and "punch" to the head and fire a round with pretty decent speed and accuracy.
    As for primary,well, you'll have to make that decision. One thing for sure, the lcp is the lightest, most concealable firearm with that potential.
    :cool:
     
  11. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    That's an oxymoron, right? Kind of like "pocket battleship"?
     
  12. G30USMC

    G30USMC Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Check out Glock 30!
     
  13. TekGreg

    TekGreg Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Willis_Prime, with all due respect, don't dismiss Gojubrian too quickly. If you look at statistics, most shootings are under 10 feet and, quite frankly, look nothing like what is portrayed on the T.V. or movie screen. It's very close and very brutal and ANY gun that can deliver stopping power just beyond the muzzle is a viable starting defense gun. My "Hot Weather" gun is a Taurus TCP in a Stoner Pocket Holster. From the outside, it looks like a wallet; when I reach in the pocket, only the gun comes out.

    But more importantly is what the gun is stoked with: Remember the old adage, Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you buy a great gun and stoke it with cheap ammo, it will give only sub-par performance when called upon. Save the cheap ammo for practice. When on the street, the only ammo that should be in the gun and your spare magazines should be Magtech First Defense, Hornady Critical Defense, Glaser Safety Slug, and Magssafe. These will run $2 to $4 per ROUND or $14 to $28 per magazine. Remember, this is your LIFE we're talking about here! These are the types of ammo that bring the .380 up to life-saving performance levels. Your snubbie .357 is losing a lot of its effectiveness with that short barrel but your still putting up with the muzzle flash, noise and recoil...why?

    Finally, Review what ScottA said - he's dead on about everything, especially about the SP-101 and handling the .357 load. Also remember, this is just the gun you're starting with. When you add another gun later on, you can add a bigger Firearm which can become your primary carry and then this will be your backup or what you carry when you can only wear minimal clothes. It's a serious decision, but not one you're stuck with the rest of your life. :)
     
  14. Willis_Prime

    Willis_Prime New Member

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    I didnt mean any disrespect nor did i mean to be dismissive. I was simply asking questions. I am familiar with shooting the .380 round in a Walther PPK, but like i said I wasnt sure that its a great self defense round. Whatever gun I purchase though I was planning on carrying premium rounds in it when I carry it. I have Federal Home defense rounds in my Glock .40 now adn they were $30 for 20 rounds. I recently began looking at the Smith and Wesson bodyguard line of handguns. I do like the Bodyguard .380 ACP. It comes with a built in laser, great sights and a 7 round mag. The bodyguard .38 revolver is nice also and i really like the ambidextrous cylinder release which alot dont like. I should be buying something this week, going to go to my local Cabela's in the morning and pricing a few.
     
  15. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    It definitely has the best sights in its class, and they can be changed out it desired. I put a set of XS Big Dot sights on mine.
     
  16. TekGreg

    TekGreg Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Ah, Ambidextrous! Any chance you're left-handed, or just preparing for firing off-handed? Also I agree with you all the way on the S&W, but I didn't think it would fit into your price point. If you can afford the S&W, by all means it's a great gun with the laser.
     
  17. JJthebull

    JJthebull New Member

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    The bodyguard .38 revolver is nice also and i really like the ambidextrous cylinder release which alot dont like. I should be buying something this week, going to go to my local Cabela's in the morning and pricing a few.[/QUOTE]

    My vote is definately a revolver due to its simplicity which comes in handy in stressed situations. Really a point and shoot gun. I carry a sw model 10 .38 special 4 inch barrel at 12:30 and I love it. Im extremely confident with it even though I only have 6 rounds without my speedloader because I can drive nails with it. The issue is if u carry a revolver u have to practice because u dont have rounds to spare.

    Having the burden and responsibility of carrying a firearm is well worth my family and love ones safety. I practice for them, and a well trained and prepared man with his love ones on his mind is the most dangerous man. - JJ
     
  18. Willis_Prime

    Willis_Prime New Member

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    I recently held and shot a Taurus 709 slim 9mm and I really, really like this little gun. the only complaint I have is that the trigger is really funky. I put about 50 rounds of American eagle fmj's through it and it felt really good and was reliable. I will be purchasing it soon, pretty damn impressed with it. anyone own or fired one that can supply some feedback other than what i know? Thanks everyone for your comments and help. you guys have been awesome.
     
  19. Liberty's Advocate

    Liberty's Advocate New Member

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    My vote is definately a revolver due to its simplicity which comes in handy in stressed situations. Really a point and shoot gun. I carry a sw model 10 .38 special 4 inch barrel at 12:30 and I love it. Im extremely confident with it even though I only have 6 rounds without my speedloader because I can drive nails with it. The issue is if u carry a revolver u have to practice because u dont have rounds to spare.

    I have had CCW Permits for 43 years under 6 different Sheriffs here in Linn County, IA. Our new state-wide standardization of issuing criteria is a big plus for believers in the God given right of self-defense in that it doesn't leave it up to the arbitrary predilections and prejudices of any one of 99 Sheriffs in our 99 counties. Self-defense is now the only reason one needs to carry and I no longer need to carry $500 in cash to justify carrying a weapon for defending my life or that of others. I have always considered carrying concealed not just a right but a social responsibility ... to be able to defend my own life as well as those lives of people I love, and the lives of those who choose NOT to carry.

    That said, I agree with your suggestion about carrying a revolver. My first carry weapon was a Charter Arms Undercover with a 2" barrel, easily concealed but an up-close-and-personal, short range weapon only that required constant practice to maintain efficiency and accuracy. The loud report from that snubby was a huge disadvantage in confined areas, and marginal accuracy at best made it obvious on reflection how lucky I was to have never had to fire it in a defensive situation in the 15 years I carried it. I must be a slow learner.

    My follow-up was a S&W semi-auto .40 model 411 which I carried another 25 years. The 155 - 165 grain hollow points compare favorably to the .45 ACP in muzzle energy. I only drew it once in anger, dispatching a porcupine that had made a bad choice to invade our camp on vacation, threatening not only our dog but the pets of others as well. Safety was an issue with the exposed hammer which after firing gave it a hair trigger and required a conscious move to de-cock in order to secure it. The single/double action option was nice but ... again I'm a slow learner. Accuracy was improved but much practice was necessary to maintain the edge.

    I sold that weapon with 3 mags and holster for $400 the same day I purchased my current pistol: a Springfield Armory XD-M .40, stainless over black. This is a weapon I have complete confidence in and have recommended to many others for home as well as personal defense. By external touch, even in the dark, you can tell if your weapon is loaded, has a round in the chamber and is cocked and ready to fire. No exposed hammer. Superb accuracy. 17 round capacity. Comes with two mags (I bought one more) and 3 different size grips easily changed to fit any hand. Pistol of the year in 2008. I paid $500 three years ago at Reed's Sporting Goods in Walker, MN.

    I disagree with your apparent contention that less practice is necessary with a semi-auto than with a revolver, because with the extra capacity one can just throw lead. That's where the social responsibility issue comes in. Unless you can definitely hit what you're aiming at, instead of being a good guy defending himself, YOU become a threat to everything and everyone down range and, make no mistake, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENS WITH EVERY ROUND YOU TURN LOOSE! Here in Iowa, even if you are found innocent of criminal charges for firing in self-defense, you may be sued under a civil suit by the perp's relatives for wrongful death, or by anyone else you may have injured through reckless endangerment. You may win there, too, but go broke defending yourself in the process.

    So, now our new fight in the legislature is to get a "Castle Doctrine" or "Stand Your Ground" bill passed into law. Everyone should check their local and state ordinances, and with their local police jurisdictions to find out what their limitations and responsibilities are, as well as under what circumstances they may be held liable. I really yearn for the days when things were more black and white. Although I think if someone is attempting to take your life, you have the right to use force up to and including taking his, the reality is that it may cost you all you have.
     
  20. TekGreg

    TekGreg Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    L.A. has this one right! Everyone that owns a gun knows how to put lead downrange and pierce holes in the paper; If you didn't, you couldn't get your CCW. This does NOT make you a good shooter.

    With you back turned, or being completely away from the area, Have a friend put up 6 or 7 IPSC or Paladin cardboard targets on 2X2 posts and throw a T-shirt, blouse, dress shirt, jacket or other regular clothing over each one. Pin in place if it won't stay. Then place a knife and a gun on two targets at random. On the others, place random items, like a black comb, a badge, cell phone, a hair dryer, a toy water pistol (black with a little orange end is best), whatever someone might be using in public and a shooter might have to differentiate between.

    Now have the friend bring the shooter to the scene blindfolded and turn his back to it. Remove blindfold. Hit shooting timer and buzzer signal to begin. You can run this drill with multiple friends and see who gets the best time. If you shoot an unarmed target, you can count it as +10 seconds, but we always counted it as DEAD and you were disqualified. ADVANCED: Put a gun on the target wearing the badge - they have to shoot the two targets without the badge and NOT engage the officer. There are dozens of tricks like this to test people who *think* they're perfect. ;)

    This is just one example of shoot/no shoot that turns you into a fast, reliable, responsible shooter. It takes just a little more time than going to the range and it improves your skills tenfold. This is real education. Plus, you don't even have to be creative. The magazine Combat Handguns has these scenarios pulled from real life situations almost every month! The targets, the distances, the furniture and vehicles, everything to re-create the Hell the exact way it happened the first time it went down.