Questions on concealed carry

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by frank002, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. frank002

    frank002 New Member

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    I am thinking about getting a gun for concealed carry and have a couple of questions. I have heard that the .380 is underpowered and not recommended. A of of people recommend the 38Spl or 9mm. I was also looking at the Ruger LCP, which has an ideal size for carry but it only comes in.380. A couple of small frame revolvers from Smith & Wesson look good and come in 38Spl. Suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    I've heard that anything below a .380 is underpowered and is not for concealed carry, I've also heard the same thing starting with the 9mil. I want to be sure, and I like big guns so I carry a .45. Personally I wouldn't go with anything smaller than a 9mm.

    This may be starting something but I definately like the .45 ACP round's knockdown power over the 9mil. The latter has the tendancy to "fly" straight through your target causing little damage.
     

  3. Bighead

    Bighead New Member

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    It is a constant trade off size versus convenience.

    If you knew you were headed into a fight you would take the biggest handgun you had...and a shotgun...and a rifle. Then again if you knew you were headed into a fight it might be advisable to change directions.

    If you are in your "man about town" mode, you want to have something to help be prepared in case you can't avoid a violent confrontation. First question is, "Do I want to be shot with a .380?" The answer is no, because I don't want to be shot with anything. So if an ultra compact like the LCP is something that you will carry regularly, then I think it is a fine choice. In the trade off the LCP offers a very small, very flat package for a slightly anemic round like the .380ACP (also know as 9mm short), but never the less it will help you settle the argument.

    Would a Smith snubby is .38 Special be better? That depends on whether you'll regularly carry it. Even for a small gun the J-frame Smith's are quite a bit larger than something like the LCP. But you get some more "oomph" if you have the pull the trigger. There's your trade off.

    JD will be around in a bit, and he (like many others) is not comfortable with a 90 grain .380ACP. He trades the convenience of carrying a small, lightweight pistol for the, I don't know, lets call it "assurance" that comes with a brickbat 1911 spitting 230 grain .45 ACP fireballs. I can't say that I don't see where he is coming from, cuz I like big guns & big bullets too. However, in the summer I've been known to pocket carry a Smith 442 or (don't laugh guys) a Kel-Tec P32 (before the 3AT or the LCP models came out).

    The tradeoff in carrying a gun like a .32 Kel-Tec is small bullet/mediocre reliability for super-ease of carry. I considered my risk potential and accepted that a P32 was all the gun I was going to carry that day. Those decisions are personal for everyone, but I say better the .32ACP in your pocket instead of the .45 ACP that got left on the nightstand.

    Risk assessment is part of it as well. Would I suggest a night manager at the local stop & rob doing his bank deposits carry a micro-compact .380? Probably not, just like I wouldn't go into the street as a police officer carrying anything less than a full-size fighting pistol.

    The long and short of it is that you have to decide what your risk potential is, and decide what the biggest gun you think you will regularly carry is.

    One more thing, and I can't remember where I heard this, but I liked it so I'll pass it along: "Carry guns are supposed to be comforting, not comfortable."
     
  4. Bighead

    Bighead New Member

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    Smith 442/642

    Kahr PM9

    Glock pistols: 26, 27, 19, 23, 36

    Walther PPS 9mm

    SigSauer P239 or P250 compact.

    I'll leave others to discuss 1911s for carry because I've never owned anything but 5-inch guns, and never carried one regularly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  5. Scrapper

    Scrapper New Member

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    As previously said, it's convenience versus confidence.

    Small guns are easy to carry, easy to conceal, and don't interfere with your life. They are also inherently weak.

    Big guns are very comforting. .45 ACP is a proven man-stopper, as is .357 magnum, .44 magnum, and .40. These frames tend to run larger and heavier as a logical result.

    Good compromises are out there. There are some very small/light 9mm autos out there. While some disparage 9mm, it has a decent track record for making bad guys change their minds about doing ill to the bearer.

    I like carrying a .357 snubbie as a compromise. Lightweight frame, plenty of power. .38+P is pretty handy too.

    At the end of the day, it's up to you. There is an old saying where I come from:

    "When the sh!t hits the fan, a (snubbie/.380/.25acp) in the hand is worth two 1911's at home in the safe."
     
  6. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    Springfield Xd sub-compact in .40. Small auto and good for carry with the 9round magazine with plenty of power.

    Good compromise for me. I'm not comfortable with anything smaller in caliber.
     
  7. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Active Member

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    Rule #1 for winning a gunfight/defense situation-HAVE A GUN! The smaller and lighter the gun is, the more likely you are to have it with you when it's needed. Having said that, I personally feel that a PRIMARY defense handgun should be no smaller than 9mm or .40S&W. I carry an Ruger LCP as an backup gun to my "pocket" .45acp. The smallest 9mm I'm aware of, and no larger/heavier than my LCP is Rohrbaugh 9mm DAO. Rohrbaugh Firearms
     
  8. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    Good grief those are expensive!!
     
  9. chopkick

    chopkick New Member

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    The old school of thought was and probably still is that anything below .380 is not practical for self-defense. However, as others have mentioned, any gun is better than nothing. Hell if all I had was a .22, I would carry it.

    Ammo quality has came a long way since the 80's and 90's. Regarding the popular and for the most part true theory that the 9mm round would pass completely through the target and possibly cause collateral damage. The advancements of bullet designs have lessened those risks greatly.

    I would personally not carry anything under a .380 if I could help it. You want a caliber that will defeat winter/heavy clothing and still cause effective tissue damage.
     
  10. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    As some people have already mentioned, it's all about compromise. For MY personal needs, steel framed S&W J frames are perfect when a bigger gun is out of the question.

    It's important to get something you really like. You'll train more with a gun you enjoy shooting than with a "superior" weapon that you don't really care for. I love snubbies, and I put a lot of rounds a week through mine. In a fight, I'll be better off with my 5 or 6 shot revolver than with a higher capacity compact semiauto just because I'm a better shot with my wheelguns.

    If you are accurate with a small .380, and you use good ammo (I like Cor-Bon's Pow'rball), I say go for it. A full sized handgun, in a caliber like .357 or .45 will probably be better at stopping someone, but if it's too big for you to carry or you can't get good shot placement with that caliber, then it's worthless.

    With that been said, try out some of the smaller 9mm and .38 handguns. You might find something that's as comfortable as a .380 to carry, and has a bit more power without being hard at all to control.
     
  11. Rentacop

    Rentacop New Member

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    OP-
    If you depend on a gun that is hard to hit with at distance, low-powered and maybe less reliable , well, remember not to try to break up any bank robberies or mass murders . Your tactics will have to be tailored for the belly gun .

    Tiny autos tend to be unreliable because a lot has to happen in a small space .

    A S & W J-frame 5-shot .38, with concealed hammer, makes a better choice as a pocket gun . It is no fun to shoot and kicks way harder than a K-frame M&P Model 10 but it is effective, reliable, safe and simple to operate .

    The Glock 26 9mm looks like a winner to me. It is compact . They say it is reliable and easy to shoot accurately . I haven't fired one yet but want to . Glocks must be carried in a proper holster for safety . When you remove the gun to go to bed, you can leave it in the holster for safety too . Why do I always think of safety when recommending Glocks ?
    You may wish to compare your ability to fire a .45 and a 9mm one-handed from an imperfect stance fast and accurately ...
     
  12. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    My S&W 640 is my favourite gun to shoot, I think that people tend to exagerate the difficulty of firing a snubbie well, or how uncomfortable they can be.

    Sure, felt recoil is more than what you would get from a bigger gun, but it isn't that terrible.

    Perhaps I'm just weird, but I do enjoy shooting my snubnose revolvers a lot.
     
  13. Megaton

    Megaton New Member

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    If your looking at the glock 26, the 19 is also something I would consider. Its not much bigger than the 26, the grip is about an inch longer which makes it easier for me to shoot, and it holds 5 extra rounds.

    Of course, it all boils down to what feels good in your hand and what you are going to carry on a daily basis.
     
  14. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    Dress for success and C/C the most you can. Regarding the .380, I carry a very small AMT Backup as a pocket pistol or in a belt holster with a loose cover shirt in the summer because I do landscaping and really can't reliably hide anything bigger. I carry 95 gr FMJ, because research has led me to believe that hollow points wouldn't give me enough penetration to hit vitals, especially at any distance. As the rounds tend to keyhole at 15 yards, my odds of doing anything more than aggravating a bad guy are pretty low to begin with. The .380 is a great round when you are up close and stand a good chance of a throat or nose shot, but not for slugging it out against a .40 Glock. The value of the round is in the concealability of the weapon firing it. It is a great round when used within its limitations.
     
  15. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be on the receiving side of any bullets, 380's or not.
     
  16. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

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    I have a 3" 1911, a J-frame sized .38 spc and a LCP. The 1911 is great when you are wearing a lot of clothes. It's my preferred gun in the Pocono Mountain winters.

    As it is getting warmer, my lightweight revolver goes with me all more often. .38spc +p self defense ammo has plenty of power for it's purpose. I find the alloy framed wheel gun very easy to carry.

    The LCP can be concealed wearing anything more than a Speedo. That's it's great advantage. Drop it in a pocket holster and slide in into the shorts and off you go. Even light clothing will hide it just fine. I'd admit, it's not the easiest to shoot and lacks a bit of punch, unlike the previous two, but even a little ornery gun is better than none.
     
  17. markhait

    markhait New Member

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    its all in where you hit the target.
    A .45 to the left finger is no where near as effective as a .380 to
    the brain.
    All being said though...I carry a 3" Colt Defender in .45
    Its small, powerful, accurate and concealable. I wear it for about
    18 hours per day...and no I'm not a cop. I just have a ccw.

    Check out this link about a gun fight and how important caliber and
    shot placement is!
    WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING.....VERY GRAPHIC!!!!
    http://www.defensivecarry.com/documents/officer.pdf
     
  18. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    I most often carry a NAA Guardian .380 in a pocket holster I made with a flat piece of leather that covers the whole gun attached to the outside of the rig. I stick it in my hip pocket and it looks like a wallet. Do I have more effective weapons that I could carry concealed? Yes, several, a Kimber Compact, SP 101, and others getting larger. But how do you carry them? Under anything but a heavy coat or a guyabarra or Hawaiian shirt you look like your stealing musk melons. So, I figure the .380 in my pocket might be less effective than I'd like but it's way more effective than the .45 in the safe.
     
  19. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    I carry an array of weapons at different times, but the most important thing is... I carry at least one weapon at all times.
     
  20. Ed Warden

    Ed Warden New Member

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    Carry Gun

    Hi all i like to carry my Glock20 10mm with 15rnds + 1 in chamber plenty of power, plus sometimes depending on where i go an xd-45 with 13 rnds +1 chambered and spare mag for each does get heavy at times as you can imagine