Most Practical Concealed Carry

A. M.
By A. M. on Fri, Jul 6, 2012 - 3:02pm

I'm starting a discussion on this question posted earlier - The numbering is for ease of address.
Originally posted by AWR:

1. What does this group consider to be the most practical concealed carry pistols?



2. I know the first thought to cross your mind will likely be "it depends on the shooter (experience, body frame, and personal preference)". I do not have much experience (less than one year), am tall and thin (6' 1", 160 lb), and am wanting something comfortable enough that I will actually carry every day but that will stop a bad guy should the need ever rise...hopefully never.



3. I currently own a Gl

4. Since an appendix carry points the barrel straight down the femoral artery, I am leaning heavily toward the XDs .45 for no other reason than the grip safety. The safety on the S&W Shield is less practical to use since it is stiff and requires two hands to operate...not exactly ideal in most scenarios when the weapon needs to be drawn and used quickly. However, both the Shield and the XDs have gotten favorable reviews and the Shield is quite a bit less expensive.

AWR,

As to your questions:
1. You already have it, in my opinion. If you can't work a G19, the most sensible alternative is the G26 with magazine extenders. This will maintain all of the previous memory you've built with the 19 (trigger pull, magazine, slide release, takedown, etc) in a smaller package that has very similar benefits (it'll fit your G19 holsters, and it's very reliable.)

2. I am 5'11", 165, and I carry a G19 more often than not. With your build, your carry location is probably your primary problem. 3-4 O'Clock requires a relatively boxy physique to carry discreetly. On thin people, this carry position produces printing easily, and it's more dramatic if you have a narrow waist. Especially with a full or medium sized pistol, you're going to have problems with protrusion of the grip, which is a pretty serious tell. 

3/4. The Shield is getting good reviews, and I'm not sure why, but I am just not impressed with the XD series of pistols. This is probably a whole seperate topic, but I mean to address your concerns about Appendix Carry:

Appendix Carry (AIWB) is my preferred method of carry. It keeps my weapon in front of my body, and medial, which allows me to defend it, access it, and keep an eye on it with far less "guesswork" than side  carry. I often hear that this is unsafe, but I'll tell you this: there is no one more concerned about holstering or drawing their pistol than me. If you're careless with your draw, or you're used to a SERPA, or similarly designed holster - don't carry AIWB. If you are experienced, and can instinctively draw without pressing the trigger prematurely, AIWB is every bit as safe as any other method of carry. 

5. If there are ever shortages, your 9mm will be amongst the last to notice. As a NATO cartridge, there are literally billions of rounds out there. Think beyond the initial buy/theft frenzy, and more towards what will be available post collapse. You can get 9mm in Afganistan or Zimbabwe on the black market. How about .357 SIG? Look to the countries that have already collapse. You might find that it's beneficial to have a few extra calibers, but more likely than not, it'll just be an added logistical headache.

Cheers,

Aaron

104 Comments

AWR's picture
AWR
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Aaron, I simultaneously --

Aaron, I simultaneously -- within seconds -- posted the same thing as a new discussion.  It is now the topic of two discussions and is a comment.  I see that you are the manager of the group so feel free to delete the comment/discussion I created to de-clutter the group if you see fit.

And +1 on your responses.  Good thoughts.

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AWR

I frequently carry a G19 and like it for its size and simplicity. (First Glock I've owned)  I also have a Ruger LC9 that is small and easily concealed.  My biggest problem with this gun is its long trigger pull.  As one guy I know put it, its like shooting a squirt gun.

Because I liked the size of the LC9 I started looking around for something of similar size but higher caliber. It's a bit pricy, but I bought a Kimber ultra TLE II .45 cal that is very good size-wise.  The upper part of the gun is almost identical to the LC9, but the handle is a bit longer.  The barrel is 3" but seems to be more accurate for me than my G19.  The biggest downside to the Kimber is that there's a learning and break-in curve to breaking it down and reassembling.  The G19 is a dream by comparison.

BTW, you and I are almost identical in height and weight, so I can appreciate the difficulty in concealing.  I have two Crossbreed holsters that are quite comfortable when I carry them at about 4 o'clock.  Aaron makes some good points about carrying in front that I will have to think about for a while.

Oh yeh, the Kimber has a thumb safety, a half-cock safety and a grip safety, so its pretty hard to fire accidentally.

Good luck.

Doug

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Most Practical Concealed Carry

A pocket size Taurus TCP 380, or similar pistol, is good for someone with a smaller frame and finds an XD or  larger 9mm too bulky. "A 380 in your pocket is better than a .45 in the trunk." (It's not mine, but worth repeating.) A wallet shaped holster is very discrete.

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.380

cstone wrote:

A pocket size Taurus TCP 380, or similar pistol, is good for someone with a smaller frame and finds an XD or  larger 9mm too bulky. "A 380 in your pocket is better than a .45 in the trunk." (It's not mine, but worth repeating.) A wallet shaped holster is very discrete.

Strictly from my own preferences.  I had a Ruger LCP, a small .380 probably similar to the Taurus.  I traded it away because I discovered it was just to small for my hand.  After firing a magazine's worth, my finger would start getting sore from the awkward grip with which I had to hold the gun.  It also had the same kind of trigger pull I mentioned above.

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cstone and Doug, I have given

cstone and Doug,

I have given some thought to carrying a .380 but, as Doug mentioned, they can be awkward to grip since they are so small.  Also, the 9mm is as small a caliber as I'm comfortable with (yes, this is a psychological stumbling block b/c a .380 will arguably stop a bad guy as effectively as a 9mm).  Finally, reloading the .380 is an issue if the bottom of your hand protrudes beyond the grip/magazine.

I should also mention that my G19 has an X400 light on it, and my holster is designed to hold both.  The size makes it considerably more challenging for appendix carry.  Aaron, you said you carry your G19 AIWB, and I noticed on the definitive firearms thread that you said you had (or at least used to have) an X200 on your G19 and use a CTAC holster.  Are you able to make that work comfortably for the AIWB setup?

I was thinking I could carry the G19 X400 during winter months when baggier clothing would mitigate any printing issues, and could have a more concealable weapon (with no laser/light) to carry appendix during summer months.  Just something I'm kicking around but as was previously mentioned, that raises issues with training on a different handgun and using different and more expensive calibers.

Best,

AWR

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A. M.
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CCW Thoughts

AWR wrote:

The size makes it considerably more challenging for appendix carry.  Aaron, you said you carry your G19 AIWB, and I noticed on the definitive firearms thread that you said you had (or at least used to have) an X200 on your G19 and use a CTAC holster.  Are you able to make that work comfortably for the AIWB setup?

I was thinking I could carry the G19 X400 during winter months when baggier clothing would mitigate any printing issues, and could have a more concealable weapon (with no laser/light) to carry appendix during summer months.  Just something I'm kicking around but as was previously mentioned, that raises issues with training on a different handgun and using different and more expensive calibers.

AWR,

Actually, I haven't carried the G19/X200 combo in a few years now. Quite a few. 
There are a number of reasons that the pistol/light combo have fallen from my favor, but here are the main ones:
1. You do have to point your pistol at what you want illuminated.
2. It's not "hands free" - what you've done is taken gross motor skills (handheld light) and turned them into fine motorskills (pressure/switch operation)
3. Bulk/Ease of carry - it's not a huge issue, but I definitely would not carry AIWB with this setup.
4. Lights add serious complication that are extremely situational*

These days, my AIWB setup is a Comp-Tac 2 O'Clock. Summer months, I generally carry the G26. The other 9 months (PNW joke) I generally throw a sweater over and carry the G19, so this is very much in line with your thinking. 

OK, some quick thoughts on lights, and light equipped handguns:
I hate when people say handguns are "defensive" weapons. It's not true. They're just a tool. Same with a light. A light and a handgun have some very minimal situational overlap where you'll want both, but in *most* situations, you'll only need one or the other. If you're acting offensively, you can still use a handheld light with your handgun. If you're acting defensively, having a seperate light allows you a pistol with a smaller vertical profile, of lighter weight. This means easier to carry, conceal, and zero chance of a light discharge that could telegraph your location.

For that reasons (and I'm a convert to this concept, I used to be a fan of light equipped pistols), I now carry my flashlight seperately. The likelihood that I'll need my flashlight is about 100/1 that I'll need my pistol. If I do, I will want the light very intermittently, and I feel this is best accomplished by a pressure sensitive tail cap. A proper grip can give you nearly equal stability and, if you lose one, you do not lose both. 

Finally, a light is a huge target indicator. In an E&E situation, Response to Active Shooter, or static clearing, light discipline because very important, unless you're linking up with some rifle-equipped hardasses who also have lights.

That said, I've been running with Trijicon HD night sights on my carry pistols, and they're absolutely awesome. A definite asset in a low light environment.

Cheers,

Aaron

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CCW Thoughts

I've been carrying a Sig P238 for several years now and am still very happy with it.  I use it as a back up gun or if deep concealment is required, the primary.  When carried in the pocket, using a decent holster, it conceals very well.  I've become a fan of pocket carry, even when I CC or OC my 1911 or CZ 75.  My ability to draw the Sig from the pocket is much faster than my ability to draw from IWB concealed carry.  I can have the Sig in my hand and be ready to flick the safety off as a situation presents itself, without another person even knowing I'm carrying.

Tim

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I'm a fan of pocket carrying

I'm a fan of pocket carrying as well and I have a sig p238 too.  But I've had problems with mine jamming while picking up a round (seems to happen every 100th shot give or take).  I probably need to do a little work on the feed ramp.  But it made me leary enough to switch.  I now carry a ruger lcr (.357 version).  It's a little bit thicker but not much.  I like it better because: I don't have to rack the slide to put one in the chamber (Not that I've had any rounds go off this way but I worry sometimes), I've never had a round fail to fire(firing pin strikes harder and no load issues, It can use faster/heavier round although I use .38 special +p corbons, and the hammer is at rest and not cocked while carrying.  An issue with it though is I only have 5 rounds instead of the 6 + 1. 

I also have a ivers johnson .25 acp that is my extreme conceal gun.  It's not accurate, its a small round, but it is really tiny and better than nothing(sometimes). 

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Concealed carry

I am new to this group.  I take my CCL (+ basic gun safety) next week.  A native of the UK, I am not easily disposed to owning a weapon at all, but the state of the financial world and my beliefs of a likely (25-50%) descent into chaos over the next few years are driving me to BE prepared.  I am blessed with sufficient resources to buy whatever I need but the Sig 238 looks like a good, reliable and small scale weapon for concealment purposes. Money is not really the issue but if you believe there is a BETTER weapon for the ~$700 let me know.

Cheers

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HanDgun

I think a smith anddwesson 45acp is superb forv stopping power

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small concealed weapons

rapunzel wrote:

I am new to this group.  I take my CCL (+ basic gun safety) next week.  A native of the UK, I am not easily disposed to owning a weapon at all, but the state of the financial world and my beliefs of a likely (25-50%) descent into chaos over the next few years are driving me to BE prepared.  I am blessed with sufficient resources to buy whatever I need but the Sig 238 looks like a good, reliable and small scale weapon for concealment purposes. Money is not really the issue but if you believe there is a BETTER weapon for the ~$700 let me know.

Cheers

The guys at the TPI forum have been running a thread on carrying in a non-permissive environment which requires a small easily concealed firearm.  They prefer 9mm to .380. The two dominant choices there are the Walther PPS and the new Smith and Wesson Shield (both in 9mm).

That being said, one of my mentors, who is a retired undercover cop, recently said this when I asked about which .380 to buy because my coworker was interested: "If I were to buy a .380 for my wife, it would be a Sig Sauer."

I rented both PPS and Shield for a 10 shot trial.  I almost bought myself a shield and still eventually may.

I prefer the Glock 19, but if you like the fit and finish of the Sig, you should look into the 9mm single stack magazine Sig models.

BTW - in my opinion, the quality of the holster may be more of a factor in concealing a pistol than the actual size of the pistol.  A good in-the-waistband holster will mold the pistol up to your body, while a bad one will tilt it out against your shirt or jacket.

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P238

My wife has a P238 w/crimson trace and likes it.  I really like it, especially with the seven round mag (vs.std. 6) that adds a bit to the grip - no pinkie finger grasping air.  My carry gun is the Springfield EMP in a 9 w/crimson trace.  I don't care for the night sights, so I changed out just the front to a green/yellow filament.  It offered me much faster target acquisition and accuracy...I was surprised honestly. 

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CCW

Rapunzel,

First and foremost, congratulations on taking the step and deciding that firearms ownership isn't inherently foolish! It's a very difficult thing to break from a cultural norm (as exists in the U.K.) and drop a bias, so that shows a lot of character on your part.

In terms of finding a better option, this is tricky, because it depends on so many things. I have no hands on time with the P238, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Sig for a second.
That said, if I were looking for a very concealable handgun, at present the S&W Shield has my interest.
The M&P series of pistols is really outstanding, and if I were not invested in Glock, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to switch up to an M&P; the shield is the "Subcompact" in this line, and they succeeded where Glock failed - Glock never offered a single stack in a "major" caliber (> 9mm).

This also would extend you commonality with the other M&P Pistols, if you ever decided you'd prefer to have a full sized pistol available. I'm big on consistency, so this is an asset IMO.

The M&P's don't have a "mid" sized offering, which also plays in to my decision, but that's not a tremendous issue. You might give them a look before you settle.

Cheers, best of luck, and keep us posted on your decision/results!
Aaron

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I like options

Realizing your the expert, I must disagree  - lights on guns are good.  I know, I know - I hear what you're saying but heres the thing, you don't telegraph your position if the light is not on......

My viridian has (as I'm sure you know) several settings.  Laser, laser w/light/, just light, strobe, laser w/strobe, etc., or off.  For home defense its perfect for me.  For anyone reading this who hasn't seen what a viridian strobe does in low/dark conditions - it must be experienced first hand.  So, for me and more importanly, me in my world - I respectfully disagree (so maybe I'm not even disagreeing...).  For you, it can be wrong and I hear your reasoning loud and clear.  My other point is, why wouldn't I want to free up my other hand?  With an empty hand I have options that I wouldn't otherwise if holding a light....starting a vehicle, opening a door, dialing a phone, etc.

Regarding trijicon HD night sights, I like them.  But I like the sleek grip mounted crimson trace with a filiment front sight for the clear and sharp contrast - theres no doubt about which one of three sights is the front one and if its dark, the red dot makes the target really, really clear.  But again, these are my just my opinions.  Always open to opposing views, I enjoy this thread.  Thanks.

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Options

Treemagnet,

Brother - I'm not expert - I'm a student, too!
So, I'm all for people doing what works for them. If you can demonstrate its effectiveness, I'll gladly re-evaluate the concept. In this case, you really don't have to, because I "agree" that it's a perfectly acceptable methodology... just not for me.

That said, I would like to back up my assertions a bit with some considerations:
1. When/If you're using static room clearing techniques with a flashlight, you're generally in a dark, confined area... Tueller's Space, if you will. This means any light use (handheld or weapon mounted) needs to be extremely discreet. In spaces this confined, unless it's a response to a specifc, or known threat, I:
a. Don't want to be "obviously" armed, in case:
* the attacker is armed with an edged or impact weapon, in which case my pistol becomes a liability
* the subject isn't hostile at all
* the subject is undecided, and or, armed themselves.
b. Want to be able to access any weapon or tool from the fouled up tangle (in case a firearm is not the tool for the job)
c. want to look at innocous as possible.

2. If I'm clearing a known building, I'm less likely to use the flashlight, and rely more on a firearm and compression/retention and my knowledge of the layout, including dark spots and hiding places, light switches and the like.  In this case, a weapons mounted light is neither an advantage or disadvantage.

3. If you're doing either of the above, you're in a remarkably dangerous, unpredictable and unfavorable situation. Because of that, I would much rather go in 'empty handed', and prevent weapons fixation (especially if dealing with multiple assailants) and be able to fight through with positional dominance.

This allows you to:
a. Retain your weapon better by not making it stand out as the "immediate" area of focus for the enemy.
b. Use your light as an impact weapon, which will jam, or discharge accidentally
c. Use body mechanics to draw and fire from retention when the time is right, rather than be rushed to make a decision that could potentially cause a stoppage, or cause you to lose control of your weapon (again, especially if you're dealing with more than one assailant).

Anyhow, those are my reasons for typically carrying the two seperately. I do, in some cases, carry a WML (Weapon mounted light) but, it's typically when I'm limted by wardrobe and cannot carry my full EDC.

Cheers,

Aaron

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The Kahr P9 is a nice option

The Kahr P9 is a nice option if you like a long firm DA trigger.  If not I would go with the SHield 9 if you can find one.  How is the trigget on the Sig P238?

Eye

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sure you are

Well you are the expert on this site for sure.  Anyway, I noticed you're considering the XD.  I received mine about a month ago, went with the XDm in a .45 - thats what I have my viridian on.  With a 5.25" barrel its very accurate with minimal muzzle rise, ect.  I'm really happy with it - looking forward to more range time.  Anyway, theres my .02

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Thoughts on the J-Frame?

Any lurkers on this board carry a wheel gun?  I am looking at a Smith & Wesson J Frame revolver as a possibility for those instances when I want deep concealment.  My understanding is the J-frame is extremely reliable and relatively inexpensive, but obviously suffers from limited round capacity.

Would still carry my G19 when possible.  Thoughts?

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joesxm2011
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J-frame

The S&W j-frame is not a bad little gun.  The lighter ones do have a lot of kick.

As far as deep concealment, they are not as thin as you might think, but that is offset by the fact that they give a rounded print which makes it look less like a gun.

One thing to consider is ammo compatibility with your G-19.  Much better to have the same ammo than to have to stock two types.

If you do go with a j-frame, some have nicer sights than others.  Massad Ayoob recommended the M&P 340 (if I am remembering the model correctly) because it had a wide rear sight (built into the frame) and a big tritium dot night sight.  The M&P 340-CT comes with a Crimson Trace laser grip that has a shock absorbing bladder that helps lessen the percieved recoil.

The CT laser is very useful for shooting from non-standard positions as you might have to with a backup gun.

You probably do not want to shoot .357 magnum, stick with .38 special.  The Gold Dot 135g +P is a good defensive load and it is optimized for short barrels.

All that said, if I were buying a backup gun today I would choose the Shield over the J-Frame.  Many of the guys on the TPI forum that I referenced earlier were saying that having bought the shield said they were leaving their j-frames in the safe.

The M&P Shield 9mm is about half the price of the j-frame, uses the same 9mm as your G-19 and might be a little easier to conceal depending on how you plan to do it.

One advantage of the j-frame is that it would probably fit better in your pocket (inside a good pocket holster), whereas the Shield strikes me as a tadd to big.  Robert Mika makes nice pocket holsters for the j-frames.  http://www.frontiernet.net/~akim/

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Treachery and j-frames

Im not sure what deviousness Joe is up to, but I agree with everything he said.
I've been wanting the M&P 340 (revolver in .357/.38) and would love to have one with CT grips... Which I just got a set of for my 1911 - I'll do a write up in a few weeks.
When I was working with the Security forces squadron, during weapons searches, 12-o'clock j frames were the most commonly missed firearms, often going totally unnoticed.

Very discreet if carried right.
Another small perk is being able to scavenge two more calibers, in a pinch.

The shield is probably a better choice, but the j frame has some compelling qualities.
Cheers,
Aaron

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J-frames

If you are looking at J-frames check out the trigger pull on the Ruger LCR.  I find it much smoother and more predictable than the Smith's.  It has a reduced trigger weight as well.  I picked up the .357 version (as noted before in my comment).  Not because I carry it with them but because its a steel frame instead of the aluminum one.  Its 4oz heavier but shouldn't crack as easy.  I pocket carry it and it works well but I wouldn't want anything larger than that.

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Appendix carry in middle-aged man with beer-belly?

I am new to the concealed carry skill set and get my permit next week.  I'm trying to figure out how to do this--what kinds of cloths to buy, holster to get, etc.   I am about 40 pounds over my ideal body weight with a moderate "beer-belly" physique.  (5'10" and 205#.  My ideal body weight would be about 165.)  So the 30" waist line of my young adulthood now fluctuates between 36" and 38".  I hate this, but it is where I'm at.  Sigh....   Here is my question:  I am trying to figure out if I can carry a flat small framed 9 mm (perhaps a M&P 340 Shield) in an inside the waist-band appendix position.  I would wear a square bottom cut shirt untucked to cover the holster.  

As I sit here and feel my belt line and belly, I can't see how this could work.  It feels too crowded there especially when I sit down.  Any other over-ideal-body-weight men try the appendix carry?  Or do us middle aged guys with moderate sized beer-bellies need to just abandon this position and go back to a J frame revolver in a front pants pocket?

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cc with a bb

sand_puppy wrote:

I am new to the concealed carry skill set and get my permit next week.  I'm trying to figure out how to do this--what kinds of cloths to buy, holster to get, etc.   I am about 40 pounds over my ideal body weight with a moderate "beer-belly" physique.  (5'10" and 205#.  My ideal body weight would be about 165.)  So the 30" waist line of my young adulthood now fluctuates between 36" and 38".  I hate this, but it is where I'm at.  Sigh....   Here is my question:  I am trying to figure out if I can carry a flat small framed 9 mm (perhaps a M&P 340 Shield) in an inside the waist-band appendix position.  I would wear a square bottom cut shirt untucked to cover the holster.  

As I sit here and feel my belt line and belly, I can't see how this could work.  It feels too crowded there especially when I sit down.  Any other over-ideal-body-weight men try the appendix carry?  Or do us middle aged guys with moderate sized beer-bellies need to just abandon this position and go back to a J frame revolver in a front pants pocket?

Although not as generous as yours, I too am afflicted with a bit of a beer belly (bb).  I have found that carrying anything in the appendix position is uncomfortable, so carry on the hip or about 4 o'clock in IWB holsters.  I have a Ruger LC9 that is very easy to carry, but I don't particularly like the gun so don't carry it.  I have a Glock 19 (9mm) that is reasonably easy to carry but doesn't conceal as well as I would like.  I got an OWB holster for it, but am not crazy about concealability.  I sprung for a Kimber .45 because the upper part of the gun is nearly identical in size to the LC9, but the handle is a little longer.  It carries easily in an IWB Crossbreed holster, but has only a 7 round mag.

In searching for the perfect cc gun, there are always trade-offs.  I've probably spent too much money trying to find the perfect fit but am reasonably happy with the Kimber.

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Thanks Doug.

I'll look at the Kimber and a IWB holster, too.

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Anyone carrying a 9 mm in a pocket?

Has anyone found it comfortable to put a 9 mm in a pocket holster or are they just too big for a pocket?

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My advice is to get a good

My advice is to get a good 9mm from a reliable manufacturer.  Glock 19 or 9mm Shield would be my first choices.  Glock 17 or 26 or large M&P would be second choices.

That said you should look to get a strong side in-the-waistband holster.

However, as a starter you should probably get a standard out of the waist-band holster and get some training from a reputable instructor.  Most will not let you use IWB holster for the first classes.  The instructor can help you work out a system for concealed carry that works for you.

Make sure to buy a holster that is designed for your exact gun model.  The shield is new so it may be hard to find a good holster right now.

There are cheap ones, but you should plan on paying around $80 for a good holster from some place like Comp-Tac or Tucker Gun Leather.  You probably want a kydex holster.

I don't mean to preach, but it is really important to get some good training beyond the initial NRA licensing course.  Getting training right from the start will get you off on the right foot and is easier than unlearning any bad habits you might develop on your own.

It has been said that the Shield is just a hair too large for pocket carry.  My feeling is that any of the 9mm that might be small enough for the pocket would fail my reputable and reliable manufacturer criteria (some may differ but that would include the Rugers).

Never carry in the pocket without a holster.  One cop I know blew the end of his finger off doing that.

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I have, but

prefer the galco miami shoulder set up.  my choice is the springfied EMP in a 9 - smallest 1911 stlye 9 currently.  I use the set up with two mags on the other side for balance and obviously two more mags.  Started wearing it when I was a bit heavier, now down 15 pounds with about 15 to go (mens hockey league is my motivation) and this setup just gets more comfortable with every lost pound.  My shoulder frame stays the same roughly while my sides and waist slim making more room for the carry.  I also hang another knife off the mag pouches as well - don't even know its there.  The first two weeks will feel odd sometimes, I forced myself to put it on regardless, everyday, day after day - to where now its just second nature.  Sorry I didn't address your question, just thought I'd throw it out there - the EMP fits nicely in a pocket too.

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joesxm2011

Totally off topic but your comment about the cop made me think of a recommendation from an officer regarding the average law enforcement personnel's shooting skillset, he said "if a cop ever points a gun at you, run away in a straight line....".  I just thought it was funny. 

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cop finger accident

Treemagnet,

That might be the case with some cops, but this guy wins lots of prizes at IDPA and other competitions so it goes to show that even experienced people doing stupid things can make problems.

He had the pistol in the coat pocket and was about to go into the bank.  The coat was sagging on one side so he decided to leave the gun in the car. As he was fiddling with removing the pistol a roll of certs got in the trigger guard and boom.

Hence the need for a good pocket holster and an otherwise empty pocket if you plan to carry that way.

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treemagnet
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Well yeah sure, but...

it was funny advice.

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Doug
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fwiw

Thinking about this topic reminded me of an old fellow I knew about 40 years ago.  He was one of those guys whose skills and exploits were legendary among close friends and family.  He still stands out in my mind as the guy I would most want to be with in a shtf situation.  From the age of 12 he carried a .38 spec in his pocket.  He didn't seem to have any problem getting it out and he was a crack shot with it.

Doug

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thc0655
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Brand new pocket carry pants

I'm about to buy a pair of these, so I can't recommend them yet.  However, the concept for pocket carry is truly original and ingenious.  Anyone who wants to carry in a pocket (or tuck in your shirt!) might want to consider them.  They claim (and I'm convinced because of the new design) to be able to conceal mid and full size handguns, while also being able to draw quickly, smoothly and with one hand.  I'm convinced and will shortly find out.

ccwbreakaways.com

And don't get me started on stupid things cops have done with guns!  Fortunately for us, most bad guys are much worse.

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reliability

Not to get off topic here, but I always find it interesting how people determine reliablity when it comes to certain items?  What was your determination that S&W was a reliable manufacturer while Ruger was not?  From what I've seen over the last 40-50 years of manufacturing it has been the opposite.  I'm not saying Ruger is perfect by any means but... I have a Ruger 22/45 ( the first handgun I ever purchased, ordered it on my 21st birthday), 10/22, .45lc bisley, red label, single six convertible, LCR, and a m77 international.  I've had zero problems with any of them since I've owned them and zeroe quality control issues(my only complaints are the 22/45 involves a bit of magic to disassemble/reassemble and the trigger pull on the new 10/22's are a bit stiff).  The gun I've had the most problems with and got rid of it because, was the beretta storm cx4 carbine (lots of failure to loads, fail to fires, and parts actually falling off of the gun while shooting).  I have only one S&W left and that is the M&P AR.  I guess what I'm getting at is that from my personal experience its been the opposite, some others agree with me (like Chuck Hawks http://www.chuckhawks.com/smith-wesson_dark.htm  ) , and some disagree.  But I'm wondering how you made your determination?

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joesxm2011
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reliability criteria

I base my reliability criteria for pistols on what I see in classes that I take and what I have been told by instructors.  The general trend is that eventually everyone ends up with either a Glock or a 1911.

My minimum reliability criteria for a self-defense handgun is to have shot 200 rounds of the same full strength hollow point ammunition that I plan to carry with absolutely no feed or stoppage problems.

My idea of a reliable gun for training classes is to be able to shoot 5,000 or 10,000 rounds of ball ammo with at most one or two stoppages and preferably no part failures.

My personal choice is Glock and my pistols have met this criteria.

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bklement Ruger

bklement,

I just was re-reading the earlier posts and noticed that you were referring to a Ruger revolver.

My comment was in reference to semi-automatic pistols and I don't consider the Ruger pistols to be in the same league as the Glock and maybe M&P.

I do not have much experience with the Ruger J-Frame revolvers.  I suspect that they might be fine.

My feeling, which I think you alluded to, is that if a beginner were to get a J-Frame revolver it should be one of the heavier ones since the light models have a very stiff recoil and will be hard for a beginner to shoot well.

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Yes, the majority of my

Yes, the majority of my experience (in ruger handguns) has been with their revolvers.  I do have the one 22/45 which has been a great gun but hardly a conceal carry option.  It seems to me that there are a number of ways reliability can be applied to gun manufacturers and all manufacturers really:  one being that there are quality control issues (which a fair part of the Chuck Hawks article dealt with); a second being design flaws or tradeoffs; and a third being material choice.

It seems to me that S&W has been suffering mainly with the 1st and 3rd in some of their guns (mainly their revolvers) in the last number of years.  But that would make me consider the manufacturer to not be reliable.  They may make some reliable guns but I wouldn't trust the gun just because of the manufacturer and in the case of the revolvers I'd shy away from them because of who made it (unless its an old one).

I've never picked up a ruger and noticed any QA issues with one, nor experienced any in ones I've purchased.  They have had some design issues in some of their guns but so have other manufacturers, like sig with the p238 when it came out.  They have been quick to fix any that were unsafe, but others when they were tradeoffs (like tighter tolerances for accuracy) have remained.  I have been concerned about their choice of materials lately, like the trigger group going to polymer in the 10/22 and the new all american rifle.

I chose the heavier LCR not for the weight but for the material and the option to shoot .357 as well as .38 special.  Aluminum frames in general have a greater chance of cracking than most steel frames.  I'm not sure the 4-5 ounce difference would make that big of a difference.  I don't find the recoil to be bad at all... but then again I shoot the ruger bisley with some extremely hot(ruger blackhawk and contender only) loads and that has the steel backstrap and wood grips.

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Choosing a Concealed Carry Firearm

What a great conversation. Everybody considering their first or upgrade concealed carry should read through your give-and-take.

As a gun dealer I hear a lot of customer preferences - why they choose certain firearms etc. - and at our online stores http://PersonalSecurityZone.com and http://BargainGunZone.com - we also have a lot of law enforcement buyers as well, so I guess you can say I am an expert in the area of choosing a handgun for concealed carry, although that doesn't sound particularly humble does it now.

Just a few little things I'd like to add...

Practice and experience will change your preferences and will also widen your tolerance for whatever firearm you choose for whatever purpose. To a beginner, the S&W J-Frame kick may be intolerable, for example, since that little grip does pound into your palm and you really do learn that it is not the pistol of choice for practicing all day at the range. However, a nice little J-Frame in a butt pack or holster of your choice will serve you or at least cover your retreat in the heaven forbid case. So will the XD, take your pick. If you can, buy one of each.

Committing yourself to concealed carrying will also serve to commit yourself to finding the right equipment. For example, if you decide you won't carry when trail running because your holster pack bounces up and down, then you are vulnerable. Solving the which-holster-pack-fits-me problem took me awhile, but now I am confident I will not be wishing I had self defense if a mountain lion jumps my husband when we're out there on a mountain top.

Accessories, mods and add-ons can make a big difference. Example: Hogue grips with a flatter palm profile on your S&W J-Frame will take out a lot of that sharp pounding thing that really adds up if you practice much with it. Just like a Blackhawk recoil reducing frame makes shooting a 12 gauge something I can actually do comfortably with confidence and accuracy (an impossibility otherwise). Or, get things like mag extensions or mags with exensions on them already for your little XD mags, if the grip is too short (which it always is). So browse product catalogs online constantly, and if some accessory looks like you might benefit from it, just buy it and try it.

One more possibly helpful comment - direct your focus toward improving your skills, getting more firearm user experience (join a club - participate in matches), proper safety procedures and habits (take no shortcuts), and gun maintenance (clean it clean it clean it) as well as choosing just the right firearm, then whatever firearm you have chosen, it will just become more and more perfect for you.

By the way, I'd appreciate having the chance to compete with others for your business, too. (If you are looking to buy you can get $5 off any order if you use promo code TJA5 on our order form.)

Mary Kay at http://handguns.personalsecurityzone.com/

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DVCPrepper
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Diversity of Tools

AWR wrote:

Any lurkers on this board carry a wheel gun?  I am looking at a Smith & Wesson J Frame revolver as a possibility for those instances when I want deep concealment.  My understanding is the J-frame is extremely reliable and relatively inexpensive, but obviously suffers from limited round capacity.

Would still carry my G19 when possible.  Thoughts?

I've carried concealed for over 20 years.  I always carried "prepared for the worst, hoping for the best" which usually meant a fullsize (1911GM or Glock G17) with at least a reload and strongside hip IWB 90% of the time, 10% OWB.  Winters are rarely below 32F and Summer gets to weeks of 95F on end with some 100F+ strings of 3-5 days in the middle.

I've always made a good habit of dressing around the gun and was able to keep the fullsize guns easily concealed with a t-shirt and cover short sleeved Carhart or fishing shirt in the hottest parts of the Summer.  

Anyway, my point is that while I can conceal a fullsize gun 100% of the time, lately I've taken to packing my S&W442 strong side OWB due to back pain.  You know what?  I don't feel under gunned.  I know the limitations of the setup and feel right at home having 5 shots or .38SPL and 4 in a speed strip as my only firearm for most of the time.

Just like any other preparedness method, I'm starting to look at the CCW as a layered system.  

Base layer is a reliable snub and reload accompanied by an ASP OC/Kubotan, and a solid folder that can be deployed quickly.

Second layer is my G17 with 2 spare mags in a shoulder holster that I can add to the J-frame depending on the perceived needs.  I'm learning that it really is the shooter not the gun that matters for the most part and that SA and avoidence is king.  Not that I ever looked for trouble or wanted to be the hero.

This setup gives me a few things that I like.  

  1. I have my primary gun in a position that I have trained and competed with for over 20 years (muscle memory will likely make me go there first) at all times.  
  2. I have two methods of stealth deployment (shoulder harness "Jack Benny" draw, J-Frame "wallet reach" draw) yet retain a fast draw option with the SS OWB.  
  3. A snub is dang hard to block in a FUT and works well to get someone off my SH which sucks for retention in a FUT.  
  4. I have a handoff gun for the wife if the SA is working and I have time.

Unfortunately AWIB does not work for me as it's pure pain even with a snub or I would use it. Also I like to wear my shirts tucked in.

As to the OP... The G19 is "the" gun if it fits your hands IMO.  Mine are too big and I prefer the G17 and can conceal it as well as the G19 so why not?  I've spent more money in quality holsters and belts than any one handgun (including a $2000.00 1911) and can tell you that it matters for comfort.  Short list would be the Original Lou Alessi PCH, CQC/S or equivelent Ritchie Gunleather models.  Ritchie's samples I have are better than the new Alessi leather but not as fine as Lou's own hand.

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A. M.
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.DVC/AUFrance

AUFRANCE,

I don't know how I missed your post, but your advice is really outstanding. It may be the kind of thing you see in retrospect, but if new shooters can incorporate the understanding that you shared, they'll be a lot farther along in the overall road to proficiency than most. Especially this:
"Committing yourself to concealed carrying will also serve to commit yourself to finding the right equipment."

If you don't mind, I may cite this in the future, and if you're cool with it, I'll give you the proper credit. 

It also ties in nicely with what DVC said, I think... Your method of carry is more important than the what, for the most part.

Over the years, I've gone through a variety of setups. I've changed up pistols, holsters, placement, magazines, lights - all of that. The one constant? I never had to actually use lethal force with my CCW equipment. 

"What" you're carrying is probably less important than whether or not you're actually carrying it.

Thank you both for the comments. 
Cheers,

Aaron
 

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Shoulder Holster--must wear jacket all the time

Treemagnet,

I am considering a shoulder holster also.  As a beginner, I am finding with the concealed carry the biggest issue to be the kinds of clothing needed to wear around the gun, holster and gun belt.  So, with the shoulder holster, the big question for me is "How do you hide it?"  It seems that with a shoulder holster one is committed to wearing a jacket or sweater all day long.  What do you do if someone has cranked up the thermostat and you get warm?  Or is there a vest that covers a shoulder holster rig well?  Do you ever remove your coat in the office?  I'd love to know what kinds of clothing you use with the shoulder holster.

And, will the horizontal orientation of the gun be discrete enough or will it tell in the front or back?  I am 5' 10" and 205#.

Thanks so much. And I really appreciate this forum as a place to ask this kind of question.

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CCW

First, the best self defense pistol is the one you have with you.  So carry all the time.  Even to the 7-11 for a coke.

I have carried for over 7 years and use a Tommy's Gun Pack.  A fanny pack that is easy to draw from and carries my wallet in safety as well.  I have heard the argument that a fanny pack advertises you are carring.  Is that a bad thing?  My take is that the bad guys would rather pick an easier target.

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sand_puppy
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Opinions please--Best pocket gun / holster / clothing combo?

I am a newby in the concealed carry department that is still learning how to do this.  I have greatly appreciated the thought posted here.  Thank you all.  I would love to get the opinions of the more experienced as to their favorite "pocket gun and holster combination."   The situation I am considering here is the hot summer day, dressed lightly, where a heavy belt / IWB holster / undershirt / cover garment is not feasible.  I like the J-frame revolver with at Robert Mika pocket holster ( http://www.frontiernet.net/~akim/pocket.htm ) recommended here by joesxm2011.  I would probably stick with that were it not for the small 5 round capacity of the little revolver.  If it is possible to get a bigger capacity pocket gun I would like that.

Does anyone have a favorite recommendation for:

1.  larger capacity pocket gun and holster combination?  (I am using 9 mm for my IWB primary carry, so sticking with 9 mm would be a big advantage as far as needing to stock only one ammo type.)

2.  specific types of clothing that conceal a pocket gun well.  ( So far, I have found "relaxed fit", pleats, "cargo style" and a dark color all help to conceal a pocket carry.)  http://www.eddiebauer.com/catalog/product.jsp?ensembleId=30810&catPath=&viewAll=n&pg=1  or  http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/polo-ralph-lauren-gellar-fatigue-cargo-shorts/3394618?origin=keywordsearch&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=752 (This is one of the few places that being overweight can be advantageous as a beer belly hides the lines of a gun/holster in a front pocket that would be much more obvious in an individual with a flat belly.)  And, an untucked shirt is very helpful.

3.  Is anyone carrying a double stack 9 mm, such as a Glock 26, in a pocket?  http://www.basspro.com/GLOCK-G26-9mm-Subcompact-Pistol/product/10217980/  What kind of holster?  Do you also use and extension magazine so that your small finger can be on the grip, too, or does that make it too bulky for a pocket?

4.  Any specific experiences with a pocket holsters for the sub-compact Glock 26?

a)  http://www.pocketholsters.com/Glock_Pocket-Wallet_Holster/glock_pocket-wallet_holster.html

b)  http://www.midwayusa.com/product/995917/desantis-nemesis-pocket-holster-ambidextrous-glock-26-27-kel-tec-p11-p40-s-and-w-m-and-p-9c-40c-s-and-w-m-and-p-shield-taurus-709-slim-nylon-black

c)  http://www.desantisholster.com/store/SEARCH-BY-GUN-MANUFACTURER/GLOCK/26-27-33/POCKET-HOLSTERS/Super-Fly

d)  others?

Appreciate your experience and thoughts.

sand_puppy

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joesxm2011
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sand puppy 9mm pocket gun

On the TPI forum, those with much more experience than I have been running a thread on deep concealment.

For small guns they had been leaning towards the J-Frames or the Walther PPS in 9mm.  However, recently they have been swayed to liking the new Smith and Wesson M&P Shield in 9mm.

They also like something called "the belly band" when wearing office clothes or suits.  I do not know much about it, but I think it is an elastic holster that goes over your midsection rather than on your belt.

If I were to stray from my beloved Glock 19 for a smaller gun, it would be to the Shield.  True, it is also ammo constrained like the J-Frame, I think seven or so rounds, but it is a single stack grip.

You are right in questioning the utility of 5 .38 special rounds in a J-Frame.  I recently read an article that said that some 65% of all criminals use 9mm semi-automatic handguns.  With only five rounds you will be behind the curve on ammo.

Some have liked the Kahr 9mm single stack, but it might fall into second tier behing the Walther and Shield.

When I tried out the Shield at the store it seemed fine for inside waistband appendix carry, but seemed a tad too big for pocket, but I suppose if you are larger than me or are willing to take your pants to a tailor to expand the pockets it might work.

The Shield is relatively new and from what I have heard it quickly was bought out and S&W is struggling to keep up with demand.  Unfortunately I have not kept up with holsters for the Shield, but I bet an email inquiry to the quality holster manufacturers will lead to some information.

One word of advice on holsters, make sure to go to a quality holster supplier as much of what is sold at the local stores leaves something to be desired, as I have learned the hard way.

As far as summer goes, I have found that I can conceal my G19 wearing a loose fit tee shirt or an over the pants shirt like a hawaiian shirt or a mexican wedding shirt.

An alternative to the Mika pocket holster is the AIWB cover up from Tucker Gunleather.  I have had good results wearing this with my J-frame.  I have not gotten one for pistol, but I suspect it would be good for the Shield if he makes one for the Shield.

http://www.tuckergunleather.com/cover-up-small-revolver/

http://www.tuckergunleather.com/cover-up-iwb/

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Posts: 2286
Summertime

Sand_Puppy,

Are you sold on pocket carry?
I can think of a few good reasons to steer clear of it, but then again, I'm a firm believer that you know your needs much better than I do... but if you're not committed to the idea, I can give you my suggestions: 

1. In general, try and stay consistent. If you carry at one position "on body" normally, try not to shift it up too often (or at all). The quarter second hesitation that it might cost you is too much, in a fight. Especially drawing from a holster that's going to be difficult to get to in a pinch (such as a pocket holster, or ankle holster).

2. A smaller version of what you carry now, is beneficial for a variety of reasons. Not surprisingly, I opt for a G26 about half the time. Same mags, same ammo, same maunal of arms, same holsters, same trigger - again, just a massive amount of minutia I don't have to adjust to under pressure.

3. Belt mounted holsters have no equal. Pocket, ankle, belly band, even the high-speed thigh holsters are all inferior options to a good belt mounted pistol holster, in my opinion. The stability, placement options, physical economy and retention properties of a good belt mounted holster are superior to the other options in a big way... again, so says I...

4. Dressing around a gun doesn't have to be weird. A nice, casual (or formal) button up shirt, slacks or cargo pants and a good tuckable holster will go a long way towards helping you solve your issue - if you're permitted to dress in whatever fashion you choose, this may be a helpful option. Plus, your movements to get to your pistol will be very similar (pull shirt, grip weapon... so on) with this mode of carry. 

5. My concern with pocket carry is I use my pockets... especially in an emergency, you may find that you need your pockets often. I know this is easy to prevent, but I don't want to contend with the potential that I dropped keys, a memory stick or anything else into my pocket that could potentially cause a negiligent discharge when I holster my pistol. Painful, self-correcting mistake that I don't want to risk.

This is probably subject to what holster you use, and how you use it, but I think you may be better off sticking with a slightly smaller version of what you already carry, if one exists.

Personally, I shoot better with the G26, and think sub-compact pistols are pretty desirable. I also find that the wider grip on the G26 makes it very easy to get to when carried deep IWB, in comparison to pistols with smaller frames, but there are many other suitable options.

Also, FWIW, a J-Frame AIWB is really difficult to detect, if you're comfortable with that mode of carry.

Cheers,

Aaron

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A. M.
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Wingsmoker/Fanny Packs

Hey Wingsmoker, 

As to your question about bad guys identifying you as carrying a weapon, yes! 
Always a bad thing. Bad guys don't act like they do in movies. They're not going to pull a gun on you from 35 feet off, and start a battle of accuracy and tactics. They say don't say things like "give me your wallet"; they hit you in the head with a bottle and take it. 

What if the bad guy wants a gun? Even with great situational awareness, is it something you want to advertise? 
If someone is intent on doing violence in a venue you happen to be in - do you want him knowing you could potentially stop him? Who do you think he will fire on first?

A lot of street tactics is about initiative- don't give it away for any reason if you can help it. 

I recently saw a video of a Ukranian gangster who got taken in to custody by four guards at a shopping establishment. They sat the guy down, surrounded him and were talking to him. He stood up, casually, and waited for initiative and shot the first guy in the chest, killing him instantly. Walked over, and shot the second guy in the head as he stood. The third guy caught one in the head making a grab for the guys gun. The fourth took rounds that were non-lethal, but the aggressor escaped.

Initiative. These were four, armed professionals. Against one guy.
Please don't under-estimate your adversaries. 
Cheers,

Aaron

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sand_puppy
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Posts: 300
Thanks Arron and Joesxm2011

I appreciate your responses and ideas.  I'll work harder on the Inside the Waist Band holster carry and how to dress around that.

sand_puppy

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Both the 380 and the 9mm have

Both the 380 and the 9mm have a problem.  You shoot the bad guy and they keep coming.  I personnally carry the Glock 22 (full size), but I'm a big guy and can wear it.  The 40 S/W has both knockdown power like the .45, but has a lot better accuracy.  I know that Glock has both a 'Compact' and 'SubCompact' models in the .40 cal that make them very concealable for anyone.  I'm considering getting a the SubCompact for an ankle holster.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Oh Physics, you so crazy...

Please do a little looking around and reading on this topic. 
The .40 caliber offers very little in terms of ballistic performance over the 9mm, but...
1. Costs more
2. Has sharper felt recoil
3. Reduces your ammunition capacity
4. Is harder on component parts

This is pretty qualitative right now, but we can discuss this in terms of expansion and weight retention characteristics through a variety of mediums, chamber pressures and stress related failures in .40 caliber firearms. .40 Caliber is losing esteem in most professional circles for these reasons, and offers very little in terms of energy benefits over 9mm.

So, a pet project of mine is showing people that "Knockdown power" doesn't exist.

Newton's second low of motion states that each action has an equal and opposite reaction, and that Force = Mass*Acceleration. In order for a bullet to have enough force to knock someone down, the force with which the bullet connects would then be equal to, or lesser than, the force felt by the person firing it. 

That means the most impact a person can ever feel from being shot is < the recoil felt by the person firing the round.

A more direct and accurate representation of how energy relates to size and velocity. We can measure this using the formula: E_k = 1/2m*V^2, where:
E_k = Kinetic Energy, or energy in motion
m = Mass in kilograms
V^2 = Velocity, raised to the power of two.

In this equation, velocity is should be keyed in on quickly, as it's an exponential function, and that means it's contribution is going to be something to watch closely.

So then, we can use a comparison between rifle cartridges, pistol cartridges and then rifle to pistol cartridges:
5.56 moving at 3240f/ps (~988m/s) multiplied by the mass in grams (55gr = 3.56grams = .00356kg) gives us an equation of:
E_k_5.56mm = .5(0.00356kg)(988)^2
5.56mm 55gr ~= 1,737 Joules

7.62x39 moving at 2365f/ps (721m/s) multiplied by (123gr = 8.1 grams = .0081kg) gives us an equation of:E_k_7.62x39 =.5(0.0081kg)(721)^2
7.62x39mm 123gr = 2105 J of Force

For pistol calibers:
9mm moving at 366m/s (8.03grams = 0.00803kg) 
E_k_9mm = .5(.00803)(366m/s)^2 = 537 J
E_k_.40S&W = .5(.0112)(308m/s)^2 = 531 J
E_k_.45ACP = .5(0.015)(274)^2 = 563 J

One joule is about what is required to pick up an apple, and force alone isn't what matters in gunfights, though it certainly can help with things like turning "cover" into "concealment".

So, with that in mind, the cartridges velocity also relates to it's properties of penetration, and how well it retains it's weight and shape after passing through a 'barrier' - which could be anything from Concrete cinder blocks to a layer of denim.

In addition to penetration, the expansion is 9mm in this loading is 0.891" and in .40S&W, it is 0.945".
That's 0.04" difference, which is about 1/10 of 1 millimeter. 

This was figured using a side by side comparison of Federal HST ammunition, in:
9mm - 124gr JHP
.40S&W - 180gr JHP
.45ACP - 230gr JHP

For the rifles I've used what's consider "standard" for the military cartridge. It should be noted at this point that it would take ~4 rounds of either handgun load to deliver roughly the same amount of energy as one rifle cartridge. That's something to think about. With that in mind, I will take as many extra rounds as is possible/practical. Two extras might not seem like much, but lets look at it like this:
1 9mm rounds = 537 J of kinetic energy * 15 rounds = 8055 J
1 40S&W round = 531 J of kinetic energy * 13 rounds = 6903 J 
1 .45ACP round = 563 J of kinetic energy * 8 rounds = 4505 J

While no metric has been created to my knowledge to balance expansion, penetration, energy delivery, felt recoil and capacity, it's my opinion, that with the very small margin of difference between pistol calibers (Major pistol calibers, that is > 9mm) that the 9mm's advantage in capacity is what makes it the "ideal" choice.

Please consider this with regards to the widly mal-aligned concept of "stopping power". Stopping power is equal to your ability to put accurate, fast hits on target under stress. 

Cheers, 
Aaron

Edited to add .45ACP for the fun of it.

Sources: 
http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_ballistics_table.htm
http://shootingmessengers.blogspot.com/2006/05/wound-ballistic-workshop.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule#Practical_examples

Calamity Jane's picture
Calamity Jane
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 10 2013
Posts: 34
Concealed Carry, and Not So Concealed carry advice for females?

I was scanning through and saw a lot of other "newbs", so I will join in as one of them!  I am new to firearms training and a highly dedicated learner. One topic I've noticed left out of beginner courses are methods of carry. I'd like to be ably to carry everyday, but haven't found a method that doesn't give me away. Advice for women? 

Also, will be spending a weekend this June, with two other ladies, testing our skills and implementing new ones. Backstory said, I will certainly have my pistol on me as I'm the only one of the 3 with any experience whatsoever, and im not going into the woods, tent-free, without it. So question 2 is this; what are my best options for carrying, that allows quick, easy access, on a 5 hr hike, with a traditional hiking pack as well as a NAR Medic thigh rig. I'm running out of space, as I'm about 5ft tall. I have a G19 and a G26, and I rotate my practice between the two to be sure that I'm very comfortable using either one at any time. (I realize there's virtually no difference, but I'd rather be safe than sorry).

Suggestions and ideas welcome from the experienced everyday concealed carriers/hikers!

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2286
Advice for women

Calamity Jane,

You know, I really should have made a more assertive effort to either excuse myself for not including female specific carry methods, or include some advice.

Women have a very unique situation, and I don't need to explain it to you. If you want to look nice and carry, you're generally stuck with a pistol or carry method that's not ideal.

Kathy Jackson at "Cornered Cat" has an outstanding website for women, and CCW holders in general. 
Often as not, advice on carrying concealed that goes for women goes for men as well, though the inverse is not true. Carrying is much more 'forgiving' on a larger frame, and much more difficult with a feminine figure.

The generally accepted and most easily concealed pistol is the Ruger LCP, and in terms of concealment, it's almost always "off body"; a purse, pack or bag. Now, that's also the least secure method, and the hardest to access.

While most "schools" discourage them, I think a properly anchored shoulder holster with a small pistol (such as the G26) would work well enough, but there is the issue of dressing around it.

The hip is the most common place for people to keep their pistol, and there's nothing wrong with it (especially for dudes) but if you're backpacking, you'll have a hard time getting to it, and often times, movements will "shilouette" the butt of the pistol, giving a pretty obvious signature. 

Appendix carry is generally considered pretty risky (I think it's probably safer than most methods, because of the risk/reward analysis) but is very managable and concealable.

Dressing around a gun is a big part of concealed carrying, and again, it's a tedious process for the gals out there. Check out Kathy's website, and if you don't mind, pop back in and let us know how it goes! 
I'd be curious, and there are a lot of viewers who don't feel comfortable enough to speak publicly on guns, but certainly could learn from your experience.

Cheers,

Aaron

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