Advice on Best Concealed Carry Handgun


HK4U

New member
Lot of people carry the 642 in a coat pocket. If I were to do that there would be no loose change or anything else in there but the gun and yes it could be shot from inside the coat pocket. That would not be my first choice but if push comes to shove it will work. That might especially work well if you were using the Hornady personal defense ammo.
 

wjh2657

New member
Hey wjh2657: You and others on various posts talk about the 642 as your pocket carry. I have a 642 and maybe it is because I do not like any bulkiness or weight around my waist or in my pockets or anywhere on my pants, I have difficulty appreciating how you can walk around with that firearm in your pocket; I can understand OWB or belt. Don't you find it, as a pocket carry, a little cumbersome? I have a kel tec 380 that is as small as can be and as light as can be and is about the only thing other than a wallet and a tissue that goes in my pocket(s). Interested in your comment(s).

No I don't find it cumbersome. However, I must qualify my answer with the fact that I have always carried a lot in my pockets. In short, I am already used to some weight there. I was also very aware of the gun until after I carried it for a while. I also have always purchased trousers and jeans that are a bit more generous in the material, not being young enough to want to impress the ladies with the bulges in my pants, so that the pockets are deep and sturdy. I don't pocket carry when I wear dress slacks with a sportcoat, belt carry comes in there. However, chinos, cords and jeans usually involve pocket carry.

I carried a BERSA CC for two years but don't really notice any advantage over the 642. Sorry, but the Keltec and Ruger LCP just don't ring my chimes, but strictly because of my own preferences. Both are proven pocket pistols.
 

kelcarry

New member
Hey wjh2657, Jay and recent posters to my question: Appreciate your answers. Coat pockets I understand. Guys who have pants pockets that allow the movement of furniture I understand. I guess we all agree that tight jeans are just not the proper apparel for a 642 in your pocket. Again, I guess my question was actually asking the obvious and I believe Jay put the final curtain on this issue with a very good reply covering most everything about choices we all have to make on firearms. I have a clip on holster for the 642 and have tried but the firearm now sits all the time behind my bed for "household use".
 

wjh2657

New member
I posted this elsewhere, but it does pertain here too. When I started carrying the 642 in a pocket holster I had my seamstress sew in an extra deep reinforced pocket for the right front pocket. It places pistol lower on leg and makes cylinder blend in with leg curve. It also serves to hide grip better (deeper in pocket.) I quit wearing tight jeans when I turned 40 (26 years ago) so I don't have that problem. If I am wearing something not so modified (new pants) I usually slip a 637 in (it is a bit smaller.) I also usually wear Perry Suspenders to help support the extra weight and to also hide the fact that I am losing my a** and gaining more belly!

Link Removed
 

kelcarry

New member
Hey wjh2657: You've got to be a big guy who has always carried a lot of jingle in dem der pockets. Let's hope it is always just "jingling" in your pocket. Have a safe year and a pleasure to post with you.
 

AvidshooterTX

New member
A lot depends on the weather. Here in Texas for most of the year I can't wear a jacket or vest - not only would it be too hot but it looks out of place. So I carry a Taurus titanium revolver in 38+P in a Galco front pocket holster. I can carry this even in shorts. It's my every day gun. If the weather affords it then I'll carry my auto on a belt holster. But then my 38 still rides in my pocket as backup.
 

wjh2657

New member
Hey wjh2657: You've got to be a big guy who has always carried a lot of jingle in dem der pockets. Let's hope it is always just "jingling" in your pocket. Have a safe year and a pleasure to post with you.

Actually I am a little guy (5'5") but I have always carried a pocket knife and other working paraphernalia in my pockets (grew up on a farm). I keep M&Ms and Lifesavers in left pocket for grandkids.
 

RafterBob

New member
I agree it must be of a size that lets you carry every time you are out. My .380 Keltec with CT sights is always with me. I like using the added belt clip and carry in my front pocket and is very easy to get hold of. If cover garment allows I move up to XD Sub in 40, Bulldog 44 or LCR. Anything is better than nothing. Even my 22 mag NAA in the bad wallet holster is better than nothing. Let a bad guy ask for my wallet and find out.
 

skysthelimit

New member
What would be a recommendation for a good small handgun for my personal protection? Also thoughts on learning to use it and feel comfortable with it? Its been many years since I fired any kind of weapon. I am assuming also I need a permit..how do I go about getting that? Will feel safer these days with a small handgun! :fie:
 

kelcarry

New member
Hey skysthelimit: It's a little question you ask with a very big answer. Defensive firearms range from a very little 22 magnum pocket gun to a 32 pocket gun, to 380 pocket gun, to a 38 spl(small & large), to a 9mm (small & large) to the big boys at 40cal and 45 cal and even 45cal/410shotgun combo gun. Assuming you are talking concealed carry, pocket carry, outside/inside waistband, belt, shoulder, etc--all methods of carry. Do not know if you have a GOOD gunshop in your area but it is the best bet to see, hear advice and try all kinds of combos of guns and holsters. Possible gun enthusiasts in your area could provide info.Decisions are many and you want to make the best first decision so due diligence on your part is necessary. Hands on discussions at a gun shop or a gun club are best ways to establish the intimate knowledge that you just cannot get from a magazine, book or even this forum--everyone is different with different preferences and differing abilities to handle specific calibers and sizes of guns. Once gotten, practice, practice, practice and read this forum for tips on scenarios and the laws in your state. Don't rush it if you want to perfectly satisfied with your choices.
 

ricbak

New member
Interesting, In the mail today, was February American Rifleman. It is fitting because of this thread and a couple others on smaller conceal carry sidearms. AR has an article comparing 9 - .380 acp pistols.

Time to read..

Later

 

kelcarry

New member
Hey skysthelimit: Latest NRA magazine, American Rifleman, reviews the current offerring of 9 small pocket 380 concealed carry firearms. Like most reviews, they tended to really focus positively on the most expensive of the bunch, which happens to be on the heavier side of the 9 guns. Being biased, since I own the Kel Tec P3AT, it ain't pretty but it is the smallest and the lightest (which meant EVERYTHING to me since I do not like "stuff" in my pockets or hanging on my waist); it is also the cheapest( got mine for $240); mine has NEVER misfired, works perfectly and I have had no problems--so taking this review at absolute face value, particularly since you are talking about several hundred dollars for something as personal as a concealed carry firearm, is a little naive. The review, does, however, give you a good summary on 380's (you may still like other calibers) and you should try and see and handle and even possibly fire each of the ones that fit your budget (I'm sure that with a range of over $1000 to as little as $300 there are some you are willing to rule out). Good article--read it as a first step in due diligence
 

skysthelimit

New member
Options for finding a GOOD fit?

I saw in one of the posts a shooting range in Gastonia? Is that Shooters Express of is it another place? Do they have any types of handguns to try or what are my options there. I want something small but not to small as called a peashooter! I want something easy to handle and comfortable for a woman. What do your women like? I have only fired many years ago rifles , double barrel shotguns no small handguns. I feel rather green with my questions . Sorry Andrea :girl_wink:
 

ricbak

New member
Hey skysthelimit: Latest NRA magazine, American Rifleman, reviews the current offerring of 9 small pocket 380 concealed carry firearms. Like most reviews, they tended to really focus positively on the most expensive of the bunch, which happens to be on the heavier side of the 9 guns. Being biased, since I own the Kel Tec P3AT, it ain't pretty but it is the smallest and the lightest (which meant EVERYTHING to me since I do not like "stuff" in my pockets or hanging on my waist); it is also the cheapest( got mine for $240); mine has NEVER misfired, works perfectly and I have had no problems--so taking this review at absolute face value, particularly since you are talking about several hundred dollars for something as personal as a concealed carry firearm, is a little naive. The review, does, however, give you a good summary on 380's (you may still like other calibers) and you should try and see and handle and even possibly fire each of the ones that fit your budget (I'm sure that with a range of over $1000 to as little as $300 there are some you are willing to rule out). Good article--read it as a first step in due diligence

+1 Good post. Good Article too
 

kelcarry

New member
Hey skysthelimit: Saw your last post and let's say you are not interested in the "mousegun" per the NRA article and my last post. They do make 380 cal semi autos in larger sizes. If anything, they tend to be easier to handle and shoot because they are somewhat bigger and heavier. If the real low weight and size are not for you, I would first look at the other 380's (Bersa Thunder comes to mind--a bit larger, a bit heavier, and not terribly expensive). Less than a 380 is truly getting into peashooter range although they can still "hurt".I would definitely start at the lower caliber 380 and work up from there based on what you see and touch and fire and get advice on. From the 380 you move up to the 38 revolver and 9mm semi auto, w hich would be as "big" as I would think you should consider.You will notice the distinct difference in fire control once you move up to a 38 or 9mm but look at the 38 revolver--particularly a longer barrel, slightly heavier model than the snub nose lightweights out there (since that does not seem to be your utmost concern); they offer more "stability" and less recoil for more accurate shooting. Be sure to weigh in on the distinct difference between a semi auto and a revolver. A revolver is simple and straight-forward with very little room for operational error. Anyone who tells you it only has 5 shots unlike a semiauto with many more shots is being a bit biased---if, after 5 shots you still needed more, the odds are that you are already dead--statistics on defensive situations reveal a max of only 3 shots are ever fired. You mention a gunshop---call up any in your area and find out what they sell and whether they permit shooting in various calibers--not necessarily a specific gun. You can zero in on a caliber based on your comfort zone by shooting a 380, a revolver 38, and a 9mm. Hope it helps. Look forward to your eventual decision and any other questions. Many in this forum are more than willing to help. You might want to start a new thread "Newbie Woman Looking for Most Suitable Firearm". Your posts get hidden in this thread.
 

MightyPirate

New member
I know this thread is a bit old. And I realize this is my first post, coupled with my relatively young age (22) makes me not the most trusted source. However I saw that no one once mentioned the Kahr MK9. From my experience it's been an incredibly reliable pistol. In 2,000 rounds through the little guy I've only had two rounds that failed to fire. I attribute this to being when I first started hand loading and not so much the gun itself. It's a nice tiny gun with a 3" barrel. Very compact and easily concealed.

Like I said I'm fairly young, but having grown up in Vermont I've been shooting firearms for 12 years, which doesn't compare to most, but gives me some experience. When I first turned 21 and had my handguns legally transferred over to me from my father I originally carred a P226. Which is a great pistol, I would highly recommend anyone in the market for a new pistol to pick one up. Durable, reliable, and consistently accurate. However it is a bit large, and unless you're in an area where a jacket won't smother you to death it leaves a lot to be desired for personal carry. Which led me to grab my Kahr, which I was initially skeptical of. I've never been one for small handguns, it took me a long time to get around to picking up a 9mm because I was born and raised on .45acp (which led me to the .357, .41 magnum, .44 magnum and finally a .454...no .500 yet), so stepping down to a 9mm took some self-convincing. For awhile before picking up my MK9 I carried around an old S&W Compact I inherited, but the design of revolvers makes them a little bit bulkier than auto-loaders.

So with that said, I'll get down to why I'd suggest trying out a MK9. It's one of the smallest 9mm (or there are .40 variants if I recall) on the market that will fling lead down the range consistently and accurately. I have no issues at 20-25 yards quickly letting lose all 7 rounds. Not all together a great distance, but for a small compact pistol I think that is more than acceptable. And to be honest I don't see a situation requiring me to shoot in self-defense that far. I've already mentioned it's slim and highly concealable. I have fairly large hands and do not find it uncomfortable to shoot and the recoil is more than manageable, but this may be because I've been shooting magnums since I was 13, it's all pretty much reflex now. The pistol is not made of polymer, which I really like, it has a decent heft to it but unloaded is only 21 ounces (or so). The only real downside is that the clip only holds 6 rounds, with 1 in the chamber. They make extended clips, but that really defeats the purpose of a concealed weapon.

As others have said though, more important that the weapon you choose is the amount of dedication you put into becoming proficient with it. The best handgun in the world won't do you a lick of good if you can't quickly and accurately get off the necessary rounds. Also knowing when and where to use it is of equal importance. I was mugged once by a man with a knife. He was close enough that he had the advantage, so I opted to hand over my wallet instead of risking losing my life because I couldn't draw fast enough. Once he had what he wanted he let me back up, with the distance advantage I drew my weapon and told him to get on the ground. Instead of listening he turn and ran, getting away with my wallet. I could not bring myself to shoot a man who no longer posed a direct threat, let alone someone fleeing. I know this doesn't put me in the best light, or having a concealed weapon permit. However I think it's best to think about these scenario's realistically,
 

EricJ

New member
Jonathan,

I am going to chime in here with a different angle of recommendations. I think that if you shop round, you will find several autos as well as revolvers which shoot well and should fit your needs. What I would suggest is that you keep consideration of ammo source/supply in mind while making your choices. I know that in the area where I live (W. Georgia) .45 ACP and some 38 are difficult to come by; .40, on the other hand, seems relatively in abundance. Thus my .40 PT 140 has never gone hungry but the PT1911 .45 ACP had to be weaned off air to FMJ flavors then on to JHPs - but all much slower than his little brother where the .40s are abundant.:sarcastic:

Just food for thought. . .

I second this. I have a Glock 31 (.357 SIG). It's not exactly a common caliber so I nearly always have to order my ammo. It's not cheap either. So buy the best gun you can affod to shoot. :)
 

matelpt

New member
I have several different types - Kimber SIS Procarry, Glock 17, Ruger 40, 38 Spl Derringer - it depends on the carry situation, weather etc. Besides, having your choice keeps it interesting! Choose reliable and caliber first, then practice, practice, practice!
 

xzeler8

9mm Faithful, Glock Lover
+1 for a Glock of any kind...shoot them all and see which one you can control/shoot/conceal the best
 

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