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Hello everyone... I'm new to USA Carry, and also soon to be a CCW permit holder in Norfolk, Virginia. (I completely my application just recently) I've been reading just as much as my brain can absorb online in figuring out what gun to buy, which holster style and/or brand to purchase, and more than anything, how to be a safe and effective CW carrier.

My reasons for deciding to carry stem mostly from my job, and the floundering economy. I manage low income rental property in Norfolk, so at least 2-3 x per week I spend a portion of my day checking on my various properties, most of which are located in crime-laden neighborhoods where anyones screams would go completely ignored. On top of that, being that most tenants pay their rent in cash means we're at a very increased risk of robbery in the work place. For awhile now I've kept a S&W K frame .357 on hand in the office, but with more and more desperate people out there, I'd like to be prepared no matter what.

There sure are a million choices out there with what to carry. I think it's important to me that whatever I choose, it's light and comfortable, so I won't think twice about having my gun with me when it's appropriate (anytime I'm somewhere it's legal to do so), but balanced with something with enough power and capacity to get the job done. The simplicity of a lightweight wheelgun has it's appeals, because I'm pretty sure if the SHTF, I really don't want to get hung up with remembering various switches and safeties. That said, with enough training, a thumb safety 1911 style should be second nature eventually. Glock's have a bit of appeal because they are pretty much point and shoot as well, and capacity is greatly increased over some models. Again, it's down to that balance of size vs. capacity vs. caliber.

I did shoot the Glock 26 the other day... it worked really well, although the trigger pull on that first round was more than I expected, which I kind of like actually... it makes sure you're really committed that first round before the fireworks begin. I'm hoping to fire the Springfield XD subcompacts this weekend, as they seem to be equally highly regarded. The Ruger LCP and the Kel-tec P3-AT both appeal for their size...just amazing how tiny they are, and will probably be my choice for hot weather summer carry. Finish on the Kel-tec was horrible in the model I looked at, so I may put myself on a wait for the LCP or hope to find one at a gun show. They both seem to have some small issues reliability wise, so I'll see how that pans out first I think. My final choice to consider is one of the smaller Kimber 1911's, Para-Ord Warthogs, or Springfield compact 1911's. I want to shoot these and see what feels the most comfortable in the end, for carry, as well as accuracy. The Glock pretty much placed the bullets where I aimed, and I'm sure with a slight sight adjustment, would have been spot on, however when I shot my buddies full size Kimber, I had 2" groupings at 15 yards with ease... pretty amazing considering my limited exposure to handguns.

On a side note, I love skeet shooting, and recently bought my first shotgun for the purpose. I chose a Franchi I-12 Upland hunter 12 gauge. It's light, absorbs recoil very well, and so far, has been a joy to shoot. My final project is to convert my New Haven (Mossberg) 600AT (essentially a 500) with a 30" barrel to a home defense weapon with 18"-20" barrel and pistol grips. Hopefully I can get the wife down to the range soon to get some comfort herself with these weapons, as I really want her to be equally safe when we're apart.

Thanks in advance to what each of you offer to this site, I look forward to learning as much as I can on this fascinating and important subject in American Society.


Ben, welcome to the site. Plenty of knowlegeable folks here. You are definately making the right choice by choosing to take responsibility for your own safety. Very good choice!!

Simplicity of a wheel gun and the feel of a double action trigger pull.... sounds like you need a Glock to me! No external safety or fancy levers... chamber a round and it's ready to go. Best bet IMO would be the Glock 19 or 23 and a Crossbreed Supertuck.
Welcome, Ben. Any firearm you decide to carry will become second nature after a little practice. I have a Kel-Tec P32 and the P3AT and are great little pocket guns. You'll find any of the Kel_Tec P3AT copied firearms will work great in the Summer.
I forgot to mention I also have an older Beretta 70S .380. I just found a thread from last year where a guy had his metalife coated and polished, it looked amazing. I'm going to send mine away for this I think, and I'll get some new grips for a nice fresh look. I'm having trouble finding a decent holster online for it though, since it's such an uncommon model for carry these days. I'm sure something will present itself. Galco has a small of back holster for it for $85, but that really isn't where I'm interested in carrying I think. I'd hate the feeling someone could come behind me and grab my gun out before I could react.
Congratulations on your decision to defend yourself, and welcome to the site.
I agree with Glockster, it sounds to me like you need a Glock. Have you tried the Glock 36? Chambered in .45acp, but still very small and concealable. I deffinetly recommend that you try shooting one. Also, since I prefer buying stuff from small businesses instead of huge multi billion dollar corporations; I would recommend these guys for your new holster.

Link Removed

They make a good product at a good price.
My experience with Galco is...well, long story short, I'm not going through them again.
Cooter, I 100% agree with you about supporting smaller business... It was in fact one reason I wasn't considering the Galco. :smile: I'm the same way whether it's a holster or a local restaurant. When I travel, I'm always looking for the locals to find out where the good local food is. BOO corporate America!
welcome to the site and you just made many new friends... whichever firearm you choose let us know.. and post pics! again welcome and stay safe!
Welcome to the site and howdy to a fellow Virginian. Like you, I now carry due to the increase in crime, the break in we had just down the road from us, and the gangs that seem to plague our community. I also want to be able to defend my family should the need ever arise, as my husband travels extensively and we are out in a more rural setting.
Welcome. You either love a glock or you hate a glock, I don't like them although they are reliable guns. An alternative to look at would be the S&W M&P series, full size or compact. Just my opinion to give you an option but whatever you choose has to be something you are comfortable holding. Everyone on here will have different opinions, just try to shoot whatever you are looking at to make sure it is what you like first.
Thank you everyone. I know I'm in good company here. So I was thinking of starting my carry with my beretta but after a short tryout in the store, I realized that baby is really too heavy! Plus the existing grips have a thumbrest that digs into my side. I did get my hands on a Kahr .45. Amazingly thin and light weapon!
I'm going to try to find one to shoot.
Ah Texas... I did my basic training in San Antonio and Tech training in Witchita Falls (where I spent my weekends in Dallas) Loved it all, it's a country unto itself out there. I originally hail from Colorado, and if I wasn't to tied to property here in VA, would be on the first plane back there to live. Amazing place to be.

I just saw someone selling his Beretta 70S on Gunbroker... it had 40 bids and was going for $605.00 last I saw it... that's amazing! I had no idea mine was so desirable. I found an old thread where someone sent his to Ron Mahovsky in PA to have it metalife coated... the difference was really incredible! I'm considering sending it his way to give it a mid-life refresh.

Here's the link to that thread... Beretta 70S Back from Mahovsky's...Great Job! - THR

Super impressive work, and really the price is far less that I'd imagined it would be. I'm looking at $155 plus shipping for the job, not too bad!
Hello, Ross here, new to the site and just got my application turned down by the Md State Police. I had sent the app in around the same time the Judge stayed his own decision,oh well I hope we have better news in May when it comes back up again. I am also a member of MSI, very helpful group.

Ben: Welcome to forum...I am new too.
Your post caught my eye as former resident of Norfolk for many years. There are some areas of town there (and ANYWHERE) that it is a good idea to protect yourself.
Make sure you have the papework done right and PRACTICE with the weapon.
Many folks learned a LOT from what happened in Sanford, FL, so as we should always be careful

Shoot safely and in good health!
Ben, sounds like you have put a lot of thought into your personal defense. I hope you find a good fit for your needs in a handgun. Nice to hear you are thinking about your wife while you are not home, I had set up a 500 with pistol grips and an 18 1/2" barrel, although the size was great for indoor use, I found that the standard stock was better for accuracy and recoil. My girlfriend finds it better with the regular stock also, escpecially when racking the slide, as she is smaller size. we now have a 100 lumen light mounted on the barrel, works well in the dark! 5+1 of #4 buckshot. We have been working on team tactics, with her covering me with the shotgun and me with the handgun. We have found this to be a good way to spend quality time together and enjoy firearms.
From the middle of the US of A, welcome to this site from Missouri. There are a lot of knowledgeable people around here so if you have any question or want to share knowledge with us, please do not hesitate to do so. I am the wannabe clown of this estate.:jester:

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