I recently received my concealed permit. I have a revolver but its a little larger/heavier than what i would prefer to carry. S&W 6" barrel.
Anyways, I was looking into getting a pistol to carry and was wondering what you would suggest. Im looking for comfort but also something that will suffice. Your replies are much appreciated. Also what would be the best for my money?
I'd say the most popular choice here is some sort of sub-compact pistol in either 9mm or .40, but there are some revolver guys as well as guys that carry full-size .45's. As far as reccomendations, what's your price range? There's a ton of choices. Here the most popular models are Springfield XD, Glock, S&W M & P, and Kahr it seems. But plenty of guys also have HK, Beretta, and Sigs, and some other brands that are slipping my mind.
Remember that any gun can be concealed if you dress around it. Find a gun that you like and are proficient with, then alter your wardrobe; which can be as simple as adding a button down "cover shirt" over a T-shirt (which is my preferred method of concealing). A good holster is a must. Don't spend $500 plus on a gun then put it an a $20 holster. You need one that is comfortable and also provides good retention so you don't become a newspaper headline about the guy who dropped his gun in the Wal Mart. Also if you carry IWB, don't forget to get pants and belt one size bigger than you normally would to accommodate the extra "girth" of the gun or else you're going to be really uncomfortable.
First of all welcome aboard from Pinellas County. It's always good to see another Floridian come and join the fold.
The previous posts have hit the nail on the head with their advice.
I would like to add that the proccess of choosing your sidearm can be part of the enjoyment.
Try to go to ranges that have rentals and sample several makes and models.
Your enviroment will also help to determine what is best for you. How do you dress, T-shirt , or jacket w/tie,etc? What do you drive, car, or motorcicle? How much recoil is within your comfort zone? Where do you travel?
In my case, when I'm just in town, I think that my .380 is sufficiant. When traveling through gator, or bear country, my .357 is handy. These are the kinds of factors that should help you to decide what is best for your situation.
Good Luck, Have Fun, Shoot Safely.
I can't prove it, but I'm willing to bet that most new CCW carriers start out with a handgun in a size that they shoot pretty well, then discover that it is a pain to conceal it every day, and finally end up scaling back to something that is smaller and less accurate (in their hands) than they really want, but is easier to conceal. Either that, or they just stop carrying, most of the time. This is especially true, I think, of people who live in warmer climates.
If I were just starting out, I would start with a subcompact 9mm (G26, XD9, any Kahr, M&P, etc.) or a snub-nosed .38, learn to shoot it really well, and try to discover a carry method I could live with, from now on. If you are really determined to carry every day, and you get some good holsters, and are able to adjust your mode of dress successfully, you might be able to get by with that single handgun.
But, odds are (IMHO), you will eventually either buy a pocket gun like the Keltec or LCP .380, or you will not carry very often. Or, like some of us, you may just continue to buy guns until you have one for every occasion.
Good advice given. Question is just a little to wide open to answer adequately though. My knee jerk reaction since you mentioned you have a 6" smith is to also suggest a J frame wheel gun since that is what you are familiar with. All stainless Ruger SP101 or on the lighter side the S&W 642. Both much easier to carry and of high quality rerpesenting solid cc choices in my opinion.
But is that what you want? There are tons of options for you in the semi auto world as well. We all have personal opinions and preferences on this topic so you'll have to narrow it down a bit for us to be able to help. My suggestion would be to check out some of the old posts and subjects on this fourm. If there are some brands you are specifically interested in then pick that section and read up on all the old posts were you will learn alot. This site also has a good variety of pics to look at that might also help you sort through all that is available today.