Need help suggesting a small gun.
Hello gentlemen. I made this post elsewhere and it was locked because apparently you are not allowed to discuess any gun under a 9mm caliber. Hopefully I can find some actual help here instead of bias.
When I first started carrying a gun I wanted to carry the biggest one possible. In fact, my very first handgun purchase was a Desert Eagle .50, which I carried in a shoulder holster. (I am a big guy at 6'6'' 275). Quickly I released how impractical this was. My next gun was a glock model 22 in .40 cal. Surprisingly, I never had any problems using open carry with my huge desert eagle, but couldn't seem to pass a cop without being harassed about carrying my full size glock. So, just for giggles I bought a taurus total titanium in .38 special +P. I eventually found out that it was much wiser to carry a weapon out of sight of the general public. Also, I found now that with the little titanium revolver I would ALWAYS have it on me. The other weapons I carried always poked my side or bumped into things or were just inconvenient, so if I went out for a quick trip to the store I would just go unarmed. The taurus was a blessing I could carry it in a holster on my side and toward the back and almost forget it was even there. Unfortunately I left it in my glove box and my car window was smashed and that was the end of my taurus. I didnt think I'd miss it, but after a few months of carrying my full size glock, im back to not carrying a gun very often anymore. So, now im ready for another small and lightweight gun. I am still in the research phase of this purchase so I have yet to actually put my hands on any of the guns I am considering, but I will do so before making a purchase. Here are the guns I am currently looking at, and I am open to opinions from you guys. Remember, this isn't going to be just a backup gun, but a primary carry weapon.
Kahr CM9 - I didn't like this gun much at first, from the pictures and videos of it I thought it was bigger then it was. But when I saw it in person, it impressed me.
Taurus TCP 380 - I have been satisfied with everything I've bought from them, and their prices do not break the bank.
Ruger LCP - Beautiful little gun but I've heard a lot of bad things about them. If I do purchase one, it will be with the laser grip, as I am a firm believer in some form of adjustable sight. Also, this gun was a smidge smaller when I saw it in person then I thought it would be. Prompting me to consider a size up in guns such as the Kahr CM9.
Ruger LC9 - Just found out about this one today. Have not seen it in person yet, but am stoked about it being a 9mm. Though I'd rather it be a .45, a 9 beats a 380.
Smith and wesson bodyguard 380 - I was all but sure this was going to be the one I got. Nice sights, along with a laser sight. Its made by smith and wesson. I've been told it has the best trigger of these little 380's popping up everywhere and from the videos I've seen of it being shot it seems to shoot the smoothest.
I am interested in hearing your opinions. Remember I am looking for something that is easy to carry and conceal. I want that gun that just doesn't feel like its there. Light weight, reliable, a nice trigger/sight system. And of course, if its a 9mm or bigger caliber that's a bonus. I am aware of the caliber debates people have quite heatedly, and this is not the thread for that. All I am interested in is your thoughts (Preferably based on experience) with the aforementioned weapons.
The thing with small autos is that they can be very finicky, everything has to be just right in order for them to work correctly. You don't seem to mind having lesser capacity given your list, if you want a .45 I'd heavily suggest the Glock 30 or 36, in 9mm the Glock 26. If you've carried a Glock 22 and DE, you might even find a G19 or 23 to be small enough to make for a great carry gun. While I'm not a Glock fan, the G19 and G23 are probably two of the best carry guns available, they are the perfect size / capacity IMHO. I'd also take a look at the HK P2000SK or even the P2000.
I'd shy away from the pocket guns, while a small revolver still offers a decent size grip, the pocket autos such as the CM9, LCP etc just don't have as much to hang on to. Also, with most of those guns you will not get the nice trigger and sight system that you list in your likes.
I've got a bunch of smaller .380s in the Colt and Sig variety and have had a Kahr PM40 and while they are nice when concealment is the bigger priority they don't offer as much as a larger firearm in terms of the things that make for a good primary carry where actual usage of the handgun is the primary concern.
The S & W 642 might fit your needs.
See: Product: Model 642
- It is light.
- It carries a substantial cartridge (.38 +P)
- The concealed hammer lets you pocket the gun.
- It is light weight (15 oz.)
- A lighter weight (but more expensive) version (340 M & P) is 11.4 oz and shoots .357
- Perfectly reliable
- But a very heavy recoil due to the light weight
- Excellent trigger (DAO)
Check out the CZ-82. Its available for less than $200, its easily concealed and it holds 14 rounds of 9mm Makarov (13 in the magazine + 1 in the chamber).
I have experience with the Kahrs and the Rugers, and they are good...even the LCP. But as mentioned, it is harder to make pocket sized guns reliable, and if you go that route, field strip it every few days, blow the lint out of it with canned air, and don't let the rails get completely dry. The tiniest drop of oil you can squeeze out and work into the rails is usually just right, as long as you keep dust and lint from accumulating.
Since you mentioned hip carrying as an acceptable option, the S&W 642 is a good option, loaded with +P hollow points. Or, in that size gun, you could probably go with something like a Glock 26 or XD sub-compact, although both would be heavier with their 10+1 rounds.
A couple of additional points about the S & W 642 (or the lighter 340 M & P):
It can carry inside the waistband (with a holster only), on the ankle, or on the belt. It can be easily transferred from your waist to the pocket of your overcoat. The fully covered hammer does not collect lint like the shrouded hammer does, and it does not snag fabric like the open hammer versions do. Never carry a snubbie "Mexican" or even with one of those special grips that prevent the gun from sliding down your pants. They never do slide down, they squeeze up and out like a slick bar of soap when you sit.
The other point is that you can carry a wide variety of ammo. From mild (target loads) of .38 to .357 (with the 340 M & P). Federal 125 grain .357 is the NYC load and is a well-proven round in actual street use.
Ammo for this weapon is cheap (but you will not be burning much of it as it is not that much fun to shoot).
I've owned the Centennial (shrouded) but I was never comfortable using the single action because lowering the hammer was much less secure due to the minimal hammer to grab onto.
I've owned a concealed hammer version in stainless. A lot heavier and easier to shoot. (But a lot heavier and you never forget you are carrying. With the Airweight [aluminum] or the Airlight [Scandium] you can easily forget your are carrying.)
I've owned a 642 and was happy with it. I am planning on getting a 340 M & P. (If the bullets don't get the bad guy, then the muzzle blast will certainly blind him)
look at KelTec's single stack 9mm. As I have said elsewhere, for the price of a new Smith or Glock, you can have TWO used keltecs. Practice with onoe, carry the other. after a few score rds to establish its reliability, only rarely fire the carry gun. Keep the parts wear and fouling in the practice gun, where it won't matter if something breaks.
carry it in a proper front pants pocket holster, and you will definitely not notice it after a very few days. It's as handy as your wallet or cell phone, and the 'hand on gun, in pocket" is by far the fastest, most reliable ccw draw, as long as the gun is in a proper holster in that pocket.
Last edited by VAMarine; 05-24-2011 at 11:55 PM.
Reason: merged posts.
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