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Thursday, July 19. 2007
I don't know whether The Barrister actually wants to carry, or to keep a gun in his glove compartment - or whether he simply wants the permit because it is his right to do so. I asked a friend for advice for The B.
If you do intend to carry after you get your CCP, the most important issues are physical comfort, comfort with the use of the handgun, and stopping power. To carry a gun which is not second nature to use could get you into more trouble than you want.
There is no "right" pistol to carry. Try lots of them, over time, at the range, and find what suits you best - and what fits under your jackets without scaring the neighbors!
Here is a good introductory article on the subject. Pictured is the revolver I carry, when I do carry, which is not all of the time. Colt Python, now out of production. It's a .357 magnum, and I have the 4" barrel. Fortunately for the bad guys, I have never needed to fire it outside of the range, and I hope I never will.
One of our readers prefers the Springfield Armory's XD. I wonder what other handguns our readers like to carry.
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I used to carry a Ruger, but it was too big and bulky, not only from a comfort standpoint, but also because I always printed. I now carry a .45ACP Glock.
I owned a Smith & Wesson 686 (with a 6" barrel, which was close to the Python in size. Even with a 4" barrel it would be too big for me to carry concealed--but opinions vary.
The .357 mag is just as likely to pass right through a bad guy and into whatever's behind him as well. I'd load it with .38s if I used it for self-defense.
I clearly mistated in an earlier post that my handgun of choice is the Colt Officer's Compact, but what I actually own is the Officer's Lightweight .45 ACP. It's quite similar to the newer Colt Defender, which would make a dandy carry piece.
Great advice BD, pretty much on the lines of what Skook said yesterday. I'm not a bowler or golfer but I do know you have to have the right clubs for your game and the correct ball for bowling.
My biggest challenge living in Florida is where to conceal my XD, before that my 1911 or .357. If you're wearing an nice Hawaiian shirt the mid back or slightly toward your gunhand is great...then you sit in your car seat and ugh.
If you go out at night to an event worthy of a sportcoat your choices multiply..remain with small of back positon or go with a shoulder holster.
When I'm in Montana they have an open carrry law so just strap her on and go.
But placement is vital. When you need your weapon you need it NOW, not in 10 seconds. You seldom get any mulligans in CQC.
So you go hunting for the "perfect" carry weapon. Fortunately there are many excellent ones to choose from.
Som .45ACP now come with 4" barrels which is very nice.
I'm confident BD can feel the "tug" of his hog when he's heeled. Big caliber metal guns are a mass, no way around it.
My carry pistol is a Springfield MicroCompact .45 ACP in stainless steel. It's got a very short (3") barrel, and uses 7-round Chip McCormick "officers" magazines. It rides in a Don Hume IWB (Inside the WaistBand) holster with a thumbreak strap between the hammer and slide.
It's definitely NOT what I'd recommend for someone relatively new to firearms, since a semi-auto pistol can take some getting used to.
I'd recommend something like my wife's carry pistol, which is a Ruger SP101 in .357, a five-shot revolver in stainless steel. It can be fired in either double- or single-action, and with speed-loaders is very fast to re-load. For practice we use .38 Special rounds (very inexpensive, fairly low recoil/report), and for defensive loads we use a .38+P JHP.
It all comes down to what you're willing to carry (in terms of weight and comfort), and with what you are willing to practice. And practice a LOT.
The plain old Smith & Wesson short-barrel .38 Special with the small handle is a little low on power, but it's so small and light, it fits in a pocket. Utterly reliable, and so comfy you're more likely to have it on you when you need it. And five .38 Special hollowpoint rounds will bail you out of most anything.
Of course. more rounds with more power is better, but harder to keep handy.
I used to get this little revolver for wife & daughters (semi-autos present problems to non-experts, esp in a crisis), but realized the thing fits so well in a jeans pocket--esp a back pocket--that it's almost unnoticeable comfort-wise.
Another small easy carry (my favorite, actually) is the Colt Commander 9MM. Doesn't have the big cap mag, but oh, what a straight-shooting 'feel'. It's basically the 1911 shrunk down to 9mm Luger.
I traded for the Colt, let go of a Smith double-action 9 which had seemed fine at the gunstore, the high cap mag (15 or 16 rnds) so intuitively right. But the more I fired it, the more annoying the 'feel' became. When offered the trade (other guy wanted the high-capacity), I jumped for it, the Smith was a machine, the Colt an instant friend.
Ah... I guess I had revolvers on the brain after seeing those wonderful Pythons. Anyway, I'm not very familiar with Ruger's handguns. I looked at their literature and they mentiioned the designs resistance to the trend in downsizing sidearms, so I see what you mean.
I had a Sig Arms P226. I loved the weapon, but it was huge. I gave it up for the Colt Officer's Lightweight.
I have an HK USP compact in .40 S&W. Nice gun, but not really so compact. I carry it occasionally in an IWB strong side holster canted forward under a loose untucked shirt. It is fairly comfortable and accessible but it is noticable. I am considering a small revolver, either a lightweight alloy Smith or an SP101, because I think I would be more likely to have it when needed, and the additional rounds the HK holds won't do me any good in the safe...
I am not in favor of a handgun carried in my pocket. I would probably pull out my cell phone when I wanted the gun, and vice versa.
Or, potentially worse, say, standing in line at the bank or the grocery store, pulling the gun instead of the cellphone.
But, a small revolver in a pocket is handy if you're just investigating what the dogs are barking at, and don't want to run into a passerby or neighbor while toting your 12 ga trench gun.
One aspect to consider is lethality. And it is a big aspect.
I am of the school that says if I am going to pull my pistol it's not going to be to scare the perp or hold him til the cops arrive. IF it comes out it comes out to kill, period. I will have done everything up to that point to remove myself from the situation but sometimes that option is foreclosed and you MUST act.
Anything less and you've got a world of headache that could go on for years. If you are not calibrated sufficiently to kill with a shot or two then the law is going to take a hard look at you and start asking you when the perp quite being a threat.
If the perp lives he/she tells their story and the crap really begins.
Of course you must make the decision that you are in life threatening danger before you shoot, but IF you shoot, kill the person. Learn to double tap as your skill at target acquistion gets proficient..boom,boom ....
Habu - "One aspect to consider is lethality".
If my world gets ugly enough where I have pull a gun, I hope to God all my time spent on the range pays off. I practice the "straight-thumbs" combat grip and I aim for the ten ring, but I suppose I won't be thinking too much about those things. I won't be thinking about winging the poor dear who constitutes a deadly threat, the upbringing that lead the angel astray, or any potential for rehabilitation either. Between fight or flight in a life or death situation, I'll choose to flee. But if a perpetrator bent on my demise stands between me and that freedom, well, I'm knocking that door down.
Habu you are dead on no pun intended. I think it should be Boom,Boom. Boom,Boom, and one more Boom,Boom,for all us lousy shots.
Re the Springfield XD link, that's a mighty handsome pistol, for a composite especially. The rail in front of trigger guard, for flashlite of lasar sight mounting, in a great feature.
Lights are great. Surefires are pricey, but I haven't had one go bad on me yet.
Your observation that Surefires are pricey, but you've never had one go bad is a great point germane to this entire thread.
We are talking about defending ourselves in life threatening situations. We're not the police or anyone else but good citizen who wish to remain unmolested and alive.
For that reason to get too parsimonious on your equipment is to invite a less than desired outcome ... you remaining in the verticle plane.
Fortunately we have some great weapons with high reliability from which to choose. We are blessed.
Not to be preachy but the 2nd Amendment truly guards all the others.
Always go with the best you can afford. For the home, guns are the final option. Lights, landscaping, security, good neighbors, all that matters too. More than the gun.
When you do get the gun, practice. Remember BA/UU/R - Buy Ammo/Use Up/Repeat.
I'll BA/UU/R as soon as I GAJ/MMM (Get anoher job/make more money). I do shoot it up though.
Agreed on the home protection. The idea isn't to set a trap, but to create a situation unfriendly to home invasion. A gun is the last resort.
I saw a t shirt today that said
THE NEW MONEY
The country is arming itself like crazy. I have completed buying 1000 rounds for my akm-47 and my Bushmaster 6.8mmSPC.
I have 500 rounds for the XD, 200 rounds of 12 gauge, some of which are very wicked.
Around the home, if PossumTater alerts me to an intruder I grab the Stoeger Coach gun and the wife gets the 20 gauge. Then we use the million candle power light .
Look at the Glock 26 (9mm), 27 (.40) or 30 or 36 (.45) I use the 26 and it is completely reliable and simple. Simple is nice in a stress situation. Just point and pull the trigger. You never have to think "did I take the safety off?" (The safety is included in the trigger) As mentioned earlier the 5 shot S&W's are a good choice. Another good line to look at is the Kahr pistols. All these are small (less likely to get left at home) and point and shoot.
Try the Keltec 32 Cal. pocket and smaall of the back. My personal choice to carry all the time. AND it travels well in the summer in my back shorts pockets.
That or a Seecamp, which I guess now comes in .380, if you are willing to wait for them to trickle out of the factory at a snail's pace. I think I might spring for one.
An informal poll. Does flying an American flag from the front porch indicate to the average person that the homeowner may be armed? Just curious about that.
High correalation, i'd guess.
Speaking of pocket .32s, I used to keep a little .25 Browning (which i still have), in a boot holster, or in a bandanna in my back pocket (you can yank a bandanna out faster than than anything, if you leave it hanging partway out, and shoot right thru it if you have too) when i was working the oilfields down near the Mex border. Going in and out of locations at night, dismounting to open gates, you want your hands free, but ready in case the roadside shrubbery comes alive. Center fire reliability, the little thing has never jammed. I actually have two of the little buggers, a Colt, too. Damn--must be paranoid.
I carry th Glock 19 in 9mm. Backup is a SW442 in .38 spl.
I always carry at least 1 gun with me at all times.
BD has fine taste in pistols, however I think the Python may need some de-horning to make for an easier draw - lose the sights and have the hammer clipped - it's gonna be used double action, anyway, and "picture book" sight pictures may be hard to come by. Just lay the front sight on the target, and all the practice you've been doing "should" put you on autopilot. So, if you're going to do all that, you can buy a "melted" pistol like the Ruger for a lot less money.
Sorry to day, I don't follow that advice and carry either a full-size Colt government model, or a Sig .380 P230, when I carry. At home, a Mossberg 500 with a slug barrel (it's short) with 7-1/2 target loads will keep the pellets in the house. You don't need buckshot or slugs - if your target stops an ounce and an eight of lead from a tight pattern, that's more mass than two .45's and 300 fps faster, too.
Here in southern CT, Mossberg, Marlin, Colt, Seecamp and SW are within spitting distance. And, of course we USED to have Winchester, Remington and Hi-Standard not so long ago, not to mention Eli Whitney.
But I love the trigger on that Python - like a glass rod snapping, they used to say . . .