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OK in that case, I would probably get 2 guns to start. A subcompact for everyday carrying AIWB when not working, and something smaller that fits in a pocket or will be easier to ankle carry
 
Hi all.

I am looking to buy my first handgun for concealed carry, I am thinking:
Polymer frame (non revolver)
Double stack (extended mag if option exists for model I choose)
Optics ready
Rail under for flashlight
Reliability (I have a Ruger 9E but was reading that the Ruger Max 9 3505 has had some issues)
Trying to decide on compact vs sub vs mini, I'm leaning towards compact (any counter recommendations?).

Does anyone have any overall recommendations?
Please explain way.

I plan to conceal carry on my ankle/calf via the Bug bite system due to sitting most of the day for work.

Does anyone have any range recommendations for various dynamic situations? I am in Salem and we have TriTac, but I don't think you can practice drawing from the knee there (I could be completely wrong).
If you want to start with one gun that does it all start with a pocket carry sized gun. Worry about upgrading to larger guns later otherwise you spend a lot of money on something thats limited in application. Look at the P938 or similar size guns.
Thx to everyone that had input, I think I agree with Koda. Renting and testing smaller and working my way up to larger platforms, taking the holster with me to the range to see what draws best (starting unloaded).

If anyone has ideas on ranges or other places that rent guns, please comment those locations. I'm in Salem, but I'm willing to travel a bit to be able to test firearms that my local range (TriTac) don't carry to whittle down my options.

Thx again, cheers.
 
Exactly, do you think that could improve the ankle model I shared? If I followed the same concept (obviously I'd need to modify it as it's not Velcro ready)?
no.
A note about holster mods... unless your already set up with sewing skills and gear to make your own crafts, plus experienced in proper holster design, requirements/features, you will just wind up with some frankenholster thing that doesnt work. If a holster brand needs a mod to work, that means that company has no idea what they are doing and shouldnt be making holsters.

If your dead set on an ankle holster dont shop on Amazon (any holster for that matter) contact a name brand pro gun company that makes one. Check out:
crossbreedholsters.com
aliengearholsters.com
galcoleather.com

An option for you would be to contact a custom holster maker whos experienced making ankle holsters. I dont know of any....


Personally, this is why Ive been recommending a pocket gun based on your "deep carry" requirements, its the simplest solution to the "deep carry" situation. Ankle holsters a complex, more expensive and very limited in dress and use even from a reputable brand. Meanwhile a good quality pocket holster can be purchased at alabamaholster.com and are affordable and ordered specifically to fit your gun.

The trade off is pocket guns are less capacity than what you've described you "wanted" but dont let capacity blind you to the effectiveness of a quality pocket gun with training. You might even be surprised how well it would pocket conceal a Hellcat or P365.

 
no.
A note about holster mods... unless your already set up with sewing skills and gear to make your own crafts, plus experienced in proper holster design, requirements/features, you will just wind up with some frankenholster thing that doesnt work. If a holster brand needs a mod to work, that means that company has no idea what they are doing and shouldnt be making holsters.

If your dead set on an ankle holster dont shop on Amazon (any holster for that matter) contact a name brand pro gun company that makes one. Check out:
crossbreedholsters.com
aliengearholsters.com
galcoleather.com

An option for you would be to contact a custom holster maker whos experienced making ankle holsters. I dont know of any....


Personally, this is why Ive been recommending a pocket gun based on your "deep carry" requirements, its the simplest solution to the "deep carry" situation. Ankle holsters a complex, more expensive and very limited in dress and use even from a reputable brand. Meanwhile a good quality pocket holster can be purchased at alabamaholster.com and are affordable and ordered specifically to fit your gun.

The trade off is pocket guns are less capacity than what you've described you "wanted" but dont let capacity blind you to the effectiveness of a quality pocket gun with training. You might even be surprised how well it would pocket conceal a Hellcat or P365.

Thx again sir, good advice.
 

This is the rig I'd be using, if this helps to clarify my intent or create better suggestions on an appropriate platform.
The only ankle holster I was ever comfortable in was one that laced onto my boot laces. [made by Bianci]. And the gun had to be worn on the inside of the ankle or it hits everything I move past. [ chair and table legs, etc...] I could never get comfortable with ankle carry.
All those I know that do ankle carry use it for a Bug or Back Up Gun. They carry the smallest gun they can reliably shoot on their ankle.
Just as an experiment try wearing a 1-pound ankle weight around for a week or so. Try wearing it from morning to bed time.
Or if you find a gun combo you like, find a weight that matches your loaded gun and holster combo. be sure to add the weight of your ammo.

I settled on pocket carry. Good Luck DR
 
One other thing that may help you is take a lesson with a instructor that specializes in CCW. and ask if they can bring several deep cover setups to try. The lesson price will be way less than the price of several guns and holsters that you find don't work well. DR
 
The only ankle holster I was ever comfortable in was one that laced onto my boot laces. [made by Bianci]. And the gun had to be worn on the inside of the ankle or it hits everything I move past. [ chair and table legs, etc...] I could never get comfortable with ankle carry.
All those I know that do ankle carry use it for a Bug or Back Up Gun. They carry the smallest gun they can reliably shoot on their ankle.
Just as an experiment try wearing a 1-pound ankle weight around for a week or so. Try wearing it from morning to bed time.
Or if you find a gun combo you like, find a weight that matches your loaded gun and holster combo. be sure to add the weight of your ammo.

I settled on pocket carry. Good Luck DR
Very helpful, thank you! I believe this holster is designed for inside carry too, I have seen a couple outside carry and those just look like an extra bad idea to me.
 
One other thing that may help you is take a lesson with a instructor that specializes in CCW. and ask if they can bring several deep cover setups to try. The lesson price will be way less than the price of several guns and holsters that you find don't work well. DR
Also a great idea thank you, unfortunately, I have already bought several holsters, haha probably a noob move. I will definitely test with those first while renting guns. If I have to end up buying another with my end choice, well, lessons learned eh haha.
 
Its not that often I hear someone asking as much about holster selection as they are the gun, and including training.
You'll probably end up with the proverbial box of junk holsters anyways but it will be a lot smaller box than most, your on the right path anyways.
 
Hi all.

I am looking to buy my first handgun for concealed carry, I am thinking:
Polymer frame (non revolver)
Double stack (extended mag if option exists for model I choose)
Optics ready
Rail under for flashlight
Reliability (I have a Ruger 9E but was reading that the Ruger Max 9 3505 has had some issues)
Trying to decide on compact vs sub vs mini, I'm leaning towards compact (any counter recommendations?).

Does anyone have any overall recommendations?
Please explain way.

I plan to conceal carry on my ankle/calf via the Bug bite system due to sitting most of the day for work.

Does anyone have any range recommendations for various dynamic situations? I am in Salem and we have TriTac, but I don't think you can practice drawing from the knee there (I could be completely wrong).
Haven't read the whole thread, so some of this may have been covered already. This is all just my opinion, so take it as you will... and apologies in advance for the long post.

Ankle carry takes some getting used to, and is probably not the best option for someone new to concealed carry - aside from the awkward draw, it also has potential to shift on your leg if not secured to the ankle properly. I would recommend starting with a simple carry position like 4 o'clock, then graduating to a more challenging carry position once you've got the fundamentals down and are more confident in your handling.

If you intend to carry right out of the gate, going too big will be very difficult to conceal. Going too small is also not the best move - mouse guns tend to have almost nonexistent sights, they are hard to control recoil on, and you're more likely to have you fingers pass in front of the muzzle on accident during handling. Consider something like a Sig P365 or G43x - more capacity than a pocket gun, but still concealable and with full sights.

If you haven't done so already, invest some time in at least 2 classes - a basic handgun course and a concealed carry course. Those will teach you the fundamentals of gun handling and carrying. There is so much nuance to guns and carry that you never stop learning new things - I've been carrying for 15 years, gone through a dozen classes, and I still learn new stuff all the time. So don't think those 2 classes will teach you everything - they are a good and very important starting point to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge to build on.

Once you've done that, put in a TON of time doing dry fire practice at home to reinforce the techniques you've learned. Make sure the gun is completely empty, and keep any loaded mags away from the practice space so you don't accidentally introduce live ammo into your practice session. You can practice almost every aspect of carrying, drawing, and firing from home - you won't get the sensation of fire, but if you do it right you will be able to refine your skills very well. And it doesn't cost you anything except time. Important stuff to practice at home includes:
  • Carrying the gun in its holster. Put it on, walk around the house with it, get used to the feel of having it on you and make any adjustments needed to make carrying as comfortable as possible.
  • Drawing the gun. This is either a 4 or 5 step process depending on how you approach it (I prefer the 5 step), but each step directly impacts your ability to get shots on target, so slow down and practice each step carefully. Practicing in front of a full length mirror can also help you identify any issues with your technique.
  • Presentation & sight acquisition. So many people never learn to acquire the sights as they present, and end up having to hunt for them once the gun is extended. Get used to bringing the gun up to your eye level and pushing out toward the target so that your eyes pick up the front sight quickly.
  • Trigger press. Live fire can cause people to anticipate recoil. You can get ahead of that by making sure you have a good, clean trigger press. Your sights should remain on target through the press, so this is another one that should be practiced slowly at first.
  • Reloading. This is probably one of the most overlooked training items, and where so many shooters fumble. If you have to reload in a defensive situation, you most likely need to keep putting rounds on target, so practice this a lot.
  • Malfunction clearing. You've already encountered one malfunction due to limp wristing, so you know this skill is necessary. Get the fundamentals down, then practice it in conjunction with presentation and trigger press to get used to bringing the gun back into the fight immediately.
  • Ready/non-firing positions and safe direction. You have the greatest likelihood of committing a negligent discharge when handling a gun in between uncasing / unholstering and firing. Someone asks you a question or taps you on the shoulder, and you naturally turn to talk to them, but in doing so your gun turns as well. Maintain iron discipline around safe direction, and keep the gun pointed there at all times. It helps to have a familiar non-firing position to default to, like low-ready or sul. Any time your gun comes out of the case or holster, it goes to that position, and anytime you're done firing, it returns to that position. This can be practiced by just picking up the gun off of a table - your hand should acquire a good grip, and the gun should go to that position. Drill this until it's completely second nature and you can't imagine NOT doing it every single time.
As you learn these skills and begin to master them, your confidence will grow. Beware of OVERconfidence, because negligence soon follows. I and others I know have put holes in walls and floors because we got overconfident and careless with our firearms. Don't be that guy - I was that guy early on in my firearms experience, and it was not fun for me or anyone around me. The 4 safety rules apply at all times. Anytime you find yourself thinking you know better or that a rule doesn't apply for X reason (the gun is empty, the safety is on, etc), that's when you need to pump the brakes and remember the rules ALWAYS apply.

Also, be openminded as you learn, because you never stop learning. The internet can also be a wonderful resource so long as you know how to evaluate what the source is teaching. If someone tells you their way is better, get curious and ask questions. Answers like "because this is what the Navy SEALs do" isn't a good reason to do it. There should always be logic and purpose behind methods and techniques - if it lacks that, or if it ignores any of the 4 safety rules, those are indications of bad training, or of training the instructor doesn't understand well themselves.

The folks on this forum are a wonderful resource with lots of experience to draw on - we don't always agree, which is good because you will get to observe a variety of different perspectives and draw your own conclusions. Best of luck, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions.
 
Haven't read the whole thread, so some of this may have been covered already. This is all just my opinion, so take it as you will... and apologies in advance for the long post.

Ankle carry takes some getting used to, and is probably not the best option for someone new to concealed carry - aside from the awkward draw, it also has potential to shift on your leg if not secured to the ankle properly. I would recommend starting with a simple carry position like 4 o'clock, then graduating to a more challenging carry position once you've got the fundamentals down and are more confident in your handling.

If you intend to carry right out of the gate, going too big will be very difficult to conceal. Going too small is also not the best move - mouse guns tend to have almost nonexistent sights, they are hard to control recoil on, and you're more likely to have you fingers pass in front of the muzzle on accident during handling. Consider something like a Sig P365 or G43x - more capacity than a pocket gun, but still concealable and with full sights.

If you haven't done so already, invest some time in at least 2 classes - a basic handgun course and a concealed carry course. Those will teach you the fundamentals of gun handling and carrying. There is so much nuance to guns and carry that you never stop learning new things - I've been carrying for 15 years, gone through a dozen classes, and I still learn new stuff all the time. So don't think those 2 classes will teach you everything - they are a good and very important starting point to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge to build on.

Once you've done that, put in a TON of time doing dry fire practice at home to reinforce the techniques you've learned. Make sure the gun is completely empty, and keep any loaded mags away from the practice space so you don't accidentally introduce live ammo into your practice session. You can practice almost every aspect of carrying, drawing, and firing from home - you won't get the sensation of fire, but if you do it right you will be able to refine your skills very well. And it doesn't cost you anything except time. Important stuff to practice at home includes:
  • Carrying the gun in its holster. Put it on, walk around the house with it, get used to the feel of having it on you and make any adjustments needed to make carrying as comfortable as possible.
  • Drawing the gun. This is either a 4 or 5 step process depending on how you approach it (I prefer the 5 step), but each step directly impacts your ability to get shots on target, so slow down and practice each step carefully. Practicing in front of a full length mirror can also help you identify any issues with your technique.
  • Presentation & sight acquisition. So many people never learn to acquire the sights as they present, and end up having to hunt for them once the gun is extended. Get used to bringing the gun up to your eye level and pushing out toward the target so that your eyes pick up the front sight quickly.
  • Trigger press. Live fire can cause people to anticipate recoil. You can get ahead of that by making sure you have a good, clean trigger press. Your sights should remain on target through the press, so this is another one that should be practiced slowly at first.
  • Reloading. This is probably one of the most overlooked training items, and where so many shooters fumble. If you have to reload in a defensive situation, you most likely need to keep putting rounds on target, so practice this a lot.
  • Malfunction clearing. You've already encountered one malfunction due to limp wristing, so you know this skill is necessary. Get the fundamentals down, then practice it in conjunction with presentation and trigger press to get used to bringing the gun back into the fight immediately.
  • Ready/non-firing positions and safe direction. You have the greatest likelihood of committing a negligent discharge when handling a gun in between uncasing / unholstering and firing. Someone asks you a question or taps you on the shoulder, and you naturally turn to talk to them, but in doing so your gun turns as well. Maintain iron discipline around safe direction, and keep the gun pointed there at all times. It helps to have a familiar non-firing position to default to, like low-ready or sul. Any time your gun comes out of the case or holster, it goes to that position, and anytime you're done firing, it returns to that position. This can be practiced by just picking up the gun off of a table - your hand should acquire a good grip, and the gun should go to that position. Drill this until it's completely second nature and you can't imagine NOT doing it every single time.
As you learn these skills and begin to master them, your confidence will grow. Beware of OVERconfidence, because negligence soon follows. I and others I know have put holes in walls and floors because we got overconfident and careless with our firearms. Don't be that guy - I was that guy early on in my firearms experience, and it was not fun for me or anyone around me. The 4 safety rules apply at all times. Anytime you find yourself thinking you know better or that a rule doesn't apply for X reason (the gun is empty, the safety is on, etc), that's when you need to pump the brakes and remember the rules ALWAYS apply.

Also, be openminded as you learn, because you never stop learning. The internet can also be a wonderful resource so long as you know how to evaluate what the source is teaching. If someone tells you their way is better, get curious and ask questions. Answers like "because this is what the Navy SEALs do" isn't a good reason to do it. There should always be logic and purpose behind methods and techniques - if it lacks that, or if it ignores any of the 4 safety rules, those are indications of bad training, or of training the instructor doesn't understand well themselves.

The folks on this forum are a wonderful resource with lots of experience to draw on - we don't always agree, which is good because you will get to observe a variety of different perspectives and draw your own conclusions. Best of luck, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions.
Very helpful and thanks for bringing up the 4 rules, I have that on the garage door to teach my boys!
 
Its not that often I hear someone asking as much about holster selection as they are the gun, and including training.
You'll probably end up with the proverbial box of junk holsters anyways but it will be a lot smaller box than most, your on the right path anyways.
Thank you, I appreciate the vote of confidence! I try to learn about tools before I buy them, and I don't plan to own more than I need, and they're not cheap. I want to be sure my purchase is reliable, fits, and that I know how to use it correctly in emergency conditions as I'm planning for this to be be another extension of my self defense system.

Otherwise, I'll just literally shoot myself in the foot hahaha.
 
I try to learn about tools before I buy them, and I don't plan to own more than I need, and they're not cheap.
Not an easy thing to do right out of the gate. Lots of debate and discussion on the best "one gun" in forums like this. Im older now, long before todays sub-compact options came out there were few selections. The one gun that was able to go everywhere with me in any social or other situation was a Colt Mustang 380 pocketlite. I carried that over 20 years before I upgraded to a 9mm pocket gun. Others will quickly disagree with me but given all the metrics of "deep" concealed carry the "one gun" that goes anywhere is a micro/pocket gun. They are not "sexy" or as fun to shoot but despite their size and limited capacity with training I can shoot even my old 380 as accurate as any mid size carry gun within its respectable range.
 
Just for myself I have found I am most happy with holsters that are custom fit to one model gun. I have yet to find a universal fit holster that holds a gun well and is still easy to draw from. I usually find the gun first and buy the holster to fit it. My EDC has three holsters allowing me to pocket carry, Carry inside the waist [IWB] and an [OWB] outside the waistband for use on public ranges that don't allow concealed draw. I will also be adding a Crossdraw for days spent traveling. the Crossdraw puts the gun almost in my lap while driving but is mostly open carried while out of the truck walking around.
With you wanting to limit yourself to one gun you will probably end up somewhat the same. DR
 
I tried different holsters and some works but others so they are sitting in a drawer unused. I keep them since if my primary holster breaks I may need to use a different one for a while. I do have spare screws and belt clips, small screwdriver and allen wrench so I can replace any screws that fallen out and replace belt clips. I have never broken a belt clip but keep them just in case. I do check my carry holsters screws and tighten up if I find one or more loose.
 

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