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Newbie trying to decide what to carry

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Diesel, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Diesel

    Diesel OR New Member

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    I was just wondering if any of you more experienced folks could pass on some advice to a new guy as far as what is a good choice for a carry weapon? Initially I was just going to go with a glock but then I started to look at the compact 1911's and now I just don't know where to start. I would appreciate any advice or opinions from those that have carried for a while. Thanks.
     
  2. MarkSBG

    MarkSBG Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Glocks have great capacity, low weight, superb reliability, and are reasonably priced.

    Here is a site that will give you some basic specs and descriptions of the various glock models:

    http://www.remtek.com/arms/glock/

    Many people really like the sub-compact glocks: G26 (9mm) and G27 (40 S&W). I have carried a G26 for years. It is exceedingly light, manueverable, reliable, and concealable. Many people find it too small to shoot comfortably, but it is big enough for my hands, especially with a finger extension.
    I have carried compacts like the Glock 19 and really liked it. It is small enough to conceal, but large enough for most people to get a good grip on.

    If you really want to carry a 45, I would recommend the G30SF. Unless you have VERY large hands, I would stay away from the G30.

    I really like and have carried 1911 compacts. They are great for accuracy and reliability, but tend to be more expensive and a little heavier. Many people don't mind the extra weight, but I seem to notice it. 1911s are also typically slimmer than Glocks, which makes concealing easier.

    In the end, I would recommending finding someplace where you can try a Glock and a nice 1911 and choose the one that you shoot the best with and feels most natural to you.
     
  3. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Do you own both? Do you shoot both well? How do you usually dress? how do you plan to carry? Do you need to be able to remove it easily during the day?
     
  4. raindog

    raindog Portland, OR Active Member

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    I would recommend a Glock. They're simpler and just completely reliable. If you're thinking of a .45 for "more power", then I'd look at a Glock in .40. The only thing .45 buys you is more weight. (I know, heresy, but look at the ballistics...good .40 loads deliver more energy).

    Either .40 or 9mm will serve you well.

    As an alternative, you could consider the Springfield XD. Personally, I prefer Glock as they've been a round a lot longer and are more widely used, but the XD is also a solid choice.

    If you really fall in love with a 1911, that's not a bad choice, either. But I'd be sure to actually shoot a small concealed aluminum 1911 before I carried it - some (myself included) find the recoil on the little 1911s to be too much. You want something that you will shoot hundreds of rounds through at the range.

    As someone already said, get a good holster. And get a good gun belt. Expect to spend $90-100 on a good gun belt. It is mandatory. That's the #1 mistake newbie concealed carry people make.
     
  5. wavo

    wavo Portland Member

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    How does a good gun belt differ from a normal, thick leather belt?

    I'm not being silly, I seriously don't know...:eek:
     
  6. BooKilla

    BooKilla Portland, OR Member

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    Spend the money once and get a quality 1911. Kimber is the industry standard. ED Brown and Nighthawk are custom 1911 makers and are considered the best in the business.

    I carried a Kimber Stainless Pro Carry II for years and it just plain worked. No questions...shot crisp and accurate every time. That would be a great first 1911 for you to purchase.
     
  7. Blacryan

    Blacryan Salem, OR Member

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    I carry a Kimber Pro carry II and havent looked back. When I use my smart carry and carry I usually go w/ my Glock 23.
     
  8. raindog

    raindog Portland, OR Active Member

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    Forgive my ignorance, but what is a "smart carry and carry"?
     
  9. Blacryan

    Blacryan Salem, OR Member

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    Sorry I didnt really phrase that right. I usually carry with a comp-tac MTAC IWB holster. When I do IWB I carry my Kimber Pro Carry II that is my day to day carry.

    I work at a gym though and dont have the luxury of always wearing something that I can wear a belt on/jeans. So I use a "SmartCarry" ( http://www.smartcarry.com/ ) which allows me to carry w/o having to use a IWB or belt. When I carry this way, I use my Glock 23.

    I hope that clears up the confusion.
     
  10. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    If you haven't done so already, I'd suggest finding a range where they rent handguns and trying a bunch first. My preference for X type of gun doesn't mean a thing if it doesn't fit your hand, you don't like how it operates, etc. The investment in rental time will pay off down the road.

    ETA: make sure to try a range of action types just to see what you like. My suggestion would be at least one "safe action" type pistol (Glock/XD/M&P), one single-action (1911), one double-action/single-action (Beretta/Sig/Ruger) and a revolver (K-frame and/or J-frame). The guy at the rental counter should be able to point you in the right direction (in theory). Also, try some of the standard defense calibers: .45ACP, .40S&W, 9MM, .357Mag, .38Spl and maybe .380ACP.

    Good luck - let us know what you decide on in the end (in so many of these threads, we never know what people go with)
     
  11. smithmax

    smithmax here Member

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    And don't feel like you need to spend $100 on a holster. A lot of us are happy with our Ace Case holsters, or other ones that cost ~$20
     
  12. cwesty

    cwesty SW Portland New Member

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    I'm a Civil Engineer - so half my time is spent at my desk and the other half out on construction sites. I needed a gun/carry system that would be light and comfortable enough to sit with all day, and also one that could could be easily covered by a tee-shirt on a hot summer day out on a job site while I bend/kneel/squat for inspections.
    I tested out a few different holsters and finally fell in love with the Minotaur MTAC from Comp-Tac: http://www.comp-tac.com/product_info.php?products_id=95 it distributes the weight to 2 seperate point on my pants and is adjustable in nearly every way imaginable, and you can tuck your shirt into/over it.
    I typically carry a Glock 36 (their sub-compact .45) on days when I'm wearing just a t-shirt or a Colt Commander 1911 (4.25" version) with the alloy frame on cooler days when I'm wearing a dress shirt or sweatshirt. Both will carry 7 rounds. The 1911 tends to "print" a little more than the Glock.
    The other awesome thing about that holster is that you can just swap out the Kydex portion (the plastic piece) and the same holster will work for multiple guns.
     
  13. BPN

    BPN About 20min N of Seattle Member

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    I personally think it depends on a few things (please add if I missed something)

    1. Can I shoot it
    2. is it reliable
    3. Open carry or Concealed
    4. firepower/rounds

    If concealed
    A. is it concealed
    B. is it comfortable
    c. weight of weapon when loaded (why carry if it's not)

    For me I only CC. For the most part I my CCW is a snub 5-shot 357mag and I have a few holsters to choose from since I do not want any print or for it to become exposed fully or partially.

    Most of my clothes are fitted with a bit a room, but still fitted. I am 180 lbs, 5ft 10in, and an athletic build. ALL THIS effects what and how I CC.

    When I have a winter jacket I can bring my full size auto in shoulder holster.
    When I have a light jacket I bring the 5-shot with a pancake holster on my hip
    When I have jeans and a t-shirt I bring the 5-shot with my ankle holster
    When I have shorts and a t-shirt pocket pistol with pocket holster or bell band

    Holsters are important to me since the cheap ones may not be comfortable for all day carry.

    So if I had to choose just 1 of my guns for all-around carry it would be my 5-shot. It gives me plenty of firepower, 98% of the time I can take it with me, and It's my most reliable gun (although I have had zero problems with my autos).

    I agree with SUN195 try a few guns out. I prefer an auto but I carry a revolver.

    Ben
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  14. CIVLANT-Troop

    CIVLANT-Troop Columbia Basin (Washington) New Member

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    I wear cargo pants in the cooler months and cargo shorts in the summer. I can conceal a Smith J-Frame, Kahr 9mm, or even a Glock 26 in the front pocket. Lately, I've been carrying an S&W 642 pretty much year-around. It is very light and does not pull my pants down. I'm overweight and my hip bones are not very prominent anymore. They don't hold up the belt the way they used to. I carry one speedloader and two Bianchi speed strips as reloads.

    A good pocket holster is essential. It keeps the muzzle pointed in a safe direction (down, as opposed to covering your gizzard or crotch). It covers the trigger guard. It protects the gun from pocket lint. It helps to break up the outline of the gun. In my cargo pants, it hardly shows at all. There are many good manufacturers of pocket holsters. My two favorites are K&D and FIST, Inc. Last time I looked, K&D was not accepting new orders. Probably too much backlog.

    Presentation is not as fast from a pocket as it is from a belt holster. Still, it is faster than an ankle holster. Any carry system demands practice. Also, vigilance: you can be the Fastest Gun in the West and it won't help if someone slugs you from behind with a lead pipe. Armed or unarmed, you should pay attention to your surroundings.

    If you can't wear cargo pants or shorts in your work or lifestyle, the J-Frame would fit into the pocket of most "normal" slacks. If not, a Kahr PM9 or one of the new generation of tiny .380 autos might do the trick. My backups for this situation are the PM9 and a Seecamp .32.

    I have simplified my CCW problem greatly by going "All Pocket All the Time." I love Glocks and have carried them in the past, but I went cross-eyed trying to plan my day around belt carry. There are times when the gun has to stay behind in the car (e.g., entering a post office, school, or courthouse) and wrestling with a paddle holster or belt-slide holster can be awkward, especially in public. For me, gun and holster slide out of the pocket and go into the gun vault behind my front seat.

    I also had trouble with belt carry when I would go into a warm room in the winter. I could not take off that jacket or sweater, now could I? I was the only guy in the room sweating freely. I also ran into problems when I had to bundle up to go out. OK, it's concealed, but how do I get to it under an overcoat and jacket? Isn't a bit suspicious when someone is walking around in an unbuttoned overcoat in below-freezing weather?

    EDIT: When you have a gun and holster in a pocket, they should be the ONLY THINGS in the pocket. You don't want to be fumbling with keys, coins, combs, etc. when you need to deploy that handgun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  15. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    KISS Glock 27 and Glock 22 Depends on the condition of circumstances which one. Holsters vary, but I don't find inside waist comfortable for me.:D
     
  16. python287

    python287 Neskowin,OR Active Member

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    if you are new to carrying a handgun then the Glock would be the best bet. Then later on you can change to the 1911 - that way you get good experience in gun handling and won't shoot yourself in the leg or worse.
     
  17. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    Hi Diesel. You're a big guy and how a gun feels in your hand will be really important. That Para Carry was way too small for you but fits me well.;)
    As a lot of posters have said already, go to the local gun shops and hold a few different brands. If you have an idea of caliber, mag. capacity, etc... you'll narrow the field of options. I don't know, you might even like a well made wheel gun over an auto. Then go to the range and try 'em out.
    Good luck my friend.:thumbup:
     
  18. d1esel

    d1esel Ridgefield WA. Member

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    Hi willseeker. It seems my handle has been hijacked by this dude Diesel. I'm d1esel and I had my name first. Oh well, no big deal. But It will cause some confusion. I hope that pretty little gun is working out for you.
     
  19. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    Gosh, sorry about that. :eek:
    If it makes any difference, the other "diesel" is a good guy too.
    Hope to meet you some day and trade or something.
    Good luck in your search, and by the way, pretty much everything I said can also pertain to you in finding the right gun, except for the big guy part?:)
     
  20. d1esel

    d1esel Ridgefield WA. Member

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    I am the big guy.