Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 9/27/2004 8:09:30 PM EDT
My CCW should be here in the next few weeks, and I am trying to decide what to carry. I currently have a full size Kimber 1911 that I have had for around 7 years that I am very comfortable with. I am thinking that this will be OK for occasional IWB use, but I am also thinking about getting a pocket gun. I have been looking at either a Kahr PM40 or Smith 642. I am now rethinking my position... I am 6-2, 225#, should I get a smaller 1911 like an Ultra Carry to carry IWB full time, or get a pocket-gun for the times when IWB is not practical? I have owned only autos for the last 11 years, but would not be opposed to carrying a revolver. Any other recommendations? Please help!!! I like the idea of carrying a .45 similar to what I target shoot with, but I also like the idea of dropping a gun in the pocket when I go to the store. FWIW, I am mostly a Levi jeans and t-shirt, sweat shirt, or polo type of guy. I rarely wear Dockers, button up shirts, etc.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 8:54:36 PM EDT
For CCW use go with the platform you are used to. Your muscle memory has already been formed and become instinctive...Don't fight it!! It takes over 5,000 repetitions to develope something into your muscle memory and then you must continue to practice it if you intend to retain it under extreme stress like a "shoot to live" scenario.

I say go with an Officer's sized 1911 series pistol. Ideally you could find a Colt Recon model which was a Commander slide on an Officers model frame. Great ballistics and small grip profile for concealment. If you are comfortable with Kimber get one of their compact models and find the load that produces the appropriate balance of accuracy, recoil, and terminal effectiveness. Just remember that smaller pistols are more difficult to control in rapid fire so diligent practice is essential.

I don't reccomend any particular pistol because they are all tools; it is just a matter of which suits your needs best. You like 1911s, fine buy one you can effectively conceal and run with it. Just remember to carry the same way everyday. IE strongside belt carry. Don't swap around and go from small of the back to shoulder harness to ankle carry etc! Remember your muscle memory is formed and your instincts will not recall where you are carrying on that particular given day.

Sorry to ramble on...Hope this helps some.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 9:15:14 PM EDT
I think countymountie said it all. Go with what you already know. Officer's Size 1911 vote here too.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 3:07:08 AM EDT
I agree with the vote for 1911. I am not as sure with the Officer size slide. I have just had bad luck with sub 4 inch slides on 1911. I know more people that have had trouble than not with sub 4 inch slides. I have 2 shooting buddies that you can tell when they need to change recoil spring, their 3 and 3.5 pistols start having failures. One of they guys keeps a spare in his range bag.

I carry a Commander, keeps the fps up, good balance. I like the Colt CCO (Commander slide, Officer frame), but they are rare these days and fetch a high price.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 4:42:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 5:21:52 AM EDT
There are not a lot of small autos that I would consider to carry because of reliability. I've had more bad experiences than good with compact 1911's. I think your fullsize Kimber would be a better choice for occaasional IWB carry than the smaller 1911's..if your body size/shape can hide it.

For an always gun, I think you are on the right track. Stay with those under-20oz guns and you'll thank yourself later.

I would carry any of the Kahrs. They're solid little guns. The same with the s&w 640 series, there's not much to say, pull the trigger and it fires. I actually carry a s&w 642 and shoot IDPA with it.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 5:33:45 AM EDT
Consider CZ or Glock they are both cheaper and far superior to S&W's. I only own one american Auto a 1911-A1 I generally think all other American autos that are not the BATTLE PROVEN 1911 model are overpriced and inferior to their foreign counterparts. Go with a weapon that is commonly carried by police government or military agencies as reliability concerns will not really apply.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 6:25:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mattl:
Consider CZ or Glock they are both cheaper and far superior to S&W's. I only own one american Auto a 1911-A1 I generally think all other American autos that are not the BATTLE PROVEN 1911 model are overpriced and inferior to their foreign counterparts. Go with a weapon that is commonly carried by police government or military agencies as reliability concerns will not really apply.


There are no finer small revolvers made than the S&W J frame. I own a M34, 2" M37, 3" M37, 3"M43, 2" M60, 3" M60-10, and 4" M631. I am not prone to buying weapons that don't work for me the first time.

The best thing for our poster to do is rent a bunch of smaller handguns, try them, and buy the lightest one that feels good in his hands and shoots well for him. I have gone through a whole lot of handguns to reach my choice. My choice works for me but will it for others? I don't know. What do I use for a car/carry gun?

I use a Bersa Thunder 45. Why? It is compact, reliable, accurate, lightweight, and it didn't cost an arm and a leg. I gave $250 for it and it hasn't let me down. What do I carry it in? I have spent as much on holsters as the Bersa cost me, I use a Ken L. Null Gibson Covert and an Alessi CQC-I. Lastly, I prefer IWB holsters for daily carry.


Link Posted: 9/28/2004 7:22:45 AM EDT
That is good advice to rent and figure out what I like, but unfortunately I live in the boonies about 140 miles north of Green Bay, and have only 1 gun shop within 60 miles. I was able to shoot a 642 a couple of weeks ago, and shot a PM9 and Ruger SP-1 last year. I think I liked the 642 better, but am more comfortable with autos. I also owned a G19 for a while, but none of the Glocks like my hands. Maybe I just need to buy a holster and carry my 1911 for a while and see if I want to stick with IWB or move to pocket carry. Maybe I should just buy a smaller 1911 and a PM40 and carry both? Will most of the better IWB holsters handle both a full size 1911 and a 4", or do you need holsters for both? Decisions, Decisions.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 7:28:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 8:57:29 AM EDT

I carry a Colt CCO, reference above. Reliable, lightweight, and SLIM. When I see a new model of a CCW reach the market one of the first things I look for is the width. The market is glutted with chunky little brutes. 1911s are not the smallest pistols out there but they sure are slim compared to most of the competition.

I occasionally carry an HK P7M8 and a SIG 239, but none of these are what I would call pocket guns. For small revolvers I would consider the Smith line, particularly the versions with a concealed hammer, and the Colt .38 pistols. I like the six shot cylinder of the Colt, but I prefer the Smith's trigger pull.

For small autos I am still looking for one worth a damn. The Sig 232 in .380 is a nice gun- reliable, decent trigger pull, and suprisingly accurate. It also doesn't eat my hands up when I shoot it (unlike the Walther PPK line which will remove skin on each shot). Unfortunately, although it only weighs 16 ounces, it is still too large to be a true pocket gun. Still, a nice rig.

I have considered the new Keltec .380, which really has to be handled to be believed. I don't remember the specs on it but it is TINY for a .380. I am dubious about the reliability of it. I might get one and see if I can break it.

The Kahr line has gotten better, but please shoot shoot shoot it before you trust it. Mine had a host of problems (original all steel 9mm version). Hope your mileage varies. Mine was a very early model and they still had a lot of bugs to work out.

Best of luck in your search,

P.S. Don't skimp on the holster end of things- it really matters when it comes to "comfort". You will still end up with a drawer full of holsters no matter what, but they may as well be quality rigs!
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 6:33:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2004 6:42:29 PM EDT by Wables]
Another question...Does Kimber (or other) make a Compact with an aluminum frame without getting into the CDP package? I like the idea of a 4" barrel and shortened grip, but I would like a lighter weight...or will I not notice the extra 7 odd ounces of the steel frame? What is the weight difference between the full size and compacts? Kimber no longer publishes the weights on their web site. I think that I am drifting in the direction of IWB and forgetting the pocket carry for now.

(Edit - Buying a Kimber instead of a Kahr means putting off the Dillon 550B for a while, but I guess I would rather buy what I want and spend my time in front of the rock chucker than regret my decision later.)
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 6:40:00 PM EDT
I like my Kahr P40 but a Kimber compact is good by me to. The Kahr P40 is the most concealable side arm in .40 around. It is very reliable , just look at the legnth of the feed remp. Mine eats any hollow point I put through it. It is what a Glock should be wants to be.
Top Top