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Posted: 9/8/2003 8:41:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2003 8:48:43 AM EDT by JimTh]
I need to decide on my first concealed carry gun. Right now, I'm going back and forth between a Keltec P-11 and a hammerless revolver, probably S&W in .38(model 642 or 342 are examples).
I like the Keltec because it's very light and has a higher capacity than the revolver. It's also flatter and easier to conceal. I haven't shot one though and I'm concerned about recoil.(that reminds me, I need to look up ballistic data on some loads to compare...i.e. .38 vs 9mm)

I like the S&W because of the simplicity and higher reliability. I think it'll be heavier and carry fewer rounds. I know the .38 recoil is there, but is completely tolerable (I live in fear of the neighbors titanium .357 in case you didn't know, the recoil is hella painful).

Other points I'm considering are:
the round cylinder makes the revolver harder to conceal
I could easily carry another magazine for the P11
I could use a belt clip on the P11 to carry it
reloads for the S&W would be bulky speedloaders

EDIT: Btw, forgot to add that I usually wear khaki shorts and a t-shirt in summer, jeans, t-shirt, heavy shirt, coat in winter. And I've looked at Smartcarry and I'm willing to try it.

So, tell me what you think.
Jim
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 8:51:27 AM EDT
I like the snubby myself.
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 8:58:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2003 9:00:07 AM EDT by JimTh]
Hello Gunbert,
Would you mind elaborating? Why do you like a 5 shot revolver over a 9+1 (I think) semi-auto?
Thanks,
Jim

Edit: Btw, drop the hammer on that mouse already!!


Originally Posted By Gunbert:
I like the snubby myself.

Link Posted: 9/8/2003 9:05:35 AM EDT
I have the p-11, but would go snubby if I were you just for simplicity sake. Revolvers dont drop mags on accident or jam. also, a snubby might be lighter,
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 9:54:14 AM EDT
For me, the 442/642 is easier to conceal than the P11. While the cylinder of the revolver may be as thick as the auto, most of the gun is not, meaning it is easier to fit into the front trouser pocket. The P11's grip was long and fat enough to make it a real difficult proposition to pull it from the pocket holster... try this test at the gun store and you will see what I mean. Also, my P11 had an unhappy habit of rattling with a fully loaded magazine. I know, the KelTec fanatics will say, "well that can be fixed," but with the S&W, you ain't gotta fix sh*t. Just load it and go.
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 12:07:36 PM EDT
It is my understanding that Keltecs are not the most reliable guns.

38 is a pretty marginal defensive round. Better than nothing, but why not get a .357?

I'd get a Glock 26 or 27 and carry it IWB. Change your wardrobe a little and wear oversized untucked shirts. None of these guns are really suitable for pocket carry in my experience.
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 12:15:28 PM EDT
Well, unless an airweight .357 kicks less than a titanium one, I don't want it. You see, I want to actually be able to practice with the thing. From my (limited) experience, the .357 is too painful to shoot regularly.

As a newbie to concealed carry, I don't feel a Glock is appropriate for me. I like the look, feel, and operation of Glocks, but the trigger is too light and short to not have a safety.

Some people have voted other without posting, what are your suggestions?

J


Originally Posted By imposter:
38 is a pretty marginal defensive round. Better than nothing, but why not get a .357?

I'd get a Glock 26 or 27 and carry it IWB. Change your wardrobe a little and wear oversized untucked shirts. None of these guns are really suitable for pocket carry in my experience.

Link Posted: 9/8/2003 1:08:47 PM EDT
I'm going through a similar bout of newbie-itis myself. For now, I've settled on a Kahr MK9 and would recommend you try one.

I never really felt comfortable with J-frames. I had a 649 Bodyguard & it was a great little gun but the trigger reach was too short for me to quickly and consistently index on target. By the time I found aftermarket grips that made it feel right, it concealed like a K-frame. Good for winter pockets, tackle boxes, etc. but not for daily carry for me.

Next step was a Kel-Tec P32. Not exactly a notable fight-stopper but I could conceal it when wearing nothing but a pair of short. Improvised my own Smartcarry with a sewing kit and a jock strap but usually rely on pocket-carry. It's a keeper but I'm always aware of the reduced power and distance accuracy.

Bought the MK9 about two weeks ago and plan on carrying it after I run a few more boxes of ammo through it. So far, I'm very pleased. Love my Glocks but found them either too thick (G26) or too tall (G36) for hot-weather carry for me. The Kahr fits fine, it's as simple as a Glock, it's all-steel (good for recoil and doesn't bother me to carry 18hrs/day) and the trigger is a bit longer and just a little heavier than the Glock. 6- or 7-round mag capacity but that's fine for me on a day-to-day basis. When I'm in the boonies and/or, ahem, "Injun country", I *find* a way to carry the full-cap G21 and enough reloads to get me to the carbine in the truck.

I'm far more accurate with it than with the P32 or 649. It fires a more effective round than either, IMO, considering the respective configurations we're talking about. It has a more concealable profile than a wheelgun. And, if you decide you don't like it, I think you'd get better resale/trade-in value than with the P11. Not that I'm a pessimist or anything....

Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 1:27:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 4:58:19 PM EDT
How you will carry it is everything. For everyday deep conceal, I put a Keltek 32 (soon to be replaced by the .380 version when I can get my hands on one) in my pocket everyday. A Kahr PM9 can fulfill this role too, but is much bulkier than the tiny KT's. I didn't like the S&W snubs, I felt they were too bulky and the butt was noticeable at the top of my pocket. I have a smartcarry I got for a Glock 26, rarely use it. I think the steel frame Kahrs would be a nice choice for inside the waistband carry with a good belt and holster.
For everyday deep concealment and ease of carry the KT in 32 auto or .380 in your front pocket in a #1 or #2 Uncle Mikes holster is cheap, reliable and so easy to carry there will be no excuse for leaving it at home.
My 2 pennies, TomB
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 5:06:56 PM EDT
I don't think you can go wrong with the Smith. The J frame seems to have a certain universal appeal. The .38 round isn't THAT bad....the soft lead 158 grain hollowpoint +P has a halfway decent track record out of the 2 inch barrel. I suspect it will hold its value better than the KelTec.

Link Posted: 9/8/2003 5:30:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JimTh:
Hello Gunbert,
Would you mind elaborating? Why do you like a 5 shot revolver over a 9+1 (I think) semi-auto?
Thanks,
Jim

Edit: Btw, drop the hammer on that mouse already!!




Hello back at ya. I just like the simplicity and reliability of the revolver. I want one myself to carry in an ankle rig. .38 is not a powerhouse by any means, but it will do the job with good ammo, and is very controllable. As was stated before, there are no mag releases, slide releases and/or safeties that you have to worry about snagging, or accidentally hitting in the heat of the moment should you ever have to draw the weapon. Simple is good!

Don't get me wrong, I like autos for carry, but if you want super small I'd go with the S&W. Larger framed/caliber autos have a better track record for reliability than their smaller cousins, and this is a big factor for me. Murphy's Law is a bitch.



This is all just my opinion, so feel free to disagree.
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 5:53:58 PM EDT
Oooohh my. That 1911 is puuurrrddyyy. But, 1911's are single action only, yes? So, I would either have to be running around 'cocked and locked' which makes me (the nooblar) nervous. Or, I'd have to run around 'decocked and locked'...or something like that and then I'm likely to fumble if I ever do need it, God forbid. The hammers springs on those things seem pretty heavy and I can see myself messing up. Plus, 1911's are 'spensive. I'm looking for something in the S&W price range.

The Kahr, while looking fine(I just looked it up today), seems awfully similar to a Glock, a no safety double action (I've been told that Glocks are not true DA's, but that's what they act like to me). They are also pretty pricey.

I considered the KT P32 extensively, along with the .380, but eventually excluded them based on the small caliber.

Gunbert, I actually agree with all your points.

Ok, I think I'll go with the S&W snubby.
Thanks for the input fellows. Feel free to comment more, I won't be buying the thing until I save up about another hundred bucks. I'm still open to change.

Thanks,
Jim
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 5:04:18 AM EDT
An additional $.02 for you.

If I had to have an automatic, the Kahr polymer line is what I would pick. I've had excellent results from my K40 but it's a bit heavy to carry. Glock doesn't make a model small enough for me, but the plus side is that you can increase the trigger weight substantially for safety. I had a New York Plus spring in my G30 when I carried it.

The KelTec P32 is absolutely unbeatable for what it is, which is a shirt-pocket mousegun. If I were comfortable with a .32, I'd have no problem with a P32. I did not like the P11 though, and I'm glad I sold it.

I selected my 442 for several reasons. I wanted something that would be reliable even if it were full of pocket lint. I also wanted to be able to fire it through my coat pocket if necessary... I feel that would give me additional options that an auto couldn't. The 442 is very snag-free and doesn't have any safeties to come off accidentally or for the user to forget to disengage. Also, a Speed Strip is more compact to carry than a magazine.
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 5:13:44 AM EDT
I've only started carrying this year myself. Currently, I almost ALWAYS have my Kel-tec P32 on me except when I'm working out or jogging (normally don't have pockets). It's always hot (7+1) in an Uncle Mike's Sidekick pocket holster. You can't even tell that it's there. I sometimes, depending on what I'm wearing, will carry my Glock 30 with me in a SmartCarry holster. It's comfortable and I don't have to worry about inadvertantly revealing it. I can even sprint with the thing on, and it's fine. Depending on what you wear, and if you're going to be able to use an iwb holster, you might want to look at the glock 26 or 27. I'm actually looking at getting one of these myself for concealed carry.
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 6:08:47 AM EDT
IMO, on paper the KT P-11 wins.
Twice the rounds at half the price, optional night sights and quick mag changes and even a better grip than a stock J frame.
Even more "disposable" than the investing in a S&W revolver, you would be less inclined to worry about nicks, rust or wear.
In reality, reliabilty and durability problems have surfaced from time to time on the P-11, but not on all of them.
Mine was great and did work as advertised, 100%.
I suggest a visit to KTOG.org and see what the Kel-Tec fanatics say, not to discount the virtues of the tried and true J-frames, just to help form your opinion.
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 6:28:17 AM EDT
Hello,
I've been there, 2 or 3 times now. The reviews are pretty much all glowing, with a few reports of malfunctions.
This is terrible, a few hours after saying that I'm going with the .38, I was back to the P11. Now, I'm back to the .38. I read some more reviews on the P11 that mentioned some have problems with pins "walking" out. Some have problems feeding. The magazine seems to come out awfully easily. So now, I'm back to the .38. How could an internal hammer revolver even fail? I mean, sure, eventually internal parts could break, but you shouldn't ever see ftf, fte type failures.

I gotta go lookup speed strips now, never heard of 'em.

Thanks,
Jim


I suggest a visit to KTOG.org and see what the Kel-Tec fanatics say
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 7:28:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2003 7:37:35 AM EDT by KeithC]
[smacking forehead]I can't believe nobody's said it yet! This *is* ARFCom, after all....

"Buy 'em both!" (Sorry - I've gotten that answer so many times, I felt obligated to pass it along.)

As far as mechanical problems with the snubbies, the only problem I've ever had was an ejector rod on a used gun that would gradually unscrew under recoil (.357 & .38+Ps). If not screwed *back* in, it would come close to locking the cylinder in place every 70-80 rounds or so. Fixed with some Loctite & that was that. I've *heard* of, but never experienced, improperly seated primers backing out and binding up the gun as well.

My only gripes were the trigger reach (obviously a personal thing) and the inconsistent profile of revolvers in general for concealment and draw. If those things aren't relevant to your build and method of carry, I see nothing wrong with the snubby.
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 9:34:30 AM EDT
Glock 19 inside the pants in a Bianchi holster.

My brother at age 15 carried one concealed to Christian (PRIVATE) school for one week without anyone noticeing to win a bet.

That gun dissapeared with the Bianchi IWB holster placed near the belt buckle.

And I would trust a 9mm with hollowpoints to kill reliably and it has a 13rd capacity.

P11 (that's 380 right? No 380's allowed)

38specials have a less than stellar reputation and only 5 shots if the first one doesn't do the job.
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 9:45:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Green0:

P11 (that's 380 right? No 380's allowed)




P11 is 9mm. P3AT is 380.
Light trigger on the Glocks makes me shy away from them.

Jim
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 9:49:30 AM EDT
I hate to do this...but look at the Walther P-22...light, fits in pocket, light, accurate, 11-rounds, .22 velociraptor is better than some dinky little .32...................
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 9:55:49 AM EDT
Ruger SP101 w/ 2" barrel chambered for .357/.38 special...available in hammerless config too.

or

Kahr MK40 or MK9

I wanted a 1911 so I opted for a Kimber Ultra Carry and a Kimber Compact CDP -- in summer.

I also carry a USP40c in the winter.
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 10:35:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JimTh:
I gotta go lookup speed strips now, never heard of 'em.



www.gun-tests.com/performance/jun97speedloader.html
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 11:35:52 AM EDT
Hello Hound,
Not to worry, I wasn't planning on getting a .32, I looked at the P32 and ruled it out because of it's 'dinky'ness. And I won't be carrying a .22 either.

Jim


Originally Posted By hound:
I hate to do this...but look at the Walther P-22...light, fits in pocket, light, accurate, 11-rounds, .22 velociraptor is better than some dinky little .32...................

Link Posted: 9/10/2003 11:50:28 AM EDT
Ruger web page shows the SP101 as being 11/16" longer than the S&W and weighs 10 oz more. Not quite as portable. I couldn't locate a hammerless version either.


Originally Posted By SHIVAN:
Ruger SP101 w/ 2" barrel chambered for .357/.38 special...available in hammerless config too.

or

Kahr MK40 or MK9

I wanted a 1911 so I opted for a Kimber Ultra Carry and a Kimber Compact CDP -- in summer.

I also carry a USP40c in the winter.

Link Posted: 9/10/2003 3:58:30 PM EDT
OK, you asked for opinions, so bear in mind, this is my opinion only. Went through the same thing here locally. I sold a bunch of KT P-11 to the LE crowd I primarily deal with. Seemed like e no brainer, half the price, twice as many rounds, more potent caliber, etc, same as others.

Until we shot the KT quite a bit. Main problem was pins walking out, particularly after 1000 rounds + put through them. Function became questionable, and common thoughts were that they couldn't be trusted. Didn't lay down every time out, just enough so you never knew for sure if they would function if needed. The KOG guys will say it's BS, KT is the greatest thing ever. They won't convince me from my personal experience.

There has been a substantial price decrease on S&W 642 and 637 recently. They are now about 1 1 /2 times the KT price. They work - every time. 5 shots for sure trumps a maybe 10. Caliber doesn't make a big difference; 9mm out of a short tube is no better than .38.

If you are considering an SP101, they work great. Most comfortable small .357 to shoot, bar none. They also weigh 25 oz. For the same weight, I can have a 3913 for double action, or the Springfield Compact LW version shown above. Also, snub .357 has the same problem with velocity loss through short barrel the 9mm has.

This in mind, my choices are a 642 for pocket, 3913 for summer carry with a holster, and Springfield Compact LW for winter carry (to overcome heavier winter clothing). If I were starting to build a carry arsenal, I'd start with the 642, since it can be used anytime, and build on that.
Link Posted: 9/11/2003 7:04:49 PM EDT
I threw in a vote for the .38 snub. Personally I carry 'other' but if I went on for a couple paragraphs about why I carry what I carry wouldn't matter-- that's to say you've got your decision narrowed down, no need to argue for an alternate.

I own a .38 snubby, and take it for short walks to the store and such things like that. Not my first choice but I like knowing that if the hammer goes back, it's going forward with no problems.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 3:39:47 AM EDT
Jim,
Here’s some chronograph and gelatine results from the P11: goldenloki.com/ammo/chrono/9mm.htm#p11
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 4:00:45 AM EDT
Hi again, JimTh,
For what it's worth, here are my thoughts again. I don't carry concealed, but I own a Glock 26. Here's why. In a concealed carry situation I believe you have to be prepared for a confrontation involving more than one assailant. Perhaps a woman is likely to only have to face one goof, but a healthy, adult male will probably be left alone unless the creeps have numbers on their side. For this reason I would go with magazine capacity in a CCW. In a house gun, I would probably choose my Smith & Wesson 625. On your own turf, you can stash ammo and your knowledge of the layout of the land give you a significant tactical edge. When you're on your own outside there are only two things you really have any control over; your will to survive and prevail, and your ammo supply. All other things being equal, I don't believe that there's any excuse for running out of ammo. It's cheap and available in foresight, terribly dear in hindsight.
Coolio
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 6:06:38 PM EDT
Although the Kel-Tec is a great choice, I voted other. Because I've heard great things of the XD subcompact. I guess I'm just a little biased because I own an XD.


ak_kraut
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 6:25:30 PM EDT
I used to carry a USP9c, but I replaced it with a S&W 340PD because it was easier to conceal. I use an ankle holster because I have to wear slacks to work every day.

.38 Wadcutters are very gentle rounds, even in the small barrel. Having been blessed never to have my life depend on my firearm as of yet, this is just my opinion, but I imagine that in a real situation, your adrenaline would be such that you probably wouldn't even notice the switch to .357.
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