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I’ve spent a large amount of my life believing myself invincible. No matter the injury or damage, I just wrapped it up, sucked it up, and kept running. There’s a mindset among many of us who have served that there isn’t anything more powerful than iron will. It was the Riddle of Steel. You know, Conan the Barbarian? The answer to the riddle is that steel is nothing compared to the flesh that wields it. The thing is, we’re all falling apart, some faster and sooner than others.

My downhill slide began after I turned 25. It was little things here and there that I began to notice. Soreness. Strain. Just general pain. Eventually my right knee went. It began as a little clicking at first. Then it became a full-on grinding in the joint. My ankle was next, followed by my hip. A short while later, my whole lower spine became enflamed and I was essentially immobilized and unable to even walk comfortably.

The problems that I began to encounter were many and varied. I had a layer cake of multiflavored crap on my table and I didn’t even know where to begin eating it. I required a leg brace on my right knee. That wasn’t so bad because Mad Max wears a leg brace and he’s about as badass as they come. Or so I told myself.

The compounding complications were a result of years of neglecting a huge number of serious injuries and poor workout habits. I was super strong for my size and extremely fast, even capable of running a near-four minute mile back in my heyday. But I never took the time to properly stretch and build all the little micro muscles along the spine and other areas of my body. The problems stacked up and the camel’s back eventually broke. I can’t run any longer. I can’t lift like I used to. I found myself with diagnosed hypomobility, worn cartilage in many joints, and no way to carry a gun comfortably.

I never imagined that my lower leg injuries would have an impact on my ability to carry a gun. I’ve carried since the day I turned 21, always inside the waistband on my right side. Wearing my pistol became a lesson in self-torture. It eventually got so bad that I stopped carrying a gun at all.

I needed almost a half a year of physical therapy, chiropractor visits, and daily maintenance to become healthy again. In that time, I stopped packing and began doing research into carry with disabilities. I don’t consider myself to be disabled, but I was certainly not able to do the things I was used to doing. What follows are some of my findings and opinions on carry with a disability and how to transition your mind when adapting to a challenging physical situation.

ON BODY OR OFF BODY?

When I began this ordeal, I only owned full-size pistols. All my guns were large and heavy SIG SAUER .45ACP P227 or 1911 models. I’d given up on GLOCK a while back and taken a liking to the SIG brand.

This wasn’t a bad decision. I loved .45ACP and I loved what the guns offered. I carried a 1911 in a shoulder holster for quite a while. It was my favorite way to carry the large pistol and made me feel pretty cool. But back problems tend to work their way up your spine, and I was unable to deal with the weight on my neck after a serious tear happened one day out of the blue.

Josh Wayner
The beautiful Sig P227 is a work of art, but that finery and the .45ACP chambering come with a weight penalty.

Since carry on my hip was already out of the question and shoulder carry was nixed, I began to carry off-body. This made it so that I didn’t have to worry about concealment, but it presented other problems.

Carrying a backpack around isn’t all that much fun and neither is toting a man bag. You get weird looks and it just gets in the way all the time, at least it did for me. I discovered that many places don’t bat an eye at a woman with a large purse, but they pay very careful attention to a guy with a bag. Having eyes on you isn’t the point of carrying concealed. There are also many places that don’t allow bags or backpacks.

I practiced with draws and speed. After nearly a month of dealing with it, I concluded there was arguably nothing redeeming or worthwhile about carrying off-body. Some will debate me on this, but it’s not a smart thing to do and is a bigger liability than it is a benefit. Having the gun and being able to draw the gun are very different things, I discovered.

There are professionals who say you should always carry no matter what, but these guys are basically the same mall ninjas that carry around an AK-47 and ten mags in a racket case in public and act like that’s a normal thing to do. Other pros say that carrying a gun should be comforting, not comfortable, but that advice is also a six-piece serving of chicken McBullcrap. Don’t harm yourself with the idea that you will prevent future harm by having your gun. Accept your limitations and adapt.

BULK AND WEIGHT- THE CROSSROADS OF CCW

I ended up selling off all my SIGs. I don’t hold onto guns emotionally and decided it best to move them along to fund other options. The first thing I had to do was rationalize weight and power. I had gone months without a gun and I found my psychology was altered as a result. I’d grown dependent on my pistol to feel alright in public, but the sensation of nakedness passed after a while going unarmed. I was far happier to not have that brick on my hip or in my bag.

It’s my opinion that if you’re carrying with physical weight limitations, your pistol must weigh a pound or less loaded and be of .38 caliber or similar. I have found that the .38-bore cartridges available today offer the best power-to-weight ratio. My favorite cartridges for carry are 9×19, .380ACP, and .38 Special and my research into other people’s carry methods proved this, but more on that later.

Why those options? Why not .40S&W or .357 Magnum? In short, the types of guns that allow for what I’m going to call ‘effortless’ carry generally don’t lend themselves to these more powerful rounds.

Since I know you all love it when I write about calibers and velocity, I’ll give you a little bit to chew on: .357 is a waste in a snubby. The .38+P is a better option given that there’s virtually no difference in projectile velocity and you’ll only be using said gun at nearly point blank range anyway. Plus, many .357 snubs weight much more than their .38 brothers and that is a point of concern.

So how come a pound or less is the magic number? I’ve found over months and many different guns that a pound or less is the amount of weight that carries in a standard pant pocket without causing irritation or fatigue. Everyone carries weight differently, but weight adds up quickly in your pockets.

When I figure in my phone, keys, wallet, and a 642, I’m looking at about two pounds. Any more than two pounds causes sagging of the pants and thus strain on the lower back and hips. Balancing the weight is also critical in preventing pain. You don’t want one side dragging and causing irritation and then more actual problems.

OPINIONS ON POCKET CARRY
I’m going to put it right out there: I don’t carry with a pocket holster or any holster at all. I carry Mexican with my G17 all the time and pocket carry my 642 and G42 daily. I’m not a member of the camp that believes you need a holster for daily carry.

Now is the time when you reference some “look at that idiot” article you saw on MSN or tell me that I got my cues from the set of Sons of Anarchy. But you know what? Holsters are slow when you pocket carry.

I tried out a variety of pocket holsters and found that nearly every single one was a massive pain in the ass and a hindrance to a smooth draw. That may sound like an over-generalization, but pocket holsters are a gimmick and a waste of money and may actually be as bad an idea as off-body carry. I’m a pretty good evaluator when it comes to analyzing gun products, and I couldn’t find a pocket holster that I could recommend and keep a straight face.

The only thing that a pocket holster does is keep the pistol straight in the pocket…sometimes. Over several pairs of pants and shorts, there wasn’t one brand of pocket holster that didn’t rotate, come out with the gun, or cause a malfunction. My advice is simple. Slide that piece into the pocket and go about your business.

When it comes to pocket carry, smoother is better This may seem like obvious advice, but you wouldn’t believe how many people ignore it. Buy a smooth gun. No exposed hammers.

I want to pull my hair out when I hear salesmen tell inexperienced shooters that they can shoot their snub revolver single-action since it has a hammer. That hammer is 100% a liability. It’s a backwards-facing barb that catches on just about everything. A pocket gun needs to be light and smooth.

Minimalism is key to keeping weight down. I hear guys complain about the 642’s small fixed sights. If you want a target gun, get one. If you want a self-defense gun, keep it simple. My biggest complaint about the SIG P938 and P238 are their safeties, sights, and hammers. I hate safeties on my guns and a pocket gun is no different. I want a trigger. Only. No bulky sights, no sharp corners, no bells, and no whistles.

So here’s the deal. This advice goes against much of what you may know and understand about carry. There are gentlemen I know personally who carry a full-on RMR-equipped G34 with a cut down grip, three mags, and an assemblage of assorted garbage with them wherever they go. I’ve seen everything in this industry and most of it makes me cringe to the point of breaking my teeth. I will tell you now that pocket carrying a five-shot revolver is simple, fast, and pain-free.

THE SURVEY

Now, since nearly all of you have likely found something to disagree with in the above opinions, let me break it down for you in terms of numbers. I spent a large amount of time in various area gun stores or ranges looking for disabled people. That sounds like a weird thing to do, but sometimes you just have to make everyone a little uncomfortable.

I interviewed exactly 100 people who I observed to be physically disabled in some way. Demographics of these people were as follows: 35 people 21-35, 30 people 36-60, 19 people 61-80, and 16 people over 81. Of the 100, 20 were women and at least two were in each category.

I asked the people a few questions about their methods of carry. They were simple questions and gave me a good amount of data to work with. I asked:

-Do you carry concealed?
-How do you carry?
-What type of weapon do you carry?
-Why do you carry the weapon you do?
-Do you feel comfortable with your ability to defend yourself?

THE RESULTS
I’ll sum this up in easy to digest chunks with no graphs. The information may surprise you, much as it did me. Don’t get on me about percentages, either. I rounded to make it easier to read, so you’re welcome in advance.

-80% of women carry in my sample. 80% of women surveyed who carry a gun carry a revolver, and out of that 90% carry a .38 Special. 100% of the women who carry do so off-body in a purse or bag.

-The primary reason for off body carry was comfort. However, a 60% majority of those who carry off-body feel that they would have time to draw when in danger.

-A surprising 60% of men with disabilities carry, but just not often. Primary reason: ‘the guns I have are hard to conceal’ or ‘small guns aren’t good for self-defense’. Let me run that past you in layman’s terms. That means that a majority of disabled men would rather have no gun than carry a small gun.

-A full 100% of the disabled men age 61-80 and 81+ don’t believe that anything less than .45ACP is adequate for carry. However, these two groups had the lowest rate of carry at only around 20%. The guys in these age categories again stated that they would carry, but the size and weight of the weapons they owned made it prohibitive.

-Most people in the 21-35 group had injury-related disabilities from accidents or sports with most expecting to eventually recover. People in the 61-80 and 81+ groups had a majority with degenerative conditions or permanent disabilities.

-Pocket carry in a holster was rare. Only three individuals carried in a pocket holster. Their reason for the holster? Printing.

-Men and women in the 21-35 group had a fascination with ‘fat’ guns like the GLOCK 26.

-Turns out I’m not crazy when it comes to holsters. Of the individuals that carried in the pocket or bag, only 10 individuals used a holster, including those using pocket holsters. Sure, you could skew it and say that 33% of those who carry in a holster use a pocket holster, but it was only 3% of my sample.

-Curiously, the 61-80 and 81+ men groups had a nearly universal opinion that marksmanship was more important than capacity and had a very positive view of the 1911, but didn’t think that modern pistols or .38s are worth anything for self-defense. However, they are the group that is least likely to carry.

-When asked about caliber and capacity and their comfort with their weapon, 100% of women felt that their weapon was suitable for the task and didn’t carry additional ammunition or magazines. Of the men who carried, fully half didn’t feel that their weapon was suitable or their caliber powerful enough, but only a third carried an additional magazine or extra cartridges. Additionally, all the women interviewed felt that they could operate their firearm under stress with ease, while less than half of the men felt the same way.

-Unlike women, nearly all men who carry tote a semi-automatic.

-Sadly, only 10% of all people, so 10, felt that the gun industry had caught up with their needs.

MY INTREPRETATION

I began to form a pretty good picture of carry for a surprisingly large number of people based on my results. I found that many men who suffer from physical disabilities don’t feel safe. I think this is based on a feeling of vulnerability or being stuck and unable to fight back.

The men I talked to didn’t feel that carrying ‘only’ five shots was enough and that even .38+P would simply piss a bad guy off. On the flip side, women who carry felt bolder and more confident with their gun and carried on a far more regular basis.

I noticed a very distinct trend among men in that there was a reluctance to ‘downsize’ in terms of gun and caliber. I really imagined that this survey would result in nothing but a catfight between fans of the .380 and the 9×19, but I was wrong.

This is much more of a standoff between those who actively carry the .38 Special and those who can’t give up the idea that .45ACP is the end-all, but don’t do anything but carry an opinion.

Josh Wayner
The 9×19 and the .38 Special are vastly more popular today than when they were introduced almost 120 years ago.

Unlike me, it seems people didn’t have problems with off-body carry. Its such a common carry method that I’d say it was the norm for virtually all women, disabled or not.

Most women are also more gun-savvy than I’d imagined. Of those who carried revolvers, Smith & Wesson and Ruger hammerless models were the most common. It’s safe to say that there is a strong likelihood that the quintessential carry gun of the modern woman is the hammerless .38+P.

Another difference between men and women in this sample was their impression of carry. Those men infected with a bad case of the Brownings were very concerned with accuracy at distance and firing after presenting the gun.

In a sense, the men were virtually all under the impression that it was about the fight, as if they were imagining that there would be time to aim and shoot at a torso at seven yards or more. Nearly all men were at least somewhat concerned with their sights or accessories.

Women were almost universally under the impression that their situation would be close and violent and preferred guns that wouldn’t malfunction when pressed into a body or were difficult to operate under stress.

FINAL THOUGHTS

My eyes have been opened. As it turns out, physically disabled women may be some of the most practical concealed carriers around. Keeping with that, I also found that there were little things that I hadn’t considered. One young mother who had a complicated pregnancy stated that she carried her Smith 442 because the heavy pull made it safer around her other young children in her mind.

Men are a sensitive bunch. Many are stuck in their ways or are reluctant to make a change in their lives to protect themselves. Please, guys, don’t let ego get in the way of you carrying. Accept your disabilities and move on.

My physical limitations have made me see the carry idea in a different light. It’s my belief that every American has a right to carry a weapon, especially those who have disabilities that make them more vulnerable to attack. I would love to see the gun industry take the steps to produce weapons and products that cater to those who are sometimes silently suffering or avoid aspects of their lives because they feel they can’t protect themselves.

In my next article, I’ll explore a variety of products that have been specifically recommended to me by people in my sample group. Stay tuned and carry on.

81 Responses to Carrying With A Disability: A Telling Survey

  1. “Holsters are slow when you pocket carry.”

    For me, this is absolutely true. But I’m willing to give up a small bit of speed in order to keep the trigger of my pocket revolver covered by a pocket holster.

    YMMV.

    • ^^^ That right there.

      Also, Mexican carry is (IMO of course) legit for a 17 and pocket carrying a revolver is OK-ish by me as well, but no way on God’s green earth would I pocket carry a G42 without a holster.

      • Eric, why do you say that you would never pocket carry a G42? I have several holsters for several handguns, but I also have carried G42 in my back pocket without a holster as well as others. I prefer to carry it in a BlackHawk outside padal style, canted slightly. I keep it on while in a vehicle also,

    • “But I’m willing to give up a small bit of speed in order to keep the trigger of my pocket revolver covered by a pocket holster.”

      Doesn’t a gun like a Ruger LCR with a long, heavy trigger pull effectively negate that?

      • I have carried an LCR all summer in shorts pockets without a holster. Never even touched the trigger anytime I took it out. It is the only thing I carry in that pocket.

      • LCR double action only, are going to have a stout trigger pull but due to design of trigger mechanism pull is very smooth and feels like a lighter pull. It’s the hall mark of why the Ruger LCR is a very successful revolver line. Have LCR 38 P+, LCR 9mm and LCR 22lr 8 round revolver. EVD carry is either the 22lr or 9 mm. All LCRs make good pocket carry handguns. Due to recoil of stub nose, changed out stock grip for after market hand filling grip. I have long fingers so this works for me, your MMV

  2. Wow. Already disabled and feeling near defenseless and refuse to carry a gun cause it ain’t a .45? Time for a herd cull.

    A j frame in the pocket beats hell out of a 1911 in a shoebox under the bed.

    j frame. j frame. j frame. Say it after me. j frame. It may be the closest to carry perfection there is. Unless you’re going to take back the white house from a terrorist army. Then it does as a back up.

    • Don’t feel defenseless. I have been dissabled for 28 years now. I carry. Hat tip, with semi lock and load before you leave home, get one with a real trigger lock, like a Beretta 92, so it is all one handed. Small revovler, carry in an ankle holster not pocket as a BUG. These are just a few things I do.

    • I agree. I love to carry my j-frame. It is as close to a perfect carry gun as I have seen.

      J-frame 5 shot .38 special – The CCW of choice for disabled little old ladies, and Art out West.
      🙂

      • Same for me. S&W 442 in a Kramer pocket holster is the best combo I’ve found. It has never failed to draw cleanly. It also covers the trigger while holstered, prints more like a wallet or cell phone, and keeps lint or anything else from fouling the weapon. I will sometimes carry a single speed-loader, but usually not. If I carry a .45 (CZ97B), it’s off-body in my Mongo, or similar. I practice drawing both, but if in a hurry, I would draw the 442 first, and then the CZ when able to.

    • This is completely true. I used to carry a full size XD .45 with spare mag everywhere. I still have it and like it, and will open carry it sometimes, but I switched to a .38 in the pocket because it’s so damn light and easy, and no more hip pain. I definitely still feel under gunned though. But it’s better than nothing. As the saying goes, a .38 in the pocket is better than a .45 in the safe.

    • I tried that, but every time it came out “Kahr, Kahr, Kahr.” I’ll take my 7+1 124 grain HP 9mms any day over a .38 spl. DOA, no safeties to fuss with, and faster to reload (or it would be if I carried spares, but I don’t), and the trigger pull is about the same.

      • I said j frame cause that’s what I have. But any snubbie .38 will do the trick. I’ve owned a number from different makers.

        • I find that the 5 shot aluminum frame snub carries a little easier than a 6 shot steel frame snub. My two snubs are a 642 and a Rossi 461 in .357. I’m a pocket carry guy, and since I bought the 642, I never carry the Rossi. I suppose I might pocket carry it with .357 if hiking in the woods or something. The LCR strikes me as a great gun as well, and I like it’s trigger better than the J-frame. It has a little bigger and stickier grip, which makes it a little less conducive to pocket carry. It also cost about $50 more at the time I bought my 642. All in all, I think the J-frame and the LCR are fairly comparable (and better than the Rossi and Taurus).

        • Art. My Colt dick special was not really a pocket gun. Too big and it had a hammer. Taurus 85 and Charter arms were slimmer but they also had hammers.

          IMHO a pocket revolver needs to be hammerless. Having a hammer isn’t a deal breaker but I would find another use for that gun.

      • Well at least you won’t be alone. I, too, believe voting is a citizen’s responsibility (as well as my license to realistically complain). Your responsibility is appreciated, and we’ve ALL got to spread the GOTV message, just like progressives do (the invading army).

    • “j frame. j frame. j frame. Say it after me. j frame. It may be the closest to carry perfection there is.”

      jwm for the win!!!

      While I personally do not carry a j-frame revolver, I totally respect the people who do choose to carry them.

      Here is the simple truth: a 5-shot j-frame revolver in basically any caliber will IMMEDIATELY STOP about 95% of violent attacks, period. And how is that?
      (1) About 90% of violent attackers will immediately break-off their attack when their victim produces a firearm and points it at them.
      (2) Of the remaining violent attackers who do not immediately break-off their attack upon seeing a firearm pointed at them, about half of them will immediately break-off their attack when they HEAR the firearm shooting at them (whether or not any bullets hit them) … which brings us up to the 95% number that I wrote above.

      In somewhat more technical parlance: a j-frame revolver (in any caliber) is 95% effective for a “psychological stop” of violent attackers. Violent attackers perceive enough of a risk to their well-being from any handgun shooting at them that 95% of those attackers break-off their attack.

      What of the remaining 5% or so of violent attackers who continue their attack after you pull the trigger? It is imperative that you direct shots to vital locations on the attacker’s body … and then hope for the best.

      • Your percentages are not supported by evidence, but I believe in your basic premise. Producing a firearm in a defensive situation immediately changes the power balance and is often effective enough to end the threat just by doing that. If the gun has to be fired, again, just that action is a game changer, causing confusion and doubt in the mind of the attacker. I don’t believe anyone being fired on takes the time to analyze what type of gun or ammo is being used. I certainly wouldn’t. First rule of a gun fight: Have a gun.

  3. I am not exactly disabled but have various and sundry injuries from many years of weightlifting, extremely strenuous self employment and stupidly putting off going to a doctor. I can appreciate your insight. I will never off body carry or carry a revolver. I don’t see a problem with pocket carry or fanny packing (sorry Ralph!). Or a Sneaky Pete deal(with the idiotic advertising logo!). Honestly what others do is not my bidness…

  4. The strong suspicion that it will not be so easy to bring my gun into action if I do meet violence keeps me quite cautious about where and how I move about. I am no longer embarrassed to do such things as cross the street to avoid proximity with possible threats. If someone(s) I avoided were to ask me if I was a afraid them, I’d probably answer truthfully with a “yes” as I scampered away.

  5. This is interesting because of the popularity of .38 SPL. Smith marketed it in the 90s and it seems like it has held up well compared to the onslaught of 9×19.

    My friend who was older carried a g42. Not as armed as a 1911 but better than bare hands in ones 70s.

    Most of us are not going to war, our risk is low. That said we can always right size for perceived risk.

  6. As an aside, but still on topic, I think off-body carry works for people in wheel chairs. I know two people who have concealed holsters attached to their chair. Seems like a reasonable choice as they can never absentmindedly leave the wheel chair behind at a restaurant or bathroom stall.

    • Until you get dumped out on the ground. Consider the nature of attack on persons in wheel chairs. Never forget the aggressor sets the terms, time and place of the attack.

  7. I’m a 67 y/o male with bad knees and chronic fatigue. I carry every day and everywhere that it’s legal to carry.
    I carry a .380 in a front pocket with a pocket holster. One pound with the holster. I own several compact nines but can no longer stand to carry them. I settled on a pocket holster when I settled on the kind of pants that I wear every day. Duluth Trading cargo pants have huge front pockets that result in the pistol riding low behind the outer cargo pocket. Never prints. An unholstered pistol turns and when you reach into the pocket you have no idea of the orientation. In a holster it maintains its orientation and results in a much faster draw. In a standard blue jean pocket unholstered works better but I no longer wear blue jeans, so holstered it is.

  8. I have MS and have gradually lost strength in my hands and arms. Over the past years and last winter I carried a 1911. But after a relapse of the disease, I had trouble shooting the 1911 one handed, two handed was fine but one handed would give limp wrist failures.

    Now I carry an LCR either in 38 or 327. Both fit rather well in a pants pocket or in a vest inner pocket.

    • Which do you like better the Ruger LCR 327 or 38? I am shopping between the two because I want one in my instructor tool kit and to become proficient with a revolver.

      • The biggest drawback to the 327 is it has been nearly impossible to find 327 magnum rounds. But, the pistol will fire 32HR, 32 SW Long, 32 SW and Hickock45 showed it firing 32Auto, not recommended by Ruger since they require a dowel to extract them. The 327 does give you six shots vs the 38’s five. The 327 is about 3.5 ounces heavier than the 38, due to it having a steel frame vs. the aluminum for the 38. 17 oz vs 13.5. Otherwise the weapons are about equal in my opinion.

        • Interesting! Defense ammo availability seems to be the one drawback. The extra weight may be an advantage for recoil. Thanks for the reply.

  9. The idea that 38 special and 357 are virtually the same from a snubby.

    False. Not even close.

    Other than that…interesting article.

      • Double sigh. Cause always believe the advertised velocity. Best I’ve got or seen published is 980 or so out of a 2 inch barrel

        While I can get 1150 with a 158 grain LSWCHP in a 357 LCR without pushing top load.

        125 grain +p is usually around 850 while 1100 to 1150 is pretty common with 357 125 grain.

        Everybody points to Buffalo Bore for their 38 snub but I don’t see anyone carry it. What does Buffalo Bore 357 158 do out of a 2 inch barrel.

        From Gunblast
        Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
        Buffalo Bore LWC SV 150 912.5
        Buffalo Bore JHP SV 125 872.6
        Buffalo Bore LSWCHP SV 158 866.9
        Buffalo Bore JHP +P 125 1053
        Buffalo Bore LSWCHP +P 158 985.8
        Cor-Bon DPX +P 110 878.7
        Cor-Bon JHP +P 110 919.9
        Cor-Bon PowRBall +P 100 995.1
        Cor-Bon Glaser +P 80 1194
        Winchester USA LRN SV 150 733.1

        I’d go with BB 125 grain +P in 38. BB is the only company that even come close in 38 special. Otherwise companies usually have 150 to 200 fps advantage of 357 over 38+p.

        The question is how well can it be controlled which is another discussion.

        • I think the accurate thing to say about 357 in a snub is “the cons out weight the pros for most people”.

          Cons.
          Heavier to carry
          More muzzle flash
          Less controllability
          Slower follow up shots

          Pros
          Slightly more energy.
          Heavier = more controllable if you load 38 specials into your 357.
          Certain 357 loads are bad a$$ even out of a 2″ barrel. This makes them barely adequate as a backwoods/hiking gun…

        • I carried and shot and carried 125gr 357s exclusively for years in my 649 and switched over to 135gr 38+P GDSB. The velocity gains on most 357s were negligible at 2″ and for most brands there is a concern that the bullet will not adequately perform due to lack of velocity. Switching to the 135gr 38+P GDSB was what I settled on for the 2″ 649 while keeping the 357s in the 4″ gun. Perhaps 38+P is less terminally effective than a hot 125gr but the added benefits of nearly 0 felt recoil coming from years of shooting 357s and a nice heavy all stainless gun and much quicker follow up shots and less disruption of my grip from lack of a powerful recoil impulse sells the 38+P.

  10. I agree with the 1-lbs. threshold. I don’t agree that pocket calibers are not up-to-the-task. Granted, they won’t stop a hulk-on-PCP. They will suffice in dissuading a thug. So, I carry (where-I-can legally) what I’m willing to carry.
    Don’t agree with carry-without-holster. The issue is NOT just what the carrier feels comfortable with; it’s also a matter of public safety. That you are willing to risk a ND doesn’t mean that the non-gun-owner voter in your presence will be satisfied with your self-confidence when you have a ND. Nor all the voters read the story in the newspapers. Read one story about a carrier who shot himself in the butt while pocket-carrying in a soft holster; one soft enough to permit the trigger to get caught on something and discharge.
    When the gun is in your hand, trigger-finger discipline is the only thing that protects against ND. When not in your hand, holster discipline is the only thing that protects against ND. I think holster discipline deserves to be ranked as a 5’th rule.
    I don’t have trouble with my holster delaying my draw-from-pocket. I think it’s a matter of shopping-buying-trying.
    I have had trouble with my pockets being too deep for my various holsters. A custom holster maker gave me a good tip. Instead of accepting a commission to custom-make me a holster that would “ride-high”, he told me to have a seamstress sew a line of stitches across the bottom of the pockets on the strong-side of my carry trousers. Additionally, observe that pocket holsters often have a shape that resembles a crescent on the bottom. By having the seamstress sew a line of stitches about 2″ long and about an inch above the (new) bottom of the pocket, the open end of that crescent shape “hooks” under the 2″ line of stitches and helps to keep the holster aligned in a proper vertical position. Also holds the holster in the pocket when you draw.

    • MarkPA – I thank you very much for the seamstress pocket mod suggestion. In hindsight it seems obvious, but I hadn’t thought of it. I will follow up on this. Again: many thanks.

    • I have no idea of what the rate of unintentional/negligent discharge from no holster pocket carriers is. Do you? Myself, I haven’t pocket carried, with or without a holster, for about 20 years and do not remember what it was like.

  11. I agreed with basically everything you wrote. I turn 62 in four days. I remain strong due to regular weightlifting. I have training in a martial art. However, I have, as do many in my demographic, painful knees. Running is not much of an option. Squatting can hurt. So, at times, I carry for more effective self-defense.

    I go out of my demographic though, according to your survey: I leave my 13-round magazine (plus 1 in the chamber) Glock Model 30 .45 at home and carry my Ruger LCR .38+P revolver instead. For the reasons you mentioned. Damn, what is wrong with my fellow old guys?

    • I was kind of wondering that about the old guys, too. I wonder if they could be convinced. Seems like habit is overcoming reason there. Not that any of us are really creatures of vast reason like we prefer to think. 🙂

  12. Duluth Trading’s Working Man’s vest works very well for disabled carry. The inner pockets will hold an LCR or one of the single stack 9’s like the Shield or the LC9. It is comfortable to wear, gives you plenty of pockets for reloads, keys, phone, knife, lighter, meds, or what ever junk you want to carry. It isn’t “tactical” and you can get it in colors other than Operator Drab or Shoot Me Tan. I wear a dark brown one. The back is vented with mesh.

  13. Be careful with comments such as these. Really blurrs the line between legimat need vs. the gimme I’m owed position of many operating groups in our current lexicon

  14. When I’m not in California I carry either a S&W 638 or 9mm Shield. The 638 is pocket carry w a holster. The Shield is IWB. Both are light and easy to carry. I have feet and back issues and lighter is better for me.

    If I need more than 5 rounds w my j frame I’ll do an artillery call for fire.

  15. I’ve changed my handle due to being embarrassed by what Law Enforcement was pride, service to citizens and helpful. Now the bad apples are starting to outweigh the good, proud true law enforcement officers. Way to many are being hired that just a few years ago couldn’t have passed a basic psych or passed a month of academy. My back injuries 14 discs with different problems multiple fusions. I was rear ended a week before last Christmas diagnosed whiplash, I got lucky that a contract was up for renewal & my file was reviewed I walked around with a broken neck for 6 months due to radiology being outsourced to Mumbai.

    Living in a tourist area plus most of my other time being spent doing what work I can on a tablet or Surface it’s easy for me to carry a man purse looking bag. I’m secure enough heterosexual that I even use a fanny pack & don’t care how many people laugh @ me call it a “f*g bag”. My man purse looks like a messenger or computer bag. My draw is a lot slower now, but I’m carrying NOT with it under the bed. I switched to a Ruger LCR in my pocket for backup instead of an ankle holster along with speed strips again slower reload but I carry them & if it’s gone too that one it has really hit the fan.
    The whole thing about carrying with disabilities is adapting, nearly as hard as getting used to being disabled. You have to learn a new set of muscle memories, going from metal frame SIG’s to carrying a polymer everything for weight I did stay with .40 & .45 XD in .40 to me less felt recoil, the .45 keeps close to 1911 I was used to for competition. The worst part is getting past the mental element and I still keep a NAA .22 on a belt buckle because I have since the thing became available even have a black powder one for going to NY/NJ.

    • Your experience may vary but I don’t think there’s much of a difference between cops now and back in the day. Most are good. Now and then. But now you have a liberal assault media machine, that’s declared all out war on our officers, to be sacrificed under the warped cause of social justice, in an effort to cause a race war.

      • “I don’t think there’s much of a difference between cops now and back in the day.”

        As a former street kid and gang member in the late 60s and early 70s, and later in life as a lawyer, I would have to disagree. When I was a kid, the cops were tough but fair. They jacked me up a few times, and I deserved it, but they never jammed me up. They were fully capable of resolving disputes with their fists or non-lethal weapons, like the night stick or billy-club if they needed them.

        Militarism has changed cops into something that I don’t recognize or want. And too many of them are just nuts.

      • Having worked with several generations of LEO’s not just myself others recognize the particular ones. The militarization of most agencies either from hiring politicians that want free mil-surp, officers that see all of us as out of date because we would rather talk our way out of a fight just by showing a bit of respect.

        I had to deal with a 8 month out of the academy who was hired mainly due to desperation by the department that’s nearly 100 short in the field, more retiring weekly. He had spent 5 years USMC & kept saying you civilians need to stop thinking about protecting yourselves, that’s why we have guns you just need phones. The guy never once listened to his Sgt & I talking about the caliber that made the hole down range that was fired towards me. Didn’t care that the last several sets of robbers parked in the same area. I also know that police officers are a species going away & what’s out there replacing them are for the most part are being not really affirmative action but more not able to get any other job. A number of officers being hired are decent and actually care. But now truthfully a lot of ones being hired scares the crap out of me. You have a lot of ones that are either scared to death of everyone, that have no command presence (Barney Fife syndrome). The ones that spend all spare minutes @ either the gym or basement pumping iron, the ones that feel entitled because of preference of what toilet they use, religion, or race. Those are the ones that end up with unjustifiable shootings, killing bystanders or getting either other cops or themselves killed or seriously injured. I was brought up to respect everybody unless they demonstrated a lack of being deserving respect: black, white, straight or gay, religious affiliation didn’t matter hippies needed to get a job & illegal drug use was considered crime not a social

        People used to have manners and respect for people, at what point did it become acceptable to constantly be a jerk? I’m a veteran but I see it as both the dumbing down of education & the military training now they are being dumped out of the service undertrained for civilian jobs and nothing’s in place for them to adjust to dealing with citizens. But quite a lot don’t care about adjusting they enjoyed the power they held over Iraqi & Afghan’s population and they see us as the same.
        I admit part of this country looks like a third world area with gangs replacing military but we don’t need to be policed like that. There has to be a compromise between Political Correct & what’s going on now.
        Perhaps take away some of the toys get out of a car no more Lattes and learn your job and that we are United States citizens not civilians.

  16. I guess I’m a 69 year old oddball cripple. I am comfortable carrying my little 10oz Taurus TCP 380 in a small IWB holster. It’s always handy and I can forget I have it with me. I have all sizes up to a 1911 but the little 380 suffices for my needs.

    • Ahh. The TCP. I love that little gun. I’m 40 and in decent shape, so I appendix carry a CZ P07 as my EDC, but when I go for a run, my TCP gets tucked into my belly band along with my knife, small flashlight(I run at night in Texas summers), and ID’s. If it’s small enough to run with, it’s perfect for pocket carry. Plus, there is video evidence of its effectiveness. TTAG did a story in it awhile back: “The mouse gun that roared”

    • I pocket carry almost exclusively. Tried a few pocket holsters and didn’t like anything I found.

      Tried no holster, and I hated it. Gun CONSTANTLY rotated around in my pocket.

      Now I make my own holsters. (I have used Kydex and leather.) and in most pants I can draw and put 3 into a target at 7 yards faster from my pocket holster than I can from a strong side belt holster.

      I have carried three different 38’s but I always go back to the TCP.

  17. Ah the Ruger LCP, the answer to all of life’s persistent questions.

    As a young person just now cresting the hill of youth and acquiring debilitating injuries at an alarming rate, I doubt I will ever carry anything larger than a snub nose.

  18. Great article. Please keep up the good work. I am sure there will be detractors, but I hope that you’ll find more interest in what you have to say than naysayers.

  19. I’ll pick out a different issue.

    “wrapped it up, sucked it up, and kept running” – The formula that took the WASP to the top of Darwins hill for hundreds years. Now turned on its head by the anklebiters. Spit in adversity’s eye and drive on to the win.

    • Darwin applies to groups, not individuals. I would really love to see you suck up a major neurological disease. I doubt you would last a month living with one.

  20. Very interesting article and survey. I am very concerned with older men and younger women suffering from not knowing what they don’t know. A LOT of the survey opinions seem to be based only on opinion and feeling and nothing more rather than on training and experience. A 5 shot 38 in your purse may make you feel confident but…are you competent? The .45 at home in the sock drawer is useless. I fear a lot of folks are suffering from not knowing what they don’t know. I would like to carry my full size 1911 with 17 rounds of double stack 9mm everyday, but wardrobe and cover needs make that impractical. My frequent compromise is an LCP .380 with three 7 round extended magazines IN A HOLSTER. It is not about caliber, it is about being able to deliver as many accurate shots as the problem demands. I am looking forward to the next installment.

  21. I was surprised there wasn’t more info about the ammunition improvements of the last decade or two (outside of a few pictures in this article). The “starts with a 4…” litany has been overwhelmed by the performance of 9mm &.38 and even .380s performing as well as, or better than, 850 fps 230g acp. I’m not saying those who can carry 1911s should change, I’m just saying I can no longer do it, and I can feel comfortable with a “mouse gun.”

  22. Helpful article, Josh; the same for your article on TASER earlier this year. The needs of disabled persons as well as “elder defense” as well as those with minimal upper body strength also are of direct relevance even to the most fit and highly trained…

    First, I understand authors and trainers, such as Massad Ayoob of MAG, formerly LFI, and Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch also agree the Extreme Close Quarters (ECQ) environment of person-on-person street crime helps maintain the validity of the .38 Special J-Frame and variants in a wide-range of applications for people with a wide range of physical abilities, skill sets and threat levels; an excellent resource in this regard is a comprehensive J-frame technology and introductory tactics and street survival book (including an intro to surveillance awareness) offered by Colorado publisher, Paladin Press, which is titled, THE SNUBBY REVOLVER: THE ECQ, BACKUP AND CONCEALED CARRY STANDARD by Ed Lovett, a former CIA paramilitary officer, gun writer, police officer and tactics trainer at ITI/G4S, when ITI offered a short survival course for high net worth individuals taking delivery of armored Mercedes SUVs, etc.

    Lovett’s assertions parallel yours: first, to survive a gunfight, HAVE A GUN: leaving the “optimum” tool — whatever it is determined by the individual to be — at home with nothing in place when needed leaves one by definition at a serious, perhaps fatal, disadvantage when faced by unavoidable violence which can reasonably be considered capable of killing or crippling an innocent person.

    Furthermore, considerations for the disabled are also reasonably valid even for those of optimum fitness… For example, how can the most physically fit and well-trained military person or police officer or even mixed martial artist defend himself/herself — or others — in the event of serious injury or immobilization which might prevent tactically relevant operation of a full-sized pistol, revolver or legal SBR? How about when the environment demands single-handed operation of the firearm, such as countering deadly attack while operating a vehicle or critical machinery? A statistically significant number of cases indicate such questions aren’t the product of an overactive imagination, especially in the age of home invasions, flash-mobs, stranger kidnappings, home invasions, strong-arm and armed robberies, and, especially in our time: “peaceful protests” stimulated by agit-prop into riots which can overrun once peaceful communities?

    There is also an ethical/moral dimension: it is perhaps the “weakest” who can be argued to the most in need of lethal force level, “safety-rescue tools” (a term from Massad Ayoob’s MAG-40/LFI-I course) as disabled persons and individuals with minimal upper-body strength are likely to be the primary targets of predators.

    Unfortunately, except perhaps until recently, much of not most of personal defensive weapon research and development has been directed to “service weapons,” generally designed for fit, young recruits in boot camps and police academies. In our current era, it is at a minimum interesting so much “defense” technology is focused on protecting the government (and the elite?) instead of ordinary people…clearly a society which doesn’t care for the safety of “ordinary” people is morally bankrupt and not likely to remain vital and adaptable in the future; however, this is beyond the scope of our immediate topic, real-world needs of personal survival.

    In sum, humans are mobile and often unpredictable creatures cable of both random acts of “beauty and kindness” as well as behavior stemming from can only be politely phrased as “The Heart of Darkness,” especially when ideological conflict “turns” the once “peaceful” protestor into a killer. As a result, we would be wise to consider excepting human caused violence can happen to any of us — although not likely — at any time (like a car crash), and having some means to counter/contain that violence should be considered part of our plans — however minimal, like pepper spray / TASER AND at least J-frame in a pocket or purse — should awareness, avoidance and de-escalation fail.

    Thanks, again, a most helpful article and looking forward to similar explorations in the future!

  23. I am a C6 quadriplegic. I have been in a wheelchair since 1994. I didn’t even think about carrying a gun until a couple years ago. I can move my fingers but I don’t have individual finger movement and I don’t have very good dexterity. I can safely fire a shoulder fired long gun, but I could not fire a hand gun safely, so I though (more on this in a bit). I tried to use a handgun a lot over the past couple years, but did not feel safe using one. Safety first!

    Next I looked into an SBR. Well I don’t have extra income to pay an additional $200 fine to the government. I do work full time, but still not enough income to pay for a gun and the $200 and the modification. I was going to try and take a glock and add a stock and a handle so that I could rack the slide. I can’t rack a slide without a handle. I wrote a letter to the ATF requesting a waiver to the $200 siting the ADA as a reason. They of course said no. Next I wrote my congressmen to see if they could help. They could not. I then wrote to the DOJ claiming discrimination, again siting the ADA. After several letters back and forth I was finally told that Federal Agencies do not have to follow the ADA. I did not believe this to be true. I do not have the money to hire an attorney and file a suit, so I contacted the ACLU. They would not even talk to me.

    I scheduled a training with and NRA instructor yo see if he could help me. He could not think of any way for me to use a handgun. The gun store/range (Tim’s Shooting Academy in Westfield Indiana) had a Keltech Sub 2000. By the way, the employees at this store were awesome in helping me out, they didn’t charge me for the instructor since he didn’t really help. I found the Sub 2000 to be very interesting. I could deploy the firearm and fire it. I had trouble charging the gun. We tried and tried to find a way for me to do it. Finally I figured it out. I put the gun upside down between my left leg and the thigh pad with the stock on my shoulder and then I could pull the charging handle back. We were all very excited. I didn’t really have the money to buy the gun, but my wife felt I should really have this. So out came the credit card and we purchased. My wife made me a gun boot. We took and soft rifle bag and cut it down so the Sub 2000 would fit inside. I removed the lock that keeps it folded. We put magnets on the back of the gun boot and mounted it on the down tubes for my foot plates. I practiced deploying the gun until I had it down to about 40 seconds or so. I now had my carry gun.

    I was happy to be able to carry, but was still not satisfied with the amount of time it took to deploy the firearm. I borrowed a couple revolvers from my father and kept trying to find a way to use them. Double action was out of the question. I came up with a funky way to use the revolver. I would hole the gun in my right hand (I am extremely right handed) and then with my left hand I would put my thumb on top of my trigger finger and then I could squeeze the trigger. I could do this after I cocked the hammer back. I then found that I could place the but of the grip on my right knee and then fire with my right hand if I braced the gun with me left hand. The next step is to get to the range and try it out. My wife and I wanted to make sure I was safe, so I called my brother to see when he was available to go to the range. I live about 2 hours from Tim’s, but I have a free range in a State Park about 20 min away.

    I met my brother at the outdoor range and I tried my funky system. It didn’t work so well. So, I put the gun in my left hand, cocked the hammer back, and fired. I never thought my left hand would be good for anything. I fired the guns brace on my left knee and while holding with both hands at should height. The 2 revolvers I had to use were an EAA .357 and a Taurus 94 shooting .22. We determined I was safe and minuet of bad guy accurate. I did have some trouble with the muzzle flip and recoil. My father let me keep the Taurus 94. My wife made me a new gun boot for the revolver. This weekend we are going to make a hammer spur extension so that the gun is easier for me to cock. I still cannot shoot in double action. I tried holding the gun on my left knee and pulling the trigger with my right hand and I shot over the berm, no more double action for me. I carry my gun everyday on my chair between my legs in a bag mounted on my foot plate down tube. It is still mounted with a magnet as I cannot take my gun into my gun free killing zone office.

    I want to save up for a new gun that has a bigger caliber. I want a Chiappa Rhino 400DS. This gun would help mitigate the recoil and muzzle flip. It also has a lever for the cylinder release. I sometimes have trouble opening the cylinder of mt Taurus. The 400DS is an interchangable cylinder and can shoot .38, .38+p, .357, and 9mm. It also can use moon clips for all 3 calibers. Moon clips would make loading quicker and easier and allow me to carry extra ammo.

    This is my story. I hope it helps someone.

    • cabman,

      Kudos to you for being persistent!

      With respect to handguns, please consider sticking to .22 LR. It has minuscule recoil which is a major consideration in your case. And you have probably read/heard countless times, accuracy trumps caliber every time … same as bringing any gun to a fight trumps not having a gun every time. (What is the saying, one hit to a vital location with .22 LR is better than 7 misses with .45 ACP or harsh words?)

      As I mentioned in another comment in this article, having any gun, being able to point it at an attacker, and being able to send bullets in his direction means you will prevail over something like 95% of violent attacks. Capacity, caliber, and bullet mass/velocity are only significant in the rare circumstance of a domestic, drugged, or terrorist attacker who do not respond to risk or pain.

      Friendly comment: if you are unfortunate enough to be in a situation where a domestic, drugged, or terrorist attacker is on the loose, I hope it will be comforting to know that people like myself who have more capacity and larger calibers (not that those factors matter all that much) will be doing our level best to stop such a monster as soon as practical.

        • Hello, Cabman. Smith & Wesson has a .22 LR “Kit Gun” style revolver, and I think they also have it in .22 Mag., but the downside is it is a DA/SA. Do you think you might be able to operate such a gun in SA? Speaking of the .22 Mag., KEL-KEC makes the CMR-30 in .22 Mag., which might be viable. As far as funding, you might want to consider NRA grants or Go-Fund-Me, which I understand has helped Black Guns Matter with their goals. Just some ideas which might help, and I enjoyed reading your post. Best, Eric

    • I bought an ATI Sport 9 pistol this summer. It is an AR style handgun that uses Glock mags. No stock, but you can easily get a cheek weld on the buffer tube. The recoil of the 9mm is not to powerful that it makes the gun difficult to shoot without the shoulder stock. The barrel is 5 inches with another 4 or 5 inches of flash suppressor (it is set up so you can easily add a suppressor if you so choose). After the first magazine I have had no failures of any kind. The firearm is all aluminum except for the pistol grip. Accuracy was minute of bad guy using a cheap red dot or a streamlight TLR-4.

  24. Clint Smith’s quote of being comforting and not comfortable isn’t directed at handicapped and you know that so the only serving of McCrap is your feelings.
    Its directed at those who whine about weight, dress attire and general discomforts because they want no change but want full size carry that no one sees Hollywood style.
    I had a very handicapped friend who carried in several methods that were not the best option for me in great health but perfect for him. I never chastised him as most wouldn’t. I in fact considered him my ace in the hole wingman when out and about because he did carry and would fight. The man even shot IPSC with a walker and ran his game in a manner that made me proud.
    Do the best with what you have. That’s all anybody healthy or not can do.

    • “Do the best with what you have. That’s all anybody healthy or not can do.”

      You sir win the Intertubez for the day.

  25. First and foremost, I thank the author for his research and detailed article.

    I have two quibbles with the author:

    (1) Pocket carry without a pocket holster —
    (a) Loose threads in your shorts/pants pocket could snag on the trigger and cause an unintentional discharge when you are drawing your revolver.
    (b) The handgun could be pointed in any direction in your pocket and significantly increase draw time.

    I have found that a “proper” pocket holster and “proper” pocket work just fine. And by “proper”, I mean the right size, shape, and material (both inside and outside) of the holster and the right size and shape of pocket (which could require sewing a seem across your pocket as another commenter mentioned). If you insist on carrying in a pocket without a pocket holster, make sure that you turn all your pockets inside-out and trim loose threads every three months or so.

    (2) Mexican carry of Glock 17 —
    (a) Carrying a semi-auto pistol with a light, single-action trigger and a round in the chamber (with or without safeties) stuffed into your waistband is a really bad idea since nothing covers the light, single-action trigger and the pistol could discharge just about any time. Note that it would often be pointing at your femoral artery in your leg which means you could bleed-out in less than two minutes. (And due to the specific location it would not be possible to apply a tourniquet.)
    (b) Carrying a semi-auto pistol with a light, single-action trigger and an empty chamber (to eliminate the possibility of an unintentional discharge) adds complexity and time to the draw process … which means a greater chance of failure.

    I realize that some people have physical conditions which preclude typical firearm choices and carry methods. As another commenter stated, we have to adapt to our physical maladies and limitations regardless of age. Use your imagination. Keep thinking about ways to carry ON BODY that will work for you. If a ready-made holster, belt, or strap do not exist that suit your needs, MAKE YOUR OWN or pay someone to make a custom rig for you. It really is not hard at all to make a leather holster or belt. Pro-tip: when you are making that custom holster, belt, or strap, consider making TWO or even three of them so that you have spares and do not have to repeat the entire learning process again in a few years!

    • “(a) Loose threads in your shorts/pants pocket could snag on the trigger and cause an unintentional discharge when you are drawing your revolver.”

      Pocketing it maybe, but doubtful, drawing ….no, unless you can tell me a firearm that fires with forward movement of the trigger.

      “(b) The handgun could be pointed in any direction in your pocket and significantly increase draw time.”

      I have never had my LCR shift in my pocket. Granted I did change the grip to a “Hogue Ruger LCR No Finger Groove Rubber Tamer Cushion Grip Black 78030” which is longer and does serve to keep the revolver in place.

      • “… drawing ….no, unless you can tell me a firearm that fires with forward movement of the trigger.”

        Oh, excellent point.

        The only way that loose threads in your pocket would actuate the trigger of a j-frame revolver is if the revolver were upside down (barrel pointing up, grips down) and you proceeded to yank it out of your pocket by the barrel (still pointing up) rather than by the grip. I readily admit that this is pretty unrealistic.

  26. I settled on a J-frame in .22 magnum. 7 shots, weighs 12-oz fully loaded. Big Dot front sight is perfect for short distances. Heavy trigger makes for very safe carry. Minimal recoil. I use Speer Gold Dots for both practice and carry.

  27. I too almost gave up on pocket holsters until I found the fist holsters (www.fist-holsters.com). They make a pocket holster that is made with kydex that has a thumb push. I use them because they add a safety factor and reduced printing. The holster stays in the pocket and you can even reholster in the pocket. I have bought them for a sw j frame, g27, g42, karh mk40 and a rhino 357 snub (big pockets such as duluth pants is needed for rhino). Usually I carry the g27. It is a little bit bigger than the g42 but in my pants I cannot tell a difference.

  28. OK , here we go . I went through all ( as of this post ) 75 comments and found only 1.5 comments that could be considered as similar to my situation . I am 58 years old , I carried a firearm nearly everyday for most of my life . Like the article , I started out carrying a 38 , evolved into a 9mm which I carried comfortably for years , I dabbled in a 40 cal. and a 45 even once holstered my 44 magnum as an open carry facet of my life here in WV but went back to the 9mm over and over with differing pistols , generally between Glocks and Rugers . My favorite being my 2010 model P-95 . I have had both my hips reconstructed due to Aseptic-Necrosis and have suffered with lower back disc degeneration since 1996 but in the last 10 years it has progressed to the point where I walk with two canes and have a fairly distinct bend at the waist . I have had my own gun range for over 25 years so I have always been a big believer in lots of practice variations and stress draw scenarios where I role play and evaluate my reactions and reaction time . What I have discovered is multi-tiered . First , I felt much more vulnerable to with my strong side carry as I progressed so I went to appendix about 7 years ago . I’m 6’5″ and 245 pounds so appendix was no issue , Second , I practiced a lot of drop and fire training since I figured there was a fair chance this could be my position I may likely find myself in if under attack . Third , I purchased a new pistol in one of my all time favorite small game hunting cartridges , the 22 WMR , and of coarse I’m talking about the Kel-Tec PMR-30 , not with intentions of ever carrying it as my everyday but I kept finding myself taking it with me to practice and practicing with it more and more . Fourth , I just noticed how well this gun functioned and how accurate I was with it in defensive drills all I needed to do was convince myself that it was enough to repel and or stop most assailants I may encounter . I tested all the different grains and rounds available in 22 WMR and compared the results with my 9 mm’s and my 38’s and a few 380 rounds and after many months of what I consider to be full scrutiny I did it , I transitioned to carrying my PMR 30 full time and have never looked back , I do not feel out gunned or under powered in the least and as far as functionality , when operated correctly I have no issues . I carry 30 rounds , slightly over a pound , IWB , appendix in a very simple Dead Eye Luke holster , very comfortably and each nugget carry’s about 270 foot pounds of energy from this pistol . I can live with it and I also know I will hit what I’m trying to hit within 45 feet . To each his or her own .

  29. I carried a Taurus 85 for years and switched to a P3AT. The 380 is thinner and has 7 shots versus 5. It’s about the same recoil to me although the 38 was a better round. I can’t get my pinky on either grip. The 85 was 100% reliable and so far the P3AT hasn’t malfunctioned.

  30. great article, and even greater thought provoking comments. i pocket carried a j smith in my uniform pants pocket for two years, as did lots of other st. louis cops, and never heard of a ND resulting from this carry. don’t remember the gun shifting around, and always seemed to come out quickly when needed. after Missouri got CCW, started carrying a kahr pm9 for several years in a pocket holster, but the holster always came out with the gun, so went with a smith 642 in a sticky holster, then liked the trigger on the ruger LCR better, and it has been in a sticky holster in my pocket for the last few years. cabella carries Riggs Ranger cargo pants that have pockets that just swallow up and conceal this handgun./

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