Over at ammoland.com, Colonel Ben Findley names the 6 Best Compact Concealed Carry Pistols in 9mm. They are the Smith & Wesson M&P 9CRuger SR9CFNS 9C, Springfield EMP 4.04SIG SAUER 320c and the GLOCK 19. You may notice that the Springfield is the only single-stack handgun in the group.

Why? When it comes to everyday concealability, single-stacks rule. The difference in width between a single-stack and a double stack may not seem like much, but it makes a world of difference when it comes to hiding your gat, especially if you carry outside-the-waistband (under a shirt).

Why not carry a single-stack? Capacity. [FYI TTAG contributors divide evenly on this issue. RF, Dan, Nick, Johannes and Jon Wayne carry single-stack handguns. Tyler, Jeremy, Dean and Sara cary double-stack guns.] Where do you stack-up on this question?

175 Responses to Question of the Day: Are Single-Stack Handguns the Best Choice for Concealed Carry?

      • I’m CCing a Glock 19 right now and I’m 5’9 / 185 and a 31″ waist. Blackhawk, Woolrich Elite Tactical, and 5.11 make great shirts for CCW, although my current shirt is from Target and it works pretty well for CCW, too. I’ve had to tailor in the waist on some of the shirts because there was too much room in the waist area.

        • Bull. I’m 5’9 and 150 with a 31″ to 32″ waist. You do not have a 31″ waist while having a BMI firmly in the overweight range unless you’re a serious body builder. There is no way in hell that you’re thin and wearing a shirt that fits properly without having a massive awkward lump sticking out.

          Pro tip, never try to bullshit someone who actually cares about their fitness when it comes to weight / size.

        • To the gentleman who’s 5’9″ 150lbs saying it’s impossible to carry a glock 19 without a lump, I say that’s bull. Everyone has a different frame. I’m the same measurements and am not a serious bodybuilder and I can carry a 19 without a lump. Just have to do it properly, such as AIWB.

        • Publius, I’m 5’8″ and about 155# with a 31-32″ waist and don’t know what BMI is, but do know that for decades I’ve had no problems with bulging from a full size 1911.

        • That’s completely possible he just has to be fit. If he’s in any form of shape a 31 inch waist is completely reasonable. When I actually give a shit about myself I run 5’10” 190lbs with 32″ waist. I usually run around 197lbs and never above a 33″ waist.

      • Overweight people have a harder time concealing. I have put on 20 pounds since I started carrying 4 years ago. My inner tube is pushing out on the grip causing the gun to tilt away from my body and that shows a bulge under my shirt.
        It’s not as bad at the 5 o’clock position.

        • Hey Michael in GA I owe you an apology.

          I lit into you the other day when you weren’t even talking to me. Not sure how I managed to misread that thread as badly as I did but somehow I found a way. My bad.

        • This. After being out of work a few years ago, I gained about 35lbs, and my G19/30 wouldn’t conceal nearly as well.

      • 5’8″ 160, carry a G19 every day in outside the waistband Galco holster and tee shirt and never been made. BTW also carry a Shield in pocket holster most days as well.

        • How do you know you’ve never been made? I notice people carrying all the time but don’t say anything to them, so they don’t know that I know, you know?

      • I’m 6′, 160 lbs, BMI 21.7, and easily CC a Walther PPQ without printing. An IWB holster at a 4 ‘o ‘clock position goes a long way towards hiding a double stack.

        • I agree, it’s all about the holster and your knowledge of gear and printing. It’s perfectly easy to carry a compact or full size double stack handgun concealed, it starts with the right holster and dressing like an adult with correct fitting clothes.

      • Sorry but your assumption is incorrect. I’m 6ft 155 lb and I carry a g19 as my summer t-shirt only gun. Even worked when I had a bad year with chronic illness and went all the way down to 135. Belt, holster, and the will to carry goes a long ways. My winter carry is a g17. If I could get away with it I’d edc a g34, I know guys who do but they’re all 6ft,4in or above so their frame allows it.

      • Fat guy here…

        I carry a Glock 32 IWB most days. I rotate with a Kimber Pro Covert and a much-beloved Smith 6946 that I carry IWB. I have never felt under-armed with any of them. Back when I was thinner I wore the ridiculous “photographer’s vest” (I know… no one was there to warn me though…) with a S&W Model 66 Snubbie in a Safariland thumb-break paddle or a Kimber Elite Carry in a Galco Fletch. The only time I wear OWB now is when hunting or puttering around the yard. If we ever get “Constitutional Carry,” I will carry openly when out and about. Right now, since I refuse to get a “permit,” I just carry concealed.

    • Unless you want to actually hit your target. Glocks all seem to hit about 4º high, that is if you can get that terrible trigger to actually fire.
      (Maybe what works for you doesn’t work for everybody else).

      • I don’t know about you, but the Glocks I have fired seem to be very accurate. I love shooting my G-34. My son’s G-17 is a tack driver. Guess it all depends on how you shoot it.

        For me, I carry a Springfield Armory XDS-9. Great carry gun and it shoots well, too.

      • That’s weird. Most people shoot low with Glocks because you have to put the front sight on the point of impact. Unlike a Sig that has the point of aim just below point of impact.

        • To accomplish what, exactly? I’m not missing. I shoot 115, 124, and 147 on the range and at ten yards, they all impact within my skill. In other words, at self defense ranges, there is no difference. I carry Speer Lawman 124 +P JHP so I am pretty sure out of my GLOCK 19 that they will impact exactly where the sights are at primer strike.

  1. The only time it really matters is deep concealment. I find that most people just don’t have the situational awareness to notice a gun even if it was riding openly on my hip. Take a compact double stack, throw a sweatshirt over it, and you’d need to be deliberately looking for it to even notice.

    It depends on where you are, but most states don’t give a shit about “printing”. If you live in one of those states, it makes no sense to carry a less effective gun because you can conceal it marginally better.

    • I carry a 1911 with 3.25″ barrel in a OWB holster covered by an untucked shirt and have not knowingly received so much as a second glance. I think most people have much worse situational awareness than many of us like to give credit for (myself included).

    • I actually agree with pwr, halt the presses. But seriously my shield has been relegated to deep concealment for anytime I wear a suite or when I workout (tshirt/basketball shorts) and it splits workout time with a g19

    • This right here. People worry way too much about printing. The average person isn’t going to notice it and the majority of people that do notice it will think it is something like a cell phone under your shirt.

      • This doesn’t prove anything, but…

        One afternoon, I was in line at a fast food place. Typical t-shirt and cargo pants. A guy sidled up to me and said, “You’re printing”. What he actually saw was my wallet inside the right cargo pocket, inside the interior magazine slot. Being a smart-a, I asked, why he was asking. His reply was that two people in his group were focused on my “weapon”, and wanted to leave. Told that guy that what they were seeing was the wadded-up speeding ticket I just got on the way to the restaurant. Everybody seemed happy.

  2. Concealability is the secondary reason I prefer single stacks. The primary reason is that they fit my hands better and I shoot them better. Not too worried about capacity seeing as how it is almost never a deciding factor in CIVILIAN gun fights.

    • Ditto. My Kahr is very slender and fits my hand much better that a double stack. Plus I am “a bit” overweight, so the thinness helps a lot. I can live with eight rounds of 9mm HP.

  3. People are way too concerned about printing. Unless you are wearing a skin tight shirt you aren’t going to print and it only matters if your state does not allow open carry. So it’s a personal preference. I carry both and have never been called on it even when I was talking to a LEO. Stop being so paranoid. Most people won’t even notice you open carrying.

    • Maybe it’s just a holster issue, but if I try to carry a 1911, it is either sticking out the back and printing or sticking me in the ribs.

      • It’s probably a combination. I have that problem in the summer with my Browning Hi Power. It digs in to my lower rib cage. My XD/m Compact doesn’t reach that spot and my 1911s ride higher. A leather belt holster fits tighter than some form of plastic. A 1911 should not print with the right holder it is as thin as many single stack subcompacts. It also has rounded edges and fabric sits better.

  4. I’m a single-stack kind of guy. Sig P239 for OWB and Ruger LC9 for pocket carry.

    I’m more concerned with a social faux pas printing than a legal one.

  5. Even in the people’s republik of Commifornia I carried a Glock 21 OWB without a problem. .. if I wanted to only have 6 or 7 rounds, I would carry a 357 magnum. …YMMV

  6. I tuck in my shirt at work and it looks pretty goofy when carrying a double stack because of the massive gap on either side of the frame between the belt and my body. Single stack is much less conspicuous.

    • It took me some experimenting to find an IWB double stack setup with a tucked shirt that didn’t seem conspicuous, but now that’s what I typically take to work. If you blouse out your shirt just a bit, it really masks any bulges. I do still keep around a single stack for special occasions where being made could be particularly embarrassing, but those are usually low-threat likely places. I’ll ankle carry if I anticipate lots of old ladies that like to hug so its not any weirder than it has to be.

    • Carry below the belt line. Get yourself a smart carry or similar. Takes some practice and getting used to but it works well.

  7. I carry a double-stack magazine. I have no trouble concealing it. Even people who know that I carry usually cannot tell if I am armed. It is possible to conceal a handgun with a double-stack magazine if you do it properly.

    • Hmmm… A double cylinder revolver. Probably be a bit heavy for carry but it would make an intriguing range toy.

        • Sam, there’s a button that releases the cylinder pin. Open the loading gate, pull the cylinder pin and the cylinder rolls right out. 2 seconds in and out tops.

        • I gotta stop dithering, and buy a gun so I can know this sort of stuff. I understand some of the terminology, but the details not so much. So many choices, so little money, afraid to make a mistake. “Buy one of each” is probably the answer. But which first? What if I don’t like it. Reselling a gun quickly after purchase might get the attention of BATFEMICKEYMOUSE.

        • First I should disclose that I’m a bonafide Ru ger fanboy, but I’ll try to be diplomatic toward S&W.

          The Smith probably isn’t quite as durable as the Ru ger but it should be good for at least $50,000 worth of am mo, so that’s not necessarily a high priority for most people. (It’s the older K frames that couldn’t take the full house .357s.) MSRP on the Smith is only $30 more. The Smith weighs a couple ounces more but it’s a 7 round. The Ruger’s barrel is 2/10″ longer, but that advantage can be wasted if the Smith has slightly less cylinder gap. I despise the Hillary hole.

          One of the biggest advantages to a revolver is that their grips are not compromised by the necessity of shoving a magazine up them. The basic GP 100’s stock Hogue grips are a load of crap but the older style rubber grips with the wood side panels are the most comfortable grips I’ve ever handled and everyone seems to like them regardless of hand size. I’ve never actually handled the Match Champion but all the in all the reviews I’ve read they raved about them. The Smith is limited by an exposed grip frame that might get uncomfortable with extended use, especially with heavy loads. My advice would be to find a shop that has them both and see how they feel in your hands side by side. If you don’t like the Ru ger ask to see a Wiley Clapp GP 100, they’ve got the older side panel grips with some very nice checkering. You can get similar grips from Altamont for $30-40. Maybe pull the triggers a couple time while you’re at it.

        • Love the Match Champion–I have shot and.or used several Smiths & just do not see what the big deal is–all of my Rugers have great triggers without any rework & feel better than the Smiths I shot–this goes for the semi autos also–the other week I had a Smith shooter shoot one of my Rugers right after he shot his Smith–he astounded by how much better the Ruger worked –and something that is important to me: 100% American Made down to the raw materials

        • The 627 is an 8 shot and is $300 more than the Ruger. The one I am contemplating is the 5″ performance center model.
          I haven’t heard of frame weakness in that Saw since the steel is forged. I’ll research that.
          If money was a concern I would definitely go with the Ruger. But I am more concerned with getting the best.

        • Ah yes, it is an 8 shot. I was looking at that and the 686+ and got the chamber count mixed up.

          No frame weakness in N frames, but I’d still bet the GP would be stronger. There’s not much difference in the strength of properly heat treated cast steel and forged. The GP is a much more modern design with more metal where it needs to be (e.g. no side plate). What you’re getting with a Smith is a highly refined revolver designed in the 1890s (not really a knock on them since I also own a Blackhawk). The only way the strength of these two guns would come into play is if you’re thinking of handloading and exploring the extreme upper limits of the .357 cartridge. Of course frame strength isn’t the only factor. The K frames big problem was that they cut a flat spot on the bottom of the forcing cone to accommodate the crane and they had a tendency to crack. Revolvers can also go out of time, where the cylinder doesn’t lock up tight or gets misaligned. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this happening in a GP. Timing can be fixed though.

          Anyway, like I said before, you’ll need at least $50,000 in am mo to shoot it out, so durability between the two shouldn’t be a major factor. Size and weight would be the biggest difference. If you like the Smith knock yourself out, but I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with the Ru ger.

        • I’m taking my Dad to the range tomorrow to shoot his GP100 I gave him for his birthday. When I bought it I compared the trigger to the SP101 and it was much smoother and lighter.
          I guess I’m hung up on the capacity issue. My philosophy right now is every gun I own is a weapon first, range toy second, competition third, and colector”s item last. This will be one of my open carry guns and would make a great truck/night stand gun. I would appreciate a better trigger pull if the Ruger provides that. It is supposed to be better than the standard GP100 so it must be awesome. I just don’t know how it compares to the 627 Performance Center.
          Your opinion is added to my knowledge bank and very appreciated. Thanks.

        • If you’re hung up on the 8 chamber cylinder you might want to consider this as well (hot off the presses) – http://www.ruger.com/products/redhawk/specSheets/5033.html

          My strategy once was that if you’re going to limit yourself to a relatively weak caliber like 9 mm you should probably carry extra am mo because you’re likely to need 3 or 4 shots per perp. Now it’s more like statistically the odds of needing more than 6 rounds of full pressure .357 are astronomically low so why get worked up over round count. I still see the appeal of the first philosophy, but I like revolvers and generally shoot them better than pist ols. I’d be a little reluctant to carry a 5 shot .38 special though. For home defense if 6 Double Taps from my 6″ GP (roughly 800ft/lbs of energy) don’t take care of the threat I have more weapons ready to retreat to.

          The Match Champion does reportedly have a lighter trigger pull than the standard GP 100s but a $10 spring kit from Wolff or WilsonCombat accomplishes the same thing (both the 6″ and the Wiley Clapp have them). Just judging by the reviews I’ve read the Smiths tend to have a heavier DA pull than Rugers but everyone seems to need to point out how smooth the DA pull was. The Redhawks have a weird system where there’s only one spring that functions as both the hammer spring and the trigger return spring and this seems to result in heavier SA trigger pulls. The Redhawk came out a year (I think) before the GP 100 and when they came out with the Super Redhawk they went with the GP setup. The Redhawks might lighten up with use though.

        • Now I’m really conflicted. Those 44s look sweet!

          Alright, would you rather have a Redhawk or a GP100 that has been tuned or the Match Champion?
          I think my preference is that 4.2″ to 5″ barrel. Under 3″ is too short and over 6″ is too long for my liking.

        • Have GP100 w/ 4.2″ barrell, kind of just right. The 5″ is interesting & the 6″ is too long for me. My GP100 trigger has been great from day one, never saw any need to tune it (could do it myself if I wanted to, does not need it). Also saw the new .44 Spl GP100 & .357 Mag Redhawk, but do not fit into my collection; living in Alaska would be different. HSM makes a .357 Bear Load that is supposed to have 886’# ME from a GP100 4.2″. Have some, very accurate ammo & truly devastating from a Ruger 77/357 rifle.

        • Just one man’s opinion, but if I’m going to carry a revolver with a fat cylinder I’d rather have 6 rounds of .44mag than 8 rounds of .357mag. Although I’m not all that interested in the .44special GP because the hot .44 loads only rival the neutered factory loads in .357, so I don’t see any advantage in losing a round in the cylinder.

          I agree on over 6″ barrels, but when I bought the 6″ I thought about buying a 5″ (distributor exclusive) and I’m glad I got the 6″. First it saved me just enough to pay for the Altamont grips and the Hi-Viz sights, but I also grew to appreciate the 6″ revolver. It’s just kind of visually intimidating.

          My next revolver purchase (which may or may not be sometime soon) is probably going to be this – http://www.ruger.com/products/vaqueroStainless/specSheets/10596.html 6 rounds of .44mag, almost a 4″ barrel, polished stainless steel and only weighs 3 ounces more than my WC. The Redhawks weigh a bit too much for carry and the lightweight .44s are all barely a pound and a half (which has got to hurt), but this seems like the right balance. You just have to thumb cock the hammer every round. And hope you don’t need a reload.

        • Oh, and if you were offering to buy me one of the ones you’re considering I’d go with the Match Champion, personally.

  8. I have carried a variety of pistoles. I started with a S&W Bodyguard .380, then a S&W j-frame revolver in .38 SPC. I eventually carried a Kimber Ultra Raptor, but I was never completely happy with the short barrel and 7 rounds of .45. I wanted a relatively compact, metal frame, hammer fired, 9mm pistol with 15+ rounds. For me, the Sig M11-A1 was the perfect choice. I have carried it every day for two years inside the waist using a Glaco Summer Comfort Holster. I chose a double stack pistol with 15+ rounds because the majority of violent crimes in my area consist of 3 to 5 armed attackers. I suggest that people choose a pistol for their potential threat environment.

    • “…the majority of violent crimes in my area consist of 3 to 5 armed attackers.”

      Damn, dude. You don’t need a double-stack pistol, you need a U-Haul and a map to a better neighborhood.

  9. Carry Sig P226 Enhanced Elite (9mm) with Garrett Silent Thunder STX 2.0 OWB holster.
    No problem with printing, even with polo shirt.
    Good belt and good holster makes a huge difference.

  10. The only singles stacks I own are 1911’s. Always carried a double stack full size. But printing isn’t an issue in VA and the only folks who really notice anything are LEOs and other CCers. There are way too many telltale signs you are carrying beyond deep concealment if you know what to look for. Just like when you buy a new model car you suddenly begin seeing them everywhere.

  11. J. Cooper: “You can’t miss fast enough to win” (rule 25)

    “It has never been clear to me why increased magazine capacity in a defensive pistol is particularly choice. The bigger the magazine the bigger the gun, and the bigger the gun the harder it is to get hold of for people with small hands. And what, pray, does one need all those rounds for? How many lethal antagonists do you think you are going to be able to handle? Once when Bruce Nelson was asked by a suspect if the thirteen-round magazine in the P35 was not a big advantage, Bruce’s answer was, “Well, yes, if you plan to miss a lot.” The highest score I know of at this time achieved by one man against a group of armed adversaries was recorded in (of all places) the Ivory Coast! There, some years ago, a graduate student of mine laid out five goblins, with four dead and one totaled for the hospital. Of course there is the episode of Alvin York and his eight, but there is some dispute about that tale. (If you read it over very carefully you will see what I mean.) Be that as it may, I see no real need for a double column magazine. It is all the rage, of course, and like dual air bags, it is a popular current sales gimmick.”

    No one needs to love Jeff Cooper, but his observations should not be cavalierly ignored.

    • I like Jeff Cooper and have read his books, but this is an area where I tend to disagree with him. I will never be convinced that higher capacity is a bad thing. If you are carrying a single stack due to increased concealability, fine, that makes sense- that’s why I do occasionally carry a single stack. I’m not saying one guy with one single stack can’t possibly defend himself against multiple goblins, but that doesn’t mean higher cap doesn’t make sense either.

      Sure, you probably won’t be confronted with several attackers at once, but you might. But the odds are against you being attacked anyway, so why even CC?

      I think at this point in the game, it’s obvious that double stack mags are more than sales gimmicks. Like airbags, they’re a pretty good idea, and hopefully you’ll never be in a situation where your life depends on them.

    • Full disclosure. .I like Cooper….

      I had a DGU with 2 bad guys while i was packing a revolver and had to reload (did so successfully, practice pays off). Since then, I carry a double stack. I realized the odds were low of another DGU….until it happened again. Hence a Glock 21 and an extra mag.

    • I recall reading that Jeff Cooper loved the CZ-75 which is has a stagger stack magazine holding 16 rounds. Now, most people won’t need 16+1 to end a DGU. Most people won’t face more than a couple-a-few armed assailants. But while we’re talking about what MOST people will or won’t need…. most people won’t be in a DGU anyway. If your argument against a double stack is that most people won’t need it, isn’t that the same as hoplophobe’s arguments against carrying at all?

      • All that said, I carry a double stack Bersa Thunder CC. 8 round magazine is nice for a single stack. I plan on replacing it with the CZ 2075 RAMI when I get the funds to limit the number of different type bullets I need to buy and to have my conceal carry hold, point, fire, and function the same as my full size.

      • Not at all. My intent (and what I gathered/inferred from Cooper) was to point out that a significant personality among POTG favored accuracy over capacity. As a trained military officer, he would also know the drawbacks to having too much gear to carry and manage. I concluded he advised a careful balance between likelihood of need, and amount needed.

        The hoplophobes have a point about “risk” of gunfight…so far as it goes. But they cannot deal in nuances. The doppelganger is the gunfighter who believes there is above zero chance that he/she will encounter a gang of 20 or more, and need 8X the firepower to give him/her ‘a fighting chance’. Even the founders did not have in mind a person walking about armed with several rifles, a handful of pistols, two or more swords, a dirk, and maybe a bow and arrow….just in case.

        Some people want more in a gun because they are proficient, and feel under-gunned without 15 or more rounds. Which is all OK (like I can give permission). It is to the person who is not so accomplished, and will rely on rate of fire to get him/her out of trouble, rather than becoming proficient, to whom I posted the quotations.

        • I would say that a person can choose both accuracy and capacity vs just one or the other. I would also say that I’d be happy having 13 rounds left in a firearm after a DGU. It’s also true that VERY FEW CCW folk actually practice like they need to (I know I don’t, even though I hit the range weekly and practice drawing and trigger control at home) and that with the adrenaline pumping and one or more targets moving that shot placement goes way down. I also know that sometimes a bad guy doesn’t stop after taking one or two or even five rounds. As for what the founding fathers intended, I’m no mind reader, but I can imagine they intended for people to have the means to protect themselves. I never heard a quote of a founding father ever trying to limit the amount of firepower a person carried. I am open to correction if well sourced.

        • The founders did not discuss an artificial “limit”; not the point. In those days, in order to deal with the possibility of hordes of attackers (the mythical threat today), citizens would have needed a buckboard or coach to carry the number of weapons necessary to deal with “just in case”. The people of those days apparently were comfortable of being gunned-up enough with one or two pistols at the waste band. Otherwise, we would have read many accounts of large numbers of people burdened with the weight of dozens of weapons.

          Point is, bullets do not settle the score, nor do they prevent hostilities (how many cops with GLOCKs were attacked anyway?). Effective use of bullets can be very persuasive.

          In the end, there is not actual tactical justification for any amount of ammo (for private citizens). EDC has 30rds? Need a spare mag of 30? Why not two? Or three?
          EDC has 8rds? Need a spare mag of 8? Why not two? Or three?

          Or a dozen?

          Carry what works, what you will carry under all circumstances. Become proficient. 17oz on a belt is less of a problem than 36, or 42. Single stack is not superior to double stack because it is single stack.

          The discussion of single/double is a branch of caliber wars.

          (BTW, weather should not be a factor; if you need 15 in winter, you need 15 in summer…or else it is all just bar talk).

    • I respect Mr. Cooper’s opinion but in this case I disagree.

      Mr. Cooper missed shots in his life. Not every shot is going to be on target and a DGU increases the chances of a miss. I see Mr. Cooper’s argument on this topic as specious.

      Second, there’s this thing called “meth”. I haven’t seen anything that suggests a group of people can’t ingest this drug and then do something stupid and dangerous like attack you. Multiple people who don’t go down from 1-3+ shots and your low capacity firearm is not looking too hot. Meth can and will keep people who are basically already dead running for a bit. IMHO your DGU is a failure if you manage to shoot a couple meth heads to death but one of them knifes you to death before they expire because they’re dead on their feet but don’t yet know it. Sober they’d be dead on the ground but they’re on meth right now so you get to join them in dying on the ground.

      My main reason for preferring a larger capacity magazine doesn’t actually have to do with the individual round count in and of itself in terms of X rounds per BG. The number one time a semi-auto pistol has a problem is when the action is manipulated by a human being. Whether the magazine in the weapon is completely expended or not is irrelevant.

      IMHO, regardless of the pistol type or action, the more rounds you can dish out before manipulating the gun in a non-firing manner the better off you are. You minimize the chances of a malfunction and of you making a mistake like dropping the magazine/speed loader. As with most things, YMMV.

      • Understandable, to a point. The methhead thing is a statistical event. If the odds of ever being in a gunfight are less than being struck by lightening, what are the odds of being in a gunfight with a methhead? (Not counting taking measures to avoid places methheads are most likely to be).

        If 30rds in a pistol are good to have, why carry a spare mag? Why carry only one? Whatever reasoning used to arrive at 10, 20, 30rds in a gun should apply to the number of spare mags you carry. Why would one think 10, 20, 30 is minimum? Why would 20, 40, 60 be enough? There is the episode where a cop now carries 150rds when on patrol because he was in a gunfight with a killer (maybe even a methhead) where it took 40rds (14hits, including a coupla head shots) to get the perp to stop fighting (did not die right there). Shouldn’t we all carry 150rds, just in case?

        • I don’t set an arbitrary number of “X is enough/not enough”.

          If you can shoot it well and carry it comfortably enough that you will carry it on a daily basis then great. If you have two guns that are the same on shooting and carry and one has more ammo I’d personally opt for the one that has more ammo.

          Personal example: I rag on 1911’s A LOT when it comes specifically to carry. I own one. Cool gun but not my carry gun. Why? Because it doesn’t shoot well enough to outclass my USP which is lighter and carries more ammo per mag by five rounds. They’re both the same basic size but I don’t carry the USP because it’s significantly more comfortable to carry. That choice is based on ammo capacity weighted with everything else.

          If the 1911 weighed a few oz more and carried 12+1 it would be in the running for my EDC pistol but at a few oz more and 15 rounds (with spare mag and one in the tube) vs. slightly lighter USP packing 26 rounds (with spare mag and one in the tube) I say it’s no contest. For the same basic weight and size I’m getting 42.4% more ammo capacity with no noticeable decrease in accuracy for defensive purposes. In fact, with just a mag in the USP and one in the tube I’m getting 13.4% more capacity than the 1911 when it has a spare mag with it.

          I look at it this way: (no particular order to this list)

          Size: Equal.
          Accuracy: Equal.
          Reliability: Equal.
          Weight: Slight edge for the USP.
          Ammo capacity: Huge edge for the USP.
          Comfort: Equal.

          Fatality. USP wins.

          Now, if you have mag restrictions or other silly laws you may well have a different opinion and that would be entirely valid. If I was somewhere where the USP would get me jail time for some reason that would outweigh the increased capacity and put the 1911 back in the running for a carry piece. I don’t so it doesn’t.

        • I agree, I carry the maximum number of spare magazines that I can. Due to my body shape and size this means 3 for me. Now is a g19/17 and 3 spare 17 mags a lot yes… But I live in the rural midwest where cops take a while and you run into methheads at the grocery. It sucks but there’s no getting away from or avoiding it.
          I have processed and dealt with those facts in the most logically consistent way I know how.

        • I guess, the bottom line is that everyone has to decide for themself what is reasonable to carry based on their own experiences, knowlege from trusted sources, budget, clothing, body type, abilities and even preference. The problem I have is that those of us who lean towards carrying more than average are often deemed by those who carry less to be weird and absurd. They use almost the same rhetoric as the anti-natural rights crowd. “You dont need that much!” “Why do you carry that?” “Where do you live, baghdad?” Am I aware that I am not likely to need a reload (or three) yes. But none of us are likely to need a gun and yet we carry them daily. If your goal is to be prepared for the unlikely, then the logical conclusion is to carry as big of a gun with as many rounds and as much medical gear possible. (And all the lumens as well) I do not care if someone for whatever reason stops short of that, but they are the ones being inconsistent by not admitting they aren’t as well prepared as they could be, and more so when they speak ill of those of us who chose to follow it through.

        • Exactly.
          A handgun is already a compromise.
          A compact double stack is further compromise.
          A 9mm is further compromise.
          Anything less is more than a compromise.
          This is why I carry a Glock 19. I’ve already done all the compromising.

        • Enjoying your input, and no ill-speaking is intended. All the discussion generally seems to be in the same class with caliber jihadis. From my year or two experience here, no one has an objective reason for what they do/do not carry. It comes down to the same mantra: “carry what you can comfortably and accurately deploy”. No criticism about that.

        • Derek:

          I agree the “OMG you carry all that” is obnoxious, especially on the pocket dumps. How many times does it need to be explained that EDC doesn’t consider it a pocket dump, that’s just TTAG’s name for it?

          Personally I say it also depends on where you’re going and what you’re doing. When I’m on campus I don’t just have my gun, knife and flashlight. I also have an IFAK for two in my bag along with an ITS urban kit, spare flashlight, batteries, another knife, meds and other stuff. Why? Because I know that needing the gun is unlikely but that the likelihood is raised a bit by the fact that universities are shit magnets for crazy people who generally are gonna treat shooting people like Lays, they can’t just shoot one.

          On top of that when I’m driving around on the highways and byways of this fair nation I have another IFAK for two that’s always on the back of my driver’s seat in a rip-away EMT pouch. On top of that I carry a much larger and more comprehensive kit in my trunk which can handle 5+ people with serious injuries such as GSW’s or what you might expect in a car accident. When traveling like this I also carry a rifle in the trunk and a spare pistol in my passenger compartment. Then there’s two fire extinguishers and a bunch of other stuff. If people think I’m crazy for carrying that then so be it. If they get hit by a drunk driver while I’m around they’ll likely be thankful that I’m as crazy as I am.

          Michael in GA

          “This is why I carry a Glock 19. I’ve already done all the compromising.”

          HA! Well said.

        • Very interesting, based on my experience and research I do not consider 9mm to be a compromise. Due to body type and clothing I have to compromise and carry a 17 or a 19 instead of a 34, due to budget I have to compromise by not putting an rmr on my carry gun. Lots of compromise has already been made and I’m not about to make more compromises cause some fudd/closet hoplophobe finds my personal carry decisions “ridiculous”

        • Strych, good on you for carrying so much and keeping more close. Not everybody wants to or even can do that. Cool that you chose to and are able to.

          Sam, I have enjoyed your contributions as well and didn’t mean to insinuate that you were one of those critical people. I apologize if that is the vibe you got from my post, it was certainly not my intent.
          It really isn’t that difficult for me and I’ve been doing it for a while so I’m used to it. G17/tlr1-hl aiwb, one spare mag there another two owb, 1000 lumen handheld light and basic trauma kit in a pocket, emerson knife and wallet in another, tq and phone round out the other two pockets with the keys on a beltloop. A sturdy belt certainly is a must (snakeeatertactical.com 1.75in cobra) and I’m fortunate that my typical work wear features large pockets. Sometimes I will downsize if I am going somewhere that the clothing required is less roomy but I go down to a 19 from 17 drop one tq and maybe a mag. The rest is constant.
          I always try to have well reasoned gear choices and fully admit that I may be overlooking something, new data and input are always helpful to validate or disprove existing thought process.

          As far as training goes I’m a firm believer in taking as many classes of as many types as possible. Starting most likely and going to least likely. I haven’t reached anything too “tacticool” (at least by my standards) yet but everything so far has been helpful and confidence inspiring as I go about my life with the goals of providing for and protecting my family the best ways possible.

  12. I carry a Sig 938 single stack 9 mm IWB appendix, sometimes pocket Carr in a Remora holster
    I am thinking about changing to a Smith and Wesson Mand P c for the increase to 12 rounds

  13. I can’t think of very much that I care to know less than what Col Ben Findley thinks are the 6 best compact carry 9mm pistols are.

  14. Depends on the weather. I’m a bigger guy (6′ and 200lbs) so I never have trouble when I IWB carry my double stack, especially this time of year when you’re more bundled up.

    Summer doesn’t make too much of a difference, but depending on the shirt and other factors, I do have a commander sized 1911 that I will IWB carry.

  15. Here is the land of Maura Healey, I carry a double stack .40 cal pistol that’s limited to ten rounds in the mag. So I get all the concealment of a double stack with all the capacity of a single stack.

    Which is why I’m switching to a single-stack .45.

    • I like the Glock 30S – holds 10 big bullets exactly. If you can only have 10, they might as well be big.

      I like the Sig 229 as well, but feel like an ass-hat with a gun only 2/3 full.

      • Due to the Attorney General’s “safety” regulations, no new Glocks can be sold in MA by an FFL to a mere citizen and haven’t been since very early Gen 3.

        As for SIGs, I love ’em, but since they’re capacity-limited by law, they don’t yield the bag for the buck that they should.

    • And to think for all these years, I thought you were a dedicated wheel gun guy.
      California is the same. 10 round mags, one in the pipe is the max, although there is no legal limit on the number of spare mags you can carry.

  16. Warm weather is a 9mm M&P Shield.

    Cold Weather is a M&P 9c.

    For my clothing choices in the summer and general comfort in the hot humid weather the Shield works better.

    With more clothes on and the desire for more surface to grip with gloved or cold hands the 9c works better.

    • I can’t figure out how to effectively shoot anything with a winter gloved hand, even with relatively THIN gloves.

      • interestingly, I find my manipulations are slower with gloves but my groups tend to shrink a small but noticeable amount. All I can figure is that the extra padding and grip the gloves have cause the gun to move less from recoil and keep a tighter grip. About the only thing I could come up with

  17. Glock 26 (Baby Glock) double stack 10+1 standard capacity actually has a shorter grip handle than the G43 Single stack. It’s only minimally wider than the 43, and you can carry an extra 17 rnd capacity (double stack) mag if you’re really concerned about additional capacity, (which is what most semi auto carriers seem to be most concerned about)

    If I wasn’t concerned about capacity, I’d carry my ultra small, ultra light aluminum frame Colt Cobra 6 rnd 38sp, or a S&W J frame compact 357.

  18. Double stack, I don’t even own a single stack. Glock 17 IWB appendix or outside the waistband in a blackhawk serpa CQC. Soon it will be a Glock 20, as I feel the need for 1 more millimeter.

  19. 5′ 6″ tall 140lbs I’m definitely NOT a large guy. I carry everyday everywhere year round and I can only carry single stacks for concealability. If I tried wearing my G19 with anything but a winter ski jacket I would look like I was smuggling a pork chop in my belt.
    For me, the M&P shield 9mm is a blessing. I also carry the S&W 3913lS because of it being a slim single stack and only having a left side decocker.

  20. Have both a G43 and LC9S but carry a G26 in summer and the G30S in winter. Yes the thin pistols are great for deep concealment but I can purchase the doubles quicker. Oh and the few extra rounds are a plus.

  21. No, revolvers are the best weapons for conceal ed carry or open. And the odds you’ll get struck by lightning are many times higher than actually needing a seventh round so I wouldn’t waste your time fretting about it.

    • Now, I’m not disagreeing with you, because I’m fine with the five rounds in my J frame smith, but still, my grandfather was hit by lightning 3 (count ’em… THREE separate) times in his 88 years of life on this planet…. but I still live on the same place he homesteaded in 1910, and I haven’t been hit even once.

      • I’d guess the odds of needing more than 5 (or 6) rounds are in the general neighborhood of being struck by lightning 3 times in your lifetime. Pretty rare, but it could happen. According to Wikipedia – ‘The chance of an average person living in the US being struck by lightning in a given year is estimated at 1 in 960,000.[12]’ That would make your grandpa one in about 1.3 trillion. Pretty special guy.

  22. If it’s larger than .380, there’s no need to bother with a single stack. A 9mm doublestack nearly doubles the ammunition one would have in the gun and a spare magazine. Some will say that if you’re not an off duty cop or some other type of group where you are more likely to need to use your gun then all you need is a single stack.

    Soon that single stack will become a revolver because they’re more reliable, then that revolver a derringer because they’re even more reliable, then the derringer is replaced with a fake gun because just pulling a gun scares off enough attackers so you don’t need to shoot, then the fake gun becomes a small pocket knife.

    Next time you wind up in the middle of a BLM riot where black teens with clubs are screaming, “HE’S WHITE! HE’S WHITE! GIT DAT CRACKER!” you’re gonna wish you had the doublestack over the single stack.

    To me, the biggest benefit of the Glock 26 is using longer magazines. Other similiar size pistols can do the same, but single stack pistols don’t have that option. Flexibility and adaptability is important and single stack CCW guns are not adaptable. IMO, the extra girth is worth it.

    • Yes, if you take someone else’s logic and push it to a ridiculous extent you are liable to come up with ridiculous conclusions. And, not to keep you up at night, but as I pointed out above, you should read up on your odds of being struck by lightning.

  23. I carry a Kahr CW380 in a Recluse with extra mag in my back pocket. If I am worried about some one seeing it in a certain situation, I can always shift it to my front pocket , or a jacket pocket. Carhartts usually have an inside left jacket pocket that this setup fits perfectly. I also have another CW380 setup with different ammo in a Recluse front pocket holster without an extra mag. Sometimes I carry both. When I go to college, I also carry an FN FNH Long slide .40 in my messenger bag with two extra mags. This is on downtown Denver campus, with 40,000 students and a lot of homeless people. If I feel really froggy, I can fit a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 9mm in a laptop case in the messenger bag.

  24. The above-pictured 1911 has to be one of the ugliest handguns I’ve ever seen.

    Someone has to really work at it to make a 1911 look truly ugly.

    Someone put in some serious overtime on that one.

      • EXACTLY. I was trying to put my finger on “where have I see that pattern before?” and you nailed it.

        Now that I think about it, it could also be a bath mat for the bottom of a bathtub.

        • It’s so u-gly it gotta sneak up on a can of ammo !

          Looks like it been whupped with a ugly stick !

          Und so weiter.

  25. I’ve never carried a single-stack, but I’m not opposed to trying someday. The only reason I came down on the side of double-stack wasn’t even capacity, it was just that the EDC I’d decided on happened to be double-stack. The only single-stack I own is an Israeli copy of a BHP, and it’s far too stiff for me to want to trust it as an EDC.

    I’ve had my eye on several single-stacks that I want to own, though I don’t intend for any of them to become EDC guns. Time will tell. More importantly, money will tell.

  26. If a single stack in the biggest gun you can conceal on your person based on your body type, carry position, and clothing then yes.

    Now that it is sweatshirt weather in the midwest the trusty g19-tlr1-hl I use for t-shirt carry has been replaced with a g17-tlr1-hl. The Shield splits workout/home/suit carry duties with a g19 year round.

  27. The best is always the one you carry the most and for me that is single stack. I tend to forget I am carrying a single stack, but I have yet to ever reach that level of nirvana with a double stack. It seems to be a constant reminder, for me at least.

  28. Ruger LC9S 7 rd single stack w/ 9 rd reload or Ruger SR9C 10 rd double w/ 17 rd reload–depends–Ruger LCP Custom or Ruger .357 LCR backup

    • One of the few posters that has a clue.

      Roger LCP, LC9, SR9, 1911…. whatever, anything Roger. All others suck.

      Don’t be a sucker.

      • Indeed, got rid of anything (except for a couple of shotguns types Ruger never made) that was not a Ruger; handguns & long guns–can not fathom why so many guns are ammo picky–I swear that I could pick ammo out of a dirt pile & my Rugers would run it-I have though picked up live, damaged ammo from the ground that other shooters let lay, loaded in my Ruger with them watching, and have everyone go bang–so much for their ‘bad ammo’ excuse

      • Unless this is sarcasm I have absolutely no idea what you’re on about.

        Ruger makes a fine firearm. So do other companies.

  29. A Wilson, commander size. I have shared too many years and put too many bullets through a 1911 of one make or another. I won’t change, other models just don’t feel right. And that is kinda what it is all about, for concealed carry.

  30. Used to carry a Shield, switched to a 9c. Negligible differences in thickness, weight and overall dimensions. But now with the 9c I have the ambi controls, plus an extra four rounds.

  31. I have no preference. I tend to like small 9mm like a Taurus709,Ruger LC9 or Shield. I’ve never been in a gunfight so maybe I’m undergunned…

  32. I’m battling with this now.

    My SR9c is similar in width to 1911, without having that massive safety on the left.

    My wife’s G43 is super slim and better apportioned for me than my LC9, but I have have a harder time getting a grip on it.

    So….I might evaluate a G26 for better purchase but it is noticably thicker than my SR9c (to me).

    On the original question – It’s a non issue. Carry what you WILL carry. Capacity is good but is probably over-rated if you can hit.

  33. I am fortunate that I stand 6’4″ and weigh 250 lbs with shoulders that require I wear a 52L suit jacket so I can carry just about anything I want. If I am wearing a suit I tend to carry a P239 in 9mm but under any other circumstance I carry a Beretta 92FS outside the waist band with the hem of a shirt pulled over it.

    I’ve never had a problem and the only time a local cop even indicated the bulge under the shirt happened when I briefly swapped to a P229. It led to a twenty minute debate over holsters and belts and his zealotry for the 1911.

  34. I used to carry a double (Walther PPQ) but it is heavy with 15 rounds in mag. Sometimes I will carry in cooler weather to movie theater ( a magnet for nut jobs).But now I prefer a PPS with a spare 8 round mag; which gives me 16 rounds and more comfort when carrying all day.

    Let’s face it, what to carry is an individual choice; the most important thing is that you do carry.

  35. I carry a Springfield XDs-9 3.3″ 99% of the time; mostly OWB but recently got a leather Aker IWB holster and use that 2-3 days a week. I carry w/ the 7 rd. mag. in the gun w/ one in the pipe, and always have my spare 8 rd. mag on me when I leave the house (either in leather belt mag. pouch or in my pocket) for 16 rounds of JHP 9mm +p. I occasionally carry my Springfield XD Mod.2 4″ 9mm when I want more capacity but definitely prefer the single stack, smaller size of the XDs for comfort and concealability.

  36. Hot summer day when paddling or hiking – SIG P290 in 9mm. Cheaper than my other SIGs if I lose it overboard. Normal carry in warm weather – SIG P239 in .357SIG. Cold weather carry under a jacket – SIG P224 in .357SIG. All IWB with untucked shirt and spare mags. It is nice to be retired and not have to dress for work!

  37. IMHO the question is kind of a bogus one and merely comes down to preference.

    If someone is closely observing you the only truly concealable guns are mouse guns. If no one is paying much attention to you the only unconcealable gun are giant.

    Most of life falls in the middle somewhere which means that a full size double stack is adequately concealable but a smaller pistol is generally more comfortable. So it comes down to your personal preference on dress style, capacity, sight radius, barrel length etc.

    The truth is twofold and somewhat counter intuitive. Your concealment fails more than most people realize that it does but 95% of people wouldn’t notice if you’re OCing. So, if you select appropriate clothing few people will see anything and those that do will generally note if with a wink and a nod.

  38. Number 1 most important thing is the gun is comfortable to carry so you actually carry it. Second most important is that you’re comfortable shooting it so you get as much quality training as possible. Third is that you’re confident in it’s reliability and take care of the gun. A derringer in the pocket is more effective than an AR-15 in the safe. A revolver in the pocket more effective than a glock with a fun stick in the safe. All of that said… if you have 2 guns that are equally easy to carry, equally easy to shoot, equally reliable, but one has more capacity than the other… pick the greater capacity.

    • But no two guns are EVER equally reliable and comfortable, not even two identical models from the same lot number. And no semi auto is as reliable and comfortable as my “J” frame smith, so that is what I carry the most. It does require the confidence to hit what one aims at, at least with the five rounds. I do carry a reload, but I will be hunting cover before I will ever need to use it.

  39. 99 percent of the time any good pistol with training will get you home in one piece with no new holes, which is all that matters.

    On the other hand say you knew you were gonna be in a gun fight that day:

    1. Best option dont go
    2. Armored vehicle with a battle rifle and a plate carrier full of mags.
    3. Double stack pistol with two big reload mags and a vest
    4. Single stack a few mags and a vest
    5. A big knife and a giant pair

    Most cc’ers get away with not carrying, or carrying something underpowered, or something they havnt trained with, or not using a proper holster, because most days are very uneventful thankfully.

    • Couldn’t have said it better. The bulk majority of people are too caught up in their own lives and day-to-days to notice your concealed handgun. Carry what you’re comfortable with, both from a comfort AND peace of mind standpoint, but most importantly CC something you’ll actually wear. Printing is a concern blow out of proportion in the mind of those carrying, you notice it because you know it’s there.

      Having said that, I’m a single stack, OWB guy. It allows me to carry with nothing more than the addition of a belt/holster, no over-sized pants, and no adjustment to my wardrobe. Yeah, it limits my ammo capacity, but my capacity is higher with that single stack than with the double stack I wouldn’t wear. I’m a fairly new CC’er but I’ve chosen single mainly because it’s just more comfortable to me.

      • “Printing is a concern blow out of proportion in the mind of those carrying, you notice it because you know it’s there.”

        True, but there’s something else that contributes to that mindset. Trainers and internet wiz kids who freak the fuck out that “concealed means CONCEALED!!…!!!!!!!….!!!” IMHO this is an extension of the CC vs. OC debate. I’ve always found the CCer’s in those debates to be a bit pretentious and over-concerned with things that don’t matter IRL as much as those people seem to think they do.

        Not everyone, but a lot of CC folks (James Yeager comes to mind) are tactical as fuck . It’s tactix, tactix, tactix, operate, operate, tactix, operate more tactix with them. That sort of mindset leads to a fixation on the infinitesimal details that amount to bullshit at the end of the day.

        According to legend if it’s not concealed flawlessly you are guaran-fucking-teed to be behind the 8-ball. Those crack heads robbing the 7-11 will see your gun and target you for it. They will take your gun and they will kill everyone in the store with it!. Tactix brah. Gotta have ’em. Can’t operate operationally with out ’em. It’s a fucking war-zone out there and one mistake will get you dead and probably cost a puppy it’s life too. Without tactix you don’t have the advantage of surprise and therefore you can’t put the BG on the X before he puts you on the X!

        OC or imperfect concealment puts you on the X 24/7 brah. Your gun prints a smidgen to your shirt? Fucking dead dude. Fucking dead. No coffee and doughnettes for you because you got gatted at the grocery store because the crackhead demanding money from the register saw your gun, got the drop on you and smoked your ass COD style. Tactix allow operational operations to be operational.

        No, seriously, it’s like some of the people in the CC community thing that your average criminal is a SEAL who’s going to rope down out of the ceiling or something. Your gun has to be completely camouflaged so the BG (who has amazing powers of observation BTW, which is probably why they rob gas stations and shit) thinks you’re a civvie (the whole point of being an operator is that you don’t look like an operator until you go operational) and lets you live until you can get the drop on him.

        I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to hear one of these people jackasses say something like “Brah, Operation Refuel The Victor, Get Smokes and Coffee Oh And Hey Can You Grab Me a Gatorade While You’re In There is a go!” It’s laughable.

        • My concern with “printing” comes from some lectures given by police and lawyers. In this neck of the woods, “printing” could get you charged with brandishing, “printing” could get you charged with menacing, “printing” could get you charged with creating a public disturbance. If someone actually sees any part of your firearm, they can file a formal complaint of being threatened with a deadly weapon (charges likely to follow; let the DA sort it out). Not saying tacticool is the only answer, but can’t ignore risks of concealed carry to me.

        • Sam:

          I’ve never heard that argument advanced by the type of person I’m talking about. All I’ve ever heard from these people is tacticool bullshit about the element of surprise or how OC gets you disarmed and murdered with your own gun/makes you the first person the guy robbing the gas station murders. You even see those arguments from time to time here on TTAG. In fact I’ve never heard of a place where what you’re talking about could happen.

          If the law says something retarded like what you’re saying then you are well advised to follow it. Where, may I ask, do you live that has such asinine laws? Also, does the printing count as branishing or only part of the gun showing? Would you actually get arrested or just bothered by the 5-0? Would the DA actually file those charges? Sounds like a pay-day for you if they did.

          I ask because a few towns over from me they had a policy like this and a guy got arrested. It ended up costing the city all of the guy’s fees, court costs etc plus $25K. They removed that law immediately after they lost the case (and every appeal).

        • The issues with “printing” are on the edge of “likely”. I don’t know of an actual case, just the remarks from class instruction (night law school). Could be the information is a “scare tactic”, making the authorities feel safer, maybe cutting down a little bit the number of carriers. The story was that if the gun prints, and a citizen (inaccurate term) files a complaint, there are an array of possible charges. One cop told us, “We may be a shall-issue state and town, but we can also quickly be a shall-arrest when it comes to guns. All these training schools where people learn Delta Force tactics are a curiosity. The many DGU reports we see do not indicate whether the good guy actually had any training.

          I only know two people who claim to have attended that sort of training, and they get vague about the experience. Being charitable, I conclude that all the combat training doe have some value in giving people a greater confidence should they face the “average” personal attack. Clearing houses, “running and gunning”, shooting from an airline seat, all are things I would likely not even want to engage in (First rule of a gunfight: don’t be there).

  40. More ammo is better than less ammo. What’s the saying on here all of the time? “Better to have and not need”, or something like that.

    Do I ever feel like I’ll ever have to dump 15+1 rds of 9mm, plus a reload? No. Do I put myself in dumbass situations to even increase those small odds? No. In any actual situation that could happen and me needing to actually shoot someone(s), I’m going to feel much better with 30+rds vs 6-12.

    I think the biggest reason for small single stacks is part laziness on the carrier for not wanting to get the proper equipment in order to carry a bigger gun, and part cheap-ass for not wanting to spend money on a good holster to make that double stack easier to carry.

  41. “I think the biggest reason for small single stacks is part laziness on the carrier for not wanting to get the proper equipment in order to carry a bigger gun, and part cheap-ass for not wanting to spend money on a good holster to make that double stack easier to carry.”
    That’s more than a little judgmental and certainly not true in my case.

    • Wasn’t necessarily being judgmental, just speaking from experiences I’ve had with more than a few people about it. “$70 for a holster? F&@$ that, I’ll buy a $10 one from amazon. They all do the same thing. My wife is also one of these people. Refuses to try and find” a way to carry, so she never does. Spent about $1000 on class, CCW permit fees, and a firearm, and she does nothing with them.

      My point ultimately is this: people settle for the easier route instead of putting in the effort to do something harder. You may be an exception, there is always an exception to the rule.

  42. By the way, if y’all haven’t checked out the Recluse holsters, you ought to. They are not cheap, for a pocket holster, but they are the business. Really fast draw, for a pocket holster.

  43. Current carry is a Diamondback DB9 with tritium night sight in a Sticky holster, it’s been completely reliable. Previous carry includes LCP Custom, Keltec P32, Sig P938 (my personal favorite single stack – too big for my pockets). I love my Glock 19 but it’s a little tight IWB for a 5’10” 180lbs officer…

  44. Know what I noticed? The ones with the most practice and knowledge, picked the single stack. The ones less confident in their abilities seem to try to make up for that lack of machine control in the form of higher capacity.
    I appreciate the desire to do so, skills(and confidence in those skills) do not form overnight, nor by themselves. The desire to attempt to make up in quantity, what is perceived as lacking in quality, is always a human desire. But, even though I can understand that viewpoint, I disagree with it. In a civilian context. counting on throwing more lead around(and missing the target, naturally. If one can hit his target in 5 rounds from any position one might find oneself in, what need is there for more rounds?) is the LAST thing we should be thinking.
    If someone is not confident in their ability to hit a target under any conditions at all, then that one needs LESS rounds on tap. not more. That one needs to perhaps practice for a while with a single shot manual action, and thus learn to make his shots count, and not just cover the entire landscape.
    After all… any one of us could just be some of the background in that landscape, yes?

    • That’s hilarious, my experience had been the exact opposite. I have seen so many guys who throw a single stack in their pocket like it’s a magic charm that scares off evil. They almost never shoot and god forbid actually train. When I go to a class there sometimes is one of these guys there and he is the first to crap himself (Or say why the hell do I carry this). So interesting how we can have so different experiences. myself and a few other guys I know take classes with cops regularly and have heard over and over again that we train better and harder than most cops they work with, and we shoot better too. Those of us being spoken to (which excluded the previously mentioned fellow swearing at his g43) all carried a double stack 9mm glocks.
      I’m of course not in any way getting minimize our your experience but to say I don’t share our would be a colossal understatement.

  45. There is no “best” for everyone. Consider all the factors, location, event, responsibility level, ease and comfort, appropriate dress and ability to conceal, etc, etc. Then decide what works for you, and go with it. Doesn’t matter what anyone else decides is right for them. Think….and then decide, and then do.

  46. For daily concealed carry I use my Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm, Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB holster, and two extra 8-round mags in a Sneaky Pete mag carrier in my left front pocket.
    I work for a local municipality as the Building Inspector/Official, Safety Trainer, Building Maintenance Superintendent, and Computer specialist. (Small City, lots of hats) Our Mayor requested that holders of Idaho’s Enhanced Concealed Carry permit who work for the City carry during business hours if they are comfortable with the concept.
    In the process of Inspections, building repairs, and other duties which require a lot of movement. This combination allows me to wear dress shirts tucked in during business hours without printing. The major downside to carrying a weapon in this manner is when driving or sitting at a desk. I have my S&W Chief’s special in a Blackhawk CQG retention holster in my desk that transfers to my vehicle when traveling.
    We regularly hold unofficial range sessions in all weather conditions which most of our CWP permit holders participate on a regular basis. Safety training and situational awareness are key ingredients to all sessions.
    I’m also a part-time musician and carry the same setup when performing in public.

  47. Carry what your confident with. I’m 5’2″, 150 lbs down from 210lbs. I carry IWB at 5 o’clock a plain vanilla Springfield 1911 I’ve had for 30 years. I live in IN and carry daily. No problems.

  48. I say who cares. I’m 6’5″ 190 and have carried a firearm daily for over 40 years. Part was openly as a duty gun, part as concealed as a backup or private citizen carry. I’ve carried everywhere from the Virgin Islands to the wilds of Wyoming in all weather and clothing conditions. The most important thing is to have a gun. 90% of the time I have a 22mag five shot somewhere regardless of what else I may carry. The next thing is compliance with the law so you don’t accidently get in trouble. You know open vs. concealed, restricted zones, legal weapon, etc.. Next is the style/type of gun you choose to carry. Will it be open or concealed? Will it be for bear protection or street thugs or a just in case situation? Climate and clothing options are next? Remember, concealed does not legally mean invisible. If it prints that doesn’t make it illegal. Is it concealed because of the law, because of your own feelings of being judged, because you don’t want to bring attention to yourself(my favorite), or the semi-bogus theory of being able to get the drop on a bad guy or not being the bad guy’s target?

    So you can see this is a highly subjective issue. There is no right answer. Follow the law, always have a gun, practice with that gun or guns that you will carry and be alert and polite always.

    In forty years I’ve never had a comment from anyone who noticed I was armed (concealed or open). I have noticed side glances and some body language reactions but that’s been rare. The vast majority of people are not paying enough attention to notice or care so I feel most of the discomfort comes from the carrier and may sometimes be projected onto others. Just a thought.

  49. I’ve carried an SCCY double-stack sub-compact, 10+1 for almost a year, ever since I got my CCW. No failures of any kind in 500+ various rounds. All the recommendations in this article are great choices as well, I’m sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *