3 Best Guns for Concealed Carry – JWT’s Picks

I’ve concealed carried most every day for about 25 years. The exception: when I was in uniform. And most of that time I openly carried a firearm or two. In the civilian world, I carry a gun in a leather inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster or in my boot (if I’m suited and booted). I’ve carried the following three guns and consider them ideal for for concealed carry.

1. Any quality 1911 with a Commander length slide and a Government frame

The 1911’s thin lines make it comfortable to carry at the 4:00 position inside the waistband. The platform gives the owner a large grip surface that helps to ensure a smooth, sure draw, and manages recoil well.

I carried a Government 1911 for a couple of years until I found that a Commander length slide was more comfortable. The slightly shorter barrel length keeps the slide from pushing on my butt when I sat down.

Commonly chambered in 9mm, 45ACP, 10mm and .38 Super, you’re sure the find a  self-defense caliber for your 1911 that you can shoot well. There are plenty of excellent holsters to choose from, as well as competent gunsmiths ready to modify or repair your firearm.

With its dual safeties, the 1911 is also one of the safest pistols to carry; you have to both grip the gun and take the thumb safety off prior to depressing the trigger to fire a round. My only caveat to carrying a 1911: good ones aren’t cheap. I’ve yet to find a 1911 that I’d bet my life on that costs less than $1,000.

2. GLOCK 19

The GLOCK 19 is the Toyota Camry of the firearms world. It’s inexpensive, fairly light, does the job well and you can find repair and aftermarket parts for it everywhere.

It’s also the largest size GLOCK handgun many people (this author included) can carry IWB comfortably. (I prefer the angle on Lone Wolf’s frames.) There are roughly 400 billion holsters made for the GLOCK 19. If you can’t find one that fits the gun to your body and carry style, you’re not trying hard enough.

GLOCKs are stupid-simple to operate, even if you don’t operate. And you can fit 15 rounds of self-defense ammo in the standard magazine. Chambered in 9mm, the GLOCK 19 is inexpensive to purchase and inexpensive to shoot, especially now that Magpul makes mags for it.

[Note: Some people don’t shoot GLOCK brand GLOCKs as accurately as they shoot non-GLOCK GLOCKs like the Springfield XD, Smith & Wesson M&P, Walther PPQ M2, etc. Try before you buy.]

 

3. Smith and Wesson 642

The enclosed hammer J-Frame Smith & Wesson 642 isn’t for everyone. But for those willing to spend time mastering its trigger and stout recoil, there is, in my rarely humble opinion, no better firearm for deep concealment.

The J-Frame has been a backup weapon for law enforcement officers over five decades. The 642’s enclosed hammer and alloy frame made a good thing better; improving both portability and concealability. Tucked away in a boot, a pocket, or waistband, the gun hides well almost anywhere without discomfort.

The J-Frame’s reliability is legendary. And while I’m not a particularly skilled shooter, I can consistently draw and fire on a standard silhouette at 25 yards in 1.5 seconds.

Like the guns above, aftermarket support for the Smith & Wesson 642 is enormous. It’s easy to find a holster that allows you to carry the gun comfortably and deploy it quickly.

Given the snubbie’s limited capacity, short sight radius and recoil, the 642 isn’t my first choice for a gunfight. But it’s the gun I’m likely to have on me in a gunfight. And that makes all the difference.

As a side note, pay a quality gunsmith to give your 642 a trigger job and fix a bright bead front sight. Thus modified, the little .38 revolver goes from a good gun to an exceptional one.

comments

  1. avatar jwtaylor says:

    You are correct sir. Wrong caliber as well. I’ll ask the editors to find a different photo.

  2. avatar Mr. AR says:

    Stock LCR > J Frame?

    Arguably better out of the box trigger, self installed $30 Hi-Viz front sight? In the same ballpark $ before gunsmithing and accessories.

    Certainly personal taste comes into it (brand loyal, silver finish over black, hammer/hammerless, etc).

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      The choice of the J frame over the LCR is not a dig against the LCR. Although I have shot it I don’t have the many thousands of rounds through it that I have to the J frame. The LCR may be a spectacular gun, I just don’t have the same level of experience and confidence with it.

      1. avatar BLoving says:

        Fair enough.
        No argument the ‘smiths have been around much longer and their quality and reliability is written in stone as it were.
        If a slightly larger wheelgun is an option, the LCRX is an excellent choice. A nice lady the other evening found it to be the perfect fit and the trigger is beyond anything else out there in stock condition.

        1. avatar Jeff K says:

          LCR with a Tritium Night sight & Laser Max Laser; beats any j frame. Better trigger, better recoil management, better made, better everything.

    2. avatar B says:

      Nice list, basically my carry trifecta. The Apex J-frame trigger kit is $32, easy to install yourself, and makes the trigger glass smooth in DA. If you can shoot a J-frame well you can shoot anything, plus the gun vanishes in IWB carry. CCO 1911’s are pretty nice too, though I honestly hardly ever carry my C3. G19 is my no choice have to go near where stupid people are doing stupid things CCW gun.

      1. avatar junkman says:

        Why buy an inferior gun & have to work on it (J frame). Just buy an LCR and have a far superior product. I do not understand people’s affliction for S(crap) & W(orthless) products; just my opinion.

        1. avatar Jay says:

          Had a brand new LCR, after the inital 5 rounds of regular 38 Special, one of the cylinders would constantly misfire. Send it back to Ruger. Friend of mine was a gunsmith at Ruger, quit because they were missing the “Q” in “QA”. Also many claims for flame cutting on the LCR frames. Went to work for Sig, much happier. Yes, I’m in NH.

          For me, i sold the LCR and bought a S&W 638, much happier. Put on Wilson Combat spring kit #8 hammer spring and #13 trigger spring in 5 minutes for a total of $13.50, trigger is now better than stock LCR. My summer carry, will keep this gun forever!

  3. avatar jwm says:

    Agree with the j frame, of course. The 1911 and the jframe are guns that require some commitment of time and effort. I’m a bit rusty with 1911s, haven’t owned or used one in quite a while.

    The Glock 19 is this generations K frame. Everything a non gun person needs in a fighting gun and nothing they don’t need.

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      ‘Non gun person’ and ‘fighting gun’ don’t belong in the same sentence. That is like mixing ‘toddler’ and ‘toxic chemicals’. Bad results with both……

  4. avatar Ironhead says:

    Glocks 30S?
    Springfield xds?
    Ruger lcp or lcr?
    As much as I love my 1911s there is no way I would carry them all the time.

  5. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Hard to argue with that list, especially when you include non-glock polymer wonders.

    I would also open it up just a bit to include non-S&W pocket snubbies like the Ruger LCR.

  6. avatar Jean-Claude says:

    1) Any Kahr. Metal frame K or MK, Polymer frame P, PM, or C series. Light, reliable, safe, and THIN
    2) Springfield XDS. Same reason as above
    3) I agree with the J frame

    It’s easier to carry a single stack pistol and a spare magazine or two than to carry a double stack. Everybody says they’re going to carry the Glock 19 everyday, until they actually have to deal with it. As for a 1911, yeah, sure, if you’re going to practice, practice, practice.

    1. avatar Swilson says:

      I think body type may be everything for the 19. I have 0 issues carrying it IWB all day long, it’s totally comfortable. I am a fairly stout lad at 6′ tall and 200 lbs. Most people I know who say the 19 is too big to carry are usually quite slimmer than I am.

      1. Gotta take everything with a grain of salt. In one message board you can read guys saying you have to be thin to CC a Glock 19 and guys saying you need to be a big guy.
        The goal of CC shouldn’t be 100% stealth and 100% comfort. Ya gotta compromise. Everybody does, no matter what size you are. The goal is to carry the most firepower with relative comfort and discretion. The only guys that notice printing are other guys that carry.

        1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

          Put rather well, if I was going for total comfort I wouldn’t carry, if I was going for firepower I would walk around with a Socom M1A. The answer is on the continuum between.

      2. avatar Mikeoregon says:

        My opinion, people tend to think about pistol size more than holster design. I’ve had holsters so crappy that a M&P compact was a chore to carry. Much experimenting and now I have 6 holsters I never use and my daily carry is a M&P 40 pro5″ in a Blade tec nano ,and I can seriously forget it’s there.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Mike, you make a really great point that I was hoping to also sneak into my post. Notice all of my options also includes something about the holster. A quality holster, and a good belt, make all the difference in carry.

  7. avatar Horacemann says:

    walther ppq m2, walther pps, glock 36

  8. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    Good picks! Although I would pick the M&P9 Shield (Performance Center), over the snubbie, because I can get a mag for it that holds 8 rounds, and then get a base that adds 2. The downside is that it’s not as concealable, and it has that awful thumb safety. All thumb safeties, slide stops and grip safeties should be 1911 thumb safeties, slide stops, and grip safeties, IMHO. =)

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      You DO know you can buy a S&W Shield in 9mm without a safety? I carry mine daily.

      1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

        Yup. It’s just that they’re way too small and tight for me.

      2. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

        Sorry! My first response was kinda off topic to say the least. But yes I know that you don’t have to get them with thumb safeties, although I wish the PC version also came without them.

  9. avatar Katy says:

    The 642 seems like the only one that would work well as a boot gun as the others are would be too big. Wouldn’t mind seeing discussion about it and other options in that class – LCR, etc. – along with holsternoptions while employing that particular class of footwear.

    1. Ankle carried my Glock 19 to a Soundgarden/Nine Inch Nails concert because the security was asking everyone to lift their shirts.

      1. avatar Katy says:

        While I think it would print under straight leg jeans, I guess that would be an option. I’m pretty positive that my G19 would not fit comfortably in a pair boots – or at least. It as comfortably as an LCR or similar.

  10. avatar W says:

    “There are roughly 400 billion holsters made for the GLOCK 19. If you can’t find one that fits the gun to your body and carry style, you’re not trying hard enough.”

    How about your top 5 holsters for the Glock 19?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      1. KMFJ
      2-5: See 1.

  11. avatar mike oregon says:

    My wife traded her and S&W 642 for S&W M&P 9c. She had the 642 for about 10 years and rarely shot it rarely. After taking a Defensive pistol course that included 4 hours of range time and realized shooting the Airweight hurt her hand, there was 15 other handguns for the students to try, she liked 3 or 4 but really loved the 9c. I have a larger frame and carry a M&P 40 pro. 5″ .

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      mike oregon,

      J-frame revolvers are designed to be extremely light, small, and effective for contact distance engagements. (Hence their frequent reference as a “belly gun” — anticipating that there is a good probability that the shooter might literally shoot that revolver in actual contact with their attacker’s belly.) J-frame revolvers meet those design goals with flying colors and then some.

      J-frame revolvers are not designed to be comfortable on a four-hour shooting course. And, for their intended application (self-defense at contact distances), there is no need for hours-long training courses.

      As you discovered, compact semi-auto pistols are much nicer when you expect to shoot 50+ rounds in a session. I encourage you and your wife to consider both j-frame revolvers and compact semi-auto pistols for everyday concealed carry. Both have relative strengths and weaknesses — and either platform could be a better choice for a given situation.

      1. avatar Mikeoregon says:

        All good points. Long ago I stopped trying to tell my wife what guns were right for her. In 10ish years she put about 300rds. Through the 642, in 5 months the M&P 9c has seen 600+ rounds through it in practice drills and training courses. My opinion is whatever gets her training/ practising and carrying is worth doing and more than overcomes any other consideration.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Mikeoregon,

          My opinion is whatever gets her training/ practising and carrying is worth doing and more than overcomes any other consideration.

          Absolutely!

          As you have probably heard many people say, the two most important considerations are:
          (1) Make sure you have a gun.
          (2) Make sure you can shoot it accurately/well.

          Everything else (platform, caliber, size, etc.) are secondary considerations.

      2. avatar Clark Kent says:

        Actually, a J frame S&W revolver CAN be comfortable to shoot for a four hour training course with the correct (read: rubber Hogue) grips. And you DO need to train for hours with ANY firearm you carry on a regular basis. Nice try; no cigar.

  12. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    There are roughly 400 billion holsters made for the GLOCK 19.

    I was going to say that there were only eleventy billion holsters out there but I think the 400 billion number is more accurate. ; )

    1. avatar anaxis says:

      Eleventy-billion is a made-up number; I believe the correct figure would be in the region of eleventeen-billion, six-thousand eight-point hundreds, & forty-twoish.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        ‘Eleventy-billion is a made-up number…’

        Huh? 110,000,000,000 is a made up number? You need to brush up on your Tolkien.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        eleventeen-billion … I love it. That just might be my favorite new number!

  13. avatar Ed says:

    I can’t believe it, a list that makes complete sense!?!? I am so glad JWT didn’t get all over the top brand specific with the 1911. Personal preference aside, I have to wonder what the advantages are carrying 1911 instead of a FNX 45? I carry my FNX 40 quite often, and with a desantis speed scabbard it hugs even my xxl arse nice n snug and prints no more than my Smith E-series and I get 2x the rounds with essentially the same weight.

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      The FNX45 in comparison to the afformentioned 1911’s is HUGE size wise. It’s a big gun. 15+1 45 is nothing to sneeze at. I think a lot of people sacrifice capability for comfort. I feel it’s unwise to do so.

      1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        Yeah, my XD45 has a brick for a grip, I don’t really see another .45 ACP being much different in double stack.

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        Huge grip, sloppy trigger. I’ve never actually shot one, though my daughter loves the one I bought her. 1911 is much thinner and immensely better trigger.

      3. avatar Tom in PA says:

        You’re spot on with the FNX-45 – its enormous. I happen to have Cro-Magnon hands, so I love that gun. You could always use the slide as a billy club if you run out of ammo.

        1. avatar Ed says:

          I have never had the opportunity to handle a FNX-45, are they really that much bigger than the .40s&w or am I just that fat? I’m sitting in a restaurant right now with my FNX on…been wearing it all day and I can’t wear my Beretta 96 owb for more than a few hour without the weight making me crazy.

    2. avatar Bob h says:

      2x the rounds 2x the weight loaded. However I am one of those rare people who can and does tote a full sized pistol everywhere, so if the FNX works for you go for it!?

    3. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Ed, I also happen to have an FNX 45 tactical and it’s a great gun, I really like it. I have tried every possible way to carry that gun even under a light jacket and I can’t get it done. The round butt of the handle is just too big.

    4. avatar Jon in CO says:

      Ed, it is significantly bigger than the 40/9mm varieties. I can tell you from experience, that gun is supremely accurate for what it is. If you’re able to carry one, I would absolutely do it. I’ve carried G21’s before without issue, but the FNX was just too much for me personally to fit IWB.

    5. avatar PW in KY says:

      I own an FNX-45 as well. It’s massive and there’s not way I’d try to conceal it, ever. It was not made to be a carry gun in that fashion. It’s amazing and I love it but that’s just not what it’s for. Range fun and serious defense scenarios.

      I’ve had a heck of a time just finding a holster made for it!

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    Nothing to criticize here. At all.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I am disappointed to miss whatever comedic value I’m sure would have been there otherwise.

  15. avatar Jon in CO says:

    It’s a good list. I would swap out the J frame for a compact auto, XDS/KahrPM/CM/LC9 etc…

    I’m just of the mindset that if you need the gun, less rounds is not a good thing. I can only justify the pocket rockets in a small number of situations. If you can, you should carry more rounds. Just my opinion.

    1. avatar PW in KY says:

      I’m with you on that. My primary carry gun is a Kahr pm9 and it’s very versatile. It fits in a pocket and it’s very easy to carry IWB when the pockets aren’t large. Even with the flush magazine it’s carrying 7 rounds. I would feel very confident in any engagement within 10 yards with the pm9.

      If I were to carry a J-frame I would want one with an exposed hammer. If you want it to be double action it can still do that; I don’t understand why I would want to cover the hammer and limit my options.

  16. JWT makes clear a point that I have rarely seen amplified when lists of the “BEST” are discussed.

    Any “Best” list must be qualified as being the “Best” for the author.

    A set of identical twins will likely have differences in their “Best” lists.

  17. avatar Mr. Woodcock says:

    I would also put a plug in for the Sig P320 carry if you don’t like Glocks. The trigger is very nice for a striker fired gun and it is almost identical in size to a Glock 19. I’m going to start carrying this on a regular basis once my Gcode holster arrives.

  18. avatar marco says:

    Where’s my clickbait counterintuitive choices?

    Everything here is noncontroversial, and has been said for decades (except the glock 19, which is TTAG’s equivalent of the new boring conventional wisdom).

    Where’s the drama? The plot twist?

    I expect the next post to either recommend a Skorpion or a rhino, this was uncontroversial.

  19. avatar ropingdown says:

    What a sensible selection.

  20. avatar kevin says:

    This is pretty much my carry as well, but make the Glock a 23 and a Kahr CW9. Trying to mix in a 1911 is an intimidating step when I’m used to strikers and revolvers, but I’m sure it will happen eventually.

  21. avatar Swilson says:

    Sweet Thor shirt JWT

  22. avatar Pg2 says:

    Love the 642, have preferred the 340 because of the front site, had never comsidered having work done on the 642s site, don’t know much about it?

    1. avatar MikeAR says:

      You should learn some English.

      1. avatar pg2 says:

        Lol, Mike, hope you read my comment before TTAG deleted it. If not, I’ll be glad to repeat it.

  23. avatar lee says:

    you shoot at best of the west…

    1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

      Great range, lonestar handgun has come a long way down my way. San Antonio has a few good ranges, of course I prefer out door ranges with shooting bays.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I shoot everywhere. #everydayisrangeday

  24. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “(I prefer the angle on Lone Wolf’s frames.)”

    You prefer the 1911 over pretty much every other pistol, does the Lone Wolf’s grip angle replicate that of the 1911?

    (I have to admit, I like that that extended ‘beaver tail’ on the LW frame, and some of the other ‘tweaks’ they did to it. I will seriously consider the LW fram if I ever get around to replacing the 2 Glock 40s I used to have…)

    1. avatar Suzie says:

      I love your beaver tail when it extends for me.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      yes, the angle does seem like it’s a little more natural for me, and I much appreciate the extended beavertail.

  25. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

    The criticism I have is the $1000 price tag on a good 1911. RIA Tac II and Springfields can be had under $1000 If you want to stick to 9mm a BHP isn’t a bad choice.

    I have bee.looking at the Kimber Micro 9 for a small gun. It is much easier to master than a revolver especially if you are already a 1911 guy.

    1. avatar JoeArpeggio says:

      the Ruger SR1911is also a good option for less than 1000 bucks. Well built, nothing fancy.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        the Ruger SR1911 was my first 1911. I really like the gun, but it took some serious smithing to make it run reliably.

        1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          Ditto, but mine ran 100 Gold Dots no problem (it had about 2K+ rounds thorough it at the time). While not an actual test, it seems to run well until about 4-500 rounds. If I carry it, I’ll put two hundred JHPs through it first.

          You’ve really moved up in the 1911 world since that Ruger! =)

    2. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

      I am by no means a gun snob but I would be wary of Kimber, unless they fixed their QC system. Of all the kimbers I have personally shot only one ran reliably and that was only with fmj ammo.

      1. avatar DrewN says:

        ALL 1911s run better with ball ammo, because that’s what they were designed for. Of course, the same could be said of pretty much every semi auto predating the Glock.

        1. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

          Myth. Modern 1911s run fine on JHP. Never had an issue.

  26. avatar Gregolas says:

    Thank you, JWT, for your real-world list.
    Agree with all, though b/c of price, in law school I carried a Taurus 85 rather than a Smith snubby.
    My EDC sconce 1990 has been the G19, and I DO drive a Camry. Guess it says something about me

  27. avatar JoeArpeggio says:

    I try to love striker fired pistols (FNH FNS, MP, Glocks, XP) because they aren’t too pricey, low maintenance, good capacity and so on, but I have big issues mostly with the trigger. My shots are just not consistent and I struggle to improve my accuracy and consistency!

    I am much much better with short triggers, 1911 of course (in .45 acp, have not tried 1911 in any other caliber), and I conceal carry a Sig P938 (single action in 9mm). I am a sharper shooter with my pocket Sig than with a full size striker fired pistol, go figure.

    I have recently had a slightly better experience with a Glock 17 so there is hope, the gun felt like cr*p, very “tupperware”, horrible factory sights imo, strange trigger, but I witnessed some improvements. I will continue to give them a chance. I know it is me, not the pistols, as plenty shoot them really well. Time and more rounds at the range will tell…

    1. avatar MLee says:

      @ JoeArpeggio
      I don’t try to like strikers. I love my P229 with the SRT trigger. I just can wrap myself around strikers. It just isn’t my cup of tea. No thanks!

      1. avatar MLee says:

        Darn typos
        I just CAN’T wrap myself around strikers.

      2. avatar JoeArpeggio says:

        I love Sig and I need to give the P229 (or P226 or P227) a try. thanks for sharing. What version of the 229 do you have, did it come with the SRT trigger or was it an upgrade?

        1. avatar MLee says:

          My P229 is the Elite with Rosewood grips in .40 It had the short reset trigger (SRT) already from the factory. I installed the Sig thin profile trigger. I tell you what, that reset is short, really short.
          I googled and found an image that is identical to mine that has the thin profile trigger.

          http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v365/geek_boy/sig_sauer_p229_elite.jpg

  28. avatar MLee says:

    Yeah and opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one.

    1. avatar Ron says:

      Yeah but yours is so special to me.

  29. avatar strych9 says:

    Nice list. I like it.

  30. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘With its dual safeties, the 19 11 is also one of the safest pist ols to carry…’

    Having just carried (concealed) my first ever 19 11 today, I have a couple of observations. First, as far as safety is concerned, a cocked and locked 19 11 tucked in a ho lster is as safe as any weapon, but every weapon is perfectly safe tucked in a hol ster. My concern with the 19 11 for carry is in loading and unloading a ro und into and out of the chamber and to a lesser extent the possibility of a ND on the draw. The thumb safety has to be disengaged to work the slide and it would be pretty awkward without depressing the gr ip safety. The only thing preventing a ND is keeping your fingers off the light SA trig ger. With the DA/SA semi-autos (except Sig) you can operate the slide with the safety on eliminating any chance of the g un going boom. Also on the draw you cannot assume that the safety is still engaged, although this is more of a potential problem with an ambidextrous safety which can get bumped off.

    Not poo-pooing anyone else’s choice, but I wouldn’t recommend a 19 11 to anyone that hasn’t been carrying a weapon for a while because I think there are safer options. That and the beaver-tail kind of jabs me in the side when I sit down. My revolvers don’t do that.

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      Pretty much the easier the gun is to shoot, the easier it is to have a ND with.

      If you’re not gripping the 1911 properly, it IS awkward or impossible to shoot — but with some training and a proper grip, the thumb safety will come off without thinking.

      IDK about you, but I hold revolvers and 1911s and polymers slightly differently, because they’re all slightly different. (I know my Internet Operator Card just got revoked, but holding a 686’s wooden grip like a 1911 is hard and useless (for me), and holding an M&P like a 1911 is pointless (for me). Does anyone else think that?)

      And your revolvers don’t have the potential to shoot or reload as fast; there’s a trade-off for everything. Classes are really good for revealing those trade-offs: I was an ignorant .45s / 1911 fan-boy when I took a 4-day class, and by the end of it I was still liking .45s / 911s, but I would’ve been happy to take the test with an M&P9. =)

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        So far I like the 19 11 platform, but the gr ip is by no means as comfortable as my GP100s with the rubber grips with wood side panels. Everyone I’ve let handle them seem to agree, regardless of hand size. My hands are large enough that the pointy base of the mainspring housing kind of digs in and the grips have maybe a little overly sharp checkering. The 19 11 does point well for me though, I have a tendency to point autos low, losing the front sig ht. No plans on carrying it except occasionally for sh!ts and giggles. I already had a ho lster from a Beretta 92fs that works fine.

        Yes the trade off for a rev olver is rou nd count but what you get is magnum amm unition. If you’re going to limit yourself to 6 rou nds and maybe a 6 second reload (from a speed strip) you’d best make the first 6 count. I really don’t feel any more or less armed than I did with the 92 and 18 rou nds of 9 mm, it just requires slightly different tactics.

        1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          Yup, there’s different tactics for different guns. People liked a revolver grip better than a 1911? That’s odd. Maybe a 10-rounder would help you fit on it, although it’s no good for concealing.

          Yeah, you’d better not miss. Someone like you who really loves revolvers is probably better off with something they believe in and practice with than some plastic wonder. Personally, I like the reloads and round count. I also don’t see any problems with the 9mm ballistics-wise with the right loads (like the 124gr HST or 115gr Gold Dot).

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          The grip comparison directly between the GP100s and the 1911s is mine alone as I only recently acquired the 19 11. I might add the Hogues that come on most of the GPs are crap, but Altamont makes the other style with a variety of panels. Reasonably priced too.

          While making shots count is certainly a priority when you’re limited to 6, spraying the neighborhood with 9 mm slugs isn’t exactly a great idea either. Most defensive shootings happen at bad breath distance anyway, so then it comes down to power vs. quantity. Generally either does fine (or even neither as in .38 special snubbies) and it’s an extremely rare occasion that either choice would matter.

    2. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Keeping the finger off the trigger is always the most certain way to prevent a ND.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Agreed, but labeling a weapons platform as ‘one of the safest’ might lead a novice to believe that it would be right for him, to which I would disagree. I could make the same argument against a Glock/non-Glock Glock that requires dry firing to be taken down to clean. I guess ‘safe’ and ‘idiot proof’ have two completely different meanings.

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          NOTHING is ‘idiot proof’.

    3. avatar PW in KY says:

      This post resonates with me. I didn’t grow up as a “gun guy” so it was difficult at first for me to carry anything at all! Carrying my Kahr pm9 with a round in the chamber made me really nervous at first. That long trigger pull really sets my mind at ease now.

      I’ve conceal/carried a 1911 one time, and it did make me a bit nervous knowing that I HAD to take the safety off in order to empty the chamber. One of the few issues with that old design. My main issue was just how heavy the dang thing was. I ended up getting a Glock 26 as my “larger” carry gun; the 1911 wasn’t even a choice and weight had a lot to do with it.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        There is the irrational human nature aspect of it which dictates that walking around with the ham mer back on a live chamber takes a bit of getting used to. But then also the notion that smart people do stupid things all the time and IMHO the 19 11 is not a platform that can be approached nonchalantly. Granted no system is perfect, but a 3/4″, 11 pound trig ger pull will negate a fair amount of brain farts.

    4. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      gov, i’m not versed on all platforms; as far as da/ sa pistol platforms go, the cz75 will not rack with the safety on. as i understand it however, many if not all of it’s clones do allow this function (tanfoglio i’m almost certain, possibly sphinx and baby eagle thing. not sure about the old springfield p9 either).
      neither will the sa hi power.
      the p938 does allow this. i much prefer having the capability.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        I’m not well versed in in the manual of ar ms for the CZ or it’s clones. It’s the Beretta 92s and Storms and the Ru ger P series that I’m most familiar with. Those have slide mounted safeties, frame mounted safeties could be different. On the Berettas and Rugers if you rack or drop the slide with the safety engaged the ham mer follows the slide right down. Although there are de-cock only versions of both in which case the ham mer would remain cocked when the slide is released and have to be manually de-cocked, like the Sig.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Actually, perhaps the 1911s are more the rule than the exception in that regard.

  31. avatar Seizure doc says:

    Why would an HK 45 compact not be on this list ?

  32. avatar Jin Kim says:

    1911 is a hobby gun and, as you mentioned, impractically expensive. Also, beaver tails have no place on concealed carry guns. They will snag on things while concealed, cut up your shirt in the process, and will either print or stab you. It will also snag when drawn.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      My years of carrying a 1911 every day, with an extended beaver tail, concealed, as well as my experience actually seeing them used in combat, convinces me that all of your statements are incorrect.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        In the 4:00 position the beaver tail is probably just fine, but I carry in the 2:30 position and they tend to jab me in the side. 4:00 sticks out like a sore thumb if you bend over, doesn’t seem to work so well when sitting in a car and tends to try to pull my belt down over my ass. Different rules for different body types I guess. More of a minor irritation than a serious problem though. Striker fired pist ols aren’t much better. Definitely not a hobby g un though. There are plenty of people who are proficient with the weapon.

  33. avatar jimmy james says:

    Competed with a 1911 style 38super for 15 years in USPSA. Never had an AD. Still ain’t carrying one concealed or open. Too many better choices from purely a safety standpoint. Glock 19 is a good choice. I have one and have carried it concealed before. Rather have a true DAO type gun with restrike capability like a Sig P250 or P290RS.

  34. avatar Tom in PA says:

    I’ve carried a Glock 19 and 23, and their size is “just right” for EDC. I carry a CZ P07 and love it – it’s a great pistol. I looked at a FNS 9 recently, and it appears to be a exactly what I want – Glock 17 sized grip with Glock 19 sized slide, and a better trigger. I will have to give it a try.

  35. avatar Nunya Business says:

    Jonathan, you use the pronoun “I” more than Obama.

  36. avatar Jeff says:

    The author implies that he did not carry concealed while he was in “uniform.” He didn’t say whether that was a Girl Scout, USMC, or cop uniform. But if it was the latter, that gives me NO confidence.

  37. avatar Tom says:

    As a side note, pay a quality gunsmith to give your 642 a trigger job and fix a bright bead front sight. Thus modified, the little .38 revolver goes from a good gun to an exceptional one.

    I got the 640 .357 mag in stainless and the 340 .357 in AL and TI for similar reasons, but in .357 because as an engineer, I like having more safety margin, even if I intend to only load them to .38 levels. The 640 is the durable practice gun; the 340 is the carry gun.

    The sights of mine were off enough that they were nearly unusable. I had dovetailed front sights fitted; that allowed with drifting and filing to sight them in nicely. The triggers of both smoothed up very well. They really are quite accurate, but almost unusable in .357, but very sweet in .38.

    I have a couple of nice 1911s that I use for 3 gun, but don’t think I would carry. I would carry my Glock 19, but I live in MD and a CCW is very hard to get.

  38. avatar Retrocon says:

    What, no Desert Eagle in .50AE? They always carry ’em concealed in the movies!

    What kind of list is this?

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