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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I recently recieved my pistol permit & am in the process of choosing my very first gun, which will be used for concealed carrying. I'm only 5'1" so I'm trying to find a small gun, but one that will still work great for defense.
I've been renting what I can at a range to test before buying.
So far I tried:
Glock 26 - Love it but it's bulky for concealment
Ruger LC9 - Hate it! The mag falls out when I shoot it, which might be because of my grip, but I havent been able to stop it. Never happens on any other gun. Also hate the long trigger pull.
Ruger LCR .38 - The recoil is too much for me.
S&W .357 mag - Not a conceal gun but I had to mention it because I'm in love. If only it were small! 馃槏

I plan on trying the Ruger LCR .22mag, Glock 42&43, and the Colt Mustang .380. If the range has them for renting that is.

My questions:
1) Are the .22mag & the .380 suitable for defense? I thought they were but I'm not sure.
2) Do you have any pointers or comments on the guns listed?
 

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I am much taller and bigger than you! Ironic, being Japanese I am 5'10" with my taller and bigger frame, it's probably different. But I think with practice you could handle 9mm. I have a Walther PPQ as my every day carry arm. That's what I use and it works for me. At your size. Try .380 and work from them. I'm more than confident you could handle it. Look at Ruger's .380's they're not bad and not as expensive as the Mustang. The Mustang has had pretty iffy, if not bad reviews. It's not accurate and for it's 650 dollar price point. You could do much better. I'd also look into Walther's small frame revamped PPS.
 

Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Neither I nor anyone else can tell you what's the best carry firearm for you. Only you can do that.

Leedi, the love of my life, is 5' 2" and carries an Officer's sized 1911 chambered in .45 ACP..

I do not consider .22 Mag to be an suitable defense round. Others do.

Don't be in a rush to purchase. Keep on trying as many different handguns as you possibly can. Eventually one will 'talk' to you.
 

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best advice i can give is keep on trying..........

i do not subscribe to caliber wars much.
I have no basic problems with the 380, one small 380 that i have tried and really like is the S&W BG380 bodyguard.....i think they are calling it the M&P bodyguard nowadays. I thought it was comfortable to shoot with decent sights for such a small gun.

I have encountered the mag problem you have mentioned with the Ruger LCP.

i have also tried the Glock model 42......this little glock is really gaining ground in law enforcement as a backup/off duty handgun. I find it to be accurate and mild. It has a much shorter trigger pull than the BG380 if that is a consideration. Personally, i prefer the longer pull but i am more of a revolver man.

The Ruger LCR is certainly a fine handgun. I carry the 357 magnum version for xtra weight and loaded with specials to help with recoil. The big advantage of the revolver is load selection. There are milder 38 special loads you can consider. My wife carries 38 target wad cutters in her snub for recoil management. This really has nothing to do with her being a woman......she is just more recoil sensitive and getting up in age as i am. You might find the xtra weight the Ruger SP101 has to be an advantage in recoil management.

There are some folks that carry a 22 mag. My biggest concern there is keep rotating out the carry ammo on a regular basis as the rimfire is not near as ignition reliable as centerfire ammo. Most rimfire revolvers have a much heavier DA trigger stroke......i did find this to be true as well when comparing a 357 LCR with a 22 mag and 22 LR LCR's......the trigger pull was noticeable. There are some single actions like the NAA mini revolvers.....but they do take some getting use to as they carry small and light to the extreme and the guns can be dificult to manipulate.

go to a gun range and borrow as many as you can......do not get in a hurry to buy.
 

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Some more to try.

S&W Sheild
Walther PPS
Ruger LC9s (this is a different gun than the LC9)
Kahr CM9 or PM9

Just keep searching until you find what you want.

My personal opinion is nothing less than 9mm or 38 spec in a revolver. That is just my opinion.

Fact is if you cannot shoot the 9mm and hit anything then you need to look at the 380.

Also if you like the revolver but not the recoil they do make the LCR in 9mm revolver.
 

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I had a S&W Bodyguard and it has the same crappy trigger as the LC9 she mentioned, hated it. The Kahr has a really nice trigger IMO, I carry the CM40. I really want a Sig P938. I haven't shot one, but I did fondle one. It's small and sexy. They also make them in .22. Or the P238 is the .380.
P938
 

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If you want a mouse gun. I carry a .32 Berretta. Comes with Crimson Trace. a bit on the small side, but the laser helps me put the holes where they need to be.

For 9mm, think about the SA XD series
 

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I carry a Browning 1911/22 and every so often the wife and I go to a questionable location like the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store and she asks if I'm carrying and I say yes, and that makes her feel better. But when she personally sees the pistol, she gets mildly upset. Even so, she says from time to time that she'd like a carry piece. My wife-in-law has more or less the same attitude, but it appears her main concern is that her carry piece is pink.

That said, I'm very happy with my carry piece. I have big hands, and wanted something that would fill my hand. I also wanted the longest sight radius I could get away with. I also wanted the most rounds in the mag that I could get. And the whole package had to be ultra-slim, and so light-weight that I wouldn't be tempted to invent reasons for not carrying. I like what I have.
 

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I take it the LCR and the S&W, you shot the same loads out of? With those reactions?
You might be interested in the Ruger SP101. It's rather between the two.

Also definitely look into a concealed carry purse. You might not even want to use it most of the time. If you look into it. There are situations that it can be incredibly defense full tool. You may want to use it....even if just sometimes.
 

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Springfield XDs, Ruger LC9, Taurus Slim 9, Glock G43, S&W M&P Shield, any snubby Revolver. Personally I like Ruger when it comes to revolvers but that's just me. I'd look at a .357 Mag LCR.
 

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Hello,
I recently recieved my pistol permit & am in the process of choosing my very first gun, which will be used for concealed carrying. I'm only 5'1" so I'm trying to find a small gun, but one that will still work great for defense.
I've been renting what I can at a range to test before buying.
So far I tried:
Glock 26 - Love it but it's bulky for concealment
Ruger LC9 - Hate it! The mag falls out when I shoot it, which might be because of my grip, but I havent been able to stop it. Never happens on any other gun. Also hate the long trigger pull.
Ruger LCR .38 - The recoil is too much for me.
S&W .357 mag - Not a conceal gun but I had to mention it because I'm in love. If only it were small! 飿

I plan on trying the Ruger LCR .22mag, Glock 42&43, and the Colt Mustang .380. If the range has them for renting that is.

My questions:
1) Are the .22mag & the .380 suitable for defense? I thought they were but I'm not sure.
2) Do you have any pointers or comments on the guns listed?
My wife is a very petite woman. She is shorter than you and tiny. For a long time she carried a Colt 1911 Commander. Now she carries a Bersa Thunder 380. She is scary good with that gun and can easily out shoot me. So if you can pick up one of these... give it a try.

To me the 22 Mag would be too small and you would need to be very sure of shot placement with something this small.

Take Popeye's advice when he said, " Don't be in a rush to purchase. Keep on trying as many different handguns as you possibly can. Eventually one will 'talk' to you."

Don't settle for what does not speak to you. Be patient, there is a gun out there that will fit your hand and you will be completely comfortable shooting it. You'll find it.
 

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Bersa Thunder PLUS.

Its a .380, but with a 15 round magazine. Plenty of firepower while still being small. Plus the wider grip helps dissipate recoil across a larger surface area of your hand. Highly recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Everyone.
I went to the range again yesterday (thats been about once a week lately, yikes! 馃lol) and tried out a 1911 .45 the guy suggested. Definitely not a carry weapon for me (they didnt have any I was interested in to rent), but it was a NICE gun. The recoil was just within my range of handling. I'm not opposed to playing with it more but it's not something I'd buy anytime soon either.
I've also decided that my first gun will be atleast a .380, but preferably a 9mm. I still want to find the LCR in a 22mag to try, but I think it's too small for an everyday carry gun, atleast for me. If I can comfortably handle & shoot a .45, why the heck would I buy a .22 for carry? LoL

I'm trying to take my time and have patience searching for my gun, but at the same time I feel I should have one for safety as soon as possible. That, and I'm finding a new hobby (albeit a pricey one) in guns & the range. My family has the same love of shooting but my friends think I'm nuts, haha. 馃構
 

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Thanks Everyone.
I went to the range again yesterday (thats been about once a week lately, yikes! 铯憀ol) and tried out a 1911 .45 the guy suggested. Definitely not a carry weapon for me (they didnt have any I was interested in to rent), but it was a NICE gun. The recoil was just within my range of handling. I'm not opposed to playing with it more but it's not something I'd buy anytime soon either.
I've also decided that my first gun will be atleast a .380, but preferably a 9mm. I still want to find the LCR in a 22mag to try, but I think it's too small for an everyday carry gun, atleast for me. If I can comfortably handle & shoot a .45, why the heck would I buy a .22 for carry? LoL

I'm trying to take my time and have patience searching for my gun, but at the same time I feel I should have one for safety as soon as possible. That, and I'm finding a new hobby (albeit a pricey one) in guns & the range. My family has the same love of shooting but my friends think I'm nuts, haha. 飿
If you had no problem handling the .45 look into a Springfield XDs. They come in 9mm, .40 and .45. They all fit CT's heinous 10 round maximum law. I think the 9mm holds 8+1, the .40 is 7+1 and the .45 is 6+1.
 

Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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You like the 1911 platform and can handle recoil from a .45 ACP round.

I'll bet the range person handed you a Government sized 1911 (5" barrel and 7 or 8 round magazine)



Next time ask to see an Officer's sized 1911 (3 - 3-1/2" barrel and 6 or 7 round magazine)



Shorter barrel and shorter grip frame. The size difference is considerable.
 

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I think this:

The mag falling out of a gun would be a concern. It does not sound normal. Yes, it could be your grip. It could be specific to 'that' gun and not others of the same make/model.

Go to a good gun shop and handle as many as possible that you would consider. How they feel in your hand is very important. Then create a short-list of guns you would like to try in various calibers.

There are semi-auto and revolvers. Only you can decide which is best for you. It seems to me a semi-auto would be easier to conceal especially for a female and dress codes. They are typically thinner than a comparable revolver. This may be a good first cut during your search.

Any caliber will have pretty much the same recoil and recoil will increase with bullet weight which is usually driven by caliber. The fact that you felt the .380 LCR had too much recoil might suggest trying a different gun. A .380 is pretty mild in the lower end of calibers. To me, small guns are difficult to hold which equates to less comfort and 'feeling' more recoil. 9MM sounds like your upper limit in the right gun.

Any gun is the 'counter' effect to recoil. The heavier the gun the less 'felt' recoil. Doesn't mean it isn't there just feels different. There are other factors that will also affect 'felt' recoil such as grip size, barrel length, trigger pull, barrel location relative to the gun frame, etc.

If you continue to shoot a 9MM in the various mentioned guns if you decide to go with a .380 it may feel much more comfortable with practice.

You are on the right track to try several guns and different calibers in each model. That is the best way to evaluate for your decision. Guns are too expensive to do much purchase/experimenting with.

My opinion to your questions: Any gun is better than none for defense. A .22Mag or a .380 is fine if that fits you. There are lots of people who carry a .380 for their defense.


Click any image that looks acceptable and visit the website.

https://www.google.com/search?q=small+carry+guns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjz5LbL7ODKAhWIJCYKHbEpDxsQ_AUICCgC&biw=1478&bih=887


Some possible helpful links assessing the best carry guns:

Readers Choice: The 12 Best Concealed Carry Guns

Top 20 Most Popular Concealed Carry Firearms: 2015 Edition | Concealed Nation

The 10 Best Concealed Carry Guns | Concealed Nation
 
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