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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
If you read my introduction, you learned that I'm quite new to guns(even though I've had some months for research). Relatively soon, I'll be shopping for my first gun - and I'm very excited! However, I would still like to ask for some advice of what would be the best purchase. My main criteria are
- Concealable
- Relatively Affordable (No $1000 SIgs)
- Good for the range/competition (I would really like to compete as a way to improve my skills)
- 9mm (Affordable Ammo!)
I live in a state where every season is summer, so concealing a weapon will be a bit harder for me. This makes for a tough balance, as I want something I will enjoy shooting(and mag capacity!) while also wanting it to be well-concealed in a t-shirt and gym shorts.

Most of the guns I've considered are high-cap sub compacts, like the:
- Glock 26
- Sig P365/365XL
Or (after reading articles telling me I wouldn't enjoy a subcompact)..
- Glock 19
- CZ P-10
- M&P 2.0

Really, though, I'm still not sure which way to go. That's why I wanted to ask for some honest feedback from you guys. What has been your personal experience? Can you conceal a compact without printing wearing summer clothes? Did it bother you to train/compete with a subcompact? (Although this will get some wide-ranging responses) Which of these guns do you feel best fits my needs? Thank you all!
 

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I'd get use to the firearm first (with respects to carrying, holstering/unholstering, knowing the operations of your firearm, and controlling recoil) before going into competition. If you want real good concealability then single s stack magazine firearm is your best bet. With this said (concealability) I have two of the firearms youre questioning. The Glock 27, which is the brother of the Glock 26, and the Glock 19. The 26 will be much better for carry and concealment, though everyone is different. What I feel is best is saying for me. Im not you and only you will find out whats good for you. This goes for recoil, size of the firearm, how it feels in your hands, and comfort. Everyone is picky n likes something else then what someone else likes. Good thing this is America, where we are not limited to one caliber and only limited to pick from s select few of firearms.

Now with the firearms you're looking at. I'm going to say don't jump right on in with both feet and blind folded. Not trying to be some know it all or fkng with you here just being honest in the next paragraphs.

I said what I felt was best for me up-top. I would not recommend the Glock to a new shooter, only reason is the position of the safety. They're great firearms this is not the issue, I feel one needs more practice with firearms before going to this type of firearm. I'd say even the 1911 type is something to stay away from only because of the grip safety. Yet practice is everything. Pick up a 22lr for a low price and practice. Practice shooting techniques, breathing, grips, stance, sight alignment n picture, the use of stripping it down n cleaning, etc. Or even rent the 22lr at the range. Then in a month or two pick up your 9mm.

Out of the ones you mentioned seems you want concealability the most it looks like. Then I would say none of those to be honest. Like up-top I said single stack, I would be looking for a single stack 9mm first. Then later pick up some other double stack 9mm for your fun at the range and now you'll be use to carrying. Plus st this point you should be ready to look into the competition shooting, seeing now you have some time with a firearm under your belt. I would look for self defense and concealability first in your first firearm. Though the 22lr will teach you valuable shooting skills and I recommended this first, though its up to you on what you want to buy first.

Enjoy n welcome to the National Gun Forum!
 

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that is a lot of eggs in one basket...........

while i am a believer in a "jack of all trades"......kind of like a crescent wrench to do many jobs.......you end up compromising on specific jobs....i treat run and gun competition, hunting, ppc, and cc guns as different classes requiring different guns for best results......

but......for a 9mm for carry and competition in one and only one gun......FOR ME......then i would probably be looking for a 1911 style light weight commander size 9mm........perhaps one of the new ruger 1911's.......
 

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There are a lot of great folks here at NGF, but none of us can really tell you what gun would be best for you in any situation, let alone fill all your up front desires. I agree with the comments of a few who have already suggested that filling all your desired capabilities might not be done in one gun. Decide your priorities (which must include gaining proficiency at shooting), whether it be ccw or competition, or...and then go and handle as many guns as you can at local gun stores once you are stateside again. Once you think you know what you like the feel of, then seek to shoot as many as you can before purchasing anything. There are gun stores and ranges that allow you to test drive (so to speak) by renting forearms to test at their range. This will help you narrow down things a lot and then we can have much more pointed discussions based on the good/bad points of various firearms that you like shooting to help you narrow down your choice possibly. I would add, that you might learn some in the mean time by reading reviews on line of various firearms to give you some insight as to the good and bad points in the opinion of the writers. Read about the characteristics of striker fired vs hammer fired guns and the good and bad about polymer vs metal frames. Learn more things while you wait, and of course dig into questions as you learn, so that when you return and are in position to purchase a firearm, you will be better prepared.
 

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JMHO. There is only one jack of all trades handgun, a 3-4", 5 or 6 shot, 357. remember J.O.A.T. means can do it all okay not do it all great. Vary few guns are not going to drag gym shorts down around someones ankles and none that you mentioned.( gym shorts with suspenders:confused5: ) I ALWAYS recommend a good .22 for a first handgun. yes i know a 22DA revolver or even a semi is not as sexy as a high cap, plastic whatever. On the other hand a 22 will let shoot a hole pile cheaply and let you can learn the fundamentals of of handgun shooting without recoil getting in the way. no mater if it's SD, comp., or plinking, hitting what your aiming at is all that matters, otherwise your just making noise. Full disclosure, I was never a SF sniper, commando pistolero, and I am not a "trainer". Just a gun crank thats been shooting every thing i could get my hands on for 50+ years.
 

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Get a Radom P-64. It's about 200$, shoots Makarov ammo. Great size, good safety. That will slam dunk your concealed carry needs, till you find something you really like better.

Then conslder a 22LR for the range. Like a used Ruger Mk III or IV , with a 7 inch bull barrel.

As to glocks, I'm not impressed by any pistol you have to completely unload, in order to de-cock it. We won't even go to the "no safety, single action, AD/ND" page of the discussion.
Any auto-loading pistol, IMO, you should be able to de-cock, when fully loaded.
 

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I always recommend a S&W shield for carrying to new users. It's a good size, has a manual safety and you can get them in 9mm, 40S&W and now .45acp. They are fairly inexpensive compared to many other options and are very reliable. The only thing i really dislike about mine is loading the mags. The have a pretty tough spring and the way the top is shaped you can hurt your thumb on the last round or two if not careful. I'm not a big fan of mag loaders but they should make it easier. They are also decent guns for target shooting but then again most are to a certain extent. As far as having a do all gun including competition that's like asking whats the cheapest economy car you can buy to go to work with and race on the weekends.....
 
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My best answer is not to buy one until you have tried shooting each one on your list, and then some. Big mistake people make (as I have) is buying on looks and what they think they may like. Go to the range, rent a few (bunch). Then make your decision.

I have repeatedly ignored my own advice (that I learned here) and bought a few that I really did not like.

Tank your time, and try before you buy.
 

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My best answer is not to buy one until you have tried shooting each one on your list, and then some. Big mistake people make (as I have) is buying on looks and what they think they may like. Go to the range, rent a few (bunch). Then make your decision.

I have repeatedly ignored my own advice (that I learned here) and bought a few that I really did not like.

Tank your time, and try before you buy.
Yeah, I've got a few clunkers the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thank you all for the advice! I think the big lessons I've picked up from your comments are:
- Try out guns before buying(I'm going to look for a place to rent near where I live)
- I won't find a concealed gun that is also a good competition gun
That being the case, I'll definitely start with a good CCW. And from that standpoint, single-stack subcompacts are back at the top of the list(although I would like to try on a Glock 26 type gun just to see how hard it is to hide. There are a few questions I would like to ask about guns like this:

1. Is striker-fired best for a newbie?
I've just generally been leaning this way because of the simplicity of it all. But maybe I'm wrong to do so.
2. What really matters for concealability?
Online, I've read that width is the big problem, not length. Has that been your experience?
3. Is a gun with a hammer more likely to get caught on my clothing/harder to use?
I assume it's only going to fire accidentally if used incorrectly, so I won't ask about that.
4. What really distinguishes each gun?
Obviously, every one is different. But from the standpoint of choosing one, what factors actually make an M&P Shield different from a Springfield XDS? Is it grip, the way your finger falls on the trigger, or something entirely different?
I know some of you mentioned concerns about things like "where the safety is on a gun", and those certainly are concerns. Still, I will be putting a lot of time into becoming proficient when I get back home. I don't like to call it an "obsession, but I do have a tendency to become obsessed about things. And I'm certainly obsessed with guns right now! Who knows how many Noir episodes I've watched, how many articles I've read, and how much research I've done! Actually, as an aside, if any of you have suggestions on what I should research(it can be hard to know what to look at with so many producers - and so many gun variations), I would love to hear them!

Anyway, thank you all for the help! It will definitely make a difference in my purchasing decisions!
 

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For you, it's all about the weather. Summer year 'round, eh? If you buy any gun that requires a 'rig' - holster, special belt, etc., and then requires you wear your clothes a certain way to cover it all up, it won't be long before your gun is left at home. You're going to get real tired, real fast, of having to 'dress' for your weapon.

I live in Southern Arizona. We have 2 seasons, summer and Christmas Day. The only comfortable way to handle the situation is pocket carry, and that means a pocket sized gun. You acquire a carry gun to serve you, not vice versa. If the accommodations necessary to carry it become burdensome, I can promise you, eventually, it will be left at home. If that's where it is when you need it, it might as well be on the moon.

To carry means to be at all times, wherever possible, armed. it means carrying every day, EVERY DAY. Rule #1 is "have a gun." For that to happen, the gun must be as hassle-free as possible, and a pocket gun is exactly that. It goes with everything you wear, or don't wear. And so, it always goes with you.
 

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I know you said, "It's always summer," but can you be more specific. In some states, accidental flashing matters, in some it doesn't. When I purchased my first gun, I was extremely concerned with conceal-ability. I even bought a tuckable holster. After the first year, I decided that comfort of wearing and shooting were much more important. If it's not comfortable on your belt or in your hand, you'll talk yourself out of using it and carrying it as you should. I find, that even when I rarely open carry, nobody notices.
 

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The length bothers me. I don't like my gun poking me in the butt.

When things go sideways, reducing the list of things to do is important. There are a lot of YouTubes that show people pulling their gun and "click" so they take the safety off. They find the target again, and "click." They forgot to rack the slide. "Click." They did a soft rack and it's a stovepipe or a nose dive. Need to clear the jam.

I think a gun used for self defense should not have a safety on it. Also, I carry with one in the pipe. I pull and shoot.

Look for YouTubes that demonstrate, "The ten biggest mistakes new CCW owners make."

YouTube any gun you're considering buying. There will be reviews.

Memorize the four (4) gun safety rules. For real. Learn to quote them backwards.

Keep your eye on the barrel at all times while thinking about the rules.

Practice. A lot. Then practice double that amount.

Practice in slow motion first. Don't increase the speed until you have it down.

When you go to the range, pull your EDC out first and panic shoot.

While it's fun to shoot other guns, panic shoot your EDC before you leave.
 

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-

1. Is striker-fired best for a newbie?
I've just generally been leaning this way because of the simplicity of it all. But maybe I'm wrong to do so
Striker fired CCs have been going off in the pants of highly trained professionals, like the vid of the Police Chief and his new glock.
A hammer is a good way to keep control of the pistol in a positive manner. I wouldn't tell a newbie to use a striker-fired pistol, on a bet.

2. What really matters for concealability?
Online, I've read that width is the big problem, not length. Has that been your experience?
Overall size has been the major issue, for me, personally.
3. Is a gun with a hammer more likely to get caught on my clothing/harder to use?
I assume it's only going to fire accidentally if used incorrectly, so I won't ask about that.
The hammers on CC guns are small, and many times bobbed, so they don't protrude. But they are
visible, and de-cock, which are TWO nice features, IMO
4. What really distinguishes each gun?
Obviously, every one is different. But from the standpoint of choosing one, what factors actually make an M&P Shield different from a Springfield XDS? Is it grip, the way your finger falls on the trigger, or something entirely different?
I know some of you mentioned concerns about things like "where the safety is on a gun", and those certainly are concerns. Still, I will be putting a lot of time into becoming proficient when I get back home. I don't like to call it an "obsession, but I do have a tendency to become obsessed about things. And I'm certainly obsessed with guns right now! Who knows how many Noir episodes I've watched, how many articles I've read, and how much research I've done! Actually, as an aside, if any of you have suggestions on what I should research(it can be hard to know what to look at with so many producers - and so many gun variations), I would love to hear them!

Your first gun is a lot like your first car. Do you remember, it was your second car, where you knew what you liked and needed,
after you had run your first car for a while, to find your likes and dislikes. Your didn't know what you wanted or liked better with your first car.
But I would leave safety-less, striker fired, single action pistols you can't de-cock alone, till you gain more experience. You will be much better off with a double-action.

Anyway, thank you all for the help! It will definitely make a difference in my purchasing decisions!
.............................
 

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I am a 1911 guy.
I can use it for target/competition and it is also my carry gun.
5" or commander size I do not have a problem comfortably carrying with the proper belt/holster.
Everyone is different. carry and shoot what works best for you.
Thank God we have so many choices
 
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