Rookie Questions on Concealed Carry
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Thread: Rookie Questions on Concealed Carry

  1. Rookie Questions on Concealed Carry

    I took my Texas CHL training on New Years day and am currently awaiting my new CHL license. My passion is rifle shooting, I have several, reload, hunt, etc., but handguns haven't gotten much attention through the years. Nevertheless, I have acquired through the years a Browning Hipower, East German Makarov, S&W 686 w/6" barrel, and a couple of 22 pistols. I'm thinking rather than running out to buy something new (do I need an excuse), I'll try concealed carry with either the Browning or the Makarov. I bought the Browning partly because it fits good in my hand where many other double stack magazine pistols feel too large. The Makarov purchase was a whim when a buddy was buying several and I opted in because it was cheap to do. Now, it's 98% original blue and looks well made to me, but I haven't shot it much. I prefer shooting the Browning and can hit better with it. It's stock except for a set of Millet adjustable sights that I had installed.

    Now for the questions...
    [LIST=1][*]Would your recommend the Browning or the Makarov (or neither)? I know it's a personal choice, but I haven't tried either yet and don't have holsters for concealed carry.[*]On ammo for the Makarov, is this Silver Bear Russian stuff in HP any good? One positive thing about the Makarov seems to be availability of inexpensive ammo, but if my life depended on it cheap might not be so good.[*]Type of holster for either is another question. I'm 5'-11 and 155#, so slight of build, so what works best? I see more options for the Browning than for the Makarov for concealed carry. Any favorites? I tend to wear lose shirts and was wondering if a shoulder holster could be worn between a t-shirt and a regular shirt, but it seems like most are using IWB type of holsters.

    I appreciate any advice. As you can tell, I'm weighing options while I wait for the license.

  3. #2
    size matters in CCW, both frame and caliber . . . the two guns you mentioned might be a bit too big to hide easily, not to say the Browning is not a superb gun. If you have the size to conceal it great . . . don't know anything about the Makarov . . . in CCW reliability is the key thing

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    SE Florida
    I suggest you go to a range that rents handguns and try out several of them (various frame sizes and calibers). If you find something you like better than the Browning, sell the pistols that might be collecting dust and buy the one you like. If not go with the Browning.

    One note...although Browning is renowned for making very high quality firearms, their Hi-Power line has received quite a bit of criticism as far as reliability and performance, more than most pistols of it's class. I've never owned one, it's just what I've read over the years.
    (Insert random tough-guy quote here)
    "See my gun?? Aren't you impressed?" - Anonymous sheepdog
    The hardware is the same, but the software is vastly different.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Georgetown, Texas
    the makarov is a heavy gun and it is well made, you just can not kill a Makarov, but again they are old and some are unreliable, you may have a very good one or a very bad one. Who knows. Now the browning is big and the caliber .22LR maybe a little bit underpowered and also remember that it is also a rimfire gun so it is a plinker and not a defensive gun in my eyes.

    I agree, go to a range and play with some of the guns there and see if you can find a good inexpensive gun.

    I recommend Kel-tec PF-9, ora ruger sr9c or maybe one of the S&W snubs.
    it all depends on you there are lots of new and economical guns out in the market.
    take a pleasure trip to your nearest gun shop and look at what they have.

    If you are going to carry and beat your life on a firearm, make it count.

    What part of Texas are you in?

  6. Thanks for the advice from all. I know the 22's are too small to consider, and the 686 is too big for concealed carry. I'm just thinking of options while I wait for the license.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

    Oh yeah, I'm in Houston.

  7. #6
    You can conceal anything, dependant on the type of clothing you wear (think shotgun under the trench coat). Most CCW people dress around the firearm they are going to carry.

    I never wore an untucked shirt until I started CCW'ing. Now untucked is my daily wear unless I have to dress nice.

    Your type of holster will be your biggest decision in what and where to carry. Shoulder holsters have their place and if your style of dress dictates using one, great, go that route. There, of course, are other options. Review each style of carry, listing for you the + & - for each style.

    In all honesty, concealed carry is one big experiment. It has taken me years to figure out what works best for me. And, I'm still experimenting. Hopefully it will not take you that long.

  8. I carried a HiPower for years when it was imperative that it stay totally concealed. I was about your size at that time and carried in a shoulder holster over a t-shirt and under a baggy shirt. I was never"made" even during the summer although I learned not to show my back while reaching or twisting as that would reveal the straps.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    I vote for the High Power, it is easier to conceal than you may think..(I have 2) It is heavier than the polymer framed guns though.... I would recommend a CrossBreed type IWB holster over a shoulder type any day, but holster selection is a very personal decision..... What is comfortable for me may drive you nuts..... lol

  10. I took the Hi Power and the Mak to the range yesterday and went though a couple of boxes of ammo with each. I can definitely shoot the Hi Power better but I'm getting 1 or 2 misfeeds per 50 round box. This is with RP, FMJ ammo. So reliability is not superb, at least with that ammo in that pistol.

    The Makarov shot OK, but groups a little high and with the fixed sights I'm stuck. For defense it would not be significant. The problem I had yesterday was the Hungarian ammo was crap (don't remember where I got this). I had about 10% misfires. Primer was hit well, they were just duds.

    I'll probably try different ammo in each pistol. Still like the Browning, fits my hand, balances well for me. I've tried Glocks, Sigs, Berettas, and 1911's and none feel as good in the hand. And I acknowledge these are all good pistols. Guy at the range yesterday had a Kimber Ultra CDP II and it has me thinking

    Thanks again for the feedback I've received. Probably still a few weeks out from the CHL.

  11. If you can get access to one, try out a Glock 27.

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