Pocket pistol vs. Compact pistol for CCW
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Thread: Pocket pistol vs. Compact pistol for CCW

  1. #1

    Pocket pistol vs. Compact pistol for CCW

    I've already made up my mind that eventually I would like to own three handguns for CCW use. I already own a Springfield XD 45 Service model. While the XD is an awesome handgun and I love shooting it, I would like something smaller to carry during the summer months. I've got my eyes set on a Kahr PM9 and a Micro Desert Eagle. The idea is that I will carry the XD during the winter, carry the PM9 on a pretty much daily basis, and carry the DE when I absolutely have to go light. It could also serve as a grab and go gun to throw in my pocket. My problem now is that we are headed into summer weather (already there in Vegas) and I don't own a handgun small enough to reasonably conceal with just a t shirt and shorts. This may be an unorthodox approach but I've decided I am not going to change my clothes for my guns but rather change guns according to how I dress. I don't want to have to wear more clothes just because I don't have a small enough gun. My idea is that I will grab the biggest gun I own that I can conceal under what I decide to wear. With limited funds I am not able to buy both at the same time, as much as I would like to. I am trying to figure out which one to buy now. I am ready to buy as soon as I decide; I've just been contemplating this for about a month now and wanted an outside opinion.

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by 702XD45 View Post
    I've already made up my mind that eventually I would like to own three handguns for CCW use. I already own a Springfield XD 45 Service model. While the XD is an awesome handgun and I love shooting it, I would like something smaller to carry during the summer months. I've got my eyes set on a Kahr PM9 and a Micro Desert Eagle. The idea is that I will carry the XD during the winter, carry the PM9 on a pretty much daily basis, and carry the DE when I absolutely have to go light. It could also serve as a grab and go gun to throw in my pocket. My problem now is that we are headed into summer weather (already there in Vegas) and I don't own a handgun small enough to reasonably conceal with just a t shirt and shorts. This may be an unorthodox approach but I've decided I am not going to change my clothes for my guns but rather change guns according to how I dress. I don't want to have to wear more clothes just because I don't have a small enough gun. My idea is that I will grab the biggest gun I own that I can conceal under what I decide to wear. With limited funds I am not able to buy both at the same time, as much as I would like to. I am trying to figure out which one to buy now. I am ready to buy as soon as I decide; I've just been contemplating this for about a month now and wanted an outside opinion.
    For me I have a Glock 23 (40S&W) for my house gun and CCW on the few cold days. A Glock 27 (40S&W) for warmer days and a little S&W 442 (38) I carry in my pocket on hot days. I find myself carrying the S&W 442 loaded with 158 grain JHP with an extra five rounds in a speed strip more and more.

    Goog luck
    Frank
    Glock 27, Glock 23, Glock 22
    Mossberg 930SPX

  4. #3
    Join Date
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    I too am faced with hot weather like Las Vegas. (I live in the Phoenix area.) I have several guns that are a little big for concealed carry in t-shirt and shorts weather (which is most of the year in Phoenix). For hot weather, I carry a Kel-Tec P3AT loaded with 7 rounds of Buffalo Bore (BB) 380 +P 90 gr Gold Dot HPs. This gun only weighs 11 ounces fully loaded and just disappears in the pocket of cargo shorts with an in-pocket holster. Here's a link to an interesting test of BB ammo in a P3AT compared to a 40 S&W:

    KTOG Forum - P3AT eats pork ribs - wants more

    In the article the author says "The P3AT with BB Gold Dot is a formidable defensive weapon - penetrating almost 14 inches of plaster with a half inch+ diameter wound path after going through denim and rib cage. Compare the P3AT with BB Gold Dot at 236 ftlb actual measured energy with a S&W SnubNose 38cal +P Double Tap Gold Dot at actual measured 199 ftlb. I'll take the P3AT any day." The BB ammo helps turn the little P3AT (or the Ruger LCP which is a P3AT clone) into a very credible defensive weapon. Anyway, it's perfect for t-shirt and shorts carry.
    MOLON LABE

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 702XD45 View Post
    I've already made up my mind that eventually I would like to own three handguns for CCW use. I already own a Springfield XD 45 Service model. While the XD is an awesome handgun and I love shooting it, I would like something smaller to carry during the summer months. I've got my eyes set on a Kahr PM9 and a Micro Desert Eagle. The idea is that I will carry the XD during the winter, carry the PM9 on a pretty much daily basis, and carry the DE when I absolutely have to go light. It could also serve as a grab and go gun to throw in my pocket. My problem now is that we are headed into summer weather (already there in Vegas) and I don't own a handgun small enough to reasonably conceal with just a t shirt and shorts. This may be an unorthodox approach but I've decided I am not going to change my clothes for my guns but rather change guns according to how I dress. I don't want to have to wear more clothes just because I don't have a small enough gun. My idea is that I will grab the biggest gun I own that I can conceal under what I decide to wear. With limited funds I am not able to buy both at the same time, as much as I would like to. I am trying to figure out which one to buy now. I am ready to buy as soon as I decide; I've just been contemplating this for about a month now and wanted an outside opinion.
    I just went through the same decision making process and went with the S&W M&P 340 CT with a Desantis Super Fly pocket holster.

    13.3 oz 5 shot 38+p/.357 revolver. Crimson Trace grips and XS Trintium night sights. I decided against the even lighter 340 PD due to some questions about the Ti cylinder with cleaning proceses and lock up. It also lacks the XS sights.

    Product: Model M&P 340 CT Revolver - Centennial

    I also considered Ruger's new LCR and some of the pocket sized semi auto's but fell in love with the M&P. I placed a back order last week at my local dealer. Can't wait! Pricey little bugger, but it had everthing I was looking for (except for a 15 rd cylinder) ha ha!

    "Will Work For Ammo"
    "Will Work For Ammo"

  6. #5
    I carry A Glock 30sf in cooler weather then a Kahr PMP and lastly a Ruger LCP 380

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Since it's always sort of summer in South Florida I wound up with three guns. A Beretta Vertec, a Kahr PM9 and a Kel-Tec P-3AT with the same thought in mind. After five years with the combo the Beretta lives permantly bedside, the Kahr goes out every now and then mostly in a fannypack, sometimes IWB but the Kel-Tec has settled in as my primary carry gun.

    I carry it in a pocketholsters.com covertible pocket holster with a wallet backer. I usually carry right front pants pocket with the wallet backer facing outward that way the gun never prints, it always looks like a wallet in the pocket. Since most shorts have nice loose front pockets it is very easy to slide your hand between the wallet backer and the gun making for a quick draw and because the backer blocks the print, you can even have you hand around the guns handle and no one can notice. With most shorts the presentation is loose enought even to draw (though not a quick draw) from a seated position such as in a car (practice a bit). I find it no slower than getting around the seatbelt when IWB. Front pocket carry does not work well in tight jeans, rear pocket carry is a good alternative but IWB is the better option.

    The debate of "bigger is better" will go on forever but .380 is a formidable round for self-defense and that is all CCW is about. Recently I obtained a Ruger LCP with the CT laser and the same holster for this setup. It is really pretty cool adding both the aiming aid and the fear instilling "red dot" of laser to this mini-pocket pistol.

    So if your summer wear is shorts, I can highly recommend the P-3AT or LCP as the most concealable and comfortable carry and when it is cold out and you decide to slap on the big iron you will likely find the little one still in your pocket because, like a watch or a cell phone, you start to feel naked without it.

    Good Luck ...

    ps: I love Vegas, I may have to come visit one of these days soon

  8. #7
    If you are planning on eventually buying both, I would go with the pocket pistol first. This way you will be able to carry no matter how hot it is, and you can take your time saving up for the compact.
    The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first. - Thomas Jefferson

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by utimmer43 View Post
    If you are planning on eventually buying both, I would go with the pocket pistol first. This way you will be able to carry no matter how hot it is, and you can take your time saving up for the compact.
    I couldn't agree more. My Kimber Custom CDPII has sat at home since warm weather kicked in. I'm not carrying most days until my S&W J frame arrives at the dealer from back order status.

    "Will Work For Ammo"
    "Will Work For Ammo"

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by utimmer43 View Post
    If you are planning on eventually buying both, I would go with the pocket pistol first. This way you will be able to carry no matter how hot it is, and you can take your time saving up for the compact.
    OH, BTW... Having said that, also take note of the ammo that is available in your area, or what you are willing to pay for it online. Aside from having half the impact of 9mm, .380 will almost never be found at Wally World, and will run about 50% more in price than 9mm (online).

    Also, I read alot on here of people pocketing the PM9, so maybe going with the Kahr first would be the better option. Then you can see if it is indeed small enough for your pocket. You might not need both after all. You might also try renting one or borrowing a friends to see how it feels before you buy one of your own.

    I realize I just contradicted myself, welcome to my world. I have stuff like this running through my head all day long. I too am considering a hot weather pocket gun, and am currently leaning toward a Rohrbaugh R9.
    The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first. - Thomas Jefferson

  11. #10
    I've gone back and forth on this issue...whether to buy a a pocket pistol or a compact. My primary pistol is a 5-inch 1911 which is utterly reliable and accurate. I'm concerned about compromising reliability and/or accuracy when going with something smaller. But the reality is, I live in the Phoenix metro area and my 1911 is not only a bit of a load for carry, it's also more difficult to properly conceal during warm weather...which is most of the time. I want/need something smaller.

    My preference is a 1911 platform. I've looked at compact 1911s and worry that I won't be able to adequately control a compact model (.45) for fast, accurate follow-up shots. Birthday number 69 is rolling around this year and I probably won't get any stronger. So I persuaded myself to consider a .380 pocket pistol. I looked at the Ruger LCP, a Walther, and the Kel-Tec, but didn't get that warm, fuzzy feeling. Nothing against any of these little pistols...it's just my bias for a single action 1911-style pistol. For the present, I'm waiting to get my hands on the new Sig P238, which seems to be based on the Colt Mustang. Hopefully, that will fill my need. Until then, it's my government 1911 or nothing.

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