More Concealable: Revolver or Semi Auto?
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Thread: More Concealable: Revolver or Semi Auto?

  1. More Concealable: Revolver or Semi Auto?

    From a pure concealable standpoint, from these listed here, what do you think is the most easy to conceal? I've seen it discussed plenty (which is helpful) about the pros and cons of revolvers vs semi-autos and different calibers, but for my question here, what I am looking to hear is what is easier to carry most often? I dont have the funds to get a few different carry guns, so I have it narrowed down to either a .38 special J frame, or a small 9MM. Please let me know as I do not have experience with concealed carry. Thank you.

    S&W 642 (or similar)
    Ruger LC9, KelTec PF-9, or similar.

  3. From a purely concealablity stand point, a semi auto has an advantage because of its' flat profile. Even a J frame is going to be thicker than a semi auto of a similar bore size.

  4. conceal vs ease of use

    i choose to carry a j-frame with crimson trace laser grips in a simple pocket holster over comparable caliber semi-autos for 1 reason affords the quickest access possible. i hope to never need to draw, but when i practiced with each, i found i could get the j-frame out and on target ready to fire about a half second to a second faster that the semi. i attribute this to not needing to involve your off hand to charge or cock, depending on your semi model, and i don't advocate walking around locked and cocked...
    a semi may be more concealable because of the thinner profile, but i choose quickly available and alive over totally concealed and bleeding out because i couldn't get into action fast enough.

  5. #4
    I have both Semi autos & revolvers & here is what I have found. Comparing a EAA 357 snub revolver & a S&W Sigma 40ve, using IWB holsters, the semi although bigger is definitely more concealable due to the slimness. The cylinder thickness is the reason. When I use a smartcarry holster for bicycling, I carry the revolver. It is easier since it is shorter. Of course a Ruger LCP would be even easier but I prefer a full size weapon.
    Given your choice preferences I would go with a Bersa 9mm or a Beretta 40 cal Compact (JXS4F20) for an automatic or a S&W J frame 38

  6. #5
    I agree with the others here. A semi-auto is going to be narrower because of the cylinder on the revolver, and thus some people will make their choice based purely on concealability.

    I sometimes carry a semi-auto depending on my clothing/the weather. I have a Beretta Tomcat (.32) that works great using an IWB holster under a t-shirt.

    The other thing I will mention is weight. It may be negligible to some people when you're talking about a difference of only a couple ounces. I have a Ruger LCR (.38 spl) that I love which is 13.5 ounces. I also have a Taurus .38 spl snubby which is considerably heavier at around 23.4 ounces. I believe the S&W 642 is the airweight at about 15 ounces. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

    The Ruger LC9 is listed at 17.10 ounces and the KelTec PF9 is touted as the thinnest 9mm pistol on the market. It is indeed very lightweight and slim, less than an inch. I liked the one I had and carried it often.

    Hope this helps some. Good luck in your search!


  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Santa Fe Area, New Mexico
    CC both depending on weather and location. My semi is of thinner profile so I don't print CC'ing SOB or shoulder. I do always CC C&L with thumb safety set. As for the wheel gun, 357, I agree with Stein351 concerning not needing to mess around with a safety or jacking a round into the breach. BUT AGAIN I CC cocked & locked. The only delay is depressing the thumb safety. WHICH is being pushed down as my weapon is just clearing the holster. (NO FINGER ON THE TRIGGER AS YET).
    So I guess my point is carry as you feel comfortable, safe and able to present in a timely manner. It's your call.
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

  8. Thanks to all of you for your replies. I know I am not alone in wishing money wasn't such a consideration, and then I'd get a .38, and a semi, and a few others to round out the collection, but thats just not the case. Maybe I make too much of trying to decide, but to choose one CC gun is a tough choice. Thanks again.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cam9910 View Post
    Maybe I make too much of trying to decide, but to choose one CC gun is a tough choice. Thanks again.
    Not at all. I researched my 1st for several months before deciding.
    Things to take into consideration:

    1. Gun Fit - The gun MUST feel right in your hand.
    Go to the gun shops, some with ranges have rentals. Try different calibers. & models. Judge the iron sights. try the trigger pulls. A gun that doesn't feel right shooting, is useless to carry.

    2. Carry Preference - IWB, Shoulder, Smart Carry, Cell Pal, etc. Once you have satisfied #1, figure out #2. When you find the right fit you will know.
    My wife is waiting for her CCW, in that last 5 months we have been testing guns (so many guns) for here to carry. All price ranges. She would pay more to like her gun so that she would not need to replace it.

    If money is a concern, don't rush it, do your homework. In the end you'll be glad you did. (buy right, buy once) BTW check out Buds Gun Shop
    Good luck.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by cam9910 View Post
    From a pure concealable standpoint, from these listed here, what do you think is the most easy to conceal? ...what I am looking to hear is what is easier to carry most often?
    Depending on how I feel, where I am heading and what my business is, I generally carry either a full-size CZ 75B SS 9mm semi-auto (loaded with a SP-01 18rd mag) or a S&W 686+ 4" 7rd .357 Magnum Revolver (or sometimes both) along with 2-4 CZ 75B 16rd Mags and/or 2-4 .357 Mag Speed-loaders. On some occasions, I'll opt for my CZ 75 P-01 9mm with 2-4 spare 14rd or 16rd mags, but my preference is for carrying the full-size shooters.

    Weather plays no part in my decisions, hot or cold. Both conceal very easily, IMO, (the CZ slightly easier than the S&W because of the Smith's full square grip) with the right holsters & dress...that includes those 100+ days that come around now & then here in the sunny Southwest when I may be wearing only shorts and a T-shirt or Tank-top.

    FYI: I always carry the 9's half-cocked (decocked) with one in the tube so 1st bang is DA followed with the rest as SA. I always practice that way too, so with either type shooter I don't have to think...the 1st trigger squeeze is always a DA bang...No froggin' with safety's!

    BTW: If I am on the street here in my home state of NM, by law, I can only carry one concealed. (In my means of conveyance though, I could have as many as I want, all ready to Rock & Roll )...a New Mexico thingy. So, if in a NM metro area one or the other stays with my truck while I do my business. If rural, one stays concealed and the other goes "open" (NM being an open-carry state) or stays in the truck depending on my judgment at the time (because of the caliber of both 4-legged and 2-legged predators that inhabit these parts). In other states that I'm licensed to carry concealed, both go concealed if I have both on me, even if I'm in an open carry state (I don't like to advertise nor give up the tactical advantage concealment offers).

    IMHO, just find a shooter & load that will do the trick with the least rounds, is uber-reliable and fits your hand like a glove because your life depends on it.
    "There's a reason you separate the Military and the Police. One fights the enemy of the State and the other serves and protects the People. When the Military becomes both, then the enemies of the State tend to become the People."

  11. #10
    I carry both, depending on weather and clothing.

    On the belt (IWB), a semi-auto is easier to conceal. Glock 23 for me.

    In a front pocket holster, the J-frames cylinder melts into your thigh curve. Yes, the little .380s can be pocket carried too. I just prefer a .38 Special to a .380, just my own feelings.

    Depends on how you intend to carry.

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