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Thread: Compact vs. Full-size for Concealed Carry

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    Member Big Country's Avatar
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    Default Compact vs. Full-size for Concealed Carry

    I'm looking tor a semi-auto pistol to carry concealed.

    Ideally, I would carry the biggest gun I can get, and have a truckload of 20mm ammunition to feed it.

    Well, for whatever reasons, God chose to stuff me into a body that is too small for me, so it would be difficult to conceal a full-size single-stack model or most double-stack pistols. That makes a compact single-stack a better choice for concealment, but only provides 5-7 rounds until it is necessary to reload, plus a short barrel, etc.

    There is a school of thought, however, that says to choose the best firearm to employ in a life-threatening situation, then dress in such a manner that it is undetectable. Taking that line of thought to the extreme, I could carry a Desert Eagle and wear a mumu, but I won't be going that route.

    What do you folks think?

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    There are many schools of thought on this.....and no matter what I say I'm bound to get flamed. but here goes..... If you like the 1911 style I wouldn't carry anything other then the Govt Model... Ive seen some of the officer models run good...and others run bad.. anything smaller then a Govt Model is a crap shoot IMHO you might get a good one, and might get a problem,.... I load all my 1911s with Hard Ball, thats just my preference.... Ive seen to many 1911s Malfunction with the broad hollow points such as the gold dot for me to have much faith in them. personally for concealed carry id try one of the new reputable plastic models- Glock, SIG, springfield armory, Ruger, Smith , All excellent ... They need less oil...they are less finicky about what you feed them and they are lighter and better designed to fit in a compact model .... thus more easily concealed. if your open to revolver platforms, Then a nice lady smith in .357 is a beautiful thing. My thinking is simple.... Although a 20mm and a trench coat would definanly do the job. your much less like to carry that **** on a 90 degree day nor when your in a hurry to run out the door... its also a pain to have to tailor fit your favorite suit to fit a heavy Gun you may never use.....

    The best gun is the one you have just my 2 cents

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Country View Post
    I'm looking tor a semi-auto pistol to carry concealed.

    Ideally, I would carry the biggest gun I can get, and have a truckload of 20mm ammunition to feed it.

    Well, for whatever reasons, God chose to stuff me into a body that is too small for me, so it would be difficult to conceal a full-size single-stack model or most double-stack pistols. That makes a compact single-stack a better choice for concealment, but only provides 5-7 rounds until it is necessary to reload, plus a short barrel, etc.

    There is a school of thought, however, that says to choose the best firearm to employ in a life-threatening situation, then dress in such a manner that it is undetectable. Taking that line of thought to the extreme, I could carry a Desert Eagle and wear a mumu, but I won't be going that route.

    What do you folks think?
    Hard for me to imagine a scenario where a short barrel and 5-7 shots would be a handicap in a self defense situation for normal guys in their day-to-day routine. Ease of carry and conceal-ability easily outweigh increased capacity or extra barrel length for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Country View Post
    I'm looking tor a semi-auto pistol to carry concealed.

    Ideally, I would carry the biggest gun I can get, and have a truckload of 20mm ammunition to feed it.

    Well, for whatever reasons, God chose to stuff me into a body that is too small for me, so it would be difficult to conceal a full-size single-stack model or most double-stack pistols. That makes a compact single-stack a better choice for concealment, but only provides 5-7 rounds until it is necessary to reload, plus a short barrel, etc.

    There is a school of thought, however, that says to choose the best firearm to employ in a life-threatening situation, then dress in such a manner that it is undetectable. Taking that line of thought to the extreme, I could carry a Desert Eagle and wear a mumu, but I won't be going that route.

    What do you folks think?
    Serious question. If you had to use it how far from your threat would you be?

    Ive be always said if I draw I better be shooting. Which means the threat would be close up. So I carry a glock 27 though I'd rather carry a 23.
    Ive carried a ruger sp101 in 357 in the past as well. I'm currently looking for a 38 or another 357 to replace my glock.

    To to each their own.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Country View Post
    I could carry a Desert Eagle and wear a mumu......What do you folks think?
    What 1Cor said pretty well sums it up, I think.


    Beyond that, I think if every guy who wanted to carry a concealed firearm was required to wear a Mumu in order to do so, the world would be a far more entertaining place.
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    It's not too hard to conceal a 4" 1911 been doing it for years. For thatvmatter my 4" xd 45acp with the right holster and a loose fitting shirt is nearly undetectable as well.

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    It's not just about concealment... carrying around a heavy pistol just gets old. I love shooting 1911s and large frame SA revolvers but toting them around concealed is a chore.

    I find that I'm carrying my Chief's Special a lot more. If 5 rds of .357 won't do it...nothing else is likely to either.
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    Depends upon what you are wearing...sometimes it's a full Gov't Model or G35/20 or 21 and other times it's a Keltec .380 or Beretta .22. Hard to hide a big gun when you're wearing a jock and tennis shoes.
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    SP 101 with three inch barrel. Get some 180gr. or 200gr Buffalo Bore or Double Dap ammo for carry as a handy camp/walking in the woods gun.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    SP 101 with three inch barrel. Get some 180gr. or 200gr Buffalo Bore or Double Dap ammo for carry as a handy camp/walking in the woods gun.
    That's what I was carrying. Sold it to buy a 44mag but spent the funds on the glock 27. Lol. Now I want another one.

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    You can get 40 S&W in 200 gr flat nose hard cast. It's a handfull in the G27 but then they aren't target rounds. They would penetrate as good as a 3" .357 mag with a 200 grain. I have tried loading hot .357 mag 200 gr in my Model 19 2.5" and they are very loud and kick a lot but don't penetrate any better than 165gr Keith SWC which I think is the best bullet in the .357 Mag.

    IMHO, you don't gain much in real shot barrel magnums. I do like the 3" Charter Arms Bulldog with pretty hot .44 Spl and 265gr Keith...light and easy to carry, just wish it was a little better made.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    . I do like the 3" Charter Arms Bulldog with pretty hot .44 Spl and 265gr Keith...light and easy to carry, just wish it was a little better made.
    I keep hoping S&W will bring back the 696
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Just one thing to consider during this discussion: The length of the barrel doesn't affect concealability. You could have a 12" long barrel if you can draw it fast enough because the barrel runs parallel to your legs. In other words, the barrel goes down your pant leg where the grip sticks out. So what really affects your ability to conceal is the hand grip. There's a new style of conceal pistols designed with that in mind. I know Glock has the -L models that denote a long slide. So for instance a G19L is a pistol that has a service length barrel, but a compact length grip. Springfield also has the new XDS 4.0 with the same thought in mind. It's a standard XDs, but has a 4" barrel instead of the 3" barrel. I have an XD .45 compact. It's a service size upper with a shorter grip for concealment. Comes with a 10rd mag for compact concealment. But it also has a 13rd with a grip extension that makes it identical in size to the full service XD. You can see the extension in this pic:

    5.jpg

    Anyway, the point is, don't focus too much on the barrel length as your deciding factor. The grip is the the part that will show or print.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    Just one thing to consider during this discussion: The length of the barrel doesn't affect concealability. You could have a 12" long barrel if you can draw it fast enough because the barrel runs parallel to your legs. In other words, the barrel goes down your pant leg where the grip sticks out. So what really affects your ability to conceal is the hand grip. There's a new style of conceal pistols designed with that in mind. I know Glock has the -L models that denote a long slide. So for instance a G19L is a pistol that has a service length barrel, but a compact length grip. Springfield also has the new XDS 4.0 with the same thought in mind. It's a standard XDs, but has a 4" barrel instead of the 3" barrel. I have an XD .45 compact. It's a service size upper with a shorter grip for concealment. Comes with a 10rd mag for compact concealment. But it also has a 13rd with a grip extension that makes it identical in size to the full service XD. You can see the extension in this pic:

    5.jpg

    Anyway, the point is, don't focus too much on the barrel length as your deciding factor. The grip is the the part that will show or print.

    Yup, also the thicknes. Holster and belt are critical as well. This Ruger P345 carries very nice in this NM-Holsters IWB. 8 rnd single stack mag. Notice the forward cant. I'm 5'10" 170ish.









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    Here's one of my solutions...I cut my G20 grip down to take a G29 mag and of course it will still take the full size mag as well. It carries like a G19/23 and is about the same weight. I use a well used Crossbreed IWB made for the standard frame Glock...it's a little tight but works fine. It also works well with the Chesty Puller rig. If I can't get it done with 11 rounds of 10mm 200gr flat nose then I'm probably going to check out anyway. I'm convinced the G20 barrel length 10mm has better penetration on critters than anything in 45 ACP. For 2 legged targets, a good 165gr XTP works too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Beyond that, I think if every guy who wanted to carry a concealed firearm was required to wear a Mumu in order to do so, the world would be a far more entertaining place.
    That's pretty much what I was thinking.....
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    I carry a small frame 9mm, .380 pocket pistol or a snub nose .357 depending on what clothes I'm wearing, if I could only choose one it would be the little pocket .380 simply because it's so easy to carry. My personal preference is to make sure I'm carrying something, even if it's a small caliber.


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    Its all about body type.

    I settled on a Ruger New Vaquero in 45 Colt with a birdshead grip, 3.75" barrel. I can shoot a standard plow handle better and faster, but the birdshead conceals real nice. 5'10", 190#. Year round, my outermost layer of shirt is not tucked into my pants unless I am carrying open.

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    Sounds reely good. That would work for me, probably.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    Just one thing to consider during this discussion: The length of the barrel doesn't affect concealability. You could have a 12" long barrel if you can draw it fast enough because the barrel runs parallel to your legs. In other words, the barrel goes down your pant leg where the grip sticks out. So what really affects your ability to conceal is the hand grip. There's a new style of conceal pistols designed with that in mind. I know Glock has the -L models that denote a long slide. So for instance a G19L is a pistol that has a service length barrel, but a compact length grip. Springfield also has the new XDS 4.0 with the same thought in mind. It's a standard XDs, but has a 4" barrel instead of the 3" barrel. I have an XD .45 compact. It's a service size upper with a shorter grip for concealment. Comes with a 10rd mag for compact concealment. But it also has a 13rd with a grip extension that makes it identical in size to the full service XD. You can see the extension in this pic:

    5.jpg

    Anyway, the point is, don't focus too much on the barrel length as your deciding factor. The grip is the the part that will show or print.
    I dunno why you say that. Unless you're talking only about using a IWB holster.

    I MUCH prefer an outside holster. IWB is VERY uncomfortable, and IME, very impractical. I find that barrel length has a lot to do with conceal. I don't mind, and prefer a big grip. It's the barrel that sticks down, and can easier be seen if my shirt or jacket isn't very long.

    I don't like short barrels, but I go 3" in a 38 revolver.

    Autos seem to have enough barrel length.

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