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Discussion in 'Handguns' started by silenthunterstudio, May 8, 2006.
Do you already have a 357 mag or 9mm? If so get something in the matching caliber.
I've carried both autos and revolvers CCW for years. The autos seem to be easier to conceal because of the width of the cylinder of the revolver. Also, most pocket revolvers will be limited to 5 rounds (if that concerns you). I personally believe that revolvers may be more reliable for concealed carry and the learning curve for using them is pretty easy.
I'd echo what others who are smarter have said before me- try to find a place that will rent the guns you want to try, shoot them, get a feel for their size and trigger, and then decide. It's really all about personal preference.
I tried to get my wife to get a .40 Kahr when they first came out. I liked it. She didn't. She wound up with a 3" SP101. It turned out to be a great choice. She can shoot full house .357 loads in it comfortably. She likes being able to practice with .38s, and carry either .38+P or .357 loads for protection. I got her a Crimson Trace grip for Valentine's Day, and she loves that little red dot.
If she can carry it, it's not too heavy. I carry a .45 Glock 21, so the SP101 feels like a toy to me!
I'm not knocking the Kahr. You just can't beat the reliability of a revolver! And if you carry a speedloader in your pocket, extra ammo is pretty fast, too.
I find a J Frame easier to conceal in a pocket and to draw from a pocket because it is rounder and has a shorter grip than semi-auto handgun. I prefer carrying a semi-auto (Glock 36/19/27 or Kahr P9/PM9) IWB. If your budget only allows for one CCW, get a J Frame 1st and a semi-auto later.
I have tried the .38's and 9mm's now I carry a Sig mod 230 .380. and find it is great
I carry it with federal Hydro-shock hp;s.
I also carry a NAA .22mag as backup. It is also carred with hp ammo. :-X
I have a k9 kahr and a model 60 357. The sixty can shoot many different loads and is well made .
The k9 is my favorite 9 , all steel and built for a life time ! I pocket carry a seecamp 32 mostly .
But if I was just starting out ? I would look at Sig 938 , nice and flat . Great sights ,trigger and has a hammer .
Flat thin and light . Those rules have work for me for 40 plus years .
I like the M&P Shield 9mm as my current carry. It's small enough that it's an easy carry.
Another 9mm favorite.
i own both revolvers and autos, compete with autos, and carry autos. the 38 is the wife's glove box gun, because it can sit and she just has to pull the trigger. I carry autos because they are skinny, easy to shoot well, hold more rounds, and reload quicker.
The myth about revolvers not jamming is a myth. they fail less often for sure, but when they do get jammed they are usually take home and figure out, not tap rack bang. a light revolver that shoots 357 is nothing short of unpleasant to shoot. That means it's seldom practiced with. Revolvers worked well for 100 years, and carrying 5-6 rounds and nothing more makes sense for a low risk situation. I prefer my 8-10 of 9mm or 45ACP with a reload available.
I just traded in my LCP for a shield. The LCP was smaller, lighter, and easier to carry. But like a 357, it barked hard and it was hard to shoot well. the shield has 400 rounds or so through it, not bad for 10 days of ownership. My LCP or 38 still don't have that many rounds through them and I've owned them for almost a decade.
I carry either a Ruger LCR 9mm revolver or Glock 43 when I want something small. Since I got the 43 the LCR has been staying home a lot. I like that the 43's reload is easier for me to carry without fishing around in my pocket. The 43 is thinner but either one disappears IWB (I'm not a fan of pocket carry).
All that said, normally the Glock 19 gets the nod. It's just a better solution and, once I again, I'm not fishing in my pocket for a reload.
I got the LCR in 22 WMR and it's a hoot, but that round is expensive. Also comes in .357, .38, 9mm, 22LR, .327
I'm not aware of your firearm background training etc. and by no means am I trying to offend or insult you or your ability to handle a handgun. I'm providing information in this post as if the reader really doesnt have any experience with either style of these weapons, Autos have some cool advantages, when properly perform, reloads can be very quickly and when they are maintained they can be a very effective tool. they seem to be easier to conceal.
The down side. Murphy's law is alive and kicking and things can go wrong, so unless you have experience and have trained to clear malfunctions you very easily could shoot once and then you might just have a club. A good quality revolver is pretty hard to beat. They are easy to use, typically no safeties to fumble with when they are needed to be used. They're simple to operate and simplicity is your friend when things deteriorate to point you need to pull a gun. Heart rate goes up and when it jumps above 150 bpm you start to loose your fine motor skills, like pinching the slide of an automatic to load a round or click a safety off. Either weapon would be a fine choice you need to figure out which one suits your needs and abilities, buy it, train with it like your life depends on it.
I have had both of the OP's options at the same time.
I still have the three inch Ruger revolver but said good bye to the poor reliability of the Kahr.
There are plenty of reliable auto pistols out there, but I have had two separate Kahrs pistols that have failed catastrophically failed. Kahr has terrible customer service, which after multiple trips to the factory, meant I cannot recommend them to anyone who might use them for defense.
Ruger makes some auto pistols these days that might work. Go to a gun show to handle a few dozen pistols and the find a rental range to try out your supposed favorite. There is no better path. Example being small snub nose revolvers... Airweight J frame recoil is miserable in my opinion, whereas steel frame guns are so much easier to shoot to proficiency. One carries easily, one shoots easy, but those two things rarely coincide.
By Ruger snub nose, I'm assuming the Ruger LCR? I do not have one, but I am very familiar with the LCR & I have a S&W 442 that I've had for over 20 yrs. I also have 3 Kahrs (CM9, CW9, & P45). I had 4, but foolishly got rid of one, but it did get me another Kahr (The P45). While the snubby does have its advantages, I do tend to carry a subcompact auto instead. However, I have had extensive training, experience, & have continued to train. I do think that a revolver is the best bet for someone with no to little experience.
Having said all of that, here's what I think of the 2 guns (Which Kahr are you thinking of?).
Snub nose. It conceals differently & the LCR will be a little lighter (Both empty & loaded, of course). Because it's not as square at the "back" end, it sits well in a front pocket. Put it in a quality IWB holster, & it'll pretty much disappear. Once you get the cylinder behind a belt, it's hard to see. The grip is smaller & curved, so it doesn't really "stick out" While the snubby's trigger is going to be harder (& probably longer), it should be pretty smooth. The revolver should be utterly reliable, has the simplest controls, & no external safeties to manipulate, just a trigger to pull. Reloading is going to slower by quite a bit. I recall being in the Academy & actually got to the point that I could use a speed loader on my revolver & be as quick as the other Cadets with an auto. However, I am naturally quick & could reload an auto even quicker. That is on a six shot & there are speed loaders for 5 shots, but a speed loader, IMHO, is harder/bulkier to conceal than an auto mag. A snubby is perfectly acceptable at "normal" self defense distances. The majority of gun fights are well within the snubby's capabilities (7 yds or less), but if you have to shoot farther, it becomes increasingly more difficult. The more than likely heavier/longer trigger, shorter sight radius, shorter barrel, & (Most likely) as good sights.
Kahr (Which model?). I will talk of their 9mms, since I had 3 of them (Still have 2). I have the CM9 (3" barrel, 6+1, but will take higher capacity Kahr mags) & CW9 (3.5" barrel, 7+1, & will also take higher capacity Kahr mags). The CM9 (Same with the PM9, which I also had), is very small. It is the same weight, empty, as my S&W 442, but is thinner & shorter (Lengthwise) & has better sights. The CW9 is about the same length as the LCR, but is heavier & taller. The triggers on the Kahrs are VERY smooth & break in very well. Their pull weight should be lighter than the LCR's & the trigger pull should be slightly shorter. I would say that the kahr's trigger is easily lighter & shorter than my 442. Reloading is going to be easier/quicker & you should be able to conceal the kahr easier. It's thinner & is easy to pocket, ankle, or holster carry IWB. In fact, nothing concealed as well as my Kahr PM9 (Or the CM9, for that matter) in a F.I.S.T. tuckable IWB ultra thin kydex holster carried AIWB. It just flat disappeared. I could carry it that way in slacks & a dress shirt or even a suit & no one notices I'm carrying, if I clip my cell phone by it, covering the belt clip.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind. There is no break in period on a revolver. There is for a Kahr (I've had 4 & they do improve tremendously as the rounds go over 200-300 rounds). You can load your revolver with pretty much ANY reliable round that it's chambered for & not have an issue. You may have issues with certain types of rounds with an auto. Kahrs are said to not shoot WWB well, but I had no problem with all of mine. Kahr's mags apparently can lose a round while it's sitting in a mag pouch. I've had it happen on one of my kahr, but not the other 3. Pinching the feed lips has not helped so far. It feeds fine, it just needs its mags to sit in a kydex mag pouch that fits tighter along the bottom of the mag than a nylon or possibly a leather one.
Good luck in your choice.
Ruger lcp 2 or glock 42. Both .380s. Both make great concealed carry. .380 ammo today is pretty effective and has come a long way. I used federal hydro shock hollow point in my ccw. Take a look at both go to a range that handles rentals and shoot them.
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I have been carrying for MANY years. Go Auto. I did carry a J-Frame for years, but I'm exclusively carrying Auto's now. More rounds (usually) and easier to reload always.
I've become quite a fan of the LCR-357. With .38+P, I can shoot it fairly well. After many years of shooting them, I'm a big fan of revolvers, and the LCR series offers a lot of good ones. The sights are very good, and the trigger is superb. The factory grip is also excellent. I've tried it with a CT (green) laser grip, and I'm in love. If I can see it, I can hit it at combat distances, even when it's too dark to see the sights.
I still have to find out if I can reach out further with the laser than I can with the sights. I've used the sights to shoot out to 25 yards, but I'm hoping to extend that.
If you like the autopistol better, go with that. I find it easier to conceal and to shoot a revolver, so that's what works for me.
This is the best time EVER to be looking for a CCW gun. There are some amazing choices out there, and if you're persistent, you'll find a handgun that works for you.
I love revolvers. That said, I carry a Kahr CM9 daily. Recoil (to me) is less than a J Frame with hot loads, its flat and easy to hide, and it's infinitely easier to reload quickly.