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Questions about concealed carry

12526 Views 21 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  logdog
Hey everyone, I'm new here, and I had some questions so I figured this would be a good place to get some answers.

I'm interested in carrying a concealed weapon when I'm of legal age, but I'm concerned about the pro's and con's of it.

From what I can see, it benefits me in that I can protect myself, others, and just the general confidence boost I would think carrying a weapon would provide.

However, the thought of carrying both makes me happy, but also a little nervous. What if I can't draw my weapon? What if there's an accident? What if someone else gains control and I end up being on the wrong end of the barrel?

Honestly, I'm just looking for some opinions from you guys (and gals). If you carry, would you recommend it to another person? If so, why? If not, why not?

Thanks for any opinions, comments, suggestions, etc., that you can offer.
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To carry or not is up to the individual and the best I can recommend is much what you are doing; get as much information as you can and then decide what seems best for you. I carry nearly everywhere but that is due to my beliefs and experiences. My father is the exact opposite for different reasons.
There are many fears and misconceptions regarding carrying a firearm, both for and against. Taking classes and reading some of the many good books on the subject would be very beneficial to helping you decide. One of the best books I found is called "In the Gravest Extreme" by Massad Ayoob. It is fairly old but the ideas and concepts are still very relavent. It goes very much into the mindset one should have and how one should act when carrying a gun. It also talks of the downside which is also very important in order to make an informed decision. You could also check into taking a CCW class if your state requires them, or at least seeing if the instructor will let you sit in. Even though you are under age, that shouldn't mean you can't get educated. Just remember, whatever you decide is what is best for you at the time and don't let others shame you otherwise.
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Hey uglydog, thank you for the response. I didn't even realize there were books on this subject, and so I'll definitely look into that.

Can I ask you specifically why you carry, what you carry, and how you carry it? Have you ever needed to use your weapon? Why does your father disagree? Sorry to ask personal questions; I'm just looking for specifics from people who have already made their informed decisions. If they're too personal, don't answer. :)

I'm honestly thinking that I will end up carrying when I'm of legal age, simply because I've had one close encounter where I was almost mugged, and my only thought was, "I wish I was of legal age to carry so I can actually defend myself against this punk." I was 18 at the time, and in MA, you can't even own a pistol until you're 21 (I turn 20 in a few months). I honesty am not sure of all of the laws in my state, and so that's also something I need to look into more.

Edit: What are some methods of carrying a concealed weapon? Do some styles require specific wardrobes? Are some methods seen as "better" or "more efficient"?
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RR, your concerns are nothing new. Everybody who goes to get a license (well the sane ones anyway) has these worries and thoughts on what ifs and maybes. My advice is practice, practice, practice.

First determine what type of gun would suit you best; semi-automatic or a revolver. Then determine what caliber would best suit your needs (IE: Self defense, defense of loved ones, defense of property, defense of others). Next determine whether you want one main gun for all year carry, or if you'd prefer a variety for hot weather, cold weather and the inbetween stages.

Once this has been done and you have your selected model, determine where you'd like to conceal it upon your person and look at the available holsters for that method of carry.

After you've done all this, practice situations that might come up. Get some friends, run through scenarios and get experienced in keeping your thoughts collected in a stressful situation. And above all, make sure the damn thing's (your gun and theirs) are unloaded! Don't assume, check and double check, and then check again!
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Ah, glad to know I'm on the right path. I plan on taking safety courses before I start shooting. :)

The more I think about it, I think carrying at the small of my back would be best, or under my left shoulder if I'm wearing a jacket.

What do you guys think about:

Walther P99 (9mm or .40?)
Walther PPK/S
Sig P232

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RR... I am going on 57 and ask myself the same questions, daily. Sometimes I decide there's no need to carry. Other times I decide I shouldn't carry. Many times I decide I'm not going out without carrying.

Same things go for carry rig or which weapon(s).
I rarely carry. There are other benifits to having a CCW permit. First here, NC,I don't have a need for handgun puchase permits, other states waive the waiting period to buy another gun. Also I don't have to carry a locker in the back of my car in order to have my guns legally transported to range, as I have no trunk...

I carry when out hiking alone or with my wife. There are too many restrictions on where you can and can't carry to make it practical for me, as LOTS of place are restricted. Also be aware that having one beer will void your carry permit as long as it can be detected in your system. But I am glad that I have the choice and freedom to carry if I want.

Ask around and find out who does the best class in your area. Lots of people plug the tapes in and don't give alot f hands on training. You might want to find a NRA instructor near you to have a pistol saftey course first. That way you'd have some bargining chips if someone was hesitant to let you take the CCW course prior to being 21.

Long and short, The classes are good training even if you only plan to carry a limited amount.
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the help. :)
Re: re: Questions about concealed carry

RectifiedRob said:
Ah, glad to know I'm on the right path. I plan on taking safety courses before I start shooting. :)

The more I think about it, I think carrying at the small of my back would be best, or under my left shoulder if I'm wearing a jacket.

What do you guys think about:

Walther P99 (9mm or .40?)
Walther PPK/S
Sig P232

I've got a S&W SW99 (which is pretty much the same as a P99) and I love it. It's small enough to conceal, yet large enough to be fun to shoot at the range.
I'm a BIG fan of the PPK but I would prefer something more powerful for self defense. My personal feeling is that a .357 revolver or 9mm with hot ammunition is the minimum I am comfortable with. I'm planning on getting my CCW as soon as this semester ends so I'm asking some of the same questions you are.
That leads me to my next question: what type of ammunition is generally seen as a good choice for personal defense? I'm assuming a hollowpoint would be best, as from what I've learned about projectile dynamics, hollowpoints cause the most damage (bullet fragments going everywhere on impact as opposed to an FMJ that just pancakes).

One reason I'm leaning heavily towards the Walther P99 is that it also comes in .40, which from what I've read is a decent compromise between power and accuracy. I don't know why, but I've always seen the 9mm as a "weak" round in relation to other caibers. I mean, the FBI couldn't have been wrong to choose the .40 over the 9mm. Or maybe they could. :p

I mean, a bullet is still a bullet, but...I dunno. Maybe I'm just reading the wrong things.
Hollowpoints are typically prefered because they are more likely to expand when they strike the target thus preventing overpenetration of the target. It is not desireable for a bullet to fragment into tiny pieces because they are less effective with the reduced mass. A FMJ is more likely to go through the target which means the energy of the bullet was not fully transferred into it/him. Remember that you are responsible for every shot you take including the bullets that go through a criminal's body and hit an innocent. That's another reason many people seem to prefer hollowpoints.

I feel the same way about the 9mm as you. There are some supposedly effective +P rated self defense loads in 9mm but I would prefer a .357 magnum, .40 S&W, .45 (ACP or LC) or any similar caliber over the anemic europellet.

There is no such thing as a one hit wonder when it comes to caliber. The .357 magnum and .45's have impressive records but even so shot placement counts more than anything.
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You're right about shot placement. I mean, a 9mm to the skull will take you down the same as any other round.

I like the idea of carrying a .40, although the .380 sounds decent enough. That's why I'm looking mostly at the Walther P99, as I like the idea of carrying around a .40 that could probably be easily concealed that won't make me feel like I'm shooting a pea shooter. I really don't like the idea of any of those "purse pistols" as I'd call them: these short little stubbly things that try to call themselves pistols.
A .380 is a short 9mm. They're the same diameter but the .380 is less powerful.
Whoops, I guess I don't know as much about guns as I thought. :(

There wouldn't happen to be any articles online about choosing a pistol caliber, would there? I tried Googling some things but I didn't find much. Maybe I'm searching for the wrong things.

I found some things about Mass. gun laws, and they're pretty strict here, but my town apparently almost always grants licenses. :)
Here's a quick link to keep you busy for a while..


lots of good info on HP's and other smaller carry guns. Lots of good ballistic info too...
Sorry to have not responded earlier but I have been out of town for a bit. I'l try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.
I carry because bad things can happen anywhere and I like to be able to counter them if necessary. I have been involved in Public Safety since my late teens (it was legal to become a Reserve Officer at 18 with a high school diploma, which back then was basically an unpaid regular officer) so between that and service in the fire, EMS, and coroner's office, have seen what man is capable and willing to do to his fellow man.
Today, I generally carry what I use for my service weapon as I can conceal it well enough in most circumstances and I am generally pretty familiar with the gun. That has changed a fair bit over the years but today it is a Springfield XD in either .40 S&W or .45 ACP. I do have a very small carry piece that is a back up to my main gun or for when my mode of dress does not allow for a full sized gun. That gun is a Kel-Tek in .40 S&W. It is pretty small which makes for easy carry and concealment but that also makes it difficult to shoot well at much distance. I also have a 9mm version of this pistol that I use for cheap practice. I have carried other guns at various times from .380 ACP on up to .45 ACP and .45 Colt. 9mm (in an auto) or .38 Special (for a revolver) would be my recommendation as there is a size to fit every need and ammo is relatively inexpensive, at least compared to the other calibers. They are also quite easy to manage with most ammo and it can be easily found.
Off duty I mainly carry inside the waistband (IWB) as it fits my dress style (or maybe lack thereof would be a better description) better than outside (OWB). I also prefer to carry the gun just behind my strongside hip but occasionally need to carry it small of back (SOB) depending on the pants I'm wearing. SOB is not a preferred method as it can be very uncomfortable when sitting and the possibility of injury if you fall on your back is quite high. Around here that can happen about anytime from now to April as ice is possible during that time. You also have tripping, uneven pavement, steps, and a myriad of other possible hazzards at other times.
I have had need of my firearm a couple times when in street clothes, only once were shots fired. I now no longer hang in those types of places.
My father served in the State Department for 20 plus years and I'm guessing a part of his dislike is based on his experiences in other countries. In the ones he was often stationed, the carrying of handguns was a sign of being in government favor and those governments were not always the most benevolent. When I have asked he has not given a clear answer so at least that is what I think as he is an ardent rifle shooter.
As for ammo, well designed hollow points are the best choice. I would suggest those such as the Hornady XTP, Speer Gold Dot, Remington Gold Saber, Federal Hydra-Shock, and Winchester Ranger/STX as they have a better track record of expanding than many of the standard hollowpoints from the same companies. Whatever you decide on, run at least 100 rounds of your chosen ammo through the gun to determine reliability. Some guns will not feed some hollowpoints well and you do not want to find that out if you need the gun. It may be expensive in the short term but is something that needs to be done.
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My state has allowed CCW for the last three years. I became licensed at the first opportunity and carry when I feel the need.
I always car carry. I have carried everything from a 45-1911 to a 380 Kel-Tec.

I have a simple rule. If I am going someplace where I think I will need my gun, I don't go. Don't go looking for trouble.

On one occassion I think I might have needed my gun I didn't have it. My CCW training did help me evaluate the situation and take appropriate action. My wife and I were traveling in Europe. We landed at a major european airport, then took a bus to a rail station to catch a train to our final destination. I had been warned about gangs of young Slavs in the rail station. While my wife made a potty stop, this old, fat, bald American was left to wach our luggage. Trying to be aware of my surroundings I notice two young men checking me out. I thought "Oh S---t, here we go!" as they approached me. Mentally I made a plan of action to counter the big guy first. As they got closer, I made eye contact, put my right hand into my jacket pocket and made a fist as if I were grabbing something. The two glanced at each other and turned away.
Had I been allowed to carry, I would have.

Take any training you can get.
Always be aware of your surroundings, armed or not.

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I have a simple rule. If I am going someplace where I think I will need my gun, I don't go. Don't go looking for trouble.
Mule, from your lips to God's ear. This is Rule #1. I live in the Detroit metro area and could find all kinds of trouble to get into. We adhere to the Rule and we rarely have seconds thoughts. By the way, we spend a great deal of time in the downtown area... at all times of the night and wee hours of sunrise. :wink:

Is that downtown StLouis you're speaking of? You know?
That Big Celebration a couple of weeks ago?

The Nuge is my hero, but I still cheer on the Cardinals...
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