Not new to shooting but just acquired my CCW permit and was wondering if there was, some fore sure options. I presently have a S & W 38 spcial.
Thinking something more semi-auto might be better??
I want to shoulder it I think?? What to do?
Shoulder rigs are for movie and TV cops. Do you want to wear a jacket everywhere you go? You say you have a S&W .38 special? That is a good gun to carry if its a J frame snubby. The best are the "Centennial" models like the 640 and 340. "Bodyguard" models will work if you insist on having a hammer. Hammers chew holes in your clothes and snag on the draw. I can't connect to the S&W website for some reason right now to give you links of the revolvers I am talking about. A snub nosed revolver carried in my pocket saved my life once. Pocket carry is fast to draw from and nobody looks at you funny if you have your hand in your pocket. Not only do you have to have a gun to win a gunfight, you have to be able to get to it. Quickly. You have to wear loose pants with generous pockets for pocket carry, otherwise you can't get your hand in there to draw and you look like an idiot with a gun in his pocket. I really wish carpenter jeans and cargo pants weren't going out of style. They were great for concealed carry. I carry my J frame 640 in a Safariland model 25 holster. It is the best I have tried yet.
I am also a firm believer in the Kel-Tec P-3AT pistol as a concealed carry piece that you will never have an excuse to leave behind other than legal issues. They are best carried in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster.
The "perfect" concealed rig is like finding the perfect girlfriend. I've been carrying concealed now for several decades in one capacity or another.
In Oregon, I carry on the belt because the way Oregon law is written "on the belt" can be viewed legally as either legal open carry or legal concealed carry. That's the way the law is written. As soon as the gun comes off the belt, the rules change and the gun MUST be concealed to be legal.
So, legal issues affect carry choices.
Shoulder rigs are for working detectives and TV police shows. Somehow it needs to be covered. That means a jacket, or if you're CCW with "Thunderwear" -- Spandex shirt with a gun pocket as I understand it -- you're limited in what sort of shirts you can wear.
Cowboys -- from the historical perspective now -- wore vests to conceal their guns. Vests work. I carry a pocket gun in a utility vest.
Sweatshirts work for concealed in the waistband -- IF a sweatshirt is appropriate dress for what you're doing.
Fanny packs scream "GUN!" --
I've carried a gun in a portfolio. But then a portfolio was an appropriate accessory when I was carrying it.
Guns for concealed carry . . . (Puts on Willie Nelson and Placido Domingo singing "All The Girls I've Loved" . . . )
J-Frame snubby, hell of a CCW gun, .357 mag, but it's five shot.
K-Frame snubby, .357 mag. Too big!
K-Frame 4" bbl, .357 mag. Too big, but I've carried one.
NAA Guardian, 32 ACP -- tiny, slips in a pocket. It's 7 shots, and 32 ACP. It's the gun I carry when I'm "not armed."
Kel-Tec P-32 -- Like the Guardian, but it feels like a squirt gun, and I just couldn't warm up to it.
Ultra Compact 1911 -- I don't like "cocked & locked." Single stack, single action. And they're BIG no matter how compact.
Kahr MK9 -- Kahr is making smaller, lighter. 9mm, I like it. Still it's not perfect.
Makarov -- single/double action. I like it but 9mm Mak is only slightly more potent than 380 ACP.
Colt Mustang -- 380 ACP version of the 1911. It's 380 ACP, too small.
Smith & Wesson 629, 4" barrel, 44 magnum. I've carried it. Not easy to conceal. Law says on the belt it need not be concealed.
Springfield XD, Tactical 45 ACP -- 5" bbl. I have a laser sight on this. It stays in the car.
Rem. 870 shotgun, 20" bbl. I can carry it under a trench-coat, but most of the time it stays in the car.
I've bought, sold, traded a lot of CCW guns. I have a large basket full of CCW leather. ALMOST went for the Galco "Jackass" shoulder rig for a 1911.
What works for CCW is to have options. What I carry to Safeway to get a quart of milk is entirely different than what I carry into the wilderness to go fishing.
Law, weather, your activities determine what and how you carry CCW. It's like choosing footwear.
smart carry for concealed carry. No cover garment needed (besides pants :lol: )
It's 2 seconds for draw to subject, so it's 1/2 seconds slower then my friends can do with holsters they need to cover with a jacket.
I can do one handed, but reholstering takes two hands.
Used it for over 4 years now.
takes a Little getting used to with my belly I needed to loosen it up so when I sit I don't pinch my belly and I would never use a 1911 with a dove tail, that would hurt.
Revolvers are more comfy and I use mine 50% of time. I use my small auto 35% of time and my XD45 when out with wife and family and pocket .380 for quick run to local store in shorts.
Large smart carry works with XD45 and medium for pt111 and .357. p3at is pocket carried.
Hope that helps.
A lot of good information on the options. Gun selection makes the options easier. Someone said something about the Kel Tec . They make a .32 ACP, .380 ACP, and A 9MM model that would be perfect for your problem. They are slim little guns that are tough as nails. I carry a .32 as my pocket gun, and there are plenty people in the graveyard who will agree they can kill.
The .38 special is a fine carry gun. Many feel it is on the light side or revolvers don't have enough rounds. However chances are you will never need it anyhow. If you do need it you better have it so if you are comfortable with it you will carry it. Getting a good holster and belt is one of the most important things in CC. My first carry gun was a Colt Delta Elite and I carried in a shoulder holster. Wrong in every way. At the time I was 120 pounds soaking wet. The gun was too big and heavy and the shoulder holster like has been said is for movies or detectives. I have put on about 50 pounds over the years and now that gun would be no problem in a good IWB or even belt holster. My favorite carry gun is my Kel Tec P3AT just tossed in my front pocket. I don't much care for the .380 round but for around home where I live and summer it is fine. When going to more "Hostile" places I carry my Glock or Beretta.
I would not hesitate to carry a quality .38 special revolver with +p defense loads in almost every situation I am in. Being able to shoot the gun accurately and carry it comfortably is more important than caliber.
"Smoke" had a good post. Where you carry dictates how you carry. When I back pack in northern Minnesota, I carry a Ruger Vaquero on my hip. However, on a daily basis on the job and socially, I wear a sport coat or jacket. Although I have a Beretta 92, I almost always use a 1911 in a shoulder holster. It is the most comfortable and convenient way for me to carry it. In warm weather, I carry a small lightweight Kimber Tactical Ultra II in an inside the pants holster. When the weather hits 90, my Colt Mustang goes in my pocket with a good pocket holster. If I could, I would wear the shoulder holster always.
I usually carry inside the waistband with an untucked casual shirt in the summer, sweatshirt or sweater in spring or fall and a jacket in the winter which gets taken off and tucked over my gun in restaurants with no one the wiser it just looks like a jacket bunched up against me in my seat.
Preffering an in the waistband the slimmer the better when it comes to firearms. My favorites have been a Browning BDM or High Power. a Kahr pm40 or my Kimber CDP Ultra
Smoke, informative post, thanks. I like my NAA .32 Guardian loaded with Silver Tips. It has the weight so that if i run out of ammo, I can throw it at my attacker and do some real damage (like in the movies).
I carry it in a Shark Skin (like it matters) pocket holster; it's easy to conceal and is my usual "summer time" or "quick trip out of the house" carry. As the weather gets colder, I swap between a Glock 26 (9mm sub-compact, it is easy to hide) and a Stainless Bulldog .44 Spl old model, (the Son of Sam gun).
I also have an old style Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag, 7-1/2" barrel, way too long to conceal. My house gun/burglary deterrent is a Mossberg 12 gauge with pistol grip loaded with 00 buckshot.
But like the other say, it's what is comfortable for you to carry, as well as what you can afford. As you may have noticed, a good pistol is high priced. Don't be afraid of used guns, if from a reputable shop. Like a used car, get them checked before you buy.
I bought my Glock used, and saved some money. I have never had any problems with it after running around 2000 rounds through it. I use it for my CHL proficiency tests and usually shoot between 245 and 250 on scores. Short barrel or not, it does the job well. Since I took the Texas CHL with a semi-auto, I can carry either revolver or Semi Auto pistol, good reason to take the test with it.
I carry a full size 1911 and a .38 and find carrying crossdraw to be very comfortably and very fast for me, with easy access if you wear shirt out. with only a few buttons buttoned on bottom and some practice no need to even pull shirt up...
I have one of those M&P 340 revolvers like the one pictured. It was defective from the factory and I had quite an ordeal getting it fixed and returned to me in good condition. Mine doesn't have the Crimson Trace grips since I don't care for the ones that Smith uses as pictured above. They feel good in the hand, but the rubber overmold is tacky and clings to clothes. They have a Defender series that is hard plastic and a little bit more compact. They don't enclose the back strap and are flush with the bottom of the frame. They are next on the shopping list. I have some older boot grip style checkered plastic Laser Grips on my 640 and they are great. The M&P 340 is great for pocket carry, but when I carry on the belt, I still go with the 640. Both are manageable with the Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. short barrel .357 loads that I now carry. I really like the front sight on the M&P 340, I may have to fit one to the 640 so it doesn't get jealous.