What should I carry (handgun) and why?

I am going to take the concealed carry class in a couple of months and I did want this but I have not found an FFL that will carry one. I am leaning towards a Kel-Tec, but I want stopping power. I also want something that is light enough and small enough I will carry it every day. I would prefer something that fits in a pocket rather that a holster.
What do you suggest?

Also, on a related note, why should I not carry?
SSG Schwartz

DangerDad recommends this, with hollow-point ammunition. That’s what he’d get if he had the money. Or the Taurus Judge.

If I may ask, Sgt Schwartz - why do you want a concealed weapon? Wouldn’t a gun in a visible holster be a better deterrent to would-be criminals?

Sure, but that wouldn’t be legal.

ETA: A concealed pistol is much more comfortable to wear as well. (Especially if it’s tiny and in in your pocket like the OP wants)

This sounds to me like a very thinly veiled attempt to spark an argument about concealed carry licenses. I would request, Sgt Schwartz, that you not answer it and allow this person to start their own thread regarding this debate if he so chooses.

My guess is he just is misunderstood on the OP’s ability to carry a visible firearm. Maybe the “SGT” in his username made Mr Excellent assume he can legally carry a firearm. Either he thinks the OP is a cop or something or he just doesn’t realize most military personnel do not and cannot legally carry firearms around town.

Whatever your reason for concealed carry, the isntructor of the class will have the very best information for someone in your shoes. When I took the class and got my license, the instructor was a young guy just out of the marines (30-ish) who knew everything there was to know about gun lore and carry logistics. I’d ask the man or woman teaching the class what in their experience is best suited for someone in your shoes. They will look at you, fnid out your needs and walk you through the best purchase. The gun in the link you provided is basically a deadly toy. I’d be wary of those.

You may be right. My knee might have twitched a bit. Mea culpa.

Well, I’m not interested in a debate, but since you asked my opinion… you should not carry because it eliminates the danger of you or someone else getting killed by it.

At the risk of sounding like one of those guys that comes into a thread and goes “Doode, joo must by a GLOCK 'cuz it roxxors!”…

Glock has a 45 slimline (6 bullets in a mag, single stack). Model 36. Got a cousin who thought this thing was da bomb!

Personally, back when I felt that I needed to carry, I decided against it. For me, moving to a 40 cal (model 23) meant a significant increase in accuracy, larger clip, and the size difference was not too much, but I was using a holster. The difference in width (if I’m reading the glock website right) is ~0.05in - not really noticeable. Of course, the barrel and clip are longer on the 23.

Bond jokes aside, if I were in a situation where I thought I needed a more concealable weapon, I would like to take a look at the new Walther PPS. It’s supposed to be 1.04inch wide and available in 9 or 40. Could be worth a look.

Also seconding Phlosphr, with a twist. I got some incredibly good advice from the guys at the gun shop / range. They had a ginormous selection to try out and were really helpful. (Of course, being both a shop and a range, they wanted me to be happy enough to keep coming back for more practice / training.)

I don’t really know anything except that there’s a such thing as a “pocket holster”. I think you can carry an automatic in a small caliber, or maybe a 9mm, if you have a whole pocket just for the gun. I don’t know if you could fit a .40 or .45, but I think such a small one might be hard to handle.

I’d imagine an automatic might work better than a revolver since they’re slimmer, but I don’t know. I’d imagine you want a gun without any sharp bits that will snag on the pocket.

Aside from picking a reputable, reliable brand, the most important thing is which gun feels best and shoots best in your hands.

Here’s something I’ve always wondered. . .

If I wanted to carry a concealed weapon around, I’d probably just carry one around.

I don’t obey laws just because “it’s the law”.

It’s a different story if I wanted to carry, and thought that there was a reasonable chance of being searched, or a reasonable chance of ever having to justify it’s use.

I’d suggest looking on gunsamerica.com to find the gun you linked. It can be transferred to any FFL in your area.

As far as what to carry, that’s where you’re getting into an area of personal preference. If you’re going to be carrying in a pocket, you’ll want something with a shrouded or concealed hammer that won’t hang when you’re taking the weapon out. A weapon that has been dehorned has had all protruberances that might snag removed.

Caliber is a whole other discussion, but as a general rule, nothing smaller than 9mm, my personal preference is nothing smaller than .40.

It’s great if you have a firing range that will rent you a weapon you can test fire a few clips out of to get a feel for. Everyone has different size and shaped hands so what’s comfortable to hold depends on the person. Otherwise, a store like Gander Mountain has a large selection in stock that you can pick up and feel.

Final note. High capacity magazines only add bulk and weight. You’re not going to be getting into an extended firefight. Hopefully none at all. But carry an extra clip if you feel the need.

Small, light, pocket? One of the S&W Scandium .357’s (I think Taurus makes some exotic frames, too). I’d prefer not to carry an autoloader in my pocket, personally.

My carry? Robarized 1991A1 Commander with Novak low mount tritium. Backup is a Ruger SP101 - it’s kind of heavy.

Why should you not carry? Because you would prefer to be a victim? Because you have problems with drugs, alcohol, anger or have some kind of dangerous mental illness? Or maybe you’re just unreliable and can’t be trusted with anything more dangerous than a banana?

By the way, why are you attending a class and spending all that money? Do you feel you really need the class, or do you just think you have to in order to obtain your permit?

If you would rather save the money, and you dont feel you really need the class to teach you something, then just get a Florida permit. You can get a nonresident Florida CCW and it will work in North Carolina. (Along with like 30 other states)
You dont need to take a class to get it. Just send in a copy of your last Rifle Qualification Scorecard along with the application and you’re good to go.

He should get one of these, then .

I would say get something in .40 or .45. Preferably a 1911 of some reliable breed if you are physically bulky enough to conceal it. Otherwise a smaller .40 like an HK P2000 or a Sig would be a great choice.

You should carry a Plager Katsumate Series-D. Because you’re hunting escaped replicants.

Another vore for the .40. More stopping power than a 9mm but it wont travel through the engine block behind and into the kindergarten cafeteria. While I’ve got the Baretta, my FBI bud who’s always packing has it in a Smith.

When I worked armored, I carried my 18 year old Taurus PT99, 9mm, because it has never jammed or malfunctioned in it’s lifetime. To me that was the deciding factor. I never carried more than the one clip (15 rounds of semi-jacketed hollowpoints) because I figured that if that wasn’t going to get me out of whatever mess I was in, nothing would. Hell, I worked downtown, so if I was ever stupid enough to fire more than once or twice, the odds of hitting innocent bystanders was a little too high.

But if I’d decided to carry something heavier, I probably would have gone with either a .40, or a .38 special revolver.

Too bad Consumer Reports doesn’t do guns. It’d be nice to be able to check out some reliable data on durability, accuracy, long term reliability and the like.

Very key factor there. Never mind this weapon or that weapon… Cut to the basics and work backwards, and be ruthless in eliminating ‘favorite’ weapons if they fail to meet the needs:

What you want is the hardest-hitting, most reliable weapon you can safely control and conceal.

Order of importance:

  1. Safely control. If you can’t hit what you’re aiming at with a weapon, it’s useless to you, and you become a menace.

  2. Reliable. If you ever need to use it, it needs to work. First time. Every time. All the time. Anything less than 100% is too little.

  3. Concealability. If you can’t conceal it, you can’t carry it. A phase-shift plasma rifle in the 40-watt range, or a 1920’s style death ray, might be the ultimate in sure-hit, one-shot-stopping, but if you can’t make it unnoticeable, Mr. Policeman is going to ruin your day.

  4. Power. Once you’ve met all the other criteria, and only then, you can consider power. Fortunately, there are some very hard-hitting weapons out there that meet conditions 1-3 (above).
    Time to sing my theme song: Whatever you pick, get thee to the range, and practice, practice, practice. Practice until the guys at the range know how you like your coffee. Practice until they know the sound of your car, and have your coffee waiting for you. Practice until you’re sick of it, then practice some more. Practice until your hands have minds of their own when it comes to safe, accurate, correct handling of your weapon. Practice until it points like an extention of your mind. Then practice still further. If you’re going to carry, you are responsible for the safety of everyone around you, IRT your weapon… Practice until you are worthy of that trust.

Then practice some more.