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    FinkPloyd's Avatar
    FinkPloyd Posts: 20, Reputation: 7
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    #1

    Jul 12, 2011, 04:58 AM
    Handgun suggestion for concealed carry
    I currently carry (concealed in an inside the waistband holster) a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380. I'm thinking of "moving up" to a 9mm. Can anyone suggest a good (and small) 9mm that I can carry in an inside the waistband holster?

    I'll be using it at the firing range fairly frequently, so I don't want one of the $150 cheapies that I've seen out there.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
    raisingale's Avatar
    raisingale Posts: 71, Reputation: 20
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    #2

    Jul 12, 2011, 05:44 AM

    The Glock 19 is a common choice. However, "moving up" to 9 seems almost moot. A personal defense .380 round packs quite a wallop. Remember, the best concealed carry is the one you'll actually carry. If you go too bulky you'll quite possible opt out of carrying whereas with the .380 you might very well have carried. Personally I carry a S&W .38 Airweight. Good luck in your search.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #3

    Jul 12, 2011, 11:06 AM
    Personal defense infers close action, within 10-30 ft. 380 is fine and probably more easily concealed. 9mm has more options. I use a 40 cal. but not easily concealed.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #4

    Jul 12, 2011, 07:19 PM
    I have a number of different carry handguns. The main one I deal with is a Kel-Tec P3AT .380 caliber. Great fit for the pocket and as others have said, it will do the job if you're familiar with it. I also have a S&W .38 special snub nose revolver that I carry in the waistband at time. Decent gun and will also do what it needs. On rare occasions, I carry a Bersa 9mm Mini Firestorm in a Galco holster. The gun is small but still too big to be carried in the waistband comfortably. It's a great gun, has had over 2,000 rounds through it with no failures but it is just too big to be comfortable. What you're looking for, a small 9mm to be carried in the waistband, is probably something you won't find easily. In my opinion, the .380 Bodyguard that you already have is the answer to your question.
    twinkiedooter's Avatar
    twinkiedooter Posts: 12,172, Reputation: 1054
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    #5

    Jul 12, 2011, 07:25 PM

    Why not "move up" to an AMT HardBaller. Costs an arm and a leg but is very customizable and you'll be sure to impress your friends or muggers accordingly. Starting at $1,000 and the collectible model the Skipper model is much more. This is basically a .45 which has a lot more stopping power than the 9.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,250, Reputation: 5641
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    #6

    Jul 13, 2011, 06:55 AM

    I prefer at .38 or 357 revolver. Simple point and shoot. Don't have to worry about jamming.
    FinkPloyd's Avatar
    FinkPloyd Posts: 20, Reputation: 7
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    #7

    Jul 13, 2011, 07:14 AM
    Thank you, all. I am accurate with my .380 (shots within a 7-8" group) up to 50 feet... and know well that 2-3 rounds to the center of mass will put the bad guy down... so based on the advice above, I think I'll stick with my .380 for concealed carry inside the waistband.

    Thanks again, all. I'll be sure to come back to this wonderful site when I have other questions.

    ...and I'll try to "pay it forward" too, and see if there are some ares where I can help answer some questions.
    twinkiedooter's Avatar
    twinkiedooter Posts: 12,172, Reputation: 1054
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    #8

    Jul 13, 2011, 02:54 PM


    TO Odinn7:
    The AMT Hardballer is a REAL gun and NOT just a video game toy as you refer. It is very customizable with the grips, etc. and is a substantial weapon. A friend of mine had the Skipper model and loved it. He also got the Hardballer and loved that as well. He knew guns and dealt in weapons for years but never owned an AMT Hardballer but once he handled the weapon he loved it. He also bought a shoulder holster to wear the gun under his coat. He was a big man well over 6' and could handle this longer barrel easily. It is a well made gun made in West Covina, California. Much superior to a S&W anyday. S&W and Colt have both dropped in quality over the years. Not so with the AMT models.

    Yes, I am familiar with the Hitman videos, but No, I was NOT inferring the AMT in a video game to real life. The gun existed long before the video game came into being. Edios just picked this gun as it is very customizable with longslides, grips, etc. and looks cool.

    The AMT was also featured in the movie The Terminator as well and even appearing on the movie poster. It comes in several models, such as the Commando, and the Skipper. The US government at one time used these guns before switching to the 9mm Barettas. Also US police use these AMT weapons as well. The Broward Sheriff's Office in South Florida used these weapons as well before switching to the Glock 9's so the guns would to less damage to the perps. Apparently the AMT's were too powerful being a .45.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMT_Hardballer

    If the person wants affordability why don't they get a regular .357? The OP did say they didn't want a $150 cheapie so THAT is why I recommended this very fine weapon. Sometimes the person who actually carries a weapon does not actually take it out and use it as personal defense. This way if they had the Hardballer concealed and took it out the other guy would literally pee his pants and think twice about doing whatever. I consider your 380 a toy, not a gun. It's made of ploymar plastic! Just like the Glock 9's. It's like a toy gun literally! Why not just carry a water pistol and be done with it. Do you want a toy or a for real gun that stops perps cold? Sounds like you want a toy instead. That gun is okay if you were a little boy or a woman but real men carry real guns.

    Guns are not recommended to be shoved into your waistband as they tend to accidentally blow off important man parts. Only movie people use lightgerweight guns and shove them down their pants front. Real people who have any brains don't do this but use a holster instead fitted to their weapon or use the moldable holster.

    You can have a full grain or a half grain bullets for the .357 and still meet your needs. Have your gunsmith customize your loads accordingly.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,268, Reputation: 7690
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    #9

    Jul 13, 2011, 07:32 PM

    I still carry my Kel Tec 380, it was my back up weapon when I was a officer, perfect small fit for waist, leg, I carry it since it is so light weight and easy to carry.

    The Glock 19 would be my next choice for a slightly larger weapon.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #10

    Jul 13, 2011, 09:04 PM
    Aww... I upset Twinkie. Believe it or not, I do know about the AMT Hardballer. I didn't think your answer was appropriate as the OP asked about moving up to a 9mm. Further, he stated "Can anyone suggest a good (and small) 9mm that I can carry in an inside the waistband holster?"

    So you got offended that I didn't think your comment fit his question? Too bad. Your answer had no place other than for you to go on about Hardballers. Clearly, guns that size are not "small" and can't be carried in a waistband holster.

    As far as shoving guns into your waistband... They make waistband holsters... ever see them? Same as a holster you wear on the outside but designed to be worn in the waistband for more concealability. Look them up. Galco, Bianchi, any name brand holster company makes them.

    Now I'd rather not turn this thread into an argument because you are offended. I apologize for hurting your feelings.
    FinkPloyd's Avatar
    FinkPloyd Posts: 20, Reputation: 7
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    #11

    Jul 14, 2011, 07:37 AM
    No need to argue, I was happy with all of the responses.

    I did not mention my price range so the suggestion of a $1000 gun was not out of line.

    If I found a small (similar in size to my S&W BG .380) and reliable 9mm for under about $450 I'd probably buy it... but based on all of the suggestions here in this thread, I'll stick with my .380 for Concealed Carry, and maybe upgrade to a bigger caliber for target shooting and open carry later.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #12

    Jul 14, 2011, 08:16 AM
    Sorry to turn the thread into an argument FinkPloyd.

    I will say though that a larger caliber handgun for target shooting and home defense is a good idea and in a case like that, I would certainly stand behind Twinkies idea of AMT's if you could even find them.

    Take care.
    FinkPloyd's Avatar
    FinkPloyd Posts: 20, Reputation: 7
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    #13

    Jul 14, 2011, 08:31 AM
    Thank you, all. I've appreciated all of the input.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #14

    Jul 17, 2011, 02:37 PM

    Have you decided yet what you want to carry as far as a revolver or a semi-auto ?

    Once you know that then recommendations might come a little easier.
    raisingale's Avatar
    raisingale Posts: 71, Reputation: 20
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    #15

    Jul 21, 2011, 12:51 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by califdadof3 View Post
    Have you decided yet what you want to carry as far as a revolver or a semi-auto ?

    Once you know that then recomendations might come alittle easier.
    I'm a fan of both and carry either on occasion. As far as a revolver, it's my primary choice because God forbid if I ever need it and it mis-fires all I have to do is PTA (pull trigger again). In the heat of the moment, re-racking to clear a jammed semi-auto would be much more difficult. Unless of course you're trained to the hilt. It would also require that both hands were free to perform the re-rack operation. Self defense might very well be so close quartered that the weak hand would be engaged in keeping the bad guy simply off you. Just my .2 cents worth. Of course the semi-auto has far more rounds generally speaking so there is a plus there. I would venture to guess though that a 5 shot revolver in a real world situation would be more than adequate. This was advice given many moons ago by my CWP range instructor as to why he carried a revolver as his primary choice. Food for thought.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #16

    Jul 21, 2011, 01:11 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by raisingale View Post
    I'm a fan of both and carry either on occasion. As far as a revolver, it's my primary choice because God forbid if I ever need it and it mis-fires all I have to do is PTA (pull trigger again). In the heat of the moment, re-racking to clear a jammed semi-auto would be much more difficult. Unless of course you're trained to the hilt. It would also require that both hands were free to perform the re-rack operation. Self defense might very well be so close quartered that the weak hand would be engaged in keeping the bad guy simply off of you. Just my .2 cents worth. Of course the semi-auto has far more rounds generally speaking so there is a plus there. I would venture to guess though that a 5 shot revolver in a real world situation would be more than adequate. This was advice given many moons ago by my CWP range instructor as to why he carried a revolver as his primary choice. Food for thought.
    To me its about personal choice. Depending on the situation both have their good and bad attributes. Above all I always recommend that whomever the shooter is that they are comfortable with their weapon of choice. And I don't believe you have to be trained to the hilt to use a semiauto. I believe with any gun that you choose to carry you take it to the range and learn what to expect from it. Even practicing off hand shooting. It just makes sense to use what you have and to know how it works. Im sure in your choice of semiauto if it did have a high failure rate you would get a different one.

    Bottom line is what the person using it wants not my preconcieved ideas of any given situation.
    raisingale's Avatar
    raisingale Posts: 71, Reputation: 20
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    #17

    Jul 21, 2011, 01:21 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by califdadof3 View Post
    To me its about personal choice. Depending on the situation both have thier good and bad attributes. Above all I always recomend that whomever the shooter is that they are comfortable with thier weapon of choice. And I dont believe you have to be trained to the hilt to use a semiauto. I believe with any gun that you choose to carry you take it to the range and learn what to expect from it. Even practicing off hand shooting. It just makes sense to use what you have and to know how it works. Im sure in your choice of semiauto if it did have a high failure rate you would get a different one.

    Bottom line is what the person using it wants not my preconcieved ideas of any given situation.
    I didn't mean to imply you needed to be trained to the hilt to use a semi-auto. A reliable one is a great asset. I was simply mentioning the God forbid "what if" scenario in the event of a misfire or a jam. A revolver flat out will not jam. I'm very comfortable with both at a range but in a high adrenaline scenario I personally would rather continue to pull the trigger in the event of a mis-fire. Like I mentioned though, just personal preference. To add to my wishy-washy thoughts on the matter I often do carry a semi as well. Your comment about personal choice is spot on. Familiarity is ultimately key. When my wife and I go to the range I'll load a snap cap (inert, properly sized round for those unfamiliar) somewhere in her magazine discretely to familiarize her with rapidly remedying the situation. It's all about training.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #18

    Jul 21, 2011, 06:25 PM
    Exactly! Training is KEY. You have to be completely familiar with whatever it is that you choose as your carry gun or your home protection gun. I know of many people who own guns and think that is enough. I even know one guy who is licensed to carry, carries a Springfield XD, but has no real idea how to use it. He bought it, went to the range and put a box of ammo through it with a friend there to show him. I think "this is what you are going to base your life on?" Not only is he not familiar with the gun but he also has not run nearly enough rounds through it to see if it is reliable. My carry guns have been to the range with me countless times and I also make sure to continue to practice with them at least a few times a year. The guns I have designated for home defense guns are the same way. I want to know that gun well enough to load it in the dark, clear a jam, whatever. I also want to know that it's not a piece of garbage that is going to fail on me when I need it.

    Anyway, sorry to ramble. I just thought the last few posts were good and they got me to thinking.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #19

    Jul 21, 2011, 06:33 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by odinn7 View Post
    Exactly! Training is KEY. You have to be completely familiar with whatever it is that you choose as your carry gun or your home protection gun. I know of many people who own guns and think that is enough. I even know one guy who is licensed to carry, carries a Springfield XD, but has no real idea how to use it. He bought it, went to the range and put a box of ammo through it with a friend there to show him. I think "this is what you are going to base your life on?" Not only is he not familiar with the gun but he also has not run nearly enough rounds through it to see if it is reliable. My carry guns have been to the range with me countless times and I also make sure to continue to practice with them at least a few times a year. The guns I have designated for home defense guns are the same way. I want to know that gun well enough to load it in the dark, clear a jam, whatever. I also want to know that it's not a piece of garbage that is going to fail on me when I need it.

    Anyway, sorry to ramble. I just thought the last few posts were good and they got me to thinking.


    Its OK to ramble and welcome to the new boards here at AMHD.

    Shameless plug on my part. If you want to talk in general about guns there is a thread I had started and existed before this board. Its in another section but your welcome to read through and post there.

    https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/other-...ad-481412.html
    FinkPloyd's Avatar
    FinkPloyd Posts: 20, Reputation: 7
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    #20

    Jul 22, 2011, 04:55 AM
    I carry the S&W 380 (semi-auto) because it is small and reliable: Smaller than a 38.

    Attached is a picture of it in my hand.

    If there is a well-build and long lasting (up to thousands of rounds) 9mm gun that is the same size, I would consider it.
    Attached Images
     

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