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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have done ALOT of research and learned enough to understand what may suit my needs. I know nothing is substitute for actually handling the specific guns, but what I am looking for are suggestions and things to consider (that I may not have thought of) to help narrow down my choices. I am a bigger guy (6'3 320lbs) with big hands so very small guns may not be the best choice.

Here are some of my needs and preferences.

1: Under $500 (preferably under $400)

2: Reliable

3: Will serve the role of concealed carry well but still fit large hands like mine.

4: Preferably 9mm (I have found this to be a good balance of effective caliber and ammo price)

6: Preferably SA/DA but not a must.



A few guns I have researched very thoroughly that I am considering

1: Kel-tec PF9 (My concern is it being too small for my bigger hands, magazine release placement could make for accidental release and compromise the ability to shoot, heavy trigger pull as a DA only)

2: Kel-tec P11 (Seems to be a bit bigger than pf9 with higher mag capacity but still seems too small for me. The trigger pull on this one is even heavier and is also DA only)

3: Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact 9mm (So far this seems to be the one that has my attention the most that seems to fit all of my needs but I still wish to get other opinions and suggestions)



Sorry this has been a bit of a long post but I was trying to give the most info I could to get the thread started. Thanks for reading!
 

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A couple of random thoughts...

1. Have you rented (or borrowed) and shot any of the above? I did that before buying my .40 and it was worthwhile -- kept me from making a huge mistake on the gun I thought I wanted?

2. Have you considered how you will carry (i.e., holster options and position on the body) -- and how each of these might fit your specific body and how well each would conceal on you in that configuration?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1: I haven't had the chance to shoot any of them so far unfortunately but I will definitely jump on the opportunity if I am able to.

2: I think what would be best for me is IWB. Position I'm not 100% on but I would start at my best guess for comfort and efficiency of draw as 3 o' clock.
 

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OK ... being an engineer I took a rather (OK I admit it, it was anal) approach... I also found that a buddy at work had done exactly the same thing -- we had developed similar spreadsheets... I built my choices based upon positive reputation of the guns under consideration (once I settled on caliber) and also dimensions (in all 3 axes) -- with height being my biggest consideration.

The gun I scientifically chose was the Glock 27 (I don't have huge hands so a compact/sub works fine for me) -- but when I rented one it felt very uncomfortable for me. I then tried the S&W M&P 40c which I really enjoyed shooting -- and that's the one I ultimately bought.

The gun is a bit bigger in height and it's also a bit of a chunky thing, but since I enjoy shooting it I figured I could resolve the CC issues.

I carry with a Remora No Clip holster IWB (opt for the RFT [stays open] and SS options).

Because it's a bit chunkier than my previous EDC (SIG .380) I really need a polo or other non-flimsy shirt for conceal -- Tshirt prints too much... Tshirt is fine for the SIG (FCC Logo Tshirt is perfect, btw)

Just some more food for thought. I'm far from an expert on the guns you mentioned so I'll let the experienced guys chime in on the specific selection -- just wanted to share how I got there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the reply! It is very much appreciated and I think when it comes down to it I will get some hands on time with the choices I come down to.

Getting the wheels going with my CC permit is my first priority. During that time I will be saving up the funds to get my gun. During that time is when I will really be going out seeking specific guns and such. I have done a lot of research on both concealed carry and various guns and features and with so many different models out there, it can be a bit overwhelming. My main motive for starting this thread was to get other peoples suggestions and personal stories (such as yours) to help me narrow down a bit the whole world of possibilities out there.
 

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Those guns are not going to meet your size requirements, they are small.

Glock 19 is my recommendation.
Reason, I love my Glocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Bersa Thunder UC 9mm seems to be a good size compromise for what I am looking for. The G19 looks very nice with many options and terrific reliability. I was actually briefly looking at it today but one of my concerns is it is somewhat thick.
 

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I recommend going to a range that has a large choice of rental guns to help find the best one for you .IWB works best for me but some wardrobe adjustment's are a must , good luck
 

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Cola, a man of your size should have no problem concealing any full sized handgun, so go with the higher capacity models of any manufacturer. My suggestions, if you want to go with 9mm, is the Glock 17 or the full sized S&W MP series. The different grip angles should tell which platform is most comfortable and natural for you to shoot, and both can be had on the used market for $400 or less. Good luck, Bro'.

Beers y'all,
Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks very much for you input Hodawg. I wasn't sure if my weight would make it harder or easier to conceal with an IWB system so your opinion there is very helpful. I will check out both of those guns. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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Cola, I'm 6'1 and 215 and carry a full-size 1911 in a Crossbreed and other than reaching high or bending over I have no problems. My XD 45 with the 4.25 barrel is really nice also for carry and that has the full-size grip that would probably work pretty well also in any caliber.
I don't know about down your way but here in Spring Hill all the shops here let you try the different weapons to see how they look concealed that may be an option for you also if they have the pistol you are interested in, well most the shops anyway don't know about 1 of them because I won't go in there because they don't allow carry in the store.
Good luck
 

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Not sure where you are but if ever in Jax area, you are welcome to shoot with us. A group here shoot regularly and use some of the guns mentioned. If single stack is OK, look at the Kahr CW9, you will be able to get that gun new in your price range. Negative, only comes with one magazine. I also love the XD's; points great, accurate and dependable.
Good luck, the hunt is a lot of fun.
Franklin
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the suggestion Tophop1. That would be a great way to see if it suits my needs. Do you need to already have an IWB holster or do most let you use one they have for trial purposes?

Thank you very much for the invite Franklin! That means a lot. I am currently located in Dunedin (next to Clearwater in the Tampa Bay area) if I am ever up that way I will take you up on the offer!

I keep hearing great things everywhere I turn about the XD's about accuracy, reliability and durability. Not to mention they have quite the following here on the net. It is one of the top guns I am aiming to learn more about along with the G19.

I will check out the CW9 and see what it has to offer. Thanks for the tip!
 

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Bersa is the best out of all of them, i owned the Full size never had one single problem!

Ended up selling it for my PT 738

 

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They should have generic one fits all like 4 in Revolver or semi-auto and real popular pistol specific , not to much high end firearm specific but should give you a good idea.
 

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Here's what I recommend based on what you stated:

- Ruger SR9 full size or compact $400

- Smith and Wesson M&P9 full size or compact $450-500

- Springfield XD9 full or subcompact $400-450

check out Budsgunshop.com and Shooters-jax.com. They can be bought new for those prices and maybe even less used. I wouldn't get a Keltec for ur first gun unless you really had a tight budget. You can find PF9 and P-11's for around $300 easy. Good luck mate.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you for the suggestions. The m&p looks like a very solid gun for sure. I don't know too much of the SR9 yet but I will look more into it for sure. One thing that I know might sound weird is I'm not liking the grip safety on the XD's, to me it is a bit of a turn off. I've never held a gun that has it but it just doesn't seem like a feature I would like or want. That opinion may change in the future but that is the only thing that popped out to me as something I don't like on it.
 

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I recommend you look into the Ruger SR9 as well. I really like them. They now offer an SR40 in MY preferred caliber, but, they're both virtually identical. I'm a pretty big fella and I like a large frame/full sized gun. Currently, I carry a Beretta 96D, which is just a 92 chambered in .40SW. Those Ruger SR models are more concealable being smaller and lighter, yet, they have a kind of "full size" feel to me in my hand. They also have a reversible backstrap that makes them more friendly to different hands.

Although, you can't go wrong with a Bersa IMHO. If I were in the market for a new gun today, and shopping for a 9mm, the Ruger and the Bersa would be on the top of my list. :thumsup
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Because you and a few other people mentioned the SR9 I started digging around online for specs, videos and reviews. I have to say that it seems very promising and is definitely taking my interest. Besides the Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact 9mm (which has been my number 1 choice so far on my strictly research based opinion) this SR9 seems to be a very great gun. I am definitely liking the 17rd mag. Some people say the trigger pull is a bit firm but that's something I couldn't judge unless I tried it for myself.
 
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