Posted on May 25, 2014
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My wife and I are both looking to purchase a pistol a peice for our conceal carry, my question is, whats the best type for a 6FT tall 170PD guy and for a 5FT 4IN 113PD girl? Curious peoples thoughts
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COL Vincent Stoneking
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[Disclaimer: This goes without saying, but I'll say it anyways. I'm not a lawyer or a firearms expert. Just some guy on the internet. Always ensure that whatever you do comports with state & local laws, Army regulations, Post regulations, and your unit's policies. I am a Reservist, live off post, and never bring my firearms onto post.]

The one that you will
1. Carry
2. Be comfortable firing

The above isn't snark, but the best advise that I can think of. This translates to: You are going to have to experiment and decide what works well for you.

You are going to face trade-offs in size, caliber, accuracy, comfort, etc. Only you can decide what will work. Your biggest mistake would be to go with a "recommended" gun only to never use it. For instance, I once owned a Glock. As it turns out, I dislike them intensely. It shot well, but I would never consider it if there was anything else available.

My wife and I both carry Bersa Thunders in .380 with laser sights. Small enough to conceal with and IWB holster, accurate at the ranges we would be shooting for defense, and very comfortable to fire. I have big hands, she has small, both like to shoot. It also is nice that they are interchangeable in all aspects.

I "car carry" my Ruger P89 in 9MM. This is by far my favorite pistol in my inventory. However, it is more than a little big for day to day carry. (That said, it was my first carry gun, in a fanny pack)

I will very occasionally pocket carry (in holster designed for same) a KelTec P3AT. I quite honestly am not fond of this gun. It is unpleasant to shoot, has too small a grip for me, and isn't terribly accurate. It's only redeeming quality is that it IS small enough to pocket carry.

Since you tagged home defense, I will add that my go-to home defense gun is a Springfield XD in .45. I can shoot it comfortably and concealment isn't an issue. (the wife uses her Bersa for same)

Some generic for what it's worth advise:
A lot of people recommend DA-SA or DAO revolvers, preferably hammerless. Reason being that there are less mechanical parts, no safeties, etc. Fewer things to be hung up on in the heat of the moment. I have a few revolvers, but don't use any for concealed carry. I prefer the additional rounds offered by semi-autos.
The "right caliber" is one that you can handle well in the gun at hand. I would tend, especially for a smaller person, to stay away from .45's. I would also tend towards a smaller caliber as the ammo is generally less expensive. And actually practicing regularly matters - and is expensive.
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LTC Paul Labrador
LTC Paul Labrador
>1 y
TMI about your "relationship" with your pistol..... ;o)
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PO1 Disaster Survivor Assistance Specialist
PO1 (Join to see)
>1 y
DOH!
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Cpl Brett Wagner
Cpl Brett Wagner
>1 y
LTC Vincent Stoneking Sir that is without a doubt the best write up and advice on handguns and CC I have ever read. I will be using it in the future but will give credit where it is due. Hooah to you sir.
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COL Vincent Stoneking
COL Vincent Stoneking
>1 y
Cpl Brett Wagner Thanks for the kind words. this is an area where I think a lot of people focus on the wrong things - either for "cool" factor (think of all the guys with every aftermarket add-on all over everything) to the "received wisdom" (I was told it's .45 or nothing....).

A little practical though and self knowledge will go far.
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SFC Mark Merino
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A loaded one.
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Cpl Brett Wagner
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1911_dos_equis_man
One thing I will say is this; the real safety on a gun is your trigger finger.
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SPC Indirect Fire Infantryman (Mortarman)
SPC (Join to see)
>1 y
I mention that my trigger finger is the last safety switch, and people look at me as if I am crazy.
Glad to know thst I'm not the only one eho knows that!
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Cpl Brett Wagner
Cpl Brett Wagner
>1 y
SPC Kenneth Landay & CPL David Rosenlund - You two gentlemen have great taste. A have recently started carrying a Kimber Compact 1911. This gun is as small, light weight & comfortable to carry as any and most importantly it is a .45 acp. I'm still carrying cocked & locked with one in the tube. 25 years without incident.
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