Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lil' Thunders

So… On Gun Nuts Radio last night (Tuesday actually) the topic was ostensibly cheap conceal-carry pistols, but as usual, the subject matter ranged far afield, the chat was over crowded and confused, and the show ended too soon. It was great. My only real criticism is the time. They could easily do 2 hours.

LawDog was actually loud enough to hear. Last week, technical glitches forced him to do his call-in via sign language. Not good for radio.

And this week, my radio cut out during someone named Lissa. My tech glitch that time. I’ll have to go back and listen to the last 10 minute.

But as to their subject… For me, personally. I’ve toyed with the idea of a small cheap .380 like the Bersa or Ruger or, now, the Kahr. And a snub-nosed .38 revolver is on my list. Both ideas appeal to me because they are inexpensive, they fire ammo I already have, and you can conceal them for carry in the summertime a lot easier than you can the 1911.

A radical departure for me would be to skip all that and go with a small, inexpensive, .40 to go along with my SIG. The SIG is small, but it’s big. Does that make sense? It’s about as small as a serious pistol gets. And smaller and you have grip problems if you possess meaty paws. Well not PROBLEMS, per se, but you have to make adjustments. You are sliding on the other side of the size graph with anything smaller. What is that graph? On one end is too large to conceal, the other end is too small to hold or less effective. The mid point, in my mind and others, is something the size of the Colt Commander. 4 inchish barrel, full size grip, serious caliber, the smallest thing Jeff Cooper recommended carrying. But Jeff Cooper wouldn’t have walked around in the same stylish look I like to sport in the summertime: Speedo swimsuit and a half-t-shirt.

The SIG 229 is about this size, too. Commander size. My 5 inchish barrel 1911 is full size and is know as Government. There is an even smaller 1911, called Officer. Barrel length in the 3’s, and Cooper thought it marginal for the negative accuracy impact the length conveys. It was a replacement for stuff like the 1908 Colt Pocket Hammerless. Barrel lengths have been approximate because some manufacturers monkey with the length a bit.

So, what WOULD be my small .40 to complement the SIG in Speedo weather? A smaller SIG like the P239? Expensive. A smaller Glock or Springfield? Maybe. It really IS a compromise. You’d rather not have to carry something that small, with your pinky hanging out below the grip, flapping in the breeze. It’s one of those cases where you TRY to get a serious caliber, but got something so small so you’d at least be able to HAVE something. The most important thing you want to have in a gunfight is a gun, and this would be that gun. It’s a .40 trying to take the place of a pocket gun but there are precious few pocket guns.

Speaking of that. How much harder would it be to have a pocket gun in 9mm? It’s got a bit more oomph than the .380 but the round is only 2mm longer. Why no KelTec 6 shot mini in 9mm? Well. There is a KelTec 9mm, but it’s not as wee as the .380. There must be a reason. Not that I’m anxious to add another ammo type to my inventory. If I want a marginal round I’ll just stick with the .380.

Anyway, no hurry. I’d have to try a few small summer pistols to decide. No manufacturer has an advantage on my preference, and the priority is low. I could buy a snub revolver or spare mini .380 sight unseen at any rate without agonizing over a choice, it is that low a priority. But it’s fun contemplating, which is why I do it.

It’s also cheap to just contemplate.


Bob S. said...

Have you thought about the Taurus Millennium Pro in 40?

For about $279 (Academy Sports in Texas at least), it is a very small but well made pistol.

I'm considering it in 45 for my first bought concealed carry.

Sigboy said...

Tbolt, I shall give you my .02, I carry a 226 in 40 when I go 'heavy', when I go 'light' I carry a airweight in 38 spec +P.
I will do a EDC post soon.

Anonymous said...

I get the feeling you dont like Glocks, but the Glock 27 (.40) with an extension on the magazine works- I have really big paws and I can easily keep my pinky from slipping off with the extended mag.

I also am a fan of the snub .38 special.

lots of people rave about that little tiny Keltec 380 also But I dont have one

Anonymous said...

I have a few small frame backup guns:

Ruger - .25
Kel-tec - .380
XD9 - 9mm compact
Rossi - .38 special
RIA - .45acp compact

Of these, I most often carry the Kel-tec.

Anonymous said...

Steyr MA1 in 40
$339 from cdnn
Type: Full Size
Weight: 27.02 oz (766g)
Length: 7.20" (183 mm)
Width: 1.18" (30 mm)
Barrel: 4.00" (102 mm)

It's very thin and with a crossbreed holster I can carry it with a t-shirt.