Fickle, Thy Name is Raptor

First off, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of my readers! And you have my apologies (yet again) for letting the blog lapse. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m writing a murder mystery novel, and I’ve been focusing all of my creative juices on that. It’s coming along quite nicely (though I’m afraid I’ve started to fall off the wagon with that too…) I’ll have to post a sample chapter or three on the blog sooner or later.

Anywho, onto the meat of the post.

I still haven’t picked up a carry piece yet. If you remember, I’ve been looking at a Beretta Nano, and after shooting a buddy’s, I was pretty much 100% set on getting one. Now… I’m not so sure. I’ve done some experimenting with my P228, and it turns out that my fears of it being too heavy are pretty much unfounded. In a decent holster, I can carry it around for extended periods of time with no problem. Even when my back is bothering me, I don’t really notice it’s there. And I don’t even have a good gun belt: just an old braided belt and an el-cheapo solid belt. With a good holster and gun belt, I probably wouldn’t feel it all.

That said, there’s still one problem that’s preventing me from using the SIG as my carry piece: it’s too thick. I know, I’ve griped about the grip being too thick before, but those were related to me being able to shoot the gun accurately, and ultimately proved to be issues with the user, not the gun. No, the issue this time is that the gun is wide enough that it prints if I cover it with anything lighter than a heavy sweatshirt or winter coat. Height and length wise, it’s pretty much ideal. But since I’m really skinny, I need my pistol to be skinny. So now I find myself looking away from the sub- and micro-compact 9mms and towards compact single-stack 9mms. You may remember that I looked at the Kahr CW9 many months ago and really didn’t care for it at all, but that’s about the size I’m looking at.

So far, I’ve narrowed my picks to either the SIG P225/P6 or the Smith & Wesson 3913. The SIG has the advantage of being nearly identical to my P228; same control layout, same grip angle & form (aside from being thinner), same manual of arms, and possibly can use my P228’s holster too. Downside is that it’s a bit thicker and heavier than the S&W (but not nearly enough to be deal-breakers) and the P6 variants can take some work to get them to feed hollowpoints reliably. The S&W is a bit shorter, thinner, & lighter than the SIG and will be ready to go right out of the box, and S&W 3rd Generation autos are reported to have the best triggers on the market. On the other hand, the S&W has a completely different control layout & manual of arms than the SIGs, and I’d need to buy new holsters too. That last bit isn’t a deal-breaker as I was planning on getting a new holster anyway, and the controls and manual-of-arms differences can easily be overcome with a modicum of training.

Unfortunately, both pistols share the same problem: they’re both out of production, and are increasingly hard to come by on the used market, especially in my budget and/or in decent condition. Not because they are breaking, but because people love them so much and don’t want to part with them. Additionally, magazines for each seem to be hard to come by as well. *sigh* Why must the guns I like most be the ones that aren’t being made anymore?

That said, as I’ve been typing this, one of my fellow members made another suggestion: the SIG P239. It’s a bit smaller than the P225, but the same overall thickness. And unlike either the P225/P6 and 3913, it’s still in production. I have seen a decent amount in the used gun case in my LGS over the last year, but those have all been in .40 S&W, not 9mm (I’ve got a bunch of 9mm on hand, I want to stick with that chambering), and they’ve going for around $600 vs. the $350-$500 I’ve seen the P225/P6s and 3913s going for on the various auction sites. $600 is outside my budget, but… we’ll see.

I have Mama Raptor’s and Papa Raptor’s permission (but not their blessing) to bring another boomstick into the house, so hopefully I’ll be adding a carry piece to the stable sooner rather than later. I’ll let you know, but don’t hold your breath, it might be a month or two at the earliest before I can spare the $$$.

Until next time, peace.



3 thoughts on “Fickle, Thy Name is Raptor

  1. What holster are you using to carry?
    I’ve found that makes a huge difference. A great holster brings in the bulk of the gun and holds it close enough that I can wear untucked polo shirts.

    Have you tried a Crossbreed SuperTuck or their Mini-Tuck?

    I use the Supertuck carrying a Taurus PT-145 — thick double stacked .45 acp and it works well, even in business attire.

    • I’m using a Galco Concealable Belt Holster. It’s an OWB rig. None of my pants are wide enough in the waist for IWB carry.

      I suspect that at least part of the problem stems from the fact that I don’t have a proper gunbelt, and the belts I do have are all 1″ wide while my holster’s loops are meant for 1.5″ belts. A good gunbelt should at least partially alleviate my issue. But either way, right now I have a great excuse to buy a new gun.

  2. There are a large number of new, compact pistols out there. I’m currently testing the Ruger LC9 (a bit of a bear in recoil, but very accurate); the Springfield XD/S in 9mm. (heavier to carry, but not too bad, and recoil is much more manageable); and the S&W Shield in 9mm (my current second choice behind the Springfield). Remington’s just-announced single-stack 9mm. is also looking very interesting. I’ll try to get my hands on one to play with ASAP.

    All of these guns can be carried in holsters on the belt or in a pocket, which is my more usual form of carry; and some are not too expensive (although the Springfield is right up there with a full-size pistol, unfortunately). Some are available in larger calibers, too, although then recoil might become a serious problem from the perspective of rapid, accurate repeat shots.

    YMMV, of course.

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