Handy hand guns

L Ross

Active Member
I have a few handguns and only some of them are handy handguns. Having worn a duty gun from 1976 until the middle of this last February I have an opinion. Using a duty belt and holster I found I could stand to carry a Model 19 S&W all day. Using a dress belt with a handgun under a sport jacket I carried a Glock Model 36 in a paddle holster or a pancake holster without too much trouble.
Around Thorn Hollow while on a walk about either on snow shoes or hiking I can tolerate a single action Ruger or Colt or Colt clone in a cross draw holster with up to a 5 1/2" barrel. If I am actually working on something, or on and off a tractor or ATV/UTV I prefer a right hip position pancake holster with something short and light, on a 2" Simply Rugged belt. I really appreciate rubber grips then so I am not banging nice wood on hard object, and short so the muzzle in not digging into the seat of a vehicle. A Smith Model 60-4 or the 22 Kit Gun get the nod most of the time.
Larger, heavier and longer barreled handguns get relegated to target shooting. They are just not handy handguns.
What are other's experiences carrying/packing in the real world?
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
I carry a SS Colt Ltwt Commander daily, in fact have it on right now, just came in, haven't taken
the time to disarm. Milt Sparks IWB horsehide is very comfortable, and two mags on off side, OWB,
but under the belt to keep them snug. Commander is just behind the point of my right hip, right
handed. 1911's extremely thin profile helps massively. The slide is well under 1" thick. I am amazed
at how fat all the newer guns are. Even 9mms usually have a slide that is significantly wider than an
1911 slide for .45 ACP. Thickness matters for concealment.
Around my property I wear a 629 4" Mtn gun on right hip, Bianchi holster, I forget the model, but it
has a thumb break to keep it in place, closed bottom. Hogue Monogrip.
Belt is a heavy, double thick gun belt provided by a local holster seller at gun shows. He knows
what he is about and apparently had them made up for him to his specs. Very nice belts for about
$75, IIRC. 1.75 wide.

Bill
 
Last edited:

Uncle Grinch

Active Member
I only carry when leaving my home. Recently went from an Officers Model 45 to a Sig Subcompact 320. Both were pancake style holsters and I find the Sig much easier to carry. It’s lighter with more ammo.
 
Last edited:

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
Glock 23 much of the time, Glock 20SF less often, S&W 686 x 4" in the back-country. All use the medium Bianchi X-15 shoulder rig--mine is 35+ years old, and just last year I replaced the suede parts and elastic band on all 3 of my X-15s (S, M, L). I prefer the shoulder rigs for driving, it is a much easier draw when seated and no disadvantage when standing. The left arm covers the pistol and protects it to some extent.

I am another one that likes neoprene grip sets on my handguns. Pachmayr Presentations on my issued S&W Model 64 x 4" helped A LOT when a parolee/hairball RIPPED OPEN my issued Bianchi break-front uniform holster. Better living through chemistry......PCP. I retained the sidearm, shoved it into the small of my back (IIRC) and administered one (1) each right cross to said hairball's stun button that ended the misunderstanding. Don't pass "GO", don't collect $200. One of the very few fistfights I got into in 28 years of social proctology.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
For the last 15 years it has been a S&W Model 331 Ti in 32 H&R magnum in my front pocket, from 0600 when I put my pants on until 2200 when I take them off. It has a set of Herrett's Detective walnut stocks that are worth more than the gun. If the wife insists that I take her downtown for dinner or a movie, a S&W Model 60-10 goes on the right hip in a lined Lawrence OSB holster and a Colt Agent (revolver) in the left sport coat jacket pocket, plus the one in the pocket. From my LE days, I don't believe in speed loaders. FWIW
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Ah, the "New York reload" a la Jim Cirillo.

Al, do you wear a sport coat all the time in that heat? Seems hard to cover a shoulder rig
in hot weather.

Bill
 

Hawk

Well-Known Member
If wearing a coat or jacket or in the woods I carry a Glock Model 27 in an El Paso Saddlery High Slide, just behind my right front pocket.
During hunting season I carry a Glock Model 20 on my left hip in an El Paso Saddlery Dual Duty, three slot holster.
If I'm not wearing a coat and want to be concealed, I carry a Ruger LCP in a DeSantis Nemesis holster in my right front pocket.
I like revolvers, but they just seem too thick to conceal easily. Besides, 10 to 15 rounds beat 6 rounds anyday (except the LCP).
Texas is an open carry state, so sometimes I open carry using the High Slide holster, but sometimes, you really get some looks.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Ah, the "New York reload" a la Jim Cirillo.

Al, do you wear a sport coat all the time in that heat? Seems hard to cover a shoulder rig
in hot weather.

Bill
Well, I was on Ohio State Police about the same time, early 1970's. Speed loaders were just coming onto the market, the hot ticket was the speed strip made out of rubber.

I live in the desert, so by 1800 hours it is down to 85 degrees and 15% humidity. Seersucker sportscoats are common, because at 2200 hours it is 60 degrees 20% humidity and the diurnal winds are picking up. About 20% of the men over the age of 60 still wear sport coats here. Most are western and string ties and cowboy hats. Even though I am a fedora man myself. This is fly over country until you get west of the mountains into Seattle.
 

Winelover

North Central Arkansas
Pistol goes in my pocket when I get up and removed when I go to bed. I like the square cut Mika pocket holster. Also, had Mika make a wider than normal one, for some of the cargo pants I wear. I prefer a CC piece that is under 20 ounces, unloaded, since I carry all day long. Occasionally, I use a Thesis IWB holster but not around the house..............scratched up the backs/sides of the kitchen table chairs.

Usually, carry a J-frame or 357 LCR during the warm months. More conducive for snake shot loads. Semi auto ( 9mm Kahr or Nano) during the colder months. CA 44 SPL Bulldog when I'm bowhunting.
 

Uncle Grinch

Active Member
I posted earlier on this thread and mentioned it to my son (43 year old) and he pulls out his Kahr CW380 from his back pocket. Said he’s been carrying it full time for almost a year and I never noticed it.

Looks to be a solid little gun, much more so than the short-lived LCP2 that I had.
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
Ah, the "New York reload" a la Jim Cirillo.

Al, do you wear a sport coat all the time in that heat? Seems hard to cover a shoulder rig
in hot weather.

Bill
Sport coat? ME?? No, sir--a blue chambray shirt/untucked & unbuttoned, with sleeves rolled up (or down, if in intense sunlight for extended periods) or a mil-surp camo BDU blouse with sleeves rolled up.
 

Rally

NC Minnesota
I ‘m with you LRoss on the 60-4 and the 63. In fact ran 33 rounds through my 60-4 this afternoon while out setting up a beaver contract. Bianchi holster that fits both. Had to walk in over two miles to intersect the flowage at the beaver dam. Whole flowage is flooded thanks to the beaver’s handy work. I’ve got a Lcr in .38 spl goes out in public some, mostly just in a pocket. Also have an Iver Johnson Tp22 that was a constant companion for a long time, again mostly in a pocket. Really carried well in BDU cargo pockets. A 6” 629 is handy when your canoe camping and everything around you smells like beaver! Lol
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
When slumming in those environments :) I tuck the East German Makarov or Walther PP (32 ACP) into a trouser pocket. "Skinny" jeans or dress slacks don't live at my house. Marie and I seldom frequent a place where chambray shirts or BDU shirts are inappropriate. I did try that pants-pocket bit with the Glock 29SF, and it lacks the smooth contouring of the Mak or the PP--and weighs significantly more in the bargain. GREAT caliber, just too much of a good thing.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Back to original poster's question about "handy" guns.
April weekend here in the high desert with 55 degrees, sunny and the wind blowing 20+ knots. So went to the shop to do some more of the "keep it, sell it, give it away or throw it away" chores that I am doing at my age.
Long long ago, but very near here, the National Forest used to allow logging and there were miles of logging and fire roads. My FD buddies and I would put old Schwinns (pre-mountain bike days) in the pickups and haul them up to 5000 feet and ride back down to 1000 feet over about 14 miles. The only birds you can shoot with pistols are grouse, and we would average about 5 each every trip. Season started the Saturday after Labor Day, so weather was perfect.
The Stevens Model 35 single shot 22 LR was a great pistol. Accurate, most shots were at less than 25 yards, and the birds didn't fly away very often if you missed. When I moved west for good in the mid'70's, there was nothing in the woods to be afraid of. There were lots of deer and elk, no wolves and plenty of food for the bears, cougars and coyotes. It went with me for all my back packing trips and back country fishing trips. Even with the wife and little kids, I never felt under-gunned with the 22LR in those days. Not like now when cougar are killing people less than 10 miles from Seattle.
So walking or biking, the little Stevens got carried lots. It has been in the day pack unlooked at for over twenty years until today. Think I will take it out and shoot it next week.
9169

This one has a lot more blue on it than mine, but same sights and model.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
From what I have read, they were made mostly in 25 RF then 22LR and a few in 32 RF. I see the ones from the 1800's at the guns show in Denver and Los Vegas a lot, but not many of these late models from the 1920's and 30's. Website says they made about 25,000 of them so they must be some where.
 

Bret4207

St Lawrence river valley, NY
My wife would be really disappointed in me if I took her out to a prime rib dinner in a fatigue shirt.:oops:
If there is prime rib involved, I could go buck nekked or wearing a pink tutu or Speedo's and my wife would ignore me completely and figure the sacrifice was worth it. Any night out is rare for us, prime rib is a once every few years event!

I passed up a Stevens pistol many years back. That particular example was nickled with a with a near smooth bored barrel, it has surely been abused over the years. I'm really rather surprised no one has recreated that design.

If I carry in public places it's probably a Smith M38 Bodyguard and a Speed Strip. It's also probably either in a coat pocket, a jeans pocket or in my boot. I have a lovely Astra Constable II 380 that's a steel PPK clone and a Star PD 45 that sometimes get the nod. Spanish guns have been good to me. Anything else, outside of the 22 Kit Gun needs a holster IMO. Holsters mean either a vest or heavy shirt/light jacket or something and I'm not a much of a fashion plate and I hate wearing a holster and trying to hide it since I did that off duty for so long. My days of going around in "Condition 2" or whatever the Mall Ninjas called it are done and over with.
 
Last edited:

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
I think it was ERMA from Germany that imported the next larger sized copy of the Stevens, but only in 22LR, in the 1960's. Haven't see one of those in years.
 

Jeff H

NW Ohio
I've always been partial to smaller/lighter handguns, rifles, knives. I've had bigger stuff over the years but they have never appealed to me much and came and went. I'll sacrifice some power and range in any such tool for handiness, portability and light weight. Harder to shoot well - but then you just have to practice more. The revolvers are way more appealing to me and I prefer to CCW a gun which doubles well as a field gun (3" barrels over 2" barrels when possible). Any CCW-only gun (while necessary) strikes me as being about as exciting or interesting as a garden tool. I also don't get terribly excited about 22 LR guns but have a few because it's just practical to own them. 44 Special and the 38s/357s are pretty much what I've settled on and the rest were temporary fascinations.

Particularly Handy Handguns I have or have had (in no particular order of nearness to my heart):
*Charter 2" Under Cover 38 Special
Charter 3" Under Cover 38 Special
*Charter 2" Off-Duty 38 Special
Charter 3" "Pocket Target" (the original name of the Pathfinder)
Charter 3" Bulldog, 44 Special
Charter 4" Target Bulldog, 44 Special
Taurus 3" 44 Special
Taurus 4" 32 Mag
Rossi 3" 44 Special
Ruger 3" SP101, 357
Ruger 3" Service Six, 357
Ruger LCRX 3" 38 Special
Ruger NM Bearcat (the Single Six always seemed like an awful lot of gun for 22 LR to me)
*Kahr CW 45
*Colt LW Commander 45 ACP
*RIA Officer's Model 45 ACP

*Specifically a personal defense carry weapon, others were also good to great "trail" or "field" guns. I have carried all of the above (and more) as CCWs and the 3" Bulldog has probably exceeded all others combined in carry hours.

Still handy, within their class:
Ruger OM 45 Colt cut to 5.5"
Ruger OM 357 converted to 44 Special, 6"
**Ruger NM Flat Top 44 Special, 5.5" with aluminum XR3-RED grip frame and factory walnut grips
S&W 624, 4", 44 Special
S&W M25 4" 45 Colt
To a lesser degree, any 5", 45 ACP 1911 variant I've owned over the years

**FINALLY! The one I always really wanted.