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Okay, so I went ahead and fully registered my car and got a DL in Kentucky. The high insurance rates (far higher than California!) and the use tax wiped my budget out. Still I plan on getting my CCW with my 2nd paycheck.

Currently I have an SP101. I shoot fine with it, but it is bulky for the clothes I will wear in warm weather. I plan to set aside a little from each paycheck for "guns and shooting" supplies and my first want there is a new carry gun.

My short list now is

1. LC9s-- while in theory I like a hammer, I heard the trigger is a lot better with this one. Advantages are size and weight. Disadvantage is it would be a new caliber for me (I have no 9mm) and I shot 9mm poorly in the past compared to 45 or 40 (but the 9mm and 45 were with full size guns)

2. XD-S 45/9mm I like the idea of this in 45, and I do shoot a snubbie .357 decently so I am not too worried about recoil. But semiautos are different... 5 rds is what I have with the SP101 of course, but more rounds is also appealing

3. M&P Shield

But I don't want to pigeon myself in. What I am looking for is something very easy to conceal, wearing dress shirt and pants in the summer (so no coat), but no pocket carry either. Not recoil shy. But reliability and then after that price are big factors

Are there any other options that I should consider? I plan to handle a few if I can and rent a few if I can to try out. It will be a month or two before I actually buy... I figure by the time I get my CCW it will be cool enough for different clothes and I can carry my SP101.
 

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Well, I have the LC9 (original, not the s) and the XDs .45 and my son-in-law has the XDs 9, so I have shot all of them and I like all of them. Carry the LC9 and XDS .45 along with my LCR .357 depending on what I am wearing. I have IWB and OWB holsters for all and if I really need to go small with pocket carry I use the LCP.

I would try to shoot all of them if you can borrow or rent and then decide what you like best.

Good luck and have fun in the process.
 

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Personally I think an SP101 carries very well on the belt. But for semi-autos I carry Kahrs. Mostly due to the similar trigger (to a DA revolver). There are plenty to explore. Take your time and have fun.
 

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I like the XDs .45 the best. I don't find the recoil bad at all, and they're accurate.
 

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I've shot all on your list and my money went towards the Shield.
In the past, I got burnt buying a pistol the felt good to fondle at the counter, only to find that I didn't like how it felt to shoot, so I don't buy a handgun I haven't first tried.
I highly recommend that you do the same.

While you're at it, if cost isn't the deciding factor, also try the P-938 and G43.
If you're open to Wheel guns, the LCR is another good option.
 

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Of those choices I'd have to go with the LC9s, I don't have one but have an LCP which makes an awesome carry gun. I gave the LCP to my Mom but that thing was so easy to carry.

I know it's blasphemy, and I do own an SP101, but I recently traded a S&W 64-7 for two Taurus 85's, the blue all-steel version, and they make good carry guns. One is pretty much new....... They are pure 100% utility guns, but they look darn nice and the one made in 1997 has a nice DA pull. The 85 is much lighter and more "svelte" than the SP101, there's also the 85 Ultralight which I looked at, very very light gun.

They're cheap and you don't have to baby them, the new blue 85's are more like a black polycoat and I can't see a point in spending more on the stainless version. Sweat on it, bang it around, shoot it, who cares, they're $350 brand new, less used. Put a ding in it or get some surface rust, no lost sleep......

I keep one as my "door knocker", on a small shelf near my front door hidden under a hat. Small enough for me to grab and discreetly hold behind the door if I get anyone knocking on the door late at night, but not large enough to be unwieldly. Enough punch to go through the door or end any issues if it's an unfriendly visitor, not enough punch to put rounds in my neighbors house.
 

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The SP101 is a great carry gun. Have you thought about something like a Kangaroo Carry? It is very comfortable, easily conceals a rather large handgun, and doesnt put any weight on your belt. I really like my SP101 2" DAO 357, but I wanted a little more capacity. I trust revolvers, and 357 is more than capable from a 2" barrel. I just bought a Taurus 617. Its a 2" stainless, 7 shot 357 that is the size of the 2" SP101. An amazing amount of firepower in a small 28 oz package.
 

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You have some great options. I'd look at those three. I particularly like the Shield. I'd also check out the Beretta Nano and Glock 43 just to make sure you get the 9mm best for you. :)
 

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I would consider a Glock G26. If you look at the specifications the Glock G26 is not as tall as a Ruger LC9s. The Glock is 1/2 longer than the Ruger because the Glock barrel is 3.5". The Ruger is 1/4" slimmer than the G26. The 1/4" will be a lot to some people. You can put a 2 shot extension on the Glock G26 giving you a 13 round capacity and it will be the same height as a LC9s. I do not see why Glock bothered building the G43. The G43 is not noticeably smaller or easier to carry than a G26.

Here is video showing just how durable a Glock pistol really can be. This guy has a full auto sear installed on a G17 and 90 33 round magazines of ammo.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub4OswUhLwo
 

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A very good gun made for pocket carry and to purchase on a budget is the S&W 642 revolver. It carries easily in the pocket and is fairly lightweight. It shoots a (5) 38 Special +P and I'm sure that ammo is compatable with your SP101. Street price around $350.00.

I have one that I keep loaded in an Unle Mike pocket holster for a carry gun that I just grab and go when I'm dressed light or don't want to fool with bigger artillery. The little gun has some real stopping power so I don't feel under powered with 5 rounds of something like Remington Golden Sabre 38 Special +P 125 gun hollow points.
 

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With the right holster, your SP101 should work. A slightly oversized Polo shirt will cover it.

I use the IWB from Andrews Custom Leather for my G26.

I also use a S&W M12-3 with a 4 inch barrel and that one rides in a Dead Eye Luke's PChip holster.

I have been wearing suspenders under my shirt. Really helps to keep you comfortable when carrying.
 

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Lc9s is really comfortable to carry and very easy to conceal and shoots very nicely.
 

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A very good gun made for pocket carry and to purchase on a budget is the S&W 642 revolver. It carries easily in the pocket and is fairly lightweight. It shoots a (5) 38 Special +P and I'm sure that ammo is compatable with your SP101. Street price around $350.00.

I have one that I keep loaded in an Unle Mike pocket holster for a carry gun that I just grab and go when I'm dressed light or don't want to fool with bigger artillery. The little gun has some real stopping power so I don't feel under powered with 5 rounds of something like Remington Golden Sabre 38 Special +P 125 gun hollow points.
Right there with you except I use a Simply Rugged Pocket Holster and 140 gr JHP +P 38's. The S&W 642 was made for pocket carry although I carried an SP in the pocket for 5 years. It's doable with a good belt.
 

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Recently purchased the LC9s Pro, great gun and easy to conceal either IWB or pocket. I bought it to replace my S&W 642 for summer carry. The Smith is a great gun, but the trigger is so much better on the Ruger.
 

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The best advise above is, try them all to see which fits you best.

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to replace my LC9 in my carry lineup with another single-stack nine for two reasons: 1) the long trigger pull and 2) the right-hand-only thumb safety. (I'm a lefty.)

I shot all of your choices extensively during my own test period. I ended up with the Springfield XDs 3.3 9mm. My reasons were: 1) Shoots like a dream, 2) has both trigger safety and grip safety but no thumb safety, 3) has a little firmer trigger pull (about 7lbs.) which I like in a carry gun and 4) is slightly heavier (23oz) which aids in reducing felt recoil. It also came with a flush-fitting 7 round mag and an 8 round mag.

The 9mm Shield would have been my second choice.

I'm primarily a Ruger guy and really wanted to chose another Ruger. The LC9s was out because of the right-hand-only thumb safety. (Again, I'm a lefty.) I carried my LC9 with the thumb safety disengaged and I was relatively comfortable in doing so because of it's long trigger pull. The LC9s Pro (and LC9s) has a great trigger, but the pull is just too light for me personally to feel comfortable. When I was test firing the Pro - about 100 rounds - I actually had two rounds go off sooner than I expected and I wasn't under any stress. Too light a trigger pull for me, personally, in a carry gun.

One last bit of info for the Springfield XDs: If you purchase one between June 1st and August 31st, SA will send you 3 extra mags and a mag carrier free. (I bought mine about 3 monthe too soon!)

Good luck in your search and let us know where you ended up.
 

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Yeah, the little LC9s is a good little pocket gun but I don't care to carry an automatic in my pocket. It's nothing more than a personal thing that makes me a little more comfortable with a revolver.

For instance, I have a Sig P238 that I carry cocked and locked IWB. I would not feel comfortable carrying in that condition in my pocket. With the LC9s having a double action trigger they are a nice little point and shoot like the 642 and neither has trouble in that environment. The trigger on a 642 doesn't bother me but I do feel more recoil. Probably neither will bother me if a situation dictates that I have to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm primarily a Ruger guy and really wanted to chose another Ruger. The LC9s was out because of the right-hand-only thumb safety. (Again, I'm a lefty.) I carried my LC9 with the thumb safety disengaged and I was relatively comfortable in doing so because of it's long trigger pull. The LC9s Pro (and LC9s) has a great trigger, but the pull is just too light for me personally to feel comfortable. When I was test firing the Pro - about 100 rounds - I actually had two rounds go off sooner than I expected and I wasn't under any stress. Too light a trigger pull for me, personally, in a carry gun.
I am a lefty too! I know on some guns I can still easily manipulate a "right handed" safety. But I gather with the smaller guns that may be harder? Something I should definitely consider when trying it out.
 
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