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I realize this is a Ruger forum, but I trust the folks here to offer honest advice.

I rarely carry concealed. I've had a license for some time, and Arizona no longer requires a license, but most of my trips to town are to low risk areas during low risk times, and sometimes require me to go places where it is not legal to carry. I figured the most plausible threat was very close range. So when I carried, I used a S&W 649. I practice using 38 specials, but include 5-10 rounds a session of 357. For a close-in 'belly gun', a small 357 revolver is excellent. If you are stuffing one end of the revolver in your attacker's gut, recoil isn't an issue and 5 rounds of 357 would say "Get off me!" better than a flashing neon sign.

But because I go to low threat areas at low risk times of day, I'm beginning to worry more about the random, nut shooter - someone who goes to low risk areas at low risk times, often wearing body armor, and shoots people in halls, across rooms, etc. For that scenario, a belly gun isn't very good. A head shot might be required, and a shot at 50+ feet is plausible (halls, theaters, courtyards, etc). My 649 is surprisingly accurate, but the sights suck. Realistically, it doesn't have sights. It wasn't designed for shooting at 50+ feet.

I've done a little experimenting with my other revolvers, and even my Model 29 4" can be concealed inside a larger pair of jeans. I can't imagine the look I'd get if I asked someone in a gun store for an IWB holster for a Model 29...but done right, it could conceal. Heavy, though, and 6 rounds, and I'd hate to try to explain why I was carrying a 44 magnum around town. :eek:

Sorry for the long intro, but I frequently lurk here and rarely post.

I've narrowed down my choice of a new CCW gun down to the Ruger SR9c and the S&W M&P9c. Both are not much larger than my 649, both are 9mm (cheaper to practice with), both have good sights (particularly compared to a 649!). Neither one feels very intuitive to my hand. I'm a revolver fan. I used an M9 in Afghanistan some years back, but everything else has been revolvers for me - S&W double actions and Ruger single actions.

The S&W can be bought without a safety, but the Ruger seems to have an easy to use safety. Since I have no habit patterns with semi-automatics, I can create any habit I want by training.

Single stack 9s seem kind of narrow to me. My revolver grips are all in the 1.2-1.3 inch wide range. Anything narrower feels skinny to me. (The 649 has thick rubber grips, good for shooting 357s).

An outside choice might be a Glock double stack, although I've always hated how they look. But concealed, who is looking at it? Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
 

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I'd had a SR9c for 5 years now and am approaching 5500 rounds thru it without issues (had a couple of light strikes with cheap factory seconds ammo, cleaned the striker channel which was dirty and they fired.)

I've fired the M&P (I do own some S&W firearms) and they are perfectly fine, too.

It really boils down to what you want, cost and how they feel to you. I think the recoil on the SR will be a bit less cuz Ruger uses a fairly stiff recoil spring.

I carry the SR9c in a IWB holster. It is very easy to conceal with the 10 round mag.
 

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I have both a SR9c and a M&P, but my M&P is not the compact version nor is it a 9mm. I have shot the M&P9c though and I find it feels and aims similarly to my M&P.

I prefer the SR9c over the M&P for CCW personally. The trigger on the SR9c is pretty crisp for a DA striker fire, the M&P is a bit more on the mushy side. The SR9c feels a bit slimmer and more streamlined for CCW, and I feel the grips on the M&P are a bit bigger, so that may be good for you.

Sights are about the same on both to my eyes and both are equally as accurate in my opinion.

The best thing you could do is go rent them both and do your own side by side when shooting them...I do not think you could go wrong with either.

This is based on my side by side of the SR9c and the M&P9c when I was deciding which one I wanted.
 
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