LC9 or Airweight for CCW

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Brady Burmeister, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. For a concealed carry: Pros and cons to a Ruger LC9 vs an SW 38 Airweight
  2. I guess it depends on how you plan to carry it, but here goes.

    LC9 pros:
    Light weight
    can pocket carry (although not as easy as with the LCP)
    is an auto
    better caliber than a .380
    with zero practice, can be reloaded faster than a revolver

    no sights to speak of
    is an auto, therefore is susceptible to typical auto malfunctions
    9mm vs .38 debate...9mm loses

    airweight pros:
    .38 is proven as a defensive round
    light, yet awesomely solid frame
    no chance of typical malfunctions since it's a revolver
    Has been around a long time, so minor bugs have been worked out
    better sights for better shot placement

    more expensive depending on the model you get
    Can't be pocket carried comfortably, however ankle carry is perfect
    if you don't don't use speedstrips or a speed reloader, reloading just isn't as fast
    I still don't think it's as light as the LC9.

    A little background, I carried a SW 642 on the ankle as a back up gun when I was in LE. I wanted something that if I ever had to use, wouldn't fail (since if I'm going for it, my primary already had). I knew it would be a close range engagement, therefore wanted a larger round. Also, for "muzzle against skin" situations, a slide can be taken out of battery, whereas a revolver can't. Therefore I went with airweight.

    That being said, I carry a LCP almost daily in my front pocket and couldn't be happier. The only downside, is I don't have a lot of faith in the .380 cartridge. In retrospect, I probably would have gone with the 9.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Concealed carry is not as easy as it seems. You have to consider, sometimes daily, what you're going to wear to conceal your handgun. Is that going to fit how you dress now? What type of holster will work, inside the waistband? Outside, ankle? Some options get downright uncomfortable after a while. You will need a wide and thick belt to properly hold a holster. Don't do it half way, get the right gear or I can bet you'll stop carrying after a few days.

    Then there is the practice part of the equation. Taking a 38 to the range, especially an airweight, and cranking 50 rounds through it isn't gonna be fun. The LC9 probably isn't much more fun than the 38.

    If a slim profile is the ultimate factor, look at the Kahr series of autos. They have the slimmest profile of most pistols. They come in 9 and 45. The double action first pull is long, but so is a 38. After that it's short and sweet.

    Todays autos are far more reliable than in the past, factory ammo is often the best bet. I could never hit very well with a J frame size revolver, particularly one with a sub 2" barrel. My Kimber Ultra Carry though is a tack driving son of a gun. YMMV...
  4. Luke, you say 9mm loses vs. .38, but then you say you don't entirely trust the 38 round, and wish you would've gone with the 9. Maybe I'm confused. Does the LCP take a different round then a .38 SW?
  5. LCP takes a .380(slightly smaller than a 9mm), which is different than a .38(slightly smaller than a .357). I'm in the market for a LCP if anyone has one. I daily carry a S&W M&P9c, excellent piece but would love to have a front pocket carry option.
  6. Luke,

    Just curious why you don't have much faith with the .380? Its certainly a lethal round at close range.


    As mentioned here, I would not hesitate to seriously consider a LCP with a laser attachment. It's perfect for concealed front pocket carry and can easily fit in my coat pocket or jeans without being much bulkier than my cell phone.
  7. Yes, HUGE difference between .380 and .38 sp. I don't entirely trust the .380, but by all means will stand behind .38 sp.
  8. Do some reading on the ballistics of the .380 with FMJ and standard HP. Less than ideal at best. About the best cartridge I've found (ballistics wise) is the corbon pow r ball for the .380, but those are only what I use to carry as they don't give them away. I'll find some articles when I get home on the .380 and post them. Stand by.

    And I'll even go on record cautioning anybody to become reliant on lasers. I had one on my airweight for a few months and then found myself relying on it to hit my target and promptly dumped it. IMHO, you should be practicing enough without it to not need it because in a stressful situation, you'll likely not even remember seeing it. Make your defensive shooting muscle memory and you won't need bells and whistles to hit your target. But for just target practice, it's a cool thing it have, I just personally won't use one.
  9. So I handled a few today. I said CCW in the original post but this was just as much for home defense, and ultra small maximum conceal-ability wasn't really the main goal, although I would like to carry in certain locations. The LC9 and J-Frames just felt so small and awkward in my hand. I really didn't like my pinky not fitting on the grips. A local store was running a big sale so that's why I mentioned the LC9 and the Airweights. After handling a bunch of different ones, and factoring in the budget, a Ruger SR40 turned out to be the winner. I know, not really a front pocket firearm, but it seems manageable enough for a belt or in-the-pants holster. Feels very comfortable in hand, and dependability reviews seemed positive.
  10. Good to hear you found something that fit your budget and needs. If you want to run IWB type holsters, I'd recommend the crossbreed supertuck.;)
  11. I'd say that's the better choice. One thing people don't consider much when choosing a gun like this is that carrying means almost nothing if you aren't going to practice with it. And many of the super-compact or super-light guns aren't that comfortable to shoot. So too often people carry them without practicing.

    A gun like the SR40 is far more likely to encourage practice.
  12. I've been looking at the LC9's on and off for awhile now. My wife is going to try one today at the range. I really want to get a .357 in the inventory and, while the LC9 does come in that very versatile caliber, I'm sure the magnum loads would be little fun.

    Since I doubt she will carry, I'm leaning towards a GP-100 with a 3 inch barrel. We do quite a bit of outdoor hiking about with her doing photography while I fish. While certainly not the quintessential CCW, it will fit in a fanny pack and is nicely balanced with a magnum round. I like being able to use .38 for practice and home defense and also the option of the magnum rounds for 2 and 4 legged critters.

    Specific to your question, I'd opt for the Ruger...better value IMO.
  13. first, the one you'll actually carry is the one you'll carry. Second, a .22 round in the headlights is every bit as deadly as a .45, and with the lessened recoil, target reacquisition is less, if you need it. Not, mind you, that I'm hawking the .22. My carry gun's a Walther PPK in .380 when I want to be discrete. When I don't give a shit, it's the SigSauer P226 in .40 S&W
  14. Should we call you James...Bond...?
  15. Shaken, not stirred...

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