CC when ammo isn't available

I just applied for my CC. I need to buy a CC. I have a S&W 686 Revolver and Springfield 1911 .45. I am looking for a CCW in .45 or 9mm. I am spot on with a revolver, lesser so with a semi, but still effective in the unfortunate situation to have to fire. What caliber/manufacturer do you recommend and why the particular gun?


Depends on your individual situation but in general I would say a 9mm that fits your hand and you feel comfortable carrying. Size and capacity is why I would chose 9mm. As far as ammo there is a lot of good ammo out there. Find the defensive round and weight that seems most reliable to you. I carry a P-365 and found it shoots 124 gn better than the others. I like the Speer Gold Dot since it is a proven round.


This question will get a very diversified range of answers and rightfully so, there’s several quality manufacturers and modern ammo technology equates to the common defensive calibers being reliable.

I carry Sig, but I’ve put serious time behind the trigger of various guns from the other manufacturers and they all performed extremely well and were completely reliable. I primarily have carried a P229 over the years but here very recently completed a P320 build and will be carrying it moving forward.

Federal HST
Speer Gold Dot
Sig V-Crown
Hornady CriticalDuty

I carry 9mm 124gr.

Hope this helps, I am one of those who don’t like to say you need to shoot this particular gun in this particular caliber. There’s just too many factors at play. We’re all human and we’re all different, so naturally we have varied results. In normal times I would definitely say rent a wide variety of sizes and calibers and find what works for you in a total package of reliability, shoot-ability, conceal-ability, and a gun you will train with. If that’s possible I’ll always believe that’s the best route.


Too little information and too many choices. You really need to shoot/rent some at a range and pick something you like and that works for you. Any of the big name players wil be adequate. I like my Walther PPS when I want something slim and my HK VP9SK when slim doesn’t matter. Different firearms prefer different ammo, so I’d pick the ammo second.



You can do pre-selection.

  • 1911 style
  • Glock
  • all others

Once you find which style fits you best, you have narrowed the options.

USCCA Blog can bring some ideas…:

The most important - don’t buy particular firearm because somebody told you so…


I agree 100 percent with all of the above posts and all gave good advice. I say make sure its comfortable in your hand and you can handle the recoil. Purchase some good defensive ammo as mentioned by @John512 and @Jeff4. Now that its winter I carry a subcompact double stack firearm an M&P 2.0 9mm subcompact with critical defense ammo.


I originally brought a Sig 365 but soon I changed to the 12 round magazines and the flat trigger which made it a 365xl which made more comfortable so at least try the 365xl . The only thing I do not like is the slide is not the easiest to work. I use a Sneaky Pete holster and it is the most comfortable one for me, check out their web site.

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All up to you. 45 and 9mm are probably your best bets at getting ammo.

The best 45 carry gun IMHO is the Shield 45, the XDS is also good from what I’ve heard but you lose a round with it. The Shield .45 can carry 7+1 and many of he larger compacts will get you 10+1 in a much bigger package. I personally carry a Shield 45. Just know 45 out of plastic will be a lot more than your 1911.

I highly recommend looking Into some of the High capacity 9mm. I don’t own one, but the P365 XL feels like a great gun and it comes with upgrade sights. It’s very concealable and you get a good amount of rounds. Hellcat is a nice gun. I’ve seen both of these guns come in and out of stock at local big box sporting stores.

You can always go with the gold standard G19 or M&P compact.

This is all your preference though.

If your on a Budget, the M&P shield 1.0s can be bought for around $350 these days. The Taurus G2C is also not a bad gun and it can be had for around $250.

You can never go wrong with a Glock or an M&P. You will have lots of after market support, and both brands are known for their extreme reliability. I personally would go Glock or M&P, but there are endless options.


I carry with a .45 or 9mm depending on my clothing and what I have planned for the day(my range area is on the way into town so it’s always a toss up on stopping for hearing steel plates ring😀)

As far as HD ammunition I carry Federal HST in my .45 and G2 Research RIP in my 9mm.

I shot several different pistols before deciding on what I wanted to CC with. The P365/365XL, M&P Shield/ EZ, G19/42/48, Walther CCP, Springfield XDS 3.3 just to name a few.

Being a lefty in a righty world made the decision a bit longer.

If you can rent to shoot before you buy you’ll save money in the long run.


As Jeff already mentioned,

Now, depending on the firearm you carry, some may like certain ammo more than other’s so it’s up to you to put a few rounds through and test it out that your pistol doesn’t fail because of the type you used.

As for specifics, that’s like asking people what their favorite vehicle is. Everyone has different needs, body types, comfort levels, etc. So asking a general question about caliber is going to do nothing to help you. Instead, I’d suggest you head to a range (that has ammo and rents firearms) and try a few out and see for yourself what you like and what fits.

Here’s the honest truth. What may be perfect for one person might not be perfect for you. Likewise, my opinion on caliber may differ than someone else’s and opinions are like butt holes…everyone has one and they tend to stink.

The only way to avoid a mistake in purchasing the wrong caliber, firearm, etc is to make some decisions yourself based on what looks right, feels right, and ultimately, what you can shoot and handle effectively. Please don’t take any opinion as gospel, do your own research and see what YOU like.


^^ This, too. All of the above. Also, as you can see by the responses, we typically have at least two options depending on day-to-day carry concerns. I personally prefer hammer-fired and my PX4’s in 9 (sub-compact) and .45 (full-frame) are the ones I carry depending on the day and clothing choice.


As has been said before, no one can really say what firearm to get, it’s gonna be different for everyone. I personally carry either a full sized 1911 Tactical or Sig SP2022 and a RUGER SR9 as my backup.

As for ammo, I use and recommend the SIG ELITE PERFORMANCE V- CROWN ammo. It’s very reliable and I use the 9mm and .45 ACP.


Renting is great advice and it WILL pay off in the long run. :slight_smile:


I have a small hand, but have found the S&W EZ 9mm to be great! It racks easily, has a narrow grip for smaller hands, and the trigger pressure is fine. I bought a Ruger .380 to EDC but what a piece of crap. It jammed so many times during my enhanced carry shooting test, that the instructor finally took the gun from me and gave me his 9mm. I’m back to my EZ even though it is a bit bigger than I would like for EDC.


My thought on finding a gun with a certain caliber was based on ammo availability. It doesn’t seem logical to purchase a gun you can’t get ammo for, nor is it logical to buy a gun that doesn’t fit your hand or has a recoil that reduces accuracy in a situation where fear of life and adrenalin meet. My range is Bill Jackson’s in Florida. Because of COVID they aren’t offering handgun demos, etc. Shoot Straight has gun rentals, I need to check them out.


Thanks for the recommendations, ideas. It’s nice to get feedback from actual users. And their personal experiences with various guns and their ‘extras’ such as sights as you mentioned.


I agree too many choices and not enough information.

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thx for the links


Curious why you say that it is winter. Although we live in Florida, I find it a curious comment.

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Since in VA it’s already cold I can wear extra layers so I can conceal a bigger gun.