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Thread: Very new, need some serious information

  1. #1
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    Very new, need some serious information

    Hey, first post ever.

    I hit 21 a couple months ago and I've been doing some pretty bad internet research into Washington Gun Laws and whatnot, and I've decided that I'd like to Open Carry, over a concealed carry.

    While my political views are fairly left wing, I'm pretty loyal to the constitution, and so I feel it's far less of a right to bear arms than it is a responsibility.

    As such, I found this forum and I have a pretty long stint of questions I'd like solid answer to.

    A couple facts I feel I need to point out.

    A.) I'm 5'8" tall and around 170 pounds, physically fit.
    B.) I'm left handed.
    C.) I've had minor exposure to firearms in the past. (I think I've fired about 50 rounds in my lifetime, total)
    D.) I'm on Part-Time wages, so I can't afford a weapon that costs more than around 500$.
    E.) I'm situated deep in a city, Tacoma to be exact.

    Bearing those basic facts in mind.

    1.) I'm looking for stopping power. I don't want a gun that I need shoot more than once when lives are in danger, I've personally ruled out anything 9mm or less, but if someone with a greater expanse of knowledge can persuade me otherwise, I'll gladly pick one up.
    What is a very effective starting-level pistol? Something (EDITMag fed and powerful enough to stop an attacker, but safe enough to handle with a few bouts of clumsiness?

    2.) I don't think, from the things I've seen and the reports I've read, that Concealed Carry is a very effective method of holding a weapon for personal or public protection. I'm hard-sold on Open Carry, and am ready for the odd glances and fearful looks I'll get for having a pistol strapped to me everywhere I go.
    That said, I'm left handed and I'd really like a holster at around mid-thigh level (Just think of any Western for the basic idea), but at the same time, I feel that it might potentially endanger me because of the ease at which a gun-grab could be performed.
    Also I do not know the legality of that kind of holster.
    So, is a mid-thigh level holster advisable and / or legal?

    3.) Aside from federal buildings and bars, where can you NOT carry a firearm?

    4.) I'm looking to take additional safety classes, what are the usual going rates and how long are the classes?

    Thank you guys and gals for any and all advice you can give me, I'll probably be back more than once for information.
    Last edited by Sandwich; 07-06-2012 at 11:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member acmariner99's Avatar
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    Welcome Aboard

    First off, welcome aboard -- Open Carry is a wonderful right, but like you mentioned, it is a tremendous responsibility. It is up to you to know and understand the laws and legalisms surrounding open carry in Washington State. Before you go full-bore OC, I implore you to keep the following things in mind:

    1) Know and understand the law -- open carry is legal insomuch as you do not "warrant alarm" for the safety of others. Read RCW 9.41 for all firearm law in WA State.

    2) There are caveats if you choose not to obtain a CPL -- car carry and carry around schools and school zones.

    2) Know how you will respond to citizens and law enforcement. Most will leave you alone, a few will approach you with honest questions, and on rare occasion you may run into somebody who is openly hostile towards guns. When it comes to law enforcement, if they have questions, want to see your ID, or your weapon -- determine what response you want to take. Stand up for your rights, but do not argue or start a confrontation. Open Carry provides a wonderful means of ease and access in our own personal defense, but we are wide open to public scrutiny.

    3) How you carry yourself is FAR more important than how you carry your weapon. If you are confident, friendly, offer a smile or converse with people -- ergo, act normally, people will be far more inclined to leave you alone.

    4) Get a good holster and practice with it -- at home of course; practice weapon retention as well.

    5) Knowledge is power -- read, ask questions, browse youtube; the more you know -- the more you UNDERSTAND, the better prepared you will be.

    About choosing a firearm: not every gun is for every person. I recommend going to your local range (bulls eye in tacoma has a wide selection), practice with a few handguns you think may suit your fancy and go from there. In terms of price vs. your preferences -- Glocks and Springfield XD's will usually run from 5-600 bucks, though I do not recommend a Glock for a new shooter. The Ruger SR line has a good 40 cal that runs between 4-500 dollars. That is just for the firearm -- not including tax, ammo, and a holster.

    All Federal buildings including national park buildings and post offices are no-go. Do not carry on school grounds, bars, courtrooms, or the secure areas of jails, airports, or mental facilities. Private property owners can ask you to leave at any time, if you do not, you are guilty of trespass though signage is only valid where you are already prohibited from carrying.

  3. #3
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    In addition to the above good advice, I'd say: take a class or two before you purchase! Because you're on a limited budget, it sounds like having to re-buy to get something that really suits you would be a hardship; and while going to a rental range and trying a variety of handguns is (of course*) the best way to approach a purchase, that trying out will be even more meaningful once you have a bit more experience under your belt.

    Here's one source of local training, I'm sure folks here will chime in with others, too: http://www.tacomarifle.org/training.htm

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *Is that what I did, myself? No, but fortunately I lucked out and still have that original handgun, still shoot and occasionally carry it, but then again I didn't have the advice of experienced people helping me out...
    Last edited by kparker; 07-06-2012 at 06:45 PM.

  4. #4
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    I don't want a gun that I need shoot more than once when lives are in danger

    Well, you're really pretty much ruling out handguns, then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acmariner99 View Post
    First off, welcome aboard -- Open Carry is a wonderful right, but like you mentioned, it is a tremendous responsibility. It is up to you to know and understand the laws and legalisms surrounding open carry in Washington State. Before you go full-bore OC, I implore you to keep the following things in mind:

    1) Know and understand the law -- open carry is legal insomuch as you do not "warrant alarm" for the safety of others. Read RCW 9.41 for all firearm law in WA State.

    2) There are caveats if you choose not to obtain a CPL -- car carry and carry around schools and school zones.

    2) Know how you will respond to citizens and law enforcement. Most will leave you alone, a few will approach you with honest questions, and on rare occasion you may run into somebody who is openly hostile towards guns. When it comes to law enforcement, if they have questions, want to see your ID, or your weapon -- determine what response you want to take. Stand up for your rights, but do not argue or start a confrontation. Open Carry provides a wonderful means of ease and access in our own personal defense, but we are wide open to public scrutiny.

    3) How you carry yourself is FAR more important than how you carry your weapon. If you are confident, friendly, offer a smile or converse with people -- ergo, act normally, people will be far more inclined to leave you alone.

    4) Get a good holster and practice with it -- at home of course; practice weapon retention as well.

    5) Knowledge is power -- read, ask questions, browse youtube; the more you know -- the more you UNDERSTAND, the better prepared you will be.

    About choosing a firearm: not every gun is for every person. I recommend going to your local range (bulls eye in tacoma has a wide selection), practice with a few handguns you think may suit your fancy and go from there. In terms of price vs. your preferences -- Glocks and Springfield XD's will usually run from 5-600 bucks, though I do not recommend a Glock for a new shooter. The Ruger SR line has a good 40 cal that runs between 4-500 dollars. That is just for the firearm -- not including tax, ammo, and a holster.

    All Federal buildings including national park buildings and post offices are no-go. Do not carry on school grounds, bars, courtrooms, or the secure areas of jails, airports, or mental facilities. Private property owners can ask you to leave at any time, if you do not, you are guilty of trespass though signage is only valid where you are already prohibited from carrying.
    Thank you!
    I'll be sure to read up a lot more on RCW 9-41

    Quote Originally Posted by kparker View Post
    In addition to the above good advice, I'd say: take a class or two before you purchase! Because you're on a limited budget, it sounds like having to re-buy to get something that really suits you would be a hardship; and while going to a rental range and trying a variety of handguns is (of course*) the best way to approach a purchase, that trying out will be even more meaningful once you have a bit more experience under your belt.

    Here's one source of local training, I'm sure folks here will chime in with others, too: http://www.tacomarifle.org/training.htm

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *Is that what I did, myself? No, but fortunately I lucked out and still have that original handgun, still shoot and occasionally carry it, but then again I didn't have the advice of experienced people helping me out...
    Absolutely.
    There's no way on earth I'm touching a firearm until I'm being instructed by someone with years of experience.
    I don't want to give the Second Amendment a bad name, after all.

    And I think responsibility is the biggest part of self defense.

    Also, thank you for the link, I'm going to check them out asap.

    Quote Originally Posted by kparker View Post
    I don't want a gun that I need shoot more than once when lives are in danger

    Well, you're really pretty much ruling out handguns, then.
    I don't think that's true.

    I have two very close friends that saw active combat in the military, one in Viet Nam and one who had two tours in 06-08 and 08-10.
    My pal from Nam, when I approached him, told me that a .45 caliber..? can easily stop an attacker dead in their tracks, and that I should look into getting one.

    And then my pal from Iraq / Afgan has told me that I should just get ruger 101?
    The exact name escapes me, in all honesty.

    But again, this is heresay, and I'm certain you're a lot more experienced than I am, so I won't argue that point.

  6. #6
    Regular Member LkWd_Don's Avatar
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    First off, Welcome to the forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandwich View Post
    I'll be sure to read up a lot more on RCW 9-41

    There's no way on earth I'm touching a firearm until I'm being instructed by someone with years of experience.
    I don't want to give the Second Amendment a bad name, after all.

    And I think responsibility is the biggest part of self defense.

    My pal from Nam, when I approached him, told me that a .45 caliber..? can easily stop an attacker dead in their tracks, and that I should look into getting one.
    Sounds like you will be well on your way to responsible ownership.

    As for what is the right firearm for you, that is something that actually only you can answer in time with experience.

    Different people have differing size's of hands, strengths, etc.. so you may find different pistols/revolvers comfortable to you than others might suggest and I have found that most people are most accurate with what they find most comfortable. Something that may impact upon your shooting accuracy is knowing which of your eyes are dominant. I saw where you stated you are left handed but that is not a given that your left eye will be dominant, if it is great, shoot left handed, but if you have a right dominant eye, I would suggest that you learn to shoot right handed and therefore carry on the right.

    Best to you.
    Lets Unite and REMIND our Government that WE are the source of their authority and that WE demand our Rights be returned, Unabridged, Non-infringed, without denial or disparagement. The faults of a few, reflect badly on many, I therefore do not suggest anyone support WAC. My EDC is either a H&K USP .40 or a Taurus 689 .357 filled with Snake Loads

  7. #7
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    With all due respect, your pal is a bit wrong.

    Certainly, a .45 can stop an assailant with one shot; so can a .38spl or a 9mm. But there's a world of difference between can and will always. A surprisingly large percentage of gunshot victims in the US survive their wounds...

    So yeah, a class or two would be a good environment in which to work through these aspects and come up with the right approach, and the right handgun, for you.

  8. #8
    Regular Member GreatWhiteLlama's Avatar
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    "1.) I'm looking for stopping power. I don't want a gun that I need shoot more than once when lives are in danger, I've personally ruled out anything 9mm or less, but if someone with a greater expanse of knowledge can persuade me otherwise, I'll gladly pick one up. "

    Welcome.

    Well, 9 vs 45 has only been argued twice in the entire existence of of mankind and thru both arguments, it was clearly agreed On that 9mm was superior. Anyone that says otherwise is simply trying to confuse you.

    Sorry, couldn't resist...

    :P
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  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Sandwich;1783666]Thank you!

    I don't think that's true.

    First of all welcome to the forum there is an immense amount of knowledge available here.

    I personally know several people that have been shot multiple times and kept on fighting. One was shot point blank in the chest and did not even know he was shot until much later another friend was shot at less than 2 feet 6 times with a .45 acp and walked to meet the ambulance at the curb under his own power. seven shots were fired the guy actually missed one time, remember he was less than 2 feet away.

  10. #10
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    A couple of suggestions...and the reason for them.

    When you OC, OC with confidence you are doing something that is totally legal...The Nervous Nelly is the one that will be checked out and have calls made on. I won't guarantee you won't have someone call in on you, I even have had that happen...once in the last 42 years. Last two words with the Deputy (one from him, one from me) and he was gone...

    Do get your CPL. Reason one, so you do not have to unload when you get in your vehicle. Reason 2, you can ignore the school zone garbage, Reason 3: so you do not have to wait when you purchase your pistol. Do OC, but also, do get that CPL, it makes life much simpler...from someone that went 25 years (out of 42 in WA) without a CPL... this is especially true if you end up purchasing a revolver,

    You do not have to purchase a NEW weapon. Used can be just fine, LE trade in is usually a good bet.

    Purchased the weapon YOU shot the best. A well placed .22 is better than a sloppy shot with a .50 cal.

    Personally, I have semi-autos and revolvers by CZ, Colt, High Standard and Ruger...like them all. I shoot the High Standards more than any other...but then they are .22s.

    I particularly like my CZ85 (ambidextrous) and my Colt Officers Model 38 revolver for carry. The CZ85 is within your price range, the Colt is not (even though, or maybe because, it was manufactured in 1926)

    Get a GOOD holster that fits your particular weapon. Be safe,,,,and

    Above, Know the law! I have RCW 9.41 on my quick picks on my computer.

  11. #11
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Before this devolves any further into a caliber war...
    Welcome to OCDO.
    You've determined that you don't want to carry anything smaller than a 9mm / .38.
    Entirely reasonable.
    For stopping power, bigger is better.
    For target practice, .22 is cheapest. (Actually, a pellet pistol is cheapest, but we're talking firearms.)

    If you want to know about "one shot stops", browse this site.
    Choose a bullet size & weight, & it'll give you a table showing how many shootings are included in the stats, how many 1-shot stops & its %, wound diameter & penetration, listed by brand & weight of bullet.

    For the .45, the % of 1-shot stops goes from 57-96%.
    10mm goes from 81-90%
    .40 is 61-94%
    9mm is 58-83%
    .380 is 55-71%
    .38 special is 47-65%
    (Even knowing that my .40 has a 90% chance of stopping an attacker with one bullet, I'm probably going to fire several, because I don't want to wait around to see if he's going to stop being a threat or keep attacking me. I want him stopped. Now.)

    *****

    To decide what gun to buy, go to a store & handle everything they'll let you handle. It helps to go at a quieter time of week/day. Pay attention to what fits your hand, because if it doesn't fit you can't control it & that's not safe.
    Make a list.

    Once you have a few that fit you well, go to a range that rents pistols & rent the ones you're thinking about. Do they aim right for you, or is it awkward? I love my Glocks in part because they aim naturally for me - they fit my hand & arm construction. There are people who hate Glocks because the grip angle just doesn't work for them.

    Something clip fed
    Then you're either looking for a rifle or a revolver.
    If you'd be OK with a semiauto (uses a magazine), someone else has already suggested that the XD & Glock are within your price range & quite reliable. They're pretty similar in construction & grip angle with 2 important differences:
    1) the XD has a grip safety
    2) the Glock you have to pull the trigger to take apart

    I disagree that beginners shouldn't use Glocks. Since newbies (once they learn the safety rules) are usually more conscious of safety, they're less likely than a complacent know-it-all to do something stupid (like leaving their finger on the trigger) that would cause an ND.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 07-06-2012 at 10:25 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    A couple of suggestions...and the reason for them.

    When you OC, OC with confidence you are doing something that is totally legal...The Nervous Nelly is the one that will be checked out and have calls made on. I won't guarantee you won't have someone call in on you, I even have had that happen...once in the last 42 years. Last two words with the Deputy (one from him, one from me) and he was gone...

    Do get your CPL. Reason one, so you do not have to unload when you get in your vehicle. Reason 2, you can ignore the school zone garbage, Reason 3: so you do not have to wait when you purchase your pistol. Do OC, but also, do get that CPL, it makes life much simpler...from someone that went 25 years (out of 42 in WA) without a CPL... this is especially true if you end up purchasing a revolver,

    You do not have to purchase a NEW weapon. Used can be just fine, LE trade in is usually a good bet.

    Purchased the weapon YOU shot the best. A well placed .22 is better than a sloppy shot with a .50 cal.

    Personally, I have semi-autos and revolvers by CZ, Colt, High Standard and Ruger...like them all. I shoot the High Standards more than any other...but then they are .22s.

    I particularly like my CZ85 (ambidextrous) and my Colt Officers Model 38 revolver for carry. The CZ85 is within your price range, the Colt is not (even though, or maybe because, it was manufactured in 1926)

    Get a GOOD holster that fits your particular weapon. Be safe,,,,and

    Above, Know the law! I have RCW 9.41 on my quick picks on my computer.
    I will certainly be getting my CPL, that's for sure.
    If for nothing else than the quality of life Rights it earns you.

    I'm going to be spending as much of the free time as I have possible practically memorizing the RCW 9.41 specifically because I'm anticipating at least ONE officer confronting me about Open Carry.

    That said, after I looked up the CZ85, I saw a lot of reviews for the CZ75 BD and it seems like that may be my go-to gun, to be honest.
    I'm going to see if I know anyone who owns one so I can take it to the range, but so far it looks very fitting for me.

    So thank you very, very much for pointing that out.

    EDIT: What types of Holsters do you use for your CZ85?
    Last edited by Sandwich; 07-06-2012 at 10:46 PM.

  13. #13
    Activist Member SigGuy23's Avatar
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    Something clip fed
    Then you're either looking for a rifle or a revolver.
    If you'd be OK with a semiauto (uses a magazine), someone else has already suggested that the XD & Glock are within your price range & quite reliable. They're pretty similar in construction & grip angle with 2 importa nt differences:
    I'm pretty sure when he said clip he meant mag fed. Most noobs call Mags Clips. Other then that, good advice.

  14. #14
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Buy a gun that has a stellar reputation where reliability is concerned. If you are going to trust it with your life, it must go 'bang' each and every time you pull the trigger. If you need to add $100 or more to your pre planned purchase budget then wait to do so.

    Personally I carry a couple of different Sig Sauer's because they have that reputation.

    If you come to Champion Arms in Kent on Wednesday's we offer free gun rentals all day. All you have to do is buy our ammo. You can try out some 50 or more handguns. If you ask, I will let you shoot what ever Sig I am carrying that day. BTW I am the GM of Champion.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SigGuy23 View Post
    I'm pretty sure when he said clip he meant mag fed. Most noobs call Mags Clips. Other then that, good advice.
    Yeah, mag fed.
    Sorry, I still have the stupid Hollywood terms stuck in my head.

    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    Buy a gun that has a stellar reputation where reliability is concerned. If you are going to trust it with your life, it must go 'bang' each and every time you pull the trigger. If you need to add $100 or more to your pre planned purchase budget then wait to do so.

    Personally I carry a couple of different Sig Sauer's because they have that reputation.

    If you come to Champion Arms in Kent on Wednesday's we offer free gun rentals all day. All you have to do is buy our ammo. You can try out some 50 or more handguns. If you ask, I will let you shoot what ever Sig I am carrying that day. BTW I am the GM of Champion.
    Champion Arms in Kent on Wednesday.

    I'll be sure to stop by.

    If you aren't busy do you think you might be willing to give some newbie pointers?
    Last edited by Sandwich; 07-06-2012 at 11:16 PM.

  16. #16
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandwich View Post
    Yeah, mag fed.
    Sorry, I still have the stupid Hollywood terms stuck in my head.



    Champion Arms in Kent on Wednesday.

    I'll be sure to stop by.

    If you aren't busy do you think you might be willing to give some newbie pointers?
    Sure. Just PM me before you come so I can be there.

  17. #17
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    I disagree about Glocks being inappropriate for beginners. Let me explain why. Most people have concerns about Glocks, because the only safety is on the trigger. There is no grip safety or thumb safety. There is nobody that thinks having only a trigger safety makes the firearm unsafe for drops or anything else. They're mostly concerned that someone without a lot of experience will not exercise good trigger control, and have an accidental discharge. If you aren't very careful, a bit of a shirt caught in your holster can catch the trigger and you have an AD. And, sloppy gun handling can also cause it. There is some evidence that this happens from a unusually common malady called "Glock Leg" that a lot of LEO's got when the switched from wheel guns to Glocks.

    I don't necessarily disagree with their concerns. But, I have another one of my own. First, like you, I'm a lefty. There are few guns out there with an ambi thumb safety, and I've not been really impressed with any of the ones I've tried. Plus, if I'm in a circumstance where it's necessary to fire on another person, I don't want to think about all of the things I need to get the bullet to come out the pointy end. And, I especially don't want to try and fiddle with a thumb safety on the left side, that causes me to take several seconds and a very weak grip to disengage. I just want to pull the trigger and get it done.

  18. #18
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Welcome, as you can see the debate over caliber comes down to a personal choice...

    3.) Aside from federal buildings and bars, where can you NOT carry a firearm?
    As far as carrying here in Washington take a look at the sticky thread with the FAQ's
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...out-Open-Carry

  19. #19
    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    Welcome there is a ton of information to learn and you won't learn it all right away it will takes times, years to feel confident in the laws but it is a continuing process. To try and answer you question directly I recommend getting a 40 cal that is what I carry. I am not a ballistics expert but when I did my own research I found that 40s have the velocity of a 9 with the initial hitting power of a 45, kind of the best of both worlds without sacrificing magazine capacity. Look into hi point guns they don't looks like much but are reliable and will come in under your budget. I personally carry a Springfield XD 40 but they start around $500. Good luck and anymore questions please ask

  20. #20
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandwich View Post
    I will certainly be getting my CPL, that's for sure.
    If for nothing else than the quality of life Rights it earns you.

    I'm going to be spending as much of the free time as I have possible practically memorizing the RCW 9.41 specifically because I'm anticipating at least ONE officer confronting me about Open Carry.

    That said, after I looked up the CZ85, I saw a lot of reviews for the CZ75 BD and it seems like that may be my go-to gun, to be honest.
    I'm going to see if I know anyone who owns one so I can take it to the range, but so far it looks very fitting for me.

    So thank you very, very much for pointing that out.

    EDIT: What types of Holsters do you use for your CZ85?
    I have a custom made leather Alessi (www.alessigunholsters.com) for my CZ85 (my 85 is not a BD, it was made in 1991). I would guess you probably would not want to order an Alessi holster though, Problem #1: They are quite expensive. Problem #2: It can take 3 months to receive it...

    Other than that, it is an outstanding holster, and I am very happy I waited for it. The holster hugs the pistol really close and is very easy to wear in my car (A6 Audi)..after a couple hours driving I don't even feel it's there, don't have to worry about the gun falling out either.... My belt is from R&R gun leather in Sedro Woolley, WA...also a wait, but an excellent belt, at a good price.

    The New CZ85B and the CZ75B are very similar...except the 85B has ambidextrous controls and will accommodate lefties. As you are left handed, the ambidextrous controls will help and are a consideration.

    As it has been stated earlier, but be sure you check which eye is dominent. Our oldest daughter is a lefty, but is right eye dominent. She shoots right handed. Our second daughter is also left handed, but she is left eye dominent. She shoots left handed My dad was left handed and neither eye was dominent, he could shoot equally well either way, he pitched softball either hand, batted either hand, golfed left handed...all combinations happen.

    If I wre you, I would take gogodawgs up on his offer..you need to try as many as you can...some fit some people, but not others...like my Colt...our oldest daughter cannot shoot it for the life of her (her hands are too small), but she says the CZ's (I own several) are just fine. You need to fit your hands and your style...
    Last edited by hermannr; 07-07-2012 at 10:52 PM.

  21. #21
    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    Lacey, Washington, USA
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    1,990
    21 years in the Army, I carry 9mm Hornady Critical Defense.
    "The beauty of the Second Amenment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." Thomas Jefferson
    "Evil often triumphs, but never conquers." Joseph Roux
    http://nwfood.shelfreliance.com

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