Carrying a concealed firearm is fairly basic in the grand scheme of things. Essentially you carry a firearm on your body and go amongst your day. It’s an extremely simple concept but the definition is slowly changing with newer generations looking for other ways of carrying firearms. Having a small but capable weapon in a bag or vehicle can be a huge advantage in certain situations. It’s becoming more common amongst younger concealed carriers and with that is a growing market of discreet carry bags and accessories to help people carry what they consider important. Over the last four or five years, I have tried carrying larger PDW style firearms for the sake of science and throughout my time testing, I have noticed a few trends among people just starting out to carry a firearm. Let’s dive into some of the good and bad of carrying PDW style weapons.
Common Problems With Carrying A Larger Firearm
So many people look at what they already have in their collection and try to push it into a PDW style firearm to conceal carry. If someone has a spare AR pistol laying around, they will oftentimes designate it as a carry gun whether it’s a good fit to conceal or not. It’s important to have a goal when trying to build or shop for a smaller personal defense weapon. The biggest issue with finding a good PDW is the overall size and how it can fit into a normal discreet bag. Having a 10.5″ AR pistol with an optic and everything else on it may seem like a great idea, but in most cases, it will be way too bulky to comfortably carry in a backpack on a daily basis.
It is possible to carry a longer AR pistol, but over time it gets tough and rather cumbersome. You will probably have to upgrade to a larger backpack as well due to the overall length of the AR. Installing something like a Law Tactical folder is a great way to make a compact option while keeping a longer barrel on your AR pistol. For a while, I used to carry my AR pistol in a Gamut plus backpack from Vertx but after a while, it does feel heavy and I ultimately stopped carrying it for that reason.
Finding A PDW That Fits Your Lifestyle
Having a capable firearm in a tiny package can certainly become a benefit to carry in uncertain situations. It’s not easy carrying a larger firearm but certain people want to have more options than just a standard sidearm depending on where they are and if someone is traveling across the country. Some people want the lightest possible PDW you can find where others want a versatile package that offers great protection at the expense of mobility. There have been a ton of pistol caliber carbines hit the market over the last couple of years. I have reviewed guns like the Kalashnikov USA KP9 and MP5K and those are great options but still a tad big for daily use.
Having something portable that folds is usually the best. Something like the Brugger & Thomet TP9 or GHM9 are great options. In my experience, having the H&K MP5K with an SB Tactical SBT5KA is the limit for having a compact mobile package. I enjoy carrying it with a 20 round short magazine with a spare magazine in the larger 30 round configuration. The beauty of carrying a small package is how lightweight it is compared to a larger AR pistol or other options. I’ve written several articles about the SIG Sauer MCX Rattler and its phenomenal capabilities. Other guns on the market like the Maxim PDW in 300 Blackout and 7.62×39 are great options as well for being super compact but offering a fair bit of firepower.
You may not agree with people carrying a PDW and that’s completely understandable. After really putting effort into carrying and understanding the role of a PDW in uncertain times and throughout my time carrying a PDW style weapon, I realized if you decide to try and carry a larger PDW, I would start off by carrying for short periods and slowly work your way up to daily life. After a while, it will become routine but it’s important to stay persistent and carry it daily if that’s something you’re really interested in doing.
Right now I would say the MCX Rattler and TP9 are my two favorite guns to carry on a regular basis. They are both extremely compact for what they are and don’t feel cumbersome like other options on the market. Now don’t get me wrong, the other options I listed about are great alternatives as well but the TP9 and Rattler are my personal favorite. My suggestion is to just go to a few local shops and take a look at a few different PDW style weapons to get some point of reference. Trying out different weapon systems like the CZ Scorpion and other options is a great way to see what you prefer for your own PDW.
Let me know what you guys think of PDW style weapons in the comments below. I know some of you love carrying them in your vehicle or on your person and others completely disagree. Both views are totally understandable but I’d love to hear your thoughts below. If you have a question about PDWs or firearms in general don’t hesitate to reach out to my page on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.