Does my ultimate carry gun exist?


April 12, 2003, 05:04 AM
My ultimate carry gun would be the following semiauto pistol:

1. 9mm Parabellum (9x19).
2. Double Action (means single and double action). No DAO.
Should have a hammer on the back for true Single Action shooting.
3. Capacity: At least 10 rounds.
4. External safety switch.
5. Length: 6.5 inches or less overall.
6. Width: 1.2 inch wide or less.
7. Height: 6 inches or less.
8. Decent quality.

What I'd really like is a Walther PPK, Makarov, Browning BDA, or something like those but in 9mm and that meet the above criteria. I'm currently carrying a Kel-Tec P-11 (DAO, no external safety).
Does my ultimate carry gun exist?

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April 12, 2003, 07:07 AM
I have a S&W PC "Shorty Nine." I think that it meets all of you're requirements.
If you can find one you will be more than satisfied.
It has another benefit, it's a great shooter.

Two tone , alloy frame, 13 rounds, perfect fit everywhere. A very nice piece indeed.


April 12, 2003, 07:16 AM
I think it'll be difficult to find a pistol in 9mm para that will fit the both the size and capacity requirements that you have.

The little Beretta, the 9000S is pretty small at 6.6" long and 1.65" wide, and it is outside of your size criteria. It does hold 10 rounds, however, and does have an external safety.

You might be able to find a NIB S&W 6906, they hold ten rounds and twelve round magazines are plentiful and cheap, but I think that'll still be outside of your size criteria, at least in width.

Anything else I can think of with an external safety is either too large or not of sufficient magazine capacity, or both.

April 12, 2003, 09:10 AM
About ¼" wider than your spec but...Mini FireStorm 9 (

Sean Smith
April 12, 2003, 09:35 AM
Pretty much any 9mm made to hold 10+ rounds that I've heard of will be too wide to meet your critera. A CZ-75 PCR or P01 would be close though... 1.4" wide, 7.2" long and 5.3" high.



IIRC 13-round magazines are available, too.

Marko Kloos
April 12, 2003, 10:54 AM
The HK USP Compact 9mm meets your criteria, it's 6.5" long and 5" high. It's less wide than your dimensions, and it's traditional DA/SA.

April 12, 2003, 01:31 PM
That's totally the USPc.

April 12, 2003, 04:00 PM
I second the Firestorm Mini 9. The ambidextrious safety switches make it wider than your spec but the gun as a whole is slimmer...the slide being exactly 1" and the grip being about 1¼". High caps (13+1) in the form of .40S&W mags, which yes before anyone asks, is perfectly legal :)

April 12, 2003, 04:56 PM
Only holds 9, but meets or exceeds all of your criteria, HK P7. Expensive, hard to find, best there is!:)

April 12, 2003, 05:16 PM
How about a S&W 6906? It's just a tad longer, but it meets all of your requirements, I believe. They're 6 and 13/16ths inches long, high caps are still fairly easy to find (at least around here), and they have an external safety.

Of course, if you can manage with 8+1 rounds of 9mm, I would, as always, heartily recommend the 3913.


April 12, 2003, 06:56 PM
My ultimate CCW is the G-26. The trigger can be changed to suit your tastes. I suggest renting one at the range.


April 12, 2003, 11:13 PM
USP9c is it ;)

David S
April 12, 2003, 11:48 PM
I hear horror stories of USP's manual safety ENGAGING while firing. forget that. Manual safeties are overrated..............spring for a Euro version Walther P99...........comes with 16 round mags.....

April 13, 2003, 03:28 PM
I hear horror stories of USP's manual safety ENGAGING while firing.

That's a new one on me. Have never heard of that problem before on the USP. The detents for the safeties on all of my USPs, full size and compact, are very positive and definite when engaged/disengaged. Where did you get this information?

April 13, 2003, 05:44 PM
I'd kind of like to hear about that one myself. Safety can't engage during firing, unless your thumb accidentally flicks it up; like in, you wern't holding onto the pistol very tightly and pulled the trigger! I guess everything has probably happened before, usually "operator error", not pistols fault.:)

David S
April 13, 2003, 09:01 PM
37 USPs where shipped to my local sheriff dept. the man in charge of the depts weapons is the one i talked to and he said "JUST ABOUT ALL" of them had problems. sent most back to HK.........after several tries they got decent pistols......

his view on HK is that they should include 100 ft of rope with each gun sold so you can tie it to it and use it as an anchor because, in his opinion, thats all they are good for,

April 13, 2003, 10:15 PM
HK USPc 9mm

I have one, great pistol! With night sights too.

You'll love it.

April 13, 2003, 10:26 PM
Does the HK USPc 9mm have a regular hammer on the back? It doesn't look like it does. And the manual says Bobbed hammer. Can I actually thumb the hammer and cock it back? Or, is the first shot DAO and then SA after that?

The manual looks complicated. Variants, Modes, ect.... Yikes!

April 13, 2003, 11:14 PM
The bobbed hammer of the USPc is flush with the back of the slide. The hammer does, however, have a half cock notch. If you very slowly pull the trigger a little and get the hammer to engage the half cock notch, it is possible to pull thumb the hammer back to cock (in the non-DAO configurations). This is not really how it is suppose to be used but it can be done.

The different configurations of the safety lever (or even eliminating it) doesn't really have to be memorized. Just pick a configuration you like and have the gun modified by a qualified armorer to that configuration.

George Hill
April 14, 2003, 12:27 AM
Isn't there a CZ-75 variant in these size constraints?


The 9mm HK USPc is a great handgun, but overpriced and overrated. I hate the triggers and I'm unable to fire them very well... But for some reason I fire the .40 USPC just fine. Go figure.

I like the recoil reduction device in the USP series. The 9mm feels like your popping .22's. Super hot 9mm loads are cake.

April 14, 2003, 04:01 AM
Thanks everyone, you have all been a great help! I still haven't found my perfect carry-gun but I do have a much better idea what compacts are out there. I changed my first message to add a hammer on the rear of the gun. Thats why I wanted a Traditional Double Action (SA/DA). Today they have all kinds of varients and I didn't know I needed to specify (my bad).

Guns I have rejected:
1) The S&W CS9 lacks a rear hammer, doesn't hold 10 rounds.
2) The HK USPC lacks a rear hammer.
3) The Glocks have no external switch-safety and are too fat. No external hammer.
4) The CZ's are just too large. I did find a CZ 2075 RAMI on their foreign site which barely fits my maximum criteria. But I found none for sale here in the US. And since it isn't particularly small I see no reason to pursue it.
5) SigSauer P239. Stretches max criteria. Doesn't hold 10 rounds.
6) All Beretta's are too fat.

Guns I'm considering:
1) The Mini Firestorm 9mm. But all ads say 7" long instead of their website which states 6.5" long. Hmmm. They are too fat. I think this company is owned by Bersa. Kinda middle of the road for quality. I will have to look at one and see how cheap I could pick one up just to play with it a while.
2) Still looking for some of the older S&W guns.

I'm beginning to think I may be stuck with my Kel-Tec P-11 a while (9mm, Length 5.6", Height 4.3", Width 1", Capacity 10+1, Action DAO, No external safety). I just wanted a safety switch and SA/DA! It must be hard to cram that into such a small package.

Marko Kloos
April 14, 2003, 06:46 AM
2) The HK USPC lacks a rear hammer.

The USPc does have a rear hammer, it's just almost flush with the rear of the slide. The back of the hammer is rubberized, so it's actually fairly easy to thumb-cock even if you don't assist by slowly pulling the trigger. The USPc meets all your criteria.

April 14, 2003, 08:08 AM
Frankly, the only S&W CCW that I could recommend is the 3913, but it is 8 rd. w/ no spur hammer. I know nothing about the MiniFirestorm, other than what I have read in a recent gunrag. The Sig P239, CZ PCR or the Glock 19 I could recommend in a heartbeat, but these do not meet your restrictive criteria.

The best advice I can give is the same type of advice my firearms instructor gave me; there are many good suggestions for reliable CCW firearms on the market, and on this thread; evaluate 3 or 4 to see if one is more shootable for you, pick one, get a good holster that works for your preferred mode of carry, then train your tail off with it, so that when/if the "SHTF", you are prepared.

Sean Smith
April 14, 2003, 09:15 AM
Darn, man, you are excluding every worthwhile firearm in existence!


(Seriously, maybe you need to recognize that your ironclad requirements are a little arbitrary, and choose a weapon on its overall merits).

April 14, 2003, 04:06 PM
Sean Smith:
I agree kinda. But the fact is that there are many guns in .380 caliber that meet my criteria. Like the Walther PPK, Makarov, ect.... I just thought there might be a 9mm equivalent.
My current 9mm carry, the Kel-Tec P-11, is so small I just thought that maybe someone had something a little larger with all the features I liked in the .380's. But it doesn't look like anyone does.

9mm with SA/DA (external hammer) and an external safety = Big Honking Gun.

Sean Smith
April 14, 2003, 04:58 PM
Actually, those guns don't meet your capacity criteria.

I'm sure you could just have the hammer on the USP9c swapped out for one with a long spur. Then you'd have a gun that meets all of your criteria.

April 14, 2003, 05:40 PM
37 USPs where shipped to my local sheriff dept. the man in charge of the depts weapons is the one i talked to and he said "JUST ABOUT ALL" of them had problems. sent most back to HK.........after several tries they got decent pistols......
I just can't find the words... Utter balogna... not from you, but from "the man in charge of the depts weapons". "Horror Stories" indeed. BALOGNA (baloneeeee). I tend to wonder about a woman who keeps having the same problem over and over with every man she dates... I can't help but wonder if it's somehow the WOMAN'S fault. (hint hint)

his view on HK is that they should include 100 ft of rope with each gun sold so you can tie it to it and use it as an anchor because, in his opinion, thats all they are good for,
Gee, his name wouldn't happen to be Sgt. Powell, would it? :D

The USP Compact CAN be ordered with a FULL hammer like the USP. It meets all your specified criteria, and is ONE HECK of a pistol. I've got experience with 4 full size and 3 compacts, (3 were mine, 4 have been purchased by friends after shooting mine). NOBODY has ever had a problem.

There's also the soon-to-be-released-eventually-one-day "CZ RAMI" that fits all your criteria...

April 14, 2003, 05:50 PM
Holy crap, who is the man that said that about HKs? They don't fit my hand, I don't think I would ever own one. But really, they are EXCELLENT handguns with EXCELLENT customer service. They are really top notch.

April 14, 2003, 07:35 PM
I carry the HK USPc 9mm cocked and locked in condition 1.

What's the biggie about a traditional rear hammer?

Sounds to me that you're excluding too many fine pistols that meet your criteria and looking for something that might not exist.

Good luck.

April 14, 2003, 07:49 PM
The USPc almost cocks itself.
Flip the safety on, point gun in safe difection, pull trigger.
The gun is now in half-cock.
To be honest, if the chamber is loaded, and you decock it, the gun is in half-cock.
Safety still on, pull trigger a little bit to the rear, and thumb cock the gun, it's really easy with the rubber tipped-hammer.
Anyone who disses the USPc series gun has never kept it long enough for the trigger to break in.
The USPc wasn't designed, it was engineered.
Also, you can carry it cocked and locked, so you wouldn't need to thumb cock the hammer for a SA first shot, if that's your thing.
And as for the safety engaging while firing, somebody doesn't know what they're talking about.
My USP compact .45 has never malfunctioned, not even once, is the only auto I own with a 100% reliability record (Almost 10,000 rounds through her!), and its also the most accurate auto I own.
The only thing my USPc could use is night sights, but that's available aftermarket.

April 14, 2003, 09:19 PM
37 USPs where shipped to my local sheriff dept. the man in charge of the depts weapons is the one i talked to and he said "JUST ABOUT ALL" of them had problems. sent most back to HK.........after several tries they got decent pistols......

I too have to take this to task...I know you are only repeating what you were told... that said I have a USP Tac and a USP c and I have found them to be top notch weapons. I have two friend with USPc's and they are flawless. I have to wonder about that departments training....:confused:

Marko Kloos
April 14, 2003, 09:30 PM
My gunsmith doesn't like plastic pistols at all; he's a 1911 man. That said, he considers the USP series the least troublesome of all current polymer handguns, based on how few he ever sees for repair. He seems to think that the USP is sturdy and extremely reliable.

Then again, he fixes guns for a living every day, so what does he know?

April 15, 2003, 05:44 AM
My gundealer who I have known for ten years, who is a former Ranger armorer doesn't like plastic pistols either. He likes a solid steel, 1911 and other 'heavy metal' type.

However, he carries an HK USP 9mm and knows how to use it! After some talk on the subject of plastic vs. steel, he recommended the USPc series to me and I was impressed from the git-go.

My compact 9mm with nite sites is my bedside drawer pistol and is my choice for all backcountry and road trips in a Safepacker holster.

My govt 1911 will be my CCW around town once Denver starts issuing permits. I don't want to hold my breath on this one being that Denver used to NEVER offer CCW's but this will change do to the new laws.

The HK has the same 'platform' as the 1911, not quite as smooth though, and with an added decocker.

Yes, it costs more than other plastic but I don't buy and sell guns on a regular basis. This one is a 'keeper'.

April 16, 2003, 08:28 AM
All Berettas are not "too fat"; Check Out This One;

Beretta 8000F Cougar L (

April 16, 2003, 04:10 PM
You're looking at it.


April 17, 2003, 06:19 PM
The CCW is the one that you'll actually carry. I carry a Walther PPK (Interarms). Comes out of my Milt Sparks holster fast and ready. Trigger is a little hard on the pull but that will most likely be overcome by adrenaline. My PPK has never jammed, mis-fired and shoots straight as an arrow. Sometimes you just can't beat the older guns.

April 18, 2003, 06:52 AM

What you describe is pretty close to what I've wanted for years, but haven't found (except I wouldn't want the external safety - I don't see much point in having one on a D/A handgun). I also have a Kel-Tec P11, and I'm happy with most things about it except the trigger pull. If I could get a P11 in traditional double action, with some way of manualy cocking the hammer, I'd be happy. As you know, by using a high-quality metal magazine, and thin plastic grip, Kel-Tec gives you a very compact and light 11-round 9mm pistol.

I had pretty high hopes when I heard that Walther was coming out with a compact version of the P99 (I have an SW99 that I like pretty well). I was hoping it would be similar to the Walther P22, but in 9mm and .40S&W. I realize the action is different, and that it would have to be a little larger, but I hoped they would proportionally shrink the P99, rather than just chopping off the barrel and grip (which appears to be the case).

I could also go for one of the Kahr polymer pistols if they were available in traditional double action, although I can't figure why Kahr didn't try a little harder to squeeze a couple of additional rounds into the magazine (I think they could have done so without significantly increasing the outside dimensions of the grip).

I really can't figure out why traditional double action is very popular in fulll to mid-sized pistols, but when they build a compact model, everyone goes DAO (or you have to go to a blowback .380). It seems like there is at least a market niche large enough to warrant someone introducing a traditional D/A compact.


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