What is the best gun with a 3" barrel?


April 20, 2006, 11:59 AM
I'm trying to get a feeler out there to see what is the best handgun with a 3" barrel. The ones I've seen are...Kimber Ultra Carry II/Para Hawg (24oz), Springfield XD Sub-compact, Springfield Micro Compact. The most important thing for me is smoothest recoil and weight. So far i'm going towards the XD sub-compact. Let me know what you guys think...

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April 20, 2006, 12:03 PM
I recently purchased a Para P-10 that is nice to shoot. It's basically a pre hawg. I'm really partial to .45's.

April 20, 2006, 01:39 PM
Deleted by ole' WT because the reply was not relevant to FT's question. I was tired from a long trip, had a brain fa*t and an unhappy childhood so I was not thinking before typing.

My sincere apologies for confusing people.

April 20, 2006, 04:56 PM
They are only 3.25" barrel.

April 20, 2006, 05:24 PM

April 20, 2006, 05:26 PM
Ooops - auto forum. My bad.

I'd probably lean towards something in the 'not 1911' range for a 3" barrel though. Based, of course, on my very limited experience with short barreled 1911s, and on issues others have cited.

April 20, 2006, 05:35 PM
I really like my SA XD40 3". Carries well and dependent on the shooter, shoots well. Tried the Glock and Taurus just to get a feel, and like the XD much better.

Put 300 rounds through it so far.

Just a personal opinion.

James NM
April 20, 2006, 06:23 PM
How about a Kahr? They make 3" models. But they also make 3.5" models
(P9, P40, CW9 etc.) that are lighter, thinner, and smaller in overall size than the models you mentioned. I love my P40 for CCW.

Jacob Staff
April 20, 2006, 06:37 PM
XD9 SC is the only one that I have tried but I am very happy with mine. Very accurate if I do my part.

April 20, 2006, 07:03 PM

April 20, 2006, 07:07 PM
From my experiance nothing on 1911 style.

April 20, 2006, 10:28 PM
Glock 26 or 27. My second cousin is the Sheriff in a South Ga. county and Vietnam 7th Cav veteran. His off duty carry piece is a Glock 27 - his experience makes that a pretty strong endorsement in my eyes. He likes the roughly 3 & 1/2" Bbl, and lightweight package that holds 9+1 rounds of 40 S&W.

April 21, 2006, 01:27 AM
What calibers do you like? Do you want a .45, .40, 9mm or are all open possibilities? Do you have a trigger preference? You mention a SA and a DAO pistol, do you prefer one over the other, will you consider a traditional DA/SA as well?

With the field wide open as it is I'll tell you what I have, and what I'm currently shopping, with a 3"ish barrel.

I have a Bersa Thunder in .380. It is a bit big and heavy (by today's standards) for a .380 but it is accurate, reliable and inexpensive. It is sized similarly to the Kahr K/P9 or K/P40 so if money isn't an issue I'd go with a bigger caliber if I was you, or if size is the issue I'd go smaller (Kel-tec or NAA Guardian in .380).

I also have a Taurus PT140 Milennium Pro. I love it. It is 100% reliable (the only issue was definately ammo related), it is quite accurate, it is comfortable to shoot (despite being 23oz and in .40S&W), it is well made and it feels great in my hand. Other than my revolvers it is probably my most handled/fondled gun, it is also one of my bedside and HD pistols. It is just a few milimeters larger in any measurement than the Bersa.

My favorite 3" guns are revolvers. I know this is the auto section, but it is hard to beat a 3" K-frame for controllability, comfort, handling, and the ability to handle some pretty massive loads. My S&W 65LS (3" .357mag) is one of my favorite guns, and always will be. For a bit more concealability the 3" J-frames are pretty nice too (I hope to pick up a 3" S&W M60 or Taurus 85 before long).

I am in the market for a used Kahr K9 or K40 (3.5") right now. It is a bit thinner than my PT140 so it will be a little better for when I'm in a carry state and want to utilize IWB tucked carry (the lump from the double stack PT140 in tucked carry may be more noticable). As soon as I can afford it I want the 3" Kahr PM9 for a potent and controllable pocket gun (my best friend has one and it has been 100% reliable and isn't any harder to handle the recoil than in an all steel J-frame).

Old Dog
April 21, 2006, 02:16 AM
Geez, not enough posters bashing the shorty 1911s yet. I'll chime in anyway. I've got a couple Springfield Armory Micro-Compacts (loaded, lightweight versions), one almost two years old, the other about a year old. Yep, 3-inch barrels. Get this: they're completely functional, capable of digesting any factory JHPs on the market; 100% reliable. One of 'em is devastatingly accurate, too. Of course, with the plethora of Micro-bashers out there (few of whom, it seems, have ever even owned a 3-inch 1911), my experience with these pistols must surely be an aberration ... So, I'll defer in advance to those voices of reason who will surely follow advising against ever even considering investing in a shorty 1911 ...

April 21, 2006, 11:56 AM
Thank you everyone on your responses...if you have anymore input I will keep looking. I will check out the PM9 or 40, some 1911's and the Springfield XD Compact.

Thanks everyone!

April 21, 2006, 12:12 PM
My Colt Defender has been reliable & accurate, no problems at all.:)

April 21, 2006, 12:34 PM
Best 3" barreled pistol I own ... and the only 3" barreled pistol I own ... is a S&W CS9. Outstanding little 9mm TDA pistol.

I own a number of pistols with barrels in the 3.25"-3.5" barrel length range, though, in all 3 of the major defensive calibers, covering 3 different manufacturers.

One thing to keep in kind when considering compact and subcompact pistols is that shooter-related and ammunition-related influences might become more potentially noticeable, for some folks, than when using similar 'full-size' models ...

lee n. field
April 21, 2006, 12:48 PM
I'm trying to get a feeler out there to see what is the best handgun with a 3" barrel.

A S&W K frame .357. :neener:

April 21, 2006, 09:40 PM
Colt Pocket Nine. Thin & light with a 3 inch barrel, very reliable, with 6+1 capacity. My summer carry for years.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
April 22, 2006, 01:49 AM
SWMBO picked out a nice Springer Micro Compact for herself last fall.

She likes it. I like it. Works every time for me, but she's still working on her grip and it FTE's about once every 20 rounds for her.

Nonetheless, I think it's incredibly accurate as far as any stock out of the box 1911, let alone a little dinky one.

Even thinking about getting one for myself, just for grins and to give the SIGs a break from daily carry.


April 22, 2006, 02:30 AM
I own and have carried both the Para Carry 6.45 LDA and the XD9 sub compact. The triggers on both pistols are excellent. Accuracy and reliabilty are outstanding. Weight and ergonomics are similar, with a slight edge to the Para for the slightly slimmer slide for carry. The XD9 is a little easier to control, but both are capable firearms that will do the job. I prefer both these pistols to Glocks I have tried as the Glock grip has never really felt right in my hand. If I were limited to one I might give the nod to the XD for the lower price... or I might wait till next year for a XD 45 acp sub compact. That will be a sweet pistol when Springfield releases it. :D

April 22, 2006, 02:35 AM
My concealed carry guns are a Sig P239 in 40 S&W (3.6") and a Glock 29 10mm (3.78"). If you are looking for the most bang for the size of the pistol I would suggest the Glock 29 for its powerful 10mm round and its 10 round magazine capacity all in a subcompact package. On the other hand, for a more comfortable carry I would recommend a single stack pistol like the Sig P239.

April 22, 2006, 12:00 PM
You don't indicate a caliber or platform. I'm assuming you mean a semi-auto pistol, as you're in the Autoloaders forum.


This is my 3" 1911. Never had a problem with it, & I can recommend it - although the new ones have the firing pin safety & this one does not.

Can't comment on the others - no experiance with them.

April 22, 2006, 09:31 PM
Dont get a taurus. (Just my opinion)

April 23, 2006, 05:19 AM
I liked my Kahr MK-9 as it was easy
to control with 115gr +p's.It had a
sweet trigger pull and was more way
more accurate than it should have
been.I got rid of it cause i had
problems with pocket carry,it's a
little heavy for it's size.

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