Help looking for a 9mm, pls


August 1, 2008, 03:12 PM
I've pretty much decided my next gun is going to be a single stack 9mm for carry. I'd like a ceiling price of $500, although I can go higher if need be. Being a cheap, SOB, though, the less money on the gun, the more on the ammo, the more time at the range. :)

Most likely candidate will be a blued S&W 908. I've shot a friend's and like it. An affordable model seems reasonable at about $425 at the local shows. There are lots of trade-in Smiths from police departments at very reasonable prices, but all I've found are double-stack. I have that concept covered with my cold-weather CZ, so the Smiths fill a tactical need I don't have.

My buddy in the pawn shop has an Astra 75 stainless for $258 out the door, but only one magazine. Being a discontinued gun from a defunct manufacturer, parts may be a problem, as will be finding extra mags; for the price though, I may have to buy it. It fits my hand and I like the 1911 handling with the decock located on the frame.

The SIG 239 is a candidate, but I don't know if I can find one for less than $700. The P6 is a bit bulky for (my) carry. I have a Walther P-1 and it feels fatter than the -6, besides being impossible to holster. Walther PPS? Haven't seen one yet and don't know the cost of one. A P-5 Walther? Can I find one for $500?

I've done no more than handle some of the various subcompact and compact Kahrs and Kel-Tecs. I can't even keep up with the models, an early case of senility no doubt, so I don't know what's available.

Let me add at this stage of my life, nearly 58 y/o, anything I buy is going to be mine till I die. Having bought and sold more pistols than I can hope to remember, I decided that a year or so ago. And while I want a carry gun, I'd like something that can get some fun range time, too.

Have I overlooked anything? Put on your thinking caps, please.

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August 1, 2008, 03:16 PM
My automatic though was a surplus P6 until I read your whole post. You just can't beat the price of those for the quality.

The Kahr K9 comes to mind.


August 1, 2008, 04:35 PM
The Walther P5 is a superb firearm. You can get police surplus guns from SOG for well under your limit. The P5 is wonderfully accurate and reliable, and I'm pretty sure they come with a German police holster and an extra magazine and cleaning kit of some sort. The Walther is my favorite range gun. I've put hundreds and hundreds of rounds through it without a single hiccup.

August 1, 2008, 04:46 PM
Have you considered the Ruger SR9?

It is not single stack, but they achieved a remarkable slimline to this gun and still able to stack 17 9mm rounds into the grip.

There has been a recall on it, but I still think it is a very elegant alternative for hi-cap 9mm carry.

MSRP is over $500, but I have seen it advertised for under $500 often.

August 1, 2008, 05:12 PM
Tough to beat a Kahr. But I would sure look thru the latest catalog from CDNN. Got mine yesterday, had a ton of S&W trade ins.

August 1, 2008, 05:16 PM
The keltec PF9 would be a good choice, I have never owned one, but they are temping for the price. I have seem them sitting around $260 new. It is pretty much one of the smallest nines around. If the grip is too small though, you can look at the P11, which is the double stack version.

August 1, 2008, 05:19 PM
The keltec PF9 would be a good choice...

I might agree, except that the PF9 is ZERO fun to shoot IMO.


August 1, 2008, 05:29 PM
What about the Sig 225?

August 1, 2008, 05:30 PM
H&k P7psp

August 1, 2008, 05:56 PM
A long time ago and far away I carried an ASP variant of the S&W 39 which operated flawlessly with Winchester Silvertip ammo and Glaser Safety Slugs. That was for total UC work with a south Georgia multi-juristiciton Drug task force. When not deeply embedded (today's vernacular) I carried a BHP and thought it was the best thing in the world. The ASP had a very unique gutter type sight that was quite accurate as well. If you look around you can find older Model 39 S&W's all over the place and they are very reliable and affordable over some of today's choices. Just my 2 cents worth!

August 1, 2008, 06:22 PM
The Sig P225 is like a Browning Hi-Power, S&W K-frame, or Springfield M1A: Once you hold one, you have to have one.

You can get a P6 (German made P225) for $250 now, while they last. Mine carries well in a Blade-Tech IWB, and it shoots tight groups quickly and with little recoil:

August 1, 2008, 07:39 PM
S&W 3913 or 3953 dao.....

August 1, 2008, 07:51 PM
capttom said:
I've pretty much decided my next gun is going to be a single stack 9mm for carry. I'd like a ceiling price of $500, although I can go higher if need be.

The SIG 239 is a candidate, but I don't know if I can find one for less than $700.
I did a quick check on gunbroker, and see that your $700 figure is in the ballpark. However, there are a few for less than that, depending on how pristine a gun you want. As a P239 owner, I would encourage you to extend your "ceiling" a bit to get a gun of superb quality and dependability. I don't think you would be disappointed.

August 2, 2008, 09:04 AM
I happen to own a 3913 TSW it was my first handgun purchase about 10+ years ago. I guess I got lucky I bought it before the internet was filled with info and had really not read much about them. I bouught because it was a smith (my father had always had smiths) but mainly because it fit my hand. I have searched over the years for a better pistol but cant say that I have found one. I EDC a P32 but my 39 is always close by. I would highly recommend it for a single stack 9mm.

August 2, 2008, 09:15 AM
Single stack 9MM? I'll second the HK P7 PSP or P7M8. Currently the German police trade in PSP's are a great deal, but they'll be a little bit more than you $500 limit, but well worth it.

Eric F
August 2, 2008, 09:25 AM
do they make a single stack 9mm any more?

ok for real though psp is a good option I have seen them go for $550 at gun shows all day long.

August 2, 2008, 10:14 AM
I am thinking of the Sig P225 also. I saw them in the CDNN catalog. Any one have a link to other sites with P225 deals? I have always wanted a Sig.

August 2, 2008, 11:53 AM
I am thinking of the Sig P225 also. I saw them in the CDNN catalog. Any one have a link to other sites with P225 deals? I have always wanted a Sig.

P6 is a P225 with a police finish, a funny hammer, and stout springs.

August 2, 2008, 12:52 PM


I'm 65. I've had the Glock 26, Star BM, Taurus PT92, Sig P239, KelTec P11, S&W 3913 (single stack) and it's double stack sibling the 6906, Tokarev, Walther P1, P5, P99c/AS, P99AS, Bersa Thunder 9/UC, and now the Walther PPS and three HK P7's.. All in 9mm.

My experience would be (and is reflected in my cc choices) in a single stack 9mm pistol:

1. HK P7
1. Walther PPS (tie)
2. Sig P239
3 S&W 3913

The HK P7 is the most accurate pistol I've ever owned. It is a top quality classic, absolutely reliable, and a pleasure to shoot. It is unique and I like that too.. The HK P7 is NOT a lightweight, when compared to the PPS, but it is not overly heavy.

I DO feel the need to clean my HK P7 more regularly than the others, but I consider it worth it.

The Walther PPS finds it's way into my iwb most of the time when I want to carry a pistol. It's simply so light, it begs to be chosen. Very accurate, and excellent quality.

The Sig P239 (I had Crimson Trace Lasergrips on mine) is another excellent, high quality pistol. Very accurate, absolutely reliable.

The S&W 3913 is almost, but not quite, as accurate as the above mentioned 9mm pistols. It has been 100% reliable for me since 1995. Fits the hand very well, and has ambi external safeties if you like such a thing.

All four pistols are imo excellent for cc, all single stack 9mm and as reliable as a pistol can be, more, some much more, than self defense accurate, and all excellent choices. I still have them all with the exception of the Sig.. I wanted a 3rd HK P7 so sold the Sig, but it was a fine performer.. I just never liked the "long trigger". If I had replaced it with the "short" trigger it would probably still be with me. My bad, no fault of the fine Sig.

You pays your money and takes your choice..

Try and hold and shoot whatever model you are considering, you might be surprised at what other folks like or dislike might be the precise opposite for your taste.

Best Wishes,


August 2, 2008, 03:24 PM
The SIG 239 is a candidate, but I don't know if I can find one for less than $700.

Call CDNN, at one time they had NEW P239s for less than $600. I'm thinking $550:)

August 2, 2008, 05:18 PM
do they make a single stack 9mm any more?

Yup, ALL of the Kahrs are single stack and not just the 9mm. The Walther PPS is pretty popular right now, too. Para Ordnance makes one, too, as do many other manufacturers that produce 9mm 1911s.

To the OP, how do you intend to carry this pistol? If you want to pocket carry it or have it disappear IWB, I highly recommend the Kahr PM9. Might be a little pricey, but if you keep your eye out, you can find one at a good price. I got mine new out the door for $525 and it's been a wonderfully reliable and accurate pistol.

August 2, 2008, 06:09 PM
Thanks for all the input. I went to the TWCA gun show at the George R Brown in Houston bright and early. It was a good show with lots of deals. There was a lot of money changing hands, which I love seeing. Help this economy along! I was able to handle everything except the Walther PPS. I didn't see any, but might have missed them. There were maybe a dozen really nice P-7s and at least a couple P-5 Walthers within the budget. I also found an S&W 3913 for $450 and a couple 908Ses at $425. Of course, lots of the SIG P-6s starting at $289 and several 239s. Those were all nibbling $700.

I made one last turn through the hall about deciding to go with a P-6 since the price was so good, even it it didn't fit totally my criteria, when I saw an older gentleman surrounded by some nice long guns and a blue Smith & Wesson box. A 908, blued, not stainless. It was his daughter's gun and she'd put less than 50 rounds through it. All the paperwork, including warranty card, and the spent shell casing. $389. Would he jiggle on the price? He thought it over, came down to $370, with no tax since he was selling it as an individual. So I paid my money, shook hands, went to pick up some 124 gr. 9mikemike from a commercial reloader at the show I do business with, and left a happy man.

I was able to put about 50 rounds through the Smith and it shoots great. It points a little low for me, but I'm used to the arched MSH of a 1911. Value line pistol indeed! I'm not crazy about the plastic guide rod or sights, but I can live with them until I decide to replace them, if I ever do. I'm also going to have to adjust to the spurless hammer. I learned double action shooting on a Model 39 Smith and always lowered the hammer via the safety and my thumb. I still do the same with my Walther P-1. The 908 doesn't allow it.

Now for a holster for an appendix carry or maybe even crossdraw (yes, I know what "experts" say about those), off side mag carrier, and I'm a happy camper. For now, I'll make do with a strong side Fobus that's built for the 4 inch barrel 39 series.

I'd never had much luck before at the GRB shows, but today there was a satisfied seller and buyer. What a great country!

For all those who took the time to give advice, I appreciate it.

August 2, 2008, 06:31 PM
Glad you like your new gun. I wouldn't worry about the plastic (aka polymer) guide rod and sights. Glocks come like that out of the box and they are one of the most reliable and durable pistols on the market.

August 2, 2008, 06:35 PM
Great job! Enjoy your gun!

August 2, 2008, 11:03 PM
Just curious, Capttom, what was the asking price for the HK P7s at the gun show? Were they P7M8s or P7 psps? Thanks!

August 3, 2008, 12:01 AM
I have the Sig 239 and have put maybe 1500 rds through it at the range and used it for USPSA until I got my CZ running. I like the Sig....a lot.
Sportsman's Warehouse might get you out the door for $670ish....a little cheaper if you have a mil ID card.

August 3, 2008, 12:04 AM
The P-7s were, I think, PSPs, if those are the original models as I remember. One particular gentleman had 3, starting at $575. They all had the odd heel clip magazine release. I'm not well enough versed on the model to know the variations and I just looked at one of them, the cheapest. It seemed heavy for it's size.

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