Compact 9mm for Carry


January 30, 2009, 11:15 AM
I need to stay 500.00 or under. I would like suggestions from those who actually own and carry the guns. :)

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January 30, 2009, 11:25 AM
How compact? Pocket gun or something larger. I carry a compact, lightweight alloy framed CZ-75D PCR 9MM. While its called a compact, its more of a semi-compact like a G19. CZ's true compact is the RAMI.

January 30, 2009, 11:56 AM
I am not looking for a pocket gun. Just something small enough to carry comfortably, yet big enough to shoot well. In the past I have carried 5 and 6 shot 38's. I always carried IWB, but am leaning towards OWB carry now.

January 30, 2009, 12:02 PM
Walther PPS seems to be perfect for exactly that. Slim, full size grip for the most part. I have looked at them, haven't ponied up the cash for one yet. I have heard they are reliable units, never really know till you try.

January 30, 2009, 12:07 PM
As you said only recommend something we actually carry...

XD9 sub compact. I carry it with a Don Hume 715 IWB. (saving for supertuck).

It shoots accurately, it can take 16 round mags, and it is available in .40 or 9mm. There are multiple safeties built into the gun...none that require anything but the normal shooting motion. These guns are most likely going to be very hard to find. I would recommend going to and checking their WTS section. YMWV. (Won't's a XD!)


January 30, 2009, 01:07 PM
My son-in-law has a XD9sc, but I haven't fired it.

I have tried out one in .40 IIRC. I have also tried the G26, which was okay. I just want something that is comfortable enough to carry daily.

January 30, 2009, 01:57 PM
I really like my FNP-9M, it is the compact FNP-9, perfectly reliable, I got it from CDNN for $389 with three 15 round magazines, it has a grip that is only as loing as it needs to be, since it is a poly frame with steel mags it can have solid 15 rounds of capacity without a tremendous or long grip. 3.8" barrel, it is slim for a compact service pistol, I like the trigger on it, and the sights line themselves up for me.

I also have a CZ PCR and it is a freakin' sweet pistol as well, about the same size as the FNP-9M.

The Ground Truth
January 30, 2009, 02:01 PM
Glock 19 or Glock 26 if you are looking for something on the smaller side

January 30, 2009, 02:19 PM
I have the XD-9 Sub-Compact, but honestly it's not much easier to conceal than my commander-framed .45 ACP. I do carry a Kel-Tec PF-9 if I am needing something covert.

January 30, 2009, 02:21 PM
XD sub is an excellent gun; 100% reliable and quite accurate. Just a little 'fat' IMHO.

Cocked & Locked
January 30, 2009, 02:38 PM
Forget the fat and bulky guns and try a Kel Tec P11. If you buy a factory 12 shot mag it instantly converts from a P11 to a "P13."

I like Glocks and have some. I had a Glock 26 that I bought for daily carry but didn't like the way it felt when carrying...too blocky. I sold it and replaced it (plus some $'s) with a Glock 19 and a Kel Tec P11.

The P11 is most most carried handgun...hides away easily in Fobus holster, pocket holster (modified by me probably to maker's remorse), or clipped IWB. :cool:

January 30, 2009, 03:00 PM
If you need to stay under $500, look at the Kahr CW9, or a lightly used P9. My experience has only been with the P9, but I would expect the CW to be much the same in performance. My five year old P9 has been totally reliable through about 700 rds. and a half dozen different JHP's, and it's a joy to carry IWB. If you plan to shoot lead get the CW, because from what I understand it has conventional rifling. My Kahr leads badly with non jacketed bullets.
I more often carry a .45 now, but if you want a lightweight easy to carry nine, I'd take a look at the Kahr.

January 30, 2009, 03:13 PM
Now are you trying to find a compact or a subcompact pistol? I see a compact as a reduced size service pistol, a subcompact is not the same thing, subcompact can be either an even further reduced in size service pistol like a Glock 26/27 or P2000SK, or it can be a very small pistol like the P11/PF9 that has no larger counterpart.

Which one you want will get you very different answers.

January 30, 2009, 03:27 PM
Have you looked at the Taurus PT-111 Millenium Pro? Mine has been 100% reliable. 12+1 rounds

January 30, 2009, 03:28 PM
Glock 26 is always a great choice for that price range.

January 30, 2009, 03:51 PM
Another vote and recommendation for THE P11.
+1 on the 12rd magazine too.
I wish I had an awesome picture like Cocked & Locked has, but this will do.

January 30, 2009, 04:11 PM
I carry a Steyr S9 in a Crossbreed IWB. Very comfortable, accurate. My wife has a PPS, much thinner than the S9, but not under $500. I know a couple of people that have/carry Kel-tec 9mms and love them. I have a 3AT that I carry in the summer and I am very satisfied with it so I would think the 9mms are a good option as well. Good luck.

January 30, 2009, 04:30 PM
I carry a CZ 75 compact all day long. It is relatively easy to conceal and is no problem weight-wise. You may also look at their polymers, which would be slightly lighter.

January 30, 2009, 04:33 PM
Another +1 on the XD9 SC. I carry it IWB, and it is a tad fat. On the other hand I can shoot it as well as I can shoot my 1911. For me it's the perfect balance between size and shootability. I keep the flush fit 10 round magazine in it with the 16rd magazine as the reload.

My small hands make it look bigger than it is.

January 30, 2009, 04:51 PM
I have a S&W M&P 9mm compact and Springfield XD40 sub compact, and I like them both but CC the XD40

The Lone Haranguer
January 30, 2009, 05:00 PM
Kahr CW series or used S&W 3913.

Va Vince
January 30, 2009, 05:56 PM
I really like my wifes G19. I carry that for now. It conceals fairly well. I am now useing a Galco summer comfort until I get my Milt spaks. The butt sticks out some but its not too bad.

January 30, 2009, 06:14 PM
Bersa Thunder Ultracompact.

January 30, 2009, 07:30 PM
s@w m@p c 40. same gun diferent caliber.

January 30, 2009, 07:34 PM
Esily under the $500 limit is a used S&W 3913 or any of the compact 3900 series. The are built tough and many are available used.

I carried one off duty for years until I traded it for a small duty weapon which I carried on and off duty.

I never had a problem with one in those year. in fact I still have it.

January 30, 2009, 09:25 PM
I would recommend the Kahr PM 9. You should be able to find a slightly used one for that price.

I like the S&W MP 9c but don't own one, but that will likely change soon. Not a pocket carry but subcompact O or IWB.

January 30, 2009, 09:46 PM
Over the holidays, CDNN had an awesome deal on HK P7s for $499. Can't think of a safer, more reliable 9mm for concealed carry. (Thin too!)

If you're not a fan of German engineering, I'd also highly recommend the SA XD9sc - it goes everywhere my car goes!

January 30, 2009, 11:37 PM
I kinda like the looks of the XD9sc and also the Taurus PT111, but I am not sure about Taurus. I have read a lot of good things about them, but also a lot of bad things.

Do the newer PT111's have many problems? What kind of trigger? DAO DA/SA? ???

January 30, 2009, 11:41 PM
I prefer slim for a carry gun - that usually means single-stack for me, ruling out the glocks, XD's and S+W M&P's. When I belt carry it's a Springfield loaded micro-compact. I also have a 3913 that carries nicely. In the past I've carried a Kahr, though it was a K40, but based on my experience with that gun I would highly recommend any of their 9mm versions. The Kel-Tec 9mm's look appealing to me, and probably the only "double-stack" I would consider would be their P11. If I were going to buy a new Kel-Tec however I would go for the PF9. I've not owned a KT 9mm but have in the past owned and carried a P32 and a P3AT. No complaints with either of them.

January 31, 2009, 12:11 AM
Another vote for the XD9 sub. I can put it in my front pocket if I want to, especially in khakis or casual shorts, not so much tighter jeans, or conceal it quite nicely IWB. It conceals a whole lot better than my Sig P229 "compact".

January 31, 2009, 12:38 AM
I'm very pleased with my S&W MP9c.
12rd's of 9mm+p+ with a 17rd. reload if needed.
It's been 100% reliable, as accurate as a full size pistol, and recoil is soft so follow-up shots are quick and accurate.
The 3.5" bbl is an advantage for velocity.
It carries well in a Comtac IWB holster, even when driving.
It has replaced my Ruger SP101 which I still have.


January 31, 2009, 09:33 AM
Kahr CW9 - slim, light, easy to carry, accurate, great trigger, and you can find them around $400. I carry one off-duty and really like it, I shoot it as well as my duty weapon.

January 31, 2009, 09:50 AM
I'm going to toss my hat in for the XD9SC as well. My current carry gun is the XD45C. I carry in an IWB (MTAC) and have no problems.

I've shot the XD9 Sub Compact several times and I've been impressed with the accuracy and comfortable shooting. I plan on getting one when I can for those occasions I want a smaller gun

January 31, 2009, 03:29 PM
One more vote for the P11. I usually carry mine in a Hume JIT or Aker DEA. All day comfort and a decent round. Plus it fits my small hands well. When I'm working it's a BUG to a BHP

January 31, 2009, 04:10 PM

CZ 75 compact, sweet carry

January 31, 2009, 05:23 PM
I've yet to see something smaller than a Glock 26 or XD-9 SC that I would trust 100%.

My dad got a Taurus Millennium Pro a month ago. The thing fired with the safety on. After Taurus "fixed" it, it still fired with the safety on. Well, this time you had to pull the trigger twice for it to fire -- the first pull jiggled the safety, then the second pull fired.

I see a lot of people who like Kahrs, but I've heard several times that those things just aren't made to put a lot of rounds through. Never really heard anything bad about them other than having to replace the springs a lot. Maybe that's untrue, but they aren't really much smaller than a Glock/XD, and the Kahr's are always about $100 or $150 more.

I really like the size of the Kel-Tecs, but I'm honestly surprised to see how many people carry them given the amount of bad stuff I hear about them. From the looks of things, more than half the people with a Kel-Tec have extraction problems. It's scary how many people I see talking about this "fluff & buff," picking the right ammo, and going through a huge break-in to try and make a Kel-Tec reliable. It sounds like you need about 2,000 rounds through them to break them in, and they start to wear out after more like 200 rounds. Nice that they have a good warranty, but I wouldn't trust one.

I also really want to like the Walther PPS, but the only review I've seen of the thing (well, the only review that wasn't a golden sample delivered by Smith & Wesson) was from a guy who had his PPS break after 20 rounds, then when he sent it back they scratched it all up when they fixed it.

In the end I've decided that I'm probably better off sticking with my Glock 26 because it's actually comfortable to shoot and I can get a lot of practice with it, even if it is a tad on the fat side. A thinner gun is going to be more concealable, but it's also going to bite into your palm a lot more, and I think people vastly overstate the difference between a 30mm wide Glock and a 26mm wide PF-11 and a 22mm wide PF-9. I know plenty people who actually love the feel of their Glock 26 or their XD-9 SC, whichever one they happen to prefer, and I've never met someone who actually enjoyed shooting something smaller and got a lot of range time with it.

If I ever do go with a smaller carry piece, I'm pretty sure I would want it to be something lighter -- not necessarily something smaller. I'd probably get a 12oz Smith 360 and shoot light .38 Specials in it.

January 31, 2009, 09:38 PM
I trust my PM9 100%, with 18,350 runds through it. Love my G19 to, it never fails but it is my home gun, certainly won't ride in my front pocket nor will the G26...

Rex B
January 31, 2009, 10:35 PM
I've had a bunch of Keltecs.
Currently Have a P32, P3AT, P11, SU16A
The only one I carry is P3AT. It's so reliable it's boring
Same for the P11. I'm on my 3rd, and it goes bang every time.

You have to remember, Keltec makes thousands of pistols every year - several times the volume of most other manufacturers. The crap you see posted - problems as well as fanatical F&Bers, are the vast minority - less than 1%.

For most of us, a Keltec is a reliable companion that we can depend on when the chips are down.

Yes, I have a number of prettier pistols, but they are too bulky or heavy to carry. They make good guns for the bedside table, the shop, or the car. They are the guns I'd go to if I ran out of of .380, or had time to anticipate a greater threat.

As for the P11, that 's the first pistol Keltec made, and the one they have absolutely worked the bugs out of. The current and previous P11s I've had shot to point of aim, never missed a beat. Right now mine has a 12-rnd mag, with a 15-rnd S&W backup. It's blue with a HC slide.
Every one should have one.

January 31, 2009, 10:36 PM
Cz 75 rami

February 1, 2009, 03:57 PM
Glock 26 out the door. $525. spend the extra 25 bucks and get a gun you don't have to fool with. Just be more careful with that trigger as it is not as heavy or long a pull as (say) a S&W J frame. Keep it holstered when loaded.

February 1, 2009, 05:47 PM
Looking at the smaller guns, the subcompacts over compacts, I would vote for the Glock 26. I bought a 27 as my first Glock, same gun in .40, and I love it. The 27 took a month or two to get used to, but once I did I basically fell in love with it. 26 should be identical but with lighter recoil and one more round. Also, it is very accurate for me. One good thing about Glocks and other smooth-sided pistols is that when carrying, you might not think of it beforehand but anything sticking off the sides can make it less comfortable.
Also, Glock makes an ill 9mm, it seems to be the caliber they do best in, though I only have their .40s&w pistols. I know my 27 in a farily cheap FIST #1AK ultra-thin Kydex IWB holster is definitely a tight enough package to wear a fairly slim t-shirt and shorts in summertime. The Glocks also seem to be the smallest from top to bottom, kind of a big deal when wearing warm weather clothing.

The M&Pc looks like a great size and seems to be popular with its owners.

February 1, 2009, 08:19 PM
Alright, my $0.02.

I have both the keltec P11, and the taurus PT111. My take on the P11 first:

It goes bang. It goes bang consistently. Chrono numbers don't make me a happy camper. Hot self defense loads had maybe 100 fps advantage over my cz-82 (9x18 mak) in a moderately heavier bullet (115 vs 95gr). I don't like the trigger on the thing. Its fine for cramming in someone's gut.

For me, the point of carrying is to let me keep distance from guys with knifes/pistols. I'm sure it can be managed if you practice enough with it on aregular basis, but.... its rather different from the rest of my pieces.

For the taurus pt111... It is DA/SA. Trigger pull is pretty decent. Accuracy on mine is acceptable. Chrono was showing 1100 fps or so with wwb. If the trigger isn't fully forward when you set the safety, the safety lever will be in position but the safety will NOT engage. It's in the manual, can't say what I think of it. Personally I don't operate the safety with a finger on the trigger so its a non-issue for me.

The older generation ones had a bunch of issues. I've had good luck so far with their recent manufactured pistols. I'd recommend doing a function check before you buy, and insist on buying that particular pistol.

February 1, 2009, 08:31 PM
I HIGHLY recommend the P7. CDNN has the best prices on the highest quality specimens I've been able to find in my searches.

I bought 2 of them (one to carry and one to "save").

I carry mine in a Cross-breed IWB holster and simply love it. Before that I carried a Kel Tec 9mm and appreciated its light weight, but was just looking for a little better shooter to trust my life to.

The trigger pull on the P7 is light and smooth. Yes, the squeeze cock thing took about 5 minutes to get used to, now it is completely automatic and no thinking required.

The down-side to P7 is the hard to find, expensive magazines.....:banghead:

The plus side is you have a very narrow frame and small, but not too small, very accurate and easy to shoot pistol with the P7.

NOTE: Just be careful, if/when you actually get one, wear gloves. I think HK laces them with a retrovirus that is absorbed through the skin and compels you to have the urge to purchase more HK weapons!!:evil: Just a word of caution....

Good hunting.

February 1, 2009, 08:52 PM
Glock 19 is my 9mm choice, as someone posted previously on a KelTec I use a clip for IWB and a Fobus paddle when wearing a heavier jacket.
I had a XD40 in sub but it would fail to feed with 3 different mags so it went away.

February 2, 2009, 12:52 AM
Im going to say a Glock 26. As someone else previously posted I dont know if I would trust a smaller 9mm. I guess a Kahr would be the only 1 I might consider.

February 2, 2009, 06:50 PM
look at the Kahr PM9. I picked one up this past Saturday for $555 at local gun shop. very small size, easy to conceal in pocket, or IWB.

February 2, 2009, 06:56 PM

darn good price, was that the dlc slide or stainless look...

here is a great source for super pocket holsters for the PM9, he is reasonable, fast and ultra quality.

nice guy to.

February 2, 2009, 07:25 PM
I haven't been to the range with the PM9 yet, but I love the size for a 9mm. I was very pleased with the price on the gun.

I am waiting the replacement mags on my P380 that we discussed last week. By the way, Jodi, the Kahr rep contacted me just as you said. She was very willing to help if needed. I will let you know how the P380 performs once I get the mags. The gun shop also had a P45 with night sights for $675. I am considering picking that up also, but my wife is threatening me since I recently purchased the P380 and the PM9.

February 2, 2009, 07:43 PM
Kel-Tec P11 or Walther PPS

If you want even smaller then look at the PF-9

February 2, 2009, 08:06 PM
I can't say enough positive things about the entire Kahr line of handguns. My CW9 has an amazing fit and finish, shoots like a dream and hides easily. I wouldn't trade it for any other small CCW handgun.

I will buy additional Kahrs in the future.

Here's one next to an XD-40 Service

February 2, 2009, 08:19 PM
I trust my life to a CZ P01, great compact 9mm carry sidearm.

And my PCR, shown here in an ad for the new Hazel Leather.

But the newest CZ, the P07, has an MSRP of $508! 16 round mag, new Omega trigger system, poly frame, switchable from decocker to standard safety by the user, and comes with both adjustable and standard sights in the box.

February 2, 2009, 08:20 PM
Plenty of choices, and we all have great suggestions. i would pick the three most likely i wanted, and go try them at the range to make the final decision.

February 2, 2009, 09:39 PM
Wow, that P-07 looks interesting! Anybody have one? What's the verdict on that Omega trigger system? The trigger on my 75B was the only complaint I ever had with that gun - very gritty.

February 2, 2009, 09:46 PM
I also like the kel techs

February 3, 2009, 06:38 AM
The P07 won't be available until some time in April, when the first boat load come in...and I am seriously looking forward to it! The very few people who have been lucky enough to handle the preproduction prototypes were very impressed, including one man who hates poly framed handguns. He's getting one when they come it, too.

February 3, 2009, 07:37 AM

Does anyone actually carry like this? It looks odd but could very well be the norm. I've just never even considered it.

February 3, 2009, 10:31 AM
Wouldn't this require the wearer to point the muzzle at your side during the draw? No thanks for me.

Ala Dan
February 3, 2009, 03:56 PM
Att: Paw Daddy

We have the single stack Kahr CW-9 NIB priced at $399.88; but I don't
know how much longer we can offer these at this price~? :scrutiny: :cool:

FWIW- I own this weapon, and at 25 ozs. its awfully hard too beat. I have
NEVER, EVER had any issues with it; and often times its carried during the
summer months, when I'm dressed in shorts and a tee shirt.

February 3, 2009, 04:09 PM
Don't overlook the Walther PPS or the P99C. Both are excellent firearms and well worth your consideration.

February 3, 2009, 05:29 PM
+1 for the G26. Great size, I still go back and forth with either the Galco Summer Comfort or the Deep Cover (both IWB).

I wear it at 4:00-5:00 (RH). I had an XD and greatly prefer the Glock (but that's my preference).

February 3, 2009, 05:31 PM
Glock 19

You can pick 'em up for right at 500 bucks

February 3, 2009, 05:41 PM


S&W 3913LS or CS9. :D


February 4, 2009, 01:36 AM
Yes, I do carry my BUG, pictured, in that rig, that way.

My draw sweeps the floor, not my side, actually. It's quite comfortable, and novel, to me.

The Lone Haranguer
February 4, 2009, 11:33 AM
The backup, in that position, is accessible to either hand. Draw across your body with the right, twist or "cavalry" draw with your left. In neither case is it necessary to "sweep" your body.

February 4, 2009, 06:39 PM
Glock 26 or Kahr PM9

February 4, 2009, 07:03 PM
Glock 26!

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