OK, here's the deal. I know scads more about rifles and shotguns than any human being should have stuffed into his brain, but I own only half a dozen or so handguns, including only two semiautos (a Kimber Eclipse .45 and an H&K P2000 .40 S&W). At the range the other day I noticed a fellow with some older S&W model 9 mm semiauto that looked PERFECT for CCW. Not too big, not too small and in the single-stack configuration I prefer for CCW. I didn't happen to catch the model of that pistol -- probably due to the fact that it was repeatedly choking on some cheap Norinko ammo at the time -- but it got me thinking about the perfect single-stack 9 mm for CCW, and all that implies.
What are your candidates, and your reasoning behind the choice????
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July 9, 2009, 05:19 AM
I don't really believe in bests to be honest. I believe that there are often a number of guns that are equally well suited to a task. If there is a best it is sure to be more because of personal tastes and the way gun feels to an individual. Those factors don't mean much when it comes time to recommend a gun to someone else.
That said there are two single stack 9mm that I am familiar with and believe are well suited to CC, the khar K9 (the P9 or even CW 9 are worthy of consideration as well) and the springfield EMP. Both in my experience are reliable, accurate and easy to carry. Despite having owned and shot a number of other handguns I continue to gravitate towards these two for CC. The Khar is less expensive than the EMP. They are fairly different platforms so personal tastes and preferences might incline one towards one over the other but the are both solid guns.
I have heard good things about the older single stack SWs. I was looking at a chiefs special once after being attracted by a very reasonable price tag. I don't have any experience with them though.
My next single stack 9mm will likely be another khar, the PM9.
July 9, 2009, 05:25 AM
It should be noted as well that different people place differing amounts of importance on various aspects of a CCW. For example some place a premium on concealability. Naturally for them one of the tiny pocket 9mms would be best. Others might might place more value in other traits such as magazine capacity, accuracy, being comfortable to shoot, etc, etc.
Best really depends on what the specific criteria being used for the evaluation is.
July 9, 2009, 05:30 AM
For me and me only, the CZ 75 Compact fits the bill. YMMV
July 9, 2009, 06:00 AM
bikerdoc - Maybe my memory is faulty, but doesn't that CZ 75 Compact have a double-stack mag? I'm sure it's a fine gun, but I'm primarily interested in those with single-stack mags, with emphasis on THIN grips... something in the "almost" pocket sized category... or perhaps pocket sized if you happen to have large pockets... and (mostly) metal over polymer... and in DAO or DA/SA over SA.
Girodin - I hear the Kahr's have some less than stellar triggers, with extraordinarily long trigger pulls. Haven't handled one so I don't know if that's true...
Kind of Blued
July 9, 2009, 06:40 AM
Kahr's have, from my experience, extremely smooth triggers. Long-ish, but that's by design. They're DA and don't have a manual safety.
A dream gun of mine is a CCO Lightweight 1911 in 9mm. I might have Fusion make me one some day.
The HK P7 is another option if you want some weight to the gun. There are plenty of police buybacks floating around.
I also like the Sig Sauer P239 quite a bit.
July 9, 2009, 07:52 AM
Th P7M8 to me is the best single stack 9mm, and possibly the best 9mm CCW ever produced. It is easy to carry, easy to shoot, very accurate, and extremely accurate.
July 9, 2009, 07:57 AM
I carry the Sig P6/225, single stack 9. It meets the specs. of the O.P. perfectly.
July 9, 2009, 08:12 AM
My apology. I got a little senior moment:D
Like I said It works for me, and I really like it.
kahr--allthe way, cw series, P series, K series...
July 9, 2009, 08:47 AM
If i had to carry a single stack only 9mm i would choose my Beretta 92 Compact Type-M. The Type-M not only has the shorter compact grip, but it is slimmer being an 8 shot single stack. The slide is basically the same as a Beretta 92 full size besides being 1/2" shorter and would actually fit on a regular 92 frame. I trust the Beretta 92 design second only to Glock and they don't offer a single stack. Don't know if i would warm up to it if they did. The single stack 92 Compacts are kinda rare and the mags are $50+ each if you can even find them. They have to be Type-M single stack not just Compact.
I also like my German Police Trade-In Sig p6 that is basically the same thing as the American version Sig P225 or is it the P226.
3rd in line would be a Compact 1911 Colt in 9mm. These are getting kinda rare also. Im not sure if they called them a Pocket Pony or what. I'm not a huge 1911 fan.
I cant think of any more "real" guns in single stack that aren't pocket pistols.
July 9, 2009, 08:59 AM
S&W model 39 perhaps?
July 9, 2009, 09:08 AM
Rohrbaugh <= real gun :)
July 9, 2009, 09:09 AM
July 9, 2009, 09:19 AM
A newer SIG P6/225 is pretty slim.
July 9, 2009, 09:45 AM
Kahr, P7, Sig P230,
July 9, 2009, 09:55 AM
The Smith you saw is all-metal. Excellent guns. Check CDNN - they sometimes have old, police-trade-ins come in. Might get lucky. A buddy has one - I believe marketed as "Lady Smith" that *is* nice.
That said, I just acquired a KelTec PF9 - a 7-shot, single-stack poly-framed semi. Weighs just under one pound fully loaded (per the website: http://www.kel-tec-cnc.com/pf9.htm). I'm on the hunt for a good pocket holster. It's slightly larger than the LCP/P3AT but not by much. I think it'll work.
July 9, 2009, 10:25 AM
Thin, accurate, safe, compact, reliable
July 9, 2009, 10:45 AM
July 9, 2009, 11:03 AM
+1 on the KelTec PF-9 mentioned above. The combination of light weight, compact size, and thin-ness makes it a 'don't-leave-home-without-it' 9mm.
July 9, 2009, 11:06 AM
Another vote for the P7 series, Kahr, and the small 1911 platforms (like the EMP)
July 9, 2009, 11:14 AM
Best? Depends on you.
For me it's the S&W 3913 and/or Sig 239 for concealed holster carry and the Keltec PF-9 for pocket carry.
July 9, 2009, 11:24 AM
I recently picked up a police trade in Sig 225. It's a single stacked version of the Sig 228 and, for me, it's the perfect compact concealed gun.
If I wanted to go smaller then the Sig 239 would be great...but I would probably pick up the Kahr PM9 over the 239 for the weight savings and it's a tiny bit more compact.
July 9, 2009, 11:25 AM
Looks like based on your single-stack 9mm, non-polymer DA or DAO qualifications, the HK P7, Sig P239, or the Kahr K9 are filtering toward the top. Sig P6/225, while single-stack, isn't all that easy to conceal. It's a compact, but not as small as these others.
Originally posted by earlthegoat2:
Kahr, P7, Sig P230,
While the P230 was chambered in 9mm, it never was chambered in 9mm parabellum. It was a 9mm Police, a 9x18 cartridge.
July 9, 2009, 11:31 AM
I have to emphatically disagree with the comment that the P6/225 is not easy to conceal. Find one and compare it to the p239 and the only difference is that the P6/225 grip is just a hair longer. Mine disappears under a loose T-Shirt in an IWB holster.
July 9, 2009, 11:32 AM
I've got a P6, and do conceal carry it. It's not explicitly designed for concealed carry though, like the Kahr or the P239. Don't get me wrong, I really like my P6; the single-stack grip feels great in my hand. It just doesn't conceal as easily as my wife's Kahr.
July 9, 2009, 11:40 AM
Walther P5 if one could be found.....
July 9, 2009, 11:55 AM
The only single stack 9mm's I have experience with are Kahr P9, Kahr PM9 and SIG P6. I recommend the P9 for belt carry and the PM9 for pocket.
July 9, 2009, 12:07 PM
The only two I consider are the S & W 3913 and the Kel tec PF9. The PF9 is extremely compact and lightweight, while the 3913 is, in my opinion, the finest single-stack 9mm compact on the market. (Putting on flame-proof coat).
July 9, 2009, 12:40 PM
Nice slim grips. Compact. Very accurate. Very nice trigger reset too. Follow up shots are easy.
Try the Springfield Loaded Champion in 45! I love mine!!
July 9, 2009, 02:45 PM
Best I've shot or owned is the Kel_tec PF9. Price, reliability, accuracy...it's all there. The enormously heavy trigger (9-10 lbs) is less than desirable, but you get used to it with practice.
July 9, 2009, 02:50 PM
+1 For the Sig P239. I like it with the Hogue rubber grips on it.
July 9, 2009, 03:34 PM
I'm with the Kel Tec PF9. It's small, light and fits real comfortable in an IWB hoslter. It's quite accurate too. I have no issues with the trigger, thoughmany habve complained of ir having a long travel. Whatever gun you carry, get use to its ergonomics and it will serve you well.
July 9, 2009, 04:47 PM
Danged if you guys aren't gonna make buy yet another gun I can't really justify... I'm looking real hard at the Kahrs right now, but the research is just beginning. The look of the H&K P7 doesn't really appeal to me and I've never been all that happy with the SIGs I've shot, but the research is just beginning. I have a long way to go and lot of guns to look at. Thanks for the input. Anyone have much direct experience with the S&Ws and XDs in this category?
July 9, 2009, 05:00 PM
Springfield XD is a great pistol all the way around. I have shot the XD 40 Sub-compact, and it is a great shooter. But being a double stack mag made it a little thick for 100% comfortable CC. Especially when compared to my PF9. I assume the dimensions of the XD 9 SC is similar to the 40. The XD may only be an inch thick but it is "blocky". When you want to CC when wearing a pair of shorts and t-shirt, and are of relatively thin build, every fraction of an inch counts.
If you go Kahr, I would stay away from some of the polymers. Nice guns, but a couple of gunsmiths I respect have told me they are seeing some durability issues. Not knockin them though, and if I had the funds, I would've probably bought a Kahr when I was looking for my first carry gun.
July 9, 2009, 05:10 PM
My conceal carry is the new Walther PPS 9mm. It is thin and so easy to carry that I forget it is even there. Great German made pistol!
July 9, 2009, 05:22 PM
The look of the H&K P7 doesn't really appeal to me
I'd recommend a 239 if you want a good single stack 9mm that carries well, is extremely accurate, and shoots like a full-size pistol.
I also have a kahr, and like it too, but mine is the MK series so it's so small you can only get 2 fingers on the grip, so it doesn't shoot like a full size pistol at all. It shoots like a pocket pistol. I'd recomend the K9 or cw9 from Kahr. Very thin guns, carry super-comfy in IWB.
Double Naught Spy
July 9, 2009, 08:02 PM
July 9, 2009, 08:59 PM
You have a rough job ahead of you (for a lot of us it's been pretty expensive before we finally hit on the right one :mad:) in making the best choice for yourself in a ccw pistol. I hate to bring this subject up at such a critical point but we haven't even mentioned the other big decision that goes along with CCW and that being the right holster for you (more fun and anguish at the same time :evil:).
There have been some great ccw pistols mentioned that meet your criteria. Single stack, DAO, DA/SA w/decocker and steel, etc, etc + some fantastic insigh concerning the various pistols that is bound to help you out.
I love and carry either the Sig P239, HK P7,P7M8 or the SA EMP (which has the thumb AND grip safety which I feel comfortable carrying IWB also). It's very hot and humid here in central FL during the summer and I pocket carry the Ruger LCP w/CT out of necessity.
Hope this helps,
PS: I would love to have one of the little SW Chiefs Special (CS9 or Lady Smith). A buddy has one and it's neat as hell.
July 9, 2009, 09:10 PM
It'll likely be IWB carry, whatever I end up with, in anticipation of moving to a more CCW-friendly state within a year. Simply finding some of these guns to look at and handle will be a challenge. A lot of stuff is in very short supply/hard to find here in the People's Republik of **********. Long guns, no problem... I have relationships with most of the long gun manufacturers (I'm a hunting writer on the side), but I'm just another civilian when it comes to pistolas. Some very good input here... I definitely have my work cut out for me. Thanks for all the advice, folks.
July 9, 2009, 09:17 PM
A buddy has one - I believe marketed as "Lady Smith" that *is* nice.
Probably the S&W 3913LS. Dream of a cc gun. Like shooter58 said, maybe the best one out there. A less fancy version is available in the model 908 and 3914 in blue. Great guns.
July 9, 2009, 09:27 PM
Either a Walther PPS or a HK P7
July 9, 2009, 09:42 PM
I have one carry gun...that happens to be a single stack 9mm...it is a Kel-Tec PF9
It has been good to me, after I took the time to learn it. Completely reliable and super easy to carry.
But, For some reason I'm getting more and more interested in an "upgrade" to my CCW(likely because of shooting high quality pistols like my M&P, SIG and Para) and the Springfield EMP is high on my list of possibles...
here's the PF9
July 9, 2009, 11:23 PM
Not crazy about the looks of the P7 and can't buy the PPS here in the People's Republik, otherwise I would have bought that one a long time ago... I confirmed that the gun my buddy was shooting the other day, which I liked the looks of, was a 3913. Hard to find, at least in the old configuration. The new ones have that stupid rail on the front, making the overall package larger. Talk about a giant step backward...
July 9, 2009, 11:50 PM
I own a Kahr CW45. I purchased it instead of the CW9 simply because I wanted more punch in my single stack CCW.
The CW45 holds one less round than the 9mm version, but I'll take that trade any day.
July 9, 2009, 11:56 PM
I'm also looking to purchase a Sig P239 DAK single stack in .357 Sig. Hot, accurate round on a solid platform.
The 239 also comes in 9mm and .40 S&W.
Can't go wrong with Sig or Kahr in single stack CCWs, IMHO.
July 10, 2009, 12:10 AM
Taurus pt908. Just got one and i love it.
July 10, 2009, 02:57 AM
I have to emphatically disagree with the comment that the P6/225 is not easy to conceal.
It is as easily concealed as a g19 which holds roughly twice as many rounds. I like the sig p6 but to carry a gun that size the g19 gets the nod from me. The Kahr conceals better than either IMO. Definitely nothing wrong with the sig though. They are a great gun for not much money. Mags are pricey though.
July 10, 2009, 05:38 AM
I have a long way to go, but I'm sort of drawn toward the Kahrs at the moment... possibly K9 or K40 matte stainless with night sights. I like their looks, DAO simplicity for a purely defensive CCW gun, size and "thinness" for concealability, yet with the heft/recoil reduction properties/fast follow-up shot potential of a low-bore-axis, all-metal gun. Will get my hands on some of the others suggested tomorrow for examination.
I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on that Taurus 908. Quite a few issues reported in the various forums. I think it's been discontinued.
July 10, 2009, 09:14 AM
I vote for any Kahr, pick the one that best fits in your pocket. CW9 is a great value, trhe PM9 is really small.
July 10, 2009, 09:27 AM
For pocket carry and as a BUG (Back Up Gun), I find it hard to beat the little Kel-Tec PF9.
For IWB Holster carry I really like my Para USA (formerly Para Ordnance) LTC Lightweight in 9mm.
Marlin 45 carbine
July 10, 2009, 09:44 AM
another vote for the S&W 3913 but my Makarov will do nicely until I can find a good buy on one of 'em.
July 10, 2009, 09:50 AM
Most all Kahr's. The cw9 in particular works very well for me. Small, slim and with a Galco iwb holster, you'll forget it's even there.
July 10, 2009, 12:37 PM
Another vote for the P7M8 -- slim, compact, accurate and reliable.
I have used three single stack 9mm's for carry, and they have all worked well for me. The smallest is the Kahr MK9, a 6+1 capacity, all stainless gun that is very thin and conceals easily. The other two are the Sig P239 and the old S&W model 39. Both of these are 8+1 capacity and very reliable.
I was facing the same question awhile back. I looked really hard at the P6 SIG. The price back then was good. The gun felt good but the grip seemed wide and a tad long for CCW. Maybe that's my being anal or something, but I didn't feel I could conceal it in the hot Texas spring/summer/fall. I probably could have made it work for most of my needs, however I was also put off by the availability and cost of extra magazines.
I had shot a buddy's S&W 908S, the stainless "economy" version of the 3913. I was conversant with the original Mdl 39 and had always liked them. I hunted around and without much trouble I found a 908 at one of the Houston gun shows (don't remember if it was at Reliant or the GRB) nice older gentleman, older than me anyway and less less cranky, who selling his 908 for his daughter. we talked turkey and I took the Smith home. It was LNIB, came with all the stuff it needed, including the waxed paper and spent cartridge hull. It shoots and handles like a dream. So smitten am I with it I sold of my Glock 26 and am looking for a 6904/06 double stack to go with it.
July 13, 2009, 08:16 PM
Thanks, I'll have to go research that gun. Do you know the dimensions offhand?
Right now I'm sort of torn between the K9, which seems impossible to find, and MK9, which would be max concealable. Trying to sort out the difference between the regular trigger and the elite trigger (shorter DA pull), which makes me a tad nervous since the gun has no external safety. I'm focusing more and more on steel guns as I'm just not a big fan of plastics (even though I love my H&K P2000 in 40S&W).
Still not ruling out other candidates yet... but I'm leaning toward an all-metal solution, which mandates something quite small for CCW purposes.
July 13, 2009, 08:33 PM
Unfortunately my Kel_Tec PF9* hasn't been reliable, too risky for a carry gun unless I get the bugs worked out someday...until then my single stack 9 of choice is the Walther PPS. I also have a PPS in .40, same size one less round.
* I have 2 P3ATs a P11 and a SUB2000, they all work great, that PF9 has disappointed me, I really, really want to like it.:o
July 13, 2009, 08:38 PM
I don't know about the perfect gun but P239 works great for me, The p7 is mice also but is a little heavy. The P3at and LCP are nice if you have to go micro.
now wearing Horned Lizards
July 13, 2009, 10:04 PM
I thought he said 1911 platforms weren't allowed? Is this going to be an inside waistband or pocket gun?
July 14, 2009, 12:05 AM
In these hot summer months, the PF-9 has become my daily companion.
July 14, 2009, 12:11 AM
What shoots straight, feels right and carries well with your preferred method is the best gun.
July 14, 2009, 01:44 AM
2 guns I can recommend are the Kahr E9 (economy version of the K9) and S&W 3913. I own both and they are totally reliable. The Kahr is smaller but the S&W is a little lighter.
July 14, 2009, 01:45 AM
July 14, 2009, 01:54 AM
kahr mk9, sig p239, kahr cw9
July 14, 2009, 01:54 AM
Trying to sort out the difference between the regular trigger and the elite trigger (shorter DA pull), which makes me a tad nervous since the gun has no external safety.
I wouldn't weigh the difference between the regular and elite triggers very much.
They are actually very similar.
And you can always swap one for the other.
With either trigger the DAO trigger pull is more than long enough to provide ND protection.
July 14, 2009, 06:08 AM
I hear of too many problems with the PF-9 to consider that for CCW... I'd have bought the PPS a long time ago if I could legally do so here in the People's Republik of **********... P7 seems to have a lot of variants with some German police trade-ins floating around. What's the best version for CCW -- and a "reasonable" price of admission to the P7 cult? Can't seem to find much info on that S&W 908S... Anyone have a photo or opinions on the Kahr MK9 with the 7 round mag? Decisions, decisions...
July 14, 2009, 08:49 AM
Ya know.... every time I read this thread it makes me want to go concealed carry weapon shopping :banghead: hehe
Don't get me wrong, I like and trust my PF9, the pistol is perfect size for CC but I've never been able to shoot it well. I've practiced like crazy but I believe its a hand\fit\long-ass DA trigger thing and there's not much I can do to improve that.
July 14, 2009, 12:08 PM
For a steel, single-stack, 9mm, it's hard to beat the 3913 S&W. They are light, reliable, and accurate.
For those looking into a P7, remember, it's a squeeze-cocker, and has an entirely different manual of arms. Most instructors recommend NOT carrying any other type of gun if you're going to use a P series HK for carry.
The U.S. Park Police issued the P7M8, and P7M13, for years. The initial transition saw a rash of ADs, until the officers became really familiar with them. While they are excellent weapons, they arte different enough to cause trouble if handled like traditional semi-autos.
July 14, 2009, 12:18 PM
July 14, 2009, 12:26 PM
...For those looking into a P7, remember, it's a squeeze-cocker, and has an entirely different manual of arms. Most instructors recommend NOT carrying any other type of gun if you're going to use a P series HK for carry....I haven't found it difficult to switch back and forth between a 1911 and a P7. But when I first bought a P7 I made it a point to work with it extensively, to the exclusion of the 1911, and to take a couple of classes with it. I then started to go back to practicing with the 1911 on occasion. Now I'll practice with one of the other, and don't find any difficulty immediately falling into the correct manual of arms for the particular gun.
July 14, 2009, 12:43 PM
Best 9mm for CCW period would be the Kel-Tec PF9. Light, fast-handling, accurate enough. What more could you want in a 9x19?
July 14, 2009, 02:39 PM
I've pretty much ruled out the PF-9. Im not crazy about the trigger and there have been too many reported problems for my taste. 3913 is nice, but a little long overall (nearly 7 inches) for what I'm looking for in a CCW piece. I haven't ruled it out entirely, though. I'm leaning away from 1911 platforms (lots of reported problems with LDA PDA, for example) and toward DAO platforms for CCW/purely defensive purposes. That's one more reason I haven't jumped at the DA/SA 3913 yet. If I could find a NIB K9 w/night sights I'd be done with this... or perhaps a MK9 with 7-round mags that extend the grip slightly. Anyone have experience with that combo? There are compromises with any choice in this category. The one I'm willing to live with may be metal over composite, which mandates a small gun. (Yeah, I know that officially makes me an old fart). For the record, the gun by my bed at night is an H&K P2000 in 40 S&W, so maybe there's hope for me yet. Then again, the one gun that stays loaded in the safe is a Kimber 45 Eclipse II. I technically already have a great carry piece in the S&W 640-2, but I've got the thin-concealable-pistol-acquisition disease...
July 14, 2009, 08:12 PM
Concerning the length of the 3913, I can't compare it to Kahrs or some others, but the Smith semi is only about a 1/3" longer than a Glock 26. And DA/SA has never bothered me in a self-defense scenario. But then again, after learning pistolcraft on a 1911, I spent a lot of trigger times with an S&W 39 and commercial Walther P-38.
The 908S has a few cosmetic and structural differences from the 3913 (polymer sights, etc), but the good thing for me is a left side only decocker rather than ambidexterous hammer droppers. The bit of extra thinness is preferable for me.
EOD Guy in VA
July 15, 2009, 04:47 AM
SIG P239 SAS Gen 2 with Hogue finger grips added. Check out the DAO DAK trigger as well.
July 15, 2009, 12:23 PM
Thanks for the link on that SIG. The web site says it's not Ca. compliant, which takes it off the table for now.
July 15, 2009, 05:51 PM
OK, seems I've had waaaaaay too much time on my hands lately. Just made an offer on a NIB Kahr MK9 Elite 2003 w/night sights. We'll see how this plays out...
Thanks for all the advice, folks. If nothing else, you have succeeded in planting the seeds of desire for a couple of more pistols that I don't need, can't justify and will undoubtedly sneak into the house at some point anyway.
July 16, 2009, 07:34 AM
The SIG-P6 is a great CCW gun... single-stack grip is 'slim' and VERY comfortable, great size, VERY accurate, and can usually be had for about $350+... As always, try to hold-one/shoot-one if you can. Excellent gun for the price!