Kahr PM9 vs. Kahr P380 vs Ruger LCP


August 8, 2009, 10:46 PM

Did a little gun shop drooling today and have a couple of questions. By way of background, I have been looking for a small single stack 380 or 9mm for ccw. I have a Ruger sp101, and a Bersa 380 that I can carry if I can wear a jacket or overshirt, but summer is a different story.

So I have been interested in the Kahr P380 for awhile, but they are impossible to get a look at. Today I was looking in detail at the Kahr PM9 and the Ruger LCP. Aside from the differences in caliber there are few differences such as size and price, but I think I could be happy with either one. I could conceal the LCP just about anywhere, but would probably need a belt holster of some type for the Kahr.

Anyway, does anyone have any experience with these two guns or know of any glaring problems with them? Also, the LCP is available used with 3 mags and Desantis holster for $400.00. Does this sound like a good deal. Lastly, does anyone know of a range in the Denver area where they would have one or both of these guns to rent?


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August 8, 2009, 11:20 PM
1. The PM9 can fit in the front pocket....but is the border of being too large for front pocket carry. It's great for IWB carry. Very accurate, solidly built gun. Very reliable. Probably the best combination of small size & powerful enough ammo.

One problem with the PM9 is that to chamber the first round, you must do it from a slide lock position. This is one drawback tactically. There may be a situation where you need to reload and the slide is in the "closed" position...hence, the need to manually rack the slide. Well.....no "racking the slide" for the first round... according the the manual.

2. The LCP is dependable, quality little gun. You can forget that you have it with you. A little snappy...and tends to "jump" from your hand due to its small size. Definitely not for those with large hands. Makes a great BUG.

So...if you are limited to carrying in the pocket only..... go with TWO LCPs. One for each front pocket. That gives you 14 rounds of .380 total (two times 6+1).

If you can carry IWB...go with the PM9. (9mm) Again, its very thin and small, yet not too small. Easy to handle. Great trigger pull.

No experience with the Kahr .380. But since the LCP works great (for what it was designed for) buy TWO LCPs for the price of one Kahr .380.

In summary: The best combination is to use the PM9 IWB and the LCP as a BUG in your front pocket. Both are great guns. You can buy both with no regrets.

P.S. I am editing my original post...to add this statement, just in case I leave you with the wrong impression of the Kahr PM9... Out of all my pocket guns (even though I prefer to carry the PM9 IWB), I trust the PM9 the most. If I had to experience a SD shooting with a POCKET gun, I would go with the PM9.

August 8, 2009, 11:44 PM

Of these choice I would choose the PM9 hands down.
And in my front pocket.

Not that the LCP and the P380 are not good guns. Just
not enough gun.

I have fired the PM9 a bit and find it handles very well for
a small, light gun firing +P. I liked it so well that I have
a PM40. I found the PM9 easier to control than some small
380's and Makarov's. It's got a low bore axis which translates
to low felt recoil.

I think the statement above about loading from slide lock (only) is
perhaps over stated. I've loaded mine a lot by "sling shot"
and have never had a bobble. ALL autoloaders, if not done
right, can bobble on loading by racking the slide.

just my 2 cents.


Joe from N.Y.
August 9, 2009, 01:59 AM
I had a few problems with my right out of the box P380 the first day I got it. I must say that it was a very discouraging experience. Right from the first round, i experienced jams with numerous failure to feed instances. At first, the magazines would not feed with more than four rounds loaded. They seem to have loosened up after a while, to actually feed six rounds. Upon closer inspection, after a while, i was able to observe that as one inserts a loaded magazine, the end of the slide stop was protruding into the magazine well, and contacting the top of the round, basically obstructing it and thereby preventing it from loading into the barrel chamber properly. i also experienced several instances where the round would jam at about a 45 degree angle between the barrel and rear of the slide. Occasionally the round would make it further into the barrel before jamming with the slide stuck partially back. This necessitated a sharp blow to the rear of the slide with the palm of the left hand to get the slide closed properly.

I called Kahr that evening, and explained my frustrating problems to them. They sent me a prepaid FedEx sticker to Priority Overnight it to them and about 3 weeks later i got it back (they paid shipping again) . It now shoots perfectly. They polished the feed ramp, put a new slide plate, new spring, and probably filed down the slide stop (although they didn't mention it on the list of repairs done). I am quite pleased with their customer service and the gun in general. I carry it everyday in my back pocket in a Nemesis holster and it is the best $600 gun i ever bought. They get an A+ in their effort to keep a customer happy. i could have returned it to the shop i got it from (South Shore Sportsman in Merrick NY, an excellent bunch of guys BTW) but i figured that the factory will give it extra special attention the second time around. All in all i am completely satisfied with the gun and service.

The Lone Haranguer
August 9, 2009, 08:25 AM
They sent me a prepaid FedEx sticker to Priority Overnight it to them and about 3 weeks later i got it back (they paid shipping again)
The former is something new for them.

August 9, 2009, 08:37 AM
lot of misnomers about using the slide stop lever to load the first round. kahr certainly recommends doing it BUT IF YOU CAN RACK PROPERLY, THEY WILL RACK JUST LIKE any other semi. They are small, they have very stout recoil springs two reasons why kahr recommends using the slide lock lever. If you use the slide lock lever you are releasing the slide every time with the same needed velocity to provide proper feeding of the first round. Many people tend to ride theiir slide some what in racking and this will cause ftf in kahrs. Once broken in these guns rack OK, I rack by hand 90% of the time, but I train both ways also.

the P380 is just one hell of a great 380. Undoubtely the most accurate 380 u will ever shoot. I never shot a 380 as accurate as the Kahr, I own the lcp also and it is a a great gun, goes bang every time is low in price but I can't hit jack sh-t with it compared to the P380 kahr. The kahrs 380 has super dovetailed sites and they are going to be offering this gun with nite sties from the factory or as an accessory sight.The P380 to me is the hardest gun i have ever tried to hand rack, due to its small size and very stout recoil springs, I have alot of trouble trying to hand rack it, so I do what kahrs says, I use the slide stop lever and it has never failed me. I see no disadvantage in using the slide stop lever on these small guns. The lcp or kt 380 has no auto slide stop either, so u must learn the hand rack them properly.. I have a PM9 that I pocket carry 24/7 in jeans no less also and it has 23,500 rounds down range and never has given one issue. to me the finest little pocket 9mm on the market and certainily top quality. Kahrs service has also gotten to be as good as their guns to.
My vote goes towards the PM9 due to firepower and only 18 ounces LOADED. It is definitely pocketable and IMO prints no more than a 380.

We think our pocket guns print as we know we are carrying, but ask youself, how many times have you looked at a person anywhere to see if he is carrying a gun in his front pocket. You just don't, and neither does the general public either. I think we make to much out of this printing stuff, Just my 5 cents worth..
Just shoot um like u stole it..

August 9, 2009, 11:48 AM
my vote is the PM9, its my 2nd favorite pocket gun

August 9, 2009, 12:20 PM
The PM9 is a lot bigger than the Ruger, is it not?

August 9, 2009, 12:26 PM
The PM9 is 9mm, the ruger lcp is 380. Yes itis bigger, yes it has alot more fire power, yes it is concealable, yes they are both nice guns, probably should not be comparing a 380 to a 9mm for size and weight. You won't see a 9mm the size of the 380 lcp, but you will see 380's the size of the PM9, just ain't gonna be done, let alone anyone who could handle it either.

I think one can get something "to small" that it starts to loose some of it purposes for being made to, vice versa for some of these guns out there that are so big, they are relegated tohome guns or range guns..

August 9, 2009, 03:32 PM
The LCP is a fine gun and easily carried. I take mine where I would never take another and the whole point is to have one. I'm sure the others are fine weapons, but I have an LCP and really like it.

Not to hijack this thread, but The Prof talks about using the LCP as a BUG. Seriously, has anyone who is NOT a LEO ever had a need/opportunity to have a BUG in real life? Is there any record of a BUG being used by a non-LEO in a SD situation?

I can't imagine getting myself in a situation so bad that not only would I have to use my weapon, but I would need a second. A major component of SD is being situationally aware and avoiding trouble in the first place.

Just curious if anyone has any documentation of a BUG actually being used by a civilian.

August 9, 2009, 04:29 PM

The former is something new for them.

Guess you didn't Harangue them enough. :neener: They have been doing it for a few years....seriously you have to bother them.

I don't have any experience with the Kahr .380 or Ruger.

Other than the initial recall most posts seem to be favorable towards the Ruger. I would give it a try if I didn't already have a suitable small .380 I bought before the Ruger came out, Seecamp .380.

My top two pocket carry's are either a revolver, M&P 340 (night sights and laser grip) or the Seecamp and occassionally the Kahr PM9, which I do like alot. Mine had to go back to the factory once and has been fine since. When I carry it, it is usually pocket. Weight wise it is at the upper limit for PC.

I'm a little uncomfortable with the .380 but for a trip to the grocery store or Blockbuster it is ok.
When I go to downtown anytown USA I would rather something a bit more potent. 38plus P, 9mm, .357. If you don't already own a snub, it is worth exploring. It will do some things an semi-auto can't.



Don't get me wrong everyone should have an ultralight something but it wouldn't be my number one choice if it was going to be the only discrete carry I had in my stable.

Can't help you on the Ruger price.

August 9, 2009, 04:40 PM
The PM9 is to heavy for pocket carry id go with the Kahr 380

August 9, 2009, 04:42 PM
Seriously, has anyone who is NOT a LEO ever had a need/opportunity to have a BUG in real life?
Read about the gentleman in VA whose revolver failed. Here, he needed a BUG but fortunately made out okay without.

August 9, 2009, 05:01 PM
99.99955% of us guys certainly don't need to be carrying a BUG. Can you spell"overkill"?

disagree on the PM9 to heavy for pocket carry to. I weight 165" and carry my PM9 24/7 in my jeans front pocket, been carrying that way for over 3 years. It is heavier than the Kahr 380 which is one nice gun by the way but "firepower" , well no comparison, If I'm gonna carry one gun, it will be a 9mm any day over a 380--anyday.

August 9, 2009, 05:04 PM

1. When I say to use the LCP as a BUG, please do not take that to mean that the LCP can't be used as a primary gun or only gun. I'm a big fan of the LCP and it has its unique role for me. Yes...many times it is my primary and only gun with me.

2. Having said that, I will take the PM9 any day over the LCP...if my wardrobe and situation allows it.

3. Again, the PM9 seems to be the ideal CCW out there. Perfect balance of small size, firepower, ruggedness, dependability, and accuracy.

4. When the planets align just right, and all in the world is right...... I like to carry two guns. PM9 as my primary and LCP as BUG. (That does not mean I will not reach for my LCP first... Probably the better terms would be "alternate gun" instead of BUG.)

5. Why carry two guns? Guns, like any mechanical device, can fail. Yes...even my trustworthy PM9 can fail. Unlikely...but it can happen. The other reason is that having two guns at two different locations allow greater options of drawing the gun quicker. There may be times where drawing from my front pocket (weak side) may be quicker than IWB carry (strong side)......or vice-versa. Perhaps that is THE reason for having an "alternate gun". It's not being paranoid. I just like to have options.

Plus...since I am so fond of both of them... I just like their company.

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