Best Bang for the buck 9MM Pocket Carry


May 31, 2010, 11:32 AM
I've researched a few things on here pertaining to this..My regular carry is a CZ Po1 or a S&W MP45c...I'm looking to get something smaller and easier to conceal now that summer is upon us...I was considering an LCP,but since 380 ammo here is ridiculously expensive and almost non existant,I would rather go with a small 9mm...I figure I allready have the CZ and my wife carries a S&W MP 9c so I always have ammo at the ready for it...I'm considering a Kel Tec PF9/P11 or possibly a Kahr CW9...I see quite a few here have the Kel Tecs,but in the past I've heard some strong negatives about them..Same goes for the Kahr CW9...These are both in my price range as I don't have 700 plus dollars to throw down on a pocket carry at the moment...Any feedback appreciated as I realize I don't know much about either of these peices,and is there any other I should be considering?...

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May 31, 2010, 11:43 AM
glock 26 would be my choice but the ones you suggested would be fine, although I would definitly get the pf9 over the p11. Pf9 has a lighter trigger pull and is alot thinner. Just my personal opinion though.

May 31, 2010, 11:57 AM
The only two true 9mm pocket guns I have come across are the Kahr pm9 and Rohrbaugh R9. I don't consider the glock 26, kel-tec pf9 or p11 to be pocket guns. If it doesn't fit well in my front jeans pocket it is not a pocket gun to me. Because the Rohrbaugh is about $1000 I am going to go with the PM9 personally. I also detest the European style magazine release on the Rohrbaugh.

May 31, 2010, 12:02 PM
I was going to bring up the pm9 but then seen that he didn't have $700 to throw down.....I think the stripped pm9 with no bells or whistles msrps at $786

May 31, 2010, 12:09 PM
The PF-9 is definitely the most bang for the buck. Fit & finish aren't quite as good as the Kahr, but that's why it's at a lower price point. As Ben86 said, though, it's not a pocket gun. And neither is the CW-9, being slightly larger and heavier than the KT. But they carry very easily IWB. My PF-9 has been flawless after a few light strikes in the first box of ammo, which I attribute to the thick lubricant in the firing pin channel (since cleaned) and the extremely cold temperatures that day in January 2007. I did install the updated metal mag catch, supplied at no charge from KT, a few months ago when I noticed the OE plastic one was worn. My sister has a later PF-9 that has always run perfectly.

I would (and do) bet my life on the reliability of my $280 pistol.

May 31, 2010, 12:15 PM
Gonna have to be some big pockets to stash a G26 in. I suggest a PF9, P11 or PM9 if you want to stick to 9mm. Otherwise, .380ACP is the way to go for pocket carry. A big plus is to stick to a CCW piece that is less than 16oz when fully loaded.

Just my 2 cents ... I can make change. ;)

May 31, 2010, 12:20 PM
I also detest the European style magazine release on the Rohrbaugh. You do realize that that mag release style won't get activated while in your pocket nearly as often as a button release, right?

The definition of "Pocket Gun" changes with pockets. In my cargo pants I can conceal a Ruger mkIII with a 5.5" bull barrel, not a defensive gun by any means, but the thing is bigger than a 1911!
In my work jeans I could hide my Walther PPS, although the draw would be clumsy, and in slacks I'm limited to a KT p32 out of the arsenal.
A lot of pants would hide a KT pf-9 or pf-11 just fine, if it were the only thing in the front pocket ... and a lot of pants wouldn't, you know your wardrobe better than I do, I'd hope.

One of the reasons I chose IWB carry is because that holster stays the same when it moves from one pair of pants to another.
I too would be willing to bet my life on a KT pistol, they're plenty reliable if you're capable of doing basic cleaning and maybe a bit of de-burring. They do have pretty awful triggers, but you get used to it. I imagine that a KT 9mm would be easier to shoot than my minuscule p32, and I can keep that on a half-size silhouette target out to ~20 yards slow fire and point-shoot it onto that same half-size silhouette out to ~8 paces rapid fire.

May 31, 2010, 12:23 PM
Glock 26. I have tried Kel-Tec, Kahr (PM40), Para Ordnance (Warthog), NAA (semi .32), and a few others I cant remember. Out off all the pocket guns I have EVER owned, the only one that has functioned perfectly is my Glock 27. All the others have had major function issues.

May 31, 2010, 12:54 PM
well personally I carry a glock 19 iwb and couldn't be more satisfied. I own old smiths, new smiths, revolvers, autos and even a luger, but when it comes to comfort carrying and mental comfort of knowing my gun is extremely reliable I strap on the glock 19. Also I purchased the gen 3 glock for $550 out the door taxes and all with the nice carry case it comes in, two mags, speedloader cleaning rod, and brush. This would be my suggestion for a smaller ccw. Its not "pocket" sized but that is a debatable issue in itself.

May 31, 2010, 01:54 PM
Well the Glocks arer fine guns but they are just bobbed versions of the full-size pistols, and are just as thick and bulky.

Great shooters but unless you wear really baggy pants with huge pockets, no way are they pocket guns.

I had a G27 and it was strictly a holster gun not only because of it's size but because the Glocks have a relatively light trigger and I didn't feel comfortable with it bouncing around in my pocket with that light trigger and no safety.

I now use a Kel-Tec P11 for pocket carry while it isn't the smallest or thinnest pistol Kel-Tec offers it does offer better capacity and a double-strike capability that the PF9 doesn't have, and since there is no manual safety that long heavy trigger is the only thing keeping if from making a hole in my leg or removing a body part I might need someday.

A light trigger is not necessarily an advantage if you plan to pocket carry a pistol.

Big Mike
May 31, 2010, 02:46 PM
I almost always carried my Glock 26 in my pocket; it can be done. My pants were almost always pleated trousers or shorts with very large front pockets. I don't think I ever pocket carried it in blue jeans.

May 31, 2010, 02:54 PM
Glock 26 is reliable, concealable and still has a decent length barrel for a pocket sized sub compact.

May 31, 2010, 03:07 PM
Looked at Glock 26,27 and 29 for over a year. Decided on a Glock 29 and a Lone Wolf Conversion barrel to 40 S&W and also ordered th LW 10 MM barrel for lead.

IF had a Glock 27 would buy the LW 9MM conversion for cheaper shooting. Also have a GLock 17L So i can see not reason to purchase a Glock 26 for my "needs" of punching holes in paper.
My pocket carry for the time, is a Colt Agent in 38 special . six shot 15 oz or a kel Tec 380. Depends what i am wearing and where.

Old Shooter
May 31, 2010, 03:07 PM
I carry a Kel-Tec P-11 with no problems. I was tempted to try a PF9 but I've read a few posts of problems with limp-wristing and such and since my P-11 is doing fine I decided to stay with what I have.

It works for me.

May 31, 2010, 03:11 PM
I bought my PF-9 brand new at the LGS for $239.00 and all I did was polish up the feed ramp a little bit and I've never had a failure of any kind. For all I know it didn't even need that since I did it before I ever even fired it but it only took a minute and it's proven to be completely reliable for me. It also has the smoothest DAO trigger I've ever encountered; the pull is a tad long but totally butter smooth.

May 31, 2010, 03:19 PM
Another vote for the PF-9 here. I do agree with those that say its is to big to pocket carry. I carry mine IWB in a kydex holster. It is so thin and lite that it disappears. I will say the finish could be better, but it goes BANG every time I pull the trigger. Mine was $260 OTD.

May 31, 2010, 03:35 PM
What you consider a "pocket gun" depends on how big you are and the type of clothes you wear. I'm a bigger guy, so most of my jeans and pants fit fairly loose in the thigh area. So pocketing a gun isn't a big problem.

I have a P-11, that I've had for over 10 years. Never had a problem with it. I can carry it IWB, 95% un-noticeable. OWB isn't to big a problem either, as long as my shirts are longer and looser.
As far as more bang for the buck, I would still go with the P-11. I'm pretty sure that all the other "pocket guns" in your price range, are all single stack. In the 7 to 8 round capacity. The P-11 is a little thicker than others, but you get 10 plus 1. The only complaint that I have with it, is the same as every one elses. A heavy triger pull. But on the plus side, that makes it a very safe carry pistol, imo. Bumped or dropped, it won't go off. And around kids, roaming hands are not a problem either.
And price wise, you can get one for $350 or less.

PS. I got mine for $140 when I got it in '99. I would get another, even though they have doubled in price.

May 31, 2010, 04:40 PM
I have carried it on many occasions when I do not want to carry my 38 snubby. It weighs 14 oz and can be carried easily in the pocket.

May 31, 2010, 04:52 PM
You can actually get factory 12 round mags for the P11.

I've got a couple of 12 rounders but have heard of some problems on the internet so I use the 10 rounders for actual carry.

Though I must say I use the 12 rounders quite a bit as range mags and have never had a problem with them.

May 31, 2010, 05:42 PM
I've got a Sccy 9mm that I routine carry in the front pocket of my work khakis, and it's about the same size as either of the Kel-Tecs.

I've had it three years, and I've had to send it back to the factory three times. Their service has been excellent (they've given me two free mags each time it's gone back), but I'd like the gun more if I didn't have to service it so frequently.

If I had to do it over again, I'd get a Kel-Tec.

Just as an aside, I can never figure out the point of carrying a pistol in the front pocket of a pair of jeans. The pockets in most (if not all) jeans are just not shaped right for the speedy removal of a firearm. I much prefer to go with carrying my pistol in a tuckable IWB holster if I'm wearing jeans.

June 1, 2010, 01:23 AM
Kel Tec PF9...light, thin,...priced right...

June 1, 2010, 06:44 AM
PF9 fits fine in my pants...6'4" and #250.

It does not fit in my wife's pockets...5'1" and #120.

June 1, 2010, 08:46 AM
I have both the G26 and the CW9. The CW9 is def better for pocket carry. Have not had any FTF or FTE's on the CW that I've heard about but I still have a few more rounds needed to throw down range to complete the break in.

I do not consider the G26 as a pocket weapon but it does conceal nicely iWB or OWB with the proper attire!

I love shooting the G26! The CW is snappier!

Good luck.

June 1, 2010, 10:04 AM
I've got a Glock 26 and, while it's a great pistol, I have not found it suitable for pocket carry. I always marvel at those who find that it works for them.

When pocket carrying, I opt for the Sig P238. It's admittedly a less potent weapon, but it's something I can always carry.

June 1, 2010, 11:59 AM
I've always found the Mouse Guns guide to pocket guns ( (pdf link) to be really useful in figuring out what might be a suitable pistol for pocket carry.

June 1, 2010, 02:12 PM
I asked my gunsmith (who doubles as a CCW trainer) what gun people seemed to be the most pleased with. not the most common, not the smallest, just what people seemed to shoot best while being pleased with the size for carry. he didn't miss a beat and said the cw9. now, we all know that 1 guy's opinion means very little, but there it is.

both keltec and kahr need a break in period.

June 1, 2010, 03:54 PM
I have had a CW9 for over a year and it is an excellent carry gun and works OK for a pocket in a coat or jacket. Personally I find it too heavy for pants pocket carry but I like it a lot for everything else. I have and use a Desatis Nemesis for the Kahr and it works well. Normally when I pocket carry I take my LCP due solely to it's diminutive size.

This break-in warning is way overplayed with Kahrs on internet forums. Kahr definitely recommends a minimum of a 200 round break-in period and there is no reason not to follow their advice. In my opinion only a fool would carry a firearm for protection if he had not personally fired it at least 200 times. I will admit I knew nothing about Kahr when I bought mine but I am totally happy with the CW9. It is a little more finicky to rack the first round and I always follow the Kahr guidelines for this. I also own Glocks and love them but the 26 is just too thick (and heavy) for pocket carry.

Having said all that if I had it to do over again I might spend a lot more and buy a PM9.

June 1, 2010, 04:15 PM
both keltec and kahr need a break in period. Yeah, and ... ?
You need some time getting used to a new gun anyway, what's the big deal?
Of all the pistols I've bought, only one might have been OK to trust out of the box was a Springfield XD9sc, and I still cleaned it up, shot the crap out of it with a variety of ammo, and inspected for abnormal wear before designating it as a carry gun. If a gun needs a few hundred rounds of break-in, it really doesn't matter because you need to reliability test it anyway.

June 1, 2010, 05:33 PM
Even though it's new on the market, I'm thinking a lot about the Ruger SR9c. The trigger is supposed to be very good.

June 1, 2010, 09:41 PM
I just picked up my SR9c and I am glad I waited for the Black instead of settling for the stainless! The going price is running around $400 even thou I paid a little more! (due to the area I live in) Comes with a 10 round clip and a 16 round (reload) clip with a handle extension. NICE!!!!

June 1, 2010, 11:44 PM
You do realize that that mag release style won't get activated while in your pocket nearly as often as a button release, right?

I have never had that happen with any of my handguns with conventional mag releases. I do know that the Euro style release is not as fast or easy to use. I'm not a fan of Euro non-drop free magazines for the same reason.

June 2, 2010, 09:15 AM
The taurus pt709 is slightly bigger than the KT pf9. The trigger is tons better than any of the slim 9mm's I have found. It may be a little too large for pocket carry for some folks, but its size is comparable or even smaller than most of the guns discussed on this thread.

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