I Need Some Help.......


February 26, 2012, 10:40 AM
I'm lookin' to buy a new CCW..........I'm a .45acp guy but want something a little smaller than my Combat Commander.

I want to like the 9mm round....I just don't have any confidence in it.
Never bought one.....
I'm looking at various autos for instance, Beretta Nano, XDM Compact, Walther PPS, Kahr PM9, Glock 26, Ruger LC9 and a few others.

I'm even looking at the Glock 30 and 36 and the Kahr .45 but the platforms seem a little larger than I'm looking for......maybe.

So, I would like to like the 9mm........I just dunno......need some help here..:confused:

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February 26, 2012, 02:37 PM
i felt the same way,bought an all steel stainless commander, just too heavy to carry. bought a stainless defender, i can carry it comfortably all day. don't have much use for a 9 in a carry gun. you might look at a .40, you can get them in 9 size guns. i don't care for .40 either myself, but it is a good comprimise.

February 26, 2012, 02:39 PM
I don't know how we can help you "like the 9mm round" if you are already deeply prejudiced against it. However, "wanting" to like it is a decent first step. You probably simply need to try one out. Keep in mind that the "little" nines, such as the Ruger LC9, won't be much fun to shoot, and that might negatively affect your judgement in a less-than-fair manner.

If you're stuck on the .45 being the absolute minimum, and want something smaller, well.. there's this: http://www.heizerfirearms.com. :D

The Lone Haranguer
February 26, 2012, 02:54 PM
S&W 4516 or 457. They have a shorter barrel (~3 1/2-inch) but approximately the same length of butt (with the magazine in place). Being all stainless steel, the 4516 will rival the weight of the Combat Commander, but the 457 has an alloy frame, therefore is lighter.

Steve H
February 26, 2012, 03:00 PM
My primary CCW is a Kimber Ultra CDP II. I carry it OWB. Hides nicely under a light jacket, sweat shirt, etc.

February 26, 2012, 03:15 PM
Kahr PM45 or just a little larger the Glock 36. Both will give you limited capacity but they are easy to carry and in your favorite caliber. There really is nothing wrong with a 9mm given today's modern ammo. They will get the job done, give you increased capacity and a smaller size. But don't buy one if you think you might have doubts later. And most importantly. Practice, practice, practice.

February 26, 2012, 03:26 PM
You might find that the width of the sub-compact double stacks makes them seem larger than your commander.

Your take on the 9mm is, most likely, not something that we will be able to talk you into. But, fwiw, I carry a 9mm and am comfortable with my choice. Smith and Wesson makes a sub-compact 9mm/.40S&W as well, the M&Pc series. My main carry is a S&W M&P9 full size. I prefer it over the Glocks because it points more naturally for me, and is much more ergonomical. I also find that my sights settle back on target a little bit quicker with the M&P (over my Glock 19)

February 26, 2012, 03:41 PM
As much as I repect my 45's, here in the desert, in the heat, I sometimes trade for something more compact. I carry a Kahr PM40. I have found the PM9 more comfortable to shoot. We have a tendency to think of the 9mm in terms of ball ammo, whereas the advancements in ammunition design and performance has really moved the bar. Whatever I choose to carry, I choose the a factory defensive load that will do the job, then go with confidence.

February 26, 2012, 03:44 PM
You're already used to 1911s, so check out the Springfield EMP. It's so awesome you won't care it's "only" a 9mm.

February 26, 2012, 08:22 PM
It's just that back almost 30yrs. now the horror stories of the 9mm and not getting the job done after multiple hits....maybe not good ones but at least the BG's were still in the fight.
The .45 to me always made the biggest hole and in a gun fight IMO the bigger hole is better. Guess I'm just not comfortable and have little confidence in it.
Wish some of the military vets on this forum might chime in and attest to there experience with the 9mm as a side arm cartridge.......First hand Opinion's if any.... please.

Would like to like the 9mm.....really.

February 26, 2012, 08:44 PM
I say go to the range and shoot some compact 9mms. if you don't trust the 9mm you probably wont carry it and will end up selling it. They also have +p, and +p+ rounds that put a more heat to the 9mm rounds so you might want to try those also.

Most compacts smaller size and grips made shooting them uncomfortable for me so I prefer the semi-compacts to manage recoil and grip better.

February 26, 2012, 09:23 PM
Get over you fear of the 9mm. I got buy with an M9A1 with crapy military FMJ ammo in the service and killed people plenty dead enough. Now, take a gun that is new (not with somewhere between 40K-50K rounds through it), smaller, weighs less and stock it with quality JHP ammo, you have a fight stopper. My suggestions: small-Kahr P9, smaller than the .45ACP models becuase he 9mm is a thinner round, stocked with 124gr+P Speer Gold Dot JHPs; even Smaller-Ruger LC9 (only 27% bigger than its .380 brother the LCP but in full 9mm) stocked with 124gr Reminton Golden Sabres. That latter is my usual carry and I feel very well protected.

February 26, 2012, 09:36 PM
Just my story, but I love my glock 23, and for versatility, got a 9mm conversion barrel and g19 mags on the way... a little smaller and tighter than my fnp40 :) I still have my eyes out for a g30, but for now, "life is good..."!

February 26, 2012, 10:01 PM
Wish some of the military vets on this forum might chime in and attest to there experience with the 9mm as a side arm cartridge

Military servicemen/women have to use ball rounds. They have been proven to lack stopping power in many cases. However, with the proper JHP ammunition it can be a potent round.

I know, not first person, but as close as I can get is this. A friend has served one tour in Iraq (and served in Desert Storm as well); he does not like the 9mm round at all in theater, because the FMJ ammo does not do the job very well. However, stateside he has no problems carrying a PX4 9mm loaded with Corbon DPX's.

A counselor that works with my mother is a former LAPD police officer. During her time as an officer she had to fire her weapon (a Beretta 92 9mm) 3 times, and each time it led to the death of the suspect (police are issued JHP rounds, not FMJ's).

February 27, 2012, 08:36 AM
Well, that is my concern..........the average 9mm round, not some exotic JHP +P it seems has difficulty getting the job done. No one here wants to carry on the fight once he has drawn and fired. IMO.....Stopping the threat means just that and not making a good hit and having the BG carrying the fight back to you due to insufficient caliber / round characteristics....bullet weight, profile, maximum upset....etc.
Most 1st person articles I have read are of multiple shots fired / good hits to stop a threat with the 9mm....OK, maybe the BG was under the influence at the time of these incidents, but never the less I'm not looking for something that I have to fire bursts to stop a threat rather than just stopping it now with a well placed round.
That's what saves peoples lives not some wounded guy carrying on the fight utill you can put more lead on target.

So..........I need to feel comfortable carrying the 9mm. I need to have confidence in this rounds performance and capability. Still, I would like to like the 9mm but I just.....dunno.

February 27, 2012, 08:43 AM
I love my Kahr CW9. Carries very well in an IWB rig and, in the right slacks and a good holster, I can pocket carry in a pinch. Seven rounds of Winchester PDX 147gr +P is a pretty serious punch. I know it's not .45" but it's light enough and comfortable to carry so I don't get frustrated and tired and leave it behind. It also shoots very well. It has a long DA trigger, but it is smooth - reminiscent of a Smith K-frame revolver - and no safety to wrestle. It has good sights from the factory, and I think aftermarket night sights are available. The CM9 is another excellent option, slightly smaller, and holds 6 rounds. The CM9 uses the polyagonal rifling (like a Glock) if that matters to you, and it is slightly more expensive.

I recommend both highly.

As to the round, ask an acquaintance to borrow his 9mm and go to the local gun shop and buy several premium 9mm loads like Speer Gold Dot, Remmy Golden Sabre, Federal Hydra Shock, Hornady Personal Defense or Winchester PDX. Shoot them into wet newsprint and see what kind of expansion you get. I know that's not the same as ballistic gelatin, but it at least lets you see the potential these rounds have. The only way you'll convince yourself to like and use the 9mm is personal evidence, so either find some evidence or quit the search.


February 27, 2012, 03:00 PM
Kahr PM45 is your smallest option. Disappears completely IWB and can be slipped into the pocket. The 9mm is a back-up cartridge in this day & age.

February 27, 2012, 03:55 PM
Well, that is my concern..........the average 9mm round, not some exotic JHP +P it seems has difficulty getting the job done

If you are carrying a .45 or a .40 S&W you should be carrying a JHP round as well. It isn't exotic. I know most walmarts even carry Winchester PDX-1 rounds which are great choices.

A shot placed center of mass with a 9mm will have about the same effect on a target as a shot placed center of mass with a .45 ACP. Modern bullet designs are very advanced, and put a 9mm performance well above what many people give it credit for.

February 27, 2012, 09:40 PM
Just noticed the OP is from the commie state of NJ. That means like the military, he is stuck with non-JHP ammo if memory serves me correctlly. In that case here are 3 options:

1. Only take head shots....22lr will stop a fight with a good head shot

2. Go big. This is why there is a growing movement for the military to go back to .45acp. If you ar3 stuck with FMJ, then bigger really is better.

3. MOVE! Vote with your feet and go to a state that respects its people enough to properly defend themselves, and get a good 9mm and some JHP!

February 27, 2012, 10:55 PM
Just noticed the OP is from the commie state of NJ. That means like the military, he is stuck with non-JHP ammo if memory serves me correctlly

If this is the case then stay with the .45 ACP.....or larger

February 27, 2012, 11:49 PM
Ballistically the 9mm round is a very reliable round when it comes to stopping power. I have no problems carrying one if needed to. I do carry a 45 acp but it has nothing to do with stopping power more than familiarity with this caliber. I used a 1911 through 21 years in the army and have always loved the feel of the handle of a 1911. I find double stack grips not to my liking as much. I think that like me your lack of familiarity with the 9mm makes you a little doubtful, the difference being I do not like the feel of double stack grips.

February 28, 2012, 02:07 AM
I carry my Glock 26 with With Winchester PDX1's or, Gold Dot short barrel. I love it!

February 28, 2012, 09:02 AM
So bigger bullets means bigger holes...........yep, here in NJ it's as tough as it gets to comply with the firearm laws. I happen to like Hardball anyway as I'm also a proponent of Penetration...2nd priority on my list after a well placed hit.
So, in essence, your tellin' me a 9mm requires either some exotic ammo or multiple hits most of the time to stop the threat....Hmmmm.

February 28, 2012, 09:23 AM
X. I don't think that anyone is suggesting that 9MM is only effective with exotic ammo. But in a self defense situation you are better equipped carrying JHP regardless of caliber.

After reading your posts I think you should have a look at the Kahr PM45.

Lee D
February 28, 2012, 11:19 AM
my Walther PPS will outshoot all my other centerfire pistols except for one. the Beretta 92 i bought in '95. this list includes Sigs, Glocks, and one other 92.
the PPS is one heck of a good gun, 100% reliable, easy to cenceal, and is suprisingly pleasant to shoot. even when stoked with +p+ ammo.

February 28, 2012, 11:28 AM
CCW in NJ??? OP must be LE, and I believe they are exempt from the HP ban.

Jesus, how many acromyns is that???

If you want to stick with .45ACP, I would go with a 3rd Gen S&W 4513 (alloy frame - the 4516 is all SS). Glock 36 would be worth a look too.

Lot's of good .40 cal if you want the compromise between 9mm & 45ACP.

February 28, 2012, 11:29 AM
So, in essence, your tellin' me a 9mm requires either some exotic ammo or multiple hits most of the time to stop the threat....

I'm saying that when comparing FMJ to FMJ, the .45 ACP beats the 9mm every time. If you are legally allowed to use a JHP, the 9mm is perfectly adequate for self defense purposes....but I would only use FMJ in 9mm for defense if it was the last choice that I had

February 28, 2012, 12:05 PM
No JHP zone? I may well be in the wrong forum, but I'd either just stick to the commander, or go right to a charter bulldog loaded with these:


That wadcutter will make the biggest permanent hydraulic leaks; better than FMJ of similar sizing.

I don't mind a nine and consider the "9mm vs. .45" argument moot with the best of today's ammo.

But if "the best of today's ammo" is suddenly off the table due to legislative short sightedness, then we are back to "the best of yesteryear's ammo".

Full wadcutter, the bigger the hole, the better.

February 28, 2012, 01:22 PM
Depending on how the "no HP" law is worded, the OP still may be better off with a subcompact 9mm loaded some sort of expanding FMJ (like Federal's "Guard Dog" or a polymer-stuffed HP like the Glaser/Cor-Bon Pow'RBall) than .45 ball ammo.

February 28, 2012, 03:02 PM
No one is saying that it "will always take multiple hits from the 9mm" to stop an attacker. Heck, in the thread below, only one hit from a .32ACP is all it took. But, we don't count on one-shot stops; that's one of the reasons we carry more than one round in our defense guns, regardless of caliber.
For you? Not sure what you're really looking for here. Just stay with the .45; there are enough choices available.


February 28, 2012, 05:10 PM
All in all, I am investigating the 9mm choices out there.....and there are many as we all know. I have 2 PP's and do not own a 9mm Auto. So, with one, I'm leaning towards a Glock 26, Walther PPS, Nano, Ruger LC9, Kahr Pm9. Might try one of these tuckable small autos and give the 9mm a chance.....maybe it will grow on me, if not I can always trade it in or sell.
In one respect it can't be any worse than carrying my S&W Model 36 and with more capacity.....so maybe.....I'm still considdering....:rolleyes:

March 1, 2012, 12:02 PM
You don't have to like the 9mm........ Personally I like more gun myself also. I don't even own one in fact. But....... a small 9mm that you are going to carry is better than a .45 you don't like to carry, because eventually, you'll stop carrying it. I was just recently looking for a pocket pistol and kept coming back to the Kahrs do to the small size, and good grip. The LC9 is too narrow for my hands. I ended up settling on a 38 special J frame. Have you thought about a small revolver, because they make some pretty small .357s now? My normal carry is a Ruger SP101 in .357. True, it carries fewer rounds, but I don't think anyone will argue that .357 out of a three inch bbl has more power than a 9mm or .45 out of a 3"bbl. It's just an option.

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