Weigh in on these CCW options


March 6, 2013, 08:49 AM
I'm looking for a 9mm DAO for concealed carry and have put together the following list. The reason I'm going with 9mm is that I already have a 9mm carbine and its nice to be able to use the ammo in either.

My max budget is $600.

Here is my list.

Kal-Tec - PF9 - $280
Diamondback - DB9 - $360
Beretta - BU9 - $450
Taurus - PT-111 - $340
Bersa - BP9 - $350
Sig Sauer - P250 - $390
Ruger SR9C - $450
Sig's P290 - $500
Kahr CW9 - $400

If you own one of these please let me know any ammo issues or other issues you have had with it.

If I have missed any that you think should be on there please let me know. Also if any one in central ohio has one of these firearms or knows places that have them in stock let me know as I really would like to test the feel before purchasing.

Thanks a bunch every one.

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March 6, 2013, 08:52 AM
DAO, I'd include a look at Sig's P290 for about $500

March 6, 2013, 08:59 AM
I have added it to the list. I would like to try and keep to the 300-400 range and save the rest of my money but if it means the difference between an ammo picky gun and one thats not I will spend the cash.

March 6, 2013, 09:17 AM
Walther PPS (I know from experience)

EDIT: Whoops, I missed the DAO requirement...sorry

March 6, 2013, 09:29 AM
Thats interesting that the Walther PPS also has a trigger safety are you sure its DAO?

March 6, 2013, 09:33 AM
One you might want to add to the list is a Kahr PM9. List price they are more than your budget but I have bought two used for under $600 and I absolutely love that gun.

March 6, 2013, 09:37 AM
They did have a kahr or two at my local gun shop last night when i stopped by. I will keep that one on the back burner for now.

March 6, 2013, 09:41 AM
I only have experience with the SR9c - and that experience was VERY positive.

I've heard good things about the Bersa, and even considered buying their 380 a little while ago. I love to buy American made, but the Bersas have made a decent name for themselves over the last several years.

March 6, 2013, 09:44 AM
If you like long very smooth DA trigger systems, move the KAHR Pm9/CM9 high up on your list.


March 6, 2013, 09:54 AM
Kahr CM9 or CW9(slightly larger). Both very easy to conceal. Well within your price range. Excellent DAO trigger. I have both and so far have not found any ammo that causes them any problems.

March 6, 2013, 10:05 AM
The single stack, DAO Ruger is the LC9. It is extremely reliable, eats anything you feed it, and has a trigger pull that feels longer than the experience of sitting through the Twilight movies to get points with the girlfriend. I have owned the LC9 and PF9. I would trust the LC9 with my life, if I had to. Thankfully, I don't. That trigger is just too long for my liking. The PF9 was a nightmare for me. It failed to extract about 40% of what I fed it, across multiple types of ammunition. More than 200 FTEs in 500 rounds fired. There are people who will suggest that it may be due to limp wristing. I won't say that isn't a possibility, but... It is the only firearm that I have ever experienced a stop with. If anything, owning it was a positive experience. I became very fast at clearing stops.

I now carry an SR9c for my light clothing carry weapon, and I couldn't be happier with it. It is flawless through more than 2,000 rounds, and the trigger is great.

March 6, 2013, 10:10 AM
I would highly rate the Kahr PM9 as one of the best designed and truly compact DAO 9mm.s for CCW. In a slightly larger size gun I would go with the Ruger SR9c. The Taurus PT-111 is also a decent choice though I never really did get use to the grip angle or the sights as well.

March 6, 2013, 10:25 AM
How is the recoil on the Ruger LC9?

My father in law has the P95DC and I'm not a fan of how the recoil feels. Its some kind of two stage spring I'm guessing as it feels almost like two rounds have fired.

Arkansas Paul
March 6, 2013, 10:43 AM
I was in the market for the same thing, and yesterday, I put down a payment to reserve a Ruger LC9. They're supposed to get one in this month and said they'd hold it for me.
I've not shot one, but have handled one and really like how they feel. They're a lot smaller than the SR9 series.

March 6, 2013, 11:25 AM
The Sig P238 has the laser, the Sig P290 doesn't, I carry the P238 strong side, and have a cross draw coming for the P290

If your a Large person, the P250SC should be considered. you go from 6/8 rounds with the P290 to 12 rounds with the P250

March 6, 2013, 11:46 AM
W/respect that the P11 wasn't on your list of consideration(s) I thought I'd include it anyway as it's been a solid performer for me.

My P11 was purchased used @ 325.00 from a local gun show. Got some Copper Only Projectiles 9mm 115 gr. +P JHP for 22.00. Box of 25. Pricey, but it's my carry round. Have since gotten a variety of FMJ rounds from different sources all at a fair rate of exchange. Have put over 200 rounds through so far. No problems at all. Nylon and cloth 'Miami style' SH for 15.00. Good for winter CC, but for fair weather not so much. A friend gave me a nylon clip-on holster, recently that I'll use when the weather breaks.

It's a little bigger in the grip as it's a double stack thereby making the imprint larger, but I'm glad I got it. If you do find one and decide yes make sure you include getting at least one extra mag as having just one is a PITA.

March 6, 2013, 11:52 AM
Hello hcker2000 ! I have a PF9,very light and concealable iwb about 1:30 position. It is totally reliable with any fmj bullets,not so much on hp's.Definitely a cq type pistol,that is snappy ,but controllable and has a good trigger.
I also carry a Sig p250. It's thicker than the PF9,but holds 12+1 vs the PF9's 7+1. It's more my heavy clothing pistol than a Summer rig, totally reliable with any brand and types of bullets I've tried.The trigger is smooth as an old target pistol and it's easy a 25 yard shooter.
The only issue I have with either is that the Sig P250 is a bit harder to carry in the Summer heat with just shorts and t-shirt. The PF9 is much more concealable as it's so thin and light.........Get your $ together then get both. No one single side arm has all the advantages that you can have with two similar,but slightly different carry pieces ! I've been carrying concealed legally since 1972,so I really believe my opinion should be of some help to you.

March 6, 2013, 11:54 AM
The first choice would be the PM9 if you can find a used one in your price range. After that it should be a LC9 or for a slightly bigger and better choice the SR9c, both of which are in your price range. And yes it is possible to get used to the loooooong pull of the LC9, besides the recoil is minimal. Good luck.

March 6, 2013, 12:05 PM
DB9 is self destructive. It literally is designed for only about 700 rounds. I had all sort of failures with it.

Look at the Kahr CW9. Incredible dao and only around $350. Mine has been perfect since day one.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

March 6, 2013, 12:12 PM
Kahr seems to be very popular so far. Thanks for mentioning the FMJ vs HP rounds as I need it to feed reliably with both.

I am a bit larger guy and normally ware pants + tshirt or shorts + tshirt. I don't think I will have to much problem concealing any but the larger guns.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned any thing about kal-tech yet from every thing I have read people like them.

March 6, 2013, 12:24 PM
If you're set on a double action trigger, there is the Kahr CM9 or CW9 ($400). I've done a decent amount of shooting with a friends CW9 and it's honestly the nicest DAO style gun I've shot. Most of the small DAO style guns are hard to shoot well and the Kahr is not. Its more like a revolver trigger.

There's also the Sig P250 ($450) sub compact. I don't know much about that one, but its in your price range.

But my favorite one on your list is the SR9c since that's what I own and carry. I have approximately 8500 rounds through mine, mostly reloads. The trigger on the SR9c is more like a light version of a Glock trigger. It's not anything like a double action if that's what you are looking for.

I have concerns about the quality of the Diamondback DB9 and the Kel-tec PF9. I would go for the Ruger LC9 if thats the style you want.

March 6, 2013, 12:29 PM
Please also let me know what kind (FMJ or HP) or brand of ammo your using as well.

March 6, 2013, 12:33 PM
1 vote for the Ruger LC9

March 6, 2013, 12:49 PM
I understand the Springfield XDs is now (or very soon to be) available in 9mm.

The .45ACP version is fantastic.

March 6, 2013, 01:02 PM
I LOVE my CM9... I originally wanted a CW9 but since the smaller one was in stock it went home with me along with an extra 6 and extended 7rd magazine.

I've shot around 500 rounds of a mix of federal, wwb, aguila, and Remington 115gr ammo, and aguila 124gr as well all FMJ. Then I've shot federal, Remington, and speer JHP ammo through them all(about 200 JHPs total, mostly winchester).

The ONLY issue I had was the federal 115gr fmj in the 7rd magazine only. Would nosedive into the feed ramp every few shots. I measured all ammo and it was longer OAL than all others by about 0.012" IIRC. Not a single problem with hollow points which are most important IMO.

Trigger is awesome, I shoot this tiny gun better than my 1911 during slow concentrated fire.

Only gripe: front sight breaks off. Budget $50 for a trijicon front that you can install yourself with a screwdriver.

March 6, 2013, 01:15 PM
I carry 115 gn gold dot's in my SR9c, but I've shot pretty much everything under the sun out of it. Most of what I've shot has been either cast lead RN and Remington CTF bullets I had a bunch of. Any factory ammo should work fine. The only failures I've had were from bad factory ammo or experimental reloading.

March 6, 2013, 01:33 PM
Can any one weigh in on finishes? I would think any of the blackened slides are going to show ware after going in and out of holsters a bunch where as the hard chrome may not?

March 6, 2013, 02:27 PM
I tend to look at a defence handgun as just a tool so how it looks or if it shows wear or scratchs as time goes by is fine with me. Stainless steel a bit is easy to keep nice do to sweat or mosture and wear but would not be a deal breaker for me. For the last few years my carry pistols have been kahrs. A cw9 for iwb and a cm9 for pocket when at work. Mine have been completely reliable from round one and serve well and just added one more larger models. Mine run fine with hp ammo and carry a 124gr+P ammo. I fired 400 rounds of fmj and 100 hp ammo before carry'n any pistol. So todate rounds fired are around 2250 rounds between the kahr 9mm.s. My new one is a larger tp40 and still shooting it , 400 so far 100 % reliable too.

March 6, 2013, 03:54 PM
Kal-Tec - PF9 - $280 Horrible trigger, snappy recoil, poor build quality, relative short service life (but does have lifetime warranty). It is not a gun that people seem to like to put a lot of training rounds through. Any gun I'm going to stake my life on I want to be able to shoot a lot.

Diamondback - DB9 - $360 No experience

Beretta - BU9 - $450 No experience with this gun

Taurus - PT-111 - $340 No experience with this gun

Bersa - BP9 - $350 No experience with this gun

Sig Sauer - P250 - $390 No experience with this gun

Ruger SR9C - $450 Not a bad gun, for roughly the same money their are other similar guns I personally would rather have. Namely offerings from glock, M&P, Steyr, and Walther. Many owners really seem to like them. It is a serviceable gun

Sig's P290 - $500 I don't love the trigger. I'm also not a fan of how high the bore axis is. I don't enough experience to really fully evaluate it though

Kahr CW9 - $400 Overall I like Kahrs. I find them to really fall into the sweet spot size wise for carry guns. They are big enough to be able to shoot and run them well and small enough that they carry and conceal very well also. I personally like other triggers more than Kahrs long, but smooth trigger and its rather long reset. It is a trigger that is very workable and one can shoot it well, its just not my preference, particularly the long reset.

Other guns worth checking out:

Definately give the walther PPS a look.

The S&W shield is getting rave reviews and is similar in size to the PPS and the Kahr CW9

I'd also happily carry any number of the sub compact 9mms . To wit, the S&W M&PC, Glock 26, Steyr SA1, etc.

March 6, 2013, 03:57 PM
Can any one weigh in on finishes? I would think any of the blackened slides are going to show ware after going in and out of holsters a bunch where as the hard chrome may not?

My experience is that it depends on the gun and the finish. My ruger has a lot of slide wear. Older XD guns I've seen do too. My glocks and my Steyr have thousands and thousands of draws and lot of daily carry (years worth for each) and their slides show no wear.

March 6, 2013, 04:14 PM
I had a KelTec P11. It was a decent gun but the trigger was VERY HEAVY. No matter how hard I tried I could never get decent groups with it. I currently carry the Kahr CW9. I shoot it MUCH better. Slim, very easy to conceal, far superior trigger to the P11, and very well made. No problems with any ammo (fmj or jhp) so far. I paid $400ish for mine new a few months ago.

March 6, 2013, 04:26 PM
I have shot the older S&W M&P compact in 9mm as my friend has one and it is a very well made gun.

For me it is very important that I be able to run rounds threw the gun as I want to take it to the range with me when I'm shooting.

I have shot a glock 26 (i think, it was S&W .40) and there very nice but harder to come by at this point. I'm going to be shopping around this weekend in the area to see what is available locally.

I stopped last night and the local gun store had hand guns. Tons of 1911's and 22's. I didn't try any thing for a fit then as there were probably 25 people inline.

The smiling swordsman
March 6, 2013, 04:33 PM
Kahr CW9 or the Beretta Nano are the two that stick out to me as the best options for a CCW in this list.

March 6, 2013, 04:41 PM
I am very happy with the M&P Shield 9mm I brought home a few weeks ago. It's very comfortable to shoot, nice trigger (for DAO) easy to carry, accurate and simple to clean. I've owned the Kel Tec PF-9, Ruger SR9c. I shot or handled most of the others.

March 6, 2013, 04:43 PM
Beretta - BU9 - $450
Sig Sauer - P250 - $390
Ruger SR9C - $450
Sig's P290 - $500
Kahr CW9 - $400
I would be happy with any of these for CCW. I would go to your FLGS and handle each to see if one fits your hand better than the others. If you could test shoot any of them that would also be a plus. Then just make your own decision.

March 6, 2013, 05:07 PM
My vote is for the CW9. I've been VERY happy with mine. I'm sure the CM9 is equally nice if you don't mind stumpy little grips w/ grip extensions.

March 6, 2013, 05:43 PM
The Taurus PT111 is not a DAO unless you find a gen 2. The Gen 3 are SA/DA
The Gen 3 PT111 I carry has been flawless for at least 4k rounds.

It may be a bit bigger than you are looking for judging from the size of the guns listed but you should look at the SD9 from Smith and Wesson. It is DAO with a long pull

I have the SD40 with Apex Tactical Carry/Duty spring kit And I am very happy with it. MSRP is 379$

March 6, 2013, 06:44 PM
I have a SR9c with thousands or trouble free rounds through it and I love it. I like the looks of the black slide but opted for the stainless and it looks like it did the day I took it home. Who knows maybe the black would have worn as well.

March 6, 2013, 06:49 PM
If this will be your only ccw, then I suggest you make sure it's small enough that you can always carry it no matter what you are wearing. For that I'd go with a kahr cm9. If you already have a small enough ccw then I'd pick the SR9c from your list.

March 6, 2013, 07:04 PM
Of the pistols listed I would go for the SR9C. It has a great trigger, reliability, and the size is right for concealability but still be being large enough to be a really good defensive weapon. The compact pistols like the SR, Glock compacts, and my M&P 9C are really good shooters for their size. Smaller weapons take a little more effort, generally, to shoot well.

hariph creek
March 6, 2013, 07:32 PM
I've got a two tone Sig P290RS. I love it! It's the first semi to usurp a snubbie, as my always gun.
I think the "RS" (ReStrike) variant has a better trigger, compared to the first version. After some dry fire practice it gets even better.
If you want a true DAO, not striker fired? I have a slight preference for a hammer fired gun, for this application. Given some of the "intimate" locations a gun this size can be carried. I like to be able to cover the hammer with my thumb while holstering.
It seems like allot, at $500 but, that includes night sights and often a laser. It's also a well made STURDY little gun.
I find recoil to be no problem, despite the "high bore axis" (still lower than a revolver). Due to a couple ounces extra weight, compared to competing sub-compacts. Not so heavy to be a burden to carry.
It looks bigger than it is, it shoots bigger than it is, it carries small. It's actually nearly the same dimensions as the Kahr PM/CM series (I think the little Kahr is the "yardstick" for this class of gun.) but, the P290RS is allot sturdier (and it's mag won't puke bullets in your pocket).

If you include striker fired guns, as DAO?
I'd give consideration to the S&W M&P Shield.
Also the Kahr PM9 or CM9.

The Nano could be pretty slick? Had some "teething pains" hopefully fixed now?
I don't like the base plate on the mag. EMERGENCY reload! Rely on muscle memory! Which way is the front?

Bersa? Where's that made? Guess I'm just a snob? I prefer American.

As far as LC9/Taurus/KelTec/DB9? They're just not in the same league as your other options. They have there fans, though?

March 6, 2013, 08:44 PM
I own and carry a SR9C. It has not once failed to shoot any and all ammo that I have loaded it with.
EXCELLENT trigger- can't say enough about how great this pistol is.
Having said all that, my SO picked out a laser equipped LC9 for her carry weapon about 6 months ago-and she really likes it. BUT...the first time she shot my SR9c, she admitted she liked it better! :p. She likes how her LC9 is easy for her to hide in her purse though.
My opinion for a " male" EDC that is almost the perfect 9MM...the SR9c.

March 6, 2013, 09:52 PM
I have a p290 and can recommend it

March 7, 2013, 09:05 AM
Is the sr9c DAO? It has a safety so that why I wondered.

I guess I would consider a DA/SA so long as it has a decocking lever so I can make sure the firsts shot is DA.

March 7, 2013, 12:53 PM
To hear some of these replies to your thread,I wonder why they don't read and stick to the selections you made ? I find this problem on all different forums though.....I'm also wondering if some of these people know that Kel-tec makes two different 9's,the P11 and the PF9,which are two very different pistols ? Lot's of people also have a different opinion of the same pistol,I hope you are able to handle all of the pistols in your selection ? Good luck...:D

March 7, 2013, 02:04 PM
Well I ended up purchasing a Springfield XD Sub Compact in 9mm for $450. Not DAO but it felt better than the others.

Lots of other people after the SR9C and there is a month or so wait on them at the local gun shop.

March 7, 2013, 03:10 PM
I was able to handle the M&P 9mm shield, Kal-tec pf9, Ruger SR9, Bereta BU9.

My findings were as follows:

The PF9 and the BU9 were to small for my liking.
The M&P 9mm shield grip fit my hand better than the PF9 and BU9
The Ruger SR9 was a dream to hold but they didnt have the SR9C

In the end they had the XD sub compact on sale. It fit my hand very well. Came with a small mag and a large mag, holster, magazine belt holster and speed loader.

Took me almost two hours to get get in an out. No one seems to have any ammo aside from self defense ammo (picked up a box).

Cabelas just opened here in town and I guess people are lined up onto the freeway trying to get in there. Glad I didn't go there.

April 3, 2013, 04:09 PM
I love my Sig P250 Compact. 500 rounds. No jams. Great trigger like a custom revolver. Excellent sights. Easy to carry in a Mitch Rosen Express Line holster.

I also like the Ruger SR9C, but that's a striker fired "safe action" type pistol. Not the same feeling as the Sig at all.

April 3, 2013, 06:43 PM
Kahr CW9 or cm9. Fantastic CCw guns

April 3, 2013, 10:52 PM
Those prices are 2010 prices! Wowsa.

9x19 with quality ammo will do the job.

Of the choices, I'd say the Kahr...

Have you looked at a CZ compact, 75 or Rami?

If you can afford a Kahr, why not a small Glock? Or XD?

Edit: Appears the OP already picked the XD. Good choice.

April 3, 2013, 11:37 PM
Shield? (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=711414)

April 4, 2013, 12:15 AM
Let me ask...have you ever shot anything in DAO?

I carry a DAO and shoot it 25-30 rounds when I go to the range...every trip. I find the gun "difficult" to shoot well. The odd thing is I shoot it better with my weak hand. Kind of buggs me.

I'm just suggesting that you try shooting that DAO before you buy.
Maybe you have already and this is a moot point. Hope so.


April 4, 2013, 11:53 PM
Kahr PM9 (or CM9, since you are looking at $400)
Had my PM9 since about 2006. Feeds and shoots everything, works 100%, carries nicely. Great trigger, good 3-dot night sights.

Carried it every day for 3 1/2 years and still own it. And these days, it is the only 9mm I own.

I carry a .45acp these days, but I'm not getting any younger and 1911s aren't getting any lighter, so one day I will be back to carrying the PM9.

April 5, 2013, 12:24 AM
I haven't had any experience with any of them, but from what I've heard I would go with the SR9c. Personally I would just go with the full size though. I'm a pretty small guy and even I have no problem concealing something that size with just a t-shirt. I think the width of the pistol is more of a factor in concealability then the length, and the SR series pistols are pretty thin for double stack. Good luck!

April 5, 2013, 12:41 AM
I had the Kel=Tec PF9, and had nothing but trouble with it from day one as a new gun. Constant stove [pipe with it. Sent it back to the factory twice ansd they polished and more BS and still had the same problem. Traded it finally for a glock.

April 5, 2013, 09:22 PM

We've got two, very reliable and running 50 rounds a week through them for almost 8 years says fantastic value.

Not being much of a revolver guy, took me a while to warm up to the trigger, but at the end of the day its improved my DA revolver shooting :)

If you are coming from revolvers IMHO its the only way to go.

OTOH, If you are a hard core SA cocked and locked guy, pick up aluminum cans along the hi-way and bump your budget up enough for the SIG P938.

April 5, 2013, 10:11 PM
I haven't had any experience with any of them, but from what I've heard I would go with the SR9c. Personally I would just go with the full size though. I'm a pretty small guy and even I have no problem concealing something that size with just a t-shirt. I think the width of the pistol is more of a factor in concealability then the length, and the SR series pistols are pretty thin for double stack. Good luck!
I'd have to suggest just the opposite. Having carried the gun for over a year, the SR9c is exceptional in that buying the compact you give up nothing over a full size and still benefit from a more compact gun. The 17 round mags with the extension makes the gun feel like a full size, and you loose little to no accuracy or velocity from the shorter barrel.

Just my .02 worth...

Prince Yamato
April 5, 2013, 10:20 PM
I've got a p290. It's a very accurate gun. Comfortable to carry and shoot. I fed it a couple hundred rounds of Wolf. It eats everything.

April 7, 2013, 08:09 PM
Buy American and get a straight shooter. My kahr PM9 shoots tight groups and NEVER has failed. I shoot cheap range ammo with confidence. I'm planning on getting the CM9 so I have a Kahr for my car too. You won't be disappointed in a Kahr.

April 8, 2013, 11:58 AM
The Ruger SR9c is the best pistol of out that group... but that's largely because I don't quite think it belongs on that list with the others. Plus, I don't think it is DAO. Any compact version of a full-sized pistol will be better (more or less...) than on specifically made for "pocket carry" or other such tiny pistols.

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