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Affordable, pocketable 9mm?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by cluttonfred, Jan 31, 2015.

?

Which affordable, pocketable 9mm and why?

Poll closed Mar 2, 2015.
  1. Beretta Nano

    8 vote(s)
    4.1%
  2. Kahr CM9

    51 vote(s)
    26.2%
  3. Kel-Tec PF9

    14 vote(s)
    7.2%
  4. Ruger LC9S

    36 vote(s)
    18.5%
  5. Sig Sauer P290RS

    16 vote(s)
    8.2%
  6. Smith & Wesson Shield

    48 vote(s)
    24.6%
  7. Other

    30 vote(s)
    15.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. cluttonfred

    cluttonfred Member

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    OK, I know that such threads are a regular occurrence, but here we go again. Help me pick a new, small, single-stack 9mm pistol. No double-stack options, no used guns, nothing exotic, just simple, reliable, inexpensive and likely available at my local shop or easily ordered online. By inexpensive, I mean around $400 or less with an extra magazine, not including any shipping and transfer fees. This would be for CCW use, likely IWB or AIWB carry in a tuckable holster, possibly Kangaroo Carry for deeper concealment or pocket carry in casual pants when possible. I have put some options in a poll, please don't just vote but explain your choice, feel free to vote "Other" and explain that. Cheers, Matthew
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  2. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I have a Ruger LC9. It has been completely reliable and I shoot it just fine. I'm more of a revolver guy, but I would feel comfortable carrying it.
     
  3. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    Beretta Nano. Inexpensive, relatively small, seems to feed everything so far. Bought the laser for it as well.
     
  4. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    You left out the Kimber Solo.

    Kimber Solo
    Caliber: 9mm
    Barrel: 2.7 in
    Length: 5.5 in
    Height: 3.9 in
    Width: 1.2 in
    Weight: 17 oz
    Capacity: 6+1 Rounds

    You might also want to include the Ruger LCR in 9mm.

    My personal experience is that the CM9 - while it is bigger than the Kahr website shows it to be, is still pocketable. It is accurate and eats all kinds of ammo - probably the least ammo sensitive gun of the pocket nines, IMO.

    MK9 might be a little heavy for pocket carry but people have differing opinion on that:

    Kahr MK9
    Caliber: 9mm
    Barrel: 3.0 in
    Length: 5.3 in
    Height: 4.0 in
    Slide Width: .90 in
    Width at slide stop: 1.0 in
    Weight: Pistol 22.1 oz, Magazine 1.9 oz
    Capacity: 6+1

    Diamondback DB9 - supposedly a redesign with a third pin makes this a more durable gun than in the past - recommended for ammo under 125 grains:

    Diamondback DB9
    Caliber: 9mm
    Barrel: 3.0 in
    Length: 5.60 in
    Height: 4.0 in
    Width: 0.80 in
    Weight: 11 oz
    Capacity: 6+1 Rounds
     
  5. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    todays CDNN ad has them for 299..
     
  6. ttarp

    ttarp Member

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    I vote CM9, nothing quite like saying you have a car in your pocket.
     
  7. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I've carried a PF9 for coming up on five years now, and it's a rock-solid and reliable shooter. I did upgrade to their hard-chromed slide to fight off the Florida rust.

    That being said, my chosen carry method doesn't require my gun really be this light, and it's low weight does make it rougher in the hands than some of the others may be.

    Today, were I in the market, I'd likely go with the Kahr, for the extra heft, fit/finish, and appearance, so that's how I voted.
     
  8. CNobbe

    CNobbe Member

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    He said a budget of $400, so the Solo and MK9 are out..

    Unfortunately for the OP, most of the guns listed except the Shield only come with one mag.
     
  9. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    I opted for the DB9. It is the lightest and slimmest out there, and only the (heavier, thicker and far more expensive) Rorbaugh R9 is shorter.

    Mine has been totally reliable for me with the recommended 115 gr. and 124 gr. standard pressure ammo.

    Shown with my Kel-Tec P3AT and PF9:

    cb8dac4a-ac9b-47d6-adc9-72e5ab13718b_zps15dae2fa.jpg

    ad684f6d-2e87-48ed-9301-9affad2ecb8c_zps2661ceea.jpg
     
  10. rogn

    rogn Member

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    The Ruger LC9 is fairly light , rugged( use it to drive nails), accuracy is good. Only drawback, this is LC9, is the trigger. Heard the -S is far better. Thin and easily carried in pocket for over 3 years with little sign of wear , and no corrosion, even in our humid summer. Transfer fees, taxes and other government excess is an individual problem; real world price is well under 400$.
     
  11. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    The R51's always an option (I'd opt for the wait and see on the re-release later this year, though ;))

    TCB
     
  12. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    Love the Ruger and the S&W. The Kahr is OK as well.
     
  13. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    By the way, I've had problems with my Diamondback.
     
  14. short barrel

    short barrel Member

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    This my opinion, and that's all it is. The latest craze is the pocket size 9mm. Here's what's wrong with all single stack little bitty 9's:

    They are not accurate--none of them. The gun magazine writers measure the little guns' accuracy at 5 or 7 yards, and label that as the high percentage of distances self defense is activated. That may be true, but 7 yards is absolutely no measure of accuracy. You can chuck a rock and hit a target at 7 yards and it is utterly ridiculous to measure a gun's accuracy at that distance. It means nothing at all. They quote the 7 yard accuracy with the little 9's because they can't measure it at longer distances. That's one thing wrong with a tiny 9mm.

    The other thing, of course, is capacity. 6 or 7 rounds.

    And, with the very short barrels, energy levels are insufficient.

    Regarding the LC9, accuracy is nonexistent (I know this) and the trigger is worse than horrible. For work at 7 yards, it will work for you if your opponent is one person that's standing still.

    Get a 9 that has sufficient sight radius (and sights you can see) and enough barrel length and capacity to realize the nine's potential, and a large enough frame to allow a zillion times better accuracy.

    The nation has gone berserk over easy to carry pistols. My advice is don't fall into the trend--go with a 9mm designed to punch hard and accurately. A little bit of inconvenience will far outweigh ease of carry if you ever need it for the very reason you bought it.
     
  15. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Short barrel, you seem to be confusing the intended use of and philosophy behind private citizen concealed handguns and police duty pistols or military sidearms.

    Just plain not true. My personal experience with the DB9, PF9 and PM9 is that they can produce accuracy equal to a service pistol if you do your part. Are they more difficult to hold onto? Yes. Does the smaller chassis make trigger control more difficult? Yes. Does the shorter sight radius handicap the shooter? Yes. But, are they capable of good mechanical accuracy? Absolutely. My DB9 made a ragged 3" hole in the head of a silhouette at 35 feet with 5 magazines, not one stray round. PF9 and PM9 are about the same.

    More importantly, we don't need match grade accuracy from a defensive pistol. Most uses of defensive handguns are at or barely beyond contact distance.

    Which should be plenty for any "typical" self defense encounter. Yes, there are anecdotal examples of people needing a couple of 13 or 15 round magazines to mitigate the threat, but those are a tiny exception to an already profoundly rare occurrence. Do some reading, you'll find that the altercations are usually over in 1-5 rounds.

    Energy ain't the whole story, short barrels don't lose as much as you think, and ammunition manufacturers are catering to the new demand, making rounds that perform very, very well out of 3" and shorter tubes.

    I'd much rather have my DB9 with modern ammunition than a P38 shooting ball ammo.

    There is a good reason for it. Easily carried pistols get carried. Those that require large rigs and bulky clothing to conceal tend to stay at home. It's all about what a person deems an appropriate measure to mitigate a perceived risk. One doesn't take out and and pay for a $10 million fire insurance policy on a $220K home with $80k worth of contents. Similarly, a private citizen going about their everyday life in America is incredibly unlikely to ever need a firearm for self defense, let alone having to make dozens of accurate shots at extended ranges to preserve their own life. As such, most of us choose a defensive handgun that balances better in the cost/benefit analysis, the cost not being weapon price, but ease of carry & concealment.

    Do I sometimes carry something more? Yeah. When I'm in the city with my wife and 3 kids in tow, I'll have my Glock 20 and a spare mag, because they are worth a little discomfort to me in the unlikely event that some active shooter situation plays out, and I need to pin the aggressor down while they egress. But just me? As a healthy, very physically fit and decent sized man in my early 30's, I'm not a likely target, so I don't even carry 100% of the time when solo. When I do, I feel that 7 rounds of .380 or 9mm from the P3AT or DB9 I drop in my back pocket is plenty.
     
  16. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

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    I voted "other" because I have shot every pistol on yer list and like the Sig Sauer P938 better than all of them except maybe the Beretta Nano and the Nano is not a pocket sized gun. Maybe the outer pocket of a coat but not a pocket gun...the P938 can be pocket carried.

    That said I am not a pocket 9mm aficionado as I simply cannot get rapid, accurate follow ups with a teeny, tiny 9mm. They generally kick like mules for me. A Glock 26 is the smallest 9mm I can handle effectively.



    VooDoo
     
  17. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Love my Kahr CM9 as a Pocket 9mm. Another possibility would be a SIG P938 though for concealed carry I have found I prefer the DAO design of the Kahr.
     
  18. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    SCCY
     
  19. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    jcwit, the OP specifically excluded double-stack-magazine guns. The SCCY, while a great pistol, is not yet available in a single-stack configuration.
     
  20. Jlr2267

    Jlr2267 Member

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    If you have big pockets, the S&W Shield is a good compromise between concealability and shootability. I carry mine in the pocket of my overalls on weekends...it's a little too big for workday dress pants. For those days, it's IWB. Probably the only 9mm pistol I've owned that I found pleasant to carry.
     
  21. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    Much wisdom in MachIVshooter's post.

    I'm looking at the S&W Shield at the moment. May be my first handgun with a laser (at 70, the eyes are going.) Bud's has the Shield available for about $360 with free shipping. Add transfer fee at your end and you are probably under $400 for pistol that gets excellent reviews on this forum and elsewhere. My interest was spurred by recommendations from the senior instructor in the NRA basic pistol class where I assist. He loves his Shield. I shot a couple of mags through it and liked it a lot.
     
  22. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

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    Ditto for me...read that post twice. :)

    More and more a Pocket .380 works just fine for me as I can always have it with me and can obtain a firing grip while looking casual with my hand in my pocket. I'd opt for a 9mm version of that if I could get fast, accurate follow ups but so far recoil in tiny 9mms becomes a limiting factor for me.

    VooDoo
     
  23. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    The Sig P290rs should at least be on the list to consider, IMO.

    Oops! It is. :)
     
  24. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    I voted LC9s. Shield is a great gun but you will be a little limited in pocket carry. I also like the P290RS, but there's a weight and width compromise.
    Utterly false, on both counts. The earlier LC9 trigger left something to be desired, not so with the "s." Accuracy is good out to 25 yards, and that's more than one needs. MachIVshooter more than covered everything else.
     
  25. Saleen322

    Saleen322 Member

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    Another plug for the LC9. I tried the LC9s and the LC9 and found the trigger on the LC9s a little better than mine but the price was a lot better on the LC9. Not a target gun but it is surprisingly accurate. Here are 8 quick rounds from 10 yards.
    RugerLP9-Tgt-1_zps3e83b960.jpg

    Just to do it, I shot some off a a rest at 25 yards and it shot a group about 3.5". Very happy with mine and never a malfunction.
     
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