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Best 9mm Subcompact

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by PhoenixRookie, May 24, 2009.

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  1. PhoenixRookie

    PhoenixRookie Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Okay, so I was at the NRA event last week here in Phoenix and checked out more guns than I can remember and picked up a ton of reading material. I currently have an LCP that I am not liking too much since the trigger pull is way too long and hurts to shoot. I have little confidence I would hit anything as I probably would flinch.

    Anyway, I love my SR9 and feel comfortable with the 9mm round.

    So what is the best subcompact 9mm. I live in a hot climate and want something that can be concealed quite easily while obviously being reliable.

    At the event, R Lee Ermy told me that of his 100+ guns, ten are Glocks which between him and my cop friend have me leaning toward Glock and possibly the Model 26.

    Or should I go with the 357 Sig, since the Model 33 is the same size?

    Hhhmmm. Decisions, decisions.

    By the way, R Lee is the man and talked to us for a good five minutes even though the line was huge.
  2. notbubba

    notbubba Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Jackson Michigan
    The Glock 26 is a very good gun.
    I like mine alot, but there's a bunch of good choices out there so see what feels good in your hand.
    Last edited: May 24, 2009
  3. Quack

    Quack Member

    Jan 31, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    of wfat i've had, i'd say an EMP
  4. RatDrall

    RatDrall Member

    Apr 12, 2009
    The Glock model 26 is a great subcompact, but only if you have medium to large hands, and you already have a Glock 17, 19 or 34 to share big magazines with.

    The Glock 33 is a handful, and ammo costs twice as much as 9mm to practice with. If you can afford the ammo and don't mind a snappy little gun, the .357sig is fun.

    If not, I'd recommend something like a Kahr because it's half the width.

    IMO double stack "subcompacts" aren't so subcompact.
  5. dirty dave

    dirty dave Member

    Nov 7, 2007
    Try the springfield xd compact,comes with 10 round mag and a 13 round mag with extended grip,works great for me.
  6. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Johnson City, TN
    "Subcompact" still swings a fairly wide loop WRT size and shape. I would put these into two subcategories - belt and pocket. Belt subs include the Glock 26/27, S&W M&P compact, Springfield XD and H&K P2000SK. They can be pocket carried in a pinch or for brief durations, but are really too "thick and chunky." The smaller/thinner 9mm subs like the Kahr PM9 and Rohrbaugh can be easily pocket carried.
  7. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Near Camp Perry
    Walther makes 2
    PPS* - very slim, uses different length magazines in 6/7/8 round. 6 round is flush, 7/8 offers more grip
    P99/P99C - thicker, P99c takes P99 magazines with a grip extension sleeve, so you don't sacrifice capacity after a reload.
    Kahr and KelTec make small 9mm pistols
    Glock makes thick, chunky, 9mm pistols that are very reliable, assuming you like the grip angle and can hide the thickness
    Rohrbaugh makes a pocket 9mm, pricey but tiny
    Some 1911-style 9mm pistols offer reliability and familiarity - Springfield makes the EMP, and a few other 1911 makers offer a 9mm
    Heckler and Koch (spelling?) make a few nice offerings, I drool over every P7 I come across, and their current production is supposed to be nice as well.
    Springfield makes the XD line as well, good pistols but still somewhat thick.

    *I have the PPS, because I like thin and am comfortable with 6+1 and a 7 round reload.
    But you don't want what I like, and you don't want what R Lee Ermey likes, or what a cop friend likes. You want what YOU like to shoot, and what YOU are willing to conceal.
    Get out and rent, find out what friends have small 9mm pistols and offer to supply the ammo at the range (heck, offer to help clean, so you get to see the field-strip procedure)
    If it is reliable and happy in your hand AND waistband (or however you intend to carry), go for it, but don't assume you are ever done pistol shopping.
    If you aren't thinking of carry, 9mm for HD is adequate, but why worry about compact models? For that matter, if you don't intend to carry, why not go with the biggest, baddest, hand-cannon you can shoot reliably and accurately for home defense? I'll be honest, compact 9mm pistols generally have more recoil than a full-size pistol, and lose some accuracy. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed shooting my PPS, and amazed that I could hit a standard silhouette at 50 yards (benched) every time, it is far more accurate than it needs to be for defense.
  8. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Yakutsk, Sakha Republic
    The G26 is a great subcompact. Probally the most reliable sub out there. Forget about pocket carry its nearly as big and heavy as a regular compact like the Glock 19/23/32. I'd put it in a MTAC holster, the one with the open end that fits the 26,19,17.

    The 27 and 33 are a bit snappy.

    While Glock rules the high-cap compact CCW market with the G19/23/32, but there's better choices for sub compact:

    Keltec PF9- Thinner, small, light, 9mm. The smallest sub I'd recommend. Some are built real ugly, but they're getting better. Plenty of good ones out there.

    Walther PPS-a little bigger than the PF9, but still conceals very well and is better built than the Keltec and more reliable.

    I'm done with pocket carry, 2 pounds of steel in my pocket swinging around got old real quick. Not to mention printing through the pocket. I'm haveing better luck with thin Crossbreed, MTAC, and Spartan holsters.

    A Keltec PF9 and a Glock 19/23/32 covers just about all the whole CCW range from sub to fullsize. My main is a G23 that conceals nearly as well as the 26 and a Keltec p32 for deep concealment. I will be adding a PF9 to my collection.
  9. usp9

    usp9 Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    Bowling Green, Va
    The answer is; HK P2000SK

    Honorable mention; Walther P99c, Glock 26, Kahr K9
  10. biblefreak

    biblefreak Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    West Texas
    I will vote for the Glock 26. My brother has and carries the sub-compact XD in 9mm and prefers the feel of it over my Glock, and while it is a neat little gun, at the end of the day I prefer my G26 even with the floating pinkie and all!
  11. ceadermtnboy

    ceadermtnboy Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    Hendesonville nc
    If you want a compact, reliable, and rock solid platform that is easy to maintain, then get the Glock 26 with night sights.
  12. PX15

    PX15 Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    SE Georgia

    Just personal preference, but having owned both the Glock 26, and the Walther P99c/AS I personally think the Walther pistol is basically the Glock 26 with the negatives (or negatives to me) corrected.

    The grip on all Glocks simply did not fit my hands. (medium sized).. The grips on my Glock 26's (I had two) were blocky and not ergonomic at all. The ever"lite" Glock trigger/striker was not to my liking (I'm basically a traditional da guy) and I never felt comfortable carrying one concealed in my iwb.

    Later I read up on the Walther P99c/AS and bought one, and the grip ergonomics are excellent.. Replaceable grip backstraps offer the owner choices and I think most folks would be amazed at the improvement over the "feel" in the hand of the P99c/AS over the Glock.

    The "AS" (anti-stress) trigger/striker of the Walther is fantastic. Basically a TDA w/choice of a very short trigger pull in the AS mode. Much safer, imo, for the non-leo, non-professional as a carry choice.

    My Walther P99c/AS was definitely more accurate than my Glocks, for me.

    In fact with the exception of my P7's the Walther P99c/AS was the most accurate cc 9mm pistol I've ever owned, or shot.

    No offense to the zillions of Glock lovers, just my personal experience.

    Best Wishes,


  13. sigma 40ve

    sigma 40ve Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    sw ohio
    I have a G26 and G33. I use the 26 in GSSF events. I ccw the 33. It can be done with cargo shorts easily with the Desantis pocket holster, if you prefer pocket carry. I have even done the pocket carry before in loose fitting jeans. During the winter I use a Sidearmour IWB holster or Don Hume slide, depending on how I am dressed. I have a SA XD sc9, but I prefer the Glock for ccw.
  14. Weedmonk

    Weedmonk Member

    Oct 3, 2008
    I've carried quite a few different pistols and revolvers as concealed personal defense handguns. My two favorite pistols for this application are the Glock 26 and the Sig P239 SAS DA/SA in 9mm. IMO, working out an effective method of carry is as important as the selection of the handgun. Personally, I prefer IWB carry in the appendix position with a low ride holster. With either the G26 or P239, this carry mode provides excellent concealment, all day comfort, and weapon access when driving. I also highly recommend the GAP finger rest extension for the G26. It greatly imporves weapon control without adding length to the grip. http://www.concealablecontrol.com/about.html
  15. hank327

    hank327 Member

    May 22, 2005
    North Texas
    Kahr K9.
  16. MartyG

    MartyG Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the CZ 2075 Rami. External hammer, one version w/manual safety like a 1911, one with a decocker, and one in poly. Great reviews from what I've seen, but very hard to find. Any opinions?
  17. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    SW NH
    Put down another vote for the Glock 26 here. I'm on my second one, after stupidly trading off my first one. :banghead:

    I have fired an MK-9, a Glock 27 (.40 S&W), a Kel-Tec P-11 and a P-32. I also own a PF-9, which is great in it's own right but has more limitations than the Glock. Of the whole bunch, the G-26 offers the best balance of controlability, reliability, accuracy, durability and ease of concealment IMO.

    As said, in a pinch the 26 will go into a pocket. Unfortunately, I find this greatly limits my ability to carry anything else in my pockets at that point. It works great on a belt, and I use a Don Hume slide for this purpose, and occasionally with it's big-brother G-17. I'm still looking around for a good tuckable IWB, as I think this would be one of the best ways to carry the baby Glock.

    In my hands I suffer very little to no loss of accuracy and speed with the 26 versus the 17. With either I can make 50-yard hits on steel, standing using a modified Isosoceles hold. At close range, inside 7-10 yards, there is no difference shooting at speed.

    Now, a PF-9 can be carried without a belt (tuck an IWB into your waistband and go, even on a mountain bike! ;) ), tucks into a pocket with ease and is generally easier to carry. But hits on target come a lot slower, my accuracy with it past 15-20 yards drops off severely and mine doesn't have the reliability the Glock has when fired in contorted positions or a less-than-perfect grip. With a good firm grip, it works just fine, yes.

    Don't think I'm a Glock fan boy either. I believe skill and mindset are infinitely more valuable than your choice of hardware. As long as what you have works, it will do. I just find I can depend on my Glocks above just about everything else, even a couple of my S&W revolvers.
  18. searcher451

    searcher451 Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    Buying a gun because a celebrity recommended it to you is akin to buying a gun because someone in an online gun board told that it was "the only way to go." In fact, "the only way to go" is to try out a number of guns for youself and then get the one that best fits your hand and eye and picket book. This will take some time, and some range work, and some money for rentals and the like. But the investment will pay for itself in the long run because you'll have the right decision for you right off the bat.

    Good luck.
  19. jhco

    jhco Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Lake City FL
    I do love the G26 but you have to remember its R lee ermey's job to hype the glocks as he is their spokes person.

    I got to talk with him at the shot show this year, great guy/good hand shake.
  20. desert gator

    desert gator Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    Im a fan of slim grips even with my large hands. I ccw a walther pps and am going to start switching it out with a kahr p9. I
  21. basicblur

    basicblur Member

    Apr 2, 2003
    Don't forget to eyeball/handle an XDSC-may be a bit on the thick side for some concealment, but you'll have to decide.
    My main CCW is an XD40SC, but I wish I'd had a 9 to test fire-think I might like the 9 better for less muzzle flip?
    I also had to add a Pearce Grip Extender as I don't like my pinky dangling, although if you're looking for ultimate size reduction (mebbe an oxymoron with an XD?) you can go with the OEM mag floorplate.
    My extra mags are the extended models-I figure if it can't be handled with the smaller magazine in the gun and I have to reload, I'm probably gonna be wishing for all the ammo I can carry! The extended mags give you a few extra rounds if/when you reload.

    I kinda like the grip safety-when holstering (which is where some Glock folks seem to be getting into trouble) I place my thumb on the back of the slide, which removes the web of my hand from the grip safety.

    I'm finding it hard to believe as many AD/ND as seem to be occurring with Glocks are a case of everybody having their hand on the trigger-I'm wondering if some/many of these cases aren't caused by something hanging the trigger when holstering etc (think someone reported one case of a windbreaker drawstring hanging a trigger?).
  22. Brother J

    Brother J Member

    Oct 17, 2008
    S&W M-P 9c: 12+1, accurate, good ergonomics and easy to carry. Here's mine lounging inside a home made IWB:

  23. inSight-NEO

    inSight-NEO Member

    Nov 8, 2008
    Far too subjective of a question. Therefore, I will give you my "opinions" regarding the various 9mm weapons I have handled. But, my opinions are not "fact." Keep in mind, other responses will probably fall within the same category.


    The Glocks seem decent (fit) and based on rep, very reliable (regarding the 9mm anyway). However, for me, the Sig P239 simply felt the best out of any such weapons I tried and is a solid shooter (the XD-9 was nice though and certainly a close second). The Sig P239 DAK is what I ended up buying, for certain reasons; the P239 DA/SA was a bit easier to shoot, however.
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  24. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    The first subcompact pistol I actually enjoyed shooting was the Glock 26. I liked it because I could use all the mags I had accumulated for my G19. Then I discovered the P2000sk -- great gun too
    So I have a 1 & 1a
  25. bestseller92

    bestseller92 Member

    Nov 7, 2005
    Glock 26.
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