Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Kel-tec PF-9 vs. Snubbie .38 vs. Ruger LCP

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by xanderzuk, Sep 3, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. xanderzuk

    xanderzuk Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    82
    I'm looking for something that can be a pocket gun for Concealed Carry, with only minimal use in a IWB holster when pocket carry isn't practical.

    Each seems to have their drawbacks:

    Kel-tec PF-9 - I seem to be reading alot of issues regarding malfunctions.

    Snub-nose .38 - Relatively thick compared to the others - no?

    Ruger LCP - Impossible to find - lowest amount of stopping power.

    I seem to keep going back and forth over and over and over.

    I have an athletic build (as I've mentioned before in other threads), and dress well, so I don't have hawaiian shirts or larger build to hide a bigger gun.

    I'd like things to be as convenient as possible so I don't "leave home without it."

    What would you pick?

    P.S. I'd prefer a snub-nose without an internal lock - what S&W model number would you recommend?
     
  2. Josh Aston

    Josh Aston Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    613
    Location:
    Mountain Home, ID
    To get a snub nose without a lock you'd either have to get one made before they started putting them on, or get one of the 4,000 642s they just made without locks. As for which J frame Smith to go with, it all depends on what you want, what your experience level is, etc.

    If you're experienced pistol shooter and just want something easy to carry that won't get shot all that much, then get either the M&P 340 or 340 PD. If you want something easier to shoot then get one of the steel framed guns. Then you've got snubs with a hammer, with the hammer completely concealed, or with the hammer shrouded. Then you've got .357 Magnum or .38 special. All a matter of personal preference.

    And I said all that to say, I'd pick the Kahr PM9 or one of the S&W snubbies.
     
  3. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,677
    All the Kel-Tecs are good weapons. I like the PF-9 and would probably go for the P3AT before the Ruger just because it has been out longer.
     
  4. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,612
    Location:
    MN
    The LCP will be the hands down smallest and easyest to carry gun of the three. I wouldn't worry to much about the .380 caliber . I carried the Kel-Tec P3-AT for about a year and never felt underguned. Select good ammo and learn to place shots in the right area and it will do just fine in my opinion.

    I carry a snub nose revolver now in front pocket carry. Not as smooth a carry piece but I haven't had any problems either. For pocket carry I recommend a light weight version and a pocket holster. Here you are looking basicaly at a .38 Spl power arena. Mine happens to be a .32 mag but that is about the equivalent of a standard .38 Spl loading for energy delivered. .357 mags can be had in the light weight guns, but they tend to be a bit much for controlability in guns that weigh in at under 20 oz. They are not as flat, but the pocket holsters blend them in just fine.

    Based on the Kel-Tec P3-AT I owned I would not have a problem considering the PF-9 . Just ring it out a little before trusting it to carry which is a good idea no matter what. It is flat and small enough to pocket carry with ease I would think. I have looked at the Ruger LCP and it is an almost identical gun to the Kel-Tec P3-AT for design, and quality as far as I can tell. Our local shop has sold a few of the LCP's and I know at least one has gone back to the factory for jamming problems so you don't automaticaly get a good gun because the name on it is a major player.
     
  5. contenderman

    contenderman Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Northern, OH
    You've mentioned 3 different mfg. and calibers, and both semi-auto and revolver styles.

    If your looking for one gun to cover all your bases then smallest, flattest and lightest would be the apparent direction to go in. Today's excellent selection of SD loads boost the 380 into the viable category.

    On the other hand, if your looking to have different carry pieces, as many of us do, then consideration of a small 9mm (Kahr, Kel-Tec, etc.) and the Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec P3AT (nearly identical in size/weight) would be a good start. And relative to the bigger pistol there are some pretty small 45's out there, but they are a little harder to control for 2nd and successive shots.

    For simplicity sake ... the revolver is the best choice ... simple to use. However typical cylinder capacity is 5 rounds -vs- 7-9 for the semi-autos.

    Lots of ranges have rental guns so you should be able to find models of interest that you can actually shoot. Even some of the large retailers have demos and a test shooting area.
     
  6. hhersh

    hhersh Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    62
    I have a G19, BHP & a1911...my fav? a good ole S&W mod 60 Chief !
     
  7. sm

    sm member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    28,389
    Location:
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Snub nose in dedicated .38spl.

    What is not often taken into consideration:

    -Having to make safe a firearm and place in lockable storage in some structure.
    -Traveling, and entering jurisdictions and having to unload, and separate ammo from firearm.
    Safety goes to a revolver in unloading, and reloading when entering legal jurisdictions again.

    -The ability of another person to not only use the revolver, also to make ready to use, or unload to make safe.
    Spouse, parents, grandparents, sister/brother, kids, anyone.
    Serious situation happens and you are down.
    In traveling and while in the shower, another can use a revolver is a problem happens at hotel

    Personal Experience with both Kel-Tec P-11 and Snub Nose dedicated 38spl, the revolver is overwhelmingly preferred by not only those persons I have to make safe and put into a lockable container, also by those I associate and have traveled with.
    Persons such as single ladies, single moms, teenagers, and those a bit rusty with firearm use, due to jurisdiction restrictions , or physical limits.

    Yes, I have situations where having a snub nose was comforting to another.
    Such as travel, and in bad areas of town, and passengers could use an extra snub nose I had along.
    Such as picking up folks from the Airport.
     
  8. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,531
    Go with the .38 snubbie...
     
  9. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,568
    Location:
    Central Indiana.
    +3 (I think) on the snubbie. People don't like the locks on the 642 or 442 but mine is no issue...very tightly locked open. Snubbie is easy to carry even in a pocket if your pants are "relaxed fit". .38 +P with a good hollow point is an outstanding round under most circumstances. No such thing as a failure to feed or failure to extract. You can get one for about $400. I would definitely want the hammerless (like Smith's 442 or 642), bobbed hammer like some of the Ruger SP101s, or maybe one of the covered hammer models like the Smith 638. A snubbie with a hammer is going to need more careful draw from concealment and can hang up.

    There may be other guns out there better for CCW but you set the parameters and I stuck to them.
     
  10. Bobo

    Bobo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Central, VA
    I think you'll find that the PF-9 might be a bit big for pocket carry. That leaves the snubbie or the LCP.

    The LCP is thinner, holds more ammo, extra mags are thinner and quicker to load.

    Sorry, I just can't think of any good reason for the snubbie in .38 unless it had more power (.357).

    Bobo
     
  11. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    3,495
    Location:
    SW Florida
    LCP is best I have one.
    I think the S&W model 60 is what you are looking for.
     
  12. xanderzuk

    xanderzuk Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    82
    +P rated?

    Does any know which S&W pre-lock .38's are +P rated?

    I only ask this because of the use of defensive rounds.
     
  13. lesjones

    lesjones Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    There have been some issues with locks engaging on harder-recoiling guns, but I've yet to hear of it happening with a .38. I have a 642 and haven't had any problems.

    I wouldn't let the lock get in your way of buying an S&W .38.
     
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    20,865
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I have a P3AT and a 642.

    I probably carry my Commander 9x19mm more than the 642. :)

    John
     
  15. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,063
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I have a P3AT and a 642.

    Nothing beats the 642 for pocket carry.

    I do carry a G26 IWB whenever possible. P3AT is a last resort.
     
  16. xanderzuk

    xanderzuk Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    82
    Should I consider a Taurus in .38 spl or are they junk?
     
  17. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    993
    Location:
    NC Sandhills
    I will be getting a Taurus 85 and my research indicates that even people who are anti-Taurus seem to make a, "Well, they got that one right" exception.

    I chose it because it fits my hand a bit better than the essentially identical S&W J-frames. Its just a tiny bit smaller with a slightly shorter trigger reach but is supposed to go in all the same holsters, use the same speedloaders, etc.
     
  18. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    5,434
    I've owned half a dozen j-frames (from all steel to alloy to Scandium) and sold them all.

    I've owned four Kel-Tecs (one .32, two .380, one 9mm) and sold them all.

    Sensing a pattern here?


    Looking at an LCP and will buy one as soon as the price is right.

    In the mean time, my Kahr PM9 stays in my pocket day in, day out. :)
     
  19. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    2,939
    Location:
    The Land of Northern Hospitality and Southern Effi
    I can actually help here.

    I owned the PF-9. Good quality gun. I fired 500 rounds through mine with no problems. It carries well in a pocket holster (I used a DeSantis Nemesis), and you have 8 rounds of 9MM. I sold it simply because I found a S&W 3913 that is overall a much better gun. However, I had NO problems with my PF-9.

    I own a S&W J-Frame Model 60 Ladysmith in .38 SPL. It's pre-lock, made from Stainless steel, etc. This one isn't as easy to conceal and it's a more specialized gun to master. Still, only 5 shots? Let me have the 9MM with 3 more shots. I carried this one for a while after I sold my PF-9 and while I was looking for those elusive 3913s.

    I own a KT P3AT (or Ruger LCP MK 1). It's been reliable as well. I carry this in addition to my 3913 for a BUG. .380 for me is the bottom of what's "acceptable" for Self-Defense, but even then I relegate it to backup duty. It's definitely not a range gun, but it goes bang. The key is to have the right ammo. I use Remington Golden Saber 105 Grain .380 rounds. These have some of the best expansion on the market.
     
  20. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Messages:
    796
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    So, what kind of athletic build are you talking about? Weight lifter? Shot Putter? Discus or Hammer thrower? Sumo Wrestler ??? :neener:

    Sam
     
  21. Jack2427

    Jack2427 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    410
    You are talking about 3 different animals entirely; each has its strong points and downers. I like the P3AT which is just another Ruger(or vice versa) as far as I am concerned. Haven't messed with the KT 9mm, but it sounds OK. For best reliance on stopping power a properly stuffed 38 special has it over either. My 38s carry the 158GR SWCHP +P, or the 125GR JHP +P, either will do better than the plastic guns IMHO.
     
  22. deputy tom

    deputy tom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    935
    Location:
    Pennsyltucky
    I prefer an S&W 642.They seem to always function when plastic pocket pistols might not.(ref. Walt Rauch).I still carry a kel-tec P32 when I can't afford to be detected.I have owned a couple of kahrs but have since moved on.YMMV.tom.:cool:
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  23. Rmart30

    Rmart30 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    Birmingham
    I 2nd that.... I like little autos and have 2 Keltecs, a P32 and P11, the P32 has been flawless since new, the P11 so far eats everything but steel cased ammo (wolf)... The trigger on the P11 is very stiff and tough to master, I feel much better with my 642 in my pocket than with either of the others...
    There are new non lock model 642's out there now for $409.... With a desantis Nemesis pocket holster it will just dissapear in most pants.
     
  24. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    2,939
    Location:
    The Land of Northern Hospitality and Southern Effi
    One last note, someone mentioned Taurus. Don't waste your money on one. They are junk.
     
  25. springmom

    springmom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    3,599
    Location:
    Spring TX
    I have m37 without a lock, bought a couple of years ago when some group (Japanese police force, IIRC) ordered a bunch and then didn't take delivery. There are some out there. But you know, I have a lock on my Bersa and don't wig out about it, and it's never caused a problem, either.

    Of your choices, I second SM on the revolver. The P3AT and the LCP are very small. Before you buy one (voice of experience here) shoot one and make certain that the tiny grip along with the lively recoil (uncomfortable to me because of the size of the gun) is something you want. A J-frame with good grips that fit your hand just disappears next to the body. Unless you're wearing something skin tight, you will be able to conceal it just as well as a P3AT. As SM said, revolvers are easy for others to use, people with arthritis can pull the hammer back and shoot SA if they have to.

    And +P loads out of a snubbie are just fine as a defensive round.

    Springmom
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page