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Yet another “What Should I Carry?” topic – The “I’m just a little guy” Edition

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Shpadoinkel, Jan 17, 2010.

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  1. Shpadoinkel

    Shpadoinkel Member

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    First thing first, I’m looking for an entry level gun in the $400 and under range, preferably in 9mm with a manual safety of some sort. I know that is quite limiting, but there are a few choices in this range. This would be my full-time carry gun so it doesn’t have to wow friends and neighbors with its looks, it just needs to go bang… every time.

    I’m a smaller guy at 5’9”-ish and about 150lbs. So I need something light, thin and small, but I’m not a big fan of the micro-grip type guns that only take up half the palm of my admittedly small hands. Just not comfortable to me.

    This would be my first handgun. I’ve fired a lot of glocks and some .357 revolvers. I never really liked the feel of the glocks, don't know why (and with no manual safety that I know of, not an option) and I don’t want a revolver for carry. Both are probably out of my price range anyway.

    One gun I am fairly impressed with is the Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact. My father-in-law has one and it feels pretty good in my hand, has a manual safety and is in my price range. Any opinions on this gun?

    Any options fitting the specifications above that you could suggest?
     
  2. TheDriver

    TheDriver Member

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    I'd say a Keltec PF9 or P11 but for your desire for a manual safety. Maybe you could find a used carry-size 1911 chambered in 9mm that would fit your budget.
     
  3. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Ruger SR9, though it will be a little over your $400 number.
     
  4. ByAnyMeans

    ByAnyMeans Member

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    Your specifications really thin the herd. Bersa's have a good reputation but as with anything you choose you must ensure that that specific pistol is reliable. there are of course it's detractors but every company has some.

    I would agree you could go for a carry 1911 in 9mm but this will raise the price. You can also look for some form of Smith and Wesson that is single stacked but I am unsure of the exact model number. You could also look at a CZ RAMI carry, heard nothing but good things about this pistol. Thing is these are all usually more than $400 (except possible the CZ) and are steel so they will not be what you are thinking of as light. A good sturdy belt and holster will make you forget you have them but again this type of rig will cost money.
     
  5. Scotticus

    Scotticus Member

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    Taurus PT709 Slim?
    It's very light, thin, and small. It's 9mm with a manual safety. On the down side, it may not go bang every time. I get the impression that quality control is hit or miss (no pun intended) with some people having great things to say yet others not so much.
     
  6. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Member

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    For your first pistol, you want something you can put alot of rounds through.

    Although they are bulky, maybe a Ruger P series would fit the bill, and your price point. They have manual safety, and are built like a tank.

    Now carrying it on you at all times would be difficult.
     
  7. speaksoftly

    speaksoftly Member

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    PF-9...I'm 5 foot 7 and a muscular 175lbs with a 32 inch waist. That pistols invisible when it's on my belt.
     
  8. bdb benzino

    bdb benzino Member

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    The Bersa UC 9 that I had was flawless and very accurate with a good trigger! You will be well served with it!!
     
  9. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Member

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    Maybe you should look at a Makarov or CZ 82. These are chambered in 9x18 and you can pick them up in the $200 - $250 range in good to very good condition. That leaves you with enough left over for a nice carry rig and some practice ammo. They are nothing fancy but just may fit your need. Just something to consider.

    Shawn



    http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/products_id/3050
     
  10. Airburst

    Airburst Member

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    S&W 6906 hi cap. You can find them under your price range, comes with a ambi decocker/safety and is chambered in 9mm.
     
  11. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Firestar M43, M40, M45...If you want to see what they look like. Check out www.gunbroker.com Key word "Firestar"...
     
  12. saaman

    saaman Member

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    Taurus PT111 Millenium Pro--I carry mine in relaxed fit Wrangler jeans pocket or in a belt holster and am 6 feet 150 pounds.
     
  13. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    another vote for the bersa thunder 9
     
  14. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    I am about your size and I conceal a Kahr PM9 no issues. The grip is fine with my also small hands. In your price range I would go with Kel-tec PF9 or P11. I have never been a fan of manual safeties so I can't really recommend a gun that has them due to lack of experience. The only gun I like with a manual safety is a 1911 and one of those in 9mm that is concealable will not fit into the price window.
     
  15. Shpadoinkel

    Shpadoinkel Member

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    Thanks

    Thank you all for the input, I really do appreciate it.

    I have some homework to do.
    Looks like opinions are good on the Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact so that is still a solid option. Though I really like the weight and feel, the 9mm’s are a bit thicker than my father-in-laws .380. I’m wondering if I would have trouble concealing. Though it’s no thicker than most other compacts so if I can’t conceal that, I’m in trouble.

    I held a few Keltec PF9’s at a recent gun show and I did like how slim they were, and you can’t beat that price. I didn’t like the grip all that much (don’t know why… my palms are picky I guess), and on the few I messed around with the slide release was horribly uncomfortable to activate. Still with a price that low, it’s a definite option.

    I held a Taurus PT111 Millenium Pro yesterday and it seemed pretty nice. I’ve heard of a number of people having FTF issues with these a while back, anyone know if those issues have been resolved? If the issues are still out there, I’d rather just take it off the list now. But I did like the look, feel and weight.

    Thank you for mentioning the S&W 6906. I took S&W out of the initial search since they are generally a bit north of my price range but in the 10 minutes of research I’ve done on them on the internet, I like what I see. I’ll have to try to check this one out in person.

    I really like the Kahr PM9 (I’m a fan of Kahr’s in general), but they are a bit over my price range for now.

    The Ruger P95 was one of the first I looked at in the beginning stages of my search, but they felt considerably heavier and bulkier than some of the other options. I think I might have a hard time comfortably concealing.

    Anyway, thanks again for the options and opinions. I wanted to respond so you knew I actually read your posts and looked into it a bit. Also for all of the options presented that I didn’t mentioned, I’m still looking into them. Nothing worse than a question and run type of topic creator. :)

    Any additional input is always welcome.
    I enjoy researching anything that’s thrown out there.
     
  16. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    If you really like the Kahr PM9...look around for a used one. I found mine with the Black Stainless slide and night sights for $520. It is conceivable you could find the normal stainless slide and normal sights for well around $450 used. I understand this is a bit above your budget but I implore you to get what you are most comfortable with, PM9 or not.

    As for the Kel-Tecs, I also dislike the grip texture on the PF9 but I have no problem with the P-11. The p-11 is still thin and concealable at around 1.1". It is actually the same thickness of the what the PM9 is if you measure the PM9 at the slide stop.

    Either way, handle all you can and rent/borrow a few if you can. Renting at a local shop with a range helped me immensely.
     
  17. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    You want thin, light, narrow, but not a stubby grip, all for under $400?
    That just SCREAMS Kahr CW9. The only thing it lacks is the manual safety.

    You also should look at the brand new Ruger SR9 compact. My local dealer has the SR9 for $350, so I can only assume the compact will be comparably priced. It too would really fit your budget, your requirements, and come with a manual safety.
     
  18. ernest.t.bass

    ernest.t.bass Member

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  19. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    I am waiting to see what Hoffman's sells the SR9c for. Hopefully they bust out a special like they did for the LCP "Raspberry".
     
  20. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    I'm about three inches taller and the same wieght, and I carry a 5" 1911...

    Get a used one. I got my P9 for about $550. A CW9 can be had for less than $500 new. I had a PM9, but couldn't get used to the short grip. Drove me nuts.

    I want a K9, but the P9 will do till I find one.
     
  21. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Member

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    I agree with Ernest, a 3913 or 3914 would probably be an excellent choice for your criteria and I believe they fall well within your budget. These are single stacks that I believe are an 8 + 1. I don't own one but I have heard nothing but glorious praise about 3rd generation S&W's.

    Best of luck.

    Shawn
     

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  22. iblong

    iblong Member

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    kAHR cw9 would be a great choise! Im 5"7 and carry colt 1911 every day.
     
  23. wrench

    wrench Member

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    +2 on the S&W 3913 or 3914 pistols, or the S&W CS9.
    Slim, reliable, excellent pistols.
    Pretty easy to find used in your price range.
     
  24. savit260

    savit260 Member

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    +3 on any of the 39 series Smith & Wessons.

    Slim, cheap to feed, reliable and have the combination of being a traditional double action, AND has a manual safety.

    I would be looking toward one of these on the used market long before most of the others suggested that fall short of your requirements.

    As to carrying any pistol... don't skimp on the holster . A GOOD quality holster will make WORLDS of difference in your ability to carry any pistol comfortably.

    My recomendation would definitly be a good quality USED pistol, and a VERY good quality holster to go with it.
     
  25. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    And a great belt will work wonders as well. I've got a Gunner's Alley belt, I think made by Beltman, and a Comp-Tac belt, they are both superb. The Comp-Tac is stiffer, sturdier, and thicker, despite them both being 1.5" belts. I've been wearing my GA belt for awhile now as just a regular belt, it works well for that as well.


    The other good thing about getting a competent gunbelt is that it will also look great, they tend to be veryy well made.

    I thought Glock 26 immediately when I saw your post, but then I saw manual safety (I think it's overrated, you do plan on using a holster don't you?) and Glocks don't fit well. The 26/27 frame feels significantly different than the other Glock frames do though, I would say find one and hold it before writing off the subcompact Glocks. I think they are the best Glocks there are and I think that there is little to nothing better for general concealed carry, they offer a decent 3.5" barrel with a pretty short length and good capacity with a short grip, the short grip and hump work so well together that even though they individually may make a grip awful, together they are perfect.

    try them out, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, I was with the accuracy and hand-fit of my 27. I didn't even like Glocks when I bought it, I just wanted a very small pistol that was more like the pistols I already had experience with than the mini-9s and .380s.
     
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