Low cost pocket 9mm discussion [Archive] - Glock Talk

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barefoot
07-17-2012, 10:33
Forgive me - I know I'm covering some old ground here, but since there are recent entries into the market, I'd like to get a feel for the readily available pocket nines (<=$400) on the market. Plus summertime is here and I'm really starting to feel my G27 in my lighter clothes, so I'm in the market.

So of the following, which have the least issues? best features? Are there any I've overlooked (within the parameters of single-stack 9mm and $400 or less)?

Kel-Tec PF9
Kahr CM9
Kahr CW9
Beretta Nano
Ruger LC9
S&W Shield 9

B_RAD
07-17-2012, 10:44
Kahr CM9 is my choice. I have a PM9 that has been perfect so I bought the CM9 for an extra.


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awpk03s
07-17-2012, 10:51
Kahr CM9 is what I carry. Fantastic pistol.... Accurate, reliable, and very small and light for easy carry.

Shipwreck-The-Sequel
07-17-2012, 10:52
I would suggest the Shield 9mm, if you can find one.

I had a PM9 Kahr for 2.5 years... I considered buying a slightly bigger P9, as the recoil on the PM9 was not my favorite... The P9 shot about the same to me...

I have hated M&Ps in the past, because of the factory trigger. I tried renting a Shield for the heck of it, though... I was hooked. Found one 2 days later...

Spent the past 2 months looking for a second one. Finally got it a few days ago...

I have 1250 rounds thru my first shield. Recoil is a lot less than the Kahr PM9. Better trigger makes double taps easier, too. I shoot the gun very well, also... Feels like a much larger gun.

I have owned a number of subcompacts over the years. This is the FIRST one where i did not feel like I was at some disadvantage over my usual carry gun - a Beretta 92.

Out of all the ones you listed, I would only look at the Kahr and the Shield... However, I like the Shield better. I sold my Kahr pM9 the first week I had my shield...

A size comparison between the PM9 and Kahr:

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/kahrshield1.jpg

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/kahrshield2.jpg

cowboywannabe
07-17-2012, 10:57
the lowest cost and proven would be the kel-tel PF9, next i would guess is the ruger lc9. if you spend more money you can get the kahr....

Shipwreck-The-Sequel
07-17-2012, 11:25
the lowest cost and proven would be the kel-tel PF9, next i would guess is the ruger lc9. if you spend more money you can get the kahr....

But that Keltec is NOT really a fun gun to shoot at the range.

hoghunter82
07-17-2012, 11:36
I really liked the Kahr CM9. Perfect CCW 9mm. Not sure why I sold it?? Guess I needed the $ to fund another purchase.


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Rustin
07-17-2012, 11:44
I hate to be that guy, but I think the lightweight revolver is much better for a pocket pistol. With it's curved grip, drawing is a breeze whereas a pocket auto has those corners which tend to get caught up on the draw. I know it's hard for people carry a 5 shot revolver when a 9mm shield is such a solid gun, but it doesn't matter how well that shield preforms if you can't get it out of the pocket or it jams because you were only able to get a two finger grip in the .04 seconds of time you have to draw. I just like to put that out there because I was in the same boat as you. I asked none other than Massad Ayoob whether or not I should get a snubbie or 9mm for deep concealment carry. He illustrated the fact that a semi would be pressed against your body in a deep conceal position and it you would have to dig your hand in to get a more secure draw whereas the revolver, because of the cylinder, sticks right out in an easy to draw manner. He phrased it like this' "I'd rather have 5 shots NOW than 7 shots 2 seconds from NOW."

I got the .38spcl LCR and never looked back. It's a wonderful gun for CC. 13.5 ounces and very manageable. Give it a thought!

hoghunter82
07-17-2012, 11:51
I got the .38spcl LCR and never looked back. It's a wonderful gun for CC. 13.5 ounces and very manageable. Give it a thought!

After I sold my CM9 I ended up getting the Ruger LCR .38+p as well. Love it, especially with the boot grip. Pocket carry is a breeze.




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Nakanokalronin
07-17-2012, 15:29
the lowest cost and proven would be the kel-tel PF9, next i would guess is the ruger lc9. if you spend more money you can get the kahr....

I had 2 PF-9s and I wouldn't really call them "proven" firearms. I've owned many KTs but as of late, the companies QC is lower than normal. Screws still back out or break, FTFs and FTEs still happen, user tinkering is sometimes necessary to get them to run right and they have a random peening issue on the slide hood from improper heat treating. The fact that KT has very low round count life expectancies for all of their firearms is another thing to consider if you feel like staying proficient with said gun. I'm at the personal conclusion where their price point and CS is no longer attractive.

Now I'm sure 10 people will chime in and say their PF-9 runs great. Mostly that's what people state "Mine runs great and feeds anything. I carry it everyday." I know we had a member on here that did that, you know a couple mags is plenty and all.:upeyes: I've read plenty of similar claims on other forums as well so take what is said with a grain of salt.

Just do some research before asking brand fans about round counts and breakages before you make a final decision. My vote is for the Shield as it seems to be one of only a few small/slim 9mm offerings that made a running start out of the gate with no faults in the first production run. I'm up to 1,000rds already through my Shield which includes 7 different brands and 3 weights and not a single malfunction. The recoil is also less than the other small/slim 9mms I've owned or shot with a trigger that is far above most others.

IMHO, the Shield is better suited as a slim IWB gun although those that seem to be able pocket fullsize service pistols will most likely disagree.

WarEagle32
07-17-2012, 16:31
I have owned 3 PF9's and I would not trust my life to them. You could get a Sig 290 for around 5 and it's much better than anything you mentioned. I've owned most of your list.

09crue
07-17-2012, 16:35
Forgive me - I know I'm covering some old ground here, but since there are recent entries into the market, I'd like to get a feel for the readily available pocket nines (<=$400) on the market. Plus summertime is here and I'm really starting to feel my G27 in my lighter clothes, so I'm in the market.

So of the following, which have the least issues? best features? Are there any I've overlooked (within the parameters of single-stack 9mm and $400 or less)?

Kel-Tec PF9
Kahr CM9
Kahr CW9
Beretta Nano
Ruger LC9
S&W Shield 9

*Kel Tec pf9- very compact,probably the lightest,and least expensive of the pocket 9mm's..some will say the quality is suspect though..

*Ruger lc9- reliable,second least expensive of your choices but loaded with too many unneeded safeties IMO,including LCI,mag disconnect,internal lock,thumb safety and looong triger pull

*Kahr cw9/S&W Shield- both identical in size,not exactly pocket guns,both reliable,the Shield does have a thumb safety..

*Kahr cm9- overall the smallest and most pocket friendly of your choices..if your preferance is pocket carry,this would be the one to pick..

*Beretta Nano-underrated IMO,has a nice short grip,no external safeties but kind of blocky..early runs did have some reliability issues.

jrpro130
07-17-2012, 17:49
I'm in the same boat...trying to find a shield 9mm right now, and it's pretty tough! My old man had a cw9 and loved it, but I wasn't fond of the trigger...

Haldor
07-17-2012, 18:42
Kel-Tec PF9: < $250. Light, thin, very reliable (for me). It is not a fun gun to shoot. It is a bit big for pocket carry IMHO and feels cheap. I have one, it fits my need for a summer gun (carry a lot, shoot a little). I do have about 1K rounds through it without any malfunctions which makes me comfortable carrying it.

Kahr CM9: $400. Definitely pocket sized, excellent quality and reliability. Would be my top choice in this category if I didn't already have a PF9. Has an excellent proven track record.

Kahr CW9: $400. Similar to the CM9 except it's not really pocket sized. Rather have the CM9.

Beretta Nano: $400. Decent construction, is pocket sized. Problem I have with it is that it is really top heavy (like the XD pistols) with a tall slide and a short grip. I haven't fired one, but from handling it, I doubt very much if I would like it. I predict it will have a lot of muzzle flip. I have heard rumors of reliability problems with the Nano. Has only been out for a short time, so I would be leary of trusting it.

Ruger LC9: $300. Decent construction, questionable reliability. Have not heard great things about this pistol. The people I know who have one are looking for something else (most of them want a Shield).

S&W Shield 9: $440 around here, if you could find one. Nice size, nice quality construction, excellent trigger. I liked then one I fondled, but the CM9 is more compact and is just as well constructed. You can also buy a CM9 now which is more than you can say for the Shield (at least around here). Not many in peoples hands so reliability is still unproven. If you need a gun now, the Shield is probably not an option.

hsprincipal
07-17-2012, 19:51
I prefer the Nano to the others mentioned. Mine has been 100% and carries very well. My CW9 has also been reliable but I like carrying the Nano better. I carry it IWB and pocket with no problem. It shoots very well, recoil is not bad and it's very accurate.

427
07-17-2012, 20:16
There's also the Zastava M88. It's single action, single stack and ~$270 brand new. It's a Tokarev variation.

http://www.gunslot.com/files/gunslot/images/38906.JPG

They're accurate little pistols - a little larger than the size of a Colt 1903/1908.

gators096
07-17-2012, 20:31
Nice thread.
I have had the Kel-tec PF9 and NO issues with it and kick myself for getting rid of. I have had the Nano and liked it, no failures but it was a little bulky so in my quest for something smaller, lighter I sold it and now have a Kahr PM9(picked it up in a trade plus a few bucks) and took it today to shot, I was so excited to get the chance until I put 6 rounds in the mag. It would not feed, it just jammed right there on the feed ramp and would not slide into position. I tried the 7 round mag, same thing. I put 5 in it, HEY it worked. When it worked it fired without any issues and I really like the size, trigger, sights and recoil is just fine with me. It just bothers me that you cant load the mag to the max it will hold, cause it wont feed. The only ammo that it did feed when loaded with 6 or 7 was just good ole ball ammo, anything else failed to feed correctly. SO I am still on a waiting list for the shield and may look at a Smith and Wesson scandium 5 shot revolver.

seamaster
07-18-2012, 00:21
I have the LC9 and I'm satisfied with it. It's been perfectly reliable and as accurate as anything else I have. I wear XL gloves and it feels fine on my hands. I even like the trigger. I consider it "replaceable" which is exactly what I wanted. I've had it since january and don't feel a need or want for something different, I guess that means I like it!

IvanVic
07-18-2012, 05:25
The kahr or the Ruger. Things to consider: the kahr's first round must be chambered with the release, or you risk a jam (supposedly). The trigger on the ruger is very, very long. It also has a manual safety. If the ruger had a better trigger, I would say LC9 hands down. My advise is to attempt to shoot both of them first, if you can.

ChicagoZman
07-18-2012, 07:35
New option that has been in the store recently is the Bersa BP9. After you stop laughing, find one and handle it. They're a little long in the grip (8+1) for pocket carry but would work great IWB. Feel good in the hand and have a very nice (IMO) DAO trigger with a very short reset. Also comes in .40 version.

barefoot
07-18-2012, 07:50
*Kahr cm9- overall the smallest and most pocket friendly of your choices..if your preferance is pocket carry,this would be the one to pick..

*Beretta Nano-underrated IMO,has a nice short grip,no external safeties but kind of blocky..early runs did have some reliability issues.

At the moment, I'm leaning towards one of these - this is consistent with my previous impressions ....

Dawolf
07-18-2012, 08:00
I have a Nano, but it is a bit too heavy. Probably a PF-9 or a lightweight snubbie is a better choice. I am in the market for a S & W 351 PD in .22 mag, as my pocket gun is always a B.U.G.

Chesafreak
07-18-2012, 08:44
Ruger LC9: $300. Decent construction, questionable reliability. Have not heard great things about this pistol. The people I know who have one are looking for something else (most of them want a Shield).


The LC9 is the only one I have shot out of those listed.

I know that LC9's are not easy to shoot for most. Mine has been 100 percent reliable after switching from 115gr to 124gr rounds. It is very accurate with my chosen carry round, the 124gr Gold Dot +P SB. The trigger is very long, but smooths out quite a bit after a few hundred rounds. A Galloway trigger kit will help shorten the trigger length of pull by half. I have one and it makes a difference. What I have now in my LC9 is a very accurate and concealable EDC. After a lot of practice I can now shoot it as well as any Glock. It points much more naturally than every pocket 9mm I have picked up. The LC9 is definitely good for close range instinctive point shooting, but can also hit the bullseye consistently with aimed fire.

If you decide to buy an LC9 for concealed carry, you will want to slip a section of bicycle innertube over the grip if you are carrying it next to your skin. The grip will rub your skin raw without it. It will also improve the sights if you use flourescent sight paint applied with a toothpick on the dots. I personally use a Remora holster because they are comfortable and easy to carry in shorts during the summer. It has been easy enough for me to ignore the LCI and safety, but they do come in handy sometimes.

Of the others listed, I have handled a Shield. It has the best trigger of the group IMO.

Here's a picture from my last range visit with my LC9:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1257794/20120615.jpg

ctfireman
07-18-2012, 09:27
I pocket carry a nano very often & at the range it's been 100%. No snag design, good sights, trigger isn't too heavy. Surprisingly pleasant to shoot, a few hundred rounds is no problem.

Boot Stomper
07-18-2012, 16:30
The Kahr would be my first choice.

A Ruger LC9 would be my second choice. Then I would seek out a trigger job for the Ruger.

Teecher45
07-18-2012, 18:26
Well, I'm one of those. I just happen to also have a PF9 that has been great. I had 2 FTE's in my first 20 rounds and 0 since. I've got almost 400 rounds through it and I love it. It can go just about anywhere an LCP can go and shoots 9mm.

elde
07-18-2012, 18:37
Have an early Nano. No issues with 600 rounds. Recoil is easy and it's plenty accurate. Sold my Shield because the Nano worked better for me. I'm sure that comment will bring the wrath of Shipwreck down upon me but it is what it is. Awaiting the Nano night sights....gotta give S&W credit, they came out with the gun, HC mags, night sights & holsters all at once. Marketing genius compared to their competition.

BTW: I also have a Sig P290 w/laser. Compared to either the Shield or Nano the trigger absolutely sucks, as does the grip and weight. Always a market for the culls, thank goodness.

FYI, Nanos are going for $369 in my area now.

jhmayhem
07-18-2012, 19:40
My only experience is with the Kahr but I feel like they fit the role of micro 9 perfectly. I really am interested in the S&W Shield though, the S&W M&P autos have a pretty solid rep nowadays, and in spite of all the safeties I wouldn't count out the Ruger LC9, Rugers have proven to produce tough reliable shooters.

thinktwice
07-18-2012, 23:55
My first choice would be the Kahr CM-9. They are really well made, good quality pistols. Most of the reviews you read on them are excellent. I did quite a bit of research before I purchased my CM-9 and CW-9 and both have more than lived up to their reviews/reputations. I don't know anyone with a M&P Shield as they are so hard to get, however from what I have read they seem to be a great little pistol also.

jrpro130
07-19-2012, 08:25
I got a smoking deal on the kahr cw-9 I couldn't pass up. Review to follow


Should be wrenching instead of using TapaTalk

tim12232
07-19-2012, 15:51
Im just gonna end this WHOLE thread right now!

Find the Shield 9 and buy it! I have well over 3k through it and its such a wonderful gun to shoot as it is very mild in recoil and IMHO very accurate! It may be a stretch in the pocket, but I carry mine every day in a G26 milt sparks SS2 and its as if the holster was made for the Shield.

Ok, now you can carry on with the thread! :supergrin:

45caldan
07-20-2012, 13:32
I bought a CM9 today.
I really thought I was going to get a Shield.
I wanted a pocket 9mm and thought the Shield was just a bit too big for that role.
I looked a the Beretta Nano as well.
When the GS owner said I could get the Kahr for $400 OTD I jumped on it!
Will try to get to the range tomorrow or next weekend for sure!

cooljeff
07-20-2012, 23:10
The KAHR CM9 Is hands down the best POCKET 9mm for the price!!! Super thin, Super lightweight, Super reliable, and actaully Super fun to shoot!!!

here is my baby. I actually had mine Cerakoted by a local gunsmith for fathers day. Color is Titanium Cerakote.

NeverMore1701
07-20-2012, 23:41
I have a KT PF9 that does it's job. It's not terribly fun to shoot, and just a bit big for pocket carry (except for cargo pants/shorts), but it's accurate and reliable.

unit1069
07-21-2012, 00:29
I'm holding out for a S&W Shield at the present. All the reports I've read lead me to believe this is a quality, reliable pistol.

I'm a Glock/Steyr striker-fired fanboy and want the smallest CCW pistol that has the same design.

I have a small pocket 9mm (hammer design) but have never warmed up to the long DAO trigger pull. I'll take the short recess striker-fired design from here on out to standardize all my handgun characteristics.

Shootinbil
07-21-2012, 11:44
I have the nano and love it. The first time I took to the range I put 350 reloads and 100 winchester white box all were 115 gr
round nose. I had no problem and we went to the range last night put 250 rounds through it again with no problem. I carry everyday.

MississipVol
07-21-2012, 15:13
I am another happy LC9 owner. I did read ITT where another poster said he had "heard of" some reliability issues with the LC9 and I think he's probably making that up. I did a TON of research before buying and could find NO reported reliability problems.

I know some people don't like all the safety features - external safety, LCI, and long trigger - to each his own. But I am carrying it pocket carry and those were all features I was looking for in a pocket 9.

I love mine. About 300 rds so far with zero issues. Small enough for my pocket. And like another poster said, you can always do the Galloway trigger of you want a shorter pull.

I don't think you can go wrong with the LC9 but suggest you try all of them if you can and you'll probably be happy with any of those on your list.


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jrpro130
07-21-2012, 16:43
Got the break in 200 rds on my cw9 along with 150 jhp's. Did not have a single failure. Shot perfect and I absolutely love the trigger and feel of the gun. It is actually "shoot able" for a small gun. Low recoil and I love everything about it.

After watching some reviews it is pretty much exactly the same size as the shield.

I was holding the cm9 and the cw9 when I got my cw9 and the cm/pm just did not feel right. Couldn't get my pinky on it. I can get a full grip on the cw.

I will say the one huge negative about the kahr is the all polymer rails on the receiver. Not a fan of the metal on polymer. It's already gouging out at the back, but I filed down the rough spots and all is well. Can't beat this thing...and $369 also readily available.


Should be wrenching instead of using TapaTalk

Bob Hafler
07-21-2012, 16:45
I own a PM9 and I'm very pleased with it so I'd say the CM9 is the better choice over the PF9 as I belive it has less felt recoil than the PF9. I also think the overall quality is better with the Kahr.

alank2
07-21-2012, 16:51
Hi,

I've had the PM9 for pocket carry for a few years now and it does everything I ask of it as well as I could want. My only mod was to add a bicycle tube grip to it for about 30 cents to smooth out the plastic stipling, once I did that it became 10x more comfortable to shoot. It is the perfect size and shape for the pocket. I feel it was worth the premium paid for the PM9, the CM9 is an absolute bargain at its price point.

Good luck,

Alan

sigman69
07-22-2012, 13:16
here are the dealer pricing on the stated guns....

Kel-Tec PF9 209.95
Kahr CM9 339.90
Kahr CW9 318.00
Beretta Nano 350.00
Ruger LC9 296.45 with laser 413.95
S&W Shield 9 334.00


I cant say much about the above guns as I have only shot the PF9 and it was "ok" it wouldnt feed 124gr fmj and some cheap tula...my glock 19 did though :) The PF9 ate all 100rds of my reloaded 115gr fmj and factory winchester silvertips. My buddy just got a CM9 and shot some fmj thru it...it fed fine.

I really like the CM9, nano and shield(saw it at the NRA convention, it had a much better trigger than the M&Pfull sized guns) My girlfriend will be getting one of these 3 as a CCW piece in the future.

cowboywannabe
07-22-2012, 13:23
if youre in a california, new jersey, maryland or where ever America ends, this isnt a bad gun. i dont care for all the nany safeties, but it hasnt missed a beat yet with all kinds of loads.

jim462
07-29-2012, 23:09
I got an LC9 a few months ago. It's a little too big for pocket carry except in large cargo or jacket pockets. The plus is that it is just large enough to get a solid grip and feel good in my hands....not like a little toy if you know what I mean.

The stock LC9 trigger pull is very long, breaks all the way back at the frame, and there is definately some stacking towards the end. I put just over 1000 rounds through it but could never get used to that stock trigger pull. Using the first bend of my finger instead of the pad (as I was taught) helped some. But the stock trigger made it difficult to get accurate shots and made it very difficult for double and triple taps. The gun has been totally reliable but I was ready to sell it because of that trigger.

A month ago I had Galloway modify my hammer and trigger bar. Along with that I got the SS guide rod and 20# recoil spring, all for $80. I also removed the magazine safety at thge same time. I have 300 rounds through it with the mod's and am very happy now. Definately worth the $ and I can honestly say I'm finally happy with the way my LC9 shoots.

I like the G26 & G27's better overall but the LC9 is a good choice when thin is the goal.

ZombieJoe
07-30-2012, 01:53
You have a nice list, I would be happy with ANY of those. If I was to choose one it would be the CM9, no question. I am a big Kahr fan, but I feel the CW9 is to big for the pocket, so my next choice would probably got to the LC9.

I feel with guns this size the true way to see what will work the best is to give them a try. Most if not all these should be available to rent some where near you.

Good Luck with the buy!

PhotoFeller
10-13-2012, 11:09
Everyone seems to be pleased with Kahr quality. How would you compare Kahr to Glock?

The Kahrs are not a high-priced brand, at least the pocket size ones with few frills. I'm kind of interested in a P9 with night sights, a LCI, improved trigger and manual safety, and the price will be over $650 for a new one. I want to be confident that quality equal to or better than Glock comes with the P9's cost.

FFR Spyder GT
10-13-2012, 11:25
I had 2 PF-9s and I wouldn't really call them "proven" firearms. I've owned many KTs but as of late, the companies QC is lower than normal. Screws still back out or break, FTFs and FTEs still happen, user tinkering is sometimes necessary to get them to run right and they have a random peening issue on the slide hood from improper heat treating. The fact that KT has very low round count life expectancies for all of their firearms is another thing to consider if you feel like staying proficient with said gun. I'm at the personal conclusion where their price point and CS is no longer attractive.

Now I'm sure 10 people will chime in and say their PF-9 runs great. Mostly that's what people state "Mine runs great and feeds anything. I carry it everyday." I know we had a member on here that did that, you know a couple mags is plenty and all.:upeyes: I've read plenty of similar claims on other forums as well so take what is said with a grain of salt.

Just do some research before asking brand fans about round counts and breakages before you make a final decision. My vote is for the Shield as it seems to be one of only a few small/slim 9mm offerings that made a running start out of the gate with no faults in the first production run. I'm up to 1,000rds already through my Shield which includes 7 different brands and 3 weights and not a single malfunction. The recoil is also less than the other small/slim 9mms I've owned or shot with a trigger that is far above most others.

IMHO, the Shield is better suited as a slim IWB gun although those that seem to be able pocket fullsize service pistols will most likely disagree.

"Mine runs great and feeds anything. I carry it everyday"

Well, I don't carry it everyday but I do carry it some. Very rarely for I "feel" that my G23 is too big to carry.

I've fired over 1,200 rds through mine without a hiccup of any kind so ill say it's proven.

One thing to remember with a pocket auto like the PF-9 is that it's a pocket pistol not a range toy even though I enjoy shooting mine.

CanMan
10-13-2012, 11:47
I'm in the same boat...trying to find a shield 9mm right now, and it's pretty tough!

Until I can find a Shield 9 my pocket will keep my J Frame warm...

Warp
10-13-2012, 12:33
I hate to be that guy, but I think the lightweight revolver is much better for a pocket pistol.

I'll be 'that guy' with you.

Give me a Smith and Wesson 642 over all of them. :cool:

unit1069
10-13-2012, 14:12
New option that has been in the store recently is the Bersa BP9. After you stop laughing, find one and handle it. They're a little long in the grip (8+1) for pocket carry but would work great IWB. Feel good in the hand and have a very nice (IMO) DAO trigger with a very short reset. Also comes in .40 version.

Another GT member bought the Bersa BP9CC and was very pleased with it up until the 500-600 round count when it gradually started having issues. As I recall he mentioned that the extractor began wearing and that Bersa was still working to correct the problem. I thought the gun looked very promising. Seems that the material used in the extractor is too soft and causes the wear problem.