Thursday, January 27, 2011


I'm doing it again. I'm continuing my search for the perfect carry gun. I'm pretty well set for pocket carry, with two lightweight J-frame revolvers and a P3AT (hopefully to be joined by a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 some day). Winter carry is also well-represented, with the G30, 1991A1 Compact, and 242ti offering several different options when cover garments can be used.

I'd really like to get slim, small 9mm for pocket/IWB carry, though. I know, I know, it's completely irrational. The capacity isn't that much greater than the J-frame (typically 6-7 +1); the size means that pocket carry is unlikely; it's just filling a niche that doesn't really need to be filled. Of course, that doesn't stop me from wanting one.... As it stands, there's a handful of guns that meet my criteria:

Ruger LC9

Slide Material: Through-Hardened Alloy Steel Slide Finish: Blued
Barrel Material: Alloy Steel Barrel Finish: Blued
Barrel Length: 3.12" Length: 6.00"
Width: 0.90" Height: 4.50"
Weight: 17.10 oz. Sights: Adjustable 3-Dot
Capacity: 7+1 Grip Frame: Black, High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
Twist: 1:10" RH Grooves: 6

Sig P290

Caliber 9mm
Action Type DAO
Trigger Pull DAO N/A
Overall Length 5.5 in
Overall Height 3.9 in
Overall Width 0.9 (1.1 in with slide catch lever)
Barrel Length 2.9 in
Sight Radius 4.3 in
Weight w/Mag 20.5 oz
Mag Capacity 6 - 8 Rounds
Sights SIGLITE® or Contrast Sights
Frame Material Black Polymer w/removable plates
Frame Finish Black polymer
Slide Finish Nitron® or natural stainless

Walther PPS
  • Length: 6.3 Inches
  • Overall Width (w/o Slidestop Lever):1.04 Inches
  • Barrel Length: 3.2 Inches
  • Sight Radius: 5.4 Inches
  • Weight (w/o Magazine):19.4 Ounces
  • Standard Magazine Weight: 1.9 Ounces
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Height: 4.4 Inches
  • Action: Striker Fire Action, Pre-Cocked
  • Trigger Pull: 6.1 Pounds
  • Frame: Polymer Anthracite Finish

Kahr PM9

Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 6+1, 7+1 (magazine with grip extension)
Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; "Browning - type" recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
Barrel: 3.0", polygonal rifling; 1 - 10 right-hand twist
Length O/A: 5.3"
Height: 4.0"
Slide Width: .90"
Weight: Pistol 14 ounces, Magazine 1.9 ounces
Grips: Textured polymer
Sights: Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights
Finish: Black polymer frame, matte stainless steel slide

They're all pretty close in size, weight, and barrel length. MSRP varies from $450 for the Ruger to ~ $800 for the PM9; however the Ruger is not yet MA approved and may not be - the LCP is still not on the list. The Sig P290 is not yet MA-compliant, but the good folks at Sig Sauer assure me that the necessary steps are being taken to make sure it will be available to MA inmates gunnies. Since this is more of a want than a need, I'm willing to wait and see if/when the P290 and/or the LC9 become MA-compliant before I make any sort of choice.

Decisions, decisions...

That is all.


Carteach0 said...

You already own a G-30. Are you seriously looking for something better than that?

JB Miller said...

I have an XD9 Sub Compact that has the right silhouette but is not slim.

The Ruger, Sig and Kahr are highly interesting. I have handled them all. I like the Rugers feel the most.

The Kahr has a .45acp in a single stack that is distracting me as well.

Richard K- Bedford, pa said...

Kel Tec P11

Veeshir said...

I like the Ruger of those.

I really like Sigs, but that one is all square, it seems a concealed piece shouldn't have sharp edges to catch on things.

Freiheit said...

Baby Glock?

Lou from MN said...

One more for your list is Kimber Solo, it is within your current price range.

I handled it, it was nice. Waiting for the silver frame ones to be available.


zeeke42 said...

I've heard rumors of a single stack M&P 9 compact coming this summer.

Mad Saint Jack said...

Kel-tec PF9

Weight: 12.7

Width: .88

My Glock 26 is really as small as I need to go, and it is as easy to shoot as a full size gun.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I've only fired the Kahr PM9 of that list. It is teeney weeny, but not hard to shoot. No harder than the pocket .380s, certainly.

Sevesteen said...

I carry an XD subcompact. If you use a ruler, it really isn't the right profile--height and width are almost identical to a Glock 19, length is only 1/2" different. I didn't realize this until I built a holster for a 19.

I'm interested in this--I'm considering going to a single-stack 9mm as my main carry gun.

Anonymous said...

PPS will need trigger work.

I like the Ruger but the huge chamber indicator is repulsive.

Wally said...

I love my P9 (not a PM9) and it has been serving well as pocket carry for the last few weeks.

The P290 looks like it will be my upgrade path.

TOTWTYTR said...

I just bought a S&W Chief's Special 9m semi auto for pocket carry. Light weight, a form factor I'm already familiar with and like, and it's 9mm not .380.

Since I know you have at least one S&W semi auto, although of an earlier generation, I think that you should add it to your list for consideration.

I happen to know that a certain dealer in Woburn HAD two a couple of weeks ago.

Freiheit said...


greg said...

Wish I could main carry gun is a P3AT. Because I can't carry at work, I have never gotten the chance to get used to carrying anything bigger, so it's always just a P3AT in the back pocket of my jeans.

Every time I try carrying anything bigger, I feel very's easy to place a money clip with drivers license, carry permit, and money in a pocket, than the kel-tec in my wallet pocket, without feeling self-conscious. But, because I can't carry all the time due to working at a government installation, if I try carrying anything bigger, I am constantly playing with it and adjusting it.

aczarnowski said...

High bore line on the PPS turned me off to them. They also feel more square than a Glock. I really like the paddle mag releases on the Walthers though.

An older PM9 is my daily carry. It'll ride back pocket fine. I carry it IWB more often these days, now that I have an LCP to pocket carry.

One thing to note on the Ruger is the finish. Nothing phases the Kahr, but my "blued" LCP showed rust after three days in the pocket holster. I'd expect the same from the LC9.

@zeeke42, where are these rumors of a single stack M&P9c? I'm interested!