Sig P238 or Kahr PM9

This is a discussion on Sig P238 or Kahr PM9 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm in the market for a small lightweight pocket carry pistol. These are the 2 that I have been looking at lately. I don't know ...

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Thread: Sig P238 or Kahr PM9

  1. #1
    Member Array PearlWhiteGT's Avatar
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    Sig P238 or Kahr PM9

    I'm in the market for a small lightweight pocket carry pistol. These are the 2 that I have been looking at lately. I don't know much about them but have read good things about them both. I plan on carrying one of these pistols majority of the time. My XD .45 Compact is just to heavy & big for every day carry.

    I know a lot of people think that the .380 is not ideal for self defense but I think it's better than nothing. I just want something I can grab & throw in my pocket when I am running out the door.

    Thanks for any help!!!

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    I own the Kahr PM9 and don't consider it to be a pocket gun unless you have large pockets. The Kahr P380, Ruger LCP and Sig P238 are much better classified as pocket guns. IMO, your best bet is to try and rent the guns and give them a range testing. I'm not a big fan of a safety on a pocket pistol, so I wasn't interested in the Sig P238. I do own a Kahr P380 and Ruger LCP and find them both to be very good pocket guns.

    The other alternative is to look at a S&W J-Frame revolver.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array DIABLO9489's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokerblue View Post
    I own the Kahr PM9 and don't consider it to be a pocket gun unless you have large pockets. The Kahr P380, Ruger LCP and Sig P238 are much better classified as pocket guns. IMO, your best bet is to try and rent the guns and give them a range testing. I'm not a big fan of a safety on a pocket pistol, so I wasn't interested in the Sig P238. I do own a Kahr P380 and Ruger LCP and find them both to be very good pocket guns.

    The other alternative is to look at a S&W J-Frame revolver.
    ^^^^^Exactly what he said^^^^^
    Colt New Agent, Dan Wesson V-Bob, Glock 19,20SF, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30SF, 36, Kahr P380 w/CT, PM9, PM45, CW9(SOLD), Kel-Tec P32, P3AT, PF9(SOLD), Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry II, Stainless Pro TLE/RL II (SOLD), Rohrbaugh R9s, Ruger LCP w/CT, LCR, SP101 S&W J-Frame 638 w/CT, M&P 340 w/CT, Walther PPK/S

  5. #4
    Member Array Bald1's Avatar
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    I've been using 1911s and BHPs for a good number of decades. Both platforms are SAFELY carried cocked 'n locked (Condition One) as designed. So when looking for a small pocket pistol to carry either as a BUG or a warm weather stand alone, the P238 rose to the top. It too is carried cocked 'n locked SAFELY as designed. Mine has been flawless and is a fitting CCW mate to my DW CCO :)
    Highly recommended!



    --DW 2010 CCO w/ 2 mags (Winchester RA45TP, Hornady 90958, CorBon SD45185)
    --Andrews MacDaniel II IWB holster
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    --Sig P238 w/ 2 mags (Winchester Q4206, Remington GS380B, BuffaloBore 27A)
    --RKBA pocket holster
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    DW CCO (2), CBOB + RZ45, Colt MKIV, CD EFS, P45C/T, BHP MKIII, FM M90, PT99AF, M681-1, 689, P238, MK678II

  6. #5
    Member Array oak1971's Avatar
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    I have an MK9 in stainless. It will fit in a pocket but the weight is better suited for pocket holster or IWB. When carried IWB, it disappears. I wear it around the house as we still have no CCW here.
    I'm your Huckleberry.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PearlWhiteGT View Post
    Sig P238 or Kahr PM9
    Sizes, for reference, from smallest to largest:
    • Kahr P380 -- 4.9" OAL, 3.9" H, 0.75" W, 10oz w/ 2oz mag + 6rds .380ACP bullets.

    • Kahr PM9 -- 5.3" OAL, 4.0" H, 0.9" W, 14oz w/ 1.9oz mag + 6rds 9mm bullets.

    • SIG P238 -- 5.5" OAL, 3.9" H, 1.1" W, 15.2oz w/ ~2oz mag + 6rds .380ACP bullets.

    • S&W 442 .38spl -- 6.3" OAL, 5" H, 1.4" W, 15oz w/ 5 .38spl bullets

    • Ruger SP-101 .38/.357 -- 7" OAL, 5" H, 1.4" W, 25oz w/ 5 .38spl bullets.


    I have pocket carried (daily) the Kahr P380, Kahr PM9 and S&W 442. By far, the S&W revolver (a 2" snubbie) was the largest chunk to stuff into the pocket. Having carried it both pocket and IWB for 10yrs, I definitely feel even the small revolvers are tough to adequately conceal in the pocket. Now, that deepends on the size/depth of the pockets of the pants you're considering wearing.

    The P380 or PM9 on the other hand disappear in the pockets I have. Yes, over the past 14yrs or so I have intelligently selected my clothing so that it's compatible with concealing my defensive equipment. So, the pockets are noticeably larger than, say, the "typical" Dockers khaki business/casual slacks. In the same pants that cause a PM9 to disappear, I'd have a tough time ensuring that a holstered S&W revolver could not be detected. For that, it would take pockets designed with a bit more added girth.

    As for the SIG 238, I've never tried to carry it. It's almost identical in size to the Kahr PM9. It should fit just as well in a given pocket, assuming you've got a well-designed and reasonably-thin pocket holster.

    Any holstered firearm is going to take up extra space where it's placed, either OWB, IWB or pocket. If you're going to stuff a holstered gun inside the pants or pocket, that material needs to be sufficiently loose in that area to accommodate it. It depends wholly on your choice in clothing as to whether it'll fit. If it doesn't consider acquiring pants that are another size larger, and ensure that either the pocket is already large enough or you have a larger pocket sewn in.

    I've had a Kahr PM9 (but sold it due to flaky behavior) and am currently vetting the Kahr P380 for possible pocket carry. These are the optimum grab-and-go (BUG) pistols, IMO. The Ruger LCP might be another to consider, if .380's are on the table. Just torture test the gun enough to know it's reliable and has sufficient practical accuracy and concealability for you, then you're good to go.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array imthduke's Avatar
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    A no brainer....I own both....but here's the one I pick up and carry...



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  9. #8
    Member Array ckfarris's Avatar
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    Kahr...hands down
    ‘‘The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.’’ — James Earl Jones, Actor

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    I've bought and tried several pocket pistols and settled on the Sig P238. It will handle the +p BuffaloBore stuff just fine and condition one in the pocket is not a concern. The safety has to be released with a good amount of effort. IMO, you can do a lot worse than the Sig and the .380 round. The PM9 would be a better choice over the Sig, but only in caliber IMO. I can't speak about the PM9 as I have the CW9 model, but regarding the Kahr, they have excellent build quality and are very accurate. Only my opinion, but if you're gonna use the pocket carry method more, I'd look to the Sig in that role. Like some have said, or will say pocket configuration differs and the Sig is the better of the two in that role. I carry one everyday and in all types of pants, from slacks to dockers and jeans. Good luck with the decision as both options are excellent pistols and will serve ya well.

    My vote, Sig P238 loaded with the + p 100gr HC stuff and call it a day.

    GBK
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

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  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Of the two (PM9 or SIG P238) I would pick the Kahr......size and weight is about the same and 9mm is superior to .380, so its a no brainer for me. My PM9 has been a flawless performer and its one of the top small carry handguns on the market today without question.
    When I leave the home port:
    S&W 642 Airweight, Ruger SP 101, Colt Detective Spec., CZ RAMI, Kahr PM9, Kahr CW40, S&W Model 10-7, Glock 30, 19, and 26, Browning Hi Power, CZ82, Colt Commander, Dan Wesson PM7, Ruger LCP

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    If you're going to go .380, I'd recommend the LCP as it is smaller and much lighter than the two options you listed.

    Given the similar size and weight of the Sig P238 vs the PM9, I'd lean to the PM9. However, be advised (if you are not familiar with Kahr) that their manual of arms is a bit different than most other pistols (for example, you must load the chamber from slide lock using the slide release lever - not the pull-and-release method). This can be a training issue if you're used to the pull-and-release or overhand method.

    For the pocket role, I think the PM9 and Sig are too heavy. I did pocket a PM9 for several years, until reliability issues forced me to get rid of the Kahr. Now that I have a LCP for that mission, I prefer it due to the smaller size and lighter weight.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    My hands down vote is the PM9. Mine is flawless. It's also nice to have the extra oomph of the 9mm. (Not that theres anything wrong with .380).

    If you are looking for a pocket gun, the Micro Desert Eagle is another good option. It's strange shape is actually very pocketable. It's a nice shooting gun, and feels nice and solid in the hand.

  14. #13
    Member Array Roman's Avatar
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    I own both. The PM9 is NOT a pocket gun unless you wear cargo pants. The Sig is in my pocket right now as it almost always is.

    The PM9 is an amazing firearm and I highly recommend it. For low profile pocket carry look at a p238. I have the Rosewood model with night sights.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    The size of the Sig 238 and the PM9 are the same, so what is the difference for pocket carry????

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roman View Post
    I own both. The PM9 is NOT a pocket gun unless you wear cargo pants. The Sig is in my pocket right now as it almost always is.
    Interesting that you found the SIG 238 fits in a given pocket where the PM9 won't, despite the PM9 having slightly smaller outside dimensions (nearly exactly that of the SIG 238). Could it be the holster selection, with one having "fatter" hide than the other?
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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