I Can't Decide

I Can't Decide

This is a discussion on I Can't Decide within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Alright my fellow DC'ers. I am in the market for a subcompact 9mm single stack. I have not ruled out any gun yet but I ...

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Thread: I Can't Decide

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array DaRedneck's Avatar
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    Mar 2009

    I Can't Decide

    Alright my fellow DC'ers. I am in the market for a subcompact 9mm single stack. I have not ruled out any gun yet but I am leaning towards a Kahr CM9 and a Sig P290. I LOVE the trigger on the Kahr but I love the overall build on the Sig. Like I said, I haven't ruled out all the other guns yet either. Now I turn to those of you that are way more in the "know" than me. Which gun in this class would you chose if you had to pick just one? I respect y'alls opinions so please help me decide because I don't think I can google or watch another youtube review. LOL!

    FWIW, I know the importance of handling/shooting each one to match my hand/style, but I am simply asking for opinions of those who have already done so or have guns like these.

    Thanks evr1 and stay safe!

    "He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." - Leonardo da Vinci

  2. #2
    New Member Array bluesdr44's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    I'm far from being "in the know", but I do have the Kahr CW9, and like it. I handled/dry fired the P290, and I liked the size, overall feel and especially the trigger pull of my Kahr over the Sig (and I do like Sigs, my wife has a 229).

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    May 2006
    I Can't Decide-kahrmk922.jpgIf I had to pick just one I would tend to go with a Kahr. And that is what I did, picking the MK9 model which I carry in a belt holster rather than pocket. If I were carrying in a pocket I would go with a polymer frame as you are considering. I like the Kahr for the trigger feel and the many years on the market. I think Kahr has most of the bugs out by now, but I'm not so sure about all the new guns on the market in this 6+1 configuration.
    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array Freedomofchoice's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Wesley Chapel, Florida
    Two guns that come to mind immediately are the Glock 36, or the Ruger LC9. They are both very different, but they are both single stack.

    I had a Kahr CW9 and it was a good gun, but for me, I had a problem with my trigger finger getting pinched under recoil between the frame and trigger to the point of getting a blood blister every outing. I ended up trading it. BTW I never encountered anyone else that ever had the same problem.

    Glock 36 in 45 acp is a great gun, and so far I really like my LC9. The LC9 is similar in size to the Kahr except it is hammer fired not striker fired.

    I would think that if the Kahr feels good to you, it will serve you well.

    Too light for heavy work, too heavy for light work!


  6. #5
    Array jbr's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    I really like my taurus pt709 - decent da/sa trigger pull, fits and comes to point of aim well. easy breakdown, saftey you can use or ignore. Shoots well for me.
    Great privilege comes with great responsibility.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    How do you plan to carry it?

    If in a pocket, the CM9 wins due to its lighter weight.

    I would be leery of the Sig P290 as it is still too new.

    Kahrs have their own issues - their manual of arms is different than most other pistols (needing to use the slide release to chamber the first round properly in most cases, for example), and they can be finicky (my latest PM9 won't work with the 7-rd mag, only works with the 6-rd). But - no one else makes a pocket-sized 9mm that weighs less, takes +P, has real sights, lacks thumb safeties and mag interlocks, and locks the slide open when empty.
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    If in a pocket, the CM9 wins due to its lighter weight.

    I would be leery of the Sig P290 as it is still too new.
    +1. I would wait a little longer on the Sig P290 since it is still new. There might not be anything wrong with it, but you do have to realize that you'll be a guinea pig. The Kahr PM9 is a great gun and the CM9 should be VERY similar. I would try a few guns at the range and see which one you are comfortable shooting.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    West Virginia
    The P9/CW9 is an excellent little 9. I also like the P9 Covert series if you can find one as they have been discontinued.
    Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.

    I am just as nice as anyone lets me be and can be just as mean as anyone makes me. - Quoted from Terryger, New member to our forum.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    I have neither, but like one of the earlier responders, I do have a CW9. It is about 2 yrs old and has seen about 1500 rounds of std velocity, 124 +p, and various handloads and other than a couple of minor hitches (could well have been operator error) it has been very reliable. It an easy carry, and the CM should be even easier. In general both manufacturers provide good quality, but both are fairly new products, so you pay your money and take your chances...

    Good luck in your search. Sounds like you are doing your homework, so I'm sure you'll come up with one you like.
    Chose a weapon that goes bang EVERY time!

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Cleveland/Shaker Heights, Ohio - USA
    I'm a beginner - and far from being "in the know" - but I truly believe that I did my due-diligence with this purchase, so I'll try to lend a hand here.

    A short while ago, I decided that I needed a carry that's slimmer (and smaller) than my chosen true-EDC, an XDm9 3.8 Compact. The reason mainly surrounded my alternate-wear clothes: I'm an academic scientist, and thus am 99% in my $30 Old Navy jeans and a $5 Old Navy T-shirt, but my wife likes fancy stuff, so I occasionally have to "look like an adult" when we go out...similarly, I must occasionally "look like a human" for business occasions...and that's when the XDm seemed to bulge just a little too much, when I have to get dressier.

    While having a selection of top-tier holsters helped mitigate all but the worst of such concerns (I usually carry in a Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro, but I also have a MTAC and CBST for this EDC pistol), I still had times when I had to leave the gun at home, simply because even the most non-trained eyes would have spotted that something wasn't quite right.

    That's how I came to the single-stack, sub-compact 9s.

    So with that need, I looked at pretty much the entire spread - I didn't want price to be my limiting factor, so everything below was considered:

    Kel-Tec PF9
    Kahr PM9/CM9
    Sig P290
    Springfield EMP, 9x19
    Ruger LC9
    Rohrbaugh R9
    Walther PPS

    The EMP and LC9 went out early. Not because I didn't like them - I actually *love* the EMP, which I've longed after since shooting my friend's - but I'm a beginner, and currently, all of my firearms occupy a primary role in my defenses (whether that be home-defense or my daily carry), and nothing has the thumb safety (in the case of my SR9c, it's a true "backup" piece, so it's stored in the safe in "Condition 3," without a magazine in-place, and safety off), *especially* not in the carry context: so I didn't want that to be a potential complication/liability. [ The Kimber Solo would have fit in here, too. ]

    Like wise, the Rohrbaugh and Walther bordered that consideration...nevertheless, I would have tested them first-hand if I would have found them before I'd reached the end of my decision, but alas, that was not to be. They're still on my list of pistols to try out, though.

    The P290 fell to the wayside after I fondled it in the store. It just didn't feel right in my hands. Ideally, it would have been my out-of-the-box shooter, but it just wouldn't settle right: I could not get it to point naturally, and given the scenarios where I could imagine using something this small, I wanted something that pointed well, in my hand.

    That left me with the Kahr and the PF9.

    For me, the PF9, at the range, was "somewhat unpleasant work."

    I really believe in putting in my dues at the range as well as in training - I started seriously shooting since last November (prior to that, I'd go to the range with friends perhaps once every 2 to four years), and I currently have about 40 hours of paid training and 20K rounds downrange, I'm locked-in for another 8 of firearms time, plus 16 of hand-to-hand and knife in the next two months - so the fact that I was somewhat uncomfortable with the PF9, at the range, didn't sit well with me.

    The PM9, meanwhile, while not as pleasant to shoot as my XDm9 3.8 Compact, was honestly not a chore. It was just work - not unpleasant work.

    YMMV - different pistols fit different people differently.

    So armed with that knowledge, I started seriously shopping the Kahr CM9 and PM9. I ended up with a gently-used PM9 (with a load of gear!) from a local enthusiast via timing and circumstance. Like I said, I was still looking for the PPS and the R9 when I stumbled into the deal - which I let brew for two weeks before offering to take it off that gentleman's hands.

    Really and honestly, DaRedneck, like you said, bro, you've gotta get out there and try these little guys out. As with many in our community, I think that as the gun gets smaller, it actually gets harder to shoot: particularly with the hot self-defense loads - if nothing else, recoil is harder to mitigate simply because there's less gun to hold on to, and being bigger/stronger doesn't necessarily work things to your favor, even if you're crushing out #3 on Captains of Crush.

    I hope my tale of how I arrived at my decision will help you! Best of luck, and have fun shopping! I truly thought that my shopping for the smaller gun was the most fun I've had (while not shooting) since I got into this hobby/lifestyle. It really took a lot of thought and a lot of trial-and-error, and FWIW, I enjoyed the process.
    Rotorblade likes this.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array mwhartman's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    South FL
    I've shot a Kahr P 9 and considered the CW 9. I went with a Glock 19. The Kahr felt good I shot the Glock better. Do you want a single stack for carrying?
    Praise the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle --- Psalm 144

  13. #12
    VIP Member
    Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    SW Louisiana
    Greetings, Neck,

    Sig makes fine pistols, and I'm sure the P290 is a good one. I recently got a CM9, though, and the Kahr wins out, at least for me.

    When I decided to get a small single-stack 9mm for carry, I was already somewhat biased towards Kahr because I have a CW45 that was, up to that point, my CCW of choice over a LOT of others that I have, or had tried out. I got the CM9 to have something a little smaller and lighter, and I love it.

    After the fact, I fondled a P290 at my LGS to see if I might have preferred it, and I came away totally satisfied that the Kahr was the right choice. They're very close in size, but the Kahr is noticeably lighter. It's also scary accurate and has been 100% reliable. I think you can find a CM9 for a couple hundred bucks less than the Sig, too.

    I don't believe you'd be unhappy with either - they're both great guns - but my vote is for the Kahr.


  14. #13
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbr View Post
    I really like my taurus pt709 - decent da/sa trigger pull, fits and comes to point of aim well. easy breakdown, saftey you can use or ignore. Shoots well for me.
    I have one of these and really like it as well. 1500+ trouble free rounds, good shooter, easy to carry. It has never given me a reason to want any other tiny 9mm. My expectations have been exceeded, but I keep mine very, very clean and only shoot good ammo.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Armydad's Avatar
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    May 2009
    North Carolina
    I bought a Kel Tec PF9. It is a good price point gun and for its intended purpose it is excellent. It is small enough that I can carry it in my front pocket and it did not break the bank.

  16. #15
    Member Array ranburr's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Of the guns u listed, I would pick the Kahr. Sig has too many quality issues these days. U might also want to look at the Walther PPS. Surprisingly, the Taurus 709 Slim is a pretty good gun. Yes, I did just recommend a Taurus over a Sig (both companies have issues, but Taurus seems to have gotten this one right).

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