My PF 9 has no problems, and is flat, light, compact but has a kick too it, but that's because it's so light, but my 45s fullsize have a lot of kick also.
When I'm not carrying my Ultra Carry II or my CZ PCR, I carry a LC9. Long trigger pull, mag disconnect that I hate but an easy pistol for me to shoot and it conceals even better than a compact 1911. I've considered getting rid of the Ruger but haven't found anything else that concealable that I like half as well. So maybe the mag disconnect will get.........deleted.
I have heard nothing but good things about the Walther PPS. It is an excellent firearm and has a great reputation for reliability. I would also recommend the Glock 26 but it is not a single stack. It is a very reliable gun and it is a Glock.
The benchmark I use to select a self defense firearm is......how many police departments or military units use a particular pistol/revolver from a given manufacturer? Why do I use this benchmark? Because in order for a firearm to be selected by one of these units, it usually must prove some level of reliability and durability. Sure, cost is an element also, but few police departments can afford to arm their units with with firearms that are not reliable. If you use this benchmark, you eliminate a lot of 3rd tier manufacturers (Kel-tec, Kahr, Taurus, Bersa, Ruger, etc.). Sure, you may be able to purchase a firearm from one of these companies that proves itself to be reliable, but your odds of getting a stinker are pretty high. If you get right down to it, there are only a handful of manufacturers making firearms today that are found widely distributed in police/military units (Glock, Smith and Wesson, Sig Arms, Beretta and Springfield).
Another point I want to make is that the smallest firearm for ccw may not be your best option. When I first began looking for a pistol for concealed carry, size and weight were of primary concern to me, but what I learned is that there is a direct correlation between size/weight and reliability and ease of shooting accurately. I normally don't carry a back-up gun. If I'm going to carry only one weapon, I want the one I carry to have the largest capacity that I shoot the best and that has proven itself to be reliablee. In my case, that's either a Sig Sauer P220 Carry or a Glock 30.
Very, very few Kahrs of the ones sold (probably less than 1%) have issues. Remember, this is the internet, and much of what you see are the complainers and/or people who just repeat something they read with no real experience behind it. My PM9 has been flawless with more than 1200 rounds through it. I think the Kahr line is one of the best single-stack line of 9mm's out there.
If I were looking for a pistol to put 10,000 round through in any condition, then Glock, Sig, etc, would be (and Sig is) my choice. However, for a gun that is carried a lot but shot little, and is reliable for CCW (e.g., no shooing in mud, underwater, etc.) there are many good options, with Rohrbaugh and Kahr standing at the top of the subcompact heap (Walther is a little larger and more what I consider a compact).
A "ps" from another thread. This thread was of prime interest as I have been looking for just that, a single stack 9mm BUG. But, on the range Sunday I dragged out my Sig 232 to shoot up a bunch of 380 ammo before selling it. Whoa! That little guy was a tack-driver. Decided, for now, that I'm going to keep it. "If it ain't broke..."
I love my Kahr CM9. Perfect size and feel. Not one issue yet.
"...the most reliable, subcompact single stack 9 mm...." Excellent question. Unfortunately, NONE of us have access to the reliability records of any guns. We only have our personal experience and the "internet experience." Consequently, your options are to go from the experiences of individuals and the the "experiences" you read from the internet. Granted, the latter can be particularly tricky to interpret. Hence, a prior poster stating that from reading a Kahr forum he thought Kahr's were only 60% reliable (may not be his exact words, but close enough to get the idea).
Here are the guns that I think would meet your description as well as my anecdotal reliability assessment from reading multiple forums on the 'net:
Kel-Tec PF9: As mentioned earlier, the PF9 seems to be a pretty good when you get a good one. There are a lot of reports w/ problems out there, although Customer Service seems to be generally good. My personal PF9 has about 300 rounds of mixed ammo through it w/o any signifiant problems. I did the "buff and fluff" treatment on the KT forum before shooting it. Yes, the gun "looks" like it cost me $260, but who else sees it other than me?
Kahr PM9/CM9/CW9: Kahr seems to generally have a good reputation for reliability, although there are always exceptions. Likewise, their CS seems to do well. The only Kahr I own is a CW45. It has nearly 200 rounds through it and has been flawless so far. True, the CW9 will not be as nicely refined as the other versions, but it should still be a fine cc gun. If the CW9 had been available when I bought my PF9, I might have ended up w/ the Kahr.
Kimber Solo: Seems to have a lot of issues, including a recall.
Ruger LC9: Subject to an early recall, but seems to have done better thereafter. As already mentioned, many don't like the long trigger pull, external safety and magazine disconnect safety.
Beretta Nano: Personally I don't think this one's been on the market long enough to have good feel for it's reliability.
Walther PPS: Walther generally has a good reputation for reliability. Taurus 709 Slim: Taurus quality control and cs also seem to be rather hit or miss.
Diamond Back 9: Like Taurus, hit or miss, but from my reading, probably more "miss than hit."
Bersa BP9CC: Generally a good reputation for reliability, although still some misses. To big for pocket carry.
Sig P938: Very new gun. The 238 seemed to have a lot of problems early early production. I'd wait a while on this one. As I mentioned, I like the option of pocket carry w/ the subcompact 9's. I think the this gun should be carried cocked and locked. When carried cocked and locked, the P938 has an exposed hammer. Pocket carrying a gun w/ an exposed hammer, like the P938, seems like a disadvantage.
9mm 1911's: Same issue w/ exposed hammer as w/ the Sig. I'm not sure how many gun manufacturers make a subcompact 1911 in 9mm, but I don't think there are many.
One of the things I like about the subcompact 9's is the option of pocket carry w/ some pants. I think the PPS, Bersa and 1911's are too big for this.
Kahr seems to have a good following. Ive looked into the taurus slim but some seem to have issues and some dont. Bersa is coming out with a single stack 9mm Im looking at because I have the thunder 380 and love it. Others are the walthe pps. Ruger lc9 kel-tec pf9. And this summer springfield is bringing out a single stack xds in 9mm 40s&w and 45acp. Since you already have the xdsc which Is a great gun by the way as I have one also. Good luck with your choice.
I now have over 4500+ problem free rounds through my Taurus PT709 with still the same recoil assembly. If I had the more expensive Kahr PM9, I would have probably needed to have changed out the recoil spring either 3 or 4 times already. The Kahr is nice and I would like to get one someday, but sometimes these less expensive guns are just as good and as reliable maybe even more less expensive in the long run with not changing out parts as often. Just my opinion. God Bless :smile: