Single Stack 9mm

Single Stack 9mm

This is a discussion on Single Stack 9mm within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I find myself in the market for a single stack 9mm. I have reviewed the available models and have narrowed my choice to three. If ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array WoodLark's Avatar
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    Single Stack 9mm

    I find myself in the market for a single stack 9mm. I have reviewed the available models and have narrowed my choice to three. If anyone has personal experience with these three, I would like to hear your comments, positive or negative. Please don't recommend something other than these three; I have probably already looked at it and rejected it for reasons that are sufficient for me.

    Smith & Wesson 3953
    Pros: Familiarity. I already have the 6946 which is the double-stack version of the same gun.
    Reliability. S&W 3rd generation semi-autos will feed anything.
    Cons: Size. Larger than the other ones I am looking at, therefore harder to conceal.
    Used. New guns are not available. Buying a used gun is always a gamble.
    Trigger. Has a heavy trigger (can be slightly improved by replacing hammer spring).

    Bersa BP9CC
    Pros: Reputation. Bersa has a reputation for building very reliable guns.
    Trigger. Every review I have reads says the trigger is excellent.
    Price. Price is the same as used S&W 3953.
    Size. Size and weight seem ideal for my purposes.
    Warranty. Lifetime warranty.
    Cons: Very new. Hasn't been on market long enough to see if there are design/mfg flaws.
    Magazine disconnect. Not needed and may affect trigger smoothness/weight.
    Magazines. Magazines are expensive and hard to find.

    Walther PPS
    Pros: Reliability. Every review says it will feed any ammo.
    Trigger. Reviewers seem to like the trigger.
    Size. Size and weight seem ideal for my purposes.
    Support. Customer support by S&W.
    Cons: Backstrap Disconnect. Not needed and read at least one report of failure.
    Magazine design. Funny little tabs on baseplate (related to backstrap disconnect?).
    Magazine Price. High priced magazines.
    Price. Over $100 more than the other two pistols.

    I am not averse to paying a higher price for better quality, but please do not use the argument ďwhat is your life worth?Ē since I do not believe that higher price automatically equates to higher quality or that the opposite is true for lower price.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    The only one of the three that I have shot is the 3953. Nice gun if you like sa/da. I am curious as to your comment about the size. Are you sure it's bigger then a PPS? The PPS, while single stack is actually a fairly large gun. Also, did you consider the Kahr CW9 and new M&P Shiled? I would personally not buy a brand new on the market pistol (M&P Shield) but the CW9 has been out for quite some time. So has the CM( which offers slightly smaller grip and the expense of one round of capacity.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array WoodLark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
    The only one of the three that I have shot is the 3953. Nice gun if you like sa/da. I am curious as to your comment about the size. Are you sure it's bigger then a PPS? The PPS, while single stack is actually a fairly large gun. Also, did you consider the Kahr CW9 and new M&P Shiled? I would personally not buy a brand new on the market pistol (M&P Shield) but the CW9 has been out for quite some time. So has the CM( which offers slightly smaller grip and the expense of one round of capacity.
    I have had both a CW9 and P9; I didn't like them. Here are the dimensions of the PPS and 3953 (I was surprised too, because I had heard that they were similar (BTW the 3953 is DAO, not DA/SA you are probably thinking of the 3913).

    PPS 3953
    weight 21.3 oz 26.0 oz
    length 6.3 in 6.8 in
    height 4.4 in (depends on mag) 5.6 in
    width 0.91 in 0.98 in
    bbl length 3.2 in 3.5 in

    The M&P shield has two strikes against it for me. It is too new, and I had an M&P .45; I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it.
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  4. #4
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    I own and shoot a PPS 9mm. No issues with backstrap disconnecting. It shoots accurately, carrys even better and is generally a decent gun. I have not tried /shot the other models you asked about so no idea how they stack up.
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    having no idea what force of man or nature has made you have to chose one of these three

    the bersa is overall least undesirable
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  6. #6
    Member Array ping.brady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    It shoots accurately, carrys even better and is generally a decent gun.
    Agree. For its size and barrel length, for some reason, I have great accuracy results compared to other weapons in the same category.

    As for original poster, two things. One, you are doing yourself a disservice by not considering the Kahr CM9/PM9 (IMO). And two, a few updates below in bold from my experience:

    Walther PPS
    Pros: Reliability. Every review says it will feed any ammo.
    Good SD ammo is half the solution here. For a while the PPS was plagued with reliability issues. As with any weapon, proof it thoroughly before carrying
    Trigger. Reviewers seem to like the trigger.
    Just about every PPS owner I know will attest to a gritty trigger, however most of them 'work themselves out' over time. Mine is still less than desirable, but getting better with age. Reset is nice though.
    Size. Size and weight seem ideal for my purposes.
    My favorite carry piece. It disappears with shorts, T-shirt, a good belt and IWB holster. It is however not a pocket gun, though I have been guilty of throwing it in a pocket holster and carrying it in cargo pockets
    Support. Customer support by S&W.
    Though you contact SW for customer service, they employ "Walther ONLY" gunsmiths for warranty work. Because of this, do do not expect quick turnaround all the time and do not expect SW to know what's going on. When I sent my PPS in after extractor blew out, they only had two designated people working on Walther firearms and both were in Germany at the time for training.
    Cons: Backstrap Disconnect. Not needed and read at least one report of failure.
    Can happen. The key is not to constantly remove it. The pressure hindge on the detachable grip is plastic and WILL wear down, leading to a possible failure. I disassembled the grip to try out the different sizes, picked one, and haven't touched it since. Disassemble weapon Glock style: remove mag, rack slide 3~5 times, check camber, check camber, check camber, pull trigger, proceed with breakdown
    Magazine design. Funny little tabs on baseplate (related to backstrap disconnect?).
    Magazine design and more importantly the magazine release lever are the two largest draw back of this weapon. The huge baseplates don't allow for comfortable mag carrier use, the tabs on the base plate get caught in pockets and the mag release lever requires adjusting your training to support fast, efficient and safe magazine exchanges
    Magazine Price. High priced magazines.
    Fast shipping and all around nice guy: Greg Cote, LLC
    Price. Over $100 more than the other two pistols.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    Bersa BP is my pick of the three. Very good trigger, and don't let the mag disconnect sway your decision. If it is half as bullet proof as the other Bersas I've owned for years, I'll be a happy guy.
    BP has polyganol rifling in their barrels, which for some reason Kahr seems to think you should charge an extra $150 to get. Pffft!!! Mags for the BP are not cheap, but no more expensive than the Walther and can be purchased here:

    YourGunParts.com / CondorsFlight.com

    BP 9cc with Thunder 9 Ultra Compact
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Walther PPS
    Pros: Reliability. Every review says it will feed any ammo.
    My PPS-9 had a couple hickups in the first 400 rounds, and not had a single issue in the last 1000.

    Trigger. Reviewers seem to like the trigger.
    Mine started out a little gritty, and smoothed right out. I also added graphite to the striker & tunnel, and itís like a good Glock trigger now.

    Size. Size and weight seem ideal for my purposes.
    Agreed, itís like a full size service pistol I can take anywhere. IMHO it shoots larger than it is, and it handles recoil well enough to be controllable, and enjoyable to practice with.

    Support. Customer support by S&W.
    Havenít had an issue, so no comment here.

    Cons: Backstrap Disconnect. Not needed and read at least one report of failure.
    Like the other poster said, pick one and stick with it. I actaully put 100MPH tape under mine on the frame to tighten it up. Now itís actually somewhat difficult to get off.

    Magazine design. Funny little tabs on baseplate (related to backstrap disconnect?).
    Yup, this is a feature I donít like. I use a spare mag carrier, so itís not as bad, but it sucks for pocket carry.

    Magazine Price. High priced magazines.
    Yup, this also flat out sucks! I donít consider he PPS to be a primary range or HD pistol so I bought a couple extra mags and called it ďgoodĒ. IF/When the Zombies do come Iím reaching for something with a double stack and a bag full of magazines.

    Price. Over $100 more than the other two pistols.
    Agreed, but have a unique ability to rationalize away differences like that. Either break it down by the life expectancy and figure itís a few cents a day, or convince yourself youíre worth it!

    Chuck
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array WoodLark's Avatar
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    Zonker,

    I have had two Bersas in the past, a TH9UC and a TH45UC. IF the BP9CC is as good as those, then Bersa has a winner. I still kick myself occasionally for getting rid of them (especially the 9mm). Unfortunately, no one around here has the BP9CC so I haven't been able to fondle one, and I hate to buy without at least seeing how it fits my hand and trying out the trigger. I'm holding out for this Saturday; there is a gun show locally so MAYBE I'll actually get to see one.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Since you don't like the Kahr's, get the Bersa.
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodLark View Post
    Zonker,

    I have had two Bersas in the past, a TH9UC and a TH45UC. IF the BP9CC is as good as those, then Bersa has a winner. I still kick myself occasionally for getting rid of them (especially the 9mm). Unfortunately, no one around here has the BP9CC so I haven't been able to fondle one, and I hate to buy without at least seeing how it fits my hand and trying out the trigger. I'm holding out for this Saturday; there is a gun show locally so MAYBE I'll actually get to see one.
    I bought your Thunder 9uc from you and I'm still loving that gun!!!!!!! My brother-in-law has been trying to buy it from me ever since I bought it from you and I just can't part with it. Great gun!!! I've handled the BP9cc in my local gun shop and it feels great. It would be my choice if in the market for a single stack 9.
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  12. #12
    Member Array jzorn's Avatar
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    Woodlark, why didn't you like the Kahr cw9? I was thinking about getting one
    Thanks

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array WoodLark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzorn View Post
    Woodlark, why didn't you like the Kahr cw9? I was thinking about getting one
    Thanks
    It has been a while now, so I do not remember the exact problem. It had feeding issues. I was able to take it to a gunsmith and he did some polishing of the internals which seemed to resolve the issues. However, I got rid of it shortly afterward. It also had a long trigger pull/reset which I did not care for.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array yz9890's Avatar
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    I have some experience with the S&W and the Walther and liked the trigger on the Walther a bit more. So if those were the last 3 guns on earth, I guess it pick it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array WoodLark's Avatar
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    Well, it seems I violated my own rule about sticking to the guns on the list. Even though it is sort of scary to be "an early adopter", I walked out of my LGS this morning with a new M&P Shield. Thanks for all your advice though. I'll be reporting later on how it turns out.
    Earth is the insane asylum of the universe!

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