This is a discussion on Need Help Deciding within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; How about a Ruger LCR in .357?...
As I posted earlier, the Glock 27 (or G26 for that matter) just don't do it for me. They are just a hair too wide. I need something 1" wide or less. The G26/27 are just too wide for my squatty short body! If I traditionally wore an OWB holster and a sport coat, I could see pulling it off. But I need something that can be used in conjunction with an IWB holster. I don't wear baggy clothes and I personally can't stand "cargo" style shorts/pants. My normal, every day wardrobes consist of either chino pants, Levi 501's, or > 7" inseam shorts (see: Patagonia "Stand Up shorts") as the bottom section and polo-style shirts or t-shirts as tops (both tucked and untucked).
I may have mentioned my squatty stature. I'm 5'8" and weigh roughly 165 lbs. I've haven't performed a "crunch" in years so I've got a small, slight spare tire around my midsection. Combine my size along with my clothing choices, the G26/27 are not going to do it. I've ruled them out. Trust me, I wish I was a little bit taller and a little bit thinner. But I'm not.
That's why I am looking for information and first hand knowledge and experience with these below:
- SIG Sauer P290 (2012, P290RS w/ ReStrike capability and trigger adjustments)
- Kahr PM9
- Beretta Nano
Due to so much chatter about the M&P Shield, I might add it to my list. I want to try it out this weekend. But for now, I'm interested in the ones I've mentioned.
So, if anyone knows anything about those above, I am all ears!
I'll recommend the Kahr PM9. First it's super narrow and concealable. Non of your choices or any other mentioned are more so. Next there's no mag disconnect and no safety. Both are unnecessary on a gun intended for civilian defensive use. Next, the Kahr has excellent sights although in a defensive situation you more than likey won't use it. Next, it has the smoothest double action trigger of any gun I've ever fired. Many mention the long trigger pull as a negative but on a defensive CCW gun it's a positive. Save short light triggers for range time. A little longer, heavier BUT SMOOTH DAO is perfect for defensive situations because when you're scared and shaking your not going to accidentially touch off a "too light" trigger and in a defensive situation that long trigger pull won't be noticed because you won't be sloooowwwlllly squeeeezing off a round, you just smoothly and immediately pull the trigger.
you'll hear a lot about the "unreliability of the plastic kahrs". used to be true, now I don't think they're any better or any worse than the rest. Kahr has good customer service and no matter what brand you pick (Glock included) you may find a problem with a new gun. If you can send it back and they're good at working with you then you end up with the ultimate little gun.
Now here's the draw backs to the PM9. Recoil can be stout and you may experience a bit of muzzle flip because of the light weight. You should consider the Kahr P9 which will give you a full grip but is still incredibly concealable.
Not to offend anyone but I wouldn't recommend a revolver. A kahr anything will conceal better than any revolver and feel better IWB because those cylinders feel like a small smooth rock in your belt line. Sorry, I love'em too but a flat auto is just easier and more comfortable.
So that''s my thoughs and a lot of folks will disagree but I really do think the Kahrs are the ultimate defensive CCW guns on the market.
As for the M&P shield, it does look promising except it has the external safety. I'm only judging by pictures but you're not going to be able to reliably sweep that safety on the draw so you'll likely get the advice to just leave it off. If that's what I'm going to do then I'd rather not have it there in the first place. There's a one in a million chance if you set the safety on at home one night that you might forget it and then have to use the gun the next day and forget you put it on at home when looking at it. If you say it can't happen I disagree. Everyone of us has left a safety on when we went to fire a gun. If there is no safety then it can't happen.
Other than that, I can't see any advantage in the Sheild over the Kahr unless it feels better in your hand or you like the price better but if that's the case then consider the Kahr CW9. It comes at a similar price point and still has all of the positives of the Kahr line with none of the negatives.
Thanks for your post! You are spot on, my friend! This is the exact kind of information that I requested in my original post, as well as all subsequent posts. I appreciate all the feed back that I've received thus far, but for the record, I am looking for first-hand experience and information specific to the Sig, Kahr, and Beretta.
You mentioned that no matter which manufacturer I go with, the possibility is always there that the pistol may have to be sent back for repair or work to get it to being the "ultimate little gun." Sad that we can't depend on them to come that way, strait out of the box. Example: my experience with Kimber. On the flip side, neither of my Glocks have had to be returned for any reason! Maybe I'll get lucky this time around...
Yesterday, I was able to shoot a couple boxes of WWB through a Beretta Nano. It had a great fit and I appreciated its recoil management. The gun's owner said he bought it last month and has put several hundred rounds through it. He claimed to have a couple of FTE and FTF problems while breaking it in, but after the first 100 rounds or so, no further issues. I tested his IWB holster and absolutely loved how the Beretta felt holstered. (Note: Overall, the Nano is the largest of the 3 pistols. It's length, width, and height dimensions are greater than those of the Sig and Kahr.), It has become a very strong contender, jumping to first place.
As it stands, I'm now rating them:
- Beretta Nano
- Kahr PM9
- SIG Sauer P290-R/S (Ranked third as it is untested.)
Now, I just need to find the Sig P290 and fire it!
Thanks guys! I really appreciate everyone's assistance as well as keeping this thread alive. I know it may be a trivial problem to be solved, but it may come down to savin' my bacon sometime down the road. So, if you have anything to add, please post away!!!
Due to cost, I've narrowed my search to either the Beretta Nano and the Sig Sauer P290. Unfortunately, I have not been fast enough in making my final decision.
A couple of weeks ago, I was stuck-up at gun point. Since I was unarmed, I was defenseless. The perp managed to get roughly $600 in cash as well as my wallet, iPhone, car keys, and my very favorite BenchMade pocket knife. I've been carrying my old trusty Glock 23 since, but I find it a bit too large and cumbersome. I hope to make my decision by week's end and have something that can be easily concealed going forward. This will not happen again.
Thanks for all of you who have given your advise and suggestions!
I have several Glocks, but, like the OP, think they just suck to carry because they are too thick. Before anybody flames me, my Glocks shoot pretty well, and have run 100% for thousands of rounds, but, like the OP, they just don't work for ME, for carry.
One of my carry guns, is an old Kimber Pro-Carry, in .40, which is about the same size as the OPs Kimber. A few months ago, I too was looking for something with a little more power than my .380s, but, smaller/easier to carry than some of my other pistols.
I looked at all the choices mentioned, and ended up buying a Kimber Solo instead. I think the trigger is better than the Kahr, and I had the option of putting a Crimson Trace laser grip on it. All of my carry guns, with the exception of my S&W Bodyguard .380 wear Crimson Trace Lasergrips. I have about 1K through my Solo, and it hasn't had any of the issues reported in some of the early guns, and has run 100% with good ammo.
When The Shields hit the market, a friend that works at a local gun shop called me, so I went down and bought one. It is bigger than my Solo, which makes it easier to shoot, but, slightly harder to conceal. I sold my Shield to a friend of mine that really wanted it. I have other M&Ps, and like them for range guns, but, for carry, I almost always grab the Solo.
kahr PM-9 or its cheaper brother, the CM-9. i too, prefer not to be a beta tester. the Kahr is much more of a proven design. some don't like the trigger. have you shot one? a good idea to rent one before you buy
i would guess that the street price of a CM-9 to be LESS than a Nano or P-290. check one out, and see the comments, both pro and con, in other threads on this site.
I currently own the Beretta Nano and Sig P290RS. I owned a Kahr PM9.
First, I recently sold the PM9. It is about 3 ounces lighter than the Nano, and 4 ounces lighter than the P290RS. It was a perfectly reliable pistol, and had a great trigger pull, probably the best of the three. My problem with it was that it developed barrel peening on the hood after about 400 rounds. I stoned it out, and it kept reappearing. It never caused a malfunction, but I didn't like it. So it found a new home. Barrels are easy to obtain from Kahr, but I had already gotten the Nano and liked it, so that made it easier to let the PM9 go. The P290RS came along last, as a replacement for the PM9.
Now as to the Nano and P290RS. Both of mine have been perfectly reliable with one exception. The P290RS had one failure to feed with a Corbon 115 grain load during the first three magazine fulls. No problems with anything since. 337 round through the Nano, 228 through the P290RS. Mostly 124 grain American Eagle FMJ, and Winchester 127 and 115 grain +P+ JHP.
The P290RS is the shortest of the three through the grip, and comes out of my Docker pockets easiest of the three. The Nano has the best trigger of the remaining two, but the stiffer trigger of the P290RS is still pretty easy to manage, both one and two-handed.
I'd be hard pressed to call either one better than the other. I love the night sights on the P290RS, and as you indicate you work at night sometimes, that might swing the vote. Night sights are available for the Nano, but are close to another $100.
One other consideration that might sway the vote towards the P290 is that while they both have 6 round flush fitting mags, 8 rounders are easily available for the Sig right now. Beretta has been promising 8 rounders for the Nano, or kits to modify the 6 rounders into 8's, but supplies are low and Nano owners have been waiting quite a while. When they do show up on Beretta's website, they sell out very quickly.
Anyway, I like 'em both, and carry both often. I carry the Nano with two spare 6 round mags, and the P290 with two spare 8 round mags.
My carry ammo in both is an initial load of Winchester Ranger 127 grain +P+ JHPs and the spares are filled with Ranger 115 grain +P+ JHPs. Please don't ask me to justify that, it's just what I choose to do. Both the Nano and P290RS are built like little tanks, and have no problem with the hot loads. No primer pressure signs, and ejection distance is normal.
Bottom line, for me, the Nano is easier to hit with due to the softer trigger. But the P290RS is not bad.The P290 has night sights and is just a smidge smaller all around.
One interesting fact is that Beretta flat out lies on their website about the Nano width. The Nano is .95" wide, not .90" as they claim. I've put my calipers all over it, and there is no place it is only .90" in width.
I'd be happy with either as a small carry pistol, but I'm glad I've got them both.
Wow, just noticed I had bumped an almost 6 month old thread. Had you bought one or the other?
I've been back and forth, but I'm currently leaning toward the P290RS for a few reasons. First, I intend to pocket carry so I see the heavier trigger of the P290RS an advantage not a disadvantage. It's not going to be a range gun, so I really don't care if I can drive nails with it or not. I'm sure I wouldn't notice the difference in a gunfight. Second, I prefer the DAO hammer fired gun but that's just a personal taste thing more than anything. Third, I do not like not being able to rack the slide on the CM9 to chamber a round (or at least Kahr doesn't recommend it). To me that is a design flaw that they should have fixed long ago, but that's just me. Forth, from what I've read it seems the CM9s are hit or miss and can require a bit of tinkering to get them functioning properly.
So I don't know. I don't really think the extra 4 ounces of the P290RS is going to make any difference with me but I'm going to carry 24 ounces around for a bit before I decide.
P290 here. I had the Kahr TP9. It was good but something about shooting it just didn't work for me. The trigger was long & smooth DAO style but combined with the uber skinny grip I had a hard time getting good groups with it.
The P290 is a better shooter for me personally. Trigger needs a little work but I have a place that I think can do it. Btw mine is an early version so non-RS restrike. That's not an issue for me personally. So far every trigger pull goes bang. ;D