Small 9mm or .380?

Small 9mm or .380?

This is a discussion on Small 9mm or .380? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am wanting to get a smaller carry gun. I have a S&W M&P 40 compact now. It is a great gun, but I can't ...

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Thread: Small 9mm or .380?

  1. #1
    Member Array gun1's Avatar
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    Small 9mm or .380?

    I am wanting to get a smaller carry gun. I have a S&W M&P 40 compact now. It is a great gun, but I can't carry it easily every day.

    I like the size of some of the .380's but I am a little hesitant of the power. I think a 9mm would be better, but the size of the guns usually goes up too. I have heard that the .380's can jam more as well.

    What compact guns in .380 and 9mm can you recommend? What would you not recommend and why? Price isn't much of a consideration, but I am probably not going to spend $900 on a pistol. I don't want anything cheap either.

    I have looked at the S&W Bodyguard .380, Kahar P380 series, and PM9 series. I have shot a Kahar PM40 - I fired two rounds and that was enough. I don't know that dropping down to a 9mm will make much difference, but maybe? I suppose with enough practice with any gun I can become proficient with it.

    I have plenty of firepower with my .40 M&P, I guess I need to figure out if a heavier round is better (9mm) or the more compact'ness and concealability of a tiny .380 is better. I will probably end up with both, but I just need to find the next logical jump.

    My preferred carry position is in my front right pocket of my jeans. I wear shirts tucked in every day so in-waist band carry is out of the question for daily carry. Aside from "every day" carry I can find a place in a coat pocket, or even at that point I could throw my .40 in a holster on my belt. In the end, I need an easily carried pocket gun.


  2. #2
    Member Array Drgnfly's Avatar
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    Shield 9mm ? And the LC9 isn't bad only put like 100 rounds through one though.

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    Member Array Scramble4a5's Avatar
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    Good idea for a thread. I am asking the same question. Let's see what the gang says.

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    Senior Member Array sioux565's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome!

    My recommendation is the Ruger LCP. It shoots .380 ammunition and has a 7 round capacity. It is truly a pocket pistol. I was completely against pocket carrying until I actually tried it and this gun works perfect for that role. You can find them for roughly $300-$350 depending on where you go. That would leave you with enough extra money to get a decent pocket holster and lots of ammunition to practice with.

    I have shot the LC9 before which is just a little bigger than the LCP in all ways. I don't own one, so I cannot speak of reliability and concealability.

    Good luck with your search! I'm sure you will get plenty of recommendations.

  5. #5
    mkh
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    Distinguished Member Array mkh's Avatar
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    My preference would be for the 9mm and I have been happy with my PF9.

    It isn't my primary carry but rather serves the role of a bug and as a carry weapon for those few times I can't conceal anything else.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forumI would go with a 9mm
    Nano,Shield, Pm9 something around that size,maybe a LCR
    I have a nano and LCR .357 like them both. Try and shoot a few different models if you can.
    I had a bersa thunder that ran pretty good

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    Member Array Spovik's Avatar
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    Shield/LCP/LC9 would have been my first choices, XDs is also really nice if you want .45 ACP

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    Have you looked at the Sig P938? It's a 9mm but in the sub compact size of a P238. I have not shot this gun but am just aware of it.
    multistage and candalos like this.


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    Member Array HandgunWorld's Avatar
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    I have a M&P Shield 9mm and a Kahr P380. I recommend both without hesitation. A Kahr PM9 is a very close 2nd. I've owned one of those for 6+ years.
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    Member Array Scramble4a5's Avatar
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    Kentucky Gun Company has the LCP for under $300.

  11. #11
    StarPD45
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    If you can handle the recoil of a mini-9, that would be the way to go. Some (PF-9, for example) aren't much bigger than a .380.

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    VIP Member Array jbum's Avatar
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    LC9 and don't look back.

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    Beretta Nano.


    Eventually you'll be able to shoot 9mm AND .40 from the same chassis without having to buy a whole new firearm.

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    Member Array rickshooter's Avatar
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    I have shot the ruger LCP plenty and some years ago decided to go with an old mustang. It is a little larger but it is a lot easier to shoot. I know it is a lot more money than the LCP. But that is nothing if you ever need to use it.

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    Member Array gun1's Avatar
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    There are some good suggestions in here.

    Something to keep in mind is the M&P40c I have now I am considering too big for the sake of discussion. Regardless of what rounds some guns shoot, if it is the same size (or close) as what I have it is going to be out of the question. That goes for the M&P9 Shield, unfortunately as it is a great gun too.

    I did shoot the BU9 Nano in a class several weeks ago. I really was not a fan of it. I shot the M&P9c first and it was fantastic, the BU9 Nano was terrible in comparison. Yea, it is a small gun in 9mm, but my first impression was "not for me". I suppose that may change if I shoot more rounds too.

    HandgunWorld - can you discuss your thoughts of the PM9? For what reasons do you put it behind the P380 and M&P9 Shield? Is your reasoning in the function of the gun or the design/size?

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