SIG, KAHR, or KT for a first timer

SIG, KAHR, or KT for a first timer

This is a discussion on SIG, KAHR, or KT for a first timer within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have never had a handgun before but have logged a ton of time hunting with shotgun and rifle. I have made the decision to ...

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Thread: SIG, KAHR, or KT for a first timer

  1. #1
    Member Array lilducky08's Avatar
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    SIG, KAHR, or KT for a first timer

    I have never had a handgun before but have logged a ton of time hunting with shotgun and rifle. I have made the decision to start to carry and plan on getting a handgun soon and beginning to get familiar/trained with the gun. The question is which one. I have a small frame and hands. I find myself drawn to the SIG 232sl, the KAHR PM9, and the KELTEC 3AT. I don't feel the need for 9mm vs. .380 for personal defense, but maybe I am wrong. I will only buy one. I will only carry one. I wear mostly business casual clothes, typically with shirt untucked. I like the idea of the gun riding on the middle of my back, or when i need to tuck in, on the ankle. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Welcome.
    I have a Sig P232, not a stainless as you mentioned but a fine gun regardless. It might be worth looking at the blued version, it's cheaper, still has the nightsights option, can be retrofitted with the same Hogue grips and most importantly weighs less.

    I don't have an opinion on the Kahr.

    The Kel-Tec makes a fine 'always' gun, you will never leave it at home because it doesn't fit with whatever you are wearing.

    My honest opinion, get the Sig and the KT as back-up. Later on get a few more but this is a good start.

  3. #3
    Member Array Optimistic Paranoid's Avatar
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    If I recall corectly, the SIG is a traditional DA/SA pistol, that is, you have a long, heavy trigger pull on your first shot, then the hammer stays cocked and you transition to a much shorter, lighter trigger pull for each subsequent shot.

    Personally, this drives me crazy. I prefer a gun with a trigger that stays the same, shot after shot. No, scratch the word "prefer" and substitute INSIST on.

    Both of your other two choices have constant action triggers that stay the same.

    A lot of people disagree with me on this point, obviously, as guns like the SIG are very popular.

    I have an all steel Kahr K-40 and I love it, btw. Very high quality, well designed gun.

    As for carrying in the middle of the back, if you fall - or are knocked down - so you land flat on your back, there is the potential for the gun to cause major, permanent damage to your spine!
    Regards
    John


    Life Member - American Society of Armed Political Malcontents

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    In God I Trust. Everybody Else Keep Your Hands Where I Can See Them!

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Brand, caliber, and model

    Quote Originally Posted by lilducky08 View Post
    I wear mostly business casual clothes, typically with shirt untucked.
    Your mode of dress is perfect for belt carry of a compact semiauto, and I would agree with other posters that small of back carry is not as suitable as behind the strong side hip - at the 4:00 position if you are right handed. You will find it difficult to sit comfortably in a chair or car seat with a gun at the small of your back.

    As for the brand of gun, you mentioned Sig, Kahr and Keltec. Since the most important attribute of a handgun is that it be perfectly reliable and work every time, the Sig brand is the best choice of the three. Your odds are better that it will work out of the box.

    Regarding caliber, you mentioned guns in .380 and 9mm. If you look at ballistic data, the 9mm is a heavier bullet with higher velocity, giving almost twice the muzzle energy of a .380 (perhaps 380 ft-lbs vs. 200 ft-lbs). Personally, I would much rather count on 9mm rounds to stop an attacker quickly than .380.

    Finally the model of the gun, and I am advocating a 9mm Sig in your case. The smallest 9mm Sig is the model P239, an aluminum frame gun with narrow slide and grip which conceals easily. It is available in either double action/single action or double action only, depending on your preference. The single stack magazine holds 8 rounds of 9mm, and the double action only version (DAK) has a smooth 7 pound trigger pull.


  5. #5
    Member Array What the?'s Avatar
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    I am also a long gun man, always have been. My only pistol is a p3at, my wife carries a snub 38.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array kylebce's Avatar
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    Gun choice is alot about preference, that said I think the Sig is the best and most reliable on your list.

    The 9mm is a lot stronger and I would encourage you to consider 9mm as the minimum for self defense. Like pogo2 said- the 239 is the 9mm counterpart.

    good luck.

  7. #7
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    I got to say Sig... but not the 232. Its a fine gun, but the 239 is more suitable for your purpose. The 239 is easier to use, even more important if you are new to handguns.
    The Kel-Tec is a good gun too, but it is slightly fickle. Its also a handful due to its small size and light weight. This is the easiest of the guns you mentioned to carry.
    The Kahr PM9... this is my personal choice for every day carry. It can be a little tempermental too, its subject to limp wristing problems with an noob shooter. It would be a close second to the 239, but as already stated, you will have a far better chance at a good experiance with the Sig.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array USPnTX's Avatar
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    My vote is for the Sig 239.
    "Do not fear those who disagree with you; fear those that do and are too cowardly to admit it" - Napoleon

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array cockedlocked01's Avatar
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    Well, the Kahr & Kel Tec's are DAO. Simple to operate. The Sig is nice, pretty much all Sig's are, but it's the largest & heaviest of the 3 guns. The 239, that someone suggested, is a 9mm, but even larger & heavier. My experience with Sig has been older (5 yrs or more) models, so I'm assuming the Sig's a DAO, too.

    I think any of the guns are decent first CC guns. Personally, I like to see a first timer get a revolver, like a S&W J-frame or equivelant.

    I personally have the PM9 & it's been great for me. If you're definitely going to carry IWB & not pocket, I'ld suggest the Kahr or Sig 239. You might as well have a 9mm if you're carrying IWB. If you're thinking pocket carry, the Kel Tec's better, or a J-frame revolver (Again, or equivelant).

    Good luck.
    "Use human means as though divine ones didn't exist, and divine means as though there were no human ones." Baltasar Gracian
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Steve48's Avatar
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    Go to a range where you can rent a variety of guns and see which one you like. Steve48

  11. #11
    New Member Array timinaz's Avatar
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    I've had a Keltec .40 cal and in 9mm, and they both beat my hands up! The Keltec's are also finiky about ammo. There is a site on the web that shows you how to do a "fluff and buff" on the Keltec's for reliability. The .40 cal sits in my safe now.

    My daily carry is now a Sig P239 in .40, the extra weight makes shooting it more comfortable. Although there are time I carry a full size .45.

    As it has been pointed out try before you buy if possible unless you are like me and like a lot of choices in the safe...
    YMMV

  12. #12
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    No choice in brand, but I suggest getting a longer barrel, bigger pistol to start with. short , small guns are hard to learn good skills on.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    I would definitely get the 9mm over the 380. As far as which gun. I would go with ether the Sig (probably one of the models suggested by them others) or the Kahr. I personally hate Kel tec. I bought a 9mm "Hell Tec" last year, and got rid of it. The one that I had was terribly unreliable. Now, I know that there are a lot of Kel tec fans who love them, so I'll assume for discussion that mine was not the normal Kel tec product. Even so, the trigger pull is horrible (even most Kel tec fans will admit this). It is uncomfortable to shoot, which discourages practice. It's advantages are price and size. But you can spend a little more, and get a similar size, in a much more enjoyable (if not more reliable) gun. I also strongly discourage small of the back carry. You risk severe sopinal injury carrying like that. I would suggest that you consider belt carry, either IWB or OWB, or pocket carry. Since Vegas summers are hot, and my dress for work precludes a cover garment for a lot of the time, I use pocket carry those times. I keep my Glock 26 in a Desantis Nemesis pocket holster. Works out really well. I may end up getting a Kahr myself eventually, so that I can move up to 45 caliber for pocket carry.

  14. #14
    Member Array lilducky08's Avatar
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    thanks for the input...because the main intent of the gun is for concealed carry, the size is numebr one. I have not heard such things about carrying the gun in the back being such a problem. Isn't it a problem wherever you carry it? Either way, the pocket, the back or the ankle are the three places I would like to carry based on clothes, feel, etc.

    As far as the gun selection, I am still really drawn to the KT as you can get it equipped with a laser, holster, and ammo with about the same price as what you would pay for the other two. Is the P232 really that much bigger than the KT? It seems like the main selling point of the KT P3AT is the size. Anyone have side to side pics of these two?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array cockedlocked01's Avatar
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    The Sig's bigger & heavier than both the KT & Kahr. Depending on the pockets, you can pocket carry the Kahr. You can carry the KT just about anywhere. The Sig's pretty much a IWB/OWB or shoulder holster gun. I'm sure someone, somewhere, pocket carries a Sig, but they're big pockets.

    If you don't mind carrying a .380 as an EDC, buy the KT. You can buy lots of ammo to practice with the $ you save buying it, & the other goodies you mentioned. The Kahrs & Sigs are 2-3X the cost of the KT.

    Good luck.
    "Use human means as though divine ones didn't exist, and divine means as though there were no human ones." Baltasar Gracian
    Integrated Close Combat
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    Glock 19 & 26, Kahr CM9 & P45, Para P12, Kel-Tec P-32, S&W 442, & Dan Wesson 14-2.

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