Preferred 9mm carry barrel length?

Preferred 9mm carry barrel length?

This is a discussion on Preferred 9mm carry barrel length? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What's your preferred lenght of barrel in 9mm for a carry gun? I'm basically referring to the actual compact/sub compact guns - yes I know ...

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Thread: Preferred 9mm carry barrel length?

  1. #1
    Member Array vashooter's Avatar
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    Preferred 9mm carry barrel length?

    What's your preferred lenght of barrel in 9mm for a carry gun?
    I'm basically referring to the actual compact/sub compact guns - yes I know you can carry a 92FS with a 5 inch barrel, but that's not typical...
    What is it and why? 3 inch? 3.5 inch? or 4 inch?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    So far the Glock 19 is about the best 9mm I've owned out of maybe four or five different makes and models. Overall, 4" barrels seem to ride most comfortably for me while keeping a good velocity and site radius. Same way with 1911s, the Commander is about the best length there is for me.
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    Another vote for the Glock 19, but if I need greater concealment or a BUG, a 3" Kahr PM9 is the choice in a pocket holster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vashooter View Post
    I'm basically referring to the actual compact/sub compact guns - yes I know you can carry a 92FS with a 5 inch barrel, but that's not typical...
    Well, you ruled me out--my preferred 9mm is a full-size Browning Hi-Power (4 3/4-inch barrel). I prefer the highest possible velocity for a 9mm Parabellum cartridge. YMMV.

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    3 to 4 inches

    When I have carried a 9mm I have used either a 4 or 3 inch barrel. The guns are a Glock 19 (4 inches) and a Kahr MK9 (3 inches).

    The 4 inch barrel gives you a longer sight radius which helps accuracy, and somewhat higher velocity than the 3 inch barrel. But the 3 inch is easier to conceal, and will actually fit in a pocket, which the 4 inch won't accomodate.

    I believe that a longer barrel handgun will always give a higher muzzle velocity with a given ammunition than a shorter barrel gun. This is probably because the expanding gas from the combustion of the gunpowder has longer to accelerate the bullet before it leaves the barrel, so a higher velocity is reached.

    I don't have any data on velocity vs. barrel length for 9mm, but I have read a good test article by Stephen Camp that studied .45 ACP ammo in barrel lengths of 5.0, 4.25 and 3.0 inches. Camp found that with the same ammo the 3 inch barrel gave 11% lower velocity than the 5 inch barrel. The 4.25 inch barrel gave about 4% lower velocity than the 5 inch. Here is a link:

    .45 velocity vs. barrel length study by Stephen Camp

  6. #6
    Member Array Curtis27's Avatar
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    +1 for the G19 and it's 4" barrel. I love mine. I also have a 442 for pocket carry when I can't have my G19 on my waist.
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    my .02:

    I carry a XD9sc with the 3" barrel. It fits my hand and carry style.
    It's not about the caliber you carry, it's about how you USE it.

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    Member Array floridaguy911's Avatar
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    3 inch barrel is probably ok in 9mm for CC if you're using +p or +p+.
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    I prefer 3"to 4" range, that seems to be the balance point for comfort and performance. Of course longer would be better, but in CCW ranges 3" will work just fine. Its more important to select the correct ammo for that length than it is to worry about pressure.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Quote Originally Posted by vashooter View Post
    What's your preferred lenght of barrel in 9mm for a carry gun?
    I'm basically referring to the actual compact/sub compact guns - yes I know you can carry a 92FS with a 5 inch barrel, but that's not typical...
    What is it and why? 3 inch? 3.5 inch? or 4 inch?
    You will get more velocity out of a longer barrel but the thing to remember is that most attacks happend within 7 yards. So velocity is not as important as getting it out shooting it. It all comes down to what you feel comfortable carrying and shooting. Shot placement is the MOST important.......
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array ron8903's Avatar
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    4" for me.
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    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    I usually don't carry a 9mm but I did just buy an HKP7 PSP 9mm that I hear is a sweet shooter with a 4.1" bbl. Might start carrying it if reliable for a different concealment option.

    So 4.1".


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    Member Array glembe's Avatar
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    Glock 17, 4.49 in. barrel, 7.32 in. Length Over All

    Why?
    I have tried the model 19 and 26 and other brand compacts and subcompacts but I will stick to my one and only 9mm, my first generation 17, for me the longer sight radius helps me get on target faster and shoot straight than a shorter barrel length, I’ll take speed and accuracy over a convenient size

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I carry 3.1" and love it, but sometimes I think a 4" barrel might be the best all-around (the grass is always greener somewhere else, isn't it?). Less concerned about velocity than the easier recoil management. Also, given the same round, the shorter barrel will have a brighter flash.
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    Shooting 9mm in 3" barrels is not too shabby since 9mm rounds are developed for 4" barrels. You're only giving up an inch. My last two primary carry guns were .40 S&W, but I would still have carried the 9mm versions which would have been 3.66" and 3.5".

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