Shot potential CCW 9mm compacts today: my thoughts on G26, M&Pc, PM9, P9, PT111...
This is a discussion on Shot potential CCW 9mm compacts today: my thoughts on G26, M&Pc, PM9, P9, PT111... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi all, first-time poster here, although I've been reading threads here a lot.
I'm planning to carry concealed in the near future for the first ...
January 4th, 2009 04:38 AM
Shot potential CCW 9mm compacts today: my thoughts on G26, M&Pc, PM9, P9, PT111...
Hi all, first-time poster here, although I've been reading threads here a lot.
I'm planning to carry concealed in the near future for the first time . I have my permit in Washington and Utah, but I haven't resolved on a gun and holster yet.
I've been researching handguns and carry modes, and I think my preference would be IWB at 4 o'clock (my strong side). I have a SIG P229 (in 9mm), which I've decided could be a potential CCW on occasion, but not small enough for an EDC. I'm looking for something lighter and/or smaller.
So, I visited the range today, and tried out the following potential CCWs in 9mm:
- Kahr PM9
- Kahr P9
- S&W M&P Compact
- Glock 26
- Taurus PT111
Also, on a side-note, my wife is interested in maybe carrying a Ruger LCP (or Kel-tec P3AT) or a J-Frame, so I put some rounds through these as well just to see how they shoot/feel.
- Kahr PM9: This thing is the perfect size and weight. My odds of carrying every day would increase substantially with this piece. I liked the finish and the trigger was smooth. It shot accurately. It wasn't as comfortable in my hand, but I think this was partially due to the mag; the mag was stainless and had MK Kahr stamped on it (guessing it belongs on an MK9 rather than the polymer version PM9). The mag base was not flush with the bottom of the grip, and every shot seemed to dig into my pinky (since the grip really holds two fingers). Recoil was noticeable, but not unmanageable...wouldn't have a problem with it.
One issue was that the rounds wouldn't feed if I tried to rack the slide to chamber the first round...actually this resulted in a jammed open slide both times. I had previously read about this, but was just confirming what would happen if I forgot and slammed in a new mag and tried to rack a round...not happy about that. Note that no issues were encountered when I used the slide lock release button to chamber the 1st round (as Kahr suggests should be done). Also, ran out of rounds fast (6+1) -- I'm used to my 13 rd. mags on the Sig P229.
OVERALL: Sweet size, nice gun, not really that fun/comfy to shoot, not a lot of rounds.
- Kahr P9: I was initially only considering the PM9, but the range had this one as well, so I gave it a shot after the PM9 didn't wow me as I'd hoped. This gun had the same issue with chambering the first round by racking the slide (instead of using the slide release). This just bugs me a bit. Otherwise, I enjoyed the P9 far more than the PM9. Actually, this one is really fun to shoot, and has the benefits of a slender profile for easy concealment. And, I can get three fingers on the grip.
OVERALL: This is a contender. It was light, fun/comfy to shoot, accurate....however, the price is high...I could do it (it's within budget), but I just don't know if the extra cost is warranted...that is after I shot the M&P compact.
- S&W M&P Compact: AWESOME!! This one had by far the best feel in my hands. It points easliy, and feels great to hold. The most stunning part about shooting this gun (for me) was the absence of any significant recoil. Not sure how much is attributable to the weight, but I think this was easier to shoot than my Sig P229 (which I love and will never part with), and the M&P is compact. Anyone else notice this, or was it just the one I was shooting? Really, I can't overstate this point. I shot really well with it in my first go around. At the end of my session, I had to check it out for one more go-around. I loaded it up and took my time feeling out the accuracy...shots easy to place. I loaded it up again, and emptied the mag quickly, two fast shots at a time. Getting back on target was really fast due to the ergonomics of the gun and low recoil. Tightest group of the day. Up until a couple days ago, I hadn't even considered this piece, but I'm really glad I did.
The DOWNSIDE is that it seems it might be kind of fat/chunky for ideal concealment. I wish I could have the concealment of the Kahr with the ergos and feel of the M&Pc. I've heard about the mags dropping with this gun, but haven't researched it much...hoping it's not an issue.
OVERALL: I'm just about ready to call this one out as champ and go buy it. Hoping for some thoughts from others on my experience to confirm or counter my impressions. Also, I really want to hear from anyone who carries one IWB.
- Glock 26: Well, I think the reputation on these is clear. I'm not a rabid Glock fan ... I don't have much experience with 'em; but I could not deny that this one shot pretty great in my runs. It shot better (in terms of groupings) than my first round with the M&Pc (just barely though). Not even close to my second groupings (although the G26 didn't get a second chance due to time limits). However, Glocks (and this model in particular) just don't feel great in my hands. When I pull the trigger, it's kind of painful on my finger joints (no, I don't have arthritis...I'm 31 yrs. old), and I feel like this will deter me from enjoying practicing with it at the range. Especially after shooting the M&P compact, which (if you didn't notice above) was astonishingly comfortable to shoot IMO. There's no disputing Glock's reliability, accuracy, etc....I could get a Glock, but I don't think I will. Maybe someday though.
OVERALL: I know this model is immensely popular, and I can see why. Accurate, reliable, affordable, accessories galore, availability, reputation. Just didn't feel as good in my hand, certainly not like my Sig, and not at all like the M&Pc. Probably won't get this one.
- Taurus PT111 Pro: I just shot this b/c someone else had the G26 checked out at the moment I was swapping rental guns. Actually pretty nice for a budget gun. The trigger seemed pretty light, at least on the reset. Actually too light for my preference...especially for CCW. I could see myself in an SD scenario with all the adrenaline causing me to accidentally discharge an unintended round or two due to having such a light follow up shot. I don't want to run that risk.
For those interested, here are my thoughts on the Ruger LCP and the S&W Airweight 642 j-frame revolver that I shot today:
LCP: Man, I really like this thing a LOT. Felt, to my hands, much more comfortable to shoot than the Kel-tec P3AT. Not in terms of recoil...pretty much the same from my memory (rented a Kel-Tec in .380 about a month ago); but the build is higher quality, so the parts felt smoother to my hands...no edges digging in during firing. The Kel-tec trigger (on the one I shot at least) had a weird shape that really got my joints more sore with every shot. Not the LCP though. Pretty comfy (for a tiny gun), and great accuracy really. Very cool gun.
S&W 642: So, I was embarrassed somewhat as I tried to hit my target with this thing. What the heck?! I was about 5 inches high for several rounds until I figured out how to aim the nearly useless sights a little better. But still, I couldn't group anything with it -- it felt really random. I've never shot so bad. After shooting all the 9mm guns, maybe I just didn't like the .38 Special in such a light gun. Really uncomfortable, hard to aim, long heavy trigger, and only five lousy (no really...lousy -- I'm sure due to me) shots. I have no desire for a revolver after this. I'm a semi-auto man for sure. BTW, I've shot a lot of .40S&W and .45ACP handguns, and I'm usually very accurate and comfortable with any caliber. Just couldn't make this revolver work though.
Okay, long post...hope it was worth your read. I posted partially to give a range report to others who might be looking at these for CCW. But, also, I want your more expert impressions and thoughts on my observations.
As you could tell, the M&P Compact is my favorite of the bunch, for very good reason IMO. Wasn't even on my short list two days ago, but now I can hardly wait to shoot one again! The only thing holding me back on it is I want to make sure it's good for everyday carry (EDC) despite it's width (again, I think I'll go IWB). I hope so -- fantastic gun!
If the M&Pc is too fat, I'll probably go with the Kahr P9 (or maybe a CW9, even though for some reason the P9 feels better to me).
Thanks for your thoughts!!
January 4th, 2009 04:38 AM
January 4th, 2009 05:14 AM
Welcome to the forum.
You did perhaps the most prudent thing which was to go out and "try before you buy."
Seems like the M&P fits your needs and you should go with it.
That said, I'm a die-hard Kahr fan and think they are perfect CCW due to their thinness, weight, and accuracy. Yes, they suffer in the number or rounds category, but when I carried my 9mm Kahrs, I used to carry two (P9 Covert and PM9) and two seven (or one seven and one eight) round magazines.
Yes, racking the slide on the Kahrs require finesse; you even remotely "ride the slide" and that round will choke the gun. Pull the slide back and release and that first round should chamber ok.
About concealing the M&P, it should be a snap with the right holster (which one that is given your body dimensions) and clothing.
USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947
January 4th, 2009 06:09 AM
I'm partial to Glocks but the M&P would also serve you well.
"Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina
If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.
January 4th, 2009 07:45 AM
Welcome to the forum. You certainly tried out some nice pistols there. A word on the J Frames. They are very different from the auto's. With practice they work well but not for everyone to be sure. While I favor a J out of that group myself I also really like the Kahr PM9 as well.
Don't let size fool you, many of us carry larger size pistols all day and well concealed. For me it's a 4" 1911. That Sig of yours is a fine pistol as well and actually could be carried if your mode of dress allows.
If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
January 4th, 2009 10:52 AM
The Kahr K9 is a really small and nice weapon. The extra weight of an all steel frame handles the recoil of +P rounds effectively, but still comfortable to carry.
January 4th, 2009 10:58 AM
I have 6 M&Ps and very pleased with them. My 9c is easy to shoot and very accurate. My wife also enjoys the 9c.
In addition we also have 3 FS 9s a S&W Pro 9 and .40 FS. My prime carry is one of my FS 9s IWB even in the summer time with shorts and tee shirt in hot ass Texas.
Needless to say I have a fond liking for the M&Ps. They feel good in the hand no sharp edges and my wife likes them if you get my drift.
We have not had any problems with our M&Ps and excluding the M&P 9 Pro we have 5000 +/- round through each one.
NRA Life Member
January 4th, 2009 11:04 AM
Interesting read, and well put together.
Thanks for the info!
And, let me add--welcome to the Forum!
There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH
...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper
There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm
January 4th, 2009 11:11 AM
Thanks to your test firing, you'll always feel confident in your choice, which I find is very important with one's EDC. Good luck, and enjoy that M&P.
"It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith
January 4th, 2009 11:16 AM
Thanks for the article! I think it is a great summary of various popular guns.
I challenge your need for a smaller gun too. I am just in the process of switching my EDC from a Glock 27 to s Sig 229. And I live in Florida wearing a t-shirt most of the time.
Regarding the J-Frames: I have one and shot it quite a bit. I kind of feel like you: Can't hit squad with it over 7 yards. But then again: It is not meant to replace a sniper rifle. It is meant as a back up gun for close encounters. At 3 yards and such, my J-Frame will serve me well. And I can pocket carry it.
Lately, I somewhat use my J-Frame as primary and my larger gun as a "backup". The reason is that if I walk down a street at night, I can easily grip the J-Frame in the pocket and get ready without actually exposing it. The G27/Sig229 would be a bit slower to draw.
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. (Thomas Jefferson)
January 4th, 2009 11:17 AM
You didn't checkout the SA XD? Great gun. But also love the concealment feature of my Kahr CW9.
January 4th, 2009 11:43 AM
Welcome to the forum.
Great choice. When I was picking my edc it was down to M&P9c and Glock 26.
Both felt great to me and shot close enough that it was a tough choice to make. I went w/ the Glock because I liked the trigger better.
January 4th, 2009 11:52 AM
Nice write up, and great first post!
I own two of the weapons you tested, the PM9 and the G26. I like both a lot, but also keep their limitations in mind. My EDC is a 5 inch 1911 these days.
As with holsters/methods of carry, a firearm choice is really a compromise. Best thing to do is to search for the one that "fits", and works for you. You've done a reasonably thorough job of that. More important, you found one that does indeed fit, the M&P. It's the obvious choice for you, now you'll just need to seek out the carry method that facilitates keeping it with you always.
Regards, T Bone.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".
January 4th, 2009 11:59 AM
Welcome and thank you for the reviews. That's great info. Good stuff.
I'm sure you'll pick the right gun.
Duty, Honor, Country...MEDIC
¡Cuánto duele crecer, cuan hondo es el dolor de alzarse en puntillas y observar con temblores de angustia, esa cosa tremenda, que es la vida del hombre! - René Marqués
January 4th, 2009 12:15 PM
Welcome, and you did what everyone should at least attempt to do, and that is to try various handguns to see what would be the best for them.
Be sure to get one that you will carry on your person everyday. Seems so simple, yet a lot of people go with whatever is the sexiest pick at the time and not with what is truly practical.
God bless our troops!
January 4th, 2009 12:36 PM
Good reviews. I'll also add to the previous poster about how even slightly riding the slide can jam up that first round. I had a similar issue with CW9 at first but once I looked at what I was doing and just quickly pulled back and quickly released all was fine.
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