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Here's the deal everyone, I been shooting a Firestorm .380 for about a year now and unless I miss my count I have about 2100 flawless rounds down the pipe. However 3 months ago I started shooting KPDL which is a monthly steel target match here in Kentucky. My problem lies with the .380 shell. It just doesn't have enough power to knock down the steel. For example I shot the same target 8 times, an entire mag and still, it stood mocking me. Most of the time the .380 gets the job done, but the other 20% it leaves me wanting a more powerful round. So, I have been shopping!

I have decided to get a new 9mm carry gun and I have narrowed it down to 3 choices. My requirements were, 9mm single stack, 24-27 oz, 3 to 3.5 inch carrel, DAO or DA/SA. That's it and here is what I found.

Kahr K9


S&W 3913 NL


Para Ordinance Carry 9


The weapons are all very close in weight and size, cost is close enough with about a 100$ spead between them. What I need to know is which gun would be the best value for the money. Which one won't need 8 trips back the factory, and gunsmith to get working. They are all very nice in my hands, help me out here. Thanks
 

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I like them in teh order that you have them posted, but I would only carry the 2nd one as the 1st is associated with the Moonies and I think the 3rd is Canadian.
 

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I have a Kahr and its very dependable and put together tight. The maufacturer suggest 200 rounds as a break in before carrying the gun. I have shot almost 500 rounds out of mine and not had one issue at all and I have shot various ammo and it seems to take all well. They conceal very well and are pretty acurate with tight grouping's. There is hardly any recoil with these either. Great gun, I would not get rid of it at all.
 

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I'm somewhat surprised on the steel matches. Usually there is a minimum power factor requirement for sanctioned matches on steel. Granted yours may be practical, and good practice, but generally the bottom line is the factory 9mm.
Good for you deciding to graduate to the 9mm. Sometimes the reasons do become obvious. You've had one of those revelations apparently. Since you've narrowed it down to the three choices listed, let me say that the Para Ordinance Carry9 looks smokin' hot to me. The K9 would place second. That's about as far as I'll go, and I hope you have had, or get the chance to try these out before your final decision. Again...congrats on your upgrade!
 

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Go for the gold man. Get a 1911 :bier:

Can't think of much one well placed round of a .45 won't knock over.
 

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I was originally considering a 9mm, but ended up opting for the .40 S&W. Is there a specific reason why 9mm is your limit?
 

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Love my 3913. I didnt at first...but it quicky grew on me and now sticks to me like mold!

 

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Knocking down steel plates does not equal defensive firepower. If you are comfortable with your carry gun, keep it.

As I understand it, many plate targets can be calibrated to fall down across a range of bullet weights. It may be a lot cheaper to just ask if the plates can be adjusted.

As far as the guns you were looking at...do some searches on this forum and others. The only gun of the three I would feel comfortable recommending would be the S&W. Too many issues with Kahr (my local gun shop just yesterday told me of cracked frames with steel Kahrs), and Para is also hit or miss it would seem.

Good luck!
 

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Wise move IMO in upping the power level on your weapon. I won't carry anything less than a 9mm for SD. I'd go for the S&W myself. Darn good semi for the money.
 

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personally, I think there's way too many gun shop ninjas that trash a lot of guns...particularly the guns the shop doesn't have a dealer's agreement with. I see it alot with the shops I visit. If the Kahr fits, buy it...the triggers are great. If you insist on a 9mm there's also the Springfield EMP, but you did say double action...eliminates the 1911 platform. Another single stack to consider is the Sig P239, which you can get in 9mm, and be limited to 9mm...or get the P239 in 40 cal, and have the option for the .357sig barrel (as well as a custom fit 3rd party 9mm barrel for the .40 cal frame).

I wouldn't trash any reputable manufacturer based on second or third hand information. Try one, and buy one...if it fits your needs. Lots of variety to choose from.


just my opinion

surv
 

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I had a Para Nighthawg .45 and could have loved it....except for the constant feed/eject problems. I traded it for a Springfield xd45compact which runs like a scalded dog.
 

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Of the 3 you posted I would go with the Kahr.
 

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Of your three options, I'd choose the Kahr.:yup:
 

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I wouldn't trash any reputable manufacturer based on second or third hand information.
You're correct. I owned three Kahrs - every one had problems.:aargh4:

My local gun shop is indeed a Kahr dealer - sold me my first-ever handgun (a Kahr P9) and my second Kahr (a PM9). They have had so many come back that they don't much recommend them anymore.:blink:

The handgun reliability polls I put up a while back would seem to suggest you have about a 40% chance of having significant issues with a Kahr.

I wish it were different - would have saved me a whole lot of time, money, and aggravation.:redface:
 

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Couldn't you buy a quality 9mm for your steel target matches and still carry the gun you have been and are comfortable with?
 

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One of the dumbest things I've ever done was to sell (at a loss, of course) my Beretta Model 84 .380. I carried it off duty, but thought it lacked sufficient power for a SD situation. Silly me. The guy who bought it (in my squad) was carrying it off duty and heard the "man with a knife (on a city bus)" call on his radio. He arrived in less than a minute and dropped the dirtbag with two COM shots. Shot placement is everything. I bought a used 1911 with the proceeds and haven't looked back.

If you still want to upgrade, I would seriously consider the Para 9mm (third photo). It's well built and I haven't heard of too many issues. Many S&W pistols, BTW, are made in South America so I don't think owning a Canadian-made pistol should be your sole determining factor.
 
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