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Old 04-08-2012, 16:15   #1
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9mm single stack.... worth it?

Single stack 9mm in a subcompact form seems to be the big craze these days, and there are many choices out there. I too have considered it, as m G26 seems a little chunky for its size (I have no issues with my 19's or 17's)

I've checked out and handled some recently considering my options...... the new Beretta Nano, KT PF9, even the mighty Walther PPS 9. A few of these really feel great and fit my hand well and the trigger action feels good. BUT I am not an impulsive gun-buyer so I start researching and doing my homework.

I have to say that I'm starting to get discouraged, as to the poor rap these micro single stack thin 9's seem to get. One has this issue, the other has that issue, another one has major FTE issues, and so on...

Is it possible that maybe trying to make a pistol smaller than what the cartridge can do to it may be too much for such a small form factor can handle?

I'm close to giving up on the search for a reliable small single stack and just keep the larger frame pistols and call it a day.....
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Old 04-08-2012, 16:20   #2
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The biggest problem with tiny concealed carry gun reliability is the shooter. Lightweight gun + stiff recoil springs + small grip area = even a .380 is pretty snappy. You have to HANG ON to that thing to keep it happy.

My PF9 has ~1k rounds through it. 100 percent reliable for me. I've had others shoot it who couldn't hold onto it well enough for it to cycle properly, but this hasn't been an issue for me.

Edit: To answer your question, yes mine has been worth it. Same outline as my Glock, almost half as thick. I have no waist, so thin helps me conceal.
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Old 04-08-2012, 16:20   #3
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Go buy a Makarov or a Tokerev, fits in your pocket and has a bit more field trials time under it's belt.
Unless you want to roll the dice, or spend big bucks thats the cheapest way to go if you want it to go bang every time you pull the trigger.
Or get the 26, which is the "Fat Chick" of Mini 9's. She's reliable, loves to bang, its just harder to get a grip on her.

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Old 04-08-2012, 16:25   #4
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Originally Posted by j-glock22 View Post
Is it possible that maybe trying to make a pistol smaller than what the cartridge can do to it may be too much for such a small form factor can handle?
That's been my experience, although there are lots of GT members who have had great success with their micro 9mm pistols. Mine was almost reliable but the one-per-fifty FTE glitches gave me enough pause when considering CCW that I finally ended up with a larger pistol. With the micros it seems the record is you get a good, reliable one or you get one you're constantly fiddling with trying to make it problem free.

I didn't have a problem with the "bulky" baby Glock, it is having to curl my pinkie under the magazine that I don't like. Anyway I ended up with a great Steyr 9mm sub-compact, although I still am tempted to buy a Glock G-33 because I like .357sig so much. I've been holding off, hoping to find one in a shop with the GAP floorplate so I can see for myself how that tweak makes a difference in the grip.
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Old 04-08-2012, 16:29   #5
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Love my G27 for everyday carry ......... but if I went for a 9mm it would probably be the G26..........
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Old 04-08-2012, 18:05   #6
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I love my Glocks but I REALLY like having my new Kahr CM9 to carry IWB. It is so much more comfortable to carry and has been reliable for 400 rounds so far.

But I also understand your concern about reliability. My first attempt at a single stack 9mm didn't work so well. I bought a Kel Tec PF9 last year and it was a POS! Worst gun I've ever had the misfortune of owning. Constant FTF, FTE, light primer strikes, mag falling out while get the idea!

I was very nervous about spending even more money for the Kahr this time around but I took the plunge and couldn't be happier! So for me, yes it's worth it. It might take some trial and error but I'm glad I gave it another try.
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Old 04-08-2012, 18:07   #7
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As the gun gets smaller so does the "window" of reliability. Angles get steeper, the slide has less distance to travel, springs get more critical. If you feel the need for a micro 9 get the one that feels best with the assumption that you're going to have to experiment with loads and maybe do a little fluff and buff. If it works great out of the box, consider yourself lucky and rock it.

Also consider that the vast majority of gun owners still don't participate in the various forums. Of those that do, there are probably 20 with any particular gun that runs fine to every 1 complainer. Just look at any thread on here complaining about model x. There are a ton of people chiming in how theirs runs fine.

Of course, I mostly carry a J-frame, so
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Old 04-08-2012, 18:19   #8
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Well, my LC9 is with me quite a bit, every time I go out of town and quite a bit when I go to the gas station or grocery store (even more now that I made a wallet style holster for it). My G19 has came with me maybe 5 times (it does go with me in the woods if I OC, hunting and such, but doesn't sit well with my gut if I carry IWB).

So as far as me carrying them, yes the micro 9mm is worth it. Has been 100% reliable so far, I forget how many rounds I have through it, probably 600 or so, along with a few boxes of carry ammo. I never have any doubts about it going bang.
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Old 04-08-2012, 18:45   #9
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Originally Posted by j-glock22 View Post
I'm close to giving up on the search for a reliable small single stack and just keep the larger frame pistols and call it a day.....
Have you checked out the BERSA BP9CC?

Also, the KT PF-9 is a great gun! The PPS is over-priced and I have not seen a Nano in person yet.

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Old 04-08-2012, 18:56   #10
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I'd love to see more single-stack COMPACT size handguns. In my opinion, concealment has more to do with thickness than size. I could conceal a 1911 just as well as a G19, because its thin. I think a G19 sized single stack gun would be alot more reliable than the 9mm pocket rockets, but keep its concealment factor.
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Old 04-08-2012, 20:21   #11
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I really like the LS9 from STI. A very high quality, slim, 9mm single stack. Not the most common gun on the shelf, but from a company that has a proven track record.
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Old 04-08-2012, 20:30   #12
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I have been struggling with a Diamondback DB9 6+1 9mm that wants to be a Glock but it just isn't reliable enough for me to consider a true CCW. It will make a fine back up and I can always throw it at the BG if it fails!
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Old 04-08-2012, 20:46   #13
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I have a G26, a Kahr MK9 and K9.

For pure concealment, the MK9 is hard to beat. It is the same dimensions has the CM9 and PM9, but the MK9 is stainless steel and 6+1. The K9 is 7+1 and disappears in a IWB holster. I feel it's too big for pocket carry (that is what the MK9 is for) but others have said the pocket carry it fine.

All the guns have thousands of trouble free rounds down the pipe.

If I had to pick one, the MK9 would be the winner of the micro-gun shoot out.
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Old 04-08-2012, 21:44   #14
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I've had no issues with the PPS and my friend has had no problems with his PM9. The PPS is great and fits the bill for what I wanted. The PM9 was a little small for me combined with greater recoil, but he's very happy with it.
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Old 04-08-2012, 23:22   #15
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I love my 9mm Sig P239. Its a very reliable gun that is still shootable and feels nice in the hand.

It is not LC9 or 938 size, but it is a good carry gun.

I agree with you that the gun manufacturers are pushing the limit with size and reliability. I am not a fan of tiny autos. A jframe revolver is as small as I go.
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Old 04-08-2012, 23:43   #16
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The OP expressed something I have been thinking for quite some time, beginning with the true "micro" 1911's. I think we are at the "point of diminishing returns in terms of the reliability we expect from the size we want. By a miracle the wifes Kimber Ultra Raptor, that she bought without involving me at all, has been 100% BUT I didn't and still don't expect it to work everytime (despite the fact that I implicitly trust my Kimber compact) If you look at the size and the weight of the "pocket nines" you realize that they are lighter and more compact than the .380s of a couple of generations ago. A pocket 9mm has to be some type of locked breech as opposed to a blowback and we are at a "zero tolerance" level as far as dwell time and feeding etc. IMO we have actually passed it. We are to the point of "You pull the trigger, it goes "BANG"....and then a miracle happens"
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Old 04-08-2012, 23:52   #17
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I'd recommend a Ruger LC9 or any flavor of Kahr. I like the MK9 and T9. I really want an all black PM9 too.
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Old 04-09-2012, 00:18   #18
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9mm single stack.... worth it?
How good of a shot are you? If your good, take the single stack. It shouldn't be a issue.

For ease of concealment and overall carry, a single stack pistol is hard to beat.

Just get one in a respectable caliber.
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Old 04-09-2012, 00:49   #19
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Good thread and ive been thinking the same. I keep going back to the Gen4 G26 though, reliability and capacity. Still thinking about a LC9 or MK9 but i think im gonna go with the G26 especially since i qualify for the blue label discount and i can use my existing holster. Can use my G19 mags too. More expensive than the LC9 but cheaper than the MK9. So happy medium.

Ill probably still add one of the others later just to try.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:17   #20
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I think there are very good points there, and I agree that oftentimes the problem is with the shooter, since the tolerances built in these micro guns are minimal the room for errors is really not there.

Two points: under stress, the risk is also a proficient shooter will probably not be at 100%, and the possibility of malfunctions might increase just as one needs it most. The second is that very often guns are grabbed from owners including police officers. The smaller the gun, the weaker the grip and the easier it will be to wrestle it away from the owner.

Having tried quite a few, I would only recommend the Walther PPS, the G26 and the Sig 239 among the guns mentioned.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:22   #21
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The Gold Standard in small 9mm,s is the G26. It just plain works and is not limited by short service life,reliability,+P+,+P or standard ammo. It will eat it all and not fall apart like the Ruger LC9,Kahr,s,PPS,Kel-crap and all those other POS Junk cheapies.

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Old 04-09-2012, 05:32   #22
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Like my G26, but my EDC is a Kahr PM9. It's been as reliable as my G26 but is a whole lot more comfortable to carry. If I'm going in an area where I think I'd like to carry more rounds then I take the G26.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:44   #23
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I used to CCW a K9 for almost 6 years. Never had a reliability issue with the gun itself. And the gun disappeared with a IWB holster. The only complaint I had was that (when compared to the G19), the grip was TOO slim. If size and weight are issues, a P9 would probably be ideal.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:14   #24
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I have to say that I'm starting to get discouraged, as to the poor rap these micro single stack thin 9's seem to get. One has this issue, the other has that issue, another one has major FTE issues, and so on...
I've been pocket carrying the .380 pistols for some time. Kel Tec P3AT, Micro Desert Eagle, Ruger LCP, etc, and all were pretty good (my SIG P238 and Diamondback sucked).

The major problem is the minor caliber. I figure if I ever have to use the .380 the first thing that will go through my mind is, "I wish I had a bigger caliber gun".

Last year I impulse bought a Ruger LC9. I did not like all the lawyer crap on the gun, such as magazine disconnect, thumb safety, big loaded chamber indicator, etc.
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In the first eight days I ran over a thousand trouble free rounds through the gun. I stopped counting at over seventeen hundred rounds and still haven't had any trouble with the gun.

I got used to the safeties except the magazine disconnect, I hate those things, so I removed it from the LC9 (and my SR9C and SR40C).

Now, when my pockets are deep enough the LC9 is my carry choice.
I like it so well I bought a spare LC9.

For a smallish 9mm the LC9 is quite accurate, even when standing and shooting back to 50 yards.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:40   #25
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I still can't get past the limited capacity of single stacks. The really itty-bitty guns are all trouble-prone to some degree.

Here we have a Glock 17, 19 and 26.

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If you look at the actual size difference between a g26 and a g19, then add that many people put a pinky extension on the g26, the g19 (with 15 rounds) seems to be the ideal balance of capacity vs. size IMO. The 26 gives up 1/3 of it's rounds for not much smaller size.

I carry the 19 IWB most of the time. (Sometimes a well-proven Kel-Tec P11 instead, simply because the built-in pocket clip is such a cinch to carry.)
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