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Curious..can a sub 9mm get to the point of too small?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by MGman, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. MGman


    Oct 29, 2009
    Been wondering lately....

    All these new compact/subcompact 9mms such G26, SigP290 & P938, Ruger LC9, Keltec PF9, Kahr PM9/CM9, Diamondback DB9, M&P9c, Beretta Nano, Springfield 9mm XDM, Kimber Solo, Rohrbaugh 9mm .....etc etc

    Will it get to a point eventually that you the consumer won't want any smaller than these pistols being offered?

    Seems these pint-sized pistols have issues (except G26) with reliability.

    Is small becoming TOO SMALL? the point you can't even barely grip the darn thing? (causing limpwristing failures?)

    Have manufactuers reached the upper limits of size to reliability? Or do you want even smaller? How small is TOO SMALL?

    Would you buy a mini 9mm at say...9oz and 3+1 rds and 1/4 thick?

    Or do you guys prefer a medium size pistol (ie. PPQ, G19/G23, P229 etc etc.?) contrary to the current trend of these mini-9s instead because its not too hard to CC them and reliable is better and more rounds?

    I know its a lot of questions...But wondering how far is too far?
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  2. hogship

    hogship It's MY Island

    I've heard people say the Rohrbaugh was too small. I have the MP9c, and I feel if the grip surface got any smaller, it would be too small. It could probably be a little smaller, if it were single stack, like the Ruger LC9.

    The Kahr MK40 is smaller than the MP9c. The single stack makes it a little better for gripping it since it's so short......only 5rds in the magazine. The extra weight better tames the 40sw cartridge.

    The answer is: I don't know! Until the time comes where a lot of people start complaining about the size, it's not too small yet!




  3. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

    Dec 21, 2002
    For my use, the smaller the better, as long as there's enough grip to hold on to and it's reliable.

    I would like to have a 9mm about half way between the LC9 and LCP in size.
  4. Bob Hafler

    Bob Hafler

    Sep 13, 2011
    I think my PM9 is as small as I'd go.
  5. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin JMB & MTK

    May 13, 2008
    Everybody is looking for the smallest gun with the biggest caliber. IMO, pocket size belongs to the .380 and .38spl. Beyond that there are similar sized 9mms and .357s but for some,it's the price of being able to achieve quick and accurate follow-up shots.

    I sometimes glance at people shooting small to mid-size guns at my local range. About 95% of them are shooting slower then they need to (even with range rules) and are readjusting their grip between shots. I've noticed this on a many Youtube videos of people shooting small guns at a range as well. If you have to get a new hold on a gun every time you fire, the gun is beyond the control of the user.

    Some will put on mag extensions and thick grip sleeves to cure this but it ends up making the gun bigger then it was intended to be. If I can't get away with putting thin grip tape and/or a thin checkered strap to remedy this, it's no good to me as the carry gun I bought it to be.

    Sometimes it comes down to the shooter. I have no problems with rapid fire from my Ultra Carry or P238, but I had to put grip tape and a checkered strap on my Solo in order to keep it from slipping in my hands. If I had to go with an extended mag or sleeve, it would of been sold. For some the Ultra Carry or P238 might slip in their hands and then that's when it becomes personal preference.

    I put an extension on my P3AT. The reason for this is because the stock grip only allows one and a half of my fingers which is under my 2 finger minimum of a pocket pistol. With the extension I can can get two fingers on it which does not interfere with pocket carry. Again, it's along the line of preference but the P3AT is the max in alteration of a carry gun's grip I'd want to go.

    It's hard to say but I believe there are many people out there that would rather have an easy to carry gun rather then something they can shoot well with in a proper defensive manner. There are quite a few folks who barely shoot their carry guns and sometimes only once when they first get them. I've seen quite a few people state opinions like " The gun kicks a lot but it's easy to carry." or "The gun has a lot of recoil but I'd rather have "X" big bullets in a small, easy to carry package."

    I'd rather have my GP100 or full size 1911 on me 100% of the time. For me, that just ain't gonna happen. I do have an adequate carry line-up that works for me in any social situation but I can shoot every one of them well, with quick accurate follow-up shots and with no need to re-adjust my grip until (maybe) it's time to reload.

    Some of the guns you mention have a great reliability record, not just the G26. IMO, guns like the Solo are pushing the envelope. I'm excited to see the P938 hit the shelves but I have to wonder how the kick is going to be. The P238 is the best shooting pocket .380 I've tried to date, putting a 9mm in there might change things a bit.

    For some, the smaller it can get while retaining a big caliber, the better. IMO, we're already at the cut off point of how small a .380 and 9mm can get when it comes to semi-autos. As for the revolver in .38spl and up, I think it's been at the cut-off point for some time mainly due to the configuration of the bullets themselves. I don't think anyone wants a 3 shot .38spl......then again, there might be.

    This post was not to offend anyone nor do I suggest what you should be carrying. It's a matter of preference but there really is a point where you have to ask yourself, do I want the tiniest gun I can carry or do I want a gun I can shoot well first AND be able to carry well second. It took me many guns to figure this out but I finally got what works for me for every carry method out there.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  6. Fed Five Oh

    Fed Five Oh NRA Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Would not consider the G26 as pint sized.

    As to the reliability issues for the pint sized pistols, their size and limp wristing just don't mix. Limpwristers should go no smaller than the G26.

    The pint sized pistols are not pleasurable to shoot. It is what it is.
  7. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    I wonder how many of these that do have issues, have issues that are, if you will, growing pains which will be solved or at least made substantially more reliable by a change in a recoil spring or other part. I have not heard of alot of reliability issues with the Rohrbaugh, just the quirk of the extremely short life of or perhaps the very pessimistic view of the life of the recoil spring.
  8. L Pete

    L Pete

    Mar 4, 2011
    Yeah, my CM9 is about as small as I would go. I have a LCP, and it's really too small shoot well. With slow aimed fire I can hit with it, but I'd sure hate to get in a rush. I probably wouldn't hit jack. I'd probably just poke it up the BGs nostril, and yank the trigger. No problem hitting with the CM9.
  9. mickdundie


    Apr 9, 2007
    Tell ya what. I'll put my unreliable/pint sized sub-compact 9mm semi-auto pistol up against your full/compact sized 9mm semi-auto pistol.

    A reliability contest. Round per Round. No cleaning allowed during the contest.

    First firearm to :
    1) Fail to Feed
    2) Fail to Fire
    3) Fail to return to battery
    4) Fail to eject
    5) or have any other failor stopping the gun, except when the magazine is empty, loses.

    The winner gets to keep the losers pistol. And the loser pays for the winners ammunition during the contest!

    And yes...mine is listed in your post as "one of the unreliable pint sized pistols" :supergrin:

    My only stippulation is both pistols must be worth at least $450 MSRP

    We ON?

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  10. Kustom_efekt


    Nov 26, 2011
    Lcr is too small for comfort with me. About the smallest that I feel comfortable with carrying is my g27
  11. JK-linux


    Mar 5, 2009
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  12. Wyoming


    Feb 3, 2007
    Southwest Wyoming
    I agree with that. I bought a Kahr P9 when they first came out. I really like it and find myself caring it more time than 45 autos. It has been very reliable and easy for me to shoot well on paper with +P+ loads. Years later I bought the Kahr PM9. The difference in size isn't worth the difference in shootability. At 15-20 yards I can easily hit a baseball with the P9 but my groups get to volleyball size.

    The one thing is they make 9 mm pistols small enough that there is really no need to carry a smaller caliber gun. It is not until you get to Kel Tec / Ruger 380 do you get a quantum leap in size reduction. I believe that if you can carry one of those you should be able to carry a Kahr PM9.
  13. I think that the smallest 9mm I would comfortably carry is either my Glock 26 or S&W MP9 compact. The 26 has been absolutely flawless and very accurate. I just got the MP9 and will be shooting that next weekend. Side note - I had planned to attend a two-day training course at a major facility and was going to take my 26 since I carry it the most. The range guy that I spoke with ridiculed me for my "inapproppriate choice for a firearm". His reasoning was that the gun wa so small that I would have problems gripping the gun which would invariably lead to inadvertent releasing of the magazine.
  14. Glock940


    Apr 10, 2009
    I have noticed this too. Seems these manufactures are playing games to see who can have the title of the smallest, lightest, and sometimes largest caliber firearm, then brag about it. Makes no senses at all having a 12oz 45ACP firearm or a extremely small and very light weight 9mm that needs to have the recoil spring changed every 150 rounds. Heck even a 12oz 357 Magunm is crazy. They forget weight plays an important part of controllability and imo durability and comfort. The smallest I would go and carry - and feel comfortable carrying it - would be a Kel Tec P3AT (and the Rugers twin LCP) or a Kahr P380. For the 9mm I would then be choosing between the same companies. The PF9, PM9, LC9. Their firearm size for a 9mm concealability, comfort, durability, and controllability is very good. Anything smaller and lighter than these is just out of the question imo.
  15. Metal Angel

    Metal Angel

    Oct 20, 2010
    I just want a 45-70 the size of an LCP with no more recoil than a ruger mkIII. Oh yeah, and it has to have a 10 round magazine, with a second magazine that extends the grip for your pinky and holds 15 rounds. Also, it has to be made of plastic, be priced under $400 and be 100% reliable out of the box.

    Gun consumers really are pushing manufacturers to their limits these days. I think that's why companies like Sig that never put out a bad product are having so much trouble making a micro9 work. I wonder if this is part of the reason Glock won't make a micro9... Because they know it won't be reliable, and that goes against everything Glock represents. All that being said, I still want a mico9 that is reliable. Haha
  16. Foxtrotx1


    Jan 29, 2010
    Scottsdale AZ
    I would be interested in a manufacturer making a .357 j frame revolver with a tungsten frame to increase control :)
  17. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

    Jun 25, 2004
    Amarillo, Tx
    My PF9 has been flawless over almost 500 rounds so far, and I intend to give the Sig P938 a try, seeing how much I love my 238.
  18. wmspdi


    Jan 29, 2007
    Youngstown, Ohio
    I agree. I pocket carry the PM9 with a flat floor plate, but I holster carry with a Pearce finger rest magazine. I passed on the Kahr 380 because it was too small for my hand. You can reach a point of diminishing returns on anything.