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G26, PM9, 642, LCP side by side pics

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by ithaca_deerslayer, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Here are my 4 usual carry guns, with a couple comparison pics.
    Glock 26 9mm, Kahr PM9 9mm, S&W 642 .38, and Ruger LCP .380 .

    Usually I carry inside the waistband (IWB), so the pics show a cutoff line for that, and thus the portion that needs to be concealed under a t-shirt.

    The LCP is the easiest to pocket carry, although cargo pocket summer shorts work good with the 642 and PM9. The G26 is both a bit bulky and heavy for pocket carry, in my opinion, even though I have done it a few times.

    Here are the fully loaded weights, and number of rounds, and velocities with my chosen ammo, according to my home measurements:
    26 with 10+1 = 26 oz, 124gr (fps not measured, guess 1090 or more)
    PM9 with 6+1 = 20 oz, 124gr 1090 fps
    642 with 5 = 17 oz, 158gr 795 fps
    LCP with 6+1= 12 oz, 90gr 925 fps

    Personally, I think each has trade offs, and might be a good choice depending on what someone is looking for. The 26 has capacity, reliability, and is easy to shoot accurately, but is a bit blocky in double stack design. The PM9 gives up some rounds but is thinner and lighter, but maybe a little more persnickity such as being more difficult to rack the slide to chamber a round without issue. The 642 has reliabilty in all shooting positions no matter how it is held but only holds 5 rounds and is more difficult to be accurate with at longer distances. The LCP is the thinnest and lightest of the bunch, but shoots slightly less powerful rounds.

    All the semi-autos have the advantage of quicker reloads in my hands. I'm slower to reload the 642 from a flat pouch, but some others are pretty darn fast with a speedloader. The semi-autos also have less felt recoil than the snubby revolver. But the LCP can feel pretty sharp, and to my wife is uncomfortable to shoot, while she doesn't mind shooting the 642. Grip shape and individual perceptions have a lot to do with it.

    I've had to tweak my PM9 and LCP to get them to run reliably without jams. Experiences will vary, but most will agree that Glocks and snubby revolvers from S&W are unlikely to have jam problems. Thus I've never had an issue of any kind with the 26 and 642.

    One point I'd like to make about the 642 is that it does not have an external hammer to snag on anything, and the gun is mostly rounded in that area and doesn't have the squareness of a slide to print under a t-shirt. The cylinder is not very wide, not very big, and tends to be a non-issue for printing in my IWB carry.

    All 4 of these are what I think of as "draw and shoot" guns, with no thumb safeties to fumble with. The Glock and Kahr triggers are pretty light and make it easy to shoot. I am well aware of the trigger when holstering them, so the trigger doesn't catch on any clothing, and remains firmly covered and protected during carry. The LCP trigger pull is longer, but still should be kept in a holster. The 642 trigger pull is heavier and the least likely of this bunch to be inadvertantly pulled by clothing or objects or whatever. I still holster it, but have a little more flexibility in my carry options with it. That heavy 642 trigger and small sights does not make it easy to be accurate. Nor do the practically non-existant LCP sights make that gun easy to be accurate with either.

    But I have no doubt that all 4 of these guns are accurate enough, reliable enough, powerful enough, and carry enough ammo as long as the shooter has practised. Hopefully they will continue to only get a workout at the range :)



    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  2. vmann

    vmann Controller

    Jan 22, 2010
    damn the lcp is tiny....

  3. r3dot


    Sep 6, 2007
    Izzerwat TX
    Would have liked to seen an LC9 in the mix.

    Great write up, regardless! I love these since they are a great help to new CHL'ers
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  4. madmike3668


    Jan 9, 2012
    Jax, FL
    Very nice comparison. I carry a g26 and have been thinkin about gettin a 642 or a lcp for the occasional pocket carry. Very informative and nice to see a good side by side comparison. Thanks
  5. I like the looks of the LC9, but the thumb safety isn't my top choice for a carry gun.

    My view could be wrong, heck probably is wrong, but I keep seeing a lot of people goof up a gun with a safety when they draw in timed gun club events. I know, the pros will say training, training, training.

    I used to practice drawing either my 92 or my PPK, and pushing the safety forward with my thumb. Hopefully that memory is still with me, if needed. But my own choice over the years has been to transition toward the no external safety guns.

    One of the funniest things I saw at a timed draw and shoot event was when a 1911 user had a Beretta 92 holstered with the safety off, then drew and swiped the safety down and tried to shoot. :)

    Also seen plenty of times where the shooter forgets about the safety completely, or ineffectively tries to swipe it off, or just takes a long time fumbling with the darn thing.

    I'm not really saying they are bad for others to have, but I wanted to simplify my own draw procedures. In addition to my carry guns shown above, I'm also spending a lot of range time with my Gock 17.
  6. MinnesnowtaWild


    Dec 26, 2011
    Very interesting pics. Thanks for the detailed, informative post. Sure beats most threads on GT
  7. fowler


    May 27, 2004
    G26 90%+no-lock 442 10% They work 100% reliable. If it don,t work out of the box I don,t want it.
  8. Sgt.K

    Sgt.K They Just Work!

    Jan 11, 2000
    Kentucky, USA
    26 here, but I've been eying the PM9 w/Trijicons for a month or so now. Have the cash in hand but $689 plus tax for a, as you put it, "persnickity..." and "had to tweak my get them to run reliably without jams..." Is making me hesitate. And I would just rather get it with the sights and the extra mag than consider the CM9 and chase those down. Thanks for the great review and photos.
  9. KentuckyPatriot

    KentuckyPatriot Photojournalist

    Aug 30, 2010
    I can't insert a photo of the LC9 into the OP's post :supergrin: but perhaps these photos that I took for a friend will help...




    View attachment 223167

    added a couple extra just as support for the little BG 380 which is a nice extra carry firearm.

    Click on the thumbnail for a larger photo for comparison
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  10. 2740dmx


    Mar 9, 2009
    I'm with you.

    Thanks to Ithacadeerslayer for great comparison pics!
    Lots of people hunt forums when deciding on what to buy, and those pics can be informative!
  11. Here are 3 more comparison pics, then :)

    Showing more of the grip width differences, and the sights. You can see how flat the LCP sights are. The 642 has a front blade that is ok to pick up, but there's also a version from S&W that comes with larger XS sights that present a large white dot on the blade. All of these guns can be found with lasers, too, or they can be added aftermarket.

    Again back to the pluses and minuses, a larger or more complex sight or laser can more easily snag or break, but they make it easier to shoot longer shots. Some complain about the plastic Glock sights wearing, but mine haven't, and you can see from the pics that it is a pretty old and beat up gun. My holsters are typically kydex and formed around the sights, so that helps to protect them. All in all, the 26 and PM9 sights are an advantage, but with the 642 and LCP I think pointing up close will do the trick to get on target.

    I've decided against lasers for my own carry needs. I'm not against anyone else having them if they want them. I've got a red dot scope on my 7-30 waters hunting handgun where I anticipate shots out to 100 yards, but just iron sights on my .44mag hunting handgun where I'm thinking more about shots inside 50 yards. For up close well inside 7 yards, where I envision a carry scenario, I think pointing the muzzle quickly is the more likely method. Having a large front sight or laser to pick up with your eye would be helpful, so it is something to ponder. But as you get closer to contact distance, the sights won't matter as much (but your own practise probably will still matter).

    Just an oddly placed note about accuracy, the 26, PM9, and 642 will bench rest 4" groups at 25 yards. The LCP might be more like 6" :) Only point I'm making is that these guns, themselves, have more than enough accuracy for carry needs. Obviously, depending upon shooter skill, the group sizes will enlarge as you leave the shooting bench :rofl:



    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  12. If it was me, or some other gun nut guy like you, I'd say go ahead and make the PM9 purchase. It is a great gun. If anything does come up that needs to be tweaked, you will likely handle it fine. Might need a break in (or not). Might prefer a certain kind of ammo (or not). Might prefer certain mags, or maybe they will need a break in (or not). Might need a grind or polish or trip to the factory (or not). Might be difficult to hand rack the first round into the chamber (or not). But most likely you won't have any issues, anyway.

    But I do a little bit of instructing, helping newbies, teaching women. They might not be gun nuts, and might not want to become one :) They might not want to order a heavier Wolff recoil spring for their LCP if it needs one. They may not want to go through a 200 round test period. They may not want to practise with their expensive carry ammo, and may not want to try multiple mags. What do I tell them?

    Ok, the odds are that any of these models, and any other model out there for that matter, from quality manufacturers, are not going to have any issues. But they can have. It isn't unheard of for a small semi-auto to have jams, so be prepared for that possibility. Might be the way you are shooting it, the ammo you are using, the particular mag, or could be something the factory will need to fix. If such issues arise, you will just have to work through them one step at a time to find the cause. In general, it seems the baby Glock semi-autos, and the S&W snubby revolvers, are among the least likely small carry guns to have issues. That could be my own bias, as the other brands make good guns too :)
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  13. Rustin


    Oct 12, 2011
    Central Ohio
    That G26 needs to lay off the cheeseburgers. It's looking quite portly for a subcompact.:whistling:
  14. DannyII


    Jul 25, 2011
    Nice pics for comparison. Very helpful post!

    BTW- the 26 also needs to brush it's teeth! What is that orangeish stuff all in the backstrap grooves? :dunno:
  15. Who knows. If you carry a gun long enough, crap gets on it. And if you look at my avatar, I do mean crap :)

    I focus on cleaning the insides :)
  16. Sgt.K

    Sgt.K They Just Work!

    Jan 11, 2000
    Kentucky, USA
    Thanks ithaca deerslayer, your correct in every respect. Gunshow this weekend so I'm going to be checking for NIB PM9's and prices.

    I'm leaning to this thread becoming a sticky!
  17. profiler999


    Jan 20, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    Boberg XR9s in David Prince ankle rig.

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