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Old April 12, 2013, 12:33 PM   #1
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Sub-compact: More popular than full-size, lately?

It appears to me that today, sub-compact semiauto pistols (G26 and thelike) are more popular than full-size or slightly compact ones. If I'm right, there was this boom in the early 2000s after legislation concerning concealed carry was coming onto effect.

Still, ten years later, seemingly monthly there are new contributions to the aleady huge line of sub-compacts. Not only that all of the major manufacturers have one in their portfolio, there also seems to be a vast number of manufacturers whichg are specialized exclusively in guns of this size and capacity (Kel-Tec, Cobra, SCCY....)

Is this a misconception of mine or is the market for sub-compacts still boasting?
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Old April 12, 2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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Re: Sub-copmact: More popular than full-size, lately?

Compacts or sub compacts are much easier to carry than a full size gun for most people.
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Old April 12, 2013, 03:32 PM   #3
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Sub compacts have been the rage for years now. Micro-compacts are the rage lately. I read a blog once that talked about the change in concealed carry laws in the 2000's which spawned Ruger's interest in their LCP and LC9 pistols. Subs are getting eclipsed by these micro-compacts now it seems.
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Old April 12, 2013, 03:41 PM   #4
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Sub-copmact: More popular than full-size, lately?

I think it's more to do with the fact that the area is still evolving. I think early on it was a could we make a reliable, effective subcompact. .380s came, then similar models in the more popular 9mm and if course .45. Now we are in the stage of fine tuning a balance of acceptable small size and comfort to shoot. The expectations were low early on, now we expect a good trigger, comfortable ergonomics, and comfortable to shoot.

I also think that a lot of shooters have their favorite full size models so they aren't itching for something new and this new market presents an empty slot in their personal arsenal.
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:05 PM   #5
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I typically carry a 4.25" Commander, only recently did it occur to me that it's bigger than what qualifies as a "full size" gun these days.
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:15 PM   #6
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Who wouldn't want a compact or sub-compact option for concealed carry, especially one in a larger caliber than .380?
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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J-frames and SP-101's are hot sellers too. Try to find a good Smith!
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:47 PM   #8
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The number of concealed carry permit holders increases each day. Smaller guns are easier to carry and conceal and that is driving the market to produce sub compact guns.
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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Having conceal carried a G21sf, G36, G17, G19, G26, and a G27, I believe the G19 commands the most praise for it's balance. Sure it's great to go smaller and there's no less accuracy from a g26 to a g19 to a g17 if you have modest training.

But if you look at the poll in this forum, its looking like the midsize is king.

Having said that, I do believe the pocket gun craze we've had over the last 5 years is proving to be a disappointment. Sure everyone's picking up one after convincing themselves they need it smaller, lighter, and more concealable. But in my experience as a trainer and a gun forum junky all over the place, folks aren't spending time on the range with those dumb little guns because they're hard to hold onto, they offer no range fun or's just a necessary evil that gets put into that purse or rug or pocket holster and forgotten. And the gun that doesn't get training time ("because it hurts to shoot" says my mom and other women trying to hold onto that 9mm keltec or ruger), creates more liability than asset.
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Old April 12, 2013, 09:45 PM   #10
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I enjoy shooting my XD9 sub-compact more than I do my full sized XD9. For me, it shoots every bit as accurately as its big brother, if not more so. A recent acquisition of a XD-S .45ACP didn't disappoint me for a second....and that's pretty small and lightweight. It too is a pleasure to shoot. My Kahr PM9 is not uncomfortable to shoot either....on its range trips, it eats through just as much as any other handgun I take with me.

For folks that have spent money on the smaller sized handguns that aren't fun to shoot, I feel sorry for you....maybe better research might have made a difference. But I won't buy into the fact that just because a handgun is small, it has to hurt to shoot it. My experience proves otherwise.
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:43 AM   #11
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Subs and micros are far and away the biggest sellers in my area right now. S&W air weights, micro .380s, single stack sub 9s, and similar sized options are impossible to keep in stock. If I had 20 S&W Shields in, I could sell them at $600 each, within a week. LCP? S&W 642? Done and done. Easy money. Meanwhile, service pistols are second class citizens, relegated to HD and range roles.

Everybody is chasing 'small'.

Personally, I prefer to carry the largest and most capable choices that I can comfortably carry.
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Old April 13, 2013, 04:20 AM   #12
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But if you look at the poll in this forum, its looking like the midsize is king.
Any idea where one can find said poll?
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cobra , concealed carry , sccy , sub-compact

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