View Full Version : What happened to the compacts?

September 5, 2005, 09:06 PM
After getting some issues involving my duty weapon resolved, I've decided to take some of the cash I'd set aside to get something a tad smaller than my Baby Eagle for CCW.

Don't get me wrong, I love my B.Eagle, but it's a long son of a buck. Holsters are almost non-existent (forgive me oh Tucker Gunleather). In previous jobs it wasn't an issue, but in my primary job I find myself a hair more 'visible' than I've been in the past. If I was walking around or standing, it wouldn't be much of an issue. But I'm either sitting or stooping almost all of the day, and it's just not viable to carry an 8+ inch automatic under a dress shirt for 9+ hours a day.

For reasons I won't go into, my department head gave me the 'go ahead' to carry in the office, but on the condition that ABSOLUTELY NOBODY knows about it.

So over the past few days I've been going to the gun stores, cruising the forums, and looking at the manufacturers websites. In doing so, I find myself with a question that I absolutely have to ask.

What in the sweet bloody H-E-Double Hockey Sticks has happened to the compact semi-automatics? I remember seeing small to mid-sized semi's that were actually made of metal, and had a little bit of weight to them. Slim, but nice, semi's that had some semblance of a reasonable capacity.

This time around, I swear, it feels like I'm shopping for Tupperware.

What happened?

September 5, 2005, 09:42 PM
Instead of land lines, we now have cell phones. Instead of portable tape recorders, we have Ipods. Instead of notebooks, we have PDA's. and instead of the library we have computers, which you are not looking at.

So bud, welcome to the new world of plastic guns! If everyone didn't want them, they wouldn't be making them. Whether people like glocks, everyone is copying them!

Now, having aired that, I am craving a stainless steel Kahr Mk9. I don't want the polymer version. Not because I don't like plastic, because I love my glock, but because the SS version has better rails than the polymer frame.

If glock decided to make a small polymer 9 like the kahr, then I wouldn't hesitate. Still might go with the G26, though. That dang G19 of mine is so flawless!

But check out the kahrs for small steel, the walther PPK's, and the smiths.
Are you looking for sub compact or compact?

Dave R
September 5, 2005, 10:05 PM
Oh, you can still find a few Officer's model 1911's around...

po boy
September 5, 2005, 10:08 PM
I,ve been using a Sig 239 in 357 with a spare 40 cal barrel well pleased
with the IWB milt sparks versa max and blade tech holsters....

September 5, 2005, 10:08 PM
Small, some weight, reasonable capacity?

Walther PPK, Sig P239, and S&W 39xx series to name a few.

If you really want all-steel, that's tougher since one of the big trends in CCW has been weight reduction, often by using alloys or polymers.

michael t
September 5, 2005, 11:07 PM
Colt Defender,Para Warthog 45acp 10+1 very small a new single stack coming soon. Cont Commander. in 380 Colt Mustang series PPK/s,Bersa that $1000 pocket 9mm starts with a R. Seems like a bunch out their Hell even Llama has a sub-compact 45 copy of Para.

September 5, 2005, 11:56 PM
I carry a CZ RAMI 9mm. Small, steel frame with either 10 or 14 round mags. Here's a pic:


Edit: You should be able to find them in the low $400's

September 6, 2005, 01:32 PM
is making a Champion 1911 in commander size. I have found some good prices on them. You can get them in steel frame or alloy (28 oz.).

September 6, 2005, 01:49 PM
They're around. I think the current trend is toward full size high capacity pistols with the sunsetting of the AWB.

I can't really remember that era extremely well but I think the years directly before the AWB gave us the "wonder nines" like the Beretta and Glock 17. Being able to have magazines that hold more than 10 rounds has put the emphasis back on capacity over concealability. I think a good argument could be made that the latest generation of compact autos owes their existance to an imposed stunted magazine requirement--nobody wants a fullsize pistol with compact pistol capacity (except for maybe the 1911 fans :D ) so make the pistols smaller and they will come.

September 6, 2005, 01:50 PM
Todays "Gold Standard" in personal defense guns are the Kahr autos.

The Kahr K9 or K40 are 100% steel, with a reputation for reliability most other makers just wish for.

The K series is about the same size as a Walther PPK/s, which is why I no longer own a PPK/s, and do own a K9.

Kahr also make an even tinier steel series in the MK9 and MK40.

These guns are smaller than a PPK, and again have an excellent reputation for reliability.

When as conservative a department as the New York City Police authorize the K9 for off-duty carry, it HAS to be good.

And the Kahr really is that good.

Bottom line: If you want SMALL, but don't like plastic, and want a QUALITY, reliable and accurate gun, take a look at the "K" series Kahr.


September 6, 2005, 03:39 PM

The CZ 2075 RAMIs in 9mm + .40 SW are all made with a light alloy frame, not steel. They are nice little pistols IMHO.

September 6, 2005, 03:45 PM
Ask and you shall receive: http://www.paraord.com/product/product.html?id=7

September 6, 2005, 04:53 PM
Kahr MK9 - stainless slim - check them out

September 6, 2005, 07:39 PM
"The CZ 2075 RAMIs in 9mm + .40 SW are all made with a light alloy frame, not steel. They are nice little pistols IMHO."

Of course they are. That's what I meant to say. :) I just know it's not plastic.

September 6, 2005, 08:41 PM
A lot of people seem to be real happy with the Bersa compact models.


September 7, 2005, 03:05 PM
SA makes a subbie (3" bbl) in both 9x19mm and .40 S&W calibers. Check out http://www.springfield-armory.com/prod-xdpstl-sub-compact.shtml for more info and pix. I personally have the 9mm version, and I love it. I plan on getting my CCW eventually, and picked up this firearm for that purpose.

Springfield also makes 4" bbl models as well found here http://www.springfield-armory.com/prod-xdpstl-service.shtml The extra 1" barrel length adds a .357 SIG caliber to the list, too... I've read that the 4" service model is easily concealed as well.

I would trust my life to the XD series. Reliable, durable, dependable, lifetime warranty, many rave reviews... I think the XD is a good choice and should be on your "possibilities" list.

September 8, 2005, 05:11 PM
Maybe something along the lines of a Springfield 1911 compact with a 3.5" or 3.9" bbl. Dunno what they go for on the street, but MSRP is kinda painfull.

September 8, 2005, 05:51 PM
Are you dead set that you're not havein a polymer gun? There are some great sompact and subcompact poly guns out there.

Take a look at the Springfield XD series. I carry the 4" service modle in 40. I alternate it with the USP full size in 40 cal also.

September 8, 2005, 06:34 PM
The Baby Eagle does have a 3.5" barrel all steel model (sounds like right now you have the full size or maybe the "semi-compact" model). S&W 39XX (or 908) series (alloy lower). CZ Rami does look interesting..but not available around here.

September 9, 2005, 12:27 AM
Get a compact SIG. Be happy and know its always going to work.

September 9, 2005, 01:56 AM
second the sig

September 9, 2005, 06:42 AM
Kahr Mk9 Elite 98.
Now, I understand this model is no longer made. Kahr has "upgraded" to the Elite 2003. As far as I can see, it's the same gun!!


It's an expensive puppy, though!! Mine cost right around $700 several years ago!!

September 9, 2005, 07:02 AM
You could always go with a "last generation" weapon like the S&W Chief's Special series (9mm, .40 and .45)... if I switch over to autos that's what I'll probably do, and they can be found NIB on various online sales sites.