The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 4, 2017, 09:07 PM   #26
KW Gary M
Senior Member
Join Date: January 28, 2009
Location: Key West
Posts: 162
I had a Kahr PM9 that I as so excited to buy and shoot and far more excited to get rid of it. Jammed more than it shot, very top heavy, about 2 months and 600 rounds through it the slide wouldn't open all the way. I called Kahr and they were very rude. They said they would look at it free but I had to send it FedEx at my expense. Took it to a local Gunsmith who fixed it cheaper than it would have cost me to ship it to Kahr and put it on Gun Broker. I rented a Kahr CW40 once thinking I wanted to buy one and was very unimpressed. Reverend Moon and his Son can keep them.

Had a Glock G43 that I liked OK. It went bang every time I pulled the trigger, ate about any ammo I fed it, was as accurate as a mouse gun can be and concealed very easily but it just didn't feel right in my hand. Nothing at all wrong with the gun itself. It just didn't feel right to me.

I now have an M&P 9mm that I absolutely love. Conceals easily, eats any ammo there is, is accurate, very little recoil for such a small gun and with the Pearce grip extension or the 8 round extended magazine it fits my hand great.
To say that guns kill people is to say that automobiles drive drunk and matches commit arson....
KW Gary M is offline  
Old March 6, 2017, 10:49 AM   #27
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 10,825
I have to admit, I have considered buying a DB9 just to see if it would work.
I have one. It works just fine, but it is ammo sensitive. This means you need to pick ammo that will work with it. In fact, all of the true Micro 9mm's are ammo sensitive. It likes ball ammo and not +P and not hollow point with a full magazine. So, I load mine with one hollowpoint in the chamber, two ball ammo rounds up first in the magazine and then defensive hollow points after that. Works for me.

All of these micro 9's need to be kept clean and properly oiled, and you should stock some spare recoil springs for them. The Boberg is capable of being a range gun - very robust for a micro 9. The DB9 and Rohrbaugh are not meant to be range guns with high round counts.
Skans is offline  
Old March 8, 2017, 08:38 AM   #28
Join Date: May 5, 2011
Posts: 39
Just as an "aside" if you have a Shield (9mm) and certainly if you EDC it, there is a "spring" replacement called adds 2 rounds to your 7 or 8 round mags so now you have 11 rounds, quite awsome IMHO.
I have no affiliation wth the MAGGUTS, it's just that when some "conversion" is as good and work as well as this (700 round since conversion works 100%) it needs attention !
DAKA is offline  
Old March 8, 2017, 10:01 AM   #29
Junior Member
Join Date: February 19, 2017
Posts: 2
I have a Diamondback DB9. It is 100% with Remington Critical Defense. I carry it in an ankle right. The gun was designed to shoot standard pressure 115 grain ammo and it does it every time.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
dougmcfalls is offline  
Old March 8, 2017, 10:26 AM   #30
Fine Figure of a Man
Join Date: October 15, 2016
Posts: 64
The Kahr CM9 is the smallest 9 I have shot. Good gun but too small for me, the trigger guard fits my finger like a ring.
The LC9s works for me and is super slim almost to comfortable to carry. I am constantly checking to make sure its still there when I carry it (Remora Holster).
Fine Figure of a Man is offline  
Old March 8, 2017, 01:28 PM   #31
Join Date: January 15, 2015
Posts: 96
LC9S is tiny and runs all ammo.

RECTIFIER is offline  
Old March 8, 2017, 06:41 PM   #32
Senior Member
Join Date: November 12, 1999
Posts: 1,252
Pistol tiny. Picture big.

“Men strive for the cup of water that slips through their fingers, but those who follow Yeshua the Christ live for the endless expanse of sea.”
Laz is offline  
Old March 8, 2017, 09:42 PM   #33
Senior Member
Join Date: December 13, 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,129
Just picked up a no safety Shield---I think that's as small as I care to go in 9mm.

Shot my buddy's LC9s Pro and didn't care for it much--at all.
I take the leech that's bleeding me
Can't stop to save my soul
I take the leash that's leading me
Omaha-BeenGlockin is offline  
Old March 9, 2017, 08:36 AM   #34
Junior Member
Join Date: March 8, 2017
Location: N GA mountains & W FL
Posts: 3
Kahr Pm9/Cm9, Sig P938/P290RS, Beretta Nano, Ruger LC9S, Glock 43 are all good. Remington, KelTec, Diamondback are ones I personally don't like, but others may.
Retired USN
Sig P 225A1, SIG P320C, Walter PPS M2, Ruger LCP II, Ruger Single Six
EternalKnight is offline  
Old March 9, 2017, 11:46 AM   #35
Seven High
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Posts: 602
KW Gary M: I am curious to know what your local gunsmith found wrong and fixed on your PM9. Would you please expound on this?
Seven High is offline  
Old March 10, 2017, 11:12 PM   #36
Senior Member
Join Date: May 30, 2007
Posts: 761
Just picked up a no safety Shield---I think that's as small as I care to go in 9mm.
I agree. Though there are smaller 9s, guns the size of the Shield, Glock 43, various Kahrs, Ruger LC9, etc are probably the smallest most of us care to go from a controllability standpoint.
jad0110 is offline  
Old March 13, 2017, 03:23 PM   #37
Join Date: August 9, 2006
Posts: 79
I have the Kahr PM9 and the Glock 43. The Kahr is smaller than the G43. In fact, its very comparable to the G42 .380 in size.
4719 is offline  
Old March 19, 2017, 06:46 PM   #38
Senior Member
Join Date: March 18, 2013
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 601
Kimber Solo isn't the smallest or lightest, but it's fine once you work the kinks out.
At the young age of five, a bear told me that I was the only person who could prevent forest fires. Why I was chosen, I'll never know.
Auto5 is offline  
Old January 2, 2019, 05:31 PM   #39
Junior Member
Join Date: January 1, 2019
Posts: 1
I was searching through Google for information comparing all the smallest 9mm's currently available and I didn't find a "list" like I was wanting, just mainly people talking about a few different guns here and there. So I spent many hours compiling a list of all the smallest 9mm's I could find. Here is what I came up with:

Springfield XDs 3.3- 6.3"x4.4"x0.9"; 23oz; 7+1rnd; 7# trigger; $349

Ruger LC9s Pro- 6"x4.5"x0.9"; 17.2oz; 7+1rnd; 5# trigger; $229

Sig P365- 5.8"x4.3"x1"; 17.8oz;10+1rnd; 5.5# trigger; $499

Bond BullPup9- 5.1"x4.2"x0.96"; 17.5oz; 7+1rnd; 7# trigger; $891

Diamondback DB9- 5.6"×4"x0.8"; 11oz; 6+1rnd; 5.5# trigger; $156

Kimber Micro 9- 6.1"x4.1"x1.1"; 15.6oz; 7+1rnd; 5.75# trigger; $515

Kahr CM9- 5.42"x4"x0.9"; 14oz; 6+1rnd; 6.5# trigger; $285

S&W Shield- 6.1"x4.5"x1"; 18.3oz; 7+1 rnd; 5.5# trigger; $339

Sig P938 BRG- 5.9"x3.9"x1.1"; 16oz;7+1 rnd; 7.5# trigger; $510

Glock 43- 6.26"x4.25"x1.06"; 16.2oz; 6+1 rnd; 5.4# trigger; $419

Kel-Tec P-11- 5.6"x4.3"x1"; 14oz; 12+1 rnd; 9# trigger; $204

Kel-Tec PF-9- 5.85"x4.3"x0.88"; 12.7oz; 7+1 rnd; 5# trigger; $161

Now I want to add a few "notes" to the above list. I wanted to keep the representation of these weapons as "small" as possible, so the dimensions of each is with their flush mount mags. This means the round count is also a reflection of the flush mount mags. Some of these pistols do have options with a mag that extends from the bottom of the handle increasing the size and the round count by 1 or 2 rounds.

The prices are the cheapest prices I currently found for each weapon as of 1/2/2019. This does not include possible shipping fees (a lot of them were free shipping) and FFL transfer fees.

Now that the list is made. I started doing HOURS of research on each of these firearms. For my own personal preference, I wanted not only a small, lightweight 9mm, but also a reliable one. Now reliability is a relative term that almost comes down to opinion to a degree. Some people make find that 4 or 5 failures to feed or eject in 100 round is acceptable. Some may find it acceptable in 1,000 rounds. I personally do not trust a firearm to my life unless it is 100% reliable. Now that you know how I feel about it, lets move on.

So my sources of information came from videos such as Hickok45, NutnFancy, Military Arms Channel, and Colion Noir. I also read multiple articles from all the "big name" gun magazines on each of these pistols as well. I literally spent HOURS on each pistol.

One that was disappointing to me, was the Sig P365. From specifications alone, I really wanted this gun to be a possible future carry gun for me. After watching multiple videos where the gun literally broke on camera, and a ton of complaints of broken firing pins (strikers) and trigger springs, I could no longer keep it on my list of "reliable" weapons. Sig even openly admitted they had some parts that the carbon content was out of specs, but they did not specifically say when it was fixed and what all it related to. Hopefully in a year or so, they will work on the bugs out because this pistol has potential.

What is also interesting looking at the list, is a lot of people felt the Sig P365 was revolutionary to creating a small, lightweight pistol with a 10 round capacity. After I made the list I quickly realized that Sig was in fact not the first to do this. In 1995, Kel-Tec released the P-11 which is a hair shorter in length, weighs less and carries 2 more rounds that the Sig P365, all for less than half the price. Just a interesting note.

So back to reliability, here is what I came up with after all the research:

Glock 43
S&W Shield
Ruger LC9s Pro
Kel-Tec PF-9
Kel-Tec P-11
Springfield XDs 3.3
Sig P938
Kimber Micro 9

Those are the reliable "small" 9mm's. Now I know what some are going to think. How did Kel-Tec end up on this list? Trust me, I was shocked to find that after 200 to 300 rounds (many times less) these pistols were 100% reliable. Yes they are kind of ugly and rough around the edges, but every review I watched with them where they had been broken in, they were 100% reliable. Specifically, NutnFancy liked the Kel-Tec PF-9 so much that he made it his daily carry gun for a number of years. He trained with it almost on a weekly basis and fired thousands of rounds through it with no issues. He is typically very critical of pistols so I was really surprised to see him choose it as his daily carry gun.

Now I feel like some will also wonder why the Kahr did not make the list. This was the pistol that was the hardest to decide if I should call it reliable or not. Its not that they are technically "unreliable", but rather owners and reviewers report they are picky about ammo types. Even after 200 or 300 or even 500 rounds of break in, there are tons of reports of them not cycling a fairly wide variety of rounds. Yes if you take the time to find rounds it likes, I have read they are reliable. The other thing that concerned me about Kahr is that almost every customer who had a issue with their weapon and then contacted Kahr was met with bad customer service. Many people complained that Kahr would blame the issues on the customer and just basically be rude about the whole situation. Some of these owners seemed to be competent and experienced gun owners. There just seemed to be a pattern of Kahr providing bad customer service.

So I wanted to shrink the list even more at this point, and here is my though process. When searching for the smallest 9mm's, I also want something that is lightweight as well. Well the Springfield XDs 3.3 weighs almost as much as a Glock 26. So if I was willing to carry that kind of weight, I would simply carry a larger capacity as well such as the Glock 26, so the Springfield XDs 3.3 was off the list due to its heavy weight.

Next I chopped the Kel-Tec P-11 of the list because personally, I don't like the idea of a 9 lb trigger pull. Yes I found detailed instructions that can be done by yourself or a gun smith to lighten the trigger up to about 7 lbs which is a lot better, but still not quite where I would like it, and personally I don't want to mess with it.

I also removed the Sig P938 because again, I felt the 7.5 lb trigger is a little heavy for me. I am sure there are way to lighten it up, but I really don't want to mess with it. It is also on the higher end of prices out of these weapons. Other than those personal prefrences, it is a reliable weapon.

I removed the Kimber Micro 9 as well, because I am not a fan of a weapon with a safety. I think it is something a lot of people would forget to turn off in the heat of the moment when being attacked. Yes this can be overcome with a lot of training, but for the average person, I would not recommend this. If you are willing to put in the training, this is a reliable great weapon.

So if someone was going to ask me now, "hey, I am looking for a lightweight, reliable, small 9mm, what do you recommend?" My answer would be for them to look at these:

S&W Shield- 6.1"x4.5"x1"; 18.3oz; 7+1 rnd; 5.5# trigger; $339

Ruger LC9s Pro- 6"x4.5"x0.9"; 17.2oz; 7+1rnd; 5# trigger; $229

Glock 43- 6.26"x4.25"x1.06"; 16.2oz; 6+1 rnd; 5.4# trigger; $419

Kel-Tec PF-9- 5.85"x4.3"x0.88"; 12.7oz; 7+1 rnd; 5# trigger; $161

Clearly the Kel-Tec PF-9 wins the "bang for the buck" award here, and the "lightweight" award as well. I am really happy to see there is a manufacturer producing a quality firearm at this price for people who are on a budget. I personally have owned a lot of Glocks, and I am very comfortable with them, so I feel like I would likely choose a Glock 43. The Ruger LC9s by far received the highest praise for its trigger out of any of these guns. Every reviewer was amazed how nice the trigger was, just something else to keep in mind. Honestly I wish I could purchase all four of these and spend about 1,000 rounds with each and then choose. Regardless of which of those four you choose, I don't think you will be disappointed. I hope the research I did here helps someone else who maybe doesn't have the time to research this much.

Last edited by Slp82; January 2, 2019 at 05:46 PM.
Slp82 is offline  
Old January 2, 2019, 06:59 PM   #40
Senior Member
Join Date: August 10, 2002
Posts: 2,088
When looking for a compact 9 the features that got my attention was which one had the longest barrel for the size, which has a more controllable grip for repeatable shots, and of course accuracy. Boberg (Bond Arms) was the only one that didn't need readjusted in the hand. Lower bore axis and how it sits in the web of your hand makes the difference. Machine work and finish is comparable to high end 1911's. We all purchase for different reasons, I thought the cheaper 9's were.....well, cheap.
Rembrandt is offline  
Old January 2, 2019, 07:29 PM   #41
Carl the Floor Walker
Senior Member
Join Date: June 3, 2017
Posts: 431
A very easy way is just to go to Genitron and compare.

Last edited by Carl the Floor Walker; January 2, 2019 at 09:19 PM.
Carl the Floor Walker is offline  
Old January 2, 2019, 07:44 PM   #42
chris in va
Senior Member
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 13,626
Thread resurrection from 2017...

But anyway, I just bought a Sig P365 after renting about ten small 9's. I wanted something similar to the Kahr K9 I had as I have fairly large hands, and it fits perfectly. I'm very impressed with how comfortable it is to shoot, hardly much difference between it and my CZ P01. Double stack width grip, single stack slide. Really enjoyable.
chris in va is offline  
Old January 3, 2019, 01:32 PM   #43
Senior Member
Join Date: October 17, 2014
Posts: 2,340
I had a Kel-Tec P-11. It was reliable, but the trigger was dreadful. After I shot my Glock 43 for the first time, I knew that the Kel-Tec was trade bait. I also had a Ruger LC9 that I eventually didn't like the trigger of, though I've heard that the LC9s has a much better trigger.

I like my G43 so much that I bought a G26 just to keep it company.
tallball is offline  
Old January 3, 2019, 03:13 PM   #44
Join Date: December 13, 2018
Posts: 44
The Sig 938 is what comes to mind for me. These are great guns that feel good in the hand.
AmmunitionDepot is offline  
Old January 6, 2019, 03:09 AM   #45
Join Date: August 28, 2015
Posts: 47
I know about all their issues but sig seemed to solve them with their P 365. Comes with great sights good trigger and 11 or 13 round capacity in comparison to 8 tops
epl1007 is offline  
Old January 6, 2019, 09:00 AM   #46
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 1,253
DB9 is the smallest.

Here is my LCP stacked on top of my DB9.

However, I do not feel the DB9 is a good gun.

DB9 is about the exact same size as the LCP, just a tad longer:

The Kahr Pm9/CM9 is huge compared to the DB9/LCP:
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old January 6, 2019, 10:55 AM   #47
Senior Member
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Location: on the lam
Posts: 1,212
I believe the DoubleTap is smaller, but it only two shots like a derringer.
John Wayne called a revolver a pistol so it's a pistol, pilgrim.
Carmady is offline  
Old January 6, 2019, 01:02 PM   #48
Carl the Floor Walker
Senior Member
Join Date: June 3, 2017
Posts: 431
Originally Posted by Fine Figure of a Man View Post
The Kahr CM9 is the smallest 9 I have shot. Good gun but too small for me, the trigger guard fits my finger like a ring.
The LC9s works for me and is super slim almost to comfortable to carry. I am constantly checking to make sure its still there when I carry it (Remora Holster).
As a Nano fanboy, I am totally happy in all areas. Shot the LC9S for many years. A great gun. Spent a long time looking for a new Micro. And OAL was important. Yes, the Kahr is a tad smaller but he recoil was very much more pronounced. And I ran the LC9S head to head with my Ruger and hands down the Nano out performed it. Most especially in recoil and muzzle flip.

Carl the Floor Walker is offline  
Old January 6, 2019, 01:16 PM   #49
Senior Member
Join Date: December 30, 2004
Location: Snohomish County, Washington USA
Posts: 306
The smallest I own is my AMT DAO Backup in 9 mm. Even though I have more modern and lightweight pistols, I still carry it from time to time: reliable, corrosion-resistant, small, and no external controls or hard edges to snag on anything. Heavy for the size, but that helps mitigate the recoil.

Snohomish County, Washington USA
MillCreek is offline  
Old January 6, 2019, 03:03 PM   #50
Senior Member
Join Date: January 15, 2006
Posts: 2,442
Both my Shield and G43 can be carried in a front pocket and both are reliable and very shootable. The only possibly superior piece is the P365, which I will probably get at some point. No rush, since the Shield and G43 are so good.

I have found the Kel-tecs to be poorly made and not good shooters, with excessive recoil and poor triggers (P11) and lots of muzzle flip (PF9).

I have never owned a Kahr that wasn’t finicky at best.

My two LC9s Rugers had nice triggers and were accurate and definitely pocketable, but have sharper recoil than the Shield, G43 and P365. My first LC9s wasn’t reliable (see Galloway Precision’s note regarding Ruger’s bad recoil system design), and I discovered my second one would pop its mag if fired left-handed. Gone.

The Nano shoots OK, but has a short grip and my impression is that it is too fat and heavy for the front pocket. Around 18 ounces unloaded is the limit, in my experience.

(Actually checking the stats Nano may not be too heavy. Still kind of thick though.)

Last edited by Mosin44az; January 6, 2019 at 03:18 PM.
Mosin44az is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09320 seconds with 9 queries