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Old July 3, 2020, 02:08 PM   #1
jman841
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9mm Sub-Compact Carry Gun Selection

With the insane amount of options on the market today in the 9mm sub-compact carry gun category, I'm finding it difficult to decide which one to choose.

At the moment, I've boiled it down to 3 options and am willing to look at others, but would love people opinions on these options for those who own them.

Here's the 3 and my current opinion/thoughts on them...

1. Sig P365/XL (Probably the XL Version). I rented the P365 yesterday to shoot it, I found it ok. Didn't love it, but didn't hate it. Def a shootable gun for it's size. I love how small it is for concealed carry and with the extended lip on the mag, I can get my entire hand on the gun (I have medium sized hands and fairly skinny fingers so no issue with smaller guns). With that said, my natural grip has my thumb riding on the slide release and caused it not to lock back multiple times. I didn't love the trigger, it was very light and the take up was super clean, but the break itself has a lot of creep. A few times I pulled and felt the creep, expecting it to go bang, and it didn't actually break until I had a further pull. I personally think the break on my Glock 19 is much nicer. The take up on the glock trigger is terrible, but once I hit the wall, I have just about 0 creep (Can't feel it at all when shooting) and a very crisp break. With that said, I only fired 100 rounds through it, so with training and more trigger time, I'm sure I could become very proficient with the P365. This is also the most expensive option on the list ($500-$600 depending if I go with the XL or regular).

2. Glock 43x. I have yet to shoot this, but do own a Glock 19 so feel it would be fairly similar. I need to rent one (They didn't have one to rent when I was at the range yesterday) to confirm, but what interests me about this is the 15 round mag capacity, I know the triggers very well, and the blue label pricing is excellent. (Can get this for $350 with blue label program, although maybe not at this moment, but once the buying craze calms down). The big longer grip will def make conceal ability harder, but should make shooting and drawing easier. My biggest hesitation with this... Do I really want another boring ole glock?

3. Taurus G3c. The largest of the 3, but having read a ton of reviews on the G2c, this seems like an excellent firearm for less money than I spend on ammo most months. I like the looks of the G3c, I like that sights are glock compatible, I like that there's options for fixing the trigger break being super far back, and I like how it feels in the hand.

Thoughts?

Am I over-analyzing this?

Any other suggestions for a concealed carry 9mm in the $600 or less category?

Purpose is to be used for concealed carry when I am dressed to do so and training/classes. Otherwise my LCP 2 will be with me in pocket or sneaky pete holster.
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Old July 3, 2020, 03:00 PM   #2
mk70ss
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Springfield Armory Hellcat. Even smaller than the 365 by a tiny bit...and holds more rounds
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Old July 3, 2020, 03:09 PM   #3
Cary Gunn
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You'll find nothing smaller or more "shootable" that the Kahr CM9. It's a superbly accurate little pistol that's all of 5 1/2-inches long. It's only a half-inch longer than your LCP II, but eats 9/19mm Luger ammo with astounding reliability.

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Old July 3, 2020, 04:16 PM   #4
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I thought you were sold on the G3c?


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Old July 3, 2020, 04:19 PM   #5
jman841
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I thought you were sold on the G3c?


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Not sold on anything, just considering it as an option. It's pretty incredible how many options there are these days for this category.
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Old July 3, 2020, 04:20 PM   #6
jman841
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Originally Posted by mk70ss View Post
Springfield Armory Hellcat. Even smaller than the 365 by a tiny bit...and holds more rounds
Have not shot this, but held one the other day. It felt ok. I liked the P365 better than the Hellcat.
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Old July 3, 2020, 04:56 PM   #7
cc-hangfire
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Your opening statement is correct: we live in a time with an excess of choices.

Instead of offering other suggestions for your carry handgun, let me ask a couple of questions. What are your other handguns? And do you have any handguns that are range guns only?

To clarify these questions, if your Glock 19 is your home defense gun and serves as a sometimes carry gun, it could be preferable that your slim carry gun have the same manual of arms. That means pick the Glock 43X.

If you are building a collection/accumulation, I understand the desire to have a variety of firearms; different manufacturers, operating systems, calibers, etc. I have quite an accumulation myself, and enjoy them all. Even with that number of guns available, I’ll limit my EDC and home defense handguns to those with long DOA triggers and no external safeties - that is my personal preference.

While my range guns have all kinds of safeties ( Frame mounted, slide mounted, large levers, small levers, cross bolt, tiny levers in front of the grips, ..,) and all kinds of actions (SAO, SA/DA, DAO) and trigger weights, I do not want to have to figure out my safety in a self-defense situation. I also want all of the trigger pulls to be similar on my defense guns.

Finally, I would not recommend the Taurus G3C for a couple of reasons. It is a new model, and it is being manufactured at a new facility. Although early reports indicate that the quality control is good, some time needs to pass to determine this model’s actual reliability. I do have a G2c, and it seems to be a fine semi automatic.

PS: ignore the new suggestions! you have narrowed your choices to three, and the Sig and Glock are top-tier handguns. ( The jury is still out on the G3c )

Last edited by cc-hangfire; July 3, 2020 at 05:07 PM.
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Old July 3, 2020, 05:26 PM   #8
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Oldies but Goodies

SIG p290RS is a 9mm pocket gun that's 100% and comes in at around $400 +/-.
Or try one of the S&W Wonder 9s like the 469. Around $450 all day long

Both of these were King Of The Hill in their day. They are still fine hammer fired pistols that have not outlived their usefulness. Not new but great nonetheless.

I believe you will be surprised by these two pistols if you take the time to look into them.
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Old July 3, 2020, 05:34 PM   #9
jman841
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc-hangfire View Post
Your opening statement is correct: we live in a time with an excess of choices.

Instead of offering other suggestions for your carry handgun, let me ask a couple of questions. What are your other handguns? And do you have any handguns that are range guns only?

To clarify these questions, if your Glock 19 is your home defense gun and serves as a sometimes carry gun, it could be preferable that your slim carry gun have the same manual of arms. That means pick the Glock 43X.

If you are building a collection/accumulation, I understand the desire to have a variety of firearms; different manufacturers, operating systems, calibers, etc. I have quite an accumulation myself, and enjoy them all. Even with that number of guns available, I’ll limit my EDC and home defense handguns to those with long DOA triggers and no external safeties - that is my personal preference.

While my range guns have all kinds of safeties ( Frame mounted, slide mounted, large levers, small levers, cross bolt, tiny levers in front of the grips, ..,) and all kinds of actions (SAO, SA/DA, DAO) and trigger weights, I do not want to have to figure out my safety in a self-defense situation. I also want all of the trigger pulls to be similar on my defense guns.

Finally, I would not recommend the Taurus G3C for a couple of reasons. It is a new model, and it is being manufactured at a new facility. Although early reports indicate that the quality control is good, some time needs to pass to determine this model’s actual reliability. I do have a G2c, and it seems to be a fine semi automatic.

PS: ignore the new suggestions! you have narrowed your choices to three, and the Sig and Glock are top-tier handguns. ( The jury is still out on the G3c )
Thanks for the insight. I think at the moment there's no rush so I appreciate your feedback.

The Glock 19 is my home defense gun that is my do it all pistol (Lot's of range time, I CAN carry it but don't like to, I've refined the trigger to how I like it and know it very well).

My current dedicated carry gun is the LCP 2. For the range, its usually the MK 3 22/45 along with the other two.

I think I just need to find a friend who has a 43x or a range that can rent one and see how I like it vs. the P365. It's def temping to have a different brand besides Glock though since I already have the 19.
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Old July 4, 2020, 08:11 AM   #10
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There is something nice about the really small 9mm's and the two smallest I've had were the G43 and the G43X. I won't say anything bad about them but I prefer the G26.

So that's my recommendation, the Glock 26. The reasons for me are mainly that the G26 can accept larger Glock mags, can't do that with the G43 or G43X, so if you want a spare mag, it could be a G26 mag or a G19 or G17 mag. The 43x has a rather long grip on it, same as the 19 just thinner. The G26 is way shorter top to bottom although it's wider. The G26 also shoots better, it's small enough that in cargo pants/shorts it can be put in the pocket, or carried owb/iwb it's no issue.

There are smaller 9mms out there but I don't think you'll find one that shoots as good or is as versatile as the G26 for a subcompact
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Old July 4, 2020, 09:53 AM   #11
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So, after all that debate, I went with the P365.

Since it is the smallest platform, it will be the easiest to conceal. If I decide I want a larger frame, I can easily swap the grip module with the P365 XL Grip module for a few bucks as the serialized part is the trigger group, not the frame. Also, with the 12 round mag, The length gets on par with the G43x. I also held it compared with the Taurus G2S and the G2S, which is thinner than the G3c, is significantly larger.

Finally, I got it exactly how I wanted it for $455 before tax (Bass pro + Military discount + member rewards). Which is an excellent price, even pre-COVID.

Really happy I "pulled the trigger" and went with the P365 as I was way overthinking it.
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Old July 4, 2020, 11:45 AM   #12
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Jman, Here's my descending order of every day carry guns for the past 50+ years. Number one is the Sig 365, my choice for the past 18 months. Prior to that I routinely carried a S&W M60 with a 3" bbl.

This is the rest of the list.
Sig P225A1, Sig 1911 RCS, Sig M11A1, Sig P290, Glock 19, S&W M36 3" bbl., S&W M19 4", Colt Combat Commnder .45, Browning Hi-Power, & several 1911's in .45 cal, S&W M15, Ruger BH 4-5/8" bbl.

As you may have noted, there's a variety of sizes and calibers, most used in civilian dress, but the Browning, the full size 1911's and the M15 Smith were side arms during two tours in Vietnam and Thailand.

The best 3 of that lot above are the Sig 365, the Smith M60, and the Sig 1911 RCS. Forced to pick one it'd be the Sig 365....for the following reasons: 9mm ammo is universally available world wide and except for panics, here as well, the gun is superbly accurate (see pic below which I've posted here before), it's as close to 100% reliable as is mechanically possible (FMJ, JHP, LSWC handloads, it matters not...they all feed and fire). The gun feels like a duty size semi-auto in my hands, and has the capacity 10+1 to back up any civilian confrontation, the sights are superb...that big green dot shows up in any lighting, and the tritium dots will do for night precision work. And finally, it's slim, compact and conceals very well in my OWB method of carry. Your choice may differ, but I'd give a strong look at that short bbl'd Sig. Rod

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Old July 4, 2020, 04:28 PM   #13
cc-hangfire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jman841 View Post
So, after all that debate, I went with the P365. ... Really happy I "pulled the trigger" and went with the P365 as I was way overthinking it.
Enjoy it, and give us a range report. I don’t own the P365 —— yet. I do have Sig P250’s for home and Vehicle defense, & I’ll buy a P365 one day.
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Old July 4, 2020, 04:31 PM   #14
jman841
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodfac View Post
Jman, Here's my descending order of every day carry guns for the past 50+ years. Number one is the Sig 365, my choice for the past 18 months. Prior to that I routinely carried a S&W M60 with a 3" bbl.

This is the rest of the list.
Sig P225A1, Sig 1911 RCS, Sig M11A1, Sig P290, Glock 19, S&W M36 3" bbl., S&W M19 4", Colt Combat Commnder .45, Browning Hi-Power, & several 1911's in .45 cal, S&W M15, Ruger BH 4-5/8" bbl.

As you may have noted, there's a variety of sizes and calibers, most used in civilian dress, but the Browning, the full size 1911's and the M15 Smith were side arms during two tours in Vietnam and Thailand.

The best 3 of that lot above are the Sig 365, the Smith M60, and the Sig 1911 RCS. Forced to pick one it'd be the Sig 365....for the following reasons: 9mm ammo is universally available world wide and except for panics, here as well, the gun is superbly accurate (see pic below which I've posted here before), it's as close to 100% reliable as is mechanically possible (FMJ, JHP, LSWC handloads, it matters not...they all feed and fire). The gun feels like a duty size semi-auto in my hands, and has the capacity 10+1 to back up any civilian confrontation, the sights are superb...that big green dot shows up in any lighting, and the tritium dots will do for night precision work. And finally, it's slim, compact and conceals very well in my OWB method of carry. Your choice may differ, but I'd give a strong look at that short bbl'd Sig. Rod

Thanks for the insight! I'm glad I went with the P365. I think I will be really happy I made this choice for many years to come. We are def living in the golden age of firearms as there's so many incredible choices, it's almost splitting hairs choosing between options.
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Old July 4, 2020, 07:00 PM   #15
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Jman, Mine seems to prefer 124 gr loads over all others, from an accuracy standpoint. At 10 yds, these hit on the center of the green dot front sight when held level with the rear sight ears. A little low for me, but remember, in a stress situation, it's rare to be able to pull that front sight down level...resulting in a higher POI.

Best practice ammunition for me has been American Eagle 124 gr FMJ. I like the brass for reloading and it's the most accurate factory ammo I've found to date. For carry, I use Federal JHP's of the same weight. Good luck with your new pistol...it's a keeper. Here's how I carry mine. Regards, Rod



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Old July 5, 2020, 06:07 AM   #16
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Very nice, I have to get to the range and test different types of ammo through it. I'm not a big guy and don't typically dress in baggy clothes, so I'm excited to have a 9mm that I can carry comfortably. While the LCP 2 is unmatched in ease of carry compared to the 9mm, I am not as accurate with it, as fast with it, and it has less ammo. Excited to have a slightly larger alternative.
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Old July 5, 2020, 01:07 PM   #17
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I'd stick with the boring old Glock but maybe in a G26 instead. I personally rather have a boring plain jane that is reliable and can accessorize.



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Old July 5, 2020, 04:58 PM   #18
jman841
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G26 is very thick which makes it difficult to concealed carry. While the 43x I think is an awesome choice, i'm really happy I chose the P365.

I love that the serialized part is the trigger housing and i can swap out grip modules in about 1 minute. So if I want a larger grip I can get the P365 XL grip module for $40 and have that option. I can choose to run it with or without a manual safety, etc.

I was tempted to get the XL, but didn't want the longer slide as I see that as a disadvantge, just wish the smaller one came with the optics cutout like the XL does.
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Old July 5, 2020, 07:17 PM   #19
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I'm really liking the Sig 365. I prefer the standard model with the option of flush 10 round mags for deeper concealment. The 10 rounders with a lip are a little easier to carry and I also bought a couple of 12 round mags. I don't need or want the extra barrel length of the XL. With the 12 round mags it can be carried IWB, but I generally carry it OWB when concealment is less critical with those mags.

I shoot it extremely well, especially with the 12 round mags. I don't feel I give up anything substantial to my 15 round G19 with it.
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Old July 6, 2020, 07:32 AM   #20
jman841
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I was of the same opinion. I shot the XL and non XL side by side and didn't feel a huge difference, but the slide length was very noticeable in size. The grip length didn't seem to be very different. Recoil impulse on the XL was slightly less, but not enough for me to want the larger slide, making it more difficult to carry.

With that said, I shot my Glock 19 far better than the Sig. To be fair, I have alot of trigger time behind my Glock 19 and that was my first time shooting the sig. I also love the trigger on my Glock, I have it setup how I like it (Nice wall and clean break). vs the Sig's trigger has a ton of creep, which I don't like as much.

Here's the groups from the range at 10 yards, top center is G19, Bottom left is Sig P365 and bottom right was my LCP 2 which is by far the most difficult to shoot of the 3.

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Old July 6, 2020, 08:11 AM   #21
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I have the XL. I don't find the barrel length to be a problem for concealed carry, but I carry IWB. For me IWB the barrel length is mostly a moot point. YMMV.
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Old July 6, 2020, 08:21 AM   #22
jman841
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I have the XL. I don't find the barrel length to be a problem for concealed carry, but I carry IWB. For me IWB the barrel length is mostly a moot point. YMMV.
Do you carry appendix? I think Appendix is the carry style where barrel length makes the most difference. At least for me, I want the barrel of the gun above the crease of my hip so it doesn't dig in when I sit down.
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Old July 6, 2020, 08:22 AM   #23
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Normally no, but I've carried 4" barrels appendix and been fine and the P365 XL is shorter than that.
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Old July 6, 2020, 08:24 AM   #24
jman841
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For me, barrel length makes a big difference for Appendix carry. With that said, Other than the Optics Cut, I didn't see any advantage of the longer barrel for defensive purposes and I can put the XL Grip module on the regular one if I want the longer grip for $40.
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Old July 6, 2020, 08:26 AM   #25
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I like the option of an optics cut, the slightly longer sight radius, and the small gain in bullet velocity from the longer barrel (with the XL grip it also seems to balance a bit better to me). If it's not worth it to you that's fine, I'm not trying to convert you, my original comment was I don't find the barrel length problematic and as I said, YMMV.
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