The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 28, 2010, 02:15 PM   #1
Junior member
Join Date: May 15, 2010
Posts: 113
What are the best compact semi auto pistol out there and why?

In the past I wouldn't even think about buying a compact pistol. Now I find it hard to buy a full size. What would you guys recommend to a novice compact pistol collector. I am interested in only 9mm or 45 acp pistol. What old or new pistol is worth a buying and why? Which are the most reliable? Which should I take a pass on?
Uzi4u2 is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 02:34 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 13, 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 188
Glock 19. fairly cheap to shoot, goes bang on command, accurate, lightwieght, really fun to shoot....and it looks SO good But there's a binch of options out there, depends on your taste. try and shoot alot of different ones if possible
"Whoever bleeds the least wins."
howwie is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 02:36 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: September 22, 2009
Location: Ohio.
Posts: 634
CZ P-01. 9mm, 14 + 1 capacity, CZ reliability, all-metal construction, external hammer, decocker, phenomenal accuracy, and the best ergonomics of pretty much any sub-$600 semi-auto.
"The CZ75 is´╗┐ made of win and longcats."--anonymous youtube comment
FreakGasolineFight is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 03:09 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: February 27, 2006
Location: Lane County Oregon
Posts: 2,547
I have a Ruger P345 and absolutely love it.
U.S Army, Retired

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. -Potter Stewart
davlandrum is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 03:47 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: November 12, 2008
Location: Manly Flower Mound Texas
Posts: 126
Kahr PM9. They can be a bit pricey new but are reliable and very slim.
Crapulence is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 03:54 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: July 16, 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 887
Now I find it hard to buy a full size.
Me too.

I recommend the Springfield XD9 subcompact.
(1) They are extremely reliable according to me and many others.
(2) They shoot and recoil like full-sized XDs.
(3) Ergonomics and practical accuracy are the best I've experienced from any pistol, including full-size pistols.
Ichiro is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 06:17 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: June 2, 2006
Location: Bowling Green Virginia
Posts: 4,251
Here are a couple of my favorites. All three are very reliable, in fact never a miss, and all are quite accurate. The three HKs are close to perfection. The P2000sk is a wonder of ergonomic comfort.
Top - down; HK USP Compact, HK P2000SK, HK P7 PSP

The large Kahr T9 is one of the softer shooting guns I own. The K9 and TP9 are great carry guns. Fun at the range too, especially the big T9 and TP9. All three have proved to be reliable and accurate.
Top; Kahr T9 and TP9
Bottom; Kahr K9 w/ Crimson Trace laser grip.

Last edited by PSP; May 29, 2010 at 09:38 AM.
PSP is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 08:09 PM   #8
Join Date: August 19, 2009
Location: Cowtown
Posts: 19
S&W M&P, either 9c or 45c.
If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

Retired USAF
NRA Member
tarheel34 is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 09:59 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: February 1, 2000
Posts: 1,430
My favorites are the Sig 239, HK USP and P2000.
Rinspeed is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 10:25 PM   #10
Junior member
Join Date: May 15, 2010
Posts: 113
I didn't even know that these guns existed. I must have googled every gun mentioned. I will definitely look into each one of these. Thanks!
Uzi4u2 is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 11:03 PM   #11
Junior Member
Join Date: August 7, 2008
Posts: 5
I have a M&P45c with laserlyte rear it!
mangy is offline  
Old May 28, 2010, 11:09 PM   #12
Junior member
Join Date: August 5, 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,982
I like my kel tec P11
ISC is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 06:49 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: March 18, 2009
Posts: 850
Compact: Glock 19
Sub Compact: Glock 26
You said 9mm or 45 and used the term novice.
IME you can take a new Glock out of the box and it will be reliable from the get go.
CDW4ME is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 07:35 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: January 6, 2000
Location: Nashville, Tn
Posts: 212
Glock calls the Glock 19 a "Compact," so according to that description, the Glock 19 is the standard, in my opinion. If by "compact," you mean a small pistol, then there are lots of them and lots of good ones.

I,too, have a hard time buying a full size pistol. The mid-size, and even smaller ones, are usually plenty big enough.

If you're looking for something smaller than a Glock 19 or G26, the Kahr seems very nice.
hickok45 is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 07:36 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: December 21, 2000
Posts: 4,142
I carry a CZ-75D PCR or an HK P7 PSP most often.
Pilot is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 08:18 AM   #16
Join Date: May 15, 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 49
I gotta give Glock 19 a +1 here or if you want to go even smaller Glock 26, both right out of the box are very easy to get loaded up and out to the range.
EricandSuebee is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 08:29 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Location: Just off Route 66
Posts: 5,067
I would recommend the M&P 9c.

Jim243 is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 08:36 AM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Western Colorado, finally.
Posts: 19,118
The Glock line generally has the longest barrel for the size of the gun.

Longer barrel = higher velocity.

Faster is better.

Glock = Better.

Seriously though, they do usually have the longest barrels vs the length of the gun.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 09:22 AM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 3,204
If you are looking for a 9mm in a very small, but usuable package, the Kahr PM9 is hard to beat. I used to carry a Glock 26, the Kahr is quite a bit slimmer and smaller overall. You give up 4 rounds of mag capacity, but I can pocket carry all day and it doesn't bother me at all. As mentioned, they are a bit pricey, especially the ones with the black coated slides and night sights.
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!
stephen426 is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 09:51 AM   #20
Join Date: February 26, 2010
Location: Tampa, Fl
Posts: 51
I always vote P7M8 (or M13) even though the 13 is a lil butt heavy. And as a second choice a P2000sk in either trigger setup DAO or SA/DA.
RMA is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 10:06 AM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: July 4, 2008
Posts: 465
In my opinion, when it comes to having a .45acp, the 1911 is where all serious collectors and shooters begins and ends. There are a bevy of other good .45acp pistols out there also. I have two 1911s, a Colt 1991A1 all stainless Commander and a Kimber Ultra Covert. I like Sig Sauer P220s also.

I don't care too much for 9mm pistols, but if you just want something inexpensive and very reliable, the Glocks fit that bill fine. I think the ultimate collector 9mm, would be a German P08 Luger, from WWI or WWII.
Oldjarhead is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 10:15 AM   #22
Junior member
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Posts: 5,797
My picks...

IMO, the "top" compact 9mm is the custom ASP from Paris Theodore; . This design based on the out of production S&W model 39 9mm was made for covert ops/intel work but quickly got notice with many other "quiet professionals". The Wiki page or research can explain all of the ASP features. Some older custom ASP pistols can be had on sites like and . The limited ed Coal Creek Armory ASP2000 based on a S&W 3913 was good but Im not sure if they do gunsmith packages on customer S&W pistols.
Other great compact 9mm & .45acp pistols include the SIG Sauer P250 compact(a DAK type polymer frame), the HK45 compact(lem), and the HK P2000sk in lem. If you want a good compact single action .45acp or 9mm and have the $$$, check out the Colt Defender models.
If you are an entry level target shooter or starting out, I'd suggest a well made DA only system like the SIG DAK or HK lem(law enforcement modification). DA only pistols avoid snags and hassles. They also prevent false or unfair claims of ADs(discharges) in critical incidents. Many LE agencies like the NYPD, the US Border Patrol, etc have issued or authorized DA only weapons for many years.

Last edited by ClydeFrog; May 29, 2010 at 10:30 AM.
ClydeFrog is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 10:40 AM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: January 29, 2007
Posts: 154
My choice depends upon just how COMPACT you want to go. My daily carry is a Rohrbaugh R9S. It is the same basic size as a Ruger LCP .380 but in the high power 9mm round. They aren't cheap but are a very high quality, accurate mini-pistol. You can poscket carry it with a good holster or it virtually disappears with an IWB or pancake holster with an untucked t-shirt and jeans. I've tried the PM9/PM40 guns and sold them both for the Rohrbaugh, and would do it all again if given the choice.

jetman is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 11:30 AM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 3,204
I've fondled a Rohrbaugh R9S and was really impressed by the small size. I think it is about the same size as a Beretta Tomcat which is chambered for .32 acp. The Rohrbaugh is pretty expensive though (over $1000). I was told that the Rohrbaugh is meant to be carried lots but rarely shot. I'm not sure if that is an accurate statement, but I like to shoot my carry gun everytime I go to the range just to make sure I maintain my proficiency.

For me, the PM9 is small enough. I feel the Rohrbaugh is a little too small and I can't get a proper grip on it. Its entirely possible I could change my mind and end up replacing the PM9 with the Rohrbaugh, like I did with my Glock 26 after a while.
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!
stephen426 is offline  
Old May 29, 2010, 11:43 AM   #25
Junior member
Join Date: May 27, 2010
Posts: 159
I'm cheap and proficient with my PF-9.

psyshack 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 03:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10747 seconds with 7 queries