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Old February 13, 2013, 12:57 AM   #1
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Help choosing a new small concealed carry gun

Hi all,

I'm new to the firing line and thought i could get some helpful suggestions. I'm looking for a small concealed carry gun to replace my Walther PPK .380. It is really picky about what ammo feeds well and my wife has trouble pulling back the slide. Plus, I think .380 is a little too wimpy. I usually carry a full size Springfield XD with truglow nightsights. Its one of the old croatian versions and I absolutely LOVE it. After over 10,000 rounds it shoots great and I've NEVER had a feeding issue regardless of ammo brand.

I'm looking for a small 9mm that I can carry when I don't want to carry the XD, like when I'm wearing running shorts and a t-shirt. The Walther was perfect sizewise, but I'm nervous to stake my life on a gun that sometimes feeds poorly. I have big hands and need enough handle to get a good grip (LCP is out)

Thinking about a springfield 1911 emp or sig sauer p239.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
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Old February 13, 2013, 07:59 AM   #2
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Underwood has a .380 with respectable power (288 ft. lbs. at 1200 fps.); were you aware of that?
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Old February 13, 2013, 08:03 AM   #3
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look at the walther pps. it feeds flawlessly, and is a great size for carry.

the p239 is a fantastic gun as well. it's not going to feel much smaller in your waistband than your xd tho.
Favorite range gun for the money - CZ 75B or STI Spartan V 9mm
Go-to carry setup - Walther PPS or PPQ in FIST kydex holster 1AK
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Old February 13, 2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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I know there are some good self defense .380 cartridges out there. Wanting to move to 9mm has more to do with price of ammo and wanting most my handguns to have the same ammo. I'm tired of having so many different calibers. Gonna just stick with 9mm and some target .22s.
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Old February 13, 2013, 12:54 PM   #5
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Makes sense to me.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:26 PM   #6
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Theres not alot of bad compact handguns out there. They all make a few and the lighter and smaller you go the more trouble that can induced by ammo and the shooter.

I can tell you the bersa thunder series in the 380 is less picky pistol than walther and for a low cost and has a double stack version thats still lighter that the walther. We have two bersa 380CC model in the family and both have been nothing but dependable. They will shoot any HP and fmj brand that has been tried. Both had 400 rounds run thru each before CC'n.

As for 9mms. Or 40 and 45 cal with some Why not look at the XDS as it is small feels like what you have now , thin ,lightER. Maybe less than the walther . I don't like the XD line but if you do it makes sence to look them over.

The nano, shield and several for kahr all can fit your need too.

Check out some of the jell test with the 380 corbon DPX. By far a better cartidge bullet combo.

Just try to lay hands on the others to see how they feel but still think the XDS is the way for you to go. If you can get one. If the walther is that undpendable maybe sell it and pickup a bersa 380 and pocket the extra bucks.

You may want to look to Comp-Tac MTAC or Minotaur for a holster as it can swap the kydex body only between different hanguns. Very high quality holsters. .
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Old February 15, 2013, 11:36 PM   #7
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compact pistols...

New right to carry laws & a boom in gun sales/R&D have increased the US market with compact semi auto pistols.
A simple lightweight DA only pistol in .357sig, .40S&W or the 9x19mm +P can protect you. I'm not a huge fan of the 9mm Mak, the .32acp or the .380acp.

New models like the HK P2000sk LEM, the S&W Shield, the Glock 36 .45acp, the ParaUSA Stealth LDA, the P290RS(an improved SIG Sauer pistol) 9x19mm, the Ruger SR40c .40, the SIG P239 SAS/DAK with night sights, .357sig or 9mm.

I support the top .357sig for defense-concealed carry. It feeds well & it's powerful. High KE level & good vel(even from sub compacts).
It was R&Ded by SIG-Sauer to be like a .357magnum snub load for compact pistols.
New 9x19mm & 9mm NATO loads are out there but the .357sig may be better for serious carry.
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Old February 16, 2013, 12:40 AM   #8
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Check out Kahr pistols
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Old February 16, 2013, 07:30 AM   #9
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I'm a huge fan of my SIG P290RS. Small and easily concealed, can be pocketed, 100% reliable thus far, comfortable to shoot despite its small size, and much more accurate than any gun this size has a right to be. The one near universal comment I hear from people who own one is that it performs like a larger gun (some say, like a full-size). It does have a long and heavy DAO trigger, but it is butter smooth and if you shoot revolvers you will probably like the trigger (I love it). I like it so much that this revolver guy has left his snubs at home every time he's carried and the P290 has sat in its IWB or pocket holster ever since I put enough rounds through it to be comfortable with it. I am seriously considering selling my Kel Tec Pf-9, Ruger LCP, and even my S&W 442 because I just don't see them getting much use now that I have the P290.

Someone mentioned the Bersa Thunder. It isn't a 9mm and would be another .380 for you, but you mainly are mentioning reliability issues as your main motivations to replace your Walther. If you can feel comfortable enough with .380 (you do mention concerns) it might be a good option for you. Form factor is very close to the PPK, it is easy to conceal, most people who own them report terrific reliability (mine was quite reliable, I sold it for other reasons), and they are very inexpensive. You could get the gun, some practice ammo, and some good leather for it for about the price of just the gun for most other options.
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Old February 16, 2013, 07:35 AM   #10
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If the LCP grip is too small, look at the Ruger LC380 or LC9. They are made alot like the LCP but with a bigger, longer grip and 7 round magazine capacity instead of the LCP's 6. They also have better sights than the LCP
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Old February 16, 2013, 08:37 AM   #11
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Walther PPS 9mm

The Walther PPS 9mm is an amazing pistol. Light, thin, accurate, reliable and great craftsmanship.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:23 AM   #12
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Help choosing a new small concealed carry gun

Since you are betting your life on your choice of carry weapon I would buy the best most reliable gun I could afford. I have not found anything that compares with a Sig P238 in 380. The newer models will eat anything you want to put in them and they are sweet shooting machines. They are going for big bucks but I want something that shoots great and that I know will shoot if I need it to. I used to carry a KelTec P3AT and never liked to practice with it because it was very hard to hang on to and it would jam ever so often. I love practicing with my P238 and I have shot it more in one day than I did the KelTec the whole time I owned it. At the range yesterday shooting 3 shots rapid fire at 10 yards I was putting the first two shots center mass and the third in the head. I never could shoot any other small gun that way. If you go looking at small .380 pistols you will see that the little Sig is the Rolex and the small poly pistols are the Timex pieces.

Last edited by zeke4351; February 16, 2013 at 09:29 AM.
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Old February 16, 2013, 11:05 AM   #13
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Try a Walther PPS. I had a bit of an issue with mine when new. A light polishing on the feed ramp and/or some break in time and/or fully releasing the slide when chambering the first round cured that issue.

I am curious about the Springfield XDS.

For holster I have two I really like and several more that are stuck in drawers for ever.
PPS 9 mm in a Fist Kydex most of the time is my first choice for cc. This combo is my 95% carry.
S&W M&P9c in a Fist Kydex or in the Comp-Tac Minotaur is my second choice. I go this route when I know I am traveling into evil Detroit areas.

I am curious about the XDS cause if thinner, that might replace the M&P. can't find one right now in this shortage of everything handgun.
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Old February 16, 2013, 11:21 AM   #14
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Another vote for the PPS.

This image might be an eye-opener compared to the PPK. Remember the PPS has a smaller magazine option that will make the grip shorter as well:

I love mine and have never had a problem with the two I've owned. If you don't like the mag release, consider a S&W Shield or an XDs in 9mm.

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Old February 16, 2013, 02:23 PM   #15
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Re: Help choosing a new small concealed carry gun

Ill 2nd the 290RS. Once we learned the DAO, it has been amazing. Almost 500rds down the pipe, and the only issue was due to a faulty mag.
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Old February 16, 2013, 08:55 PM   #16
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I absolutely love my Kahr CW9. I have nothing bad whatsoever to say about it, except that it is not a Walther PPS. For that reason alone, I may sell mine.

Let your budget be your guide: I would get a Kahr if your budget is ~$400. If you have another ~$175, go for the PPS. You could cry once and go straight for the PPS, or you could be like me and live in limbo wishing you did and scheming how you can correct the mistake.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:24 PM   #17
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Thanks for the imput. I sold the PPK today for 460 at the gun show. (I paid 434, so yay.) I handled the new springfield XD-S. I think it felt perfect for my hands and feels just like my full size XD. Sales guy said there is a 9mm model scheduled to come out early 2013. I might wait for that one. I really like the Sigs I saw, but I don't like having to go the extra step of taking off a safety if I ever have to use it. I love the internal safeties of the XDs, just point and shoot.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:26 PM   #18
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get yourself a S&W "J" frame....forget the rest....get the best
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:11 AM   #19
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KelTec PF-9 replaced the kahr my other 1/2 took. How ever I still carry a 380 KelTec most time
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:24 AM   #20
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PPS is the size of small Glocks, but a thin single stack. It has several grip and grip extension sizes to be more concealable or easy to hold with large hands.

It's very accurate, light, and thin for CCW. It's like a Shield, just better put together. But that will cost you about 150 more, since most Shields retail for about 400.

Mag release is like HK, but oversized for such a small gun, so it can be easily operated with your thumb or trigger finger.
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:32 AM   #21
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I bought a Bersa 9mm CC and I'm happy with it. It's a great size for me as a female. DAO single stack slim size, crisp trigger. Good size...compact, but I can still get 3 fingers on the grip. Very manageable for me and has that Bersa reliability.
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Old February 17, 2013, 11:39 AM   #22
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Ditto to Zeke's comments about the Sig P238. It's a great little gun. In trying to find a carry gun for my wife we bought then sold/traded a number of 9mm and .380 pistols (CZ, Walther, STI, Taurus...). The last was a Kahr, but it was very uncomfortable to shoot. A buddy turned me on to the Sig. My wife loves it. It's so good now I want one. Easy to rack (important for the wife), amazingly accurate for a small gun, very reliable, low felt recoil for a .380, slim and easy to conceal, and unlike most small pistols it has great sights. I would strongly recommend this little jewel.
STI-Eagle(2)/Trojan(2)/Edge/Guardian/VIP/Rogue/Ranger III/Sentinel/Tactical 4.0/Escort; Remington Rand-1911A1; Ruger Redhawk/Blackhawk; Sig P238
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Old February 17, 2013, 05:33 PM   #23
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I honestly believe there is not a better gun on the market today for the money, than the SCCY subcompact 9mm. I have one and it has never failed me the range. Lifetime warranty, two ten round magazines, a smooth trigger, and it feels perfect in my hand.

I asked Jeff Quinn at Gunblast to review it and he did. And you can get it (although currently sold out at both Bud's and Cheaperthandirt).....for less than $300. It's a relatively new company, I think only about 3 or 4 years old.

My instructor told me about this gun and I just love it.

Here is Jeff Quinn's review:
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Old February 17, 2013, 05:40 PM   #24
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taurus 709 slim. it's 9mm, it works and it hits where you aim. case closed.
Waltzes with woofs
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Old February 17, 2013, 06:33 PM   #25
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I have both the PPS and Shield. I would go for shield. The PPS seemingly has better quality but in reality it's got it's fair share of reliability issues and that big gap between the mag base and grip. The shield is a better all round package

It is also one of the softest shooting subcompact 9mm. We have ladies and beginners shoot it with no problem

Last edited by TxFlyFish; February 17, 2013 at 06:40 PM.
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