Looking for some advice on some specific pocket autos

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by CrazedJava, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

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    I'm looking for some advice on a good pocket auto. I don't have my CHL yet but am starting to get serious about it. I've got a decent handgun that could easily work as a self defense handgun but I'm thinking about a second gun that would work as a "carry at all times no excuses" weapon. Most of what I'm looking at are .380 autos since they appear to fit in a pants pocket with no problem but I'd really prefer a 9mm. The only issue I have with most of the 9mm's is that they may be better as an IWB holster and maybe just a little big for pocket carry. I also don't want to spend a mint, so I'm looking at around $400 or less.

    Bersa Thunder .380 ACP -
    I really like this gun aside from the caliber, but I'm afraid it might be the worst of both worlds. Is it small enough to pocket carry still? I'd much prefer the DA/SA setup with manual safety as that is what most of my experience is with. I've also been told that these are surprisingly accurate and I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't like theirs.

    Ruger LC9 9mm -
    My experience with Rugers is rock solid reliability and terrible triggers. I'm not sure about the size or the accuracy, but I feel confident that I could load this up with anything and it will fire. Seems a little big for what I'm looking for though. I like the manual safety.

    Ruger LCP .380 ACP -
    I know the LCP is the current king (queen?) of pocket autos and it's definitely on the short list. Not sure there is anything I don't like about it other than it's .380 and I've heard the slide does not lock back on the last shot.

    S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP -
    Really could give a crap about the laser and I've heard it's not the most reliable weapon but has no problems with the common self defense rounds so maybe it is good enough? Aesthetically it's a winner for any of the .380's but when it comes to guns looks aren't everything. On the list because I'd like to hear what other people have to say about it.

    S&W M&P Shield 9mm -
    By far my favorite and my local range will rent it out so I plan on shooting one soon. Almost impossible to find around here but wondering if I can find one before I get the CHL. Again, seems a little big for pocket carry and didn't try to stuff it in my pocket when I was handling one the other day because I didn't want to make the (armed) store clerk nervous. I'm not a huge fan of striker fired pistols but I think I could learn to love this one.

    Taurus PT709 Slim 9mm -
    Size and form factor seem about right but also seems a little larger than the Ruger LC9 which I am already concerned about. Also, Taurus quality is real hit or miss. Too big? Also, ugly, but the price is right.

    Taurus PT738 TCP .380 ACP -
    Dirt cheap and know a lot of owners who love them but a few who have had catastrophic failures. Actually looks smaller than the LCP or the Bodyguard so I feel positive I'd have it on me at all times but wonder if the Taurus quality control gods will send me a blessed weapon.

    Would love to know any thoughts or first hand experience. Would really like any experience from anyone who has actually carried any of the above 9mm's or something similar in a front jeans pocket.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  2. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Java,

    I like the Kahr P-380 very well! Nice Pistol.

    03
     

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  3. NOVA

    NOVA New Member

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    S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP - I've got one. LOOONNNGGG trigger pull. Good gun for what it is designed for, close in self defense. You should be able to hit target at 21 feet rapid fire, with practice.
     
  4. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    The 709 is the one you want! It's compact, super thin with 9mm power, with the best double/single trigger I've ever experienced.

    I was once like you, worried about size, but the reality I came to was that as long as you go with a single stack you'll be hard pressed to find a 380 of any size easier to pull out of a pocket than a 9. The difference that matters is width, and 380 to 9mm is tiny in that department.

    For reference, LCP is .82in wide, LC9 is .90in wide & 709 is .95... Don't waste your time or money on an underpowered 380. I'd rather carry a 22lr. I mean if size is truly that important you can't beat that caliber.

    I've owned the LCP and LC9 carried the Pea until I found the 9 fit just as well so gave the Pea to a buddy. Then I found better triggers were key to better accuracy. So I moved to SAO, but was still worried about pocket carry with larger framed steel guns. I bought a Firestar in both 9mm and 45acp and can carry both just as easily in front pocket as I could my Elsie's but now have a gun I shoot well too. The only gun I had trouble pulling out was my Glock 30, double stack. The Firestar 45acp is a little thicker than my 9, so I prefer to carry the 9mm, but I'm confident with either that I would be able to use one for self defense of needed.

    And for reference I wear Levi 505s, straight fit jeans. So no loose or baggy pockets. Take my word on this, get the 709. I'm thinking seriously about adding one to my collection!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  5. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Kahr PM9. Awesome pocket gun. Great trigger. Nice groups at 10 yards. You can forget it is in your pocket. And with 7 rounds of 9mm it has plenty of power.
     
  6. Dizzll

    Dizzll New Member

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    I like that Kahr 380 but don't think you can find one in that price range. Out of you rlist I'd lean toward the Shield simpply becuz it's the only one I don't hate yet lol...
     
  7. Hollander

    Hollander New Member

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    Another vote for the Kahr PM9. I have had one for three plus years and love it. Also have the Kahr P380 but prefer the ultimate reliability of the PM
    9.
     
  8. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    Also, the LCP has no manual safety. That's a huge downfall to me.
     
  9. WeeMan9194

    WeeMan9194 New Member

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    I'm not sure about any of the specific guns your looking at but absolutely everyone that try's the m&p shield seems to fall in love with it. Only downfall seems to be that it's hard to find.
     
  10. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    Bingo.....
     
  11. sdiver35

    sdiver35 New Member

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    I have a Shield 9MM and the Sig938 and the Shield is much more comfortable to shoot in my opinion.
     
  12. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Take a look at the Rohrbaugh R9 Stealth. It doesn't get much better that this;
     

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  13. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

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    Interesting feedback. I did actually look at the Kahr in 9mm. What's the tiny one? The CM9? One of the clerks at my local range was trying to talk me into it, but it feels weird in my hand. It's a rental gun so I may try it.

    I really want to be able to justify pocket carry in a 9mm. What I don't want is a gun I'll find an excuse for leaving at home because it is too much trouble. Which is why I'd rather have a .380 in my pocket than a .45 at home. I might have to do some more research into the Taurus as well.

    I plan on taking the CHL classes with my Baby Eagle, so no rush.
     
  14. truevil1313

    truevil1313 New Member

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    The only gun on your list that I have personal experience with is the Bodyguard. It is light weight and thin making it very easy and comfortable to carry. Those are the good points. The bad points are that the trigger pull is very long and somewhat hard, it was too much for my wife. The safety is also very hard to use, so much so that I don't use it when I carry the Bodyguard. Mine seems to shoot whatever I feed it, so I have not had any issues with function, I just don't care for the trigger much. I do think that if I were ever put into a S.D. position, that I would not notice the trigger pull so much. Just my experience.
     
  15. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    Before you make a decision about what you want to carry in your pocket, you should try things in your pocket.

    I like the 380 caliber, fun to shoot, but then again, I find them all fun to shoot, caliber wise. Lol

    Shoot first, pocket second, then buy. Practice pulling gun from pocket and bringing to target. See if there's a noticeable diff.
     
  16. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I prefer a gun with no manual safety. Then I dont feel bad about not using one, because that is the way it was designed to be used.
     
  17. mountainskytop

    mountainskytop New Member

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    Check out the Bersa BP9CC. It's 9mm and is my next Bersa CCW! I "fondled" about a week ago at the LGS and feels great and very compact with 9mm punch!
     
  18. -06

    -06 New Member

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    I simply do not trust having a hammer back on a live round without a positive safety--like a half cock at least. Gave my son the Colt gub style 380 and kept the Sig 232-both about the same size. I prefer a 380 over a 9mm because it travels slower and IMO dumps more energy--like a mini 45. What ever you use practice well with it till it becomes an extension of your hand/hands. Be safe and don't shoot your man hood off with an "unsafetied" shooter--lol.
     
  19. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    crazedjava Just know that any firearm companies make some problem handguns, even some very expensive ones.. Also some models when they first came out had major problems. They were updated and most all work very well now. Most of your list could fall into that group. You may want to check handgun sizes a bit better too. The TCP weight a bit more than the ruger lcp and is a better pistol in so many ways. It does have the best trigger of all of your list and has a slide hold open and fires with mag out. For a micro pistols its a good one. The bersa thunder line are great shooters with very few problems . It can be bought as a single stack or double stack and the 4oz lighter and bit smaller CC version. Glad you know that some are a pocket pistols and some like the shield or the pt709 IWB sized handguns are not. Kahr has the cm/pm 9 along with the Nano that can be a pocket choice for some.

    Don't have a favorite firearm ether with out shooting it. All the advertising hype make some sound oh so good when they realy offer nothing special. Just another choice is all.

    You also missed or passed over some other choices. The newest updated diamond back db9, the old KT pf-9, these two are harder to handel pistols do to very lite weight but solid pocketable CC pistols, and Kel tecs double stack and small and light p11 is a good choice too. Pistols like from kel tec may not be pretty like some but cost 250 dollars and they simply work well. Most of these have looonger trigger pulls. Thats not a problem unless you simple close your mind to learning to shot one. Some do have a gritty trigger and the bodygaurd has had that problem more than some does tend to shoot in to become smoother.

    My pocket pistol for a few years has been a kahr cm9, and KT pf-9 for 2 1/2 years before that. ZERO issues with ether durring the 4000 rounds the two have fired. Only sold the pf-9 after getting a deal on a cw9 kahr and likeing it so much I bought a new cm9. We have bought 2 TCP 380s. I fired the first 200 rounds in 1st one and my youngest daughter claimed it as her CC pistol. 200 more rounds fired in the second one and its my wifes CC and still not a single problem. . They are very nice shooters and zero problems and work better for me with one hand do to size.

    Biggest issues with a smaller handgun is 1st, the shooters skill level and ammo used for breakin most times.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  20. DodgerBlue

    DodgerBlue New Member

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    i too was in the market for a pocket nine the last few months. I did the complete research. Looked at em all. looked at the Beretta Nano, Kahr cw9, the Taurus slim, SIG's new pocket 9, and a few others.

    I went with the Nano