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Old 02-15-2010, 05:43 AM   #1
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Single Stack 9's...A thinking man's carry gun?

Gents,



Those who know me are cognizant of the fact that I like "bigger is better" and my preference is for the .45 ACP in a Colt Combat Commander.



In spite of that I've found myself buying and using several single stack 9mm's in the past year or two. What gives? Has Howe lost his mind? Not so, I assure you.



The problem is that I've been thinking about my self defense needs and what is really required due to some (hopefully not permanent) medical conditions.



Please understand there is no desire to start a caliber war. I find the greatest majority of defensive calibers useful, and while debating them is fun, most will meet our needs if we do our part.

My personal self-defense "power floor" is the .380 ACP for semi-automatics and .38 Special for revolvers. Anything more powerful is acceptable.



My research and use has led to some interesting conclusions.



First, that the majority of my self defense needs can be met with a single stack 9mm of 8+1 capacity. Your real or percieved needs may differ.



Secondly, pistols of that genre are generally light weight, slim, and conceal easily while still giving a considerable firepower advantage over the j-frame revolver. The j-frame has it's place, but that should be the subject of another post.



There are a number of small, lightweight, 9mm pistols available in what I'll term the "ultra concealable" size, but I see no advantage to them other than being smaller than the Sig P225, S & W 3913, Star BM/BK series, etc. Reliability and service life seem to be an issue with some of the smallest 9mms, too. Again, I see the small semi autos as intruding into the area belonging to the excellent J-frame Smith & Wessons.



The single stack, intermediate sized, 9mm seems to be an excellent trade off of size, reliability, and firepower when compared to the "ultra conealable" 9mms and their full size 9mm counterparts.



Because of their size I've been able to wear mine undetected under light clothing and in environments where a larger pistol might have been detected. The intermediate size allowed the pistol to just "disappear".



The single stack 9mm's not only conceal well, but are comfortable in the extreme when coupled with a good holster/belt/mag pouch/combination. I use a Don Hume 721 OT for my P225 and will probably get one for my 'Smith 3913, as well. This set up pulls the pistol in snuggly to the body yet allows easy/rapid access if needed.



In situations where a holster would be detectable the P225 rides nicely in a Galco "Escort" fanny pack. This is especially helpful when going to medical appointments, etc.



The only single stack 9mm I've owned to date that I've disliked was a Beretta 92 SBC. My complaint was not with the pistols reliability, accuracy, or anything else, but WAS against the size. It was large for a single stack 9mm and I sold it.



So, in retrospect the single stack 9mm's meet my current needs to a "T" and I've come to view them much like I view "K-frame" 'Smiths. A useful tool that can be used by most defense oriented shooters while offering utter reliability and acceptable firepower.



I'm keeping mine.



Wes
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:29 AM   #2
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Single Stack 9's...A thinking man's carry gun?

well Wes, I agree with you.

being a bigger heavier kind of guy myself I too prefer the .45.

and though I have a Sig p 220 Carry SAO, and a custom Commander, I have often thought a P 225 made perfect sense, or a 39 series S&W...



just never got around to one.



my other preference which developed over the years was single action pistols. unfortunately there are few to be had.



for that reason there may be an EMP in my future...
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:03 AM   #3
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Single Stack 9's...A thinking man's carry gun?

Wes, I think you have a good thought there. The 9x19 is inexpensive (which encourages frequent practice and thus more accurate shot-placement) and fast on the follow-up, the single-stack guns (and spare mags) pack well and carry a reasonable defensive payload, and I've yet to work on a case where a 9mm failed and a bigger defensive caliber would have succeeded. I mentioned last week that I recommended a 3913NL to my little brother when he decided to start carrying, and it's worked out very well for him.







I like to play around with a lot of guns, and my carry choices reflect that. I believe you've made an excellent case, though, in this thread.



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Old 02-15-2010, 10:53 AM   #4
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Single Stack 9's...A thinking man's carry gun?

i dont know that i can add more to whats been said already other than that i agree with the mid size (?) 3913 type guns from various makers. the power level is good, the weight, size, and concealablity is good, the ease of use and "shootablity" is good.....



of course if they were all single shots id like the 10mm, but if i had to have only one gun it'd be one of the 39XX style guns.



and guns are like dope to me, i just cant get enough and im addicted bad, but unfortunately cant afford my addiction as well as others.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:13 AM   #5
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Single Stack 9's...A thinking man's carry gun?

I believe the second picture in Erich's post is a Star BM. I'm having some reliability problems with mine, but when I get them sorted out, that will be my EDC. 8+1, accurate, single action, great trigger.

George
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:50 AM   #6
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Single Stack 9's...A thinking man's carry gun?

Hello,



I too find the single stack compact 9mm pistol a very convenient house/car/carry handgun. MY Sig 239, purchased many years ago when it first came on the market, is easy to conceal under a jacket but handles and shoots like a full size Sig, especially so since I replaced the factory grips with Hogue rubber grips. I have put many thousands of rounds through it with never a malfunction.

--c
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:29 PM   #7
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Single Stack 9's...A thinking man's carry gun?

Gents,



Thanks for your many replies and input.



Eric, your photo's typify what I was trying to convey. Thank you very much. Somehow I didn't feel like photo taking at 0400 in the morning...Thanks.



George, that does look like a Star BM in that photo.



Corky, that P239 is a "cadillac" in my opinion. I'd probably own one if I didn't already have a P225. Gotta draw the line somewhere.



One excellent pistol that has not been mentioned is the HK P7. Spendy, it has a reputation for accuracy and reliability. Sadly, they have gone the way of the 3913 and are no longer in production. I've never warmed to the P7's operating system, but that's just me. I don't like weapons that make noise when you employ them and all the P7's I've shot make a distinctive loud "click" when the grip is depressed.



Lot's of good choices out there. I'm sure we've missed a few.



Hey, how about the Star "Firestar" series? Had one and it was a winner from day one. Weighed about the same as a brick, but I doubt you could have ever shot one to destruction! Cute little rascal, too.



Wes
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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Single Stack 9's...A thinking man's carry gun?

I agree for the most part. The only thing I would take issue with is saying that an 8+1 9mm will handle my defense needs because I cannot predict what my needs will be.



As I said in the recent 3913 thread, I've always liked the mid-size single stack 9mm guns. Even when I was a nine-hater, I felt those guns were the ideal place for the round since they were sized proprtionally to the cartridge and that made them just about right. They are enough smaller than a full-size gun to make a difference in concealment, yet they are still big enough to handle, manipulate, and shoot.



I couldn't wait to get a 3913 when they came out, and I was living in Constitution-suppressing Illinois at the time so I couldn't carry one. But one of the first guns I bought after returning to Indiana was a 3913. I later tried others of the type, including the Sig P225 and P239. I liked the P239 as well or better than the 3913.



I never tried a Star BM, but always wanted to (I'm watching a couple on Gunbroker now). The Kahr T9 falls more or less into the category, but they weren't around when I was testing these out.



What I always wanted to try was an HK P7. Nobody had one to borrow, and they were always expensive, so it took me a while to get oine. Once I got one and tried it, it went to the top of my list. Simply put, I shoot it better, and with less effort, than anything besides a .22.

I have carried it a lot of times when I could have easily carried something "more". I wouldn't make that kind of choice unless the gun was so easy to shoot well.



But usually, it gets carried on the odd times I don't feel I can conceal a full-size well enough and don't want to go with just a J-frame size gun.

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Old 02-15-2010, 03:28 PM   #9
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Single Stack 9's...A thinking man's carry gun?

George is, of course, correct that my second photo shows a BM - another single-stack 9mm.











I've enjoyed owning a P239 in .40, but didn't hang onto it as I had other guns that filled the same role a bit better for me. A 9x19 version that a friend had was a dandy gun, indeed.







Firestars were game-changing when they first came out (a .40 or 9 the size of a PPK), but they are heavy little chunks! The P225s - well, when I worked in a gun store from '88-'90, everyone who bought one stopped buying guns after they bought the 225 and just came in from then on to buy ammo. That says something.



The Kahr P9 Covert that I had worked well, but wasn't for me in that the mag release tripped too frequently when I carried it in my left front pocket.







Neat guns, all, though. :)
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:45 PM   #10
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Single Stack 9's...A thinking man's carry gun?

My Kahr Covert was self-popping it's mag catch in my pocket holster too. I added a "fence" to the pocket holster to shield it. Works OK.
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