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Thread: What kind of 9mm?

  1. #1
    Regular Member modernknight's Avatar
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    What kind of 9mm?

    So typically I carry a .45 ACP, S&W. I love this gun, it's very reliable, a little bulky but just perfect for my hand, with a great balance with a full mag inside.

    I'm about to leave for a few months, and my girl's gonna be left here alone. I don't like the thought of her being in this city without me, or without any REAL friends close by, so I was gonna get her her own pistol before I left, as well as a CCL, so she can have it loaded in the car if she wanted (I know I do!). My .45 has too much of a kick for her, and I want to stick with something that has plenty of ammo, and, in my opinion, little to no kick at all, so a 9mm came to my mind as being perfect for her. My question though is what brand would everyone recommend??

    Thanks for the help Any other small pointers would most certainly be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Regular Member Sorcice's Avatar
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    Beretta px4 storm comes in 9mm. I have it in .40 and it's great. The other option I'd recommend is a sig p220 or a ruger LCR.

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    I like the sig p250. But my advice would be to take her to the range and rent several models and let her make the decision of what is best and most comfortable for her.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    A number of criteria are missing so I'm just going to throw out some for your consideration.

    How is she going to carry the gun (on her person, purse, etc.)?
    How large/small are her hands?
    What size gun would she favor?
    What about the gun's weight?
    Does she want a double or single stacked magazine?
    How much experience does she have with handguns?
    What about action types?
    With or without external safety?
    Is price a factor?

    There are more but you get the picture. Taking into account these and other criteria will go a long way in narrowing down her selection to guns that are going to work for her but one word of caution. Never sacrifice quality because the three most important factors in a defensive handgun are, in order of significance;

    o Reliability. The gun must go bang when it is called upon. If there are reliability issues, the next two factors are moot.

    o Practical accuracy. The gun/shooter combination must be able to deliver rounds to target consistently and confidently. If not, the last factor makes no difference.

    o Power. The caliber and load must be able to bring hostilities to a halt as quickly as possible. The shooter should employ the most powerful caliber and load with which they can consistently and confidently deliver rounds to target as quickly and accurately as possible.


    Once she has narrowed her choice, she should concentrate on how the gun feels in her hand. Does it feel natural and when she pulls it does it come up naturally without having to readjust her grip and fiddle with her hold? Do the sights line up quickly and naturally? Can she obtain a clear and solid sight picture rapidly?

    Next, she should try to rent and shoot the guns she has selected or find friends (through you) who might own these guns to see if they are willing to help out on a range. Just because all of the previous criteria fit is not a guarantee that the final selections are going to be right when rounds are sent down range.

    Lastly, make sure that the gun she winds up with will handle +P ammunition (a few don't). I say this mainly because guns built to handle these pressures are going to be stronger which can only be a good thing.... and of course, it gives her the option to use those loads if she wishes.

    I'm sure folks will offer their ideas on this thread for guns they believe to be the best choices. Check them out and see how they "fit". Here are a few to think about (in no particular order);

    Kahr K9 or P9
    Smith & Wesson M&P Shield and 9mm "C"
    Glock 26
    Ruger SR9 and SR9c
    Sig Sauer (many choices)
    Kel-Tec PF-9 (may not use +P)

    Good luck.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Range rental is a good start and the PX4 is one of the softest shooting as well as it comes in any trigger. C- constant D - double only (both like a striker fire). F- DA/SA with safety G- DA/SA with Decock only. (both hammer). I here good things About the S$W Shield but have never fired this new sub-compact.
    Last edited by ickthus; 06-03-2012 at 09:24 AM.

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    I can also recommend the PX4 Storm. It is the first pistol my wife has shot and said she likes. The Compact is what she shot first. I bought the full size and she likes it too.

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    Regular Member decklin's Avatar
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    Southern Boy made some really good points. This is all info that needs to be factored in. I too recommend range and rental time.
    I love the H&K USP9c and my wife likes it as well. Keep in mind it uses a euro style magazine release. It's designed to be used with your trigger finger not your thumb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by decklin View Post
    Southern Boy made some really good points. This is all info that needs to be factored in. I too recommend range and rental time.
    I love the H&K USP9c and my wife likes it as well. Keep in mind it uses a euro style magazine release. It's designed to be used with your trigger finger not your thumb.
    Going TO 9mm FROM .45 due to "kick"?? Just a little bit...backwards, no?

    9mm- 34,000+ psi
    .45 - 21,000 psi ....err....

    9 will give her considerably more, and snappier kick/muzzle-flip. And you'b be sticking her with something far less effective and powerful (no matter how many rounds are stuffed in the mag, ie: spray n pray - empahsis on pray)



    Ah, wait, nm, Im onto you now... you just took out a massive life-insurance policy on her, didnt you?

  9. #9
    Regular Member modernknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    A number of criteria are missing so I'm just going to throw out some for your consideration.

    How is she going to carry the gun (on her person, purse, etc.)?
    How large/small are her hands?
    What size gun would she favor?
    What about the gun's weight?
    Does she want a double or single stacked magazine?
    How much experience does she have with handguns?
    What about action types?
    With or without external safety?
    Is price a factor?
    So we decided we'll hit the range on Sunday and start from there, but just so I can address a few things...

    How is she going to carry the gun (on her person, purse, etc.)? She would prefer having it in her purse (might get her a stun gun (that doesn't shoot out) to place on her belt loop. She's already been in a bad situation before, and would prefer to make sure we have a couple of choices.)

    How large/small are her hands? She has CONSIDERABLY small hands, if it helps seems kind of funky since she's 5'6" lol.
    What size gun would she favor? What about the gun's weight? Something small enough to fit in small hands comfortably, and light enough so it's not a burden on her back, being in her purse.
    Does she want a double or single stacked magazine? Single.
    How much experience does she have with handguns? Very little to none. The only times she has shot a gun was when I took her to the range shooting. Shot my .45, my friend's 9mm glock, my dad's british 303, and a combat shottie.
    What about action types? I'm not the best with judging this one. Care to elaborate a little more? I, in no way, say I am amazingly good with terminology or functions of guns, just how to use them and what has a good kick to it.
    With or without external safety? With
    Is price a factor? I hate saying no to this one, because you can place safety with a price, but we are on a tight budget (or at least I know I am...she gets some money from her parents, but they are against guns so she can't say she needs some extra for a gun..lol).

    I was thinking of a glock 9mm, but when I watched her firing my buddy's, it seemed a bit awkward for her, and unnatural, so I'm going to say no to a Glock.

    Hopefully this can help with a few more base ideas??

    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    Ah, wait, nm, Im onto you now... you just took out a massive life-insurance policy on her, didnt you?
    Ha ha ha ha...I'm assuming this is directed towards decklin, but if it's towards me...then...perhaps
    Last edited by modernknight; 06-04-2012 at 08:31 PM.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcice View Post
    Beretta px4 storm comes in 9mm. I have it in .40 and it's great. The other option I'd recommend is a sig p220 or a ruger LCR.
    +1 as well for the Px4, I have the sub-compact model in 9mm. It's a small gun with a lot of bulk, which makes for lighter felt recoil (ymmv). My wife has no trouble shooting it and she doesn't usually shoot anything over a .22.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 06-04-2012 at 10:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by modernknight View Post
    So we decided we'll hit the range on Sunday and start from there, but just so I can address a few things...

    How is she going to carry the gun (on her person, purse, etc.)? She would prefer having it in her purse (might get her a stun gun (that doesn't shoot out) to place on her belt loop. She's already been in a bad situation before, and would prefer to make sure we have a couple of choices.)

    How large/small are her hands? She has CONSIDERABLY small hands, if it helps seems kind of funky since she's 5'6" lol.
    What size gun would she favor? What about the gun's weight? Something small enough to fit in small hands comfortably, and light enough so it's not a burden on her back, being in her purse.
    Does she want a double or single stacked magazine? Single.
    How much experience does she have with handguns? Very little to none. The only times she has shot a gun was when I took her to the range shooting. Shot my .45, my friend's 9mm glock, my dad's british 303, and a combat shottie.
    What about action types? I'm not the best with judging this one. Care to elaborate a little more? I, in no way, say I am amazingly good with terminology or functions of guns, just how to use them and what has a good kick to it.
    With or without external safety? With
    Is price a factor? I hate saying no to this one, because you can place safety with a price, but we are on a tight budget (or at least I know I am...she gets some money from her parents, but they are against guns so she can't say she needs some extra for a gun..lol).

    I was thinking of a glock 9mm, but when I watched her firing my buddy's, it seemed a bit awkward for her, and unnatural, so I'm going to say no to a Glock.

    Hopefully this can help with a few more base ideas??



    Ha ha ha ha...I'm assuming this is directed towards decklin, but if it's towards me...then...perhaps
    You- but in jest- and mostly at the concept of 9mm/.40 as a defensive arm, and for "recoil" issues. What .45 did she try before- the TYPE of .45 can make all the difference in "feeling" recoil from one- as others have mentioned-elsewhere. My wife-who hates guns, and is extremely recoil-sensitive on the rare occasions in which I can get her to shoot one or two- tried my .45 the other day for the 1st time.
    Now, she wouldnt know a .45 from a .380 from a whatever- so she has no concept of one is going to "kick" more than any other. -So WITHOUT any such nonsense put into her head ahead of time, she fired my .45 - and actually LIKED it. And handled it rather well, indeed, -1 st ever shot with it- straight into the x-ring.
    Mine is polymer- and rather light weight- (the loaded mags, by themselves weight more than the rest of the pistol -empty) so even with that, she found the recoil much to her liking vs. 9mm/.380/ .38 spec. etc.

  12. #12
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by modernknight View Post
    So we decided we'll hit the range on Sunday and start from there, but just so I can address a few things...

    How is she going to carry the gun (on her person, purse, etc.)? She would prefer having it in her purse (might get her a stun gun (that doesn't shoot out) to place on her belt loop. She's already been in a bad situation before, and would prefer to make sure we have a couple of choices.)

    How large/small are her hands? She has CONSIDERABLY small hands, if it helps seems kind of funky since she's 5'6" lol.
    What size gun would she favor? What about the gun's weight? Something small enough to fit in small hands comfortably, and light enough so it's not a burden on her back, being in her purse.
    Smaller hands do better with smaller grip frames for a number of reasons. One of the best out there in this regard is the K9 Kahr, or their P9 polymer version if you prefer. There are other guns which are similar in size and shape which should be considered... the newer Ruger pistols come to mind or the M&P Shield.

    Does she want a double or single stacked magazine? Single.
    How much experience does she have with handguns? Very little to none. The only times she has shot a gun was when I took her to the range shooting. Shot my .45, my friend's 9mm glock, my dad's british 303, and a combat shottie.
    What about action types? I'm not the best with judging this one. Care to elaborate a little more? I, in no way, say I am amazingly good with terminology or functions of guns, just how to use them and what has a good kick to it.
    The term "action type" always applies to the tasks the trigger performs; not the hammer or the striker. A single action pistol (SA) is best represented by the venerable 1911 design. The trigger only does one thing; it releases the hammer via the sear to fire a cartridge. A double action pistol (DA which is frequently also seen described as DA/SA which in my opinion is a misnomer) is one in which the trigger can both cock the hammer, or striker, and release the hammer or striker to fire a cartridge. These guns are in double action mode for the first shot, then single action mode for subsequent shots. A good representation is the Beretta 92 series (or their M9 military version). A double action only (DAO) pistol is one in which the trigger both cocks, or completes the cocking, of the hammer or striker and also releases the hammer or striker to fire a cartridge. This is the only way in which they operate and the only action they their trigger performs. These pistols come in two common varieties: ones which are capable of second strike capability and ones which are not. A good pistol to think of here is the Glock design which is not a second strike pistol or the Kel-Tec P11 which does have second strike capability.

    With or without external safety? With
    Most DAO pistols, are not going to come with external safeties. If this is a concern and she wants a DAO pistol, the Kahr and the Kel-Tec style trigger designs are good ones to consider. Their triggers have consistent pulls similar to that of a double action revolver, not like those of the Glock, M&P, or XD designs. Triggers like this are inherently safe whereas guns with Glock type triggers are best always carried in holster which has protection for the trigger. I say this because you mentioned she may want to carry the gun in her purse.

    Is price a factor? I hate saying no to this one, because you can place safety with a price, but we are on a tight budget (or at least I know I am...she gets some money from her parents, but they are against guns so she can't say she needs some extra for a gun..lol).

    I was thinking of a glock 9mm, but when I watched her firing my buddy's, it seemed a bit awkward for her, and unnatural, so I'm going to say no to a Glock.

    Hopefully this can help with a few more base ideas??



    Ha ha ha ha...I'm assuming this is directed towards decklin, but if it's towards me...then...perhaps
    Now as to caliber. j4l is biased towards the .45ACP and for good reason. You would do well to read some of his postings on this topic. But I should tell you that this topic does generate quite a visceral reaction with some folks so do keep that in mind. I will not poison the well with this one other than to say she should try the three common calibers in her chosen candidate guns, if available, to see what works best for her on a range. Guns vary quite a bit in their ability to transfer recoil energy to the shooter's hand so this is important. And a gun that intimidates is one not to be carried for self defense. Caliber selection is serious stuff so never take this one lightly.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 06-05-2012 at 08:14 AM.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Now as to caliber. j4l is biased towards the .45ACP and for good reason. You would do well to read some of his postings on this topic. But I should tell you that this topic does generate quite a visceral reaction with some folks so do keep that in mind. I will not poison the well with this one other than to say she should try the three common calibers in her chosen candidate guns, if available, to see what works best for her on a range. Guns vary quite a bit in their ability to transfer recoil energy to the shooter's hand so this is important. And a gun that intimidates is one not to be carried for self defense. Caliber selection is serious stuff so never take this one lightly.
    Ty, and let me clarify my stance on .45 vs -(pretty much, all else except .357/.38 super) other rounds for COMBAT use.
    I have no dog in the market hunt for .45s. Its not like I'll make one cent if anyone buys a .45 or ammo for it, or doesnt.
    Nor is it some wishful thinking "heard it from a /read it in a" stand point.
    It's based entirely on my own experiences, combined with a multitude of 2nd and even 3rd-hand experiences, in actual shootings -both Military and "on the street".

    When I see something fail time after time after time in actual use, why on earth would I even remotely consider using it myself?
    We arent talking about cars that may run better or perform faster than others, or whatever, we are talking about the defensive/combat use of sidearms. Life and Death issues. Situations where making the choice to carry and rely on using a particular load may very well decide whether U go home that night, or the BG does instead.
    And knowing this, how could I possibly, in good conscience, suggest it's use to others? It would be terribly negligent of me to do so, IMO.
    Akin to telling a 3-yr old, "Here kid, light this stick of dynamite and go run around in traffic for a while"

    So, when I hear folks suggesting to others to use this or that as the defensive round to rely upon that day when their world goes to ****- I feel compelled to comment on it.
    Yes, shot placement (highly unlikely for other than well-trained, experienced shooters under duress) MAY work out for you with a round with a lesser combat track-record than a .45. Me, I just prefer to rely on the more sure bet of the two. Im confident in MY abilities to do what I have to do, to make sure it works.
    But those same abilities, to use a lesser round? I wouldnt even hope for the same outcome.

    There's marketing hype, internet mythology, and then there's reality. Im not quiet ready to wander off to La-La- land yet.

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    Regular Member BFDMikeCT's Avatar
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    You mention cases and experiences but don't tell us what they are and why they change your mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDMikeCT View Post
    You mention cases and experiences but don't tell us what they are and why they change your mind.
    Entirely too many to go into, and most have been detailed to some extend throughout this place over the last yr, and some Im not at liberty to discuss in here.
    But between some past actions, in which 9mm was used by one, or even both parties, numerous actions to which I was a witness-if not a participant, and 3 yrs of night shifts at a major, urban trauma-center that treated -on average- 4-6 GSV's per night, the majority of which involved the use of 9mm and/or .40 s&w (including seeing the aftermath of the injuries that resulted-and the x-rays prior to treatments for them- and my mind was more than made up a thousand times over.

    No matter the load used, no matter the make/model sidearm used to launch the load- most of the time those rounds utterly failed to stop the gunfights they were involved in. No matter where the shots fired were aimed , or where they hit. (to preclude all the "shot placement" fanatics, out there )
    Enough so to convince me that it is ineffective, at best. Ineffective enough- for me- that I would not willingly consider carrying either as anything more than a back up, if given a choice in the matter. Even then, I'd just as soon resort to my knife- before knowingly going to a 9mm or .40.
    Last edited by j4l; 06-05-2012 at 09:25 PM.

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    Regular Member DangerClose's Avatar
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    Hard to go wrong with an SR9c for pretty much anything imo.

    XD subcompact doesn't have a manual safety but does have a grip safety.

    I know some people consider .380 the devil, but a Bersa Thunder has a nice track record, is a good in-between size, and the price is certainly right.

    I'd also consider a hammerless revolver for the application intended.

    One argument against purse carry is that that's the first thing a bad guy will grab for. Now he's got her gun.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    Ty, and let me clarify my stance on .45 vs -(pretty much, all else except .357/.38 super) other rounds for COMBAT use.
    I have no dog in the market hunt for .45s. Its not like I'll make one cent if anyone buys a .45 or ammo for it, or doesnt.
    Nor is it some wishful thinking "heard it from a /read it in a" stand point.
    It's based entirely on my own experiences, combined with a multitude of 2nd and even 3rd-hand experiences, in actual shootings -both Military and "on the street".

    When I see something fail time after time after time in actual use, why on earth would I even remotely consider using it myself?
    We arent talking about cars that may run better or perform faster than others, or whatever, we are talking about the defensive/combat use of sidearms. Life and Death issues. Situations where making the choice to carry and rely on using a particular load may very well decide whether U go home that night, or the BG does instead.
    And knowing this, how could I possibly, in good conscience, suggest it's use to others? It would be terribly negligent of me to do so, IMO.
    Akin to telling a 3-yr old, "Here kid, light this stick of dynamite and go run around in traffic for a while"

    So, when I hear folks suggesting to others to use this or that as the defensive round to rely upon that day when their world goes to ****- I feel compelled to comment on it.
    Yes, shot placement (highly unlikely for other than well-trained, experienced shooters under duress) MAY work out for you with a round with a lesser combat track-record than a .45. Me, I just prefer to rely on the more sure bet of the two. Im confident in MY abilities to do what I have to do, to make sure it works.
    But those same abilities, to use a lesser round? I wouldnt even hope for the same outcome.

    There's marketing hype, internet mythology, and then there's reality. Im not quiet ready to wander off to La-La- land yet.
    Thanks for your frank input on this topic. This is why I mentioned the OP would do well to read your posts on the subject.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Thanks for your frank input on this topic. This is why I mentioned the OP would do well to read your posts on the subject.
    Ty, Appreciate it. Like I said, I dont go on and on about it just to inflame debates, or shoot down other's choices.
    I do so in the hopes of informing folks, and to try to warn against (potentially lethal) choices.
    I've had far more exposure to the subject than most folks ever should, and not by any choice of my own, I assure you all.
    That insight has provided me a bit more information than folks are going to get from any marketing campaign by ammo/gun manufacturers, internet theories in gun-related forums, by folks who have neither fired 9mm/.40 in combative-use, been shot by 9mm or .40 in combative use, or seen the medical/forensic side of the results of someone who has.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    M&P 9 is my suggestion since the capacity is good, the price is good, the grip feel is outstanding, and the trigger can be made spectacular for less than 30 bucks. But even as is the trigger is decent.

    There are other good options, but since I know the M&P to be a great option from experience, I would suggest it.
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    Female friend of mine love her M&p 9, she says it fits her small hands MUCH MUCH better than my gen 3 glocks do.

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    Regular Member BFDMikeCT's Avatar
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    I have an M&P 9mm and I love it. I had on shot about 50-75 rounds in my life before I bought my M&P and I did alright, this is the 1st 10 down the pipe at 25'. The last 10 in a 100 round box were just as accurate at 50'. Click image for larger version. 

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    The one thing I'd have to add to the convo is to buy a larger frame for her if recoil is an issue. You might want to look at a full size .357mag and use .38spl. I'm biased though and prefer revolvers. I just hope you find something you both agree on and she's happy with it.
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    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    I know you're trying to describe a 9x19mm weapon, but would 9x18 be enough? Specifically the Makarov PM in 9mm Makarov. It's not as powerful as 9mm, but it's more powerful than .380 ACP.

    Quote Originally Posted by modernknight View Post
    So we decided we'll hit the range on Sunday and start from there, but just so I can address a few things...

    How is she going to carry the gun (on her person, purse, etc.)? She would prefer having it in her purse (might get her a stun gun (that doesn't shoot out) to place on her belt loop. She's already been in a bad situation before, and would prefer to make sure we have a couple of choices.)

    How large/small are her hands? She has CONSIDERABLY small hands, if it helps seems kind of funky since she's 5'6" lol. [Small? Check]
    What size gun would she favor? What about the gun's weight? Something small enough to fit in small hands comfortably, and light enough so it's not a burden on her back, being in her purse. [ehhh, we're pushing it at a little over a pound, but not too much]
    Does she want a double or single stacked magazine? Single. [single stack? check]
    How much experience does she have with handguns? Very little to none. The only times she has shot a gun was when I took her to the range shooting. Shot my .45, my friend's 9mm glock, my dad's british 303, and a combat shottie.
    What about action types? I'm not the best with judging this one. Care to elaborate a little more? I, in no way, say I am amazingly good with terminology or functions of guns, just how to use them and what has a good kick to it. [the PM is traditional DA/SA]
    With or without external safety? With [check]
    Is price a factor? I hate saying no to this one, because you can place safety with a price, but we are on a tight budget (or at least I know I am...she gets some money from her parents, but they are against guns so she can't say she needs some extra for a gun..lol). [Less than $300? Check]

    I was thinking of a glock 9mm, but when I watched her firing my buddy's, it seemed a bit awkward for her, and unnatural, so I'm going to say no to a Glock.

    Hopefully this can help with a few more base ideas??



    Ha ha ha ha...I'm assuming this is directed towards decklin, but if it's towards me...then...perhaps
    It's a steel framed gun, so it's not the lightest gun ever, but it is small, so it's light for a steel frame. It's also an extremely simple weapon, extremely reliable and ammo is relatively cheap.
    Last edited by SovereignAxe; 06-12-2012 at 04:32 PM.
    "Anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting twice." -Zeus

    "Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back!" - Malcolm Reynolds

    EDC = Walther PPQ 9mm

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SovereignAxe View Post
    I know you're trying to describe a 9x19mm weapon, but would 9x18 be enough? Specifically the Makarov PM in 9mm Makarov. It's not as powerful as 9mm, but it's more powerful than .380 ACP.



    It's a steel framed gun, so it's not the lightest gun ever, but it is small, so it's light for a steel frame. It's also an extremely simple weapon, extremely reliable and ammo is relatively cheap.
    That is what I carry. I use Buffalo Bore 115 gr. ammo, it's hotter than the standard 94 gr. stuff. I just bought a Beretta PX4 and awaiting my holster to show up so I can carry it. I do like my Mak., but anxious to see how the Beretta carries.

  25. #25
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    go to a 380 .. nice little bersa or something ... worried about kick, right? A girl won;t shoot a gun if she thinks it may be too much to handle (makes sense)

    9mm is no positive change from 45 ..

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