Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Small, light handgun

    We are researching a nice small, lightweight handgun. Saw good reviews online for the Kahr PM9 but then was surfing around this site and am now seeing some negative things, plus some people are saying there are more affordable, more lightweight ones available.

    Definitely want something that will fit in my purse OR that my husband can pocket carry or possibly holster. Do not want something too heavy. My hands are not that small so that's not as much of an issue as just not wanting it to take up too much space or be a pain to keep on me (or him).

    We have a S&W 9mm and a Llama .40 cal but definitely want something smaller and more lightweight...do not want to carry either of those. Also definitely want something safe that will not accidentally shoot...I'd rather not keep one in the chamber if I'm carrying it around (but that's just me).

    Suggestions?

  2. #2
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    blakeslee, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Small, light handgun

    If you are not looking to carry one in the chamber, I suggest not carrying.


    If you insist on it, get a small revolver and keep the chamber that you have the hammer down on empty. A modern quality gun is not going to just go off. If its in a holster, the trigger is not going to pull itself.

    If its in your purse (not a fan off off body carry) have it in a holster as well.

    If its in your husbands pocket, it should be in a pocket holster.



    That being said.

    Small light guns..

    PM9 is a great choice.

    I found both triggers to be terrible to me so the triggers are on a scale to me.. The Glock was a crisper suck and the XD was a more mushy suck. They are in the same family, SR9 (heavy suck), Glock (crisp heavy suck), XD( lighter mushy suck), M&P(heavy mushy suck).

  3. #3
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    Jul 2011
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    Bucks County, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Small, light handgun

    I'm a fan of my Ruger LCP; it is small and light. ALWAYS make sure that you carry it in a pocket holster. The Sig P238 is also worth looking at and has a manual safety if you are worried about carrying with one in the chamber.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2011
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    Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Columbia County)
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    Default Re: Small, light handgun

    I've had my eye on a Walther PPS for a while... 9mm or .40 and from the reviews I read poking around online have been largely positive.

    J-frame S&W revolvers are worth taking a look at if you'd prefer a revolver over an auto-loader. Either way, you're looking at $500+ and close to $1,000 or more if you go with a lightweight J-frame in .357 (read: 340PD).

    There are a plethora of small, lightweight .380 auto-loaders out there, but .380 is generally not a defensive round. But if you're hoping for a lightweight package, it could be a trade-off you're willing to make.

  5. #5
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    Lower Bucks, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Small, light handgun

    Would you guys recommend the specially made purses for concealed carry? I'd love the idea of not knocking around the gun every time I rummage around for my keys, even if in a holster.... I tend to be a little more careless than my husband. I wouldn't mind keeping one in the chamber if I knew it would be in a different place than all my other stuff while on shopping trips or something....

    Love the vote for the PM9....I was really excited about it when reading online then got worried as I searched here...but then also saw there are some even lighter weight.

    The Ruger looks nice too. Hm.

    Yes I was nervous about it just going off itself...maybe my husband watching too many old cowboy movies or something...he's much more comfortable around guns. Me, I will need to go to the shooting range for awhile first.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
    (Montgomery County)
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    Default Re: Small, light handgun

    I will echo the sentiment here posted by another experienced member (the follower of Thelema)... do not carry until you get training. Training is a bit more than "going to the range." This training will make you a bit more competent and get you to understand the limitations and capabilities of your equipment. for example, guns these day do not "go off" any more than cars just drive off the road... someone makes them do that.

    Small and lightweight in a handgun means hard recoil and difficult to shoot well. Go to a local range and try one out before buying and you will see that a small lightweight handgun is indeed for experts and requires lots of practice. It is easier to shoot a medium to large handgun. Small light weight handguns have stiff trigger pull weights, high felt recoil, small sights, small grip surfaces small controls and less ammunition capacity than their larger brethren.

    I would advise you to take an NRA approved training course on handguns first, then an NRA defensive handgun course. Do that and you will be preparing yourself through education, which is much more important that what hardware (firearms) you choose.
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  7. #7
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    Feb 2007
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    Lebanon, Pennsylvania
    (Lebanon County)
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    Default Re: Small, light handgun

    If you're looking for a lightweight semi that won't "go off by itself" and .380 or 9mm is satisfactory I'll suggest either Kel-Tec P3AT or Kel-Tec PF9.
    If a revolver would suit your needs I'll suggest a Lady Smith or a Taurus Model 85.
    Affordable, safe, small and reliable. I have 2 P3AT, one PF9 and one Taurus 85. I'd recommend them to anyone. I don't have a Lady Smith because it just doesn't fit my image, but if I were more of a feminine type it would be on my list. It's what I'd suggest for my wife if she were inclined to carry a revolver.

    Keep in mind that the smaller and lighter the piece the more the recoil will be felt, but if it's a choice between being comfortable with a defense weapon and being recoil sensitive at the range, I'd take a bit more recoil in a heartbeat.

    I don't have a short temper, I just have a quick reaction to bullshit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    (Lancaster County)
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    Default Re: Small, light handgun

    I would not recommend purse carry at all. I know its better to have a gun in your purse than no gun at all but how would you expect to draw it quickly if needed. I know men and women dress differently so you may have concerns that I may not realize. There are some very educated female members here that will probably offer some good advice. I do know that there are purses marketed for carry if you insist on that route. Whatever you do, train and practice as often as you can. BTW I have a PM9 and LOVE it.

  9. #9
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    May 2011
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    Delaware County, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Small, light handgun

    I've fired my friends CW9 before and it was a very nice gun, though a bit larger than the PM9. Despite its relative lightweight the recoil was not bad at all, so if they function similarly and have comparable weight I say go for it. I was ver impressed with the CW9.

    As far as it going off by accident, the lack of manual safety freaked my friend out at first too but the long trigger pull is more than adequate.
    Repeal the 17th Amendment

  10. #10
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    Mar 2009
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    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    (Philadelphia County)
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    Default Re: Small, light handgun

    Hi, I agree with "thelemite". I sometimes pocket carry the PM9, with a pocket holster. At 15 yds. the PM9 is right on target. However, you best follow Kahr's instructions to break-in the pistol with at least 200 rounds. I did have FTF's (failure to fire) during the early stages of the break-in period.
    Also, you might want to consider night sights, and if cost is a factor look at the Kahr CM9.
    First generation American by birth. Patriotic Veteran by choice.

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