Thinking about a new handgun . . .

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Pistolenschutze, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. . . . as if I need another one. :D What the heck, my CCW comes up for renewal in July, so that's a reason enough to buy a new CCW handgun, isn't it? ;)

    Anyway, my "special" account, the one I use to tuck away money for new firearms, or other "frivolities" as my wife calls them, is getting large enough that I can start thinking about what I want. The problem is, I'm having trouble deciding what to buy. First of all, I'm torn between a new revolver and a new automatic. Unlike some folks, I like and respect both types and use both as carry weapons at various times. Here are the parameters for making a choice. Given these parameters, I would appreciate some suggestions. Budget for this project will likely be around $800.00 maximum, though less would be preferable.

    1. This will be a CCW weapon and for that purpose I prefer a relatively small and compact handgun with no more than a 3.5 inch or so barrel. Thus I'm thinking along the lines of a Smith J-frame or maybe a Sig or H&K in 9mm.

    2. Caliber should be in the range of a .38 special, 9mm, or possibly a .40. I am not a fan of the .357 (too loud and too much muzzle blast in a short barrel, not to mention too much recoil), but I have no objection to a revolver chambered for that round since I can carry .38s.

    3. If it turns out to be an automatic, I want a double/single action or a striker fired pistol. No DAOs. If a revolver, I prefer on with a hammer spur . . . again, no DAOs.

    4. No 1911 pistols. I love them dearly, but I do not like any single-action auto for CCW.

    5. I don't want a cheap or "pretty good" handgun, thus no Taurus this time around. They're decent handguns, but I want top-end this time.

  2. Taurus_9mm

    Taurus_9mm New Member

    How about something in the vein of a Taurus M85 Titanium UL .38 Special? :D

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008

  3. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    If I had that budget, and wanted something ultra-small in 9mm or .40, I'd go with a Kahr MK9, MK40, PM9 or PM40 just depending on your choice of polymer vs. steel and caliber vs. recoil... BTW, I REALLY WANT A PM9!!!! Maybe my input is a bit too biased for your decision-making?... ;)
  4. Rommelvon

    Rommelvon New Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    Goldsboro, NC

    Tough choice.....I must admit that after shooting my brothers H&K P30 I fell for it, smooth, accurate nice sized 9mm.....great grouping even at 25 yards.....this will probably be my next pistol....of course you could always say what the heck and get one of each
  5. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Why don't you try that new Walther PPS and tell us all if we should go for it...
  6. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    You have already picked my choice. The only thing left, is to choose which one. Even though the P 2000 SK V3 is a little smaller and weighs a bit less than the USP Compact (6.42" vs 6.81" - 1.40 lbs vs 1.47lbs.) I like that the USP holds 13 rounds rather than the 10 for the P 2000.

    While I really like a SIG, and others, I have a reason to advocate the H&K. The mag release. Have you ever tried a handgun with the mag release "in" the trigger guard?

    In years past, I have used a SIG 226 and a 220, as well as the 1911 last year for competition shooting. From day one, I fought the mag release. I have used the thumb on the shooting hand, as well as the thumb on the support hand to release the mag. While being fairly proficient either way, it just didn't "feel" natural.

    In 2006, for the first time, I used a USP. Fell in LOVE. I thought there would be a transition period, but having the mag release "in" the trigger guard came as natural as pulling the trigger. There was virtually NO transition. And MUCH faster.

    I had to get the "1911" thing out of my system, so I used one in 2007. Didn't do too bad either. ;) I can see why people like them, but they are not for me. The mag release of course, and the grip is too skinny for me. I like the fatter grips that come with a double stack. Besides the fact that you have more rounds to "play" with.

    This year I'm back to the H&K, don't think I'll change again. After going "back" to the mag release "in" the trigger guard, I reflect back on last year, and confirmed how much I was fighting the mag release all year. While not for everybody, the H&K sure "fits" me. Which I think is VERY important. I'll know more at the end of this year. I'll see if I can get a 1st place finish for the year, (like in 2006, with the H&K) or a second place like last year. (with the 1911) If at all. ;):D:D

    The Walther P-99 (not S&W) has the same style mag release. Striker fired, and different backstraps to fit different sized hands. Wife liked it so much, that is what she got. The small backstraps fit her just right, while the larger backstraps fit me just fine. It is the full size model, you can compare the compacts if they suit you.

    Sorry for carrying on.
  7. redrick

    redrick New Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    If you are considering a J frame take a look at the S&W 340 M&P . It was a
    little high priced , but I would buy it again with no regrets . I work with it on
    and I don't even no it's there . The front sight is a night sight .
  8. The 340 is a nice revolver, redick, but not quite what I'm looking for. For one thing, it's a DAO and I would want a hammer spur so I can use it SA if I wish. Also, I have several 2" snubbies. If I go with another J-frame, I want a 3" barrel. I'm kinda thinking along the lines of a 60 at this point.
  9. ciwsguy

    ciwsguy New Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    If I could get my hands on one, I'd look for a revolver either in 45 ACP or 9mm Luger. They're getting more rare, are they not?
  10. Xaiver56

    Xaiver56 New Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    Grand Prairie, TX
    My vote would have to go to the Sig P - 239, my Dad got one and every since shooting it, I have to get one!
  11. I agree. That's the best you're going to do with semiautomatics. You can't get a Rohrbaugh on that budget, and Kahr and Seecamp's out because you don't want DAO. I don't think anyone else makes a high quality semi that meets your criteria. (I'd like to know about it if anyone has any other ideas about that.)

    In revolvers, it seems to me that the Ruger SP101 KSP-321XL-LG (2.25" barrel .357, stainless) will come in just under budget, and comes equipped with CT lasergrips. I'm sure you've already got J-Frame S&W's laying around, but that's the only alternative in my estimation. Have you considered the 649? Lots of folks don't like the way it looks, but it's the best SA/DA revolver I've had for pocket carry.

    Since you're talking concealed carry, isn't weight a consideration? My goal is a maximum of 22 oz. and that Ruger is 25. My personal favorite, the Kahr PM9 is about 16 oz w/magazine, has a 3" barrel, is less than 1" wide and 5.3" long overall. Models are available under the budget. Mine's the best shooting gun right out of the box I've ever had. But it's DAO.

    (The S&W 649 comes in at 23 oz. empty, and I do carry around a stainless steel Kahr K9 which also violates my weight limit. But I keep telling myself the 1932 Colt .45 1911A I sold weighed in at about three pounds, loaded.)

    Here's another question - ammo? I prefer 9mm & .357's. With a .357 revolver, you get ammo flexibility w/.38 special & .38 +P. With 9mm you get low recoil, low cost and easy availability. Lots of folks swear by .40 and .45 ACP.

    I suspect that you're skilled enough at putting bullets where you want them that a Beretta Tomcat w/.32ACP would do what you need, though I'd normally regard that caliber as insufficient. It's within budget, meets size requirements, is comparable in weight (about 16 oz.) to the Kahr, easily concealable, holds 7 rounds, and is available SA/DA.
  12. I'm taking a VERY close look at that one, Xaiver. I like the Sig pistols a great deal, and that P-239 has the size, weight, caliber, and featues I'm looking for.
  13. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Make sure you can reach the trigger well. That P239 seems to have a slightly longer-than-usual reach to get to it... but it might just be that my hands really aren't big at all.
  14. I just finished putting a "short" trigger in a 226, under the skilled guidance of a DVD showing Chris Orndorff how-to. Both from It went surprisingly well, though I had a bit of trouble getting the trigger bar back in place (it only goes in one way, and requires a bit of patience figuring out what that "way" is). The (thin) trigger is available now at about $30 for the 239 according to the website.
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