Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

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Deathmaster
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Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Deathmaster » 31 Jan 2012, 20:00

I have never been a Ruger Automatic pistol fan (but love their revolvers). The P-series P89, P90 jokingly earned a place in my "POS Hall of Fame". I nicknamed them Rattletraps (after the fishing lure) because I thought they were going to rattle themselves apart. I know they were decent guns but it was fun messing with my buddies that owned them but that isn't the point of this post.

So, I was very cautious when I first started reading these great reviews on the LC9. After a few months I finally decided to take the plunge and paid $325 for one at a gun how (NOTE: I have seen them for as low as $309 recently). I went to the range the same day and was blown away by this little gun. After 200 rounds without a FTF or a jam I went home. I was a little annoyed that I needed a small punch or the gun lock key to take it apart but so be it.

Since my initial purchase I have probably shot 600+ rounds through the LC9. I have shot EVERYTHING under the sun... Many +P rounds, a mag or two of +P+, loads of trashy Monarch, Winchester WB from Wal-Mart, Federal FMJ, etc... not a single jam or malfunction. The little gun just always shoots every time I pull the trigger. The trigger reset is a bit long but I can deal with it... I have adapted to it. If you are used to a Wilson Combat 1911 you won't probably like the trigger.

In summary, I am delighted with this gun and I have now embraced Ruger’s modern automatics. I really appreciate this gun and its price point. It is nice seeing a gun barely over $300 that performs. After a taking it apart a few times you can just bang on the slide with your hand to remove the pin for disassembly and cleaning- no tools needed.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by blueorison » 31 Jan 2012, 20:08

Deathmaster wrote:The trigger reset is a bit long but I can deal with it... I have adapted to it. If you are used to a Wilson Combat 1911 you won't probably like the trigger.
I LOL'd really hard when I read this line.

I love how you shoot the gun over what it was intended; it's a CCW gun, which in the long line of CCW guns that were intended mainly for carry, have long, heavy, and often horrible triggers.

Yet you used it for +P+ ammo on the range and have put many rounds down it, where the casual weekend warrior would have just mag-dumped 50 rounds at 7 feet and stuck it in their holster, and shot perhaps when all other guns were done being shot at the range and for an after-thought.

Great post. Good shootin. I found the LCP to have a superb CCW trigger that was smooth, though very long. The trigger guard was so tiny that everytime I clicked the trigger back, the bottom would hit my finger and not allow me to pull the trigger back. I had to adapt by placing my trigger finger higher on the trigger, which isn't really a good thing (and is a disadvantage for accurate shooting, on curved triggers).

The Keltec also had a very good trigger for a CCW platform. And for what it's worth, the P89 is an awesome pistol. :)

In your review/post, you compare apples to oranges. But the apples come out shining.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Deathmaster » 31 Jan 2012, 21:00

Glad you liked that line man.. lol

I am kind of embarrassed to say this but you know what ammo I carry in the LC9? Monarch Hollow Points (i think 124 gr). No joke.

The only reason- I have shot 286 rounds of it without in one session, pretty fast, with no malfunctions. The remaining 14 rounds went in magazines (7 each). The Monarch ammo was cheap enough to burn through nearly 6 boxes of ammo without taking out a loan or getting dirty looks from the wife when she sees the credit card bill. When I carry a Glock 26 or 19 I know those won't jam and roll with +P+ 100% of the time. I wanted to make the LC9 earn its roll and it did it.

A lot people don't understand the LC9 isn't a "combat handgun". It isn't going to replace a Glock 19, a Sig 226 or an HK P2000 or USP. It is a deep concealment pistol and it is excellent for that application. Is it the ideal "first gun" for someone with no handguns- HELL NO (imo). Buy a damn Glock 19 or an FN9, or a HK USP or an XD, etc... For the money and for its size I think the LC9 is damn near unbeatable.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by panzermk2 » 01 Feb 2012, 10:16

I would take the CZ RAMI 9mm over the LCP.
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Deathmaster » 01 Feb 2012, 11:24

panzermk2 wrote:I would take the CZ RAMI 9mm over the LCP.
Isn't it two different animals? It is double stack vs. single stack. If we are talking double stack 9mm's I don't think the CZ would make my top 10. The RAMI I shot had a metal frame and had feed issues. Even after some feedramp work it still wasn't reliable enough for use as a dedicated carry gun. The regular CZ-75 is a great gun but the RAMI didn't do much for me personally. I think the Kahl stuff is obviously comparable but at a much higher price point. I have never shot a Kel-Tech, a Diamond Back or the Taurus equivalent.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Eric T » 01 Feb 2012, 11:51

I had a Ruger SR9c that I carried for about 6mos. I carried it with the short 10rd mag in it, and the full size 17rd mag with the grip extension in my pocket. I think it was perfect for my first ccw gun. After about 4 mos I started carrying it with the full size mag. Then once I got comfortable with that I got a Glock 21, and now I'm waiting for my Five-seveN to come in. Sorry I'm kind of new to forums. I didn't mean to give you my whole ccw life story, but I do think the SR9c was a perfect carry weapon- for me anyway.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by blueorison » 01 Feb 2012, 16:25

Deathmaster wrote:
panzermk2 wrote:I would take the CZ RAMI 9mm over the LCP.
Isn't it two different animals? It is double stack vs. single stack. If we are talking double stack 9mm's I don't think the CZ would make my top 10. The RAMI I shot had a metal frame and had feed issues. Even after some feedramp work it still wasn't reliable enough for use as a dedicated carry gun. The regular CZ-75 is a great gun but the RAMI didn't do much for me personally. I think the Kahl stuff is obviously comparable but at a much higher price point. I have never shot a Kel-Tech, a Diamond Back or the Taurus equivalent.
Yeah, apples vs oranges.

Sub-compact/compact versions vs. a ground-up, 0 degree (extremely low-profile) CCW pistol.
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by panzermk2 » 01 Feb 2012, 21:11

blueorison wrote:
Deathmaster wrote:
panzermk2 wrote:I would take the CZ RAMI 9mm over the LCP.
Isn't it two different animals? It is double stack vs. single stack. If we are talking double stack 9mm's I don't think the CZ would make my top 10. The RAMI I shot had a metal frame and had feed issues. Even after some feedramp work it still wasn't reliable enough for use as a dedicated carry gun. The regular CZ-75 is a great gun but the RAMI didn't do much for me personally. I think the Kahl stuff is obviously comparable but at a much higher price point. I have never shot a Kel-Tech, a Diamond Back or the Taurus equivalent.
Yeah, apples vs oranges.

Sub-compact/compact versions vs. a ground-up, 0 degree (extremely low-profile) CCW pistol.

AH not really both are designed for concealed carry and both are sub compacts. Also if you look at the numbers other than the width of the frame and additional ammo there is not much difference between the 2. Not enough to notice on your hip or in your pocket.

CZ RAMI 9mm
Magazine Capacity 10
Weight 1.590 lbs
Width 1.250 in
Height 4.700 in
Barrel Length 3.000 in
Overall Length 6.500 in
LC9
Capacity: 7+1
Weight 1.068 lbs
Width 0.90"
Height: 4.50"
Barrel Length: 3.12"
Overall Length: 6.00"
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by flyingirish04 » 02 Feb 2012, 09:36

Under 400. I would go with the RAMI, if I could still get one for under that.

Honestly if I didn't get so much for the Kimber Solo on resale, I would be proudly carrying that, but it is way over 400.

Also waiting for the 938 and the 224 from sig.

I shot the LC9. Hated the trigger and the feel of it in my hand.

I would spend more than 400 for my Little gun needs.
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by bobapunk » 02 Feb 2012, 20:06

By Bro-in-law (who is an FFL) is selling LC9s for $340 right now.
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by smpsmp » 02 Feb 2012, 21:33

I've wanted to give the Walther PPQ a try lately, but haven't found anyone I know that has one. I've heard some good things about them.

As far as the Sig's go, the 224 falls in line like the subcompact glocks, xd's, and all the other short and fat ones. Making the grip of the gun shorter doesn't mean it's more concealable, that's like chopping rosie odonells legs off and calling her petite. I'm waiting to see how the 938 performs, but I'm not holding my breath on that one either. Definitely giving those two guns a year or so to have the bugs worked out. I do like the new scorpion series in the P series guns now, except that they have the new mile long extractors on the 229's.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by blueorison » 02 Feb 2012, 21:42

SMP, check your PM.
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by smpsmp » 02 Feb 2012, 21:48

Blue check yours. And thanks again.

About the recoil, does the PPQ use the fixed barrel setup like the PPK, P22's, and a bunch of other Walther's?

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by blueorison » 02 Feb 2012, 22:16

smpsmp wrote:Blue check yours. And thanks again.

About the recoil, does the PPQ use the fixed barrel setup like the PPK, P22's, and a bunch of other Walther's?
No, it doesn't :)

You may post what I sent you. I try to avoid online pissing matches, hence I use PM to communicate. It's more efficient. I still try to post information I think would help others, I just am very tired of people finding fault with what I say about certain platforms, because it might hurt their feelings about their favourite fan-company. Especially since many of them might not have used them to the effect or to the capacity that I may have.

I just don't like getting into arguments.:cya:
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by smpsmp » 02 Feb 2012, 22:36

I actually just looked up about the barrel before I saw your message.

Here's what blue pm'ed me:

FYI, the PPQ trigger is fantastic. I just wanted to give you a friendly heads-up in case you were thinking of buying it without trying it, so you would avoid any unnecessary hassle; the PPQ and other Walther 9mm's have an unusually high kick to them. Not sure why, and it's not the light-weight. They just kick a lot for a 9mm. Other than that, they are well-made guns


I have heard great things about the PPQ trigger as well, and heard the reset time is amazing. I might have to order one into the shop. Either I'll take it, or give it to my friend as a wedding gift.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by TackKS » 03 Feb 2012, 10:31

If you were to say under $500 I would suggest a used Sig P228. They have them on GunBroker in the $400-$500 range and are great pistols http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt ... =260951653" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .

I bought one of the used Swiss pistols and have not had any issues with it. It is very accurate, comfortable to carry, comfortable to shoot and has very little shooting wear. The Swiss police pistols have quite a bit of outside carry wear, but they have not been shot very much. I do not like a rail on a CC pistol, and these do not have them. They use 13-rd EOM mags or you can use MecGar 15-rd mags with absolute reliability.

I highly recommend one, as I have been carrying one as an off-duty weapon for quite a while now.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by smpsmp » 05 Feb 2012, 22:11

I second the old P228's as well, they were balanced just right for the 9mm, and after shooting those a P229 in 9mm feels really unbalanced in my hand. Definitely stick with MecGar's and not the Checkmates with Sig's, there have been a lot of issues with the CM's lately in Sig's with not feeding and not locking the slide open on the last round.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Deathmaster » 06 Feb 2012, 11:37

smpsmp wrote:I second the old P228's as well, they were balanced just right for the 9mm, and after shooting those a P229 in 9mm feels really unbalanced in my hand. Definitely stick with MecGar's and not the Checkmates with Sig's, there have been a lot of issues with the CM's lately in Sig's with not feeding and not locking the slide open on the last round.
there is still a big size difference between a P228 and a LC9. I'd say a Sig 225 (the single stack 9mm) would be more of an apples to apples thing. I think after you carry a gun a while (several years) you start to want something less bulky and generally easier to carry around. I have carried a Sig 229 (40), Glock 19, Glock 26, S&W Snubnose 38 Special Airweight and now the LC9. I want something effective and very easy to carry. An LC9 can be had for under $325 now brand new... that is about impossible to top IMO. I used to say there nothing more of a fraud that a DAO trigger but I completely adapted to the LC9's trigger after two range sessions and about 400 rounds.. so I was wrong. I think it is easier for someone's brain and muscle memory to deal with DAO vs. DA/SA. I used to always consider my Sig 229's first shot as a "throw away" then I'd get down to business with the SA pull. Maybe that is why I have loved Glocks since first shooting a Gen 1 17 many moons ago.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by FNtacticalNUT » 06 Feb 2012, 13:09

If price is a concern and you like investment casting stick with Ruger. If you want a real gun then turn to FNH USA and be done with it. PERIOD

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by f3rr37 » 06 Feb 2012, 20:29

FNtacticalNUT wrote:If price is a concern and you like investment casting stick with Ruger. If you want a real gun then turn to FNH USA and be done with it. PERIOD
Cause FNH makes a pistol that can fit in your back pocket, right? Lets stay on the topic of apples and not talk about oranges. :facepalm:

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by smpsmp » 06 Feb 2012, 21:27

Deathmaster wrote:
smpsmp wrote:I second the old P228's as well, they were balanced just right for the 9mm, and after shooting those a P229 in 9mm feels really unbalanced in my hand. Definitely stick with MecGar's and not the Checkmates with Sig's, there have been a lot of issues with the CM's lately in Sig's with not feeding and not locking the slide open on the last round.
there is still a big size difference between a P228 and a LC9. I'd say a Sig 225 (the single stack 9mm) would be more of an apples to apples thing. I think after you carry a gun a while (several years) you start to want something less bulky and generally easier to carry around. I have carried a Sig 229 (40), Glock 19, Glock 26, S&W Snubnose 38 Special Airweight and now the LC9. I want something effective and very easy to carry. An LC9 can be had for under $325 now brand new... that is about impossible to top IMO. I used to say there nothing more of a fraud that a DAO trigger but I completely adapted to the LC9's trigger after two range sessions and about 400 rounds.. so I was wrong. I think it is easier for someone's brain and muscle memory to deal with DAO vs. DA/SA. I used to always consider my Sig 229's first shot as a "throw away" then I'd get down to business with the SA pull. Maybe that is why I have loved Glocks since first shooting a Gen 1 17 many moons ago.
Other option is always P239, but then you are way over 400.

Back to topic though, I just put on a set of XS night sights on a LC9 for a customer today, and what a pain that was. I never paid attention to Ruger's before and how they did their cuts, but by God are they shallow. Also the set screw for the front sight was ungodly tiny, and took forever to find the right size. I did have to file away quite a bit of the sights, and even had to file a little on the gun make them fit after. Took about 45 minutes, with probably 30 minutes spent filing. If it was my gun, I know I'm saving myself the hassle and just going with CTC grips on that one.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Deathmaster » 07 Feb 2012, 07:15

Interesting about the sights. However, for a deep concealment gun I don't worry about the sights much at all as long as they don't snag. If I am shooting someone at a distance of more than 5 yards I'd probably have some explaining to do (and I live in Texas). I can shoot "reasonable" groups at 7 yards with the stock sights. By reasonable I mean I can easily empty the mag while shooting fast into a paperplate. The FN9 is probably a great gun (I'd love to shoot one) but like someone said, try carrying that in the front pocket or your dress slacks all day! No way.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by TackKS » 07 Feb 2012, 12:27

Deathmaster wrote:
smpsmp wrote:I second the old P228's as well, they were balanced just right for the 9mm, and after shooting those a P229 in 9mm feels really unbalanced in my hand. Definitely stick with MecGar's and not the Checkmates with Sig's, there have been a lot of issues with the CM's lately in Sig's with not feeding and not locking the slide open on the last round.
there is still a big size difference between a P228 and a LC9. I'd say a Sig 225 (the single stack 9mm) would be more of an apples to apples thing. I think after you carry a gun a while (several years) you start to want something less bulky and generally easier to carry around. I have carried a Sig 229 (40), Glock 19, Glock 26, S&W Snubnose 38 Special Airweight and now the LC9. I want something effective and very easy to carry. An LC9 can be had for under $325 now brand new... that is about impossible to top IMO. I used to say there nothing more of a fraud that a DAO trigger but I completely adapted to the LC9's trigger after two range sessions and about 400 rounds.. so I was wrong. I think it is easier for someone's brain and muscle memory to deal with DAO vs. DA/SA. I used to always consider my Sig 229's first shot as a "throw away" then I'd get down to business with the SA pull. Maybe that is why I have loved Glocks since first shooting a Gen 1 17 many moons ago.
I have been carrying since 1998, the last 10 years of which have been as an LEO. When I first started, I was carrying a 1911 (fullsize). Then went to a CZ75.....yes, there is some truth to what you are saying about tending to want something less bulky after a while. But I would also point out that there is also such a thing as too small and not enough, in my opinion. I went from the CZ75 to a Smith airweight snubby .38 Special, then to a Kahr CW9....neither of which suited my comfort level. I finally ended up with the Sig P228 and have not looked back. I suppose it is a matter of preference. The P228 is not only comfortable to carry and shoot, it also packs quite a bit of firepower for a mid-sized pistol, and also accepts full-sized P226 magazines.

I have never fired a P229, but am told the P228 is a much better gun. This is hearsay, but I would not come close to saying the first shot from my P228 is a 'throw away'. Mine is smooth and accurate in DA on the first shot (and in single for that matter). When it was on order I had the intentions of having Sig put a Short Reset Trigger in it, but changed my mind after shooting it......it is fine the way it is, and I would recommend it to anyone for CC.

Concerning DAO, I am forced to carry a Glock as a duty weapon. It is a good gun, and I not about to badmouth it. But, I prefer the Sig as a personal preference....I own four Sig pistols and one Sig rifle and really like them. I would carry one of my Sigs in a heartbeat if allowed to. I own one Glock, and that is because I bought it as a soveigneer when my agency upgradded a few years ago (first issued duty gun). Coke (Sig), Pepsi (Glock) RC Cola (any other)....your choice.

Before being badmouthed for not mentioning FN, they are good too. I own a couple as well. Still prefer Sig for carry and duty. :p
Last edited by TackKS on 08 Feb 2012, 12:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by SHEEPDOG » 07 Feb 2012, 21:44

Would you really want to bet your life on a $400 pistol?

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Deathmaster » 08 Feb 2012, 05:26

SHEEPDOG wrote:Would you really want to bet your life on a $400 pistol?
Sure, I have shot more rounds through it in 2 months than most people shoot through their $1200 Kimber's in 3 years without a single FTF. I beat the hell out of it with +P and +P+ ammo and plenty of dirty Monarch. I shot over 200 rounds before I cleaned it for the first time.

Money has nothing to do with anything. You could spend more and get a Kahr and probably get a more "refined" gun if you wish but it will be no better in terms of reliability. It is nice to see Ruger putting out a solid gun at such a competitive price.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by srt-4_jon » 08 Feb 2012, 05:50

SHEEPDOG wrote:Would you really want to bet your life on a $400 pistol?
Many LEOs with Glocks do it everyday.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by SHEEPDOG » 08 Feb 2012, 10:50

Sorry I was referring to the OP's question. I was basing my answer on new guns. I would also say they don't do it by choice.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by srt-4_jon » 08 Feb 2012, 12:10

quite a few officers are allowed to carry their own weapons and many still choose Glocks.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by TackKS » 08 Feb 2012, 12:13

Deathmaster wrote:
SHEEPDOG wrote:Would you really want to bet your life on a $400 pistol?
Sure, I have shot more rounds through it in 2 months than most people shoot through their $1200 Kimber's in 3 years without a single FTF. I beat the hell out of it with +P and +P+ ammo and plenty of dirty Monarch. I shot over 200 rounds before I cleaned it for the first time.

Money has nothing to do with anything. You could spend more and get a Kahr and probably get a more "refined" gun if you wish but it will be no better in terms of reliability. It is nice to see Ruger putting out a solid gun at such a competitive price.
In terms of reliability maybe, but accuracy isn't the same (with regards to the Kimber you cite). I for one am not advocating a person carry a Kimber for a CC weapon, I am advocating a SigP228. I assure you my P228 has had no failures (even when fired very dirty after many rounds) and is second hand. Not to mention it is absolutely accurate, has 16-rds out of the holster and is very concealable....and compfy.

Ruger isn't bad, but I would not rate it even close to a Sig, new or used....and the used Sig isn't much more in cost. It is like buying a new Ford Festiva and comparing it to a used BMW. I'd take the 'Beamer', thank you.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by TackKS » 08 Feb 2012, 12:15

srt-4_jon wrote:quite a few officers are allowed to carry their own weapons and many still choose Glocks.
True. And many are forced to carry Glocks regardless of their prefernce, myself included.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by srt-4_jon » 08 Feb 2012, 13:23

TackKS wrote:
srt-4_jon wrote:quite a few officers are allowed to carry their own weapons and many still choose Glocks.
True. And many are forced to carry Glocks regardless of their prefernce, myself included.
Agreed. But the post I quoted said "Would you really want to bet your life on a $400 pistol?", so I pointed out many people already do.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Deathmaster » 08 Feb 2012, 14:43

TackKS wrote:
Deathmaster wrote:
SHEEPDOG wrote:Would you really want to bet your life on a $400 pistol?
Sure, I have shot more rounds through it in 2 months than most people shoot through their $1200 Kimber's in 3 years without a single FTF. I beat the hell out of it with +P and +P+ ammo and plenty of dirty Monarch. I shot over 200 rounds before I cleaned it for the first time.

Money has nothing to do with anything. You could spend more and get a Kahr and probably get a more "refined" gun if you wish but it will be no better in terms of reliability. It is nice to see Ruger putting out a solid gun at such a competitive price.
In terms of reliability maybe, but accuracy isn't the same (with regards to the Kimber you cite). I for one am not advocating a person carry a Kimber for a CC weapon, I am advocating a SigP228. I assure you my P228 has had no failures (even when fired very dirty after many rounds) and is second hand. Not to mention it is absolutely accurate, has 16-rds out of the holster and is very concealable....and compfy.

Ruger isn't bad, but I would not rate it even close to a Sig, new or used....and the used Sig isn't much more in cost. It is like buying a new Ford Festiva and comparing it to a used BMW. I'd take the 'Beamer', thank you.
I am not saying Ruger is better than a Sig. I am saying IMO it is the best deep concealment automatic gun out there in the under $400 price range (new). I own 3 Sigs, 2 HKs, 11 Glocks, 2 FNs and many long guns. I used to hate Ruger until I got the LC9. It most definitely wouldn't be my first choice for a do everything combat handgun but it does what it does very well. For 15 years I used to proclaim the only handguns worth owning were Glocks, HK's and Sigs. Then I discovered the Five-Seven which lead to a new FN 45 Tactical with an RMR a couple of weeks later. Then, I read a bunch of articles on the LC9 so I dropped $325 on it and have been every impressed. I was going to buy a Kahr (the better gun) then decided to take a chace on the Ruger.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by smpsmp » 08 Feb 2012, 19:03

Don't let my review of the XS sights steer you away from them. They are very well made, just be prepared to file away. The front sight has a channel running across it on the bottom, and I had to file enough away that the channel was pretty much gone. I started at first with a fine triangular file, and thought I was just going to have to file away the finish, and then moved to a much larger file and just started going to town on it. All in all spent more time filing then actually installing, but the quality of the sights was quite nice (XS just needs to put less on the bottom of them).

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Valorius » 27 Feb 2012, 13:29

Deathmaster wrote:I have never been a Ruger Automatic pistol fan (but love their revolvers). The P-series P89, P90 jokingly earned a place in my "POS Hall of Fame". I nicknamed them Rattletraps (after the fishing lure) because I thought they were going to rattle themselves apart. I know they were decent guns but it was fun messing with my buddies that owned them but that isn't the point of this post.

So, I was very cautious when I first started reading these great reviews on the LC9. After a few months I finally decided to take the plunge and paid $325 for one at a gun how (NOTE: I have seen them for as low as $309 recently). I went to the range the same day and was blown away by this little gun. After 200 rounds without a FTF or a jam I went home. I was a little annoyed that I needed a small punch or the gun lock key to take it apart but so be it.

Since my initial purchase I have probably shot 600+ rounds through the LC9. I have shot EVERYTHING under the sun... Many +P rounds, a mag or two of +P+, loads of trashy Monarch, Winchester WB from Wal-Mart, Federal FMJ, etc... not a single jam or malfunction. The little gun just always shoots every time I pull the trigger. The trigger reset is a bit long but I can deal with it... I have adapted to it. If you are used to a Wilson Combat 1911 you won't probably like the trigger.

In summary, I am delighted with this gun and I have now embraced Ruger’s modern automatics. I really appreciate this gun and its price point. It is nice seeing a gun barely over $300 that performs. After a taking it apart a few times you can just bang on the slide with your hand to remove the pin for disassembly and cleaning- no tools needed.
I have a Ruger LCP. IMO it is the perfect CCW piece. The LC9 is almost twice the size, and with that short barrel, really is not much more powerful than the LC9 is.

The LC9 is nice too, but i like the LCP better.

I have a top end Kahr PM9 california, which is probably even smaller than an LC9, and all it does is sit in my vault and collect dust. The LCP is just so much smaller and more handy.

I'm probably gonna sell the Kahr.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Deathmaster » 02 Apr 2012, 07:23

Interesting. I was going to get an LCP this weekend and am on the fence between it the Kel-tec and the Taurus TLP 380. I am really no fan of the 380 and have only shot one a handful of times in my life but can see having one when other guns are just too big.

People mentioned accuracy a lot in this thread. I for one don't think accuracy for a CCW pistol is as important as reliability. Some 380s don't really have sights and you'd be hard pressed to shoot paper plates at 7 yards with most 380s. Besides, if you are shooting at people from farther than about 5 yards in a defensive situation you better have a good defense attorney if you kill a perp.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Rapier1772 » 02 Apr 2012, 09:11

Deathmaster wrote:Besides, if you are shooting at people from farther than about 5 yards in a defensive situation you better have a good defense attorney if you kill a perp.
I've heard something similar (depending on the state laws) but wouldn't it depend on your situation? I've done the 5yd training thing in Iowa & if a BG is that close I would be in deep kimchi. If I were on the jury, any engagement within 10yd would be allowable regardless of state law. Outside of that, it would depend on the situation but I'd probably still side with the defender.
There is also the "21 foot rule" (7yd) about a BG with a blade in hand being able to beat a holstered gun. Don't really believe that but then I haven't tested it.
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by blueorison » 02 Apr 2012, 09:18

Deathmaster wrote:Interesting. I was going to get an LCP this weekend and am on the fence between it the Kel-tec and the Taurus TLP 380. I am really no fan of the 380 and have only shot one a handful of times in my life but can see having one when other guns are just too big.

People mentioned accuracy a lot in this thread. I for one don't think accuracy for a CCW pistol is as important as reliability. Some 380s don't really have sights and you'd be hard pressed to shoot paper plates at 7 yards with most 380s. Besides, if you are shooting at people from farther than about 5 yards in a defensive situation you better have a good defense attorney if you kill a perp.


Farthest plate is ~50 ft. Point being, even with "no sights", the Ruger is very accurate.

I just tested the Keltec P11 and PF-9, yesterday. I would recommend the PF-9 over the P11. I've also pulled the trigger on the P3AT. I would recommend the Ruger .380 over it.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Kilibreaux » 04 Aug 2012, 01:04

The best 9mm "carry gun" I have that cost under $400 are my four Sig P228 "clones."
I bought all the parts for $150.
I bought the frames for like $60 in "60%" condition...two steel, two aluminum.
I machined the frames and fitted the parts...and ended up with a small "armory" of P228's for a couple hundred dollars each...but I'm sure that wasn't the "intent" of the question.

I think one of the FINEST, yet extremely under-valued and not recognized 9mm's is the Taurus PT-111. The gun is far more compact than a Glock. Has a true DAO mechanism with internal firing pin block safety and holds 10 rounds "somehow" in double-stack in the short grip. It weighed in at 18 oz a full DECADE before Ruger ever thought about producing the over-hyped LC9, and has NEVER...NOT ONCE, NOT EVER, NEVER failed to feed, fire, or eject! NEVER...since DAY ONE! So as far as "break-in" goes...I'd say the PT-111 came ready to rock.

It's a small gun...about 6.5" long, polymer grip frame, aluminum sub-frame that houses the trigger components, and stainless slide and barrel. In terms of operation it "feels" the way a Glock does in terms of chambering, which is to say it goes from fully locked up tight, to completely "loose" once the barrel unlocks and this of course explains the impressive feed reliability. Being DAO is has only ONE trigger profile. Out of the box trigger pull was somewhere around 100 pounds (JK - it was STIFF), so I went to work on it and eased it down to probably 8 pounds of "smooth as butta" pull to let-off. My wife with her exceptionally long yet weak fingers can easily cycle the trigger and that was the intent.

The Taurus PT-111 IS "better" than a Glock for the simple reason it is COMPLETELY SAFE when chambered because the striker is fully forward and locked and the trigger requires a positive "stroke through" to fire...if released at any point it will of course fail to fire due to the firing pin safety. It also has a nifty "key lock" on the side that is surprisingly usefull.

The PT-111 cost me a mere $318.00. and it's SaWHEEET!

Oh wait I have another 9mm carry gun that cost less than $400....I traded a guy a 1911 I built for an actual Sig P228....the 1911 started with a stainless steel "80%" frame which I milled out and then added all the goodies...but then I'm not sure it cost me less than $400 to build it.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by smpsmp » 04 Aug 2012, 21:06

Deathmaster wrote:Interesting. I was going to get an LCP this weekend and am on the fence between it the Kel-tec and the Taurus TLP 380. I am really no fan of the 380 and have only shot one a handful of times in my life but can see having one when other guns are just too big.

People mentioned accuracy a lot in this thread. I for one don't think accuracy for a CCW pistol is as important as reliability. Some 380s don't really have sights and you'd be hard pressed to shoot paper plates at 7 yards with most 380s. Besides, if you are shooting at people from farther than about 5 yards in a defensive situation you better have a good defense attorney if you kill a perp.
I can think of plenty of situations where you'd be more than justified to shoot more than 7 yards at a BG. Something involving a movie theatre comes to mind for starters.

I do like the LCP nonetheless. It's simple, small, nothing to catch/snag on, so for me it ranks high for pocket carry. I'd still like to get a Kahr in 380 though, no real use for it, more of a just because I do.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by blacklabelop » 05 Aug 2012, 03:25

I just traded up from a DB380 pocket gun to a Kahr cm9..

after my research and shooting them I decided they where the best sub $400 pocket gun..

didn't like the looks or feel of the lc9 at all.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Grantness » 05 Aug 2012, 10:28

How bout a used .40 Walther PPQ? Probably hard to find for $400 :laugh: That's one of the nicest, smallest .40's I've seen that isn't ridiculously priced. The Kar PM .40 is another nice little carry pistol, but its too expensive as well... its also got crammed together, tiny little parts with tight tolerances. I guess for the purposes of this thread I won't even bring up compact XD's and go with the more affordable Glock 29 (or 27 depending on which caliber you like). I've got a Glock 27 and I wish everyday I'd gotten the 29 instead... So much more bang for your buck :wall: I'd say G29SF but I think they cost a little more.

Yes there are a lot of very fine, smaller 9mm's out there, but I think a gun the size of a G29 is plenty small enough for concealment and the extra power makes that moderate excess in size/weight much more palatable. Not to get into a caliber war, but you want every shot to count in a CCW SD situation.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by seraphim » 11 Aug 2012, 11:30

Just picked a nice, new Tanfoglio Force for $358. The thin design, rounded internal slide makes it enter and leave the holster smoothly. Price just went up $80. They're made in a full size, carry and compact. The Force 99 comes in 9mm and .40. The regular Force comes in .38 Super, .45 and 10mm. There are conversion kits (slide, barrel and magazine) so one can swap between calibers. A very nice Italian weapon based on the CZ-75.

Addendum: the R version has a decock mechanism. The F version is cocked and locked, though it does have a DA trigger - just no decock.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by ShockedNKansas » 13 Aug 2012, 17:51

Valorius wrote: I have a Ruger LCP. IMO it is the perfect CCW piece. The LC9 is almost twice the size, and with that short barrel, really is not much more powerful than the LC9 is.

The LC9 is nice too, but i like the LCP better.

I have a top end Kahr PM9 california, which is probably even smaller than an LC9, and all it does is sit in my vault and collect dust. The LCP is just so much smaller and more handy.

I'm probably gonna sell the Kahr.
For me, the LCP is very uncomfortable to shoot. I just don't have anything to hold onto and it really bangs my hand up. How is the LCR in comparison?

Deathmaster wrote:Interesting. I was going to get an LCP this weekend and am on the fence between it the Kel-tec and the Taurus TLP 380. I am really no fan of the 380 and have only shot one a handful of times in my life but can see having one when other guns are just too big.

People mentioned accuracy a lot in this thread. I for one don't think accuracy for a CCW pistol is as important as reliability. Some 380s don't really have sights and you'd be hard pressed to shoot paper plates at 7 yards with most 380s. Besides, if you are shooting at people from farther than about 5 yards in a defensive situation you better have a good defense attorney if you kill a perp.
Don't dis the .380. There are several rounds that offer ample penetration and even a little expansion. As far as accuracy, the LCP personifies the phrase "the gun is more accurate than you". The sights are basically non-existent so you will have to adjust how you aim. At first I couldn't hit ****, but eventually I learned how to shoot it. You definitely want to practice with your LCP if you carry it. Don't think you can just buy it and carry it and hope to hit anything if you get into trouble. It's diminutive size, hefty recoil, DAO trigger, and unnatural point of aim (for me), necessitates frequent practice - and that practice won't be comfortable. I suspect there are a lot of LCP owners that don't shoot their guns for that very reason. If you want to carry a tiny pistol, there will be some drawbacks.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by IrishRedneck86 » 11 Jan 2013, 23:37

Now after reading through this thread Im surprised no one has brought it up but what about the Beretta Nano I just had the pleasure of shooting one yesterday and I instantly fell in love with it and went home to my LGS and had them order one for me now you may or may not be able to find it for under $400. For me having shot both the LC9 and the Nano, I have to say I much prefer the Nano. First they are both about the same weight the Nano being slightly heavier. But the reason for that is partially because the Nano design was initially for 40cal but they decided to release the 9mm first as it is usually a more popular caliber.
As for me the Nano just felt much more comfortable even though my pinky does just dangle with the stock flush mount mags as for the LC9 it has the pinky rest but it just didn't feel right in the hands. Also the recoil felt more harsh with the LC9 where as with the Nano it felt much softer.
Not to mention I really love the smooth rounded/soft lines of the no snag design with the Nano where the LC9 has the external safety and slide release. Also for shooters like me its a plus that the Nano is much more lefty friendly being that the slide lock and safety's are internal, along with the nice ambi mag release on the Nano.

Another thing is that the Nano is a bit easier/user friendly to field strip and takedown for cleaning and what not all ya need is a Pen and a dime/flathead. You just use the pen tip to hit the striker deactivation button then use the dime/flathead to twist the disassembly cam a 1/4 turn and the slide already pushes itself off slightly but comes right off. With the LC9 you have to use a flathead to push down the takedown pin block then use the ruger key to push out the takedown pin, and god forbid you lose that takedown pin cause then you have a nice 9mm paperweight until you get a replacement as opposed to the self-contained style of the Nano.

I also really love the fact that with the Beretta in a SHTF and I have to actually use it situation I don't have to have a magazine in the gun to fire that first round if I have one in the chamber as you should with your carry gun. So like I was getting at if SHTF and I some how dropped the mag out of the Nano I still can fire off that single shot in the chamber to give me more time to get to my other mags. Where as with the LC9 if I lost the mag I'd have to fumble and scramble to get one of my spare mags into the gun before I could shoot my first round. Lets face it I don't know about ya'll but I'd rather have at least that one round to fire off and make my assailant at least hesitate so I can get my other mag into the gun versus oh crap I have a knife in my gut or been shot already because I lost the mag in the gun.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Reverend Herc » 06 May 2013, 17:53

This thread is over a year old. Does anyone have any updates or anything new to add?
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by c1demo » 06 May 2013, 18:51

What about S&W Shield. My local store sold 20 in three days last week.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Rapier1772 » 06 May 2013, 19:42

c1demo wrote:What about S&W Shield. My local store sold 20 in three days last week.
Shields have an MSRP of ~$450 but are selling for more in some places, thread title says under $400.

Personally, I still want the Shield :laugh:
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by blueorison » 06 May 2013, 19:59

c1demo wrote:What about S&W Shield. My local store sold 20 in three days last week.
S&W finally fixed (probably) the multitude of flaws and QC crappiness with their M&Ps. I would recommend the shield, sans the manual safety. I would take that out.
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Reverend Herc » 06 May 2013, 20:53

Rapier1772 wrote:
c1demo wrote:What about S&W Shield. My local store sold 20 in three days last week.
Shields have an MSRP of ~$450 but are selling for more in some places, thread title says under $400.

Personally, I still want the Shield :laugh:
I want one too! I called the shop by my house, they want $495. I laughed and then hung up on him.
I would be more than happy to pay $400 or about. I am not in a rush....
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by c1demo » 07 May 2013, 03:00

I paid $395, they had one with a laser for $ 475.

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Rapier1772 » 07 May 2013, 07:47

c1demo wrote:I paid $395, they had one with a laser for $ 475.
If I found one for that price, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Reverend Herc » 07 May 2013, 17:43

Rapier1772 wrote:
c1demo wrote:I paid $395, they had one with a laser for $ 475.
If I found one for that price, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
Where?
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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by Beecher Tool » 07 May 2013, 18:55

I can't help but scowl....I own a Sig P229 Plat Elite 9MM..Master Shop...dealer price my guess is $1300..any less all I can do is giggle...bunch of new polymer 45s and hard 1911s...and the point is..???

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Re: Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400? Ruger LC9 in my book.

Post by SpaceCoyote » 11 Jun 2013, 06:38

Best 9mm Carry Gun Under $400?

What a requisite. And since "carry gun" apparently really means single stack, that pretty much narrows you down to:

1. Ruger LC
2. Keltec PF
3. Taurus PT
(maybe 1-2 more I'm not thinking of)

whereas, above $400 you have:

1. Beretta Nano
2. S&W M&P Shield
3. Springfield XDs (9mm version hitting the shelves now)
4. Sig 938 & 290
5. Kahr PM, MK, CM, etc..
6. Various 9mm 1911's
7. Kimber Solo (plagued by problems early on, don't know if they fixed by now)
8. Rohrbaugh (A gun the factory recommends you don't shoot, just stupid....)

So with exception of Kimber & Rohrbaugh I would pick something on "list B" for an extra $100-200.

Anyone welcome to add to list I'm sure I forgot a few.

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