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

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smpsmp
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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.

Deathmaster
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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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