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Thread: Sub Compact ?

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    Zeek_in_NMI's Avatar
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    Sub Compact ?

    I was taught the only stupid question is the one not asked, I guess I'll have to put that to the test.

    1) Are sub compact and a pocket pistols in the same class or is one completely different than the other?

    2) When considering a sub compact/pocket pistol should one consider the “bigger bullets are better bullets” thought process?

    I guess one should carry what they shoot best but is a .45 or .357 sig for example to much for a small light gun?
    It's easy to get caught up in the bigger is better thing.

    Steve

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    paratrooper is online now Senior Member
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    Small framed handguns are harder to shoot than a full-sized handgun. Generally speaking, they are recommended for experienced shooters.

    Pocket pistol and sub-compact pistol can be one and the same.....or not. Depends upon who you speak to or ask.

    I have a substantial collection, and in all of my handguns, only one I consider to be a pocket pistol. That's my AMT Back-Up in .45 acp. I also have a .380 S&W BodyGuard as well, but I think of it as a sub-compact for some odd reason.

    As far as caliber goes, it's whatever floats your boat. You can ask 10 different people, and chances are good, you'll get close to 10 differing opinions.

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    Thanks for the reply paratrooper. I wasn't going into the "which caliber is best" question but it just seems that shooting a large caliber out of something not much bigger than a bar of soap seems a little rough. I get your comment "Generally speaking, they are recommended for experienced shooters".

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    paratrooper is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek_in_NMI View Post
    Thanks for the reply paratrooper. I wasn't going into the "which caliber is best" question but it just seems that shooting a large caliber out of something not much bigger than a bar of soap seems a little rough. I get your comment "Generally speaking, they are recommended for experienced shooters".

    I have huge hands and sub-compacts are a real challenge for me to get a good grip on. I do have a SIG P250C in .40 cal. Surprisingly enough, it's grip is big enough for me to grip well.

    The .40 cal. snaps quite a bit more than the 9mm does. It doesn't bother me though at all. Huge hands also absorb recoil better than small hands do.

    And, smaller framed handguns are usually lighter in weight and provide less mass to absorb recoil. That will also be a factor in proper handling, or loss thereof.

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    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    I was like something with a little more girth, but hey that's just me.

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    paratrooper is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    I was like something with a little more girth, but hey that's just me.

    Be sure to check with you wife. She might be on the same page.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek_in_NMI View Post
    I was taught the only stupid question is the one not asked, I guess I'll have to put that to the test.

    1) Are sub compact and a pocket pistols in the same class or is one completely different than the other?

    2) When considering a sub compact/pocket pistol should one consider the “bigger bullets are better bullets” thought process?

    I guess one should carry what they shoot best but is a .45 or .357 sig for example to much for a small light gun?
    It's easy to get caught up in the bigger is better thing.

    Steve
    1) Subcompacts pistols are generally those which are a step above what is normally considered to be pocket guns, which are loosely referred to as "mouse guns". Good examples of subcompacts are the Kahr MK and PM series, Glock 26 and 27, and the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield to name three. Pocket gun examples would be the Ruger LCP, Taurus 738 TCP, and Kel-Tec P3AT. Generally, pocket pistols stop at the .380ACP caliber, but you can carry the Kahr PM9 or PM40 in a pocket.

    2) When considering any handgun for self defense, in terms of caliber and power, you should select the most powerful caliber and load with which you can confidently and consistently deliver rounds to target. There are other factors for sure, such as capacity, weight, and size (a small .45ACP pistol is going to be wider than the same model in 9mm). As a good starting point, for a subcompact, you should not go below a 9mm.


    "I guess one should carry what they shoot best but is a .45 or .357 sig for example to much for a small light gun?
    It's easy to get caught up in the bigger is better thing."


    Yes you should carry what you shoot best providing it is acceptable for use as a self defense gun. Example. Many people shoot .22LR pistols very well but that is not the best choice for a defensive caliber. Yes it can kill someone, of that there is no doubt. But the object is to stop your assailant as quickly as possible and in the heat and anxiety of an extreme encounter, you are not going to be Mr. Deadeye with every shot. Most all subcompacts are available in serious calibers. A good example of a near perfectly sized subcompact is the Kahr MK, PM, and CW series. All of these series can be had in 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP (PM and CW series only) and are not a handful when shooting these calibers. In fact, the PM40, which is quite light, handles the .40 caliber round nicely.

    In conclusion, a standard or compact series (Example: Glock 17/22 or 19/23) is better than a subcompact. A subcompact (Example: Kahr PM9) is better than a pocket (mouse) gun. And a pocket gun is better than no gun.

    Hope this helps.

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    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post
    Be sure to check with you wife. She might be on the same page.
    What does that mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    What does that mean?
    you really just don't get it, do you?

    your consistent use of phallic innuendo makes you come across as a 12yr old or maybe even as someone who feels inadequate. maybe one day you will mature enough to understand.

    and i'm with paratrooper. i bet your wife would like a little more girth too.

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    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    I'm just saying that I think a .45 has more girth than lets say a .22. right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    I'm just saying that I think a .45 has more girth than lets say a .22. right?
    i bet you would get more respect if you chose your words more carefully. instead of.....

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    I was like something with a little more girth, but hey that's just me.
    try...."i prefer a larger caliber handgun like the .45, but hey that's just me."

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    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    If that the way you guys talk back in Missouri, so be it. :P

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    i think you will find it to pretty universal language, even in sunny CA.

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    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broondog View Post
    i think you will find it to pretty universal language, even in sunny CA.
    Broondog: whats your favorite firearm?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    Broondog: whats your favorite firearm?
    the AKM

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    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    Do you have a pic?

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    Thanks all for your comments to what may have seemed elementary. I'm not in a financial position to buy any gun that I'd like to try and then regret the decision and have it sit around collecting dust. Where I live there isn't a gun shop within 50 miles and their shelves are pretty thin which makes it pretty hard to handle various models let alone buy one. I helps having people to bounce ideas off of.

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    Thanks SouthernBoy, your explanation was very helpful and will help a lot making a good decision when purchasing the CCW I'm looking for. And when some salesman try's to sell me a "pocket pistol" that looks like a M&P I can just look back at him with the ole deer in the head light look.

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    1) Subcompacts pistols are generally those which are a step above what is normally considered to be pocket guns, which are loosely referred to as "mouse guns". Good examples of subcompacts are the Kahr MK and PM series, Glock 26 and 27, and the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield to name three. Pocket gun examples would be the Ruger LCP, Taurus 738 TCP, and Kel-Tec P3AT. Generally, pocket pistols stop at the .380ACP caliber, but you can carry the Kahr PM9 or PM40 in a pocket.

    2) When considering any handgun for self defense, in terms of caliber and power, you should select the most powerful caliber and load with which you can confidently and consistently deliver rounds to target. There are other factors for sure, such as capacity, weight, and size (a small .45ACP pistol is going to be wider than the same model in 9mm). As a good starting point, for a subcompact, you should not go below a 9mm.


    "I guess one should carry what they shoot best but is a .45 or .357 sig for example to much for a small light gun?
    It's easy to get caught up in the bigger is better thing."


    Yes you should carry what you shoot best providing it is acceptable for use as a self defense gun. Example. Many people shoot .22LR pistols very well but that is not the best choice for a defensive caliber. Yes it can kill someone, of that there is no doubt. But the object is to stop your assailant as quickly as possible and in the heat and anxiety of an extreme encounter, you are not going to be Mr. Deadeye with every shot. Most all subcompacts are available in serious calibers. A good example of a near perfectly sized subcompact is the Kahr MK, PM, and CW series. All of these series can be had in 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP (PM and CW series only) and are not a handful when shooting these calibers. In fact, the PM40, which is quite light, handles the .40 caliber round nicely.

    In conclusion, a standard or compact series (Example: Glock 17/22 or 19/23) is better than a subcompact. A subcompact (Example: Kahr PM9) is better than a pocket (mouse) gun. And a pocket gun is better than no gun.

    Hope this helps.

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    OK, I'll try to get back to the original idea of this thread. I have two guns that I use for CCW.
    They differ a LOT in the amount of recoil "bite".

    1. A S&W Airweight 642 (concealed hammer) J-frame five shot revolver in the standard .38 Special. 15 oz. unloaded.
    2. A SIG Sauer P290 semi-auto in 9mm. Six round mag (6+1) or extended eight round mag (8+1). 20 oz. unloaded.

    I don't think of myself as a "recoil wimp". I'm just fine with my .454 Casull Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan snubby.
    But, the SIG has a lot more recoil than the S&W. It has "sandpaper" grips. And 50 rounds at the range will
    REALLY "sandpaper" my strong hand. To the point of "redness". I practice with +P in .38 Special, but NO +P in 9mm.

    When carrying, I almost always use the SIG. 9 rounds plus an 8 round extra mag wins over five rounds plus
    a five round reload "strip". But, it really is harder to shoot well with the SIG than with the revolver.

    Just my opinions. YMMV.

    Oops, forgot to add. I consider both of these sub-compacts, not pocket pistols like the Ruger LCP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    Do you have a pic?
    you'll find one here.....Rifle actions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanP_from_AZ View Post
    1. A S&W Airweight 642 (concealed hammer) J-frame five shot revolver in the standard .38 Special. 15 oz. unloaded.
    2. A SIG Sauer P290 semi-auto in 9mm. Six round mag (6+1) or extended eight round mag (8+1). 20 oz. unloaded.
    it sounds like you and i have similar tastes. my two carrys are a S&W 638 Airweight and a Glock 27 .40 S&W.

    however i put a Hogue Handall on the Glock (and trimmed it down to fit the grip and mag well) and that made the little bugger a lot easier to hold on to and much more friendly when putting lots of rounds downrange. you might consider such a modification to your Sig. then again, Hogue makes grip sets for larger frame Sigs (like my P229) so could that be an option as well? i dunno.

    but i do know that you are for sure right about one thing.....spare mags win over speedloaders any day!

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    paratrooper is online now Senior Member
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    I too have a S&W 642. It's great for concealed carry.

    It's my favorite snubby.

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    My primary carry gun is one of my gen3 Glock 23's. I have others in my carry stable which include other Glocks, a few Kahrs, and three M&P's. For a subcompact, I like my Kahr PM9 (second gen). Handles strong 9mm loads quite nicely and is a good shooter. For pocket (mouse) guns, I have a Kel-Tec P3AT and a Ruger LCP. My preference there is the LCP.

    There are others outside of my carry stable that I have carried at one time or another but have retired for various reasons. We gun people tend to do this as it seems we are never totally satisfied and are always seeking that perfect gun. That and the fact that WE change which makes our needs and requirements change, too. Just the way it is, I suppose.

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    Thanks again all, it's good to see there is no silver bullet, this should be an interesting journey. Guess I'll need a bigger safe.
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    There are others outside of my carry stable that I have carried at one time or another but have retired for various reasons. We gun people tend to do this as it seems we are never totally satisfied and are always seeking that perfect gun. That and the fact that WE change which makes are needs and requirements change, too. Just the way it is, I suppose.

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    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek_in_NMI View Post
    Thanks again all, it's good to see there is no silver bullet, this should be an interesting journey. Guess I'll need a bigger safe.
    Heh, heh. Yep, that's one of the side effects of becoming immersed in the gun world and the gun culture. I bought another (bigger) one a few years ago and it's already filled. Having purchased two new handguns within the last month, finding room for them in my newer safe is going to be fun.

    So people spend thousands of dollars on golf and country club memberships, race cars, renting airplanes to fly, boats (been there, done that), and a host of other expensive pursuits and hobbies. In light of these pursuits, firearms are a relatively inexpensive pastime. I tell people that shooting is my golf. Of course, the "golf balls" (ammunition) are getting awfully expensive and hard to locate.

    Incidentally, you implied that you would be carrying your firearm. Have you applied for or received a carry permit or are you going to carry openly? While it is a pain to get permission from our public servants to exercise one of our fundamental rights, I would recommend getting a carry permit if you haven't already done this. Next, I would highly recommend that you get quality training from a reputable instructor who not only knows firearms, but also is well versed in the laws of your state regarding the carrying and use of a defensive firearm and the practical side of carrying. I would also recommend you try to locate some courses or seminars on the legal aspects of the use of deadly force. This one is a hard one because all too often, you will find that the instructors in this arena are not the best qualified to teach this topic. Generally a good attorney who has experience defending people who have used a firearm in their defense and is pro-gun makes a good instructor because of his intimate knowledge of the law.

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    I like to think pocket pistols are less than 6.0 " overall length or a J frame revolver 2" barrel
    i think the biggest pocket pistol, maybe the best, is the sig 938 in 9mm at 5.9" overall length
    yes the kahr pm45 is 5.8" OAL but that's gotta be pretty snappy
    that is why the .380s are so popular - with the new tech ammo they are quite adequate
    then again it depends on the pocket size - i like my 5.11 cargo pants

    i think subcompact pistols have an OAL of less than 7"

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