Slim Frame 9mm

There are a lot of reasons slim frame 9s are popular, not the least of which is having the concealability factor of an itty bitty gun with a

grown up round like a 9mm loaded in it. This popularity is not lost at SHOT Show this year, and today I had the chance to handle a couple of the new slim frame 9s.

First is the Ruger LC9 everybody has been talking about. I was excited to shoot this gun just to find out how it compared to the LCP. I do have to compliment Ruger on the fact that the trigger pull is awesome relative to the .380 version. Also the ergonomics are very well done. For what it is the gun is comfortable to hold and easy to manipulate. However, the muzzle flip on the LC9, like pretty much every other slim frame 9 ever made, is just ridiculous. My first shot was right on target but after that myflinch was so horrific I was impressed all my bullets hit the paper. Even Caleb managed to hold his group but took a good amount of time getting his sights realigned and his grip back on target.

For what it is the Ruger LC9 is very nice.  I would pick it over a Walther PPS any day just based on ergonomics, and the trigger pull alone makes it preferable to the LCP.

There is another slim frame 9 out there that I’m curious to see though.  We stopped at the Diamondback booth and were shown their new toy, and now I just must compare and contrast.  As such, be looking for some upcoming articles on slim frame 9s: The Walther PPS, the Ruger LC9  and the Model DB9.


  1. Don’t forget the Sig P290 and the Kimber SOLO carry; they also fall in that “slim 9” category…

    1. “Kimber Solo” and “slim 9” don’t belong in the same sentence. That gun is the same width as a double-stack M&P9: 1.2 inches.

      Kimber doesn’t get it. People are willing to sacrifice magazine capacity for slim guns, but the Solo is not a slim gun.

  2. And there you have it…….. There is something to be said for being able to hit your target.

    Thanks for the run down.


  3. I love my Kahr P9 … not the PM9 that most people lump into this class. The P9 has great recoil control. It is definitely sharper than my XD9 and my Sig 250 full frame, but I found it to be better than a Glock 19.

    If you get a chance to shoot one, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

  4. “However, the muzzle flip on the LC9, like pretty much every other slim frame 9 ever made, is just ridiculous.”

    I think this is why the gun was built slightly larger than the Kahr PM9.

    How does the muzzle flip compare to the LCP or a steel frame .357 snubbie?

    1. Honestly, out of all of those I would choose a steel frame .357 snubbie. There’s something to be said for having the weight of a steel frame.

      From what I can tell the muzzle flip in the LC9 and LCP are comparable, however I want to shoot them side by side just to get a good comparison. I do give Ruger that, muzzle flip aside, the LC9 is a much better firearm than the LCP. It’s easier to operate and the trigger is a huge improvement.

  5. The only thing that really irritates me about all of these slim 9mm’s coming out is that they’re not TRUE compacts. True compacts do NOT require a frigging magazine “booster seat” which have a nasty tendency to pinch my pinky when trying to reload.

    Why is this so hard I mean the G19 has been out forever yet nobody seems to be interested in making one and instead have these sub-compact midgets. -_-

    1. I would agree that compacts are a much better option. Sig’s P239, the G19, the SR9c and even, for example, the PX4 subcompact D are all awesome firearms that are much more pleasent to shoot.

      There are quite a few of them out there, but I don’t feel like they get the same marketing attention as these itty bitty guns because they aren’t as innovative. Everyone has compact 9s, but companies are now trying to break into a new market and I don’t really think they’re going about it the right way.

      1. Of course the larger guns will shoot better, but speaking for myself, if I am to carry every day and I absolutely must maintain concealment due to the nature of job and clothing, carrying anything larger than what will fit into “deep concealment” isn’t really an option. Most regular compacts are too wide and print or sag clothing due to weight.

        When I am on my own time where it isn’t as big a deal if someone notices, I’ve carried a full sized 1911 as clothing permitted. But during a majority of the day I prefer a slim 9mm (kel-tec pf9) or light weight .38 snub nose. I feel a little more at ease with the 9mm over one of the comparitively tiny .380, but perhaps that’s subjective to me.

        1. “Most regular compacts are too wide and print or sag clothing due to weight.”

          And that’s EXACTLY my point! Most compact models, like the G19 use double-stack magazines and a compact single-stack polymer pistol is needed. Grip length is not the problem to this since all it does is make a pistol more difficult to shoot especially with +p loads and if you’ve not tried it ask anyone who has how fun it is. If you can’t shoot the defensive loads you’re using without reaching for the advil afterwards how do you expect to get better with a platform that demands more practice than usual due to it’s size?

          Right now, the only thing that’s missing from my wishlist is a single-stack M&P, in either 9mm or 45acp, sporting a 3.5-inch barrel, and topped with a full-length grip like the full-size version. If such an animal is ever produced I’ll put down a pre-order for one in a heartbeat and sell off my G19.

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