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By ShootingTheBull410

This is the third part of a three-part series exploring the ballistic performance of the new GLOCK 42. In this segment, I’m comparing the performance of the G42 against a comparably-sized pocket 9mm pistol, the Kahr PM9. Why? Isn’t it a tad silly to compare a .380 against a 9mm? Yes, yes it is. The 9mm is and always has been a significantly more powerful cartridge. So much so, that I consider the .380’s main benefit to be the fact that it provides the opportunity for firearms to be made smaller, lighter, and more-concealable. Given that context . . .

I think a .380 definitely fills a good niche – it’s capable of delivering a decent hit, and the pistols can be shrunken to tiny dimensions that make them almost disappear in a pocket.


The GLOCK 42, however, is a little bigger than your standard .380 micro-pistol. Here’s a Taurus TCP overlaid on top of the 42.

It’s not night-and-day bigger, but it’s enough of a difference that the GLOCK is, in fact, basically the same size as a pocket 9mm. Which raises the question – if you’re willing to carry a pistol that’s the size of the GLOCK 42, you could also accommodate a Kahr PM9 or Sig P938…so why shouldn’t you? What do you give up in terms of ballistic performance from the G42, as compared to a comparably-sized PM9?

Take a look at them side-by-side in the photo at the top. Since they’re very comparably-sized with comparable capacity, it seems reasonable to compare them in terms of performance.

The ammo selected for this test is Hornady Critical Defense. There are many reasons I selected Critical Defense. First, it’s available in both calibers. Second, it’s extremely popular. And third, it was an excellent performer when I tested it from a short-barrel 9mm. However, it was a rather lousy performer when I tested it from the TCP. So (along the lines of the question I explored in Part II) I also want to see if Critical Defense will perform better from the GLOCK 42’s longer barrel than it did from the TCP’s shorter barrel.

The question really becomes, if you can choose from two nearly-identical-sized pistols, both with identical capacity, and both carrying Hornady Critical Defense, how does each perform?

Check the video for the full test results, but the executive summary is: duh. While Critical Defense was indeed a better performer from the GLOCK 42 than it was from the TCP (gaining about a full inch of penetration depth), it still pales in comparison to what the 9mm delivered. The GLOCK 42 with Critical Defense delivered 9” of penetration, and the Kahr 9mm delivered 12” of penetration, with slightly larger-expanded bullets too. That’s a big, big difference.

However, let’s also consider that the results of Part I’s testing (using a Hornady XTP bullet in the GLOCK 42) were a solid 13” of penetration, even more than the Kahr 9mm delivers with Critical Defense. So it’s not like the GLOCK 42 is incapable of delivering that depth of penetration, it’s just that Critical Defense is the wrong round for the job.

Using Precision One ammo with the Hornady XTP resulted in over 13” of penetration from the GLOCK (and, I’d wager, so would Fiocchi Extrema, Hornady Custom, or any of the several other loadings of XTP bullets in .380 ACP). But even then, we have to consider that penetration is only one aspect of the story. The Critical Defense bullets from the 9mm expanded to a bigger size than the XTP bullets from the .380. And that means more tissue destroyed.

9MM Critical Defense                 .380 ACP XTP bullet

Barrel:                                                                3.00”                                          3.25”
Velocity:                                                        1100 fps                                        931 fps
Mass:                                                          115 grains                                    90 grains
Expanded diameter:                                           .52”                                              .43”
Penetration:                                                     12.00”                                           13.15”
Tissue destroyed:                                   35.58 grams                                26.66 grams

More mass, more momentum, higher velocity, bigger bullet size, and 33% more tissue destroyed. All point to the 9mm being a substantially more powerful cartridge, from a gun that’s the same basic size and (in its less expensive CM9 variant) about the same price as the GLOCK 42.

Given that context, to me it’s pretty clear, you’re significantly better armed with a pocket 9mm than you would be with a same-sized .380, and the longer barrel of the GLOCK doesn’t make up for the inherent power difference of the 9mm vs. the .380 ACP.

I like the GLOCK 42. It’s a great little pistol. And if you like GLOCKs and have other GLOCKs and want to keep consistency throughout your collection, it could be a good choice. But as a micro-pistol it’s not as small as other options. And for its size it’s not as powerful as other options. If you can handle the recoil and blast of a pocket 9mm, I believe you would be better armed with one of those over the GLOCK 42.

It would take some specific requirements for me to recommend the GLOCK 42 over a pocket 9mm; primarily, if you need the softer shooting that the larger .380 pistol provides (and it is a very comfortable, very soft shooter). Or if you have weak hands and need its easy slide-racking ability. The G42 is far and away the smallest GLOCK and it’s a fine pistol in its own right. If you choose to go with a GLOCK 42, though, ammo selection is more critical than it would be with a 9mm. But if you choose appropriate ammo you can still get deep enough penetration to meet the FBI requirements, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

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  1. I’ve never really understood the point of380 for a non-recoil challenged shooter. It seems like you’re always giving up an awful lot more than you’re gaining for such a tiny reduction in size.

    • Us little guys have little pockets. I love my Kahr K9 for IWB, but I wanted to get a CM9 for pocket carry during the summer months. Even though it’s one of the tiniest 9mm pistols you can buy, it was still just too big for my diminutive pockets when I tried it out (it fit OK, but printed badly and was very difficult to draw). I ended up getting a Ruger LCP instead.

      The dimensional differences between pocket 9mm’s and pocket .380’s sound insignificant on paper, but they become readily apparent when you handle them in real life (especially to those of us of smaller stature).

      • Agreed. For a lot of people, the size difference between the micro-380s (LCP, TCP, etc) and the pocket 9s is the difference between carrying a gun and going without.

      • Kahrs aren’t exactly the smallest pocket 9mm around. That crown would go either to Kel-Tec PF9, or to Diamondback DB9, depending on whether you’re looking at weight or thickness.

        • True, but the PM9’s accuracy and shootability are surprisingly good. As good as my P9 at any rate, I can’t compare to the smaller guns you’ve mentioned. It is a tad beefy for pocket carry, choose your pants accordingly. I usually carry it AIWB, the tool shed hides it completely under a well broken-in T-shirt.

        • The Diamondback DB9 is way underrated. It’s tiny, holds 6+1 and, at least in my hands, was a very easy shooter. My dad owns two of them. He had to upgrade the magazine springs, but since he did, they have been 100% reliable.

      • I love my CM9. Great gun, its actually my preferred carry gun now. Has run perfect for me for over 400 rounds now, tough to count with the tiny mags. Bought a CW380 on a whim, hate it. Barely smaller than my CM9, and it hurts to shoot the thing. Guard slaps my trigger finger. Plus I’ve had several malfunctions.

    • Depends on a number of situations. Some countries (South/Central America, Italy) don’t allow civvys to own military calibers.

      Also, .380 is one of the strongest calibers that’ll work in a blowback action. Blowbacks are cheap and small. I believe the only blowback that’s stronger than .380 is the Makarov. If you look back in history, 9×19 was mostly used in service pistols like the P38/P1, the Hi Power, and the Berretta 92.

      • If you’re not allowed to get a 9x19mm and you want one, just get a 9x21mm. Don’t settle for a .380 ACP if you don’t want one.

      • I got rid of my Bersa .380 because it was bulky/heavy for the caliber and the grip was NOT comfortable. I may try an LCP or TCP sometime for Summer carry. Also, to each his own.

    • I carry a CM9, but not in my pocket. Even at its small size, the CM9/PM9 are not really pocket carry guns, at least for slacks or work pants. For that duty, I’ve got a Kahr P380. Now THAT is a pocket gun! If Glock had gone there, they would have a market 10 times the size of the G42 market.

      I will definitely buy a Glock 43, however, in 9mm when it finally comes out!

    • Actually, the size reduction is very significant if you are carrying in a hot weather clime. The smaller and thinner .380s are much easier to conceal. For example, if you wear shorts and a t-shirt you might find a thin .380 (such as the Kahr P380 or Keltec P3AT) the only things that don’t print through your clothing.

    • I tried to read through all of the replies, I understand the original point was ballistic berformance and size. But… There, is the one great in-between. You perform and fight better with the gun your most comfortable with! I picked the Glock over my other kahrs, keltec, the ever great Chiefs special! Etc even my NAA micro 22mag revolver.. Great deep concealment gun btw. A 22mag at close range will end a fight….. But, my point. It was a pain in the azz to play the quick draw and drill the x! And I could hit beer cans from 25 all day with the PF9! But I was slow with it in my pocket and onto target (granted the human body is easy enough) but,….
      I like the slightly longer and better grip of the 42, appendix carry, just makes it easier for me to hit the sweet spot. And.. If that means doing it with a .380 over a 9mm, oh well. I’ll go with Bulls eye and speed any day. As I would also factor in the ever important, he who shoots first, tends to win… He who shoots the other guy between the eyes first, always wins!

    • Ditto. Though, I understand why Glock did it. More sales. If they had come out with the single stack 9 mm first (assuming it would be roughly the same dimensions as the the G42) nobody would have bought a follow-on .380 offering. However, this way, they get all the Glock fan-boys and less informed people that have only heard of the iconic Glock brand from the mainstream media buying the new, super-cool slim-line Glock. Then, they release the 9 mm version in a couple years and a good chunk of those folks that bought the G42 will now turn around and buy the all around better 9 mm version. Marketing. And as much as we might disdain the practice, it is going to work for Glock and they are going to make more money, which is the basic purpose of being in business in the first place.

      • ^^^This^^^.

        Glock didn’t miss Sig’s strategy and how successful Sig was with the P238 -> P938 releases.

    • (Insert obligatory response about how Glock will release the 9mm soon, followed by accusation that they released the 380 first so they can trick people into buying both.)

    • Mmhmm. It’s like the comment sections on any Glock 42 post are on some sort of auto-post system. Post. Rinse. Repeat.

  2. I agree – it would be foolish to carry a 380 as large or slightly larger than some pocket 9’s – unless you’re recoil sensitive. I have always assumed that this was the ‘small’ CC Glock for recoil sensitive shooters. The way to give a recoil sensitive shooter Glock’s revolver-like reliability in a semi-auto package, with faster reloads. The gun I would give my wife, if she didn’t already love her Sig 238. And my daughter, if she didn’t already love her SP101 327. If I wanted a 380 I’d probably carry a Kahr P380, even though I love my Glocks. But I want an ugly high capacity revolver-reliable powerful gun on my belt, so I carry a G27.

    • The Glock 27 on your hip delivers 180 grain JHPs at almost exactly the same speed as the Glock 42 delivers 90 grain JHPs – roughly 900-950 FPS. I have a hard time recommending 160-190 foot pounds from a .380 when the 9mm is almost double and the .40 is double or more from a subcompact.

      Still, I’m considering a 42 for the recoil-sensitive Mrs. A81, or as a secondary. I may buy a 42 in a few months and a 43 (?) 9mm single stack with pinky mag extension after that.

      I just don’t like the trigger pull of the LCP and LC9.

      • I just bought an LCP for one reason, fits in any pocket. Yes, I have 9mms, 45s, and 10mms, but a short walk outside, the LCP does the trick (with Laserlyte laser and Hogue grip, of course).

        Accur81, have you tried the newest LCP trigger? It’s actually comparable to my Kahr CW45.

      • LCP kept biting my finger. Though it’s possible, now that I’m smarter, I could have fixed it – first Pierce +2 extensions I used on my G27 did too, but the bite filed off quickly once I figured out what was doing it. Also thought the LCP was a bit snappier than the Kahr.

  3. I have a CW9 (California will not let me buy a CM version), with one extra round. Not as pocketable due to grip(4.0″) and barrel length (3.6″), but a soft shooting 9 even with 124 grain HPs. Its only downside is the DAO trigger.

    • I really enjoyed my CW9. Sadly, I sold it last year because it never got carried considering it was redundant behind my Glock 19, Glock 26, and CM9.

    • The Kahr trigger is one of the best double-action style triggers out there: it’s silky smooth and completely consistent. Some people–such as myself–prefer them.

      IMHO, Kahr’s weakness isn’t their trigger. It’s their magazines.

      • Yes, their magazines need to be redesigned. If you drop one, rounds pop out all over the place. I’ve even had a round work its way out at the bottom of a pocket magazine pouch.

  4. The .380 is an obsolete cartridge. A century ago, in compact semiautos that were thinner and flatter, and therefore more concealable than a snub-nosed .38 Special revolver, there was justification for its existence. Back in the day, the late Skeeter Skelton proved that .38 Special service loads with 158gr roundnose lead bullets, fired from a 2″ snubby, and the .380 with 95gr FMJ, produce indistinguishable wound channels in ballistic gelatin. But in the 21st Century the .380 is the answer to a question nobody asked. When you can get a polymer framed singlestack 9mm that’s smaller and lighter than a Walther PPK, what reason is there for the .380 to exist?

    I can’t prove it, but I suspect that Herr Glock intends to release a singlestack 9mm about the same size as the G42 as soon as his engineers can develop one that will demonstrate durability and reliability up to Glock standards, and the sole purpose of the G42 was to allow Glock a degree of penetration (no pun intended) into the US subcompact CCW market that the chunky little G26 hasn’t gotten them so far.

    Me, I’d like to see the G26 slide mated to the G19 frame, for the smallest practical 9mm pistol that’s still reasonably concealable and reasonably shootable (better yet, a G27 slide mated to a G23 frame), but Glock does not solicit my opinion in such matters.

    Oh, and Mark N: I too own a CW9. Its trigger is not optimum but practice helps.

      • It doesn’t…

        Some want the G19 frame with G26 slide, others want the G26 frame with the G19 slide, one wants a longer sight radius with shorter grips, one wants the shorter sight and longer grips…

        Much ado about nothing.

    • Overall, I agree that the .380 is a vastly inferior round. However, even the PM9 is to large for me to pocket carry comfortably without printing. I am 5’8″ 175 lbs and my pockets are just too small. My draw time from a pocket holster with my CM9 is measured in seconds, rather than milliseconds like from all my other carry positions. However, I can carry a LCP or the like in pocket holster. It is just small enough and just thin enough and just light enough. There are some times when a really thin, light pistol is the answer and .380 happens to fit that niche. That being said, I do not carry in the pocket if I can help it. I usually go with a G26 in an IWB holster.

      And I would like to see a different slide/frame combination from Glock too, only I would want to do the reverse. I would want a G19 slide on a G26 frame.

      • i shaved about half inch off the bottom of my glock 19, bought a few glock 26 magazines, and have an easy to conceal pistol. carry a spare glock 17 magazine and feel comfortable with the combination.

    • The .380 exists because it is the best of the marginalia. If your choices are .380, .32ACP, .25, .22 LR or some other mousegun cartridge pretty much the only ones that make any kind of sense at all are .380 or .22LR.

      Before I start a flame war, let me be clear. I’m not advocating the .380’s (or the .22, for that matter) suitability as a defensive round. I’m just saying that if you look at what is available in that “weight class” those are the only 2 that I could see carrying.

      With marginal calibers shot placement becomes that much more important.

    • Agreed that it is a smooth trigger–my only complaint is how long it is, and that I have to pull it so far back my weak hand gets in the way. Also, the slide release cuts into my thumb when held with two hands. Finally, I added a Hogue grip sleeve to fill out the grip in my hand, which made a world of difference. All theses issues relate to how small and thin the gun is, so I’m not complaining.

    • Why not just a mag extension on your 26? I love ‘me on my 27. Now I’ve got 11 round .40 mags, 3.5″ barrel, decent concealability, and my hand fits on the damn grip. If I want bigger I wear the 23 or the 35.

  5. I knew everyone would use this post to dish on the lowly .380. There is one MAJOR difference between a pocket .380 and a “pocket” 9: pocketability. My P3AT (.77″ wide, 8.3 oz.) is without a doubt a pocket pistol. My P290 (at .90″ wide, 20.5 oz. slightly bigger than a PM9 or Solo) feels like an I-beam in there (and no, I am not happy to see you). When I’m out on a quick errand, when I’m relaxing at home, when I’m out for a run, or when I’m dressed up and can’t conceal IWB, the P3AT in a Nemesis pocket holster is what I carry.

    • Yes but the difference with the actual .380 Glock 42 and the actual 9mm CM9/PM9 is that the Kahr is the same capacity and is smaller. Neither are pocketable, or both are. Depending on the pockets.

    • Yep…

      Pocket gun, ankle carry, back up, or primary for recoil sensitive folks. I don’t advocate for. 380, but I’m not putting someone down for it either.

    • 100% agreed. There’s just no contest in the pocketability of the TCP, vs. the Sig 938. You wouldn’t think so, but it’s just a tremendous difference. That’s one reason why I spent so much time and money on the .380 Ammo Quest — I wanted to see if there was a way to extract adequate performance from that tiny pocket pistol, because it’s just soooo convenient…

  6. “When you can get a polymer framed singlestack 9mm that’s smaller and lighter than a Walther PPK, what reason is there for the .380 to exist?”

    Reduced Recoil, faster follow up shots, less flash, etc.

    Just my guesses.

      • For many years the PPK was considered the gold standard. Less so now that there are more options.

        Plus, Bond, James Bond. 😉

    • Most TTAG readers have enough interest in firearms to become proficient enough to handle 9mm recoil. But many firearm owners do not. The .380 ACP makes a whole lot of sense in certain very common situations. If my 90-year-old grandmother who probably has never used a weapon asked me to buy her a handgun, I’d seriously consider the Glock 42 if not a .38 Special revolver. Why? Because she would need a small, lightweight gun for her to be able to handle it, but would not practice enough to master any challenging recoil impulse. She’d likely put it in a drawer and never practice by herself. She wouldn’t perform any maintenance, either. I’d take her to the range a few times to teach her how to operate the weapon, but that’s all she’d do. If she ever needed to use it, as an untrained, incompetent shooter she’d need something as simple to operate, reliable, and soft shooting as possible. For an autoloader, the Glock 42 fits that bill.

  7. I’m not sure what this comparo proved or intended to prove, but I enjoyed it and dayum if I didn’t learn something along the way. StB410, good job!

    Would I carry a pocket .380? Sure, why not? I carry a .38 SPL snubby six months a year, and just like Sally and Sue, there ain’t a lot of difference between the two.

  8. I pocket carry a spare mag. In a day up to 4 rounds out of the 8 work their way loose in my pocket and I’ll be sitting when I hear them pop. It’s why my summer gun is going to likely be an XDS from here on out.

    • get something cheap like a remora mag holder. It’s a bit large, but it will hold any mag without losing rounds in your pocket. Or just don’t carry a spare.

    • instead of pocket carrying your spare mag, getting it full of lint and crud, buy yourself a eyeglass case from walmart for $1.98, and the mag slides right in, form fits to your mag and pocket, keeps every thing clean and neat. if your carry piece is a little j-frame, buy a pack of rubber ammo strips from brownells or midway for about $6, and you can load 8 spare .38’s in one, and slip it down in another eyeglass case. bullets don’t turn green, don’t deform, and stay clean also.

  9. ShootingTheBull410

    I have a request. Could you include a measure of the amount of force required rack the slide back on the G42, the CM9, and a small pocket .380?.

    I’m interested because I’ve observed my girlfriend has a hard time racking the slide on a CM9 and I’m thinking the one saving grace of a larger .380 such as the G42 is a potentially a less-stout recoil spring. But how much less stout is it?

    Very curious!

    • Hmmm, wish I would have done that when I had them!

      My slide-strength scale is basically my spouse. She just cannot rack the slide on most pistols, but she can easily rack a Glock or the Sig P938 or P238. They’re in a whole different class from most pistols, including the Kahr.

    • I’ve witnessed the same thing with my woman, I’m don’t think the spring is so much the problem, as the smaller, slimmer slide makes it difficult to get a good grip.

      She can rack a full or compact size pistol, but not a pocket gun. And, my sister has the exact same problem.

    • my wife has a hand strength problem, and a friend introduced us to the ruger LC-380. you can rack the slide with two fingers. really amazing.

  10. The only thing I really like about the G42 is that there are no finger grooves. I hate those things on the Glock. I wish they would go back to the old Gen 1 and Gen 2 style without them.

  11. Glock brought the 9mm sized G42 out in 380 for the same reason Apple brought out the iPhone 5C. Fanboys got to have one. Ok, now that I said that, they probably brought it out to market it in caliber restricted countries and to get fanboys in the USA to buy them. The G42 is too big for pocket fans and many will end up as safe queens or range guns. If you are going to use the less than effective 380 you might as well get a pocket pistol the actually fits in your pocket. As for me I will continue to conceal uncealable compact and full sized pistols.

  12. I don’t know…looking at the table above – Yes the 9mm does do a little better in the test. However the differences are marginal at best.

    Like saying a Corvette “BLOWS AWAY” a mustang if it beats it by 0.2 in the quarter mile. It really doesn’t look like the 9mm in the PM9 runs off and leaves the 380 in the glock based upon the results.

    The comments make it seem otherwise.

    • Gel tests don’t represent a one for one penetration of human tissue. It is a standard. Failure to penetrate 12″ in gel means that the probabilty of inflicting incapacitating damage is low. The difference between 9″ and 12″ is not marginal. It may be difference between a minor wound and critical damage in a fat or very muscular assailant. The difference in expansion for the same 12″ is something that is marginal.

  13. Why not go all the way and compare the Glock 42 to the Springfield XD-s .45 APC? After all, it’s about the same size . . .

  14. Comments here on the .380 range from obsolete, puny, marginalia, and on. All I have to say is DO NOT stand in front of a .380 handgun when it goes off. It will positively kill you. Far and away It is the best pocket gun cartridge.

    • Another responder above called the 380 “less than effective”. When I hear remarks like that, I know I am reading from a person who has little knowledge of guns, or pistol calibers. A 380 will kill a person just as fast and just as dead as a 9mm, 40, or 45. Shooting a pistol that fits the hand, is easily shootable accurately, and has the shooter’s confidence is the best for the individual shooter, no matter what the caliber. I carried a G19 for a long while, but I switched to the G42 because it is a perfect fit for my hand and finger reach. I can shoot it just as good, or better, and I have total confidence in it getting the job done. I also carry Underwood, or Buffalo Bore 100 gr HCFN standard pressure ammo in it, and no, I do not let overpenetration worry me. These blowhards that spew about the “ineffectiveness” of the 380 know not of what they speak.

      • Plus one on that!
        Also, Justin said, ” Two shots fired from a .380 started World War I. Those two shots proved fatal.”
        I looked it up… Good history lesson. Thanks.

  15. To quote a friend of mine, 6 years with the Seal teams, who only carries a Ruger LCP: It’s plenty if you know what you are doing.

    • Hi Jan, I agree totally with you Ex-SEAL friend. Ruger LCP is a good quality micro gun, but you must smooth the action; which is really just an extension of your training. There are great extended magazine options for the LCP. Shoot only quality ammo with any CCP, train regularly to a very high degree of proficiency (it’s a SEAL thing), maintain your situational awareness and have a plan of action. Please say hi and thanks to your Ex-SEAL friend for his service; better still ask him to train you. Regards, Greg

  16. And this is exactly why I have no interest in the g42. I like a Glock just fine, but this is useless to me.

  17. Dan, I think you might be jumping the shark comparing the Glock 42 to a Kahr 9mm, and later on in another post comparing it to a R51.

    It doesn’t matter what barrel you shoot a .380 from, it will not equal a nine. That’s not what .380s are for.

    The .380s are for ultimate concealability OR ease of shooting. If you don’t need one of those characteristics, don’t get a .380.

    The more I read about the Glock 42, the more I wonder who it is intended to appeal to. Personally, I carry .380s because they conceal well. If concealing well was not important to me, I would NOT carry a large .380, I would carry a .45 (or maybe a nine, although I don’t currently own one).

  18. If you cant comfortably carry it in the pocket then it offers no advantage over some bigger more comfortable guns. This is why I cant get into the XDS, Shield, PF9, PM9 etc. Got to be less than 15 oz loaded. The 380s and less are the ones that can do this. The point is if you cant pocket carry it and must use a holster then just as well go for the G26 size with more capacity. The LCP or P3AT fit that bill perfectly but I found that both of these are sensitive to ammo and cleanliness. With that said, I carried a PPKS for years before the smaller guns came out. It was heavy but thin and would feed anything. I handloaded hot hollowpoints for it before I knew they were a litigation risk. Fortunately never had to shoot somebody with it but one morning early, from my deck in my underwear, I did take out a coyote at 30 yards trying to eat my rabbits. It was luck for sure, had no idea that I would hit him, let alone kill him instantly. I was just trying to get him to go away. Moral of the story is get a gun you will always carry and that you can practice with enough to hit what you are shooting.

  19. Thank you for this article. You are celebrating freedom of choice. The 9mm vs .380 cartridge is about the shooter’s ability to handle recoil. CCP needs a barrel factor (length of rifling divided by calibre (this is also how artillery and naval guns are measured)) of [6.40]or larger for the defensive cartridge to develop sufficient stopping power. The barrel factors for Glock 42 striker fired [7.17], Kahr striker fired PM9 [6.52] and Sig P938 S/A [6.24]; each are quality handguns of different action configurations, but the PM 9 seems $250 over priced. However the micro Taurus TCP striker fired [6.00]; has a more complex parts schematic, has documented feed ramp, magazine and quality control issues. Sure a good gunsmith can smooth and tweak a Taurus TCP’s action and install popper high visibility sights for $200-300 additional to the purchase price. The simple rule of thumb is if you’re a Glock person – buy the Glock 42 / a Sig person – buy the Sig P938 / a Kahr guy – buy the PM9. However, if the choice is Taurus TCP or nothing; then you may not NEED a CCP. Whatever the model of CCP you own, you must clean and train with it every week, whilst wearing you concealed carry rig and street clothes. Thanks, Greg

  20. To me the FBI minimum of 12 inches is stupid. It should be 10-16 i think they over exaggerated the distance needed to create incapacitation. I think that explains why you see so many pass throughs with .40s and I think they should lower the standards due to that problem. Lets face it guys .380 can get the job done. Look at our history for proof if you dont believe me. Two shots fired from a .380 started World War I. Those two shots proved fatal. So if you ever hear anyone say it cant get the job done that person dont know what their talking about and typically they get that conclusion from the fact that it may not travel 12 inches in gel.

  21. I love my kahr cm9 and it met my needs for ccw, especially for summer months when I wear shorts and tee shirt. I don’t want a 9mm vs .45 debate….but again for me, I don’t want a caliber above 9mm in a gun that small.

  22. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Glock hater but I have to point out that the Kahr PM40 is the same size as thePM9 and is just a tad smaller than the Glock 42… Yes, Smaller! and 40SW. Put those ballistics in your pipe and smoke ’em!

    • I agree. I carry a Kahr P380 because it is tiny. if someone is going to carry a G42- sized pistol they really ought to move up to a 9mm. I don’t see the point of the G42.

  23. Shooting a 380 is like shooting a cap gun. The lack of recoil in a tense situation could make all the difference. That weighs heavily to me and should be considered regardless of a persons ability to handle recoil.

  24. The Makarov, varying countries, is hands down the winner in cost, reliability, quality of build,

  25. Wow, what an incredible amount of $h!t talking that’s going on here. Apparently, in the forum world, a .380 will bounce off your chest. It’s half a step above throwing rocks. However, in the real world, a .380 fired from a pocket gun at “7” YARDS will go through your typical residential front door. This reviewer admits as much when confessing that XTP rounds over penetrate. .380 is far more controllable than a 9mm from a similarly sized platform. At defensive distances of 7-10 yards, both the .380 and 9mm from pocket guns will be just as effective and ineffective. They will both, given the right ammunition, penetrate an assailant deep enough to cause death with proper shot placement. Neither is a man stopper without shot placement. For that matter, you don’t get there with a pistol caliber until you use super hot .357’s out a full sized pistol or .44 or higher calibers. In other words, USE THE HIGHEST CALIBER YOU CAN CONTROL EFFECTIVELY IN A DEFENSIVE ENGAGEMENT. If you can’t rapidly put two in the chest and one in the head, with consistency, from seven yards, then the stronger 9mm round is useless. If you can do that with the .380, then you have the right tool for the job. If you can do that with a hot loaded .357 pocket wheel gun, then even better. However, that’s not the norm. So let’s cut out the BS. A .380 and a 9mm are both lethal from defensive distances. Your ability, or lack thereof, determines how much.

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