GLOCK 43, Springfield XD-S, Smith & Wesson M&P9 SHIELD. If you like those 9mm sub-compact guns, buy those 9mm sub-compact guns! Tens of thousands of satisfied consumers do. But they’re hardly the only choices. Maybe not even the best choices. Here are three underrated 9mm sub-compact options for concealed carry. . .
Walther PPS M2
The original Walther’s PPS is a highly concealable, accurate, shootable little carry gun. The PPS M2 made a good thing even better with PPQ-like ergonomics and grip texture, a standard “American-style” magazine release, and a generally smaller profile (for reduced printing). Oh, and the trigger is fantastisch.
If I lined-up the GLOCK 43, S&W Shield, Springfield XD-S, and a Ruger LC9, I’d put good money on 90 percent of shooters turning in noticeably tighter groups with the Walther, thanks to its ergos and trigger. The PPS has proven to be reliable, too.
With MSRPs in the $469 neighborhood, I’m surprised the Walther PPS isn’t more popular. Overlooked and underrated for sure. Even by us.
SIG SAUER P290
The P290 is the Harry Houdini of SIG’s extensive pistol line, invisible to far too many could-be purchasers.
At just 3.9 inches tall, 0.9 inch thick, and 16.4 ounces light, the P290 is smaller and lighter than those aforementioned pistols. Its nine pound, double-action-only trigger is silky smooth, while providing an extra margin of safety and “re-strike” capability.
The SIG P290’s surprisingly easy to shoot accurately. With one six-round and one eight-round magazine, interchangeable grip inserts and tritium sights, the $492 P290 is a nicely priced alternative to the more popular pistols.
CZ 2075 RAMI
While the 2075 RAMI is something of a niche gun, owners love it and for good reason. We’re talking a hammer-fired, DA/SA, aluminum frame firearm with a manual safety or a decocker. It comes complete with a 10-round flush and a 14-round extended magazine, all swaddled in those palm pleasing CZ 75 ergos. What’s not to love?
Well, okay, the RAMI’s 26-ounce weight makes it a rather porky pistol. But this helps control recoil resulting an extremely easy gun to keep on target. With an MSRP of $614 it’s the most expensive underrated gun here, but the 2075 RAMI is well worth the money.
I think the biggest issue with the RAMI is not the weight or bulk, but the fact that the beaver tail and back strap are machined differently than a normal CZ due to the different mainspring. Anyone who loves CZs better fire one, or at least hold one in hand before ordering.
There just so little surface area to grip the RAMI’s slide and cock it. Also, the slide stop is very awkward to reach and engaged with one hand. I love CZ, and really wanted to buy a a RAMI, but the first time I held one, I was like nope.
I usually end up using an over hand grip on where the lightning cuts end before the serrations to cock my RAMI.
I all honesty the Serrations start to hurt my fingertips after a few reloads. But the gun itself is way more accurate than that little barrel has any right to be.
To be sure, the gun you choose for your EDC should absolutely be comfortable not only in your hand but in its operation. While I have no difficulty with racking the RAMI slide others may. They should stay away from any pistol which is not comfortable for them.
Regarding the operation of the one handed slide release I happen to find it rather easy but others may not. It is nowhere near the extended location of an H&K for example but for me it is quite manageable with my shooting hand. For example, I have that issue with S&W’s. Great pistols but I have difficulty with a one handed slide release. Others obviously don’t.
Not withstanding, the RAMI is an extremely accurate sub compact and I can get decent grip purchase for my pinky even on the 10 round mag.
To your point, everyone should handle and fire any pistol that they consider. What works for one may not for another.
The P290RS is a heavy gun, and has a long stiff trigger. I really don’t see any advantages to it over an LC9s. Never had to use the restrike capability, but haven’t had a dud in the LC9s either.
At 25oz (same as glock) the all forged aluminum LionHeart LH9 deserves a lot of love for its smooth trigger and silky operation.
I agree. I just sold my heavy Sig P290 with its awful trigger and bought a Kahr CM9. The Sig was actually painful to shoot. The Kahr is lighter and has a much better trigger.
I’ve never seen the point of a restrike capability. If the weapon doesn’t fire when I pull the trigger, proper training says you should just rack the slide and chamber a fresh round, not squeeze the trigger again hoping it will fire this time.
I’ll add the Bersa BP9cc. That little pistol is really pretty nice but no one ever seems to talk about it – I’d bet some of you haven’t even heard Bersa made such a gun.
Been considering the Bersa 9mm. Have a Bersa .380 Thunder since 2005. I do not shoot for fun, I do shoot to check function and sights and any different ammo. Bersa is a simple pistol to operate, safety and all, would expect the 9mm to be just as good.
I have Thunder 380, 3 thunder 9’s and a bp9cc. Love all of them.
Owned both the BP9cc and Thunder 380. Loved the ergomomics but never trusted for edc. Multiple fail to feeds, stovepipes and trigger pin on BP vibrating out. Both went back to customer service but same problems persisted. No such isssues with Glock, CZ or Rugers that I own/carry. I wish it had been otherwise.
I have both a Bersa .380 and the BP9CC. I trust the .380 to hit anything within range of the .380 cartridge. It’s a great gun.
The BP9CC on the other hand had the trigger pin slip and jam up within 2 magazines. I disassembled it and discovered that there is a groove on the pin that is supposed to lock against the spring but never was assembled right at the factory. I fixed it and it has been fine since. I will NOT carry it though. The grip is too thin (I didn’t know that was possible), and my hand geometry makes it never hit my trigger finger right and I pull every shot with it. In addition my trigger is around 4-4.5 lbs and its to light for what I want in a CC pistol.
My daily carry is a Walther PPS M2.
We have one inbound for review shortly. I agree with you, btw, but would probably call it a compact (not a sub-compact) due mostly to its grip length.
I shot one recently, and though it is the same size as my pt709 slim, there was room for my pinky on the grip and I have XL hands. The bersa bp9cc is a fine piece.
I have a Sig P250sc, it has a better trigger than the P290 and it hold a couple more and is only a tad bit bigger and WAY cheaper
I carry a P250sc on a regular basis and like the size, weight and capacity. The long trigger pull and short barrel take a little shooting to get used to but I have found it to be a nice, smaller option than my other EDC pistol (HK VP9 tactical that tends to poke holes in my pants b/c of the threaded barrel).
Kahr CW9- una pistola muy buena.
CW9 is my favorite all around carry pistol. It’s my “vacation” gun.
After I got rid of the most disappointing new pistol I’ve ever owned (P290RS), I replaced it with the Kahr CM9 which shoots great and has reliably fed all 500+ rounds I’ve run through it. The Kahr CM9 (like the Sig P290 & Kimber Solo) is actually small enough to qualify as a pocket 9 (but unlike the 290 & Solo, the CM-9 is actually accurate and reliable). If I ever find one at a good price I’ll buy a PM-9 with tritium sights, but for the money, the CM-9 is hard to beat.
I have to wonder who is paying for these endorsements. The Taurus Millennium G2 is in every measure the equal or better of the above, and sells at a fraction of the price – I have seen them discounted to ~$250 or so. Good grips, high mag capacity (12+1), pic rail, rebated trigger guard, good sights, SA/DA, 22 oz, finger rest. And it doesn’t qualify?
The Taurus likely isn’t on the list for the same reason my favorite tiny 9, the Kahr PM9 isn’t. Inconsistent quality.
I’d say the readon the Taurus (and the Kahr) aren’t on the list is because they’re fairly popular and can’t really be considered underrated as such. Perhaps “underrated” and “overlooked” might have been a better title here.
Yes, the CM9/PM9 are very popular and aren’t here for that reason. “Overlooked” is an accurate description — good guns that aren’t anywhere near as popular as they arguably should be. I’d say the Taurus is also popular, but gets a double hit in that it may or may not be good (agreeing with the “inconsistent” comments. I had a Millennium Pro and it was great, but not very durable).
No one is paying for these “endorsements”. These posts are the opinions of their authors. Period.
Being a Taurus auto is two strikes against it.
Sorry, owned and shot too many Taurus guns to even consider one for defense.
Specialist38, I’m right there with you re: Taurus. I won’t buy another one.
Taurus semi auto’s are #1 for warranty return repairs and have been for years. And if your one of the unacceptably high number of Taurus owners who has to send their malfunctioning firearm back for warranty repair, the Taurus customer service experience is a pain in the ass, you’ll pay return shipping cost, and you’ll be lucky if the turn around is 3 or 4 months. Glad to hear you didn’t draw the short straw with your Taurus George, but there are too many other reliable alternatives for a personal defense handgun for not much more money to make it worth rolling the quality control dice when you buy a Taurus for a bargain price. If you must buy a Taurus, buy it from Academy or another retailer that will step up to take care of the warranty return hassle and pay the return shipping cost, but you’ll still be lucky if you get the pistol back in 3 or 4 months.
The “new improved” Taurus system is a joke. You ship it out, pay the $50.00 shipping. It sits for months if not a year or more then you either pay again to have it shipped back or you pay to have a “new-improved” throw away gun shipped back to you. Either way you’re at least $100.00 in the hole and without a gun for months if not a year or more. Horrible quality control, horrible return policy, horrible warranty. They’ve lost the last lawsuit and are gouging existing Taurus owners who are having the typical Taurus problems to defray their costs re: the lawsuit.
Taurus, they’re too light for trolling/drift anchors, too much plastic for any return re: metal salvage and too unreliable as “handguns” IMHO.
I made a mistake and bought one. I won’t buy another one.
The “new improved” Taurus system is a joke. You ship it out, pay the $50.00+ shipping. It sits for months if not a year or more then you either pay again to have it shipped back or you pay to have a “new-improved” throw away gun shipped back to you. Either way you’re at least $100.00+ in the hole and without a gun for months if not a year or more. Horrible quality control, horrible return policy, horrible warranty. They’ve lost the last lawsuit and are gouging existing Taurus owners who are having the typical Taurus problems to defray their costs re: the latest lawsuit.
Taurus, they’re too light for trolling/drift anchors, too much plastic for any return re: metal salvage and too unreliable as “handguns” IMHO.
I made a mistake and bought one. I won’t buy another one.
I agree, the G2 also breaks down easier (Glockenspiel ices it so much they are incorporating it into their line). I don’t think those other pistols are under rated, just more expensive for equal quality pistols. Cost is a big factor, for me anyway.
Interesting responses. I bought a G2 and am quite satisfied with it both operationally and feature-wise. Perhaps as time goes on I will have negative experiences like some of you have had. Once burned, twice shy, and I understand how a bad experience can color an opinion for a long time. Particularly since companies in the business of making concealable weapons should understand that people buy them largely for self-defense, therefore, reliability and durability are paramount. No one can defend himself with a weapon that’s in a shop for months. Fortunately, I’m not limited to that one weapon; but there are those who would be. Point taken. And that’s what these forums are for – collective wisdom and experience.
I must commend you on your attitude George. A lot of people get online and tout their favorite thing (whatever it is) with bold statements like you originally made, and then vigorously defend their argument despite all evidence to the contrary. Such close-minded fanboys seem to have become the norm online, so it’s refreshing to see someone accept the comments of others as constructive feedback. Hopefully you don’t have a bad experience, but Taurus unfortunately isn’t what they used to be back in the day.
Taurus used to be a quality firearm at a good price. And from all accounts, the G2 is much improved over the 1st Gen Millennium. Both of my sons-in-law just recently bought G2’s. One paid only $217 through a price match at a Academy, which was cheaper than the best online prices at the time. I took them both to my club’s range and after firing them, I was not very impressed. They just didn’t feel or shoot that well for me. Maybe it was subconscious bias, I don’t know. I will say it was an improvement over the S&W Sigma .40 that one of my SIL’s sold to buy the G2. That Sigma had the worst trigger I’ve ever seen on a pistol.
However I had to remind myself that for a ~$200 new pistol it was probably about as good as you could get, although I couldn’t help but think of other imports that are only a little more but much better quality. Think Sarsilmaz (SAR) and Canick. I have a SAR K2-45 that cost $360 brand new — it’s an all-steel 14-round .45ACP beast, mostly a CZ-97 clone with a smattering of SIG in the slide. It has a build quality that rivals some $1000 pistols. I’d put it up against any SIG. It’s actually the cheapest pistol in my collection, which includes Colts, Kimbers, Glocks, and Springfields. Shortly after I got mine, I turned a friend on to SAR and he bought a K2 9mm for about $260 and loves it too.
Point being, there are some great quality imports out there at very nice prices, while Taurus has been on the decline for some time. They have executives currently under indictment for arms smuggling to the Middle East. And they were sued by the Brazilian government for supplying poor quality firearms. As others have noted, their service and reliability these days makes me reluctant to recommend them to anyone, especially as a primary EDC.
Love my little (PPS) ‘ma-deuce’. Trigger is awesome. Ergos are fantastic. Fit and finish are BMW-like. Very controllable, very accurate, extremely reliable…. Only minor drawback is that she has a few extra ounces on her, compared to the lightest of her skinny-minny competitors (but she’s still 1.5 ounces lighter than a 9mm XDs!)
Like anything in life, it’s a zero sum game. A series of compromises flying in close formation, as Igor Sikorsky used to say. If you can deal with the 3 extra ounces, then you get a lot back in return. ….Hmmm…. kind of reminds me of my wife, come to think of it (shhhhhhhhhh!)
I carried a Gen1 PPS in 9mm for 5 years or so and found it to be accurate, reliable and *very* concealable. I don’t like the looks of the Gen2 that much, but meh, it’s a tool.
You are either very brave, or fleet of foot. If things get really bad, like if she happens to catch you next time being so cavalier in a public forum, you can stay in my backwoods cabin in New Zealand for a few weeks til she simmers down and forgets what a knuckledragging fool you, and the rest of us dolts who fail to consider the delicate sensibilities of the fairer sex, are forever consigned to be, haha.
If she can take a lighthearted jibe such as yours without throwing a rolling pin at you as you run to the shelter of the doghouse…then better keep that gal, and be thankful! 😉
Kel Tec PF-9 works for me. Taurus Slim Series 709 is very underrated.
PF-9 is good, but extremely popular. It doesn’t belong in this short list for that reason. The P-11 maybe.
PF9 was my first semi, I bought it on a ramen noodle budget and it always worked. My only complaints are; the high bore access caused massive muzzle flip, the ergos of the grip made it feel like you where shooting 357 instead of 9mm(l know little pistol problems) and some ammunition key hole out of the barrel. I have since changed my ccw (g43) but I can’t say the pf9 is a bad gun.
Are we talking budget buy as well as overlooked? If so well, we have the Sig p290rs, and I prefer my sccy cpx-2 over it, and it’s half the cost, and more rounds in a very similar profile. The Sig is fun for plinking, but the trigger pull is strange to everything else we own.
The $#itty trigger is why both the P290 and P290RS had poor sales numbers that caused Sig to cease production.
I think a major factor in the obscurity for the RAMI 2075 is that it is close to being ‘unobtanium’…they seem to come in to the country very infrequently in small batches and get snatched up as soon as they are available. I know…I wanted one and searched for about 6 months until I finally gave up and bought another sub-compact.
yeah, I searched local gun stores for a about 5 weeks before I found on that actually had a RAMI in stock. Well worth the effort.
PPS is great pistol for all the reasons mentioned.
Is your life worth the $100-$200 savings you will get from buying the Taurus–let alone the zero Taurus trade-in/resale value compared to the Smith, Walther, etc ? I, for one, will spend the extra $$$ and let others extoll the attributes of the Taurus !! DMD
This site has recently been infected with an advertising virus that takes over the Chrome browser. Can someone please look into this?
Get AdBlock for Chrome. It works wonders. I stopped coming to this site because of all the pop ups and advertising, but now w/ AdBlock, I can come and it blocks practically everything.
I don’t know if there is a difference but my P290 is the RS version which stands for Re- Strike. It’s true DAO with re-strike capability. No half cock BS with one in the pipe I paid less than $300 for mine a couple years ago. El Paso Saddlery makes a great little scabbard style belt holster for it. It is heavy for it’s diminutive size but that’s a good thing when shooting. A friend of a friend turned me on to this pistol and some prematurely retired operators turned him on to it at one of his honor group events. If it’s good enuff for them, then it’s good enuff for me. The P250 Compact is a totally different gun but essentially functions the same. There is supposedly a sub compact P250 but I have never seen one other than in cyber space. I own both the P290RS and the P250 compact.
jimmy james, here is an actual picture of my Sig P250 SubCompact..this one is in .45ACP… they exist and are awesome! http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb110/K75RT/83802E16-026C-444F-A415-5EB4820A3C2B_zpspr51ddsf.jpg
Would’ve thought the Sig P320 (sub compact variant) would be one of the three (because striker) but interesting to see the P290. I quickly thought that the RAMI would be on the list, but then didn’t think I’d see it because it didn’t think it would be quite that “underrated.” Cool to see it get a mention. It’s a cool little shooter if you can carry the alloy framed weight. Is it unobtanium? For a time, yes, but I am seeing it in stock more frequently these…although the BD variant is still on the scarce side of availability.
*more frequently these days….
The P320 “subcompact” is as big as an XD/m Compact with a shorter barrel. Why would you buy one?
If one wants a longer barrel on the Sig p320 SC, just install one, all the way up to full size!
Easy modular “mix or match” design.
It’s much easier to hide a long barrel, than a long pistol grip!
Just picked up a SIG 320 SC and am impressed!
Also, have a 320 S coming, traded one for two, the one which I had fired once in the last 30 years!
So, there is another “collectors item” out there guys.
First day, the 320 SC had more rounds put through it than the outgoing one ever had!
Original P290 = flawed. No restrike and problematic.
P290RS = okay
Do your research before buying.
Also, the 9mm 290 is more like 20oz. The .380 is the one that’s 16.
Great gun though. Although intended more as a snubby replacement bug, than as shrunken primary fighting gun. For the latter market, the 250sc that has been mentioned here, is a better fit.
I think I would go for my PO1 over the RAMI. It was $425 when I bought mine at Cabelas back in 2014 when if you saw a CZ, you better buy it or it will be gone shortly and they won’t be back in stock for months. Its been a great pistol, accurate and 100% reliable. A little bigger than some compacts maybe, but worth it.
I *wanted* to like the original-gen PPS, but the flat sides of the grip just didn’t feel right in my palms. I might have to give the PPS M2 a gander.
Porky Pistol – I remember that. Worked with Bugs BMG and Foghorn FAL…
I like my P938. Got a pocket holster for it.
Couldn’t hit squat with it, and the safety was off, 99 percent of the Time!
Best thing I ever did with it, was make a friend a good deal!
Love the new 320 SC though!
Colt Mustang is another option in the same vein. Doesn’t shoot like you’re trying to contain a nuke like the P3AT/LCP does.
A very compact and concise review. Always good to conceal your favorite choice.
I would have considered the PPS M2 if it was out when I bought my XDs-9 a couple of years ago. But it is oddly shaped, to me. There seems to be a lot of extra space between the bottom of the slide and the trigger opening. I did look at the original PPS and it didn’t seem as well built as the XDs. I’m sure it’s a fine gun, but the XDs, to me, is a really well made gun.
I’m a big fan of my PPS M2. I owned a Shield in 40, but prefer the ergonomics on the PPS, as well as much prefer shooting the 9mm instead of the 40 out of that small of a gun. The PPS is mostly my running gun, stashed in a fanny pack from 5.11.
The PPS M2 is a good little gun. It handles nicely, and the trigger out of the box is better than my Apex’ed Shield. Too bad I couldn’t find mags and holsters back when I first got it. They’re more available now, so I should revisit it.
As a CZ devotee, I am continually astounded that I’ve never even seen a RAMI in the wild. But I like carrying my P01 just fine.
Your comment regarding the RAMI really got a chuckle from me. It’s my EDC and it took me months to find the decocker model. I refer to it as the “unicorn’ since many have seen pictures but never one in person.
It’s a wonderful little 9mm pistol that shoots lights out. Yes, it’s a little on the pudgy side but for a double stack carry well worth the few extra ounces. CZ quality in fit, finish, and function.
If you do ever see one in the wild don’t hesitate to gobble it up. You won’t be disappointed.
Yay, I’m not crazy! Other people carry a RAMI too.
SR9c anyone???? Bueller……..Bueller……….?
A fantastic gun and everyone knows it; therefore not on the list. Neither underrated nor overlooked, I sell the hell out of em’.
“If I lined-up the GLOCK 43, S&W Shield, Springfield XD-S, and a Ruger LC9, I’d put good money on 90 percent of shooters turning in noticeably tighter groups with the Walther, thanks to its ergos and trigger.”
How much money? I’ll bring my LC9 to that paper punch. Ball in your court RF.
Got the LC9S Pro out at the range today. What a great shooter and comfortable carry gun.
Mine is first edition, scratchy, grainy long 11 lb trigger pull. Gun bookies should give me the spread but I’ll go bold and call even money.
I have to agree with you. Really easy to conceal and carry, which is becoming a priority for me. I did have an issue with the magazine but Ruger replaced it.
I’d have to say the Beretta PX4 Compact is severely underrated. In today’s movement of striker worshipers and fanatics of GLOCK, the Beretta which has multiple customization options from the factory, including a “G” option de-cocker only safety, with its rotating barrel and high capacity is a serious contender for being a high quality daily carry option. Some agencies carry them for duty weapons.
For those not hypnotized over the dizzying number of strikers on the market and are determined to stay with a DA/SA pistol (I sure am) one should take a close look at the PX4 compact.
I like the gun a lot, but even the subcompact version is awfully chunky. I do believe it would be the tallest, longest, thickest, and heaviest gun here were it added as #4…
Davidsons DB9 with Ameriglo night sights, Techna clip and Talon rubber grips. I have two and both are 100 % reliable with 250+ rounds.
I love these 3 handguns. CZ never gets any love. For me the Walther i’s the best in its class. The p290 dao is solid but a bit long for me. I really love the p939 with its micro 1911 style. But maybe my favorite is Beretta’s px4 storm sub compact
I have a Sig P290RS with laser. It’s a great little pistol, accurate (within 50 feet or so) and has never malfunctioned on me. I only have about 700 rounds through it, though, so it’s not fully broken in.
But there is another pistol that could be on the list: Remington R51 9mm. NOT the first, abortive iteration. I bought one of the second version not knowing what to expect. Mine is a solid 10 out of 10. It’s highly concealable, well engineered and shoots like a much larger pistol. Recoil is negligible, more like a .380, even with hotter rounds. Stoked with Hornady Critical Defense, it is a great EDC.
My wife finally cajoled me into giving it to her. She has arthritis in her hands and she can no longer tolerate as much recoil as she has over the years. The slide is very easy to operate, too, a plus for arthritic folks. Anyway, she was a very proficient shooter for several decades and she is delighted to be shooting again.
The current R51 is head and shoulders above its predecessor.
I think the R51 falls more into the compact category; rather than smaller sub compacts. Nice looking gun, glad they work now.
You’re right about the size of the R51. It sort of fits into a category of its own, smaller than a compact but a little bit big for a subcompact.
In any event, it’s a shooter.
You’re busted Jeremy, because only someone who’d only dry fired the P290 or maybe dumped a magazine or two at 5 yds would describe the dismal failure that was the Sig P290RS at having a “silky smooth” trigger. When I picked up mine a couple of years ago at a local FFL Dealer after it came from Buds, I was impressed with the quality fit and finish that Sig put into what seemed like would surely be one of the greatest pocket 9’s ever made. I’ve always shot a fairly tight group keeping most hits in the 9 & 10 ring out to 25 yds, but when I started sending rounds down range with the P290, I experienced a WTF epiphany and discovered the long heavy erratically breaking trigger was impossible to stage which is why it grouped shotgun style hard to the right like no other semi auto from a reputable manufacturer (especially Sig) I’ve ever shot. A couple of buddies tried it with like results. I reached out to a Sig rep acquaintance and shared my frustration, he basically said he wished I had asked him before I bought the pistol because mine was a common experience encountered by shooters with both generations of the P290. I’ve never been more disappointed in any new pistol I’ve ever had, because I wanted so bad for the 290 to be as good as it seemed it should’ve been, but there’s just no getting past the really $#itty engineered fire control. Yes Jeremy, there’s a reason the P290 street price all of a sudden dove from $600-650 to $390-420, and it wasn’t because Sig thought it’s customers deserved a big discount. Of course I didn’t waste any time trading off my 290, BUT, if in the future Sig comes up with a P290 sized pocket 9 with the P320 striker fired trigger for less than 5 Benjamin’s, I’ll damn sure buy one.
In my experience the trigger was smooth (I wrote that it has a smooth trigger, a proof reader who shall remain nameless added “silky” later haha) through all of its travel and stacked a bit before the break. So, should you want to stage a DA trigger, it made it clear where you would do that.
The Beretta Nano, which also has a long, heavy trigger pull travel, has been my most common EDC over the last 4+ years and I don’t think the trigger is as smooth on it. It has more of a springy, slightly crunchy feel whereas the P290 felt closer to a DA revolver. Smooth or not, most shooters have significant difficulty keeping a long, heavy trigger pull on target and will shoot low as they anticipate the break.
The reason people anticipate the trigger break on the Nano is because they are used to other guns. Get used to the Nano and this isn’t a problem. The real problem with the Nano was the early models had extractor issues. Beretta never admitted this blaming every thing from ammo quality to mythical break in period. Funny how we never had an extraction issue once Beretta replaced it on my wife’s gun. She traded it on a G43 for the trigger but accuracy with the Nano was never an issue. I liked it after Beretta fixed it. So confident was I in the pistol that we sold it to a close friend.
Stop digging Jeremy, anyone who’s actually put 200 rounds or more down range from 15yds or further with the P290RS knows better. I just wish I’d known what the Sig rep and others already knew about the $#itty trigger before I spent $420 on what seemed like a bargain for the P290RS I bought from Buds. I incorrectly assumed the P290 trigger would be at least as good as my P226 DAK or P239, boy was I wrong. I suppose a really $#itty trigger might not seem like a big deal to a shooter with limited abilities who does most of their practice at 7 yds or closer, but those capable of 97-98% or better scores on courses of fire where targets are engaged at 15 to 25 yds certainly notice.
Went shooting with the wife yesterday. She shot the left target with her G43 and I shot the right with my G19. She was very consistent in the center but had high and low fliers. I let her use my gun but she had the same results. She’s out of practice. To prove it, I used her G43 on my target and continued to rip the heart out of the bullseye.
My point is, I don’t think the PPQ offers me an advantage. All guns are accurate. People get sloppy.
I carry a HK VP9. Along with that a Kel-Tec PF9. Now you want to talk about an under appreciated pistol? The only issues I have had were the casting seam on the grip (taken care of by a few minutes of leveling with a razor blade and fine sand paper.) The other issue was the grip…I don’t like my ponky finger hanging out in the breeze and was fixed by adding mag extensions that also give +1 capacity.
This little 9 is more than adequate and deserves as much attention as the more expensive bigger names out there. Believe it or not, Kel-Tec does make some fantastic arms that are worthy of making it in writeups such as this.
That gun is far too popular to be included here. PF-9s have sold like crack for 8+ years or however long it has been available. It isn’t underrated or overlooked. Hell, if we wrote a “3 most popular sub-compact 9mm pistols” it may well be one of them…
I know my like fall’s into the budget category, but my SCCY, CPX2, has been my go to. Hundreds of rounds. Got use to the trigger and recoil.
The CPX2 is my car gun. I’ve put a lot of rounds through it at the range and it’s always gone bang.
A few other notes about the CZ-RAMI:
I use my RAMI BD as my daily carry piece, and discovered that it is best not to use the 14 round mags.
For some reason they rattle like maracas when loaded.
The 10-round mags don’t do this, but they tend to have a weak spring.
So you take the spring from a 14 and use it in the 10.
Then ditch the 14 round mags for 17 round Mecgar CZ-75 mags with the special base for the compact CZ’s.
You get the concealment of the 10 round mage, but the 17 round capacity for the back-up mag.
Also there is a real problem with aftermarket sights.
CZ used completely different sight dovetails for the RAMI, and there are precious few sight options.
I managed to customize my RAMI with a laser mount and TFX sights, but I am a bit of a nut.
Px4SC Storm Subcompact
Boberg XR 9S
Sorry but 290 RS is 20.5 ounces, not 16.4. The 938 is 16.4 oz. The 290 is a great gun though…I love mine.
My EDC pistola is a Gen I Walther PPS, I own the G43, and I just find myself grabbing the PPS and putting it into my pocket in a PCS Harpoon-style holster with a matching magazine carrier in the other. The only things I don’t like about the PPS are the size of the magazine baseplates and their sharp edges. I carry the pistol with a 6-round magazine and an 8-round magazine or two as reloads. I like the G43’s magazine design better. That being said, I am testing a SIG P938 with a trigger job by The SIG Armorer. Much to like.
I have the 290rs, almost a year. The trigger is DA revolver like and smoothed out pretty well after 200rds. It can be staged fairly easily. As a CCW type pistol it is a little fat, but smooth sided. Nothing to poke you in the side. I frequently carry it IWB in a Sticky. I’ve over 600rds thru it with no malfunctions. It is plenty accurate enough for it’s intended role. Take down is a little tricky and requires extra care for reassembly. I’ve grown to like it. I also carry it’s opposite, a P938.
Instead of the CZ Rami, how about a Sig P239…all day long!
It took years for me of shooting many of the smaller guns, of which I shoot each week. Then I found the Beretta Nano and never looked back. Loves any ammo I can throw at it, extremely mild shooting with very little muzzle flip, and great trigger for CCW. One of the smallest in class in size and weight. Has really turned out to be just one very pleasant gun to shoot. Loves hot ammo and Plus P. All parts are built like a frigging tank.
Sphinx SUB-compact! Exceptional Swiss quality and craftsmanship and uber reliability. 13 round capacity and same size as Rami and HK P2000SK and P30SK.
I owned a HK P2000SK which I sold because while the quality and size/feel were the same as a Sphinx Sub-compact, the magazine capacity was 13 rounds with the Sphinx in the same size package of an HK P2000SK. Don’t get me wrong, as the P2000SK is a fantastic pistol, but the Sphinx is better IMHO.
One thing which I honestly do not believe is up for debate… the Sphinx will out shoot every pistol mentioned in the comments. My Sig 229 Legion? Sold it as soon as I shot a new Sphinx Compact SPD. I mean I literally kicked the Legion to the curb the same week I shot a Sphinx, to pick up a third Sphinx, the Sphinx Duty (17 rounds).
If you want a CZ Rami, go pick up a Sphinx sub-compact which is the Swiss clone of the CZ 75 platform (only improved with match components and a one of a kind frame you will have to read up on) and never look back. The Rami has a REALLY STIFF de-cocker, and frankly is not as ergonomic as it’s CZ 75 big brother. Most gun enthusiast will tell you a Sphinx is a refined CZ. Want to spend a lot of money customizing a CZ to make it “better”? save your coin and buy a Sphinx.
As for a true under-rated SUB-compact, my vote goes to the Berreta Nano I owned. 100% reliable and incredibly accurate. as a reader posted earlier, it eats everything you feed it, and is dimensionally one of the smallest pistols mentioned. If Berreta could lighten this up a little (it was designed to be a .40 cal) and increase the capacity by one or two rounds, this would take the podium.
As for my experience with a Kahr, as well as a brother in law who was a Scout Sniper in the marines, we each had catastrophic failures with these pistols and i’ll never touch another one as long as I live.