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View Full Version : LC9 vs S&W J-frame


chsk9
05-23-2011, 9:23 AM
The question was raised, for back up or pocket carry: better to have 8 rounds of +P 9mm or 5 rounds of +P .38? I opted for the LC9 for pocket carry but the J-frame for backup. Thoughts?

Doug B
05-23-2011, 10:50 AM
I went with the LCP for pocket carry. Its thin, light and conceals well with anything I wear. I also use it as my back up. Honestly though, if it comes down to having to use your back up gun, you're probably in a SHTF situation where it probably wouldn't matter what gun you had as a back up as long as you could put rounds down range. I know there are arguments to support either way but thats just my .02

chsk9
05-23-2011, 7:06 PM
You feel a .380 is sufficient for backup? I was thinking 9mm or .38 were minimum caliber choices.

Notorious
05-24-2011, 6:31 AM
I have both the LCP and J-frame. Carried both for backup. Felt both were inadequate, bought a Taurus 709 Slim. 7+1 9mm +P+ firepower. Glock type trigger which is lightyears ahead of the LCP's 14 pound trigger. 3 shots more than the J-frame. Barely bigger than the LCP.

I love it. It is my backup and off-duty weapon, replacing my G26 in that role as well.

Doug B
05-24-2011, 6:38 AM
.380 seams to get the job done for all the little gang bangers in my area... lol

In all seriousness though, if I was in a fire fight and had to go to a back up gun I would make an effort to tactically retreat to my car where a full arsenal is waiting (G22, 870, AR15 and about 1500 various size rounds). I understand that it not always possible so thats why I chose the LCP. I can carry more rounds for it on me and those rounds provide the ability for a quick change since it uses a magazine. I should add though that I bought it when it first came out so the LC9 was not available. I have been giving serious thought though to a LC9.

Doug B
05-24-2011, 6:56 AM
I have both the LCP and J-frame. Carried both for backup. Felt both were inadequate, bought a Taurus 709 Slim. 7+1 9mm +P+ firepower. Glock type trigger which is lightyears ahead of the LCP's 14 pound trigger. 3 shots more than the J-frame. Barely bigger than the LCP.

I love it. It is my backup and off-duty weapon, replacing my G26 in that role as well.

Might have to look into the Taurus.

Swyped from my htc Evo using Tapatalk.

TenSeven
05-24-2011, 11:14 PM
...I opted for the LC9 for pocket carry but the J-frame for backup. Thoughts?

I really like my Ruger LC9 for CCW. It is my first experience with a DAO trigger system and I need more work on it.

That said, I am FAR more confident with the LC9 w/8 rounds of hot Speer 124gr 9mm ammo over my SW J-frame (340PD) with 5 rounds of .38 Special (if I want to come close to hitting anything, I can forget putting .357Mag ammo in the J-frame).

I retired my HKP7M8 in favor of the Ruger LC9 for CCW. The HK was just too bulky and heavy with regard to ease of carry. IMO, Ruger hit a home run with the LC9. And the price is very right.

Notorious
05-25-2011, 8:34 AM
The LCP and LC9 both suffer from the super long and heavy double action trigger, IMHO. If you grew up on the Glock like me, then the Taurus is a natural transition. The price is comparable. The Taurus also has double strike capability. Just pull the short trigger again and it strikes again. Pretty amazing. It also has a frame safety a la 1911 for extra... Ummm... Safety.

I paid $380 + tax & DROS for my stainless 709. I like it stainless because it is a daily carry and it just looks cooler.

1911su16b870
05-25-2011, 8:36 AM
The LC9 trigger sucks. The LCP trigger is ok. J frame is a great pocket gun. Currently I am enamored with a well broken in Kahr PM9.

I have not checked out Kimber's or Sig's new single stack sub-compacts yet.

Notorious
05-25-2011, 8:48 AM
Careful with that PM9. My buddy and his whole squad changed out their PM9 off duty guns due to catastrophic failure. Forgot what the exact reason was... But if it works for you, that's awesome. I wanted one actually but since they were backordered, I bought the Taurus instead.

mej16489
05-25-2011, 11:01 AM
I always figured that 99% of the time a backup would be needed is because I'm rolling around on the ground in a wrestling match over a primary. With a high likelyhood of a contact shooting I'd rather have a j-frame with an enclosed hammer vs a pistol that can get pushed out of battery or not cycle properly.

1911su16b870
05-25-2011, 1:36 PM
Careful with that PM9. My buddy and his whole squad changed out their PM9 off duty guns due to catastrophic failure. Forgot what the exact reason was... But if it works for you, that's awesome. I wanted one actually but since they were backordered, I bought the Taurus instead.

Thanks brother for the heads up! I'm wishing I knew what went down for them. I've put over 1500 rounds through my PM9 without issue.

retired
05-25-2011, 3:22 PM
Notorious, how do you carry the Taurus in your pocket; cocked and locked. I read a review on it and they did mention it has a safety like a 1911, so you can carry it that way.

I also read a thread on another forum where one member had a lot of problems with WW box ammo not ejecting properly, but did ok with Federal practice ammo. He got rid of it tho because he still had an occasional problem with the gun and went to the Ruger.

Have you experienced any of those problems. Wondering, thanks.

Notorious
05-25-2011, 5:29 PM
Thanks brother for the heads up! I'm wishing I knew what went down for them. I've put over 1500 rounds through my PM9 without issue.

I'll ask him again for the details. He's on a local agency swat team so he's a bit hard to find on a regular basis. Those guys are always training like they think they are something special or something.

Notorious, how do you carry the Taurus in your pocket; cocked and locked. I read a review on it and they did mention it has a safety like a 1911, so you can carry it that way.

I also read a thread on another forum where one member had a lot of problems with WW box ammo not ejecting properly, but did ok with Federal practice ammo. He got rid of it tho because he still had an occasional problem with the gun and went to the Ruger.

Have you experienced any of those problems. Wondering, thanks.

I use a Bob Mika pocket holster made for the S&W 6906 which comes out a bit longer than the body of the gun but it clears the grip so I can still get a solid grip on it. The extra material on the body protects the safety from being clicked off inside the pocket. I carry it in condition 1 inside the pocket as well as IWB. The safety has clicked off while IWB but since the trigger is covered, I haven't had any problems with that.

The gun works fine with Winchester range and duty ammo. If it didn't, I would be out of luck since I am mandated to only carry our Winchester duty ammo and nothing else is authorized.

The LCP is the funny one that doesn't work with anything but the 95 grain Winchester Ranger duty ammo. The FMJ range ammo doesn't feed 100% so we practice with duty ammo which can get very expensive.

1911su16b870
05-25-2011, 7:10 PM
Thank you again! Please pm me if you do not want to post. Take it easy!

chsk9
05-25-2011, 9:30 PM
I always figured that 99% of the time a backup would be needed is because I'm rolling around on the ground in a wrestling match over a primary. With a high likelyhood of a contact shooting I'd rather have a j-frame with an enclosed hammer vs a pistol that can get pushed out of battery or not cycle properly.

Good points. I think for backup the J-frame has the advantage, but the Ruger's higher capacity makes sense for off duty.
I've put lots of rounds through the LCP & LC9 and the trigger isn't a issue for me. They also eat everything I've fed them and the LC9 is surprisingly accurate for such a small pistol.

oddjob
05-26-2011, 5:44 PM
I carry the S&W 640 (enclosed hammer). I can carry it in my coat pocket and walk with my hands in my pockets and "look" normal. If needed I can fire through the coat. Reduced worries about snagging/malfunction is my reason.

Now that I'm retired (LEO) I am thinking of a S&W 442 due to weight. The 640 may become my garage/truck gun. Its so banged up no one would buy it.....but she shoots well.

RollingCode3
05-26-2011, 7:29 PM
The LC9 trigger sucks. The LCP trigger is ok. J frame is a great pocket gun. Currently I am enamored with a well broken in Kahr PM9.

I have not checked out Kimber's or Sig's new single stack sub-compacts yet.

I owned the LC9. The trigger sucks monkey balls. Sold it after shooting one box through it. The LCP trigger is a little bit better but it is day and night compare to my Kahr CW9.

LCP = pocket carry
Kahr CW9= IWB

bcj128
05-26-2011, 8:58 PM
I carry mine old school...something about an all-steel revolver.

My S&W 640, no-dash, just good old fashioned .38 Sp +P...

http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp140/bcjwriter/DSC_0035.jpg

Notorious
05-26-2011, 10:09 PM
I have a 640-1 all steel 357 magnum which I used for pocket backup for a while but it got too heavy and full power loads are painful so I used 38+P but if I was going to do that, I might as well go with the airweights and save some weight. I think the difference between the 640-1 (25.5oz) versus the 642 (15.3oz) is quite substantial while the 2oz savings to go with the Scandium might not be worth the $375 price tag difference.

Jack L
05-27-2011, 5:51 AM
I carry the S&W 640 (enclosed hammer). I can carry it in my coat pocket and walk with my hands in my pockets and "look" normal. If needed I can fire through the coat. Reduced worries about snagging/malfunction is my reason.

Now that I'm retired (LEO) I am thinking of a S&W 442 due to weight. The 640 may become my garage/truck gun. Its so banged up no one would buy it.....but she shoots well.


I carry a S&W 442 at times. Many advantages, some disadvantages but no gun is 100% for every situation. No complaints as far as reliability goes, that's for sure. Due to it's lightweight, even with upgraded grips, it's not comfortable to shoot more than 50 rounds at any one session for me.

Those with a Kahr, I have one as well. From what I can gather from all the posts, you either get one that seems to work well, or you don't. The newer production the better from the posts. Mine is a good one.

As the years drift past, I tend to rely on a wheel gun more and more knowing it will fire when called to duty.

Roccobro
05-28-2011, 2:07 PM
I'll ask him again for the details. He's on a local agency swat team so he's a bit hard to find on a regular basis. Those guys are always training like they think they are something special or something.



I use a Bob Mika pocket holster made for the S&W 6906 which comes out a bit longer than the body of the gun but it clears the grip so I can still get a solid grip on it. The extra material on the body protects the safety from being clicked off inside the pocket. I carry it in condition 1 inside the pocket as well as IWB. The safety has clicked off while IWB but since the trigger is covered, I haven't had any problems with that.

The gun works fine with Winchester range and duty ammo. If it didn't, I would be out of luck since I am mandated to only carry our Winchester duty ammo and nothing else is authorized.

The LCP is the funny one that doesn't work with anything but the 95 grain Winchester Ranger duty ammo. The FMJ range ammo doesn't feed 100% so we practice with duty ammo which can get very expensive.

That must be something new. Right after they had the factory fix for the first bug, I started reloading for mine and a friends. I got the loads so low, the brass landed right next to us (compared to 20-30 yards to the right.) NEVER had a problem with feeding or ejection. Didn't go any lower than that charge as it was 50% under maximum (both FMJ, and lead RN). My agency still uses WWB for all the guys qualifying with them without a problem. Is your range using re-loads for training?

+1 for enclosed hammer snubbie for pocket shooting (not just carrying). Try shooting your auto through (an equivalent to) your duty jacket pocket before you think of carrying one there. Slide resetting? New round feeding?

Justin

voiceofreason
05-28-2011, 2:28 PM
I carry the S&W 640 (enclosed hammer). I can carry it in my coat pocket and walk with my hands in my pockets and "look" normal. If needed I can fire through the coat. Reduced worries about snagging/malfunction is my reason.

Now that I'm retired (LEO) I am thinking of a S&W 442 due to weight. The 640 may become my garage/truck gun. Its so banged up no one would buy it.....but she shoots well.

I LOVE my old, reliable guns that are all banged up and ugly. They've stayed with me so long because I know they're reliable and work.

Those are my "keepers". Every new gun gets about a year and 2 attempts at repair (FTF, light primer strikes, parts breakage), then must go about 500 rounds reliably or else they just get sold.

Had a Taurus Millenium (when they just came out) that I loved... except I couldn't get it to feed/fire reliably. After 3 trips to 2 different gunsmiths and over 10 different types of 9mm ammo, I had to sell it. Always think about getting another one, but I'm leaning more toward revolvers now.

Notorious
05-28-2011, 5:12 PM
That must be something new. Right after they had the factory fix for the first bug, I started reloading for mine and a friends. I got the loads so low, the brass landed right next to us (compared to 20-30 yards to the right.) NEVER had a problem with feeding or ejection. Didn't go any lower than that charge as it was 50% under maximum (both FMJ, and lead RN). My agency still uses WWB for all the guys qualifying with them without a problem. Is your range using re-loads for training?

+1 for enclosed hammer snubbie for pocket shooting (not just carrying). Try shooting your auto through (an equivalent to) your duty jacket pocket before you think of carrying one there. Slide resetting? New round feeding?

Justin

Maybe it's something old. I haven't carried the LCP for a year but that's what they told us last time we qual'ed with it. The funny thing is that people just jack the ammo when they bring it out.

There were 3 of us with LCP's last year and they brought out an ammo can with the 380 Ranger ammo for quals, and the first 2 guys grabbed their ammo and when I got to the can, there were just a few rounds left.

The range officer got pissed because he said there's no way the ammo can should be empty with only 3 of us using the 380!

1911su16b870
05-28-2011, 7:17 PM
I LOVE my old, reliable guns that are all banged up and ugly. They've stayed with me so long because I know they're reliable and work...

+1 me too! :wub: my old reliable guns (and even my duty one!)

Samuelx
05-28-2011, 7:39 PM
Is the LC9 triggerjobable?

Roccobro
05-28-2011, 7:40 PM
Maybe it's something old. I haven't carried the LCP for a year but that's what they told us last time we qual'ed with it. The funny thing is that people just jack the ammo when they bring it out.

There were 3 of us with LCP's last year and they brought out an ammo can with the 380 Ranger ammo for quals, and the first 2 guys grabbed their ammo and when I got to the can, there were just a few rounds left.

The range officer got pissed because he said there's no way the ammo can should be empty with only 3 of us using the 380!

Well I haven't needed to load for my LCP since about you carried yours last. We can compare serials if your looking to pinpoint your guns problem. Maybe call Ruger? If yours was a part of the small recall you get a free mag with the fix!

But your right on the ammo. Those .380 shooters are greedy at quals! :D

Justin

RollingCode3
05-28-2011, 10:41 PM
I had a lot of FTFs with my LCP (at least one per mag). I polished the feed ramp and replaced with stronger Wolff recoil spring #12 pound. Now it runs 100 percents with both fmj and jhp.

Notorious
05-28-2011, 11:34 PM
Well I haven't needed to load for my LCP since about you carried yours last. We can compare serials if your looking to pinpoint your guns problem. Maybe call Ruger? If yours was a part of the small recall you get a free mag with the fix!

But your right on the ammo. Those .380 shooters are greedy at quals! :D

Justin

Mine is the black barreled post recall model. I see by your location you might be familiar with what I am talking about with the range situation.

hansen
05-29-2011, 6:19 AM
Kahr makes several off list pocket guns for LE. They also offer a discount program for LE firearms instrustors. Nice shooting and small.

akoba
05-29-2011, 7:35 AM
+1 for enclosed hammer snubbie for pocket shooting (not just carrying). Try shooting your auto through (an equivalent to) your duty jacket pocket before you think of carrying one there. Slide resetting? New round feeding?

Justin

Thank You for the new idea. Yo got me thinking about that situation. I might look now for a enclosed hammer revolver. Since i wear a loose 5.11 pants on my duty all the time. That will be a good pocket carry.

I have both LCP and LC9. I like the lcp better than the LC9. I want to sell the LC9 but wifey said "NO" she like the LC9. :( ohh weellll i need to save some money again for a new gun. Since i cant sell the LC9.

Notorious
05-29-2011, 1:34 PM
I would have gone with a Kahr if the backordered wait wasn't so long but my buddy then told me about his experience so I went with the Taurus.

MarineJohn
05-29-2011, 3:08 PM
I searched all over and finally got my hands on a LC9 and found out that I hated it. I have an LCP that I like and my wife loves and has pretty much taken over :). I am glad I was able to see one first hand and handle it before I ordered one and was stuck with it. The main issue I had with it was the magazine disconnect safety and the trigger pull seems to be a lot longer then the LCP. I have a Colt Mustang that I carry off duty and guess I will be sticking with that for now, maybe it is true that you can't replace a classic.
Stay safe,
John

Notorious
05-29-2011, 5:14 PM
The Sig and Mustang are cool 380 guns but with the same size and frame safety, I get 7+1 9mm firepower with the Taurus.

Roccobro
05-29-2011, 11:08 PM
Thank You for the new idea. Yo got me thinking about that situation. I might look now for a enclosed hammer revolver. Since i wear a loose 5.11 pants on my duty all the time. That will be a good pocket carry.

I have both LCP and LC9. I like the lcp better than the LC9. I want to sell the LC9 but wifey said "NO" she like the LC9. :( ohh weellll i need to save some money again for a new gun. Since i cant sell the LC9.

You can thank Massad Ayoob. I bought a pair of 642's for his sound reasoning years ago. You can have your hands in jacket pocket like your fat/dumb/happy during a contact and they would never know your ready.

Justin

Notorious
05-30-2011, 1:29 AM
Not to knock the Centennial revolver because I have one but this shooting out of your pocket thing might be overrated and a nonevent for us most of the time. In SoCal, I hardly wear a jacket on duty thanks to our weather.

I don't think I am going to be shooting it while it's in my pants pocket where I normally carry my backup. I will admit, when I have carried my 640-1 in my jacket pocket, it was nice to know that you could shoot it without having to take it out but the weather here just doesn't lend itself to making that too often.

The main advantage though that I see is the contact shot where you can gut punch someone with the revolver and pull the trigger 5 times without worrying if the slide on an auto will be pushed out of battery or jamming up.

JeffM
05-30-2011, 2:18 AM
Careful with that PM9. My buddy and his whole squad changed out their PM9 off duty guns due to catastrophic failure. Forgot what the exact reason was... But if it works for you, that's awesome. I wanted one actually but since they were backordered, I bought the Taurus instead.

A sample of one does not make for reliable data to base a decision on.

ccmc
05-30-2011, 5:20 AM
I had a lot of FTFs with my LCP (at least one per mag). I polished the feed ramp and replaced with stronger Wolff recoil spring #12 pound. Now it runs 100 percents with both fmj and jhp.

Last year there was an article in American Rifleman that reviewed a bunch or different pocket .380s. Everyone of them had failures to feed or chamber. The article concluded that all these guns were somewhat ammo sensitive, and should have 500 rounds put through them before being relied on as a BUG.

Notorious
05-30-2011, 11:11 AM
A sample of one does not make for reliable data to base a decision on.

No it doesn't. But it is something that I am trusting my life to.

Actually it was a sample of 4. Then there was the fact that the particular PM9 style that I wanted was backordered. Then there was the price point.

When you add it all together and the fact that it was going to be my EDC off duty as well as my on duty backup, I went with an alternative choice.