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Pocket Nines - a visual comparison

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by TheDan, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. TheDan

    TheDan 4th Best Member TGT Supporter

    Nov 11, 2008
    Austin - Rockdale
    For your edification, here is a side by side comparison of some of the smallest 9mm handguns on the market: Sig P938, S&W Shield, Beretta Nano, Keltec PF9, and Taurus PT709.






    A couple notes on trigger pull; here's where it gets a bit subjective.
    -The 938 is the most unpleasant... It's the heaviest pull and has sharp edges.
    -The PF9 has the longest pull and reset.
    -The Nano can be best described as Glock-ish.
    -The Shield has the nicest out of box trigger of this sample.
    -The PT709 is a bit odd... In double action it is very consistent at 6.5lbs, however you would never really use it in double action. The weird part is that the pull is heavier and not as consistent in single action. Not sure what to make of that one; perhaps it will get better as it wears in.
    update 09/20/14
    -The PT709 has not gotten any better. :p The trigger on it just feels weird and crappy to me.
    -I got the P938 to 6.5lbs with very little effort. It's is my favorite now.

    update 10/03/13
    Just for giggles, here's the P938 and Shield compared to a real pocket pistol; a Beretta Tomcat...


    ...and compared against a not at all pocket sized, yet still compact officer 1911.


    update 11/19/13
    Here's a PM9 sandwiched between a Shield and P938. You PM9 fans can thank coachrick!



    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  2. TreyG-20

    TreyG-20 TGT Addict

    Dec 16, 2011
    Good stuff!! Thanks for posting. I am thinking about a shield and these comparisons are things I really wanted to know.
  3. TheDan

    TheDan 4th Best Member TGT Supporter

    Nov 11, 2008
    Austin - Rockdale
    The Shield is the heaviest and largest of the bunch, but that's not necessarily a bad thing depending on your concealment method. The 938 is the most "pocket-able." The PT709 lives up to it's "Slim" name, but I think the PF9 is actually a hair narrower. The PF9 is definitely the lightest. My initial impression of the Nano was that it was rather mediocre, but after comparison to the others in the group it seems to be the most well rounded. Of course that means it doesn't really stand out in any category.

    Price... This can vary a lot depending on when and where you pick them up, but here they are listed low to high for what I paid for them.
    -Nano and PT709

    Overall I think you get the most bang for your buck with the PF9, but if you want something a little nicer than a Keltec the Nano is a good value. Not sure why you'd buy the Taurus considering it's the same price as the Nano, unless someone gave you an Academy gift card;). You could buy two PF9s and a couple boxes of ammo for the price of a P938, but it would definitely be worth the extra monies if it only came from the factory with a 5lb trigger without sharp edges. The Shield is hard to come by because it is always sold out. I would say it's popularity is not unfounded. The prospect of putting an Apex kit in it makes it even more appealing.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  4. Sugar Land

    Sugar Land TGT Addict TGT Supporter

    Apr 7, 2012
    Sugar Land Texas
    Nice post TD thanks.
  5. rgwalt

    rgwalt Active Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Houston Heights
    I really like my Shield with the Apex kit installed. I had a nano, and while I really like the "look" of the nano (and still look at the nano's in the case at Academy longingly), I ended up selling mine. I couldn't see a situation where I would carry the nano over the shield as it didn't really bring anything to the table.

    Now if Beretta will get the Pico out, it may find it's way into my collection. I sold my last 380 (a Colt Mustang) simply because it was too heavy for pocket carry. I loved that gun, too. Sweet shooter, but feeding it was expensive.
  6. RACER X

    RACER X TGT Addict

    Jun 18, 2013
    +1 on the shield we the trigger kit

    Shot a pf9 last weekend, couldn't get over the trigger, the shield trigger OE was not as bad, the PF was horrible. Fondled a 938, really liked the break on the trigger, felt most 1911ish

    sent from my cell phone, far far away but still monitored by the NSA
  7. coachrick

    coachrick TGT Addict

    Dec 26, 2009
    north-north Austin
    I'm not necessarily looking to replace my Kahr PM9; but, if I didn't have it, I'd be looking in this group for EDC. Thanks for the comparo. I like my SIG P229 so much that I'd likely lean toward the 938 first, even though they are totally different pistols.
  8. Army 1911

    Army 1911 TGT Addict

    Mar 17, 2008
    Dallas Texas or so
    The 938 can be adjusted to a crisp 3.5 or 4 lb trigger by a competent smith.

    AMERICANTARGETS741776 Member

    Aug 9, 2013
    Houston, Texas
    I love the Nano, cheap but has quality.
  10. SIG_Fiend

    SIG_Fiend Administrator TGT Supporter Admin

    Feb 21, 2008
    Austin, TX
    If it were me, I'd go with the Shield or a Walther PPS.

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