M*CARBO Brotherhood

Recommended Microcompact For Backup Gun


So, I’m looking for experience with guns that fall into the backup/microcompact category. Specifically something I can qualify with for work (50 shots, starting at the 3yd mark and going all the way back to the 25), but that’s as small and light as possible. Ankle carry isn’t an option so I’ll probably have to wear it under my uniform (currently we use a traditional soft vest,but might transition to an outer carrier uniform within a year).

Requirements: Small, light, decent sights. Gotta check but I think .380 is the smallest caliber we can carry, 9mm is an option too. I’m currently looking at the Ruger LCP2. I’ve also looked at Kahr (PM9?) and the Sig 938. I’d prefer something cheap though. Any experience with those, or anything similar?

(as to off duty carry–currently I have an M&P Shield, and a NAA mini revolver, as my options. I’m thinking I’ll get a M&P 2.0c though–closer to our duty gun and I feel more confident in my ability to use it than the Shield. Also, can mount a micro red dot and small flashlight, probably an Olight PL Mini. If I get a micro-compact backup, and the M&P compact, I might ditch the Shield as redundant. We’ll see).


For duty carry a Glock43


Carried this NAA Guardian .32 Auto for many years. Modified the grip with a belt hook. Lotta sharp edges though, wore holes in every pair of pants I owned. At one point NAA Custom Shop offered a complete de-horning like a Seecamp, which I shoulda did, but they stopped offering the service.


I’ve considered the NAA Guardian 380. My concern, besides being a little heavy and pricey, is that the sights will be too minimal for 25 yard shooting. How’s your experience with them been?


In the old days (‘05 when I last carried) you had to qualify on each gun you carried on your CCW up to 21’. I think they dropped that requirement since, but I had no problem qualifying.

That said, the aforementioned de-horning would have included gnawing off the sights completely like the Seecamp (shown here in .380)

The gun itself is not so heavy but it has a heavy trigger pull. I always viewed as a last ditch ‘Hail Mary’ weapon best used bad breath smell away.


My pocket rockets are the Kahr PM9 and Glock 43. Both fantastic pistols, but the G43 gets the daily carry duty now.


Check out the SCCY, both my son in law and wife carry them. They are pretty accurate, are not snappy, and can be had for $199.

Only downside is the DAO trigger and loong reset! But they are reliable!


Ruger lcp 2, ec9s or lc9s are good options. A little more money but a glock 42 or 43 are very easy to conceal as well


For on duty, most likely purpose would only be a “get off me” gun. But we’ve still gotta qualify on the standard course of fire, and at an 80% instead of 70%. So it’s gotta be useable at 15-25 yards, as we shoot 12 rounds from each spot.

It’s a bit bigger but I did consider the LC9, as we’ll likely be switching from .40 to 9mm and compatible ammo would be nice.

I’ve heard iffy things about SCCY, but haven’t researched them–wonder if it’s semi-baseless elitism?

Know someone with a Kahr PM9 and it seems nice. I’ve got no Glock experience, other than not liking the look haha.


It’s pretty much exactly the same thing as a Kel-Tec P-11, however reliable they are these days, with an added manual safety and some cosmetic changes. My P-11 started out reliable and then failed spectacularly when the extractor claw broke off a couple of years later shutting the gun down hard. Not so great for anything you’d rely on to save your life. For what it’s worth, SCCY was started by former Kel-Tec employees. They straight up ripped off the design, same as Ruger did with the original LCP from the P3AT design. For some strange reason, George Kellgren of Kel-Tec never patents his designs.


@TheThreeLaws Give the Ruger LC9s a look. Small, light, great trigger. Seems to be accurate out to 25 yrds. The only down side it is only 7 rounds without the extended mag, 9 rounds.


@TheThreeLaws I have put hundreds of rounds through my SCCY without a problem. I think what ever issues they had have been worked out.


@godallmighty did ruger change their trigger? I admit it was some years ago when they first hit the market but I was NOT impressed and have avoided them ever since…

But if they improved it maybe I should give it another look?


Yes. They went from the Kel-Tec-esque long/heavy double action hammer type designs to striker fired designs with much shorter/lighter triggers on both the LC9 and LCP. There’s been more than one generation of each. I think the LCP has had at least three versions. The original, the “pro” with the red trigger and the current version.


@wedge thanks for the info! I always liked the ergos of the Ruger but not a fan of the trigger (same reason I don’t carry a SCCY myself). Now I am going to go take a look at one.


@johnksg They did indeed fix the trigger from the lc9 to the lc9s. The new trigger is silky smooth with no stacking . The pull is about 4.5 to 5 lbs. You should give it a try, feels so sweet


The LC9s definitely has my attention (specifically the Pro, not a fan of manual safeties, especially for a backup). Looks to be meaningfully bigger though, getting close to Shield size. If it’s gonna fit under a uniform or under the vest, it’s gonna need to be small.


The LC9s (newest version) even has the “trigger in trigger” safety thingy like Glocks do. :+1:


@wedge same as the PPQ! Lol

I just always liked the looks of the LC9 I know that should not be a big deal, but at the same time it is.


If you want a truly tiny, quality, reliable single stack 9, then get a Kahr PM9. It’s noticeably smaller than the LC9s and Glock 43, especially in slide/barrel length. Mine’s been absolutely wonderful and it’s beautifully made. It’s the single stack 9mm Glock that Glock wouldn’t make for so long. Got mine in 2005. Glock actually sued (or threatened to sue) Kahr for it being so close that they had to make some small design changes. I waited a few years after the Glock 43 was released (I never buy a newly released gun design) and now carry it because I can fix anything and everything on it. I don’t know how to take down my PM9 frame and I hear it’s a real bitch getting it back together. LOL

Plus, even though my PM9 has been great after a quick break-in, I just inherently trust Glocks more since I have so much trigger and carry time with them. Started with carrying my G19 IWB, then got a G26 and then got the G43, both pocket carried. I get fatter and my carry pistols get smaller. Funny how that works. :rofl::roll_eyes: