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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had three pretty similar "mini 9mm" pistols and still have two of them. There was the 469, the Sig P225 and the Star UltraStar. The Star was the most modern of the group and the Sig P225 the earliest introduced. The S&W 469 was my first compact semiautomatic purchase made during the mid 1980s then the P225 in the late 1980s and the Star UltraStar in the early 1990s.

Sig P225 & Star UltraStar:




The Sig P225 and Star UltraStar are both single stack 9mm and were 8 +1 and 9 +1 capacity while the S&W 469 was 12 round staggered stack + 1 capacity initially and so really a WonderNine. The Star with it's polymer frame was the lightest of the bunch and all three were traditional DA/SA action. Of the three I could never quite get efficient and proficient with the Sig P225 although I also had a P226 and P2009 that were wonderful, so I gave the P226 to my brother who found it near perfect. I still have a 469 (not the same one I bought way too long ago but as nice) and the UltraStar.

Of the three, the Sig P225 had a decocker but no safety while the Smith and Star both have ambidextrous safety/decockers but they work in opposite directions. The Star is up for safe while the Smith is down for safe. In practice though all three were carried using the same procedures, the handgun decocked but in the live position for a DA first shot and SA subsequently. All three fit in the same holsters which at the time was really important. Holsters were expensive and there just weren't all that many places you found them.

There were a couple years when I could get 15 and even 17 round magazines for the 469 and so it was the one I most often carried until the early 1990s when the first magazine ban went into play. Then things kinda dried up and if I needed a replacement magazine all I could get were 10 round ones. Since that still was more than either the P225 or UltraStar had it wasn't much of a problem in my opinion. My most often carried handgun at the time was a revolver and so anything more than six rounds was a luxury.

The Smith and the Star both required that a pin get pushed or pulled out but the Sig had the easiest field strip drill, just lock the slide back, turn the lever down and then ease the slide off the frame.

I still find the Star UltraStar and the S&W 469 near perfect as a carry option but as an old fart in a much changed world I'll admit that the newer micro 380s are what I actually carry on a constant basis. When I do carry anything larger there will almost certainly also be one of the micro 380s along for the WalkAbout.
 

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thank you for the interesting perspective on your version of concealed carry pistols. Interesting read. That smith 469 looks very nice.
 

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Given your forum handle, have you investigated the Sig P365?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Given your forum handle, have you investigated the Sig P365?
Yup, investigated some but certainly not one I can imagine finding interesting. I have a P290RS 380 and would likely consider the 9mm version if I decided to add another handgun but striker fired pistols don't much interest me. I do have one, the Croatian Sensation, but it's been well over a decade since I even fired it.

Remember, back when I bought the ones mentioned in the thread the whole idea of semiautomatics, particularly 9mm ones was still very much a question. The general consensus was that if you really wanted to take a serious risk with your life, carry a semi-automatic. Sure the Colt 1911 and Browning HiPowers were okay but most anything else was certainly suspect. If you want to feel safe you carried a wheel gun.
 

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All great compacts! Really a shame that Star folded. They had some decent pistols. I remember when the S&W 469 was introduced. They were instantly popular and the mag capacity helped. The P225, or P6 as it was known when entered into the German police trials has become a classic and spawned several variations.;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All great compacts! Really a shame that Star folded. They had some decent pistols. I remember when the S&W 469 was introduced. They were instantly popular and the mag capacity helped. The P225, or P6 as it was known when entered into the German police trials has become a classic and spawned several variations.;)
We tend to forget that 9mm Para (Luger) was simply not that popular or available in the US in the 1970s and 1980s. There were the full size 9mms, Smith 39s, the Browning HiPowers, the Walther P-38s, the French Modeles, MACs and MAS, the Beretta 1951s and later 92s and the Astra 600s and 80s and in the 1990s the 100s. Colt did offer 9mm versions of the Commander but the ones I experienced were not very reliable at all. There was the Sig P210 and P220 variants that were imported but all were full size pistols except for the P225. Star had the much larger FireStar.

The S&W 469 and 669 really were different, about an inch shorter than anything else then available and just plain reliable. The S&W "Mini"s and the Star UltraStar and Sig P225 were pretty much all that was available in smaller factory made 9mm pistols at the time.
 

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The P6 had some pretty stiff competition in those trials. The Walther P5 and the HK P7. All really great pistols.

But I agree, there were a couple of outfits trimming down Smiths like Devel Custom, IIRC. Then Smith just did it themselves with the 469 with the 12 round mags that made it very popular. In the Movie, State of Grace, Sean Penn carries a 669 and the gunfight at the end was one of the best I've ever seen. Maybe not quite John Wick, but some of the slo-mo kind of gave it a Sam Peckinpah quality.;)
 

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Since Taurus thing I have gone to S&W M&P line. I have the Compact 2.0 and the Shield. Depends on what I am wearing as to which one I carry.
 

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I carry the CZ P-01 IWB and the Sig 365 in the front pocket, the Sig 365 replaced my beloved Sig 238 that i carried for years.
the sig 365 is the only weapon so far that I found that would replace the Sig 238, still a nice size front pocket pistol, 10 or 12 rounds of 9 MM vs 7 rounds of 380 and so far just as dependable and a tad more accurate.
 
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Nice reading your perspective on the some older guns that don't fit in the mold of plastic wonder guns of today.
 

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Interesting perspective and experience! :cool: Mine has been similar, but I diverged into the Polymer-Striker Fired Pistols later.

My very first Compact 9mm was a Series 88 Tanfoglio TA90, which was a much more concealable option to my full size Walther P-38 and pre-B Cz75.
It's 13+1 Capacity and Compact size is still a winner, and it shot so well, I later bought a Full Size version, and both still shoot very well.
Your S&W 469 is comparable to it, but a bit larger. The all-steel TA90 is heavier, though.


Series 88 Tanfoglio TA90

Later on, I acquired a Taurus PT908, which could be comparable to your Sig P225, but a bit smaller.
Capacity is 8+1. I have carried it in the past and it conceals well. While it shoots well, the aforementioned TA90 will out shoot it, accuracy-wise.


Taurus PT908

Still nothing would seem to replace my tried and true .380 Walther PPK/S,...................until I met a Taurus Millennium Pro PT111, and later on a Taurus PT709.
Now, during fairly warm weather, one of these will be my choice. Generally, I favor the PT111, but occasionally I can only conceal the PT709.


Taurus PT111 and PT709 Comparison

All that said, I mostly carry mid-size striker fired 9mm Pistols, IF my wardrobe permits it.


Taurus 24/7 Pro, Canik TP9V1, S&W SW9VE

Of all of the mid-size striker fired 9mm pistols, the Canik TP9V1 is my favorite.
 
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My introduction to compact pistols started with classics. The first was the Colt Commander around 1982 followed by the Walther PPK/S and Makarov. Then around '89-'90 I was introduced to the Glock 19. It wasn't until the 3rd gen I found one acceptable.

Today, my regular carry is a P-07, with the P320 in the rotation if I want a striker fired and a Walther CCP when on the bicycle. When traveling, the PT111 G2.

Maloy
 

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Please believe that I'm not saying this just to endear myself to Olfarhors. But for a concealable compact, nothing has pleased me more than the CZ P01. The different safety systems, or lack thereof mean different things to different shooters. Previous to the CZ decocking pistols, I thought Taurus had it figured best with a manual safety with a decock capability. Evidently, HK felt the same way when they introduced the USP and I bought on of the first back in 1994.

The question being, do we ever really get comfortable carrying a semi-auto cocked and locked. Too many pros and cons for this post, but I'm sure the questions will come up for discussion.

I've mentioned coming up with magnum revolvers. More specifically, DA revolvers while understanding that they proved difficult for many, and particularly among LE folks that had to qualify periodically. As far as DA auto-loaders, my best experience firing DA didn't occur until 1998 when I finally committed to getting a SIG/Sauer P-226. The pistol the Army should have selected in 1985, and that's not the say that the Beretta is not a very elegant and capable pistol. However, for me, the one flaw in SIGs decocking system is that the hammer is dropped down to near the slide. I really believe that CZ did it best, and speaking here specifically of the P-01 which was the FIRST autoloading pistol to attempt, and be rewarded with NATO certification, which would include ammo, BTW. You really didn't think I'd miss an opportunity to mention that, did ya?

When you lowered the P-01 decocking lever, and consistent with all CZ DA's, there's a half-cock intercept. Meaning that when the hammer dropped in decock, it only drops to the half-cock intercept, And as a guy that can still shoot a .357 Magnum pretty decently with full-power loads that I mean to demonstrate soon because I can still see at 7 yards, LOL. The first pull of the decocked P-01 trigger meant half the pull. After dry firing and shooting enough, I came to love that first pull.

The only knock I've ever had on CZ 9mms, and I hate to drag JWC007 into this since my very first forum was the CZ Forum, but he might remember that it's always been about the OACL restrictions for handloads. I eventually found a really good load with the REM 124 gr. JHP @ 1.122"/28.5mm using True Blue. It wasn't "standard pressure" but I really doubt that it was beyond 9mm NATO (36.500 PSI/CIP). AND, it was blistering accurate. My shooting partner was still developing under my mentorship then, but he had made an excellent addition of a SIG P-228. He sold me the P-01 to fund it as a MOF. We conducted our own little test. Both pistols were absolutely 100% reliable, but the accuracy edge went to the P-01.

We all evolve, and I can tell you that while I have a Canik pistol, the TP9sa that I consider as good as any striker-fired pistol made today, I'm kinda wanting to get back to my favorite type of autoloading pistol, the DA/SA. I still have the issue with short chambers, and I'd really prefer not to have to buy the pistols I like best from Turkey. But the best trigger mechanism in my thoughts, and specific to no one but me, I want a CZ type pistol with a longer chamber and the ability to apply the manual safety with the hammer at Half-Cock. There's a place under my pillow for such a pistol!;)
 
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57K,

Probably a little off topic, but CZ75 base guns seem to have tight chambers. The P-07 and P10C do not. I have three 07's and the other two are the same. They are more forgiving with various loads and will cycle steel like Glocks.

Which is why I switched back to CZ to carry again.

Maloy

 

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For an early polymer, the UltraStar was one heck of an innovation. In fact the whole Star product line was that way. I always keep an eye open for a nice Star.

'Mini Smiths' are favorites also. Who doesn't like a nice compact hammer gun?
 

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I have looked at and handled many compact 9mm pistols. I've owned a few too. For a balance of weight, capacity and conceal-ability, I cannot find anything that beats my Sig P365. I also liked the LC9S and LC9S PRO that I owned, and but they fell a bit short in terms of capacity. I like my G2S as well, but it has the same capacity constraint (and it is heavier than I like). So IMHO, right now, the benchmark for concealed carry 9mm pistols really is the Sig P365.
 

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I carried an Ultra-Star for 8 years or so. Wore the finish completely off, but it was accurate and reliable. I sold it when the company folded.
 

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57K,

Probably a little off topic, but CZ75 base guns seem to have tight chambers. The P-07 and P10C do not. I have three 07's and the other two are the same. They are more forgiving with various loads and will cycle steel like Glocks.

Which is why I switched back to CZ to carry again.

Maloy


Maloy,

I think the P07 is a very nice lower price alternative to the P01. I've liked the P09 since they were introduced and was close to buying one before I decided on the Canik TP9sa. I did some asking about the chambers and was told that they're the same as the CZ 75B.

Not too distressed about any of this, and what I'm considering is an all metal DA/SA which I didn't mention. The Canik's have the same grip profile as the CZ 75 while the Sarsilmaz clones are more like the Tanfoglio Witness pistols. The P120, like the CZ SP01 is fairly heavy for a 9mm pistol, but with 147 gr. JHPs at 1125 FPS or so, it should still be a pretty sweet shooter, provided that chambers are long enough for the 1.142"/29mm OACL I typically use for the 147 gr. JHPs.;)
 

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OF my some 6-7-8 9 MM the CZ P01 has the tightest chamber least free bore, in 45 acp the CZ 97 BD has the tightest shortest free bore.
the Shadow -2 and the SP-01 seems to be about average.
and back to comparison a neightbor and friend was asking about 9 MM pistols so he came down and fondled mine, he wanted to try the Berretta PX4 SC, the Cz P-01 and the stoeger Couger.
went to the range he decided he liked the CZ P-01 best the Stoeger Couger second, he will likely end up getting a stoeger due to the about 300 buck price difference,
he is a failry inexperienced shooter by the way.
 

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I have looked at and handled many compact 9mm pistols. I've owned a few too. For a balance of weight, capacity and conceal-ability, I cannot find anything that beats my Sig P365. I also liked the LC9S and LC9S PRO that I owned, and but they fell a bit short in terms of capacity. I like my G2S as well, but it has the same capacity constraint (and it is heavier than I like). So IMHO, right now, the benchmark for concealed carry 9mm pistols really is the Sig P365.
In a Sub Compact I agree, in a compact nothing fits my hand or shooting style like the CZ P-01 (Or Compact 75-D, or PCR) they are all basically the same weapon.
 
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