Recently I got into two pistols that are not very highly regarded by the general population of shooters. The SCCY CPX-2 and the Kel-Tec PF9 have both been personal purchases and for the same reasons. I needed a pistol that could offer me a reliable pistol that I could be effective with. Due to the fact that I am not limited or scared of different trigger systems, I chose pistols that had qualities I was looking for. Those qualities are low height, good capacity relative to size, good price, and natural point of aim. Many pistols did not fit this list and therefore I was left with the two pistols listed.
Now that I have the pistols, I have used them a good amount, and now I am down to deciding which firearm is going to be the most appropriate for my uses. This article is not necessarily a call for help, but more or less a discussion of how I choose firearms in these situations.
At this stage in the decision making process, I have gotten my choices down to choosing between two pistols that are virtually the same in operation and general size and design. The difference is down to thickness and round count. In this case, I have it pretty easy considering the fact that I already have all the big things figured out like choosing firearms that are the right height, barrel length, with the right controls, etc. All that I need to choose is whether to go with a single or double stack pistol. Even though this is all I have to work out, I still have a few things to brainstorm.
For most people, the idea of choosing between a double and single stack pistol is an obvious choice. But for me, I have to consider the fact that I am going to be using this pistol for a while. I have to consider the fact that I will be using it during times when I will possibly print, which is not acceptable to me. But also I have to be aware that extra capacity is highly desired if I can get it.
Now that I am struggling with the simple difference between the two, let us look at other things to roll the dice on which one has the most advantages. From this comparison, we should be able to select the winner based on which one has the most amount of advantages over the other design.
First thing I wanna look at is the obvious thickness of both pistols. Of course the SCCY is going to be thicker due to the double stack nature of it, but it is not by much. The PF9 is thin but very ergonomic and feels good for how small it is. But comfort-wise, I have to say the SCCY wins due to it being able to give that full size feel.
The next thing is the controls. The PF9 has pretty slim controls compared to the controls on the SCCY. I like extended controls that still are relatively small and functional. I also found that the serrations on the SCCY slide were much more aggressive and the magazine release on the PF9 was much more reliable and positive. Although the magazine release function is not that great, the other controls are much more functional, so I give the edge to the SCCY.
Now we have come to recoil, where the ultimate edge includes longer training time and much lower possibilities of anticipating the shot. I have shot both at length and obviously the SCCY is going to at least have a little less felt recoil compared to the PF9. To be fair to both designs, we need to take into account that a slimmer frame generates more perceived recoil while wider pistols are able to distribute the recoil more evenly. Both pistols are practically on par when considering the fact that they are both the lightest weight in their size class. But of course I am not judging by ounces, but by felt recoil, and therefore the SCCY wins in this match as well.
Now we come to general reliability. The SCCY was all good for the first 700 rounds before it started having extractor issues and Double feeds every 100 rounds or so. After getting that fixed, the ejector broke but without causing a malfunction. It has not given me a problem since that time. The PF9 blew out its hammer spring at about 700 rounds but has never given me a malfunction at any time. I can forgive both platforms for their early parts breakages since these things happening within a thousand rounds is just a sign of a defective part anyways. One thousand rounds for pistols like this should be enough of a period of time to know if there are gonna be any defects in the platform. Though I forgive the platforms for their failures, I cannot ignore the fact that they caused malfunctions in the SCCY. For this reason, I give the PF9 the edge over the SCCY.
With all these things being considered, I personally feel that the risk of having the thicker SCCY pistol on my hip are outweighed by the advantages it offers me.This is not to say that the PF9 is not a good candidate, but that I wanted to carry a pistol that has worked well for me with my training practices. Everyone will prefer different things, but this is an example of how I use my preferences and experience to make an educated judgement on which firearm would suit me, given the criteria I have laid out.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.