I’ll list them by the recommendations made in this post.
1 – Beretta PX4 Storm.
This is a BIG contender. It felt very, very nice. They had a range simulator set up so people could check recoil, accuracy, trigger feel, and the like without live ammo – the ammo was gas-filled, and still cycled the slide correctly. Note to self, find out who makes those rounds. they’re neat!
2 – M&P9
No, no, no. Weird trigger means I don’t want it.
3 – Ruger SR9
I wanted to like this. I really did. I didn’t, however. It just didn’t feel comfortable.
4 – XD/XDM
Nooooooo. No me gusta.
5 – FNX/FNP
It was WAY too blocky…I couldn’t really get a comfortable grip on it at all, even when the booth-sitter decided I wasn’t holding it right (hurr durr, DO YOU NOT SEE THE CAMERA HANGING OFF MY WRIST?)…He then went on to attempt to push the Five Seven, which I told him I absolutely didn’t want. Insisted every woman who shot them wanted them. Insisted I would like it better than anything else I already own. Insisted I didn’t know what I was talking about. Sorry, FN, but when your booth-sitter behaves this way you’ve guaranteed I will not recommend your guns.
6 – I’ll still look at the P99 – assuming they have one at the Walther booth. We didn’t get that far before the building closed for the day, so it’s a possibility right now until I see it. Will update this tomorrow or Sunday.
7 – Firestorm/Thunder 9
This was a neat little pistol. A little rough around the edges, but if I were recommending a cheap compact 9mm to someone, this would PROBABLY be it. The MSRP was in the $500 range but I’m certain it can be had for less than that.
8 – Tanfoglio/EA Witness Compact
Holy damn no. Trigger felt like tin.
So far, I’ve got a great idea of what’s out there. At Caleb’s suggestion I visited the Sig booth to see the P250, and I definitely like that one. I also looked at the offerings at the CZ booth, and I like the compact 75. I don’t know that I liked it as much as the Beretta, though. So as of right now I have three to check out at a range. Thanks for all your suggestions, folks – I appreciate it!
Update 5/3: After handling the Beretta, CZ, and Bersa one after the other the CZ75 Compact wins it. I’ll be ordering it later this year. I also like the Beretta enough to put that on the list for a later purchase.