March 2012

9mm Handguns Big and Small: Taurus, Walther, DiamondBack

The practice of carrying a second gun is nothing new. Pairing a six-shooter with a pistol-caliber carbine or carrying a big service revolver on the hip with a small-framed 5-shot revolver hidden elsewhere are good examples of an effective defensive duo. In this test we looked at two high-capacity 9mm pistols and tried to match them to a pair of smaller pistols of the same caliber.

Our first pair was the $498 Taurus PT 24/7 G2 and the much smaller $483 709B “Slim” pistol. Both guns utilize double-action and single-action fire. Our second pair featured full-time double-action triggers, but from different makers. They were the $729 Walther PPQ and the very small $490 Diamondback DB9. We hate to spoil the surprise so early in the article, but our shooters weren’t completely satisfied with any combination of these guns in big/little pairs.

Though its seems like the two Taurus guns might go well together, they displayed very different characteristics that could interfere with transitioning easily between them. Also, as we detail below, we didn’t like the Walther well enough to recommend it alone, so we likewise wouldn’t pair it with a smaller gun. The Diamondback was painful to shoot, so that nixes it as a pairable backup, in our view.

So, instead, we simply evaluated the pistols individually. Since methods of concealment vary with situation or code of dress, we also considered each of the smaller guns for the role of primary gun as well as for backup.

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