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14 Best 9mm Pistols [2022]: Home Defense, CCW, Women, Competition

Our best 9mm pistols review with emphasis on home defense, concealed carry, women, and competition use. All hands-on reviewed with video!

Saying there is a best full-size, compact, and sub-compact 9mm is like saying there’s the best pizza.

There are so many fine guns available to shooters today the choices are mind-boggling.

Best Beginner Handguns
Some 9mm Semi-Autos and a .357 Revolver

Before you start stabbing away at your keyboard because we didn’t pick your favorite 9mm pistol…relax.

Take a deep breath. Now, listen: this isn’t the end-all, be-all definition of the only good or best in every possible way, or perfect 9mm handguns.


These are the top 9mm for general purposes, a wide-reaching, and accessible definition. In other words, if you could only have one and needed it to do almost anything decently – these are my top picks.

Table of Contents


How to Choose

At least we’ve gotten it down to 9mm…

9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP)
9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP)

Choosing the right gun for you is a personal choice and not one that is entirely simple. The most important though is how the gun fits your hands. If you’re not comfortable holding it, there is no way you’ll shoot well.

Everything else, like striker-fired vs. exposed hammer, DA/SA or double action, frame material, single or double stack magazine, all of those are really only something you can answer as to what you like best.

They all have their pros and cons, but going into each and every option is an exhausting and often immaterial process.

Best is a very subjective term.

NameTypeStandard Capacity
CZ P-09Best Home Defense19+1
Glock 17Home Defense17+1
Beretta 92FS/M9Home Defense15+1
Sig Sauer P365/XLBest CCW10+1 (12+1 XL)
Springfield HellcatCCW Subcompact11+1
Glock 43xCCW Subcompact10+1
Sig Sauer P320 CompactCCW Compact15+1
Glock 19CCW Compact / Best Generalist15+1
CZ 75 P-01CCW Compact15+1
CZ Shadow 2Best Competition19+1
CZ-75 / SP-01Range Use17+1
S&W M&P EZ 9Best For Women8+1
Browning Hi-PowerBest Classic13+1

Best Home Defense 9mm

1. CZ P-09

At the risk of sounding like a bunch of CZ fans, the P-09 is an amazing addition to the world from the Czechs.

If the SP-01 with its alloy frame is a little too old-school for you, the P-09 might solve everything with its polymer frame — but still retains the 75/SP-01 feel.

CZ PO9 at Range
The more modern CZ P09 is as much a product of classic CZ styling as it is modern sensibilities.

Double-action/single-action trigger, 1913 rail, 19 rounds in the magazine (or more if you get extended mags), and several flavors from night sights to suppressor-ready models, the P-09 is in every way a modern combat pistol.

While most polymer pistols can feel very monotone in your hands, like they are all almost the same, the P-09 stands out with better out of the box ergonomics than basically any other polymer pistol on the market.

It might not feel exactly like something from the CZ-75 family, it is very close.

One of the biggest design features it shares is the very low bore-axis — meaning your barrel is closer to the top of your hand than normal.

This dramatically improves handling and reduces muzzle flip making follow-up shots faster, smoother, and more accurate. 

If you want a polymer pistol that feels like a real gun, try the P-09 on for size.

Best For Home Defense

Larger size for ease of use, models that come standard with night sights or suppressor-ready, a rail for a light, and a huge magazine capacity from the factory — this is what sets the P-09 a step above the rest.

A light is a must. A suppressor is a great idea for your and your family’s hearing safety but adds a layer of cost and process to the gun.

CZ PO9 Disassembly
CZ P09 Disassembly

While other guns offer ammo capacity like this with aftermarket magazines or magazine extensions, the P-09 comes with it in the box.

19+1 rounds on tap is a lot of firepower for a 9mm.

at Sportsman's Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Read the total review of the P-09 for more!

2. Glock 17

There is no doubt that Glock is one of the top handgun builders on the planet.

Since the roll-out of the first Glock 17 in 1982 over 5 million Glocks have been produced. Even though the Glock was originally put down as a “plastic gun”.

The Glock 17 is the original double-stack 9mm from the Austrian manufacturer.
The Glock 17 is the original double-stack 9mm from the Austrian manufacturer.

It was, and likely still is, the leader in the polymer-framed pistol world. The Austrian military was the first to select the Glock as their sidearm of choice after the 1982 trials.

Since then nearly 50 countries have had Glocks of all shapes and sizes as their favored sidearm for police and military forces.

Today, there are five generations of Glock 17 to choose from. All variations stem from the original but may have slightly different grip designs, sights, flared magazine wells, and such.

But for a go-anywhere do-anything handgun, the Glock 17 will do anything you ask of it and keep coming back for more.

First, the previously mentioned durability. When we spend our hard-earned money on a gun we want a gun that shoots no matter what and that we can trust if called on to protect ourselves or our loved ones.

Second, the Glock polymer frame is nearly indestructible. No rust, no scratches, no dings. You don’t have to baby a Glock.

Newst Generation Glock
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

There are lots of aftermarket parts for the Glock 17. You can upgrade the trigger, change the sights, drop in a new barrel or upgrade the whole slide, and more!

3. Beretta 92 Series

If you’ve seen any action movie ever, there is a good chance you’ve seen the Beretta 92FS or similar model on screen. 

Made famous in classics like Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, the 92 series is one of the most successful and at one time widely adopted by military and police forces pistols ever made.

What I carried AR and Beretta and Sling
Civilian counterparts to two standard issue military arms for decades.

A full-sized, alloy framed, double-action/single-action trigger, 9mm using a falling locking block for incredibly mechanical accuracy — this is hands down one of our favorite guns.

Over the many decades of service, Beretta has added a whole host of models to the 92 line — the 92FS is the classic, the M9 was adopted in 1986 as the US Military’s service pistol, and modern incarnations such as the M9A3 are fantastic service pistols while the 92X has been taking the competition world by storm in recent years.

Stock Beretta 92FS and a 92FS with a host of Wilson Combat upgrades

None of them is a bad choice for a beginner or an experienced shooter.

If I were to recommend any of them over the others though, it would be the M9A3 at the top of my list. This model retains all of what made the 92FS/M9 amazing while adding some features and addressing a common issue of grip thickness.

Slimer grips, a slightly redesigned frame, a 1913 rail for mounting lights, and sights that are easy to replace — the M9A3 is the final iteration of their military/police-grade pistols and is simply fantastic.

at Sportsman's Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

If you’re interested in weird collecter’s pistols, there are a number of 92 clones on the market from all sorts of unusual places.

The South African Vektor SP1 and Egyptian Helwan 920 are two of my grail guns.

Check out our complete review on the Beretta 92FS!

Best CCW 9mm

4. Sig Sauer P365 / P365 XL

Like BC or AD, AM or PM, or the Atomic Age — the world of sub-compact firearms can be divided into before the P365 and after the P365.

HSGI Taco and P365
HSGI Taco and P365

Hyperbolic? I don’t think so, I really think the P365 was that much of a leap forward in sub-compact pistols.

Before the P365 sub-compact pistols felt…really small. If you had large hands, your fingers never fully fit. It always felt like you were shooting a kid’s toy, even if you were throwing 147-grain pills downrange.

And you were limited in ammo, six or seven shots were standard and eight considered extended.

P365 Upgrades Great Big Magazine!
One of the best P365 Upgrades: Great Big Magazines! 15+1 on tap here.

Sig Sauer turned the market on its head by releasing the P365, a 10+1 sub-compact pistol that felt in your hands like a compact. 

Pinkies were finally able to rest on the grip, recoil felt smooth, and you had enough ammo on tap to feel safe engaging multiple threats.

If success can be measured through imitation, you should know that with a year or two after the P365 smashed onto the market, most other pistol brands would release look-alikes.

at Palmetto State Amory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

All of them taking or even copying design features straight off the P365.

P365 XL

But for some of us, even the improved ergonomics of the P365 could use just a little more meat — so enters the P365 XL.

P365 Upgrades The Whole Lot
Travis’ EDC P365 XL with some extras

Coming in at just a half-inch taller than the standard model, the XL also features an OAL of 6.6-inches vs.. the P365’s 5.8-inces.

This little bit of extra size increases the flush-fit magazine capacity to 12 rounds in the XL.

The XL also comes standard with a red dot mounting plate for JPoint footprint red dots. Sig offers the Romeo Zero that fits natively, but mounting plates are available for a wide range of microdots like the Trijicon RMRcc or the Holosun 507k


We love the P365 and XL. For the best feeling sub-compact on the market, Sig is the winner in our hands.

Accurate, lots of ammo, and an already huge aftermarket, Sig struck first and struck hardest in the new world of sub-compacts.

If you need something extra concealable, the standard 365 is amazing. Looking to pocket carry, the SAS model is perfect. Wanting to maximize your defensive potential, a red dot and extended mag on the XL is where it’s at.

For every type of carrier, there is a P365 for you.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Want to do a little more research…especially since you’re looking at a CCW? Check out our hands-on review of the P365.

As well as a comparison between the most current popular micro compacts out there.

9mm Micro Compacts
9mm Micro Compacts

Of course…there’s a video:

5. Springfield Hellcat

Borrowing a LOT of design cues from the Sig P365, the Hellcat was the first Post-P365 Era major splash on the market. 

Springfield Hellcat side view
Springfield Hellcat

Seeing what people loved about the P365, what areas might be improved on, and acting on a load of customer feedback — Springfield hit a homerun.

Flush-fit 11-round magazine or 13-rounds with a pinky extension on the mag, 3-inch barrel, 18-ounces unloaded weight, and optics ready or standard irons, and a 1913 rail out in front — it’s as close to a combat pistol as you can fit in a tiny package.

Springfield Hellcat top
Springfield Hellcat top

The Hellcat is also slick, smooth, and perfectly suited for discrete carry.

Downsides? On what might be perceived as perfection?! Of course, there are, come on — nothing is perfect!

To us, the Hellcat doesn’t fit as nicely in large hands as the P365 or especially the P365 XL. The extra round in the magazine is great, but the pinky extension 13-round mags do not drop free if you got large man hands.

The grip texturing is great, recoil is reasonable, and the Hellcat isn’t overly “snappy” like older sub-compacts feel, but it doesn’t have that magic juice that makes it feel “big” either. It feels like a really great sub-compact.

Not like a compact that is smaller.

If you’re on the fence between this, the G43x, the P365/XL, or anything else in this family of sizes and design — manipulate both in your hands, do some dry fire and reloads, shoot them if you’re able, and pick what feels right.

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Between these kings of sub-compact, there isn’t a wrong answer.

Travis has some awesome shooting footage and more thoughts on the Hellcat!

6. G43x

Glock’s big hit back after the P365 bullied its way into our hearts, the G43x benefits from the Glock Gen 5 upgrades such as a better trigger, but ups their sub-compact capacity to 10+1 in flush magazines.

Glock G43X
Glock G43X

If you like Glocks, then this is an easy transition for you to accept. If you’re not a fan, then maybe look at the Hellcat or P365.

Nothing about the G43x really stands out as amazing or game-changing. It feels like a Glock, it handles like a Glock, it looks like a Glock. It is, a Glock.

That is also the G43x’s strength though. You get exactly what you think you are. If you already carry a Glock, for CCW or for duty or in your local matches, then the G43x will be like a comfy pair of shoes — familiar.

at Kentucky Gun Co.

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

If you want something that isn’t newfangled but still keeps up with modern standards, get a Glock.

Glock is, and probably always will be, a great safe option. Interested in the G43x? Check out our full hands-on review!

Now complete with video as well:

7. Sig Sauer P320 Compact

In January 2014, Sig rolled out the new Sig P320 polymer-framed pistol. Three years later the announcement came that the P320 had won the XM17 Modular Handgun System competition and stepped into a new role for our military.

Most Versatile
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

As you might expect, the P320 Compact is the exact same gun, just a bit smaller. The Navy adopted it with their own feature set as the M18.

While we LOVE the full-sized P320, the Compact is even awesome-er because of just how many options it gives you as a CCW.

A key feature of the Sig P320 is its modular design.

The fire control unit is the part with the serial number and the part the ATF is most concerned with when it comes to the purchase of the firearm.

Sig P320 Fire Control Unit
Sig P320 Fire Control Unit

This stainless part is interchangeable with all grip size configurations and calibers including 9mm, 40 S&W, and .357 Sig.

Once you own the fire control unit you can literally put together any combination of grip size, slide length and caliber you want.

It’s kind of like Legos for big kids.

Sig P320
Sig P320

To ensure you find a gun that fits your hand you can choose from four chassis sizes and three grip sizes.

The caliber exchange kits consist of the barrel, slide, recoil assembly, and magazine. With the modularity of the P320 system, your favorite compact 9mm could also become your favorite sub-compact 9mm, but we’ll discuss that later.

The P320 also comes with metal magazines. Most of today’s polymer guns come with polymer magazines. The Sig mags load easily and slip out of the gun when empty smoothly.

Still not sure? Check out our Complete Sig P320 Review!

8. Glock 19

One of the standard go-to options for just about everything (CCW, duty, competition, etc) the Glock 19 is simply a downsized Glock 17. There really isn’t anything more to be said about it.

(top) David’s Glock 19L Gen 3 with Apex trigger, Holosun red dot, and +5 extended magazine, (bottom) Eric’s Glock 19 Gen 3 with Streamlight TLR-7 and Talon rubberized grip wraps

What I can say about Glock is that it is probably the safest choice you could make in a firearm. Not from an operational safety standpoint, although it excels in that area also, but from a “do anything and everything” standpoint.

Maybe you just want a firearm for home defense right now, but months from now decide to start doing some competition — the Glock you bought can do both.

One day at the range you try a red dot handgun and decide to add a red dot — the Glock can do that.

You’re feeling confidant in your skills and decide to get a CCW permit/license/start carrying daily, the Glock can do it.

Basically, the Glock is a good answer to everything — but I would say maybe not the perfect answer to anything. 

But with aftermarket upgrades, your Glock can be anything you want it to be.

Best Generalist

As we said, it can do everything. Really, it can. If you want some ideas on how to upgrade or pimp out your Glock, take a look at some of the upgrades we recommend.

Another way of putting it into perspective is to say that almost every member of Pew Pew Tactical owns a Glock 19 or 17. 

Tenicor Sagax Lux Holster G19 and TLR-7
Tenicor Sagax Lux Holster G19 and TLR-7

Just in our office alone the last time we did a photoshoot of them all, we had at least 6 Glocks. None of them were identical because we had customized each of them for our needs, our wants, and our goals.

Most Dependable
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

For all the details on the Gen. 5 G19, read our 3,500 round report!

9. CZ P-01

If you want a CZ-75 or SP-01 but smaller, the P-01 is perfect.

Many compact guns can feel small, the P-01 stands out because it feels like a full-sized gun — it just happens to be smaller.

CZ P-01 with a Sig Sauer Romeo 1 on top

The design is basically entirely just an SP-01 made bite-sized, many of the internal parts even fit both pistols. If you’re familiar with Glocks, the P-01 is basically the G19 of the CZ family.

Double-action/single-action, metal frame, 3-dot sights standard but loads of aftermarket options, decocker or frame-mounted safety, and a 1913 rail out in front — it has every modern advantage that a compact carry pistol needs.

While this wouldn’t be my first pick for competition, it is absolutely one of our top recommendations for CCW or home defense.

The only drawback I can say for it is that it’s heavier than some options, due to the metal frame.

at Sportsman's Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

However, this does go a long way in eating up recoil and making shooting the P-01 a very pleasant experience.

10. Walther PDP

The Walther PDP is an impressive design that’s proved impressive during our testing.

Available in a few models, the PDP brings a 15-round capacity for its compact size with a whole lot of cool features.

Walther PDP
Walther PDP

This gun offers up some aggressive texturing and slide serrations making manipulations easy. Sweaty palms? No prob.

It also boasts one of the best triggers we’ve tried…seriously, it’s good. You won’t want to stop plinking.

The grip angle feels natural so this gun makes for a comfortable shooting experience. Not to mention, it is reliable and accurate.

Walther PDP

Topping off our favorite things, the Walther PDP is red dot ready! So toss your favorite red dot on and get to rocking.

Best Compact 9mm Pistol
at EuroOptic

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Sean recently reviewed the Walther PDP so be sure to read up on his thoughts here or watch the video review below.

Best Range or Competition 9mm

11. CZ-75 / SP-01 / Shadow 2 — Best For Competition

Often imitated, never duplicated, the CZ-75 is a whole family of pistols from Česká zbrojovka. Translated meaning Czech Armory.

Benelli M2, CZ75, AR-15 (2)
Eric’s 3-Gun set up, Benelli M2, CZ-75, custom AR-15

Introduced in 1975 the CZ-75 took the world by storm and while the original is still outstanding, the modern iterations like the SP-01 and Shadow 2 take the gun to new levels.

Eric’s competition SP-01 has over 50,000 rounds fired, so it’s easy to say that he has just a little time with it.

Out of the box the SP-01 is a sleek firearm, double-action/single-action trigger, either a decocker or a frame-mounted safety, 1913 rail upfront, and amazing fiber optic sights — you cannot go wrong with an SP-01 for defensive use, range time fun, or your local pistol matches.

CZ SP-01
CZ SP-01

What really sets the CZ apart from the pack are the upgrades and customizations that you can have. Basically, everything about the SP-01 has an aftermarket version of it that can improve the function or accuracy.

Best for Production Competition
at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

You could also argue that the base gun doesn’t need upgrading unless you really want to.

If you want competition perfect out of the box, take a look at the Shadow 2.

You can still upgrade parts as you want, but the base Shadow 2 is much closer to a custom race gun feel than the SP-01.

CZ Shadow 2 plate
CZ Shadow 2

Best For Competition

To be clear, we mean the Shadow 2. 

There are several flavors of CZ that are designed for competition but we find that the Shadow 2 strikes the best balance between upgrades out of the box but still leaves some room for your own mods and improvements.


A great comp gun needs a little room to grow so that it fits your needs the best, but should already be 90% of the way there out of the box.

at GunPrime

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The Shadow 2 delivers. Need more? We got you covered for the classic CZ-75, the more modern SP-01, or the ultra badass Shadow 2.

12. Staccato XL and XC

If you want the best of the best and have the cash to do it…you can’t beat Staccato.

Staccato, Small to Large
Staccato, Small to Large

Previously known as STI, they rebranded to enter the concealed carry and duty market. But still have two models that are deeply entrenched in their competition roots.

Enter…the Staccato XL. From the name you can tell it’s longer than usual which gives you a long sight radius and more weight to combat muzzle climb.

Staccato XL DPO
Staccato XL DPO

Due to some extra spooky science…it’s essentially cheating when shooting a Staccato XL.

Available in 9mm but also .40 S&W if you really want to maximize your chances in USPSA Limited class. Plus…the four time elite Tactical Games winner uses the XL.

at Staccato

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

How about the ultimate open class gun?

See the Staccato XC which comes compensated and optic ready.

Staccato XC on Target
Staccato XC on Target

Plate racks ain’t got nothing on the XC…and check out how flat it shoots with the compensated barrel that’s spewing gas up on top.

Let’s compare the XC vs the XL in terms of size.

Staccato XL vs XC
Staccato XC vs XL

And let’s see that super effective porting on top.

Staccato XC Compensated
Staccato XC Compensated

If you’re ready to dominate open class…except no substitute.

at Staccato

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Check out the latest in our full review of the Staccato XC and XL 2011s.

And see our video:

Best 9mm Pistols for Women

13. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 9

It isn’t the smallest, or the lightest, or has the most ammo in the mag, but what the Shield EZ has that no other compact pistol has is a slide that is simply effortless to rack and controls design to be…EZ.

Shield EZ 9mm Vs EZ380 and a snake
EZ 9 and EZ 380 and Slithers, the gun snake. (Slithers is a paid actor and was compensated for his endorsement)

If you have big strong hands, you probably won’t be interested in the EZ 9. But if you have weak hand strength or comprising medical issues that make using a semi-auto pistol difficult, or you’re just new to firearms and want something effortless, the EZ 9 might be the perfect pistol for you.

Designed from the ground up to be the simplest and easiest gun for people to use, the EZ line started in .380 ACP but quickly grew to their 9mm version also.

Every control is built to be a bit larger and easier to operate than normal, perfect for new shooters, shooters with smaller hands, or less strength. 

EZ 9!

The slide is what really stands out. Deep cocking serrations on the slide give you outstanding purchase for manipulation and the effort required to rack the slide is at least half as much as a standard semi-auto slide.

Even the magazine is designed to be gentle on the shooter. Single stack limits capasity, but makes loading the mags super easy.

S&W also made the awesome move of building a magazine with wings on the follower so you can use both hands to help load, much like many .22 LR magazines are designed.

S&W M&P Shield EZ magazine
EZ 9 magazine, just too ez.

One minor complaint that I would have about the EZ 9 but that is actually a benefit to some people is the large sights. Large sights are easy to acquire and get on target, but make precision harder to acheve.

If you have poor eyesight or are still learning how to quickly snap on targets, the large sights will definitely help you.

However, experienced shooters or shooters with 20/20 vision might find them to be a limiting factor in precision shooting.

Shield EZ, Sig Sauer P365, Glock 43
Shield EZ, Sig Sauer P365, Glock 43

Best For Women

Generally speaking, and I really mean generally, women shooters require two major things from a gun that most men probably won’t have high on their list of requirements — easy to rack and softer recoil.

Body strength or lack of is a real thing for some women, if that’s you then the EZ 9 is a clear winner.

It is worth noting that for many women, difficulty manipulating a slide is the mere result of technique. If you find yourself struggling, take a class and make sure you’re using the proper technique.

Don’t feel trapped into only choosing guns like the EZ.

Available Coupons

At the same time, you DON’T want a “smaller” gun because smaller equals more felt recoil. The EZ 9 retains a larger platform that simply eats recoil and muzzle flip. We reviewed the EZ 9 and the smaller EZ 380, read all about both!

Ladies looking for more recommendations, check out our whole list of guns perfect for women!

Best Classic 9mm

14. Browning Hi-Power

The Browning Hi-Power is like using a baseball bat designed by Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Hank Arron. If you don’t know who they are, just know they are baseball titans.

FN Browning Hi-Power
Canadian military surplus Inglis Hi-Power

Fabrique Nationale commissioned John Browning, the genius behind the 1911, the M2 HMG, and the Auto-5, father of the .45 ACP, .380 ACP, and .50 BMG to design a new service pistol. 

But sadly he died before the project was completed.

His son, Val A. Browning, and John Browning’s assistant Dieudonné Saive would finish the Hi-Power in the early ‘30s. 

And so the age of the Wonder-Nine began.

Inglis Hi-Power
1945 production Inglis Hi-Power, with original magazine!

By modern standards the Hi-Power is heavy, but that is really the only thing separating it from the most tactical of the current generation of pistols.

A steel frame (rare alloy frames exist but are very rare), single-action trigger, 13+ round magazine, with several iterations of sights the Hi-Power is simply one of the best guns ever made.

Adopted by nations around the world and still in service with many of them, this is one of the most proven platforms in existence. 

While not in production anymore, Hi-Powers are pretty easy to find on the market if you look almost anywhere. 

Oh ya… she’s pretty.

Shooting this piece of firearms history feels surprisingly modern. Even though it was designed in the 30s, you wouldn’t know it just by shooting it. Our editor’s early 40’s production Hi-Power still shoots flawlessly with modern magazines and is absolutely a pistol you can trust your life to.

If you want a classic, look for a Hi-Power.

Best Classic 9mm

The Hi-Power earned our nod for Best Classic because it simply is. It was one of the first to be one of the best, it was adopted by nations around the world, it has flavors and interest for just about every type of collector.

And finding one that is in firing condition is pretty easy since almost all of them are. Top it off, modern magazines are simple to find and run great.

Canadian Hi Power
Canadian Hi Power in action

We got a great complete look at David’s Canadian Military Inglis Hi-Power (coming soon…)


This brief look at some of the best 9mm handguns available is meant to give you a place to start in your search for your perfect handgun.

Spend some time at the range with some rental guns and find the gun that fits your hand perfectly, points naturally and is easy for you to operate.

One thing you will notice is all of these guns are polymer, striker-fired systems. We have come a long way since Glock rolled out the first ‘plastic gun’. Gone are the days of having only revolvers and blued steel semi-autos to choose from.

The newest generation of polymer guns are durable, accurate, customizable, come in all sizes and they are fun to shoot.

This might be the opening of Pandora’s Box but, what are your top picks? Let us know in the comments! Or if you want to know the Best Handguns for Beginners (including revolvers).

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159 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Sara Russo

    While I understand why you have the S&W EZ on the list. And I have the gun, for the reasons you mentioned, I have had several health problems and my hands just don't have the grip of a younger me. However I dislike the gun very very much because of the backstrap safety. Unlike the safety on the 1911 for example, that is up along the top of the backstrap, almost out of the way. The safety of the EZ is almost along the entire backstrap. Which means that those of us who have a compromised grip must grip harder than we might normally do or be able to. At least for me I had to adjust my grip to begin with, to accommodate my needs as I shoot for my protection. They should have not put that safety on at all, as they have one on the slide.

    October 18, 2022 5:23 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    tatsuo tetrault

    It seems no one is mentioning Grand Power. I have several and I absolutely love it. My favorite is X-Calibur. For all the unknow reasons, Grand Power does not get the recognition it deserves

    October 14, 2022 1:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dan Weakland

    The best 9 is the one you're the most comfortable with and shoot the best. For me it's my canik tp9 elite.

    September 29, 2022 4:45 pm
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    Mike Olin

    My 20yr old daughter shoots the lights out with my CZ P10S with a Holosun 407 red dot. CZ P10 series has one of the best triggers in the market, rock solid reliable and has a high quality reputation.

    August 13, 2022 5:02 am
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    No Ruger on the list of subcompacts?

    August 5, 2022 8:49 am
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    Dan May

    The new PDP SD PRO in 4.5" or 5" barrel (polygonal- rt hand twist with an Apex of 5 & a rate of twist at @ 1:9 is an awesome pistol.

    It's almost Luke the reg pdp but comes with the Walther dynamic performance trigger already in the gun.Al Flared mag well and a flash hider all comes on the gun. The ready redo dot cut out has a better foot print with diff mounting plates having the same moreaggresive foot print to stop any risks of movement of the red dot (something pdp owners were concerned about however my pdp has never lost zero.) The slides, barrel, triggers, guide rod assembly, all will swap between the 2 lines of pdp 's. If you want the diff red dot cuts for the mounting plate then go buy the pdp pro SD slide and it's slightly different mounting plates and your good. Same if your pdp is lacking a threaded barrel... the pdp pro SD comes with one...just order one and put it in your reg pdp..it fits perfectly. They even have an PDP-L (for ladies ergonomics)... dead serious. All the pdp pistols can swap parts. We put a 4" slide and barrel.on the frame for a 5" and it not just fit, but ran flawlessly!!!

    I love cz & have a cz-82 but don't yet have their newer incarnations of pistols...I need a cz-75 as it's almost heretical to not own one... 1911/Browning high power is a must too. Imho...
    The BRNO PSD fk 7.5mm, multi barrel pistol is super awesome but I lack the 1600$ to get one. It's proprietary 7.5mm cartridges are incredible. They deliver almost the same energy a 45acp does at 25 yards, the BRNO achieved at 1000 yards!!!. It's traveling at 2000 ft per sec muzzle velicity..velocity... like a 57 but it's 150 grain!!!
    It's a huge gun... Its what you take to Alaska in case of a grizzly charge...

    July 4, 2022 1:02 pm
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    David SIEGEL

    Thinking perhaps out of the box. The value that you get, engineering, manufacturing, what we demand a gun can put up with. Compare that to gasoline, now averaging $5.00 a gallon.
    Any caliber choice will be debated but effectiveness, ammo choices vs COST. It is hard to argue a better choice than 9mm.

    June 9, 2022 5:34 pm
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    My personal preference is Walther PPQ

    June 2, 2022 4:30 pm
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    Hand strength doesn’t determine a persons gender. Men can also have weak hands. Thanks for the recommendations.

    May 13, 2022 5:42 am
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      It sure doesn't, but that's not what was stated above. Only that "generally" speaking women prefer firearms that are easy to rack and are low recoil. However I know there are some men out there that also prefer these qualities in a firearm. I think it goes without saying that the women out there with stronger hands and the men out there with weaker hands know who they are and are able to take away what they needed to from this article. I suppose there could be some who identify as non-binary and have averagely dainty hands in which case a blowgun is more suitable.

      June 22, 2022 5:49 am
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    > While [the Hi-Power or P-35 is] not in production anymore...

    Check out Springfield Armory's version, or EAA's MC P35. Just Google "Hi-Power clones 2022" and marvel at the beauties on display

    May 11, 2022 5:55 pm
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    Skip Hatchel

    Not sure why the PSA Dagger did not make the list. Putting Glock bias aside you'll find the PSA to be everything a Glock is, plus what they wish it were. And at an amazing price.

    May 9, 2022 6:56 am
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      Dale Ross

      Glocks are the gun industries version of junk food. Highly overrated piece of cheap plastic and that's the BEST I can say about Glock junk.

      May 30, 2022 1:33 pm
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        Yup. Glocks are total dog shit. If only PPT and everybody else would stop shilling for them.

        July 29, 2022 5:35 am
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    Tony Malone

    Yeah, you left a lot out: BUL Armory, Arex, Phoenix
    Colt to name just a few

    May 4, 2022 7:20 am
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    Would you like the least amount of recoil in a super high quality 9mm? It’s the Sig Sauer P226. Way better than any Glock or Beretta, and worth every penny. So we’ll balanced , super accurate. Ask a Navy Seal!

    February 17, 2022 5:23 pm
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    John Wick

    err ...uhhhh... I think the HK VP9 is kinda good

    January 3, 2022 5:27 pm
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      Marton Szabo

      ummmm.... Yes, I agree. It's smaller brother the HK VP9 SK is pretty good too.

      January 9, 2022 7:14 pm
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      Daniel May

      Not for the money.. a Walther ppq Q4 match or even the pdp esp if you install the Walther dynamic performance trigger & tungsten guide rod. Your still spending less then the h&k. Their rifles are great a pdw's too. I really think their hand guns are over rated...
      Almost all the CZ interactions are petter then any h&k pistol. The BRNO PSD FK 7.5mm is super badass and none of the above can touch it... look it up..its a great gun...

      July 4, 2022 1:06 pm
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    Mike Cusano

    I understand these are YOUR top picks. With all due respect, I tried some of the firearms on your list before I purchased. All of them good. Eventually tried & bought a Canik TP9-SFX. It was the best fit for me. 600-800 rounds through it so far with no issues. To each his own.

    January 2, 2022 4:22 pm
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    Ben Sloniger

    The Smith &Wesson EZ 9 is hammer fired not striker fired as stated in the end of the article. A great read with insightful tips thanks

    December 30, 2021 6:10 pm
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      David L. Pinter

      I am NOT A WOMAN, but a 69 yo and just now got my first pistol (thanks to my son). I found the S & W EZ 9 to be my gun of choice. At 69 yo I do not have the hand/arm strength I once had so the EZ rack is easier for me.

      February 28, 2022 12:55 pm
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        I'm not a woman, either, but also got my first gun at 69. I was leaning toward the EZ for the same reason, but I read one of the best things you can do to improve accuracy is get a pair of hand grip exercisers. I'm outshooting my son & son in law (40 and 50 yr old kids), and all my 70 year old buddies. And no problems with racking slides.

        March 18, 2022 10:37 am
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        Jerry R Howell

        Excellent pistol!

        May 12, 2022 3:19 pm
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    Bruce Finkel

    Walther PPQ M2

    December 24, 2021 8:17 am
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      range rat

      agreed but you forgot to add the Navy suffix

      January 3, 2022 5:25 pm
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      Marton Szabo

      Totally agree. My Walther PPQ Q5 Match with a Leopold red dot is amazing.

      January 9, 2022 7:22 pm
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    up until this article i enjoyed with some interest your opinion(s). This article is crap........these must be the sponsors getting their pound of flesh. Ruger, Springfield, Canik, Colt, Wilson combat, Kimber etc etc etc ........all have rock solid players -

    November 8, 2021 2:56 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jacki Billings, Editor

      No one sponsored this article. It's based on personal, hands-on experience we've had. If a gun is not listed, we might not have enough time with it to include it. But thanks for your feedback.

      November 9, 2021 6:14 am
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    Bill Geiger

    Enjoyable review! I so much want to like the Hellcat, but I just don't. I find the inclusion of the Glock 43x over the Glock 48 VERY curious to me! The 48 has everything the 43x does, and with the Shield Arms 15 round mags, and a slide cut for an optic, and a threaded barrel for the extra half inch, I do not think there is a better, more practical "hits all of the checkmarks" 9mm handgun out there!

    September 27, 2021 11:17 am
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      Joe Nunzio

      Same Shield Arms 15 round mag (S15) fits the G43X as well.

      September 28, 2021 4:48 pm
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    Ok.. I can't believe that you would not include one of the better 9 millimeters out there. What about the IWI Masada 9 mil.? I can't take this article very serious without that being put in your rotation. Crap you even have the CZ listed.. Really.. no mention of the Masada??? I'm disappointed!

    September 27, 2021 11:14 am
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      Daniel May

      The Jericho 941 by the same company as the Masada out of Isreal is indeed a great gun. I agree

      July 4, 2022 1:09 pm
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    9MM no way! .45 ACP Glock 30 end of discussion.

    September 27, 2021 10:27 am
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    FN left off probably because they don’t sell them. Much better and cheaper 9 mms than what’s listed here. Three Glock entries, no bias there. I like Glock but this article wasted my time. The Staccato uh no. I’m not Jeff Bezos. Shame on you for no mention of Taurus Mossberg or Ruger. You did no fabvors writing this article.

    September 27, 2021 7:50 am
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      What Charles said.

      December 22, 2021 8:57 am
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    Shay Lambright

    Anyone use Mag Guts? My p365 w/ 12 rd mag now carries 14+1

    September 27, 2021 7:41 am
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    No mention of Canik or Walther ? Typical Glock and SiG, two of the worst factory triggers you can pay top dollar for.

    September 27, 2021 4:38 am
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      Agreed on the triggers although I have quite a few Glocks including the baby G26 and G27 models (the G27 I like as it takes our Police G22 magazines). My best overall pick for a 9mm is the H&K SFP9 (VP9 in the US) due to its ergonomics and great trigger. I also have a CZ SP01 but the H&K is so much nicer to shoot.

      April 14, 2022 5:29 pm
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      Daniel May

      They did mention the WALTHER PDP (basically a PPQ with a better trigger)

      July 4, 2022 1:11 pm
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    Why no love at all for the Ruger? Not even a mention? I have a Security 9 with an upgraded trigger, SS guide rod and heavy recoil spring. The only down point for it is that it isn't optics ready, although I have choices there also. Basically the same size as the G19 with a 15+1 capacity. I have noticed though that every time there is one of these "Best 9mm or Best CCW" stories, the Ruger never really gets any love. Did I miss something?

    September 27, 2021 3:26 am
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      Jacki Billings, Editor

      We have Ruger listed in our Best Micro Compacts article!

      September 27, 2021 6:39 am
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    All good pistols still like my Ruger sr9c

    September 26, 2021 9:19 pm
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    Thank you for adding your thoughts here. I couldn't agree more. I usually carry an Airweight, but prefer the CZ PCR when I don't go to prohibited (government) facilities. My wife carries a Sig P938-BRG, but shoots a P229 Legion at the range...and it's staged for Home Defense as well.

    September 26, 2021 6:39 pm
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    Personally, I'm not a fan of Glocks. They work well, but so does a Toyota Tercel...no fun factor. My current fav carry is the HK P30SK w/ 13 round mag. Trigger is great and just enough weight to not be snappy. Home defense 9mm go to is the Walther PDP full size...fantastic trigger and runs beautifully, plus it has 18+1 capacity. I've been looking hard at the FN509 and CZ's as well. I never see much, if any, mention of HK, Walther, or FN here.

    September 26, 2021 6:29 pm
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    John T Turner

    This is the silliest gun article I’ve ever read.
    The “best”?? C’mon man. The best??
    How about “just another”.

    September 26, 2021 6:20 pm
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    I feel the list is lacking without the HK VP9 or at least the VP9 SK due to its smaller size. I know the VP9 has been mentioned a few times in the comments but definitely lacking without them. Of course it’s my opinion but I think it’s superior to many if not most the list. I do like the p365 a lot for when I want something much smaller to carry. My wife carries a S&W bodyguard because she didn’t like her old S&W airweight revolver. I used to carry a Glock 19 but it was EASILY replaced by the VP9. I also carried a Glock 33 prior but I gave it up in a trade. The list isn’t bad but it doesn’t meet my opinions ;)

    September 26, 2021 4:11 pm
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      John Woodward

      Hi Lee. I have two VP9 SK's and love both of them. They were my EDC but now I am carrying my two Walther PPQ's. My pistols have all eaten whatever ammunition I have used and they never misfire. The triggers are excellent right out of the box and I love the paddle mag releases (contrary to the opinions of some others). They are all very accurate. Different strokes for different folks - my criteria are: accurate, dependable, ergonomic, and concealable with enough knock down power.

      September 26, 2021 4:29 pm
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      I totally agree. The HK VP9 is my pick as well (or SFP9 in Australia) I have quite a few Glocks, the SP01, and several Berettas and have fired the SIG and the HK leaves these in the dust.

      September 27, 2021 9:43 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Agreed. The VP9 (or SFP9 where I am) is my pick as well. I own quite a few Glocks and the CZ SP01 and have also tried quite a few other striker fired 9mm but the H&K pistol beats them all in my opinion.

      April 14, 2022 5:34 pm
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    Why is it that everyone thinks that glock is awesome. It is not been approved by any government agency in the United States nor most world military units. There are far better options like sig, h+k, Beretta, Smith and Wesson. But know all I ever see is glock, glock, glock. I will put my Beretta against a glock any day

    September 26, 2021 4:09 pm
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      Jacki Billings, Editor

      There are definitely plenty of other brands outside of Glock to choose from that are amazing. But I think the simplicity and reliability of the Glock platform draws people to it. Not to mention, the consumer market tends to follow the guns law enforcement agencies prefer and use. In the case of Glock, government agencies like the FBI, Secret Service, ATF, Border Patrol, etc. all use Glocks. So, I think that's why the brand has been such a success. We have a whole article on the history of Glock that goes into how government contracts made the brand successful. I recommend checking that out! Hope that answers your question! :)

      September 27, 2021 6:45 am
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    I forgot to include one of the good small and light .32 ACP options—Beretta Tomcat. The same form factor is also available in .22 LR and .25 ACP as the Beretta Bobcat.

    September 25, 2021 5:52 pm
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    No Walther PPQ or HK VP9? Almost every review of guns on the internet includes those in their top 3 in terms of ergos, triggers, and accuracy. Glocks are 40 year old designs you have to get a new trigger and sights for right away. Smith’s are overrated with subpar triggers and Sig’s are safe as long as you don’t drop them. If you want the best quality and durability go German!

    September 25, 2021 8:02 am
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    i personally think a taurus pt 24/7 is top 5 budget fullsize edc 9mms

    September 19, 2021 4:06 pm
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    Back In Service

    I would add the Canik Elite SC (SubCompact), for small gun, big hands. Inbetween size of the springfield hellcat and glock 19.

    Or even for home defense or range the Canik Elite as a glock-type but with free upgrades (sights, trigger, etc.)

    September 15, 2021 4:47 am
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    John Christopher

    So, I have Two of Your Choices, 43X and Hellcat. I'm NEW to this, so I guess My Research is onto something.

    However, I have a CRAVING for a Smith and Wesson M & P 2.0 9C Subcompact.

    What is Your Assessment of this gun?

    Am I making a Mistake Purchasing it?

    Thoughts Appreciated.

    August 29, 2021 12:34 pm
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      Rich S

      I have the full-size version and strongly recommend it. I think the platform needs an update to keep up with CZ and Sig but it’s a great shooting gun and very reliable.

      September 24, 2021 6:37 pm
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    John Percival

    Really love the Browning HiPower, have 2 in mint condition. Next in line is the CZ Shadow 2. Also the Browning HP can use the 17 rd. Argentine Military mags. I am a revolver guy with 2 Trooper lll .357 and 2 Ruger .44 mags. And a S&W model 29.

    August 17, 2021 7:58 pm
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    Brooke Cleland

    Hey David thanks for all your suggestions and recommendations I’m a new gun owner and bought the Walther PPQ Q5 match and love it I am interested in adding a 10mm Luger to the my collection. I also bought the Gen 2 Kriss Vector another great buy. Any suggestions on a 10mm semiauto would be great.

    August 15, 2021 6:33 pm
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    Jack Nunn

    The 43X can be upgraded with the Shield Arms 15rn mags. Just get their mag release which is steel like the mags. Gives you 15 and 1.

    July 20, 2021 4:19 pm
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    The M&P EZ is not just for women. It's good for anyone who has problems racking a slide; especially if you have arthritis. The 9 & 380 both shoot extremely well with very tight patterns.

    July 1, 2021 10:21 pm
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    Are you sure that's a P365 XL in the pic "Travis's EDC 365 XL with some extras", and not a reg 365 w/ extended mag? The mag well has the cut out like a reg 365, and the 15rd ext. mag has a shorter extension on it for the XL. I'm 99% sure that pic is a reg 365, not an XL.

    June 29, 2021 6:54 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Actually Heckler&Koch built the first polymer pistols.
    VP70, P9S,........

    June 5, 2021 10:13 pm
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    George I Greenway

    I just bought the new S&W M&P Shield 9 and love it. 13+1 double stack, thin, light, light recoil, and a great carry.

    March 31, 2021 11:40 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I own two Taurus (Tauri?) pistols: the G3 (my HD gun) and the G2S (my EDC) and they are accurate, reliable and half the price (st least) of your choices here.

    March 16, 2021 5:54 am
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      My wife and I both carry a G2s as our EDC. Great guns.

      April 22, 2021 4:49 pm
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      I also own a Taurus G3 purchased last year for $260. Came with both a 17 round and a 15 round mag.

      May 3, 2021 6:39 am
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    Charlie Hoffman

    All good picks, even though I'm not a Glock fan. I think an honorable mention for the range/competition/home defense and best bang for the buck, would be the Canik TP9SA Combat Elite Pro Executive. Unbelievable trigger out of the box, Salient Arms International upgraded fluted match grade barrel (that's treaded by the way), Salient Mag well, Salient fiber optic front sight and blacked out rear, and with or without a Vortex Viper Red Dot. (Mine has the Viper). Awesome shooting hand gun and, in my opinion, can easily compete with guns twice it's price.

    March 8, 2021 2:43 pm
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      Ronald Wilson Cash

      I concur sir

      March 16, 2021 5:54 am
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    I have the Hellcat OSP and love it. It is my EDC, can't wait to get micro-red dot.

    March 8, 2021 1:25 pm
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    Paul Dalton

    Although you mentioned that "almost every member of Pew Pew Tactical owns a Glock 19 or 17", I hope that's not the sole reason S&W's M&P9 2.0 (standard or compact) seems to consistently be omitted from your lists & reviews. I tried the "search" feature on your website, but it returns "no results" for either S&W or M&P (surely someone can fix that!). So I tried it using "Smith". That did identify a 3-year old review of the .45 M&P 2.0 (vs. a v1.0 & a v1.0 Shield), a 1-year old discussion about drop-in triggers (for the 9mm M&P 1.0, 2.0, & Shield), and I saw quite a few mentions of the M&P 2.0 Shield 9mm. But I couldn't find that you've said much - or actually reviewed - the M&P 2.0 9mm standard or compact. That just seemed strange because I think I remember other publications saying the M&P 2.0 9mm is "close to", "as good as", or "better than" the Glocks that you guys always mention. I'd really like to know what you guys do/don't like about the S&W M&P 2.0 9mm compact and standard models, both alone AND as compared to the Glocks. Adter all, they ARE "Made in the USA", for whatever that's worth.

    March 8, 2021 10:43 am
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      Greg Halvorson

      You're spot on!

      April 21, 2021 12:38 pm
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      Al Georges


      There are a couple big standouts here that need to be addressed.

      I regularly rotate between a Colt Delta Elite, heavily modified Glock 19, and M&P Shield 2.0 for carry. By regularly, I mean switching at least once a week because I missed the ‘feel’ of one. Yet I always come back to my Glock.

      Point being, there are so many various opinions and preferences. I have one, you have one, and the authors have theirs.

      The writers here have never once bashed on the M&P, and have even spoken very highly of multiple variants. But even still, you shouldn’t come to an article to have SOMEONE ELSE’S opinion validate your purchase or your preference.

      What the writers do so well here is encourage their readers to seek out and formulate their own opinion. I have been shooting for a while now and haven’t met another person that carries a 10mm 1911 for daily carry. Doesn’t mean I’m wrong for doing so. And just because you want to carry an M&P doesn’t make you wrong.

      To fully answer your question, though:
      The M&P 9mm 2.0 has a lot going for it, however the aftermarket support isn’t as prevalent as Glock. Additionally, there are plenty of articles on here that make mention to it that are searchable.

      Bottom line, you carry what you have the most experience and shoot well with, enjoy carrying, and feel most comfortable carrying.

      **I am not affiliated in any way with PewPewTactical and my opinions and statements do not reflect or represent them.

      April 24, 2021 10:16 pm
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    I sure wish that the Springfield Hellcat RDP was included in this review!

    March 8, 2021 9:23 am
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    David Bland

    No info on the Ruger selection of 9mm handguns.I can surmise that this may be related to a personal/sponsor type review?

    March 8, 2021 8:04 am
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    Hayden Carroll

    I have, and will remain, a fan of the Glock 17. Recently, I had purchased a Springfield XDM elite, and will say I am throughly impressed. It's comfortable, the triggers is smooth, points intuitively and recoils well. The G17 will remain my go to, I know it better tham any other gun I own, but look forward to getting to understand my side piece more.

    March 8, 2021 6:24 am
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    Robb Wannie

    I vote G26 honorable mention on CCW. I tested the P366 and it was too small for my paws. Hence I went G26.

    And G45 for home defense. (17 frame and 19 slide, very nice mixture).

    February 28, 2021 8:34 pm
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      Robb Wannie

      P365. Typo.

      February 28, 2021 8:35 pm
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    You must have been born after the 1980s, to think the plastic striker fired guns are the better guns. The Hi Power and CZ 75 aren't the only hammer fired pistols, they do offer the best experience for shooters.

    February 28, 2021 6:33 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Did you miss No. 3? The Beretta 92FS/M9 series?

      March 8, 2021 6:09 am
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    Diego Martin Fernandez

    Where is the CZ Rami? It's ok, we all make mistakes. I forgive you.

    February 28, 2021 4:24 pm
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    Mr. Gray

    ...and that’s also why a .22LR is so deadly - velocity.

    February 28, 2021 4:21 pm
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    Mikey Likes It

    I cannot believe the Glock 19 didn't rate a mention.

    January 21, 2021 4:08 pm
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    William Hightower

    I really enjoyed your article. I’m a beginner, and I would like a pistol for family protection, and recreational shooting. Your article gave me lots of insight. Thank you!

    Bill Hightower

    January 16, 2021 11:54 am
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    I was pleased to see the XDS in there. I have the XDS mod 2 in 45, and I love it. Its easy to shoot, and a pleasure to own. I have big hands, and although the mod 2 doesn't have the different backstraps, I think the grip is great, and it has excellent sights. (I do have Talon grips witch I highly recommend for any pistol) In this category, my Walther PPS mod 2 LE 9 mm is also an excellent gun, and very easy to shoot. Full size is a Para-Ordnance p14 45 1911 that I've had for 25 years (Canadian made). That and a stainless ppks ( also 25 + years )are my oldies but goodies. Add a LCP 2 for a pocket pistol, and that's about it for pistols. love em all.

    December 30, 2020 12:02 am
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    E Funk

    I would argue for my p 365 xl or my glock 48 with 15 round clip

    December 10, 2020 4:38 pm
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    Baretta 92 is my favorite full sized and SIG P365 XL is my everyday carry. Not a Glock fan at all.

    November 29, 2020 5:45 pm
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    FN 509. Best 9mm I’ve shot.

    November 12, 2020 4:38 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      My EDC.

      November 29, 2020 4:25 pm
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    Fred Stagg

    Best full size. Browning HiPower. The standard by which all others are judged.

    October 11, 2020 4:42 pm
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      J.M. Fdez

      Right !

      October 13, 2020 5:04 pm
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    always heard the glock 19 was the ONE for concealed Cary...what happened to it

    October 1, 2020 9:17 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      It was left in the dust by people who listened to customers

      February 28, 2021 6:36 pm
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    One can't beat the CZ Shadow 2 or the CZ AccuShadow. Bring money....

    September 28, 2020 4:11 pm
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    its been awhile since I've fire a weapon (military ) and changes coming down, since my family lives in CA. looking for a pistol that both my wife and I can use and and defend our home, self....looking for a honest answer from someone whose been there...thank you, and God Bless America, Dave

    August 4, 2020 8:25 am
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      Randy B

      If your looking for a small pistol for you and your wife the Smith and Wesson M&P shield 9mm will work in any large or small hand. Shoots great and will take almost any ammo.

      September 29, 2020 4:21 pm
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      Glock 19 gen 3

      October 27, 2020 5:56 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      If it's not for CCW (being in CA, that's a"NO") then compact or hammer/striker fire shouldn't be concerns; recoil management and ease of manipulation are however. I suggest you want an SA/DA, or even DA only. The SiG P320 or P250; Springfield XD-S are good choices AND have better low light sights than Glocks right out of the box.

      November 1, 2020 4:46 pm
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      I recommend the Walther CCP. It is an extremely easy to shoot gun and highly accurate. The slide is easy to cock and the recoil is very low for a 9mm. It fits great in both my hand and my wife's. In spite of it being a midsize gun it actually has less recoil than my Walther Q5 9mm.

      November 3, 2020 5:43 pm
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    John “Mark” Beverage

    At 69 I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never owned a gun of any kind, only shot one a handful of times. Now I have owned quivers of surfboards as I traveled to exotic places to ride waves that most people just dream about. I’ve owned dozens of big game saltwater fishing gear that has been a lifelong pursuit of long range Tuna and Wahoo fishing out of San Diego where I grew up and lived for 50 years. I am not a sissy, it takes a certain amount of courage along with training to “drop in” on 6 meter waves, and pull on 200# plus tuna to gaff.
    Now what do I do at this stage of my life with all this shit that is happening in my beloved country? I do not want to find myself and my wife in a situation where we can’t protect ourselves weather it be in a park, our home or vehicle. Mark Mocluskey’s experience in St. Louis was a reality check for me. Luckily I now live in the panhandle of Florida along the coast and it is relatively peaceful here at this time, but that can change.
    Thanks for the information, meeting a friend this morning for coffee who served with the agency to go over my options. Maybe go to a gun range, which I’ve never been to in my life.

    July 27, 2020 5:25 am
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      Shawn Kutzleb

      You sound like a man’s man - no need to justify never owning a firearm or knowing about them. I will tell you that I am similar to you in that I last shot a pistol way back in the 1980s while in the Navy in Norfolk and we carried .45 1911 sidearm on watch - then life went by real fast and now being 54 years old, just bought my first revolver in March right after quarantine. Bought it through the Army PX and couldn’t even shoot it because here I was what I thought a grown man, retired military, and nervous with excitement at pick up of the gun and the ammunition. You feel a sense of guilt almost because of the anti-gun people have brow beat us over our whole lives about being a gun owner and how we are evil because we want a gun for our self-preservation and family safety. I now have my conceal carry permit and proudly leave the house with a more secure mindset. And I sleep much better to. Some unasked for advice - beware of seasoned gun store operators and their customers, of the million and one gun experts on YouTube, and anyone else that tries to force their values and gun expertise on you. Get as much training and dry fire practice as you can, get to feel comfortable handling and cleaning the gun, understanding the parts and all of the ammunition data, join a pro 2nd Amendment advocacy group, and lawyer up whether it’s through a personal attorney or a representative company like USCCA. Safety, safety, safety. You have to build a deep respect for the gun and training other than just going to range. I also add a warning that the pew pew life is highly addictive- I went in thinking I just wanted a home defense gun and it will just stay in my safe and I will only take it out to go to the range. Oh how wrong I was - I initially got the .357 magnum, then I bought two .9mm’s, so now I have one for each level of my home and rotate my EDC. Would by more but just cant always afford this new habit. Not to mention all the times I find myself hanging out at pawn shops looking at guns, going to gun shows, and looking at Paul Harrell videos on YouTube. You might be a revolver type guy but the young bucks will get in you about it because they think revolvers are for old dudes - heck we are old dudes and when you wrap your hands around that .357 magnum and feel that adrenaline rush at the range with everyone looking down at your lane because they can hear that hand cannon is just pure fun. Best wishes on your, and I stress YOUR gun life and choose whats best for you and have fun.

      October 15, 2020 6:25 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        A lot of good advice. Thank you.

        September 26, 2021 5:19 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    James Campbell

    Best full size 9mm handgun?
    The Pardini GT9 6".
    Go shoot one and correct this list.
    You're welcome.

    July 21, 2020 7:12 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Geez...Glocks and Sigs. Not saying they're bad guns, they aren't. But man...sorry, but I'm sick of hearing about them. So many good alternatives out there. How about giving them a chance instead of going along with the fan boys? Please!

    April 16, 2020 12:28 pm
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    i started shooting again i tried a lot of different guns in 9 mm and got a ruger american it’s a great fun easy to shoot and hit the mark every time they up graded for free eats all ammo so why push so many other countries i put my gun against any gun with no worries so what’s the problem

    March 22, 2020 7:35 am
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    cz p07 or cz p10c

    March 15, 2020 6:33 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Love the CZ75 platform have an omega, PCR, and omega swappable highly accurate, ergonomic, all metal frames reliable shoots all types of ammo just a great platform try one and you'll see.

    February 27, 2020 5:51 pm
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    CZ P10c for the win!. Also the Canick TP9SF Elite, and the Taurus G3

    November 16, 2019 6:20 am
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    maurice garlick

    easily the most heavily marketed pistols available, automatically makes them the best, right?

    June 10, 2019 8:00 pm
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    Ruger American Pistol full size 9mm no match for price and quality.

    May 30, 2019 5:45 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I wouldn’t buy a Ruger if they were the only gun maker on the planet.

      December 7, 2019 11:40 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        I prefer my hkvp9

        December 18, 2019 11:49 pm
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        Patrick Mc Fadan

        Mate, my ruger security six is the best 357 I ever owned.

        March 18, 2020 4:58 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    You surely missed the boat for leaving out the CZ line of firearms and in particular the CZ Po9 and CZSpo7 models for absolute accuracy and a quality all around absolutely dependable work horse of a daily carry and home defense product loved more then Glock products but are all to often overlooked.

    November 24, 2018 2:57 pm
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      Brian taylor

      1000000000000% . My P07 Duty is severely accurate and videos of torture testing are insane. Its Crushes a lot of the more popular and commercialized firearms.

      July 6, 2019 5:24 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Brian Taylor you sir are spot on!!

        November 25, 2019 3:47 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    The Glock is way overpriced for what you get. Lousy sights to me the sight picture is terrible and come on Glock, for what you charge you should have switched to iron sights years ago. Plus your triggers are absolutely inexcusable. Though the Generation 5 is better, it is still lousy. Especially when other manufacturers are producing just as reliable pistols with iron sights and far better trigger systems at a lower price.

    After what Springfield Armory did I will never have one ever again. Especially considering there are so many excellent firearm choices on the market.

    November 18, 2018 5:05 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Nice discussion - thank you. As for me, I own several in each category that you listed. However, my favorites are: Steyr L9-A1, Sphinx SDP and Sig P365. Cheers!

    November 16, 2018 1:30 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Ya never cared for glocks . Don’t like the look or feel. Have a p89 that I like . SW MP, then just recently bought a Sig 226 which now I wish I would have bought one sooner. Never shot a glock so cant make my judgement. Friends like theirs .for me have to like the way it looks /feels as part of my purchasing decision.

    September 20, 2018 2:56 pm
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    All strong choices. I own or have owned Sig, Springfield, SW, Tanfolglio, Kahr (an unsung hero which rarely gets mentioned in these lists much like the Tanfoglio Witness series), Bersa, Taurus, Kel Tec etc but not a Glock. Never cared for them for some reason. My favorite it SW MP/Shield followed closely by Kahr but to each his own. Always interesting to see what others favor and why

    June 21, 2018 4:57 am
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    Kevin B

    There are alot of great guns out there I dont down any of them. The gun you have on you when you need to defend yourself and or family is the best gun for you. I do however love my Glock 17 Gen5 with Ameriglow night sights and wouldnt trade it for any of the rest. It is very accurate and very highly dependable, it will take anything you put it through and ask for more

    June 17, 2018 6:13 pm
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    John R Autio

    Ratings are good for narrowing down the research, but getting to feel it, look at it and compare it to others at a gun store is one thing. Firing it at a range is another. I love my Walther PPQ and PPS.. Both are accurate and fun to shoot. My son bought a Glock only because he's left handed. He likes it.

    June 14, 2018 2:32 pm
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      Karl Asmus

      John you’re spot on with the Walter PPQ. Absolutely fits the hand and shoots great. Like the M2 best I think the trigger is way better but the original was no slouch!

      September 22, 2020 6:46 pm
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      Darryl Percival

      I agree wholeheartedly. I studied and shot most on this list. The Walther PPQ was my choice because of great trigger, great feel, great quality, great accuracy, etc. In my opinion also best value, as there is no need for spending on upgrades at all. When I just have to spend money I buy ammo and magazines!

      March 8, 2021 9:19 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Slow times in PEW PEW land; today there are so many 'good' 9mm pistols the 'choices' are mind boggling.; better article would be 'the BEST woman'...............

    June 13, 2018 4:59 am
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    Dan Marion

    What about the Sig Sauer P365?

    June 12, 2018 11:39 am
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    Glock all day long! I love my 19 G4 but this spanking new 43 is perfection for my EDC.

    June 11, 2018 5:39 pm
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    You gave points to the Sig P320 for it's "modularity". For the nominal sum of $407 you can convert to another caliber, frame or length. However, for the price of one Sig, and one Sig conversion kit, you could buy a Glock 17 and G-19, and purchase after market match grade barrels for each in 40 cal and 357 Sig, AND have the choice of going threaded, along with some dime a dozen 40 cal mags.This would give you six GREAT guns, for the cost of 2. Sigs... No brainer for me!

    June 11, 2018 6:50 am
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      Kent Reeves

      I think your math is WAY off. How exactly are you turning 2 Glocks into 6 guns with extra mags for about $900? I'm a Glock fan but I know my Glocks aren't magical.
      And I understand you meant buying caliber conversion barrels.... hopefully but you would need to have bought .40 Cal guns not 9mm versions. And those barrels aren't cheap. Even then you have 4 guns not 6.

      June 12, 2018 1:46 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Kent Reeves

        I just saw the 357 Sig part, That would give you 6 guns. You would still need 2 .40S&W Glocks, 4 match grade conversion barrels, and 9mm mags for $900. And you won't have normal Glock reliability with all calibers.
        Fun range toy, but not a good idea for defense or serious training.
        I have a surplus Glock 22 with a LW 9mm conversion barrel and it's fun.

        June 12, 2018 4:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Cz P10c hands down

    June 10, 2018 10:06 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I like hammer fired HKs with LEM triggers. As for pizzas you can't beat De Lorenso's in Trenton NJ.

      June 11, 2018 5:48 am
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    Connor H

    Seems you took the three most popular modern striker fired pistols (arguably M&P would beat out Sig in the U.S.) and listed one of them for each size. Not complaining, just pointing it out.

    Also, I would've put the XD Mod 2 3" as the subcompact, and the Shield 2.0 as the single stack. Unfortunately, "subcompact" has come to encompass everything from an XD 3" or G26 to an LCP; manufacturers have not been consistent in their small gun classification.

    June 10, 2018 9:45 pm
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    John Cavanaugh

    My favorite 9mm was a H&K P9S. Easy to carry and very accurate in my hands. I now carry a Sig 239 40.

    June 10, 2018 8:41 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Had one in 9mm. Very solid but i switched to a light gun for edc.

      June 21, 2018 4:59 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    All great guns. For what is considered a "compact" pistol, my Ruger 9E has a couple thousand rounds through it with zero malfunction. It is a great pistol that shoots straight and, at 17+1, has smoke capacity.

    Subcompact-wise, I have the XD Mod.2 in 9mm. So I'm with you there. It just for well in my hand and still packs 13 rounds into the flush fit, double-stack magazine

    June 10, 2018 7:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I just went to the range with my new Sig P320 XCarry. A little more money than a basic 320 compact or carry, but well worth it. The short slide (3.9 in. barrel) combined with the full size grip, but slender with a higher beavertail and cut-out under the trigger along with 3- 17 round mags make this a perfect commando self-defense platform. Oh yeah, I almost forget to mention the XRay3 night sights, flat trigger, no grit and little take-up, that fires at vertical position. My first outing with this gun, I blew through almost 100 rounds ( 115, 124 round nose & hollowpoint ammo) with no malfunctions and plenty of "bulleyes" (and I'm a disabled senior). Rumor has it the ICE will be using the XCarry soon

    June 10, 2018 6:25 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Any gun that is not plastic would get a first look from me.
    My choice is the 2nd gen. Remington R51. And yes, mine goes bang every time I pull the trigger.
    It's all metal (except the trigger), it looks way better than any plastic gun I have ever seen, and it is the most streamlined looking and feeling 9mm gun I have ever expereinced. Very old school cool.
    This gun can easily be pocket-carried, yet it grips and shoots like a bigger gun.
    At 7 yards it is as accurate as any of my 1911s, my CZ and my Bersa.

    Now, let the yelliing begin.

    Thank you.

    June 10, 2018 5:53 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Connor H

      First favorable mention of an R51 I've seen in quite some time.

      June 10, 2018 9:48 pm
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    Jack H.

    Most manufacturers hate us southpaws, and it seems they’re willing to give up the 12.5% market share to prove it.
    H&K is my go to company, which covers all of my needs, from the P30sk, VP9, USP .40, and SP5K.. IMHO, the Springfield EMP Contour Carry is nice too, if you’re a 1911 type.
    I think smart manufacturers should think about making their products ambidextrous.
    It makes perfect business sense.

    June 10, 2018 5:48 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I'm a southpaw too and I totally agree! HK VP9, both the full-size and the sub-compact, is my number one pick!

      June 10, 2018 6:03 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Connor H

      Slide lock on both sides can be an issue functionally, although I'd argue the slide lock is only needed for takedown/clearing out of conflict. XDs also have ambi mag release, and both external passive safeties are ambi.

      June 10, 2018 9:50 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Nearly all modern CZs are either stock ambi or optional side ambi. Mine has full ambi controlls minus the mag release, though when I'm training southpaw it's less than a five minute change over.

      June 11, 2018 8:19 am
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    Wayne G

    I have and carry a Springfield xd mod 2 sub compact 9mm. The 3 inch barrel makes it comfortable for me to carry aiwb, and the grip safety makes me feel safe to carry ready to fire. I really have wanted an xds, but could not try one at my local gun range so I shot, and bought a Smith and Wesson m&p9 shield. I like how it shoots and feels good in my hand, and when I want to go thin, I carry it. It has the external safety and I use it. I'm currently waiting for the xds mod 2 9mm to come out and when it does, I will probably buy one without trying it first. I like my other xD that much.

    June 10, 2018 5:37 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    D Mc

    Well I just started shooting last November 2017. By Christmas I wanted and got a Taurus PT111 Pro. I know the talk about the older ones was not great but since I got mine I'm glad I did and since the range didnt have any to practice with I went by research and never touched it till I got it. I have only shot it 4 times at the most since getting it delivered in Jan 2018 and I still need to learn to hold it since my practice gun at the range was always a Canik 9S I think it was called and even though I never held the PT I knew by pictures I wanted it. Yes I have learning to do and yes the recoil shocked me compared to none for the Canick but I am not sorry I got this cutie not in the least.

    June 10, 2018 5:07 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Connor H

      I agree, the Taurus PT111/140 G2 are great firearms. Extremely accurate for a subcompact, reliable, ergonomic, and 12 rounds in a package barely larger than an 8 round shield. Strongly revommend.

      June 10, 2018 9:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Terry Nixon

    I have to agree about the Springfield XDS. I own one in .45 and am purchasing one in 9mm. I also have an XDM. It is literally the most-accurate handgun I have ever fired right out of the box. I have never owned a Glock, no need with the Springfields......

    June 10, 2018 5:00 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Chip Burnette

    I do not like the grip angle on any of the glocks - but most folks who like one glock, love the whole series. My choice for full size is the Springfield XD-M 5.25, for a compact, I have a Hudson H9.

    June 10, 2018 4:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    The XD-S is nice but the XD-E rocks, better grip, hammer versus striker etc.

    June 10, 2018 4:39 pm
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    Samuel H

    No M&P Shield?
    I own a shield and my brother in law owns an xd-s. Hands down I think the shield is a better carry gun. To each their own.

    June 10, 2018 4:08 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    This might be the opening of Pandora’s Box but, what is your top picks? Your absolutely right, …. there is no way that the Glock 17 Gen 5 even comes close to the New Q5 Match 9mm from Walther. I guess it's like what kind of car is the best, what kind of guitar is the best etc, etc ……….. I do like your picks with the Sig & Springfield. I enjoy your site, always informative, never judgmental, on top of the heap …………. for gun enthusiast.

    June 10, 2018 4:06 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Kent Reeves

      Nice pistol but kind of a different category.
      A closer comparison would be a Glock 34 MOS. And Walther doesn't have the great availability that Glock has for aftermarket customization.

      June 12, 2018 4:18 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Glock needs all those customizations just to make it a good gun. Walther with far better ethos and triggers doesn’t need customization to make it a great gun

        November 18, 2018 5:12 am
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    Paul S.

    Like the XDs but switched to M&Pc’s myself.

    June 10, 2018 4:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    No mention of the H&K VP9 vexes me. That is all.

    June 10, 2018 3:34 pm
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    Bruce W

    Look like plastic wins here.

    June 10, 2018 3:33 pm
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    Linda Pulskamp

    I completely agree with your choice of the Sig P320 as the best compact pistol. Love mine. It shoots the same great way over and over and over. I’ve changed out the grip assembly and not have a lovely two tone pistol. Great gun!

    June 10, 2018 3:26 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Years ago, I asked an extremely good shooter and an LEO what to get as a concealed carry/self defense pistol. His reply took a New York second and was a Glock 17/19. Maybe he said a 26 as well. Semi taken aback by the speed of the answer, I asked why and nearly as fast his response was they work, they are simple to operate, and there is nothing to master other than pick up, grip, sight alignment and trigger pull. They are simple to load and unlodad. Now 15+ years later, his response is as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar as it was when I first heard his comments. There are alot more choices now that fit his answer, but the basics are still valid and true: "They work, they are simple to operate, and there is nothing to master other than pick it up, grip, sight alignment and trigger pull. They are simple to load and unlodad." Over the years, I've come to appreciate his insight more and more. My consealed carry isn't a Glock, it is striker fired and matches his comments to a "T". My one comment for anyone considering purchase a fire arm for the first time, or anytime for that matter, is how does it feel in your hands. Can you reach all the control, if any, when gripped properly does point naturally for you. If you can say yes to those questions and the firearm matches my friends characteritics place it on the short list and then work to narrow it down to the one to buy. Always remember, it you have to use a firearm, you will be under extreme stress. Not many are luck enough to have the training and regular follow-on taining to help them master the stress of someone attemping to kill or maim you.

      September 26, 2021 5:39 pm
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