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9 Best 9mm Pistols [2023]: Home Defense, CCW, Competition

What are the best 9mm pistols on the market? We run through some of our favorites for home defense, concealed carry, and competition.

It’s no secret that 9mm reigns supreme when it comes to both popularity and flexibility for handguns.

But with that popularity comes a mind-boggling amount of pistols to choose from when doing your research, but helping you get pointed in the right direction is precisely why we are here.

More CA Roster Handguns
Is it just me, or does it always feel like there are simultaneously too many 9mm pistols but also never enough?

Today we are going to take a look at some of our favorite 9mm pistols for concealed carry, general use (home defense and range/fun), and competition.

Unfortunately, there is not enough room for me to include every gun I like on this list without breaking the internet, so keep in mind that this is absolutely not a definitive list by any means.

Variety of CCW Handguns
Finding the perfect pistol can be hard, but that is why we all want to keep buying more, right?

So without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Best for Concealed Carry

    Sig Sauer P365XL

    One of our faves for CCW, slim, easy to carry but plenty of capacity

  2. Editor's Pick

    Walther PDP

    A great trigger and extremely high price to performance ratio make this our top overall pick.

  3. Most Reliable

    Glock 19 Gen 5

    Glock is synonymous with reliabilty for a reason, tried and true

  4. Best Ergonomics

    Heckler & Koch VP9

    Great ergonomics, easy to shoot, excellent build quality

  5. Best Competition 9mm

    CZ Shadow 2 9mm

    Ready to go out of the box and very easy to shoot

  6. Best Budget Competition 9mm

    Canik SFx Rival

    Wallet-friendly 9mm with lots of features and one of the best triggers on the market

  7. Best High-End 9mm

    Staccato XC

    Pricey, but loaded with features that will keep you happy

Table of Contents

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Best for Concealed Carry

1. Sig Sauer P365XL

It should be no surprise that a P365 variant would make the list. These guns are immensely popular and have quickly become a go-to recommendation throughout the gun community.

P365XL Front
The P365XL represents a massive shift in what smaller, thinner guns can be capable of.

The Sig P365XL holds 12 rounds of 9mm in a gun that is only 1 inch wide. Couple that with good ergonomics, factory night sights, an optics-ready slide, and a flat-faced trigger, and you have a winner.

While the regular P365 is still the king for deeper concealment, I find that the XL’s slightly longer grip and barrel improve handling and shootability without adding too much bulk that it still isn’t easily tucked away.

My Sig P365XL with the Holosun EPS Carry is an easy shoo-in for pistols that make my regular carry rotation.

Accuracy has been excellent on all the models I have tested, given the size of the gun. Oh, and if there is anything you want to change, the aftermarket for these guns is massive.

Best for Concealed Carry
599
at GrabAGun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

For more details on the P365XL, check out our full review here.

2. CZ 75 D PCR

In a world where ultra-slim polymer pistols are the current meta, it is easy to forget about older designs that can still hang with the new kids on the block. The CZ 75 D PCR is precisely that.

The CZ PCR is an underappreciated gem in the firearms world. (Photo: smg.photobucket.com)

Based on the venerable CZ 75 design, the PCR is a compact, alloy-framed version with a 3.8-inch barrel, 14-round capacity, and a decocker. A variant with an accessory rail is also available, the CZ 75 P-01.

It is a DA/SA gun, and the double-action pull is a bit heavy, but the single-action pull is fairly good.

Being a CZ 75 derivative means you also get a low bore axis and extremely good grip ergonomics, which results in a very pleasant shooting experience. Accuracy of these guns is outstanding, and I find they shoot much more like a full-sized pistol.

The alloy frame DA/SA gun gives you that classic feel without weighing you down too much. (Photo: Firearms Talk)

Although these are not the slimmest or trimmest concealed carry pistols out there by today’s standards, they are some of the best shooting ones.

Side note: I added the defensive carry package from Cajun Gun Works to my personal PCR and ended up with one of, if not the nicest shooting compact pistols I have ever laid my hands on.

I honestly prefer my Cajunized PCR even over my higher-end guns like my Staccato C2 and Wilson EDC X9.

563
at GrabAGun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

9mm Ammo in Stock

Deal
Grain
Cost Per Round
Notes
124gr
$0.26
115gr
$0.29
Free shipping & only FL tax
108gr
$0.35
147gr
$0.48
Free shipping & only FL tax
115gr
$0.29
115gr
$0.30
115gr
$0.26

3. Walther PDP

I’ll admit, I’m a huge Walther fan, but for a good reason. The Walther PDP is yet another home-run hit for the company.

So what sets it apart? Let’s take a look.

I own quite a few different striker-fired pistols, and both of my PDPs definitely stand out amongst the crowd.

This gun features the PDT, or Performance Duty Trigger. Measuring around 4.5 pounds out of the box with an ultra-crisp break, this is arguably the best striker-fired pistol trigger out of the box.

Second, we have the ergonomics. Large, easy-to-reach controls and a well-contoured and textured grip make this gun almost feel like a natural extension of your hand.

Walther PDP Compact Solo
The 4-inch barrel with the “compact” 15-round grip is my favorite configuration of the PDP.

These features, combined with Walther’s excellent build quality and fitment lead to a very accurate and easy-to-shoot pistol. Additionally, it is optics-ready out of the box, and the rear sight is fully adjustable.

What about size? While the gun is a little chunkier than some, they have size options to fit just about anyone out there.

Best Compact 9mm Pistol
649
at EuroOptic

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Two grip options are available, the compact 15-round grip or the full-size 17-round grip. Barrels are available in 4-, 4.5-, and 5-inch lengths. Walther sells every configuration, so you can get whatever size grip with whatever size barrel you wish.

Additionally, Walther has recently introduced the PDP-F, which sports a slimmer grip front-to-back for those with smaller hands. The F-series is available in both 3.5 and 4-inch barrels.

The PDP-F has been a great addition to the PDP lineup, making the platform accessible to even more shooters.

Walther may have very well made the best striker-fired pistol on the market and did so while keeping it competitively priced.

Check out our full review here or watch the video review below.

What do you think about the Walther PDP (or PDP-F)? Rate it below!

Readers' Ratings

4.91/5 (1979)

Your Rating?

Best for General Use

4. Glock 19

I would probably have been hunted down by an angry mob and burned at the stake if I didn’t include a Glock somewhere on this list. But all seriousness aside, the Glock 19’s place on this list is well deserved.

Glock 19 Gen 5, Stock
The Gen 5 Glock 19 added front serrations, a better trigger, and an improved barrel over the older models.

As straightforward as it gets, this polymer, striker-fired pistol holds 15 rounds and has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

The Glock 19 is the definition of the perfect size for general use. The 4.02-inch barrel and overall form factor make this gun well-suited for everything from duty use, to home defense, to concealed carry and everything in between.

You would be hard-pressed to find a best-of list that doesn’t mention the 19.

Yeah, the trigger may not be the best, but it isn’t the worst, either. It isn’t the best-looking pistol, but what polymer gun is? What matters is that the reliability and track record just can’t be matched.

These guns will almost always run 100% right out of the box without batting an eye. A solid grip angle and relatively low bore axis make these guns very easy to shoot.

It is the very definition of universal and is a gun that works well for just about anyone.

With the Glock series of pistols, customization is limitless.

Even if there are parts you want to swap out, like the lackluster stock iron sights, Glock pistols enjoy the largest aftermarket of any pistol — ever. You can get anything and everything you could ever want to fully personalize and customize your Glock.

Affordability, reliability, shootability, availability, and cheap magazines are some of the reasons why this is the gold standard by which all other polymer pistols are judged.

Most Reliable
539
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Check out our full review here.

5. Sig Sauer P226

Ah, an oldie but a goldie.

The Sig P226 is the quintessential duty gun. It’s big, heavy, accurate, and dead-reliable. It has been battle-tested and time-proven. It’s seen use by elite special forces units such as the Navy SEALs and other groups around the world.

Sig P226 looking awesome
In all fairness, the Army should have selected the Sig P226 over the Beretta M9. Gotta love military politics.

In general, the P226 is a full-sized handgun with a 4.4-inch barrel, weighing in at 34 ounces, and typically comes in a DA/SA configuration with a decocker mounted just above the magazine release.

On regular P226s, the trigger is nothing to write home about but is far from terrible. A standard heavier double-action pull is punctuated by a fairly crisp and light single-action pull with a slightly longer-than-desired reset (the Sig SRT kit fixes this).

Sig P226 side on wood
15 rounds is the standard capacity, but luckily Mec-Gar makes flush-fit 18-round magazines that are extremely reliable.

At first glance, these guns look bulky with a high bore axis, which is true. However, once you actually shoot one, you realize that what seems like the flaws of an outdated design actually work really well together.

There are a ton of variants available for this gun. Fancy finishes, improved triggers, SAO-only models, military models, and more are available.

Among the models offered is the MK-25 variant pictured above. The MK-25 is still in use with the Navy SEALs as one of their available sidearms.

Smooth operation, ease of use, solid accuracy, and durability are hallmarks of the P226. Its positive reputation is just too hard to overlook when making a best-of list, thus it earns its spot among the top 9mm pistols.

999
at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Check out our full review of the PP26 here.

6. H&K VP9

While Heckler and Koch are known for their reliable military-grade firearms, it is no secret that many of their designs are getting long in the tooth.

HK VP9
The VP9 is an exceptionally comfortable and well-built firearm.

H&K set out to rectify that problem with their introduction of the VP9 into the burgeoning market of polymer striker-fired pistols.

Although it is easy for guns to blend into the endless sea of striker guns, H&K rose to the top thanks to some keen design choices.

HK VP9 Trigger
The VP9 trigger is not quite as good as the PDP, but it is pretty darn close.

First and foremost, the trigger on these guns is excellent. It is in the same tier as the Walther PDP, with a light, clean break that does away with the mushiness of many of its contemporaries.

But where this gun really shines is in its ergonomics.

The gun features fully ambidextrous controls that are well-sized and extremely easy to reach. Instead of only having interchangeable backstrap sizes, the side panels of the grips are also interchangeable with different-sized palm swells that are included. Aggressive slide serrations and rear cocking wings are just icing on the cake here.

Best Ergonomics
559
at GrabAGun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

It is available with both a European-style ambi paddle magazine release and a more standard push-button release, giving more options to the end-user. The standard capacity is 17 rounds.

As is the case with most H&K guns, you can expect impeccable build quality, reliability, and good accuracy.

Check out our full review here or watch the video review below.

Best for Competition

7. CZ Shadow 2

There isn’t much to be said about the Shadow 2 that hasn’t already been said. It redefined what an out-of-the-box competition pistol should be.

The Shadow 2 has been a dominant force in local and national shooting scenes since its release.

Built specifically to tackle the USPSA and IPSC production class competitions, the Shadow 2 quickly became the standard and one of the most winningest guns in pistol competition history.

Utilizing the base design of the CZ 75, the Shadow 2 adds a ton of weight to keep recoil down, cuts on the frame to help get an even higher grip on an already-low bore axis, and a match barrel and trigger.

Other nice features include an angle-adjustable mag release and an additional larger gas pedal-type safety that is also included.

The result? A $1,000 to $1,300 gun that knocked the socks off pistols that cost twice as much.

Everything about this gun was built to dominate, and it shows. These guns are incredibly easy to shoot and will instill confidence in anyone who picks one up and lets loose.

Best Competition 9mm
1245
at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

If you want something that is ready to go for competition without having to do a bunch of modifications, this is the ticket.

Most people won’t be able to outshoot this gun, but they will damn sure have a fun time trying to.

Check out our full review here or see the full video review below.

8. Canik TP9 SFx Rival

I know, a Canik on a best-of list? Really? Just hear me out.

You know when I said the PDP arguably had the best striker-fired trigger? Yeah, that is arguable because of the Canik SFx Rival.

The Rival is available in grey/gold and an all-black “Darkside” version. (Photo: Classic Firearms)

The Rival is Canik’s latest iteration of the TP9 SFx, which was made to bring a true competition-ready gun to the masses at an extremely affordable price point — and man, does it deliver.

We are graced with an ungodly good trigger that has a tiny bit of take-up, a clean break, and a scary-short reset.

It features an ambidextrous slide release, reversible magazine release, optics-ready slide, interchangeable back straps, 18-round magazines, and a fully adjustable rear sight with a fiber optic front sight.

Different plates are included with the Rival to accommodate a wide variety of red dots. (Photo: Dieter Licht)

Additionally, Canik includes a removable external flared magwell, holster, magazine loader, cleaning kit, and multiple sizes of mag releases — all for around $600.

Not sold yet? Nils Jonasson has won back-to-back USPSA national championships with the Canik SFx series.

Nils Jonasson shooting his SFx Rival for team Canik. (Photo: Shooting Sports USA)

With its amazing performance-to-dollar ratio, the Canik SFx Rival clawed its way onto this list and truly shows that you don’t have to shell out the big bucks to hang with the big guys.

Best Budget Competition 9mm
579
at Grabagun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

9. Staccato XC

Unfair advantage. That is the term Staccato uses to describe their XC model, and I am inclined to agree.

Staccato XC
The Staccato XC is one of the smoothest-shooting pistols you can buy. Period.

2011s have long ruled the world of open-class competition shooting, and the Staccato XC is no exception.

A Dawson Precision recoil system, integrated compensator, feathery 2.5-pound match trigger, and excellent ergonomics create a pistol that is so easy to shoot it is almost like cheating.

Staccato XC
This gun was meant to do one thing — go fast.

The recoil is so negligible that you might as well feel like you are shooting a nerf gun. Combine that with a quality red dot and some black magic physics that Staccato conjured, and you have a gun that shoots flat and faster than you can run it.

Staccato includes two 17-round magazines and one 20-round magazine, which glide effortlessly into the flared magwell at the bottom of the grip. An extended beavertail and the well-placed safety of the 2011 platform ensure you can get a nice high, positive grip on the firearm.

Staccato XC on Target
The DLC finish on the slide and frame is exceedingly tough and very resistant to wear.

Additionally, the optics mount goes in front of the rear sight instead of replacing it, allowing you to co-witness your optic with your iron sights.

All XCs are hand-fitted to exacting tolerances, resulting in a true premium-grade competition pistol that is ready to kick ass.

Best High-End 9mm
4299
at Staccato

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The downside, you ask? If it wasn’t already obvious, these are expensive firearms. Coming in well over $4,000, it is definitely the most expensive gun on this list.

While the Staccato XC might not represent the best value, it represents some of the best performance that money can buy.

Check out our full review here.

Final Thoughts

As expected, narrowing down the best 9mm pistol list to nine guns is going to ruffle some feathers. There is a vast amount of amazing firearms out there, and in reality, this is more of a “some of the best” list.

More CA Roster CCW Handguns
Having more choices is always a good thing.

Even then, everybody is different, and their preferences are different. We know this, and companies know this too. The beauty of it all is that there is something out there for just about everyone.

What do you think should or shouldn’t have made the list? Let us know what you think in the comments below! Just looking for concealed carry options? Check out our articles on the 8 Best Compact 9mm handguns and Best Micro Compact 9mm Handguns.

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200 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    CommentMcCommenty

    Great choices, I can't fault any of them. But I would have loved to see more love for Beretta. The PX4 Storm remains the best gun no one is talking about and the APX A1 Full is a contender for best new gun of the year. Just some food for thought. You are correct in showering praise on the PDP, that gun is an absolute champ.

    January 5, 2023 9:28 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Doron

    Glad to see the HK VP9 is on the list! I have the regular and VP9L OR and have competed with both in USPSA and Steel Challenge. Love it! Ergonomics are spot on and I had some trigger work done to make it even better. It's off-roster for those of us in California but totally worth it if you can find one.

    December 26, 2022 11:23 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Steve S

    Every serious gun owner deserves the pleasure of owning a Sig. Especially the P226. This gun has such outstanding quality and balance. Far less perceived recoil than any of these other guns. Sell two of your cheap guns and get one of these. You will thank me.

    December 23, 2022 3:29 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mikial

    Every one of these lists is the same. All these sites make money by linking stories to online retailer partners, so they always choose the guns that are the current hot sellers or that their retail partners make the most money on. These days most people can't afford a Sig, HK, or insanely expensive Staccato but that's where the money is.

    December 23, 2022 8:42 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jacki Billings

      Hey Mikial, thanks for dropping us a comment. These pistols were not chosen based on retail partnerships or what's hot. They were chosen because we like these guns the best at the moment and have had hands-on time with them. We do continually update, so check back frequently as the list may change in the future. :)

      December 23, 2022 9:19 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        John Corden

        Am I missing something? Not a single one approved for sale in California. Is there a list for recommended handguns that are approved for sale in California?

        January 3, 2023 4:23 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Jacki Billings

          We have a whole article dedicated to those: https://www.pewpewtactical.com/california-roster-handguns/

          January 3, 2023 4:26 pm
          • Commenter Avatar
            John Corden

            Thanks Jacki, much appreciated!

            January 3, 2023 4:36 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Michael Gurr

          You should consider moving out of communist California.

          January 13, 2023 2:34 am
          • Commenter Avatar
            Don

            Amen!

            February 2, 2023 9:59 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Timothy L Travis

    The Hellcat Pro may be the most perfect handgun. The fit feel &fire are incredible

    December 23, 2022 7:05 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Wyatt Sloan

      The Hellcat is an awesome gun and has some of my favorite factory sights of any pistol. When it comes to the Shield Plus, Hellcat, and the P365 variants, a lot of it comes down to user preference since they are all solid shooters. Choosing was tough, and I gave the slight nod to the P365XL because the aftermarket is so immense for those guns.

      December 23, 2022 3:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    James levine

    I own or have owned most of the 9,s on your list,so I am very pleased by your list. My go to gun is the Sig 226. I have a few of these . Two with the SRT. I used to compete with these about 35 years ago. I am an old guy as you can tell. Too bad they did,nt make them when I was in Viet Nam

    December 23, 2022 3:20 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Wyatt Sloan

      Thanks, James! I have a MK-25 P226, and it is definitely a sweet gun - I would 100% trust my life to it. The SRT triggers are a great upgrade, and when you pair that with the newer flush-fit Mec-Gar 18-round magazines, it really makes for an excellent duty gun.

      December 23, 2022 3:42 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        James Levine

        Thanks for the info on the Megar mags Mr. Sloan. I also have the MK 25

        December 23, 2022 5:18 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Rick Metzger

        If you're into competitive shooting - tactical, IDPA - Mec-Gar makes a mag for the 226 that has an extended rubber butt pad that, IMO, greatly reduces wear and tear on your magazines if you are shooting on a concrete-floor course of fire. It also gives you a brawny surface with to rip out the mag if there is any hesitation when you hit the release. I use Mec-Gar for all of my guns except the 1911 45s, in which I use Wilson Combat.

        January 23, 2023 8:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Gregor S

    Just no Beretta love in these pew pew posts. I may have to resort to using the junk e-mail redirect folder…

    December 22, 2022 7:07 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jacki Billings

      We have a lot of love for Beretta -- you'll find reviews and some cool pop culture articles about some of our favorite models if you look around the site. Unfortunately, we can't list every gun in an article but we do update these regularly and sometimes switch things out so check back often!

      December 23, 2022 5:33 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Martman300

    My favorite is my Beretta 92X, it Carry’s well, not easily due to the length. This is super reliable, holds 18+1 and feels great in the hand.

    December 22, 2022 6:54 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Wyatt Sloan

      The 92 series is awesome. The M9A4 made it almost to the very end, but when I was cutting down to nine guns, I ended up picking the P226 in its stead. I have both, and it was tough to pick between the two. I don't think either one would be a wrong answer here.

      December 22, 2022 9:02 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Barry L

    Hahahahahaha!!! Always good for a laugh. Put an Olight on the P365 and live dangerously. Hopefully you don’t shoot yourself or blow yourself up. Leaving the Glock 26 off this list is blasphemy!

    December 22, 2022 6:22 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Rick Metzger

      Streamlight finally has a TLR-8 light/laser series for the 365. I like Olight when my life doesn't depend on it. Just wish Crimson Trace would make a CMR-206 green laser equivalent, for the 365. It is a great, great compact-as-can-be rail-mount laser.

      January 23, 2023 8:50 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bill F

    The classic Browning Hi-Power. For me, end of discussion; it fits my hand exactly and I've never had a failure. Second place is my Sig P226, then the CZ-75.

    December 22, 2022 5:32 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Wyatt Sloan

      Bill, the Hi-Power is so iconic, and I am madly in love with those guns. I was trying to keep the list to current production guns, and no one has quite matched the original FN/Browning Hi-Powers since they were discontinued. I hope that Browning rolls them back out again someday.

      December 22, 2022 9:06 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Bill F

        I'll buy 5 or 6 if they do!

        December 23, 2022 12:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Robert A Hutto

    Nice article. I’ve have a CZ P07 for years,shot a couple other pistols on your list.
    But I gotta say the Bersa BP9CC is a fantastic simple, but quite capable pistol at the unbelievable price of $280-$340

    December 22, 2022 5:17 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Wyatt Sloan

      Thanks, Robert. I had a BP9CC right when they came out. Unfortunately, the early ones had some magazine catch issues, and it is one of the few guns I let go of. It was a great shooter with a shockingly good trigger. From what I understand, they ironed the issues out, and I suspect they are still a great value buy. It's a shame not too many people know about them.

      December 22, 2022 9:09 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Robert A Hutto

        Definitely don’t have that problem anymore. But it’s always good to polish the feed ramp on them ,that being said it really has a fantastic little pistol everything you need and nothing you don’t.

        December 23, 2022 10:36 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Pochas

    Wondering how the Sig X- Macro compares with the XL? Any chance you will review or compare? I have been shooting the Canik Rival Darkside for almost a year. Very nice shooter.

    December 22, 2022 4:22 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Wyatt Sloan

      We have full separate reviews of the X-Macro and the XL, and there is definitely a possibility of a full-on comparison in the future. Hopefully we will get our mitts on a Darkside for review here soon. If it's anything like my TP9SFX, I know it is going to kick ass.

      December 22, 2022 4:41 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        John Pochas

        Wyatt thanks for the info, I will look up the X- Macro review.

        December 22, 2022 4:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bill L

    Great comparison. Have many 9s and my fav is the G19, although its a GEN 4. I REALLY want to invest in the Staccato but that's a DREAM at this point !

    December 22, 2022 4:08 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    willis Fath

    WHAT ABOUT THE SAR9 USA? THEY REVIEWED IT AND ITS A RELIABLE AND ON TARGET FIREARM FROM TURKEY. YOU SHOULD TEST IT OUT ONCE. I LOVE MINE.

    December 22, 2022 3:59 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    RobertM

    I have a P365, a G43, and an XD-M. By far, my favorite is the XD-M. Fits my hand like a glove and it's a sweet shooter. Don't get me wrong. I like the Glock and the Sig. It's just that the Springfield hits all the "Goldilocks" points for me.

    December 22, 2022 3:52 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    A. Davis

    My biggest gripe with the P226 is Sig defaulting to a 13.5 x 1 LH twist. Makes using a suppressor a challenge or you have to buy a compatible piston which isn't always an option depending on the suppressor manufacturer. Compared to Glock, the thread pitch is one of the limiting factors of customizing the 226. Other than that... a pretty good write up. You mention the Staccato XC for competition... worth adding that the C or C2 gives you the same "unfair advantage" but for the conceal carry option. If you like a 1911 as your EDC, a Staccato C is a decent upgrade. Personally I'm back and forth between a C and a P365XL...

    December 22, 2022 1:24 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Wyatt Sloan

      The C2 is a fantastic pistol; I absolutely love mine. It was just a bit tough to pick it over the CZ PCR, especially a Cajunized one, given the massive price difference. They both shoot lights out, and paring the list down to just nine guns was tough. Unfortunately, Staccato recently dropped the Regular C from their lineup in September. It looks like they are stepping away from single-stack guns for now, but they are definitely sweet shooters for those that have em'.

      December 22, 2022 1:54 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jim Congleton

    Nice article, the one you are missing is my E
    DC Canik Elite SC. it's a shooter and switched me a .45 guy into a 9mm.

    December 13, 2022 5:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    David

    And what about the revolver?

    December 6, 2022 5:14 pm
  • 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
      Dano

      Sara, Look into Ruger's new easy rack Security 380. Comes with 10 and 15 round magazines and is slightly smaller with no grip safety. Also internal hammer fired and fiber optic sight up front.

      December 23, 2022 11:06 am
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    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
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    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Michael

    No Ruger on the list of subcompacts?

    August 5, 2022 8:49 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Byron

      That’s because Rugers are garbage now.

      December 31, 2022 7:57 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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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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    BlondeB

    My personal preference is Walther PPQ

    June 2, 2022 4:30 pm
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    Raychil

    Hand strength doesn’t determine a persons gender. Men can also have weak hands. Thanks for the recommendations.

    May 13, 2022 5:42 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Banger6

      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Anonymous

    > 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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
      • Commenter Avatar
        Jon

        Yup. Glocks are total dog shit. If only PPT and everybody else would stop shilling for them.

        July 29, 2022 5:35 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tony Malone

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

    May 4, 2022 7:20 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Steve

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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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        Bill

        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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    JSo

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Joe Nunzio

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

      September 28, 2021 4:48 pm
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    ScalpelOne

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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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    Rob

    9MM no way! .45 ACP Glock 30 end of discussion.

    September 27, 2021 10:27 am
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    Charles

    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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      Steve

      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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    NHNikon

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      TomJ

      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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    Mike

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jacki Billings, Editor

      We have Ruger listed in our Best Micro Compacts article!

      September 27, 2021 6:39 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rick

    All good pistols still like my Ruger sr9c

    September 26, 2021 9:19 pm
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    Damien*

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Trav

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Lee

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
    • Commenter Avatar
      TonyS

      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
      TomJ

      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Clayton

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Brett

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Howard

    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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    wlogan0204

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Matthew L Gilson

      I carry the S&W M&P 9 Shield Plus Performance Center with the 15 round extended mag. P.C. upgrades sights, trigger is smooth as glass and ported barrel. This gun is awesome. Winter carry is the Walther PDP with optics. A little bigger but another awesome handgun.

      December 22, 2022 3:30 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Barry

    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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    Mike

    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
    Frank

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

    June 5, 2021 10:13 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    Peter

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mikial

      My wife and I both carry a G2s as our EDC. Great guns.

      April 22, 2021 4:49 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Dave

      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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Ronald Wilson Cash

      I concur sir

      March 16, 2021 5:54 am
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    STEVEN K. BECKETT

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Greg Halvorson

      You're spot on!

      April 21, 2021 12:38 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Al Georges

      Paul,

      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mark

    I sure wish that the Springfield Hellcat RDP was included in this review!

    March 8, 2021 9:23 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Robb Wannie

      P365. Typo.

      February 28, 2021 8:35 pm
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    Brian

    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
      Danno

      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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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    Gryphon

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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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    DANNY CLARK

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ian

    FN 509. Best 9mm I’ve shot.

    November 12, 2020 4:38 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Keith

      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
    • Commenter Avatar
      J.M. Fdez

      Right !

      October 13, 2020 5:04 pm
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    jkjones

    always heard the glock 19 was the ONE for concealed Cary...what happened to it

    October 1, 2020 9:17 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Brian

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

      February 28, 2021 6:36 pm
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    Nolan

    One can't beat the CZ Shadow 2 or the CZ AccuShadow. Bring money....

    September 28, 2020 4:11 pm
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    Dave

    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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      Jeff

      Glock 19 gen 3

      October 27, 2020 5:56 pm
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      jim

      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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      SteveF

      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Shawn Kutzleb

      John,
      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
        Eneg

        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
    Mike

    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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    tom

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    jefb

    cz p07 or cz p10c

    March 15, 2020 6:33 pm
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    Robert

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Stan

    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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    Ernesto

    Ruger American Pistol full size 9mm no match for price and quality.

    May 30, 2019 5:45 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Squawk

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

      December 7, 2019 11:40 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Joseph

        I prefer my hkvp9

        December 18, 2019 11:49 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Patrick Mc Fadan

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

        March 18, 2020 4:58 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Eddie8888

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
        cashman

        Brian Taylor you sir are spot on!!

        November 25, 2019 3:47 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Terry

    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
    MDpolo

    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
    Virgil

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    jp64

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
    Albert

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dan Marion

    What about the Sig Sauer P365?

    June 12, 2018 11:39 am
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    Karen

    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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    Bill

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
    Brandyn

    Cz P10c hands down

    June 10, 2018 10:06 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Robert

      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
      jp64

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

      June 21, 2018 4:59 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike

    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
    George

    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
    Indianray

    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.
    HANDS DOWN, THE BEST IN MY BOOK..

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
      Treasa

      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
      Dakota

      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    Fran

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

    June 10, 2018 4:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    David

    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
        Terry

        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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Paul S.

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

    June 10, 2018 4:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jeff

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

    June 10, 2018 3:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bruce W

    Look like plastic wins here.

    June 10, 2018 3:33 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
      Eneg

      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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