7 Best Compact 9mm Handguns [2019]

When it comes to handguns, the 9mm is arguably the most popular and best-suited caliber made.  

The 9mm compact is particularly popular due to its Goldilocks size that makes it perfect for both open carry AND concealed carry.  Looking for something a little smaller?  Check out our Best Sub-Compact Single Stack 9mms.

9mm, .357 Sig, .38 Spl, .40 SW, .45 ACP, .44 Mag, .50 AE
9mm, .357 Sig, .38 Spl, .40 SW, .45 ACP, .44 Mag, .50 AE

We’ll cover some of our favorite options across all budgets.

But if you can’t wait, here’s our list of the Best Compact 9mm Handguns:

The Fit

When shopping for a compact 9mm, the primary thing to look for is how it feels in your hand.  

This may seem a little silly, but some guns simply don’t feel right when you hold them.

Shooting Compact 9mm
Your compact 9mm should feel good in your hand.

The Sights

When making the jump to a compact 9mm versus the subcompact version, you open up the door for some new options.

One that is inherent with any gun with a longer barrel is greater accuracy at a greater distance.  You aren’t going to be a marksman with a snub-nosed revolver at 100 yards, but at 10 feet shooting from the hip, it does the job.

When you get into a compact gun with around a 4-inch barrel, your overall gun length increases.  

Aside from being more accurate at a greater distance, you start to get into the different types of optics available.  Some, as you will see later in the list, have reflex optic options.  While this adds bulk and can narrow your holster choices, it makes sighting in your target much, much easier.

Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Pro Series with Reflex Optics
Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Pro Series with Reflex Optics

Now let’s talk about the guns themselves.

Best Compact 9mm Handguns

1. Glock 19

You can’t really have an article like this without mentioning the Glock 19.  It’s pretty much the standard when it comes to compact CCW and even open carry guns.  There’s not much to say about the Glock 19 that hasn’t already been said. 

Most Dependable
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

It’s probably the most popular gun in Glock’s offerings and is one of the most popular firearms for government and law enforcement agencies.  It features a rail so you can add a flashlight or other accessory on the front, and, of course, it also has Glock’s famous reliability. 

The Gen 5 Glock 19 also has some upgrades to the slide, grip, and barrel.  Check out our full review after 3500 rounds downrange.

Glock 19 Gen 5 Field Stripped

What’s your take on the G19? Think it deserves its place on our best Glocks list?

Readers' Ratings

4.91/5 (454)

Your Rating?

2. HK VP9

The Heckler & Koch VP9 is another wildly reliable compact 9mm and it comes from a series of guns that a lot of law enforcement and military agencies are beginning to favor.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The VP series of HK handguns rivals the Glock in terms of durability and reliability, but the guns feel different when they shoot.  As far as which one’s better, it just comes down to personal preference.  So be sure to hold and hopefully shoot all your options.

3. Springfield Armory 9mm XD(M)

Springfield has been around for quite a long time and has produced many great handguns.  

Personally, when I was shopping for my first gun, I was torn between a Glock and a Springfield.  The reason I went with a Glock was the wait time.

Most Bang-For-Your-Buck
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Springfield Armory XD(M) 9 mm is a solid performing compact CCW choice.  It’s priced about the same as a Glock, but less than an HK.  It’s right in the middle, so it’s a good bang for your buck, and a great first gun to purchase.

4. Sig Sauer P320 

What I like about the P320 Compact is there’s a lot of variants…so you can get something that fits your needs really well.  

One that I particularly like is the option to get a reflex optic.  A lot of times this is a feature where you have to purchase a specific slide or have your slide milled so the reflex optic will have a place to mount.  

Most Versatile
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The P320 is one of the first polymer pistols from Sig and is a striker fire.  Both make this a reliable 9mm CCW choice.  I also enjoy the texture of the grip.  It has that rough texture on all four sides of the grip.  Most shooters end up adding some sort of grip tape to in the areas where there is no texture, so by having Sig do it for you, it saves you time and money.  

5. Ruger SR9c 9mm

The SRC9c from Ruger is a pretty nice little compact CCW.  

Like some of the other manufacturers, you can use the accessories and magazines from the full-size variant of the same gun.  

Most Wallet Friendly
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

There are four versions of the compact SR9c.  You have an all black or two-tone version, then there are a couple of choices beyond color.  They all come with at least a 10+1 round magazine, but one of the all black and one of the two-tone versions come with a 17+1 round magazine.  That’s like having a double stack magazine amount of ammo in a single stack gun.  

The 17+1 has a finger grip on it which helps it look like it’s actually supposed to be in the gun.  

6. Smith & Wesson M&P9 9mm

The features of the Smith & Wesson M&P9 2.0 compact are on par with most of the other manufacturers.  

You have a short rail for your light or other accessories.  A lot of the modern CCW options are going away from the thumb safety and using a trigger-based safety.  The M&P9 is no different in this regard.  

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The M&P9 has a great feel to it.  Almost all of the Smith & Wesson handguns I’ve held and shot are comfortable to hold.  They shoot smoothly, the grip is a good angle, and the texture is great.  I don’t know if they do something special to make it feel great in my hand, but I dig it.

Overall, what you get with the M&P9 is a solid and reliable compact 9mm CCW.  

7. FN 509

The FN 509 is one of those guns you don’t hear a lot about unless you know someone who is into them.  FN, as a manufacturer, doesn’t show up as a real competitor on many of the topic-specific lists like these.  That’s a shame, because they’re high-quality firearms, in the same ballpark price as a Glock or Springfield Armory XDM.  

at Rainier Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The 509 is a variation on the MHS gun they submitted to the military for testing.  It took components from previous model FNs, but eliminates the happier fire and goes with a striker fire.  While it’s a very functional gun, it leaves a little bit to be desired in the looks department.  It has a mishmash of textures that help you grip the gun well, but aren’t as pleasing to the eye as some others.  

Final Thoughts

The size of a compact 9mm CCW is a great starting point for most people.  It’s large enough for your hand still fits on the grip without having the dangling pinky, it offers an accessory rail so you can add a flashlight if you want to be tacticool or actually use it, and it holds a few more rounds than a subcompact semiautomatic pistol.

For most people carrying a concealed handgun, the compact is about as big as you can easily conceal without having an untucked and oversized shirt.  

Many of the compact 9mm CCW choices on this page are not that much larger than their subcompact counterparts, but you get so much more in terms of the number of rounds you can carry, add-ons available, and choices of quality guns.

Carrying a Compact 9mm
Carrying a Compact 9mm

Do you have any favorite compact 9mm pistols that didn’t make our list?  Let us know in the comments.  Want something even smaller?  Check out our Best Single-Stacked 9mm Sub-Compact Handguns.

41 Leave a Reply

  • Scott B

    Well I have to say after reading this article that the author has an "interesting perspective" on things in my mind... FIrst off, The VP9 really isn't a compact pistol. It's far more full size than a Glock 19 or 509, albeit certainly a really excellent shooting gun. Second, the 509 is without question the best out of the box gun on this list, with maybe the exception of the not so compact VP9. It's also a much more pleasing gun visually than the Glock, M&P, and the XD. The XD is also a bit bloated for this list and is really "full size or duty size" and they're not exactly heralded for their reliability. IMHO, and I own or have owned, or shot all of these guns, the three real compact do it all not going to fail, strong competitors are the 509, the M&P 2.0 9C and the Glock and in that order of best value for the money. If you want to go buy new sights, new trigger, custom stilples, etc buy the 600 dollar Glock and spend 400 more to make it what it should be for 600 or, buy 509 for 550, or the M&P for 550 and go shoot, carry and love it the way it came.. Peace, and remember just one man's opinion.

    3 minutes ago
  • Trevally

    I will take my FN FNS9 for EDC. Fits my hand perfectly, accurate, nice tactile reset and much more accurate than I am. I got such a good deal on it NIB that I couldn’t turn it down.

    1 week ago
  • curmudgeon

    Bersa TPR9C Is my fav.

    2 weeks ago
  • MugsMalone

    Here's one of the most important aspects of handguns stated in the article. "When shopping for a compact 9mm, the primary thing to look for is how it feels in your hand." If the handgun does not fell comfortable in one's hand, whatever the caliber, the owner/shooter will probably not shoot it enough to become proficient. Rent and shoot several handguns and become familiar with the re-coil and erognomics. If you're constantly regripping the gun it's not right, in my opinion. I own several makes of handguns in 380, 9MM, .38/.357, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. I'm not brand snobby. I own guns I know I can shoot well.

    2 weeks ago
  • Petey MiBallzich

    I have the Glock Gen4 and the SM MP2, both great. Like the look and feel of the S&M a little more overall. But, carry either. I'm not really one for modifying after the fact, but do have laser sites, which are fun. Can't go wrong with either. The Glock is kind of stupid easy to have and reliable, plus, easy to find used pretty cheap. I've fired a ton through both, never a jam with the Glock, one issue with the S&M, while shooting reloads through both, but likely the reload, only happened with one, one time...

    1 month ago
  • David

    I recommend looking into a Diamondback AM2. It almost the same size a S&W Shield but, the AM2 holds twelve rounds in the flush fit mag. The larger, extended magazine holds 17 rounds.

    2 months ago
  • Bob Reed

    After shooting & training with a HK USP .40 full size for over five years (hey, it was already paid for), I finally made the move to a 9mm. Shopping around, I found the S&W M&P 9 2.0 full size fit my hand best (with the medium-large backstrap insert). Taking it out on our first date, I found the trigger to be everything the HK trigger was not; crisp, not weighty & with a very positive, easy-to-find reset that provides for a very consistent break. Accuracy is superb with 15 yard groups printing as one ragged hole not too difficult to obtain. The VP-9 trigger is also excellent right out of the box but the overall fit of the Smith was better for moi. Several shooter folk who have compacts of various makes, comment that mag changes can be somewhat painful if the lower portion of their hand pooches into the well causing the occasional blood blister. Full size versions of most fighting guns have sufficient handle length to avoid this depending on hand size and maintaining proper grip. Thank you for your indulgence.

    3 months ago
  • Cathy

    I'm a 66yr old going on 40 and getting my ccw training for single woman safety. I have Taurus 357 for another other location but needed smaller to carry and this was very helpful with pointers on accessories etc. to make decision for test drives. Cross this one off bucket list. Thanks Trevor!!

    3 months ago
    • Ian Bryant

      Hi Cathy if you're still looking, the Taurus G2C is a hugely great value for the money and all but a few examples have been extremely reliable and affordable guns.

      1 second ago
  • Steve

    I find it odd that the photo of the handgun you’re using for your buyers guide of the “ 7 Best Compact 9mm Handguns”, is not one of your 7 best. You’ve got the H&K VP9 in your 7 best, but the photo used in the part of the guide about good fit and as the title photo shows the USP Compact 9.

    6 months ago
  • Bill

    Ruger and Springfield - really? Forgot all about the Walther PPQ and CZ's.

    8 months ago
  • John S

    My next purchase top contender didn't make the list; the CZ 75D PCR Compact, nor the similar CZ P01 with an accessory rail. You might want to check them out..

    9 months ago
  • Justin

    Not a huge Glock fan but the 43x does have my eye for a new CCW for myself! Any idea on price and release date?

    10 months ago
  • Patrick Delisle

    My Walther PPS M2. Great firearm for the price, right out of the box. 500 rounds in, and still reliable, accurate, and concealable.

    10 months ago
  • Bob

    I have several of the guns on this list and some that aren't. The one that doesn't get any love is the Beretta px4 storm subcompact. I just seem to keep coming back to it, it's become my favorite.

    1 year ago
  • koss

    Tristar C100, CZ75 Semi Auto 9mm Clone. good as CZ75. with less money.

    1 year ago
  • Tony

    I have a Ruger SR9C and its replacement the Ruger American compact. Yhe American is a little heavier which I actually like. I carry the American every day. Which I can conceal but it does print. The SR9C I carry when I am wearing something that doesnt conceal well. Dress clothing or shorts. The American holds 12+1 with a 17+1 back up clip. SR9 holds 10+1 with the same backup. I love them both.

    1 year ago
  • Randy

    You kinda have to wonder how qualified one is when they put Glock and Springfield in the same boat..

    1 year ago
    • Big tasty

      You're right. The glock doesn't hold a note to the xdm. Buying a glock is like buying a Harley. There are more reliable bikes out there, but some people just feel they have something to prove.

      1 year ago
  • Guy Schwartz

    There is a definite bias against metal guns. The CZ p01 should be on this list. Too many polymeraphiles. Once you shoot all steel you will not go back to plastic.

    1 year ago
  • paul

    great list, keep them coming!

    1 year ago
  • Krys


    1 year ago
  • Dave

    Hello, nice list. However, I agree with Tom regarding the legality of handguns in CA. Many are not available. The CA DOJ also recently culled the list and quite a few that were available in 2017 are not in 2018. Anyway, my pick not on your list is the CZ 75D Compact, Superb firearm with excellent accuracy and feels great in the hand.

    1 year ago
    • tee

      fk ca and that bs. move or vote brother it only going to get worse! All these guns are great just depends on you just get one. I have shot all of them and own others.

      11 months ago
    • Eric Hung

      Definitely sad face in CA...

      1 year ago
    • Damien

      I agree with Dave on the CZ; I have a PCR, which lacks the rail that adorns the Compact. AWESOME in the hand for those of use who prefer that grip pitch. I've yet to find a stock holster I'm happy with, so a trip to the custom shop is in my future. However, it's practically identical in size to the Glock 19 Gen3 and doesn't worry a hole in the pad of your trigger finger the way the Glock does. Buy the Self Defense Package from Cajun GunWorks and you'll be a happy shooter.. Truly! Happy me: I'm an Alaskan and don't have to worry about the CA Horse Hockey!!

      1 year ago
  • Tom

    Hello Trevor, I understand that you need to be relevant to the greatest audience. However, if you are a California resident most of the "Best of..." articles on gun choices are not very relevant as most are not available for sale in California. I know it is a little extra work, but would it be too much to ask for you all to add NA CA to your gun pick articles? Thanks

    1 year ago
  • AFGus

    A great compact 9mm that you don't hear about often is the Beretta Nano. I purchased my Nano a little over three years ago and it quickly became my prime EDC pistol. I bought mine with a factory installed LaserMax red laser. It initially had some issues with FTE, but some research and changing out the factory polymer guide rod with a stainless steel rod completely remedied those issues. It's small, accurate and handles all 9mm up to +P. You can also purchase different color shells and swap the serialized portion of the gun between them, which is an easy process. Although I have other Semi-Auto's in 9mm, 40 S/W and 45ACP, I mostly carry my Nano as my EDC PDW.

    1 year ago
  • Scott Gabriel

    Hi Trevor, How is it the CZP10c didn't make your list? It is every bit as good as the Glock 19. With some better features.

    1 year ago
  • Dave

    My added comment will be scorned because of price however, for ccw you want 100% reliability! The BULLPUP 9 meets that need. Conceals very good, weighted for perfect handling, smooth firing trigger,excellently crafted..I also own a RUGER LC9s model 03279 which I upgraded with Galloway Precision captured sure feed guide rod assembly and Hogue beavertail grip..Both additions improved the weapons handling and smoothness of operation. however, when if the time ever comes ( and I hope not ) I will rely on my BULLPUP 9.. In any case the weapon that you trust and works for you is the one you should carry. Best to all.

    1 year ago
  • Mark

    Sig Sauer P229 is a great compact handgun with a long tradition of use by both our police, military and civilians. A nice alternative for those who might prefer metal over plastic. With 15+1 capacity, the P229 9mm sports many of the advantages of its full size cousin the P226. While the P229 costs more than the other guns on the list, Sig Sauer's quality and reputation have made it a classic.

    1 year ago
    • Damien*

      My wife owns the Legion version of the P229. It has an amazing SA trigger and reset that is beyond belief. However, she carries the P938 BRG, which pistol is a little more challenging to handle due to it's diminutive size (at 16 oz empty). That said, with practice, I find I handle it better than it's mid-size sibling. ME? I carry a CZ PCR that is not compatible in operation to the 1911 format of the P938. However, I can shoot the Czech gun much better than the small Sig. I still prefer my S&W Model 28 Revolver to all three of these pistols. :-)

      1 year ago
  • Larry

    That is most definitely not a gen5 glock picture

    1 year ago
  • Larry

    when looking at m&p compact the guy behind the counter told me to look at the sccy. Bought it and have never been happier..it is my edc

    1 year ago
  • Laurie

    Nice set. My cz75 compact is the best I’ve found, at least it works best for me.. Superb shooting with doublestack, 2 carry options, from their site—> “a manual safety lever provides the user with two options for carry: hammer-back with the safety on for single action operation or manually decocked for a double action first shot with no need to remember to take off the safety before firing”. and weight, giving me a smooth action when I might be a bit less than steady. I don’t plan to be. But who knows? I’m new(ish) to firearms and after trying many styles, this is it for me.. I’m female and have a weaker grip than I used to, as well, and my cz75b compact is the answer. :-)

    1 year ago
    • Damien*

      Laurie, you have a great gun! I have the PCR, which is decock only. Being a revolver guy, I don't like having a safety on my pistol That's what queered me on the Beretta M9, which I can shoot like it's a part of me. I went with the PCR and would only wish I'd picked the Compact D for the rail. Now looking at a snubby revolver; maybe the new Colt Cobra cuz J-frame trigger is SOOOooooo stiff out of the box.

      1 year ago
  • Pick

    Where is the Taurus pt111 or pt140? Great price point, wonderful feel in the hand, eats anything, and accuracy is it's best quality.

    1 year ago
    • Troy

      I’m with you for the price and accuracy the Taurus G2C is a great compact 9, 12+1 with a good feel in the hand. The only thing I can knock it for is the long trigger pull but for the price it’s hard to beat. Over 1500 rds through mine and no issues.

      1 year ago
  • Bonnie

    I have the Ruger SR9C and really like it, but I EDC with my Ruger LC9S.. It is easier for me to conceal using my IWB holster and less bulky.

    1 year ago
  • Josh Meadows

    I was honestly surprised that CZ wasnt on this list.

    1 year ago
  • Ralph Jannelli

    All good guns but I think the Walther PPQ would rank up there to.

    1 year ago
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