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8 Best Compact 9mm Handguns

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

Concealed Carry Guns
Concealed Carry Guns (L to R: Gen 4. Glock G19, Smith & Wesson Shield, Sig Sauer P238)

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.

Popular Pistol Calibers

Ready? Now we’ll cover some of our favorite compact options across all budgets.

Why Go Compact?

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.

Handgun Grip Set Wrist
Handgun Grip Set Wrist

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.

11. Two Glock 19s
Two Glock 19s

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. 

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

4.95/5 (1187)

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.

LifePod 2.0 with VP9 and Suppressor
LifePod 2.0 with VP9 and Suppressor

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.

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.

Sig Sauer P320
Sig Sauer P320

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.

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.

M&P 2.0 vs 1.0
M&P 2.0 vs 1.0

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 Brownells

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.

8. Taurus G3C

There is a lot to be said about Taurus from there suspect quality control in their revolver lines to their shockingly high quality G1C, G2C, and now G3C semi-auto pistols.

But despite their past sins, we really can’t find much wrong with the G3C… in fact, it’s pretty awesome for the price!

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The specs for the G3C are basically the same as the G2C, with some cool additions like the slide serrations, mag well, and the sights. But that’s about where it ends.

Something to note: The magazines are interchangeable. The G3C can even take P226 mags if that’s what you’re into!

If you want all of the juicy details, Johnny has an great review and lots of shooting to talk about the pros and cons of this compact pistol.

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.

Concealed Carry AIWB Holster

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.

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102 Leave a Reply

  • Dan Lane

    Every time I go through one of the multi-gun reviews, I look to see if the Canik TP9 series is included. In a negative way, I am not disappointed because they never are. Whether TP9 compact or the subcompact TP9SC, they are never included. Why not? Every time I see the same brands over and over, just the model or configuration is different.

    September 3, 2021 9:08 am
  • Jim Farwell

    The FNS-9C has been out for a while, now. I'm a bit surprised that you included the FN 509, which seemingly rates higher in your view. I've shot both, and prefer the FNS-9 compact. Its trigger is phenomenal, right out of the box, and the choice of magazines is a big plus.

    August 14, 2021 1:41 pm
  • David Neal

    Thinking you are overlooking the Ruger LC9s as a CCW. very concealable, no snag point on this slick pistol and it goes bang every time. Additional magazine can be carried but as we know most gun fights are over very quickly.

    August 11, 2021 7:30 am
  • Greg Hodge

    Another great read! I have carried a Glock 43 with a 9 shot backup mag for 5 years now because I have been unable to conceal or comfortably carry my 19. Maybe if I lived in Mogadishu or Detroit I would give it another try. Thanks for what you do!

    June 19, 2021 6:59 pm
  • Sean

    I cannot believe the new Walther PDP compact isn't included in this list.

    June 8, 2021 5:02 pm
  • Michael D. Sharum Sr

    I carry a Colt Officer’s 45.

    June 7, 2021 9:50 am
  • Bob McCommons

    I carry a Ruger American compact,can go 10 +1 or 17 + 1

    June 7, 2021 7:26 am
  • Mark Malcolm

    P30SK has been my EDC for just over five years now. I see no reason to change that.

    June 7, 2021 5:04 am
  • Marcus

    1st define best. That's different for each of us. For us it needed to be affordable, simple to use in an emergency, accurate at self defense distances and of course reliable. We each have a SCCY CPX-2. Comes with 2 mags, 3.1 barrel, 10+1 capacity, finger groove grip, DAO hammer fired and adjustable rear site. No manual safety. You get used to the longer 8lb trigger by dry firing maybe 100 times or so. I can "stage" the trigger right at the breaking point easily if I want. Best part is only $218 for one and $258 for the other. Not a single glitch in hundreds of rounds. Fill with Federal HST 150 grain MICRO ammo and it's a stopper. Fairly loud with those shells too. Been very happy with them. Made in Florida and great warranty.

    June 6, 2021 9:52 pm
    • LazrBeam

      A SCCY CPX2 is my “boat gun”. Never has failed to go bang during lots and lots of rounds downrange. I generally load the mags with Speer GD 124 gr HPs.

      June 7, 2021 11:42 am
  • Alex

    I like the CZ 75D PCR for compact carry…

    June 6, 2021 8:46 pm
  • Gus

    In my opinion the Cz p01 is the best compact carry pistol .

    June 6, 2021 7:55 pm
  • Jim Hovater

    As far as 'compact 9s' go, as an LEO and civilian I've carried pretty much everything under the Sun. My personal favorites, starting with my current EDC, are: S&W SD9 in FDE, Kimber Stainless Pro Carry, SIG P239, Walther P99, and S&W 3904.

    June 6, 2021 7:36 pm
  • Jim Hovater

    As far as 'compact 9s' go, as an LEO and civilian I've carried pretty much everything under the Sun. My personal favorites, starting with my current EDC, are: S&W SD9 in FDE, Kimber Stainless Pro Carry, SIG P239, Walther P99, and S&W 3904.

    June 6, 2021 7:35 pm
  • The Bard

    The Walther PDP is notably absent from this list and for no good reason. It has a much better grip than the slippery HK, has a better fit and finish than all except maybe a tie with the Sig P320, holds 18 rounds standard (so 3 more than these) or 15 in the "compact" version, is optics ready, and is as reliable as the day is long.

    June 6, 2021 7:22 pm
  • Jon Holt

    Although these pistol may qualify as compacts, they are on the large side. I don't consider them 'compact'.

    June 6, 2021 7:04 pm
  • charles

    I have a different take on the whole thing. In my experience, having shot different pistols and sizes and weights, etc., you cant expect a very small pistol to have the same qualities as a big one. I dont like full size pistols but they perform better. Getting some heft for recoil management, length for distance accuracy, it really makes a difference. A CV 75 SP-01 is all steel and isnt compact but what a shooter it is. If the aim here is light and small, fine go ahead, but dont believe that you can keep going forever smaller and lighter while expecting the same results as a bigger and heavier pistol. Dont think tiny and light first, think what youre really going to do with a pistol and then shop for that. If you have the budget for all types, of course thats nice too.

    June 6, 2021 6:59 pm
  • McKinneyPH

    I had a couple of the guns on your list then bought a CZ P-01. Best gun ever. Only gun I carry now, for the last 3 yrs. Don't think I'll ever go back to a striker fire.

    June 6, 2021 6:58 pm
  • Vulcan

    Canik 18 and 20 rd 9mm mags also fit the G2c and G3c nicely.

    June 6, 2021 6:20 pm
  • Don McGill

    When I was shopping for my handgun, my FFL recommended the G19 first. It was nice, but when shown a Canik TP9 Elite SC, I was sold. Although it is marketed as a subcompact, it looks and feels
    Like a compact. It has a shorter barrel (3.6") and the clips hold 12 or15 rounds, but I like the feel and better (heavier) weight The grip has a better angle for me. The Glock grip angle does not feel natural to me.

    June 6, 2021 6:10 pm
  • Cal Techie

    Why all of the big heavy pistols?
    All of the new micro 9's make all of these obsolete.

    June 6, 2021 5:41 pm
  • Frank

    How about the Beretta compact?

    June 6, 2021 5:39 pm
  • Charles

    I like the mossberg Mc2c9mm. The barrel is less than 4 inches which makes it a compact to me and the width is very trim at 1.1 inches and weighs 21 ozs. It works for me.

    June 6, 2021 5:30 pm
    • LazrBeam

      Although I most often carry a S&W 9mm Shield, I must confess that I concur with your affection for the Mossberg MC2c. In fact, I’m smitten by it and 15 rd mags only magnify my feelings for it. Feels good in hand, excellent shooter, dependable, and a damn fine looking pisto.

      June 7, 2021 11:39 am
  • Karl R

    Newer to guns. After trying different guns at the range I kept coming back to the VP9 as my choice. Definitely more comfortable in my hands. I am confused about one thing, and that could be my own ignorance. I thought the VP9 was H&K's full size handgun and the SK was their compact version, which did not feel comfortable to shoot. Either way good article.

    June 6, 2021 5:18 pm
    • Marton

      Try the VP9 SK with the 13 round extended mag. With all fingers on the grip it's much more comfortable and it shoots just as well as the full size.

      June 6, 2021 6:27 pm
    • Marton

      One of my favorites in this category is the Glock G45. G19 slide with a G17 frame.

      June 6, 2021 6:32 pm
  • Jim Hovater

    Over the past 40+ years I have carried (on duty and off) everything from an S&W 3904 to a Walther P99, to the Glock G17, 19, 22, and 34, to a Kimber ProCarry 9mm, and my current EDC, an S&W SD9 in FDE. My favorites have been the P99, the ProCarry, and the SD9.

    June 6, 2021 5:12 pm
    • Marty Kersten

      I wondered this about the S&W SD9, it felt good to me, but never shot one. Never had a chance to see the P99.

      June 9, 2021 7:20 pm
    • Marty Kersten

      I have the Sig, which I converted to the carry version, the Wilson Combat grip in an FDE, now I love it! It feels even better.

      The G23 never really felt right, but liked it better converted to a 9mm.

      I recently picked up the Taurus G3C & really like this a lot! I have the G43, the G43X, and I carry the Taurus more often.

      It conceals about like the G43, yet is 12 +1, with a 17 round backup.

      A nice pistol, not just nice for the money, about 1/2 what the Glocks & Sig cost, but for me, it’s right there with them.

      June 9, 2021 7:25 pm
  • Jim Hovater

    Over the past 40+ years I have carried (on duty and off) everything from an S&W 3904 to a Walther P99, to the Glock G17, 19, 22, and 34, to a Kimber ProCarry 9mm, and my current EDC, an S&W SD9 in FDE. My favorites have been the P99, the ProCarry, and the SD9.

    June 6, 2021 5:12 pm
  • Skiman

    Guys this is compact not sub compact review. My feedback is that this article didn’t get much thought. Taurus and Ruger are really not as deserving to be on this list and the FN doesn’t make sense in that configuration even though probably a great gun. As others have said I’d look at Beretta and then Canik (both cheaper as well probably) long before Taurus n Ruger in this list.

    June 6, 2021 4:48 pm
  • Larry Scott

    There are so many missing guns that would correctly fit within this concept that the article is of little or no help. Why waste our time?

    June 6, 2021 4:06 pm
    • Bill Foster

      It's their ranking of the 8 they think are best. Looks like you're expecting something completely different, despite what the headline said.

      June 6, 2021 4:16 pm
  • John W. Weber

    I had a Glock 19 gen3 it's a great gun. I changed to a G26 ge5 for EDC. For cold weather or home defense I use my old duty weapon a G22 gen4. If I'm carrying a larger gun I want a larger bullet. But the Glock deserves to be at the top of the compact list. My choice for top pick in the subcompact goes to the G26.

    June 6, 2021 3:57 pm
  • James G.

    They Hellcat and the P320 are both covered under their sub-compact article. However, I don’t see the IWA Masada here.

    June 6, 2021 3:50 pm
  • Chief

    After trying the sig's and Glock's I decided on the Kimber Micro 9 for a compact carry. Recently upgraded to the Micro 9 with the laser grip.

    June 6, 2021 3:49 pm
  • James

    Why no mention of any double/single action compacts. There are a lot of us older folks that have been into handguns for many, many years like sense the 1950's that don't trust guns without a hammer. I admit that I am a old coot at 80, I don't own anything without a hammer, my every day carry is the Beretta PX4 compact, and why any male would would carry anything appendix carry without a hammer just blows my mind. One day they might regret that way of carrying.

    June 6, 2021 3:46 pm
    • Florida Gal

      I love my CZ PCR! Hammer fired, single/double action. Decocker model.

      June 6, 2021 4:15 pm
  • Troy

    Wow no mention of the Hellcat or Sig P365? Not sure how these could have missed this list..
    Just looked ahead looks like I was late to the Party with my comment......... I will leave it as a redundancy, as I have both............

    June 6, 2021 3:03 pm
    • David, PPT Editor

      Both are more sub-compact than compact, highly recommend both!

      June 6, 2021 3:04 pm
  • Juan Pliego

    You missed probably the most reliable of all, the CZ P07.
    That’s all I have to say.

    June 6, 2021 2:03 pm
    • Robert Nicoletti

      And the p10c

      June 6, 2021 2:39 pm
      • Steve

        Yeah...I have no idea how a "top 5 or 8 or 10" list of compact 9mm pistols can exclude the P10C. It comes stock cheaper than Glock with better sights, better trigger, AND better mags. I would put it's reliability up against the glock 19 any day.

        June 6, 2021 3:51 pm
  • Brian Edgett

    The P225 or 229 are not listed. This is bad forum from a site that calls it's self Pew Pew Tactical.
    Not one pistol is hammer fired, or have a metal frame.

    June 3, 2021 2:28 am
  • tirod3

    Look at the Canik TP9SF some time. It's basically a Walther yet they have done their own work, qualified for NATO issue by passing the testing, and are an excellent firearm. At $200 UNDER most of the ones mentioned they are definitely a lot of bang for the buck. They are owned by an aeronautical supplier to Airbus and Lockheed, they have the bones to do high quality work.

    If I have one gripe it's that they haven't offered something like the P320. The modular trigger unit is a concept that has shoved traditional framed guns to the back of the line - including Glock, who is, if you think about it, approaching 40 years old. Another ten after that and they will have used models shipping to C&R collectors. They aren't really innovating any more and certainly took their time getting a single stack in the line up. Goes to their evident bias in selling arms to military and LEO's, not the people. Colt made that mistake and it's hurt them for years.

    Point being, if you really don't like a P320 - change the grip unit, keep your trigger. It doesn't require buying a whole new gun. That's why SIG amplified that modularity with the P365, and if you consider the XL model, you're tapping on the compact door from the other direction.

    There will be no end to this, as others move to modular trigger units, we will be able to outfit a small attache case of grips, slides and magazines for specific conditions, all based off just one trigger unit. HK offered that a long time ago, just as they pioneered polymer long before Glock. It's going to be an exciting ride.

    June 2, 2021 7:32 pm
  • Kurt Schilling

    You left out the Bersa TPR9c. Fits my hand, damned good sights, 15+1 mags, eats any 9mm ammo you want to feed it. And less cost than any of the 'wonder nines' that are mentioned in the article. The Bersa is one serious pistol.

    March 8, 2021 1:00 pm
  • SMartin

    No hellcat, P365, or G43x... interesting.

    June 17, 2020 11:51 am
    • Eric Hung

      We consider those even tinier at sub-compacts! https://www.pewpewtactical.com/single-stack-sub-compact-9mms/

      Then it gets even more complicated with the P365/hellcat maybe not technically single-stack...

      June 17, 2020 1:28 pm
  • Oscar

    Walther PPQ M.2

    April 19, 2020 7:24 pm
    • MarkO

      I definitely agree, Oscar. The PPQ has a trigger that is better than most on this list, except maybe the VP9. It is smaller than the Springfield and it also has a compact version. Walther PPQ is definitely better than the Ruger and probably the S&W, too. More ppl would be pleasantly surprised if they only tried it. Walther has a rep for high-quality.

      May 6, 2020 12:24 pm
      • MarkO

        P.S. I also have a Glock -17, a P320, and VP9SK, among others. All high quality. I use different Guns for different situations and it’s hard to say any one firearm is the best. Just saying Walther PPQ definitely belongs on the list.

        May 6, 2020 12:29 pm
    • Rick Hutchins

      I have shot every gun on this list, I agree the PPQ should be on it. Easily the best trigger, the VP9 is close but slightly less refined than the Walther. I chose the PPQ as my EDC.

      March 3, 2021 4:23 am
    • Michael Cascio

      My PPQ M2 is my hands down go to gun...stock trigger far better than those listed in the review (including my Sigs...).

      June 3, 2021 5:21 pm
  • Jef

    Cz p07 or Cz p10c

    April 15, 2020 8:00 pm
  • Joe Montpetit

    I’m a 78 year-old man who started taking a class and shooting a hand gun in February. After trying over a dozen different pistols over a few weeks, I bought a Walther PPQ M2. I have since fired over 500 rounds with no problems. Great grip and trigger for me. That’s just me. There are many good guns.

    April 6, 2020 9:37 am
  • John Melville

    The CZ P07 is a sweet shooter and light enough for concealed carry. I fired a Sig 320 and prefer the CZ P07 hands down.

    March 25, 2020 3:26 pm
  • Jerry

    What is the first gun pictured?

    March 20, 2020 8:08 pm
    • David, PPT Editor

      HK USP Compact!

      March 20, 2020 8:55 pm
  • Achtung

    CZ P10C

    February 26, 2020 11:10 am
  • 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.

    November 14, 2019 7:13 pm
  • 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.

    November 5, 2019 3:13 pm
  • curmudgeon

    Bersa TPR9C Is my fav.

    October 25, 2019 9:23 am
  • 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.

    October 25, 2019 9:15 am
  • 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...

    September 20, 2019 9:19 am
  • 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.

    September 13, 2019 7:34 am
  • 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.

    July 22, 2019 11:29 am
  • 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!!

    July 16, 2019 5:55 pm
    • 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.

      November 14, 2019 7:16 pm
    • Parrish

      I second the Taurus G2C. I have the older version PT111 G2 and have ran many boxes of FMJ and JHP through it. No FTF or FTE. This one fit my hand best. I also have a Springfield XD Mod.2 4" service model which also fits my hand pretty good, but I'm not as accurate with that one as I am the Taurus. The Taurus I'm VERY accurate with at 15yd groups. I also backup what MugsMalone stated above. Test hold MANY and don't be afraid to take your time and keep going back and forth until you find the right one that feels that best in your hand.

      December 31, 2019 7:04 am
  • 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.

    April 25, 2019 6:34 pm
  • Bill

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

    March 2, 2019 10:48 am
  • 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..

    January 19, 2019 12:13 am
  • 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?

    January 9, 2019 9:34 pm
  • 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.

    January 7, 2019 7:34 am
  • 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.

    June 2, 2018 12:59 pm
  • koss

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

    May 2, 2018 12:26 pm
  • 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.

    February 13, 2018 4:17 pm
  • Randy

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

    January 12, 2018 5:43 pm
    • 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.

      January 31, 2018 9:20 am
  • 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.

    January 2, 2018 10:31 am
  • paul

    great list, keep them coming!

    December 25, 2017 4:43 am
  • Krys


    December 24, 2017 12:05 pm
  • 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.

    December 24, 2017 8:34 am
    • 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!!

      December 25, 2017 10:26 pm
    • Eric Hung

      Definitely sad face in CA...

      January 12, 2018 5:00 pm
    • 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.

      November 27, 2018 2:30 pm
  • 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

    December 22, 2017 11:30 am
  • 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.

    December 21, 2017 9:12 pm
  • 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.

    December 21, 2017 9:01 pm
  • 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.

    December 21, 2017 7:33 pm
  • 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.

    December 21, 2017 7:23 pm
    • 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. :-)

      December 25, 2017 10:34 pm
  • Larry

    That is most definitely not a gen5 glock picture

    December 21, 2017 7:10 pm
  • 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

    December 21, 2017 6:40 pm
  • 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. :-)

    December 21, 2017 6:01 pm
    • 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.

      December 25, 2017 10:56 pm
  • 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.

    December 21, 2017 5:28 pm
    • 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.

      June 6, 2018 6:23 am
  • 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.

    December 21, 2017 4:31 pm
  • Josh Meadows

    I was honestly surprised that CZ wasnt on this list.

    December 21, 2017 4:26 pm
  • Ralph Jannelli

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

    December 21, 2017 4:21 pm