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8 Best Compact 9mm Handguns

Looking for a concealable 9mm you can tuck just about anywhere, but still shoot almost as easily as a full-size handgun? Check out our favorite compact 9mms

When it comes to handguns, the 9mm is one of the most popular calibers for pistol shooters.

And among the pistol arena, the 9mm compact, in particular, tends to be a regular choice for those looking to concealed carry.

Concealed Carry Guns
A handful of concealed carry guns.

These guns bridge the gap between full-sized and sub-compact, offering a nice middle area. Basically, they’re the Goldilocks guns — not too big and not too small.

But with a ton of models to choose from, it can seem a bit overwhelming narrowing down which one you should buy.

HK VP9 Takedown Lever

But that’s why you’ve got us, right? We’re going to walk you through some of our favorite compact 9mm handguns and tell you why we dig them.

By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s out there and what we recommend.

Popular Pistol Calibers
Popular Pistol Calibers

That said if you’re looking for something a little smaller, check out our Best Sub-Compact Single Stack 9mms.

Let’s get to the compacts!

Table of Contents


What to Look for in a 9mm Compact

No two 9mm compacts are exactly alike, so how do you narrow down which are the best?

There are a few factors to look for when shopping for a new handgun.

First, consider the features. Do you want to mount a red dot? If so, you need one with a slide cut for optics (or be ready to buy an aftermarket slide).

Mounted Pistol Red Dots
Mounted Pistol Red Dots

Do you want an external safety? Then you need to make sure the model you choose comes with one.

We always like to look at the aftermarket too…are there options like affordable mags, aftermarket sights, etc.

Finally, when shopping for a compact 9mm, consider how it feels in the hand. This may seem silly, but some guns simply don’t feel right when you hold them.

And if it doesn’t feel right, you won’t want to train with it.

Handgun Grip Set Wrist
Handgun Grip

We always recommend trying to find a range/gun store that will let you rent guns so you can try before you buy!

Ready for some suggestions? Let’s get to it!

Best Compact 9mm Handguns

1. Glock G19

You can’t really have an article like this without mentioning the Glock G19

It’s pretty much the standard when it comes to compact CCW.

Glock G19 Gen 4
Glock G19 Gen 4


Because it just works. Trust us, people have run these things over, buried them in mud, and even frozen them and they still work.

Aside from being durable, their reliable and boast a huge aftermarket. Seriously…you can swap out sights, slides, barrels, triggers, mags…sky’s the limit.

Concealed Carry Glock 19, Belt, Holster

Standard capacity on the G19 is 15 rounds but it does work alongside other 9mm Glock mags.

Glock’s come in three generations for you to buy — Gen 3, Gen 4, and Gen 5.

We have a full breakdown of the generations and a full review of the Gen 5 Glock 19.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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

Readers' Ratings

4.96/5 (1479)

Your Rating?

2. HK VP9

The Heckler & Koch VP9 is another reliable compact 9mm that we like.

Though it offers similar reliability and durability as Glock, its ergonomics are slightly different. So, if you want a polymer pistol that isn’t a Glock, consider the HK VP9.

HK VP9 Left Side

In our experience, it handles well and shoots with ease. It can support 10-,15-, or 17-round mags so you have some options in terms of capacity.

But word of caution — the aftermarket is a little less robust. This means you aren’t going to be able to deck this gun out like you can a Glock.

HK VP9 Shooting
HK VP9 Shooting

That said, if you’re not into crazy customs and want something that works out of the box, the VP9 is a solid choice.

We did a full review on the HK VP9 with a video! So check that out!

3. Walther PDP

The PDP by Walther is an impressive design that really wowed us.

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

Walther PDP
Walther PDP

This gun sports some aggressive texturing and slide serrations making manipulations easy. It also boasts one of the best triggers we’ve tried…seriously, it’s good.

The grip angle feels natural and this gun is a comfortable one to shoot. Not to mention, it shoots reliably and accurately.

Walther PDP

Topping off our favorite things, the Walther PDP is red dot ready!

Best Compact 9mm Pistol
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best Compact 9mm Pistol

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

4. Springfield Armory XD(M)

The Springfield Armory XD(M) 9mm is a decent performing compact CCW choice.

It’s notorious for its grip safety, built into the rear of the handgun’s grip. This design works best for people who want a manual safety but don’t want the traditional thumb-style.

The XD(M) brings a 13+1 capacity. Again, like the HK, its aftermarket isn’t as huge as the Glock but if you want a moderately priced pistol it will do the job.

5. Sig Sauer P320

The thing we like best about the Sig Sauer P320 is there are plenty of options! And we like options.

From various models to an aftermarket that’s beginning to rival Glock, the P320 brings a lot to the table….including a few compact models.

Sig Sauer P320
Sig Sauer P320

At its core, the P320 is a solid pistol that handles well and feels great in the hand.

It comes in 10- or 15-round models and Sig even offers a red dot compatible option.

Whether you stick with a basic model or jazz it up with one of the fancier ones, you’ll be satisfied with the P320.

at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Sig Sauer P320
$649 at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

We have a review on the P320 and a video below, so make sure to check that out!

6. Smith & Wesson M&P9 9mm

The Smith & Wesson M&P9 2.0 Compact is on par with most of the other manufacturers on this list.

It’s reliable and a popular choice for concealed carry. Available in a black or FDE finish, the M&P series brings a great feel to it.

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

Almost all of the Smith & Wesson handguns we’ve held and shot are comfortable.

These guns shoot smoothly, offer a good grip angle, and the texture is great. 

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

Want to learn more about the M&P series? Read up on its history here!

7. FN 509

A lot of people tend to sleep on FN pistols, but they shouldn’t. FN makes quality guns all around and that extends to their handguns.

The FN 509 is a great compact option with a lot going for it.

FN 509 Compact
FN 509 Compact

This polymer pistol originated from FN’s attempt at securing the U.S. Army’s MHS contract. Unfortunately for them, that didn’t pan out. (Sig won that one.)

But, fortunately for us, we got the FN 509.

Capacity wise it supports 10-, 12-, or 15-round FN mags.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The LAPD recently moved to the 509 series for its duty gun. Read about that selection process here!

8. Taurus G3C

There is a lot to be said about Taurus…but despite some of the past sins, we really can’t find much wrong with the G3C.

In fact, it’s pretty awesome for the price!

Taurus G3C on the farms
Taurus G3C on the farms

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 a great review on the pros and cons of this compact pistol.


The size of a compact 9mm handgun is a great starting point for most people. It’s large enough for your hand still fits on the grip but isn’t quite as big as its full-size siblings.

Glock G17 and G19 Gen 4
Glock G17, full-size, and G19 Gen 4, compact

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.

Concealed Carry AIWB Holster
Managing Editor Jacki is 5’2″ and carries a Glock 19 or similar-sized clone.

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 or the Best Micro Compact 9mm Handguns.

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133 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Paul Dalton

    I'm now confused about choosing between two of S&Ws 9mm M&P2.0 models.

    Previously, I decided to start looking for the Compact 4" model rather than the Full Size 4.25". Their specs seemed really close to each other [I expected the 0.25" shorter barrel could slightly affect performance, but that the Sight Radius difference being only 0.1" might offset some of that]. However, the Compact seemed like a more versatile overall choice because, using the 17+1 magazine (& spacer), it has the same capacity & height as the Full Size, but, when using the 15+1 magazine, it might be better for CC use than the Full Size. That's how I got to what I thought was my choice

    HOWEVER, after I read PPT's "Best Beginner Handgun" & "Best Compact Pistol" lists here, I'm again confused.

    PPT's "Best Beginner" list puts the Glock 19 Compact as #1 (& that's just fine) and puts the "Full Size" M&P2.0 right behind it at #2.

    Post's "Best Compact" list also puts the Glock 19 at #1, but I was then surprised to see four other pistols listed before the list mentions the M&P2.0 "Compact"as #6.

    What am I missing? Is there THAT much difference between the Full Size & Compact M&P2.0 models when compared to the Glock 19? If so, can those differences please be identified?


    March 8, 2022 5:42 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Micheal Saine

      My suggestion, get both m&ps and both glocks, but of thats not an option, get tge least exspencive or most comfertable ones, though I have only used a m&p, ive heard all are good choices

      April 2, 2022 12:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    No caniks???smh

    February 13, 2022 6:04 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      William Glover

      Why no caniks?

      April 13, 2022 6:00 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    J morton

    I would also agree the CZ p10 C is very accurate with a crisp clean trigger pull among being very reliable and dependable I haven't had any problems

    January 24, 2022 1:20 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kevin Campbell

    In my opinion, you should have included the CZ 75D PCR. Excellent fit, finish, weight and very accurate. A really fine pistol from the Czech Republic.

    January 23, 2022 7:07 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Al Keller

    Great rundown on this gun you should have mentioned that a 17 round clip is available but no biggy.

    January 1, 2022 2:16 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Ron Abernethy

      It isn't a clip. It's a magazine.

      January 4, 2022 1:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike Zaino

    CZ P10C

    November 19, 2021 9:24 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    You left off the Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact! A very nice DA/SA double-stack 9mm SMALL handgun, which feels like a big gun in your hand. Holds 13+1, just a tad too fat to pocket carry, but otherwise a very nice gun. Use grease, not oil, on the slide, and this gun will soon become your favorite handgun.

    October 26, 2021 11:55 pm
    • Commenter Avatar


      December 13, 2021 8:23 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Gregory Simmons

    Don’t forget Sig Sauer 226 & 229 (M11-A1) aree we both excellent concealed carry firearms.

    October 26, 2021 7:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Scott Lazar

    Recently picked up a Canik TP9SF Elite. Great trigger and very right sized. A little top heavy, but eats recoil. Thoughts?

    October 23, 2021 4:45 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Travis Gibson

    Have you guys shot the HK P30SK? Pretty solid list in this article for affordability and reliability....as well as easy/comfortable to carry. While I love steel framed like CZ and Walther, most aren't going to carry those daily, especially in the warmer months.

    October 23, 2021 2:22 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ian C MacGregor

    how in the world did you leave out CZ. Both p10c and p10s maybe the best triggers on the market.

    October 22, 2021 6:22 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mike Zaino

      You are correct Sir. I have both.

      November 19, 2021 9:26 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I think this is a very short-sighted list given that they are all polymer striker-fired. Where are the hammer-fired and/or metal/steel/aluminum guns? Guns like the CZ P01?

    October 22, 2021 8:15 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Lee Keller King

    My favorite is the Glock 48 MOS. I have 11 rounds with factory mags and 16 with Shield Arms mags and a longer barrel than the Glock 19, all in a slimmer profile.

    True, there aren't as many aftermarket parts and accessories as with the G19, but that is changing.

    October 22, 2021 8:01 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    What do you know about the Springfield Hellcat?

    October 21, 2021 11:47 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    The CZ PO7 is my EDC I prefer a hammer gun. It's a great shooting gun

    October 21, 2021 9:01 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ken Foster

    Everyone has their favourites. I found the Beretta APX Centurion to have the trigger and price I like best. So much that I also bought the full size APX too. And I already own the others... FN, Glock, Springfield, S&W, Ruger and Taurus.

    October 21, 2021 7:02 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rolando vasquez

    I have to say the px4 storm compact 9mm with rotary barrel makes a fine conceal compact weapon

    October 21, 2021 5:52 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ramon VandenOever

    You list the Taurus G3C and before the Canik TP9SF Elite??? The Canik has a trigger that matches Walther and H&K and resembles the Walther ppq ergonomics. It is a superior gun to the Taurus G3C!

    October 21, 2021 5:37 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Michael H

    You listed the XDM which is fantastic, but the newest version is the game changer! XDM Elite OSP 3.8” in 10mm with 11 + 1. A concealable red dot pistol in 10mm is at home, concealed or open carry in the city as well as hiking the desert or forest.

    October 21, 2021 4:45 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I can't believe the p365 xl wasn't on the list. But at the same time I've been eye Ballin that 320.

    October 21, 2021 4:27 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jack Toffmore

    How can you leave out the Hi-Point C9? Compact, light weight, low price, smooth lines and a lifetime warranty is pretty hard to beat. And it's P+ rated!

    October 21, 2021 2:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Aaron J Siltman

    Taurus over mentioning a CZ? thats surprising.

    October 21, 2021 1:30 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Where's the CZ P10C or the P07?

    I find it hard to believe that the Taurus comes out better than the CZ offerings.

    October 21, 2021 12:51 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jim R.

      I was going to say the same thing. A list this long without a CZ is almost criminal.

      October 21, 2021 8:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

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

    June 8, 2021 5:02 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Steve Sherridon

      Funny - in the bit about the M and P there are two photos provided here however neither are of the M and P 2.0 compact (which is exactly the same size as the G19)! The first photo shows two full size M and P's and the second photo is the M and P subcompact........!!! (The M and P 2.0 compact has two bars on the picatinny rail)

      October 21, 2021 12:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Michael D. Sharum Sr

    I carry a Colt Officer’s 45.

    June 7, 2021 9:50 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bob McCommons

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

    June 7, 2021 7:26 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar

      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
  • Commenter Avatar

    I like the CZ 75D PCR for compact carry…

    June 6, 2021 8:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

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

    June 6, 2021 7:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar

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

    June 6, 2021 6:20 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Army O-3

      Totally agree. VP9sk, vp30sk, Sig 365xl, etc, etc. 13-15 rounds, slimmer, lighter, more easily carried.................

      January 9, 2022 6:47 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    How about the Beretta compact?

    June 6, 2021 5:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar

      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar

      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
    • Commenter Avatar

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

      June 6, 2021 6:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Florida Gal

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

      June 6, 2021 4:15 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      David, PPT Editor

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

      June 6, 2021 3:04 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Robert Nicoletti

      And the p10c

      June 6, 2021 2:39 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

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

    June 17, 2020 11:51 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
  • Commenter Avatar

    Walther PPQ M.2

    April 19, 2020 7:24 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      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
      • Commenter Avatar

        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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
  • Commenter Avatar

    Cz p07 or Cz p10c

    April 15, 2020 8:00 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    What is the first gun pictured?

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

      HK USP Compact!

      March 20, 2020 8:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    CZ P10C

    February 26, 2020 11:10 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    Bersa TPR9C Is my fav.

    October 25, 2019 9:23 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
    • Commenter Avatar

      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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar

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

    March 2, 2019 10:48 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar

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

    May 2, 2018 12:26 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar
      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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    great list, keep them coming!

    December 25, 2017 4:43 am
  • Commenter Avatar


    December 24, 2017 12:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar

      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
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Definitely sad face in CA...

      January 12, 2018 5:00 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar

      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
  • Commenter Avatar

    That is most definitely not a gen5 glock picture

    December 21, 2017 7:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar

      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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
    • Commenter Avatar

      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
  • Commenter Avatar

    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
  • Commenter Avatar
    Josh Meadows

    I was honestly surprised that CZ wasnt on this list.

    December 21, 2017 4:26 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ralph Jannelli

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

    December 21, 2017 4:21 pm
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