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Glock 19 Killers: Best Compact Pistols That Aren’t a Glock

Want a compact pistol that isn't a Glock 19? We walk you through our favorite not-a-Glock compacts that are on par (or better) than the G19.

Compact is a term that’s seen as rather relative in most things. In the gun world, the term compact pistol seems firmly rooted as a firearm’s descriptor.

What size is compact?

Micro Compacts Sig Sauer P365XL
Sig Sauer P365XL

Typically, a compact pistol has a barrel length between 3.7 to 4 inches. It also sports a double-stack type magazine with a capacity of at least 15 rounds (if 9mm) and features similar to a full-sized gun – like a rail for lights and optics compatibility.

The Glock 19 defined an entire generation of pistols as the standard-bearer for what a compact pistol should be. It’s small enough to be carried concealed but big enough to be a duty or home defense pistol.

Glock 19 Gen 5, Stock
Glock 19 Gen 5

New generations have seen a rail for lights and a cut for optics.

Being a standard-bearer meant you were innovative enough to be successful. However, does that mean the Glock 19 is the best compact pistol on the market?

I don’t think so.

Set of Glocks
Here a Glock, there a Glock…

I appreciate Glocks, and I own them, but I think Glock has gotten complacent. They still equip those not-so-great sights to their guns, and they won’t release the MOS 3 to us average joes. Not to mention, they ignore most ergonomic complaints until a big contract calls for changes.

With that in mind, if the Glock 19 is no longer the best, what is?

That’s tough. The compact handgun genre has become incredibly popular and is filled with outstanding options.

I can’t tell you which is the very best, but I can tell which guns are gunning for Glock’s top spot.

So, keep reading to see some Glock 19 alternatives in the compact realm.

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Most Options

    CZ P10-C Models

    Lots of models, great ergonomics, reliable

  2. Best Red Dot Ready Model

    Walther PDP

    Designed with red dots in mind, great ergonomics

  3. Most Modular

    Sig Sauer P320C

    FCU means it can easily be swapped into different grip modules

  4. Best DA/SA Model

    HK P30

    DA/SA, great ergomomics, easy to reach controls

  5. Easiest to Control

    Beretta APX Centurion

    Accurate, easy to manage recoil

  6. Most Concealable

    Sig Sauer P365XL

    Easy to conceal, feels good in the hand

Best Glock 19 Alternatives

1. CZ P-10C

CZ produced a striker-fired pistol before, but we don’t talk about the CZ 100. What the CZ 100 got wrong doesn’t matter because the CZ P-10C got it right. The latest and arguably greatest strike-fired from CZ hit all the right marks.

CZ P10C and a box of 9mm
The CZ P10C

The C stands for compact, and the barrel measures 4.02 inches long, the capacity of flush-fitting magazines is 15 rounds, and the pistol is 1.26 inches wide.

Optics-ready options are available, and the gun comes with a Picatinny rail and backstraps to adjust for different hand sizes.

On top of that, CZ makes numerous models with different features, including suppressor height sights, threaded barrels, and different frame colors.

Most Options
499
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The P-10C does a few things notably better than the Glock…

First, the trigger is superior. It’s a cleaner break with a flat-faced trigger that performs better and feels better in hand.

Second, I find the ergonomics to be phenomenal. This includes the slide lock placement, the magazine release size, and the ultra-aggressive grip texture.

CZ P10C and a fresh mag
Capacity matters. The CZ P10C OR has a 15 +1 capacity and ships with two mags.

Oh, and the sights are made of metal — not plastic.

Glock still has CZ licked in simplicity and magazine prices as CZ mags are pricey. While the P10-C can be upgraded with new controls, triggers, etc., the Glock is still the easier gun to work on.

Even so, the P-10C offers more features, better ergonomics, and more configurations, and they do so for about the same price as a Glock 19.

CZ P10C close up

Want to learn more? Check out our review of the CZ P-10C.

2. Walther PDP Compact

PDP might as well stand for Pretty Damn Perfect because Walther blew it out of the park with this gun. The PDP is a successor and evolution of the PPQ.

It’s the first pistol I know of designed with the use of red dots in mind.

Walther PDP

That said, of course, it’s red dot ready and outfitted with a plate system superior to the Glock MOS system in design.

The PDP compact features a 4-inch barrel, a width of 1.34 inches, and a magazine capacity of 15 rounds.

Walther designed the gun’s grip ergonomics around using a red dot, which shows.

Finding the dot and completing a good presentation of the gun makes it easy to find and quick on target. That by itself is innovative and makes the PDP Compact stand out.

Best Red Dot Ready Model
649
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Like the PPQ, the PDP features an amazing trigger. In fact, it’s even better than the PPQ with a shorter travel and a tactile reset you can’t miss.

Hot dang, the ergonomics of the PDP are awesome, and the gun feels so good in the hand. Besides feeling gun, the grip texture and the slide serrations are aggressive and sticky.

All the controls are large and easy to engage, especially the slide lock. Walther also allows you to swap frames and slides to create numerous gun configurations.

Glock does come in cheaper at both gun and magazine prices, though.

The Glock MOS series provide the plates to the shooter, while the PDP forces owners to order their free plate from Walther. Glocks are also easier to find and widely available.

Walther PDP Grip with Pinky Extension
Walther PDP Grip with pinky extension

The Walther PDP continues Walther’s tradition of being very underrated and under-appreciated.

In most respects, Walther’s Compact model blows the Glock away and is an awesome gun.

Want to learn more? Check out our written review here or watch the video review below!

3. Sig Sauer P320C

If one gun has been eating Glock’s lunch, it’s been the P320C.

Every day it seems like law enforcement departments are adopting the P320 — and we can’t forget the military’s adoption of the pistol.

The M17 is a formidable weapon designed to operate in the military theater
P320-M17

I’ll give you two guesses at what the C in P320C stands for, and here is a hint, it doesn’t stand for cat. The compact variant hits us with 15-round magazines, a barrel length of 3.9 inches, and a width of 1.4 inches.

Sig loves to make a variety of configurations, and the P320C comes in seemingly half a dozen different variants.

The standard model is what we’ll be referencing today. The gun’s main draw will be its modularity.

Most Modular
466
at Kentucky Gun Co

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The internal FCU is the actual “gun” portion. So this lets shooters easily remove the FCU and swap grip modules and slide sizes. I use a number of grip modules with my P320C, including one that allows the use of P365 mags.

Besides that, Sig includes real, all-metal sights that are almost always Sig LITE night sights. They also offer numerous optics-ready models, ambidextrous or reversible controls, and that 1911-like angle we all adore in the good ole US of A.

What does Glock do better? Provides magazines at a decent price point.

Glock Mags
Glock mags are kinda hard to beat.

Sig is quite proud of their Italian-made mags. Beyond that, it’s tough to justify the Glock 19 in favor of the P320C.

I’m hoping guns like the Sig Sauer P320 force Glock to innovate and release those innovations to us. (Where’s the Glock 46 Gaston?)

4. HK P30

I will defy the article I’m writing by introducing a DA/SA hammer-fired gun instead of a striker-fired model.

The P30 doesn’t have a “compact” designation but fits the bill. HK gives us a 3.9-inch barrel, a width of 1.37 inches, and 15 rounds of 9mm in the magazine.

John Wick’s P30L

The DA/SA action of the HK P30 means the gun’s outfitted with a decocker. It’s not a conventional decocker, but it’s one of my favorites. HK placed it at the rear of the gun, right by the hammer, for easy engagement.

It also offers an awesome European magazine release that sits on the trigger guard — ambidextrous and easy to manipulate. The controls, in general, are massive and easy to engage.

This is one of the few pistols I can shoot with a thumb’s forward grip without pinning down the slide lock.

Best DA/SA Model
667
at Kentucky Gun Co

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

On the ergonomic front, a gun with replaceable backstraps is nothing new. However, HK went a step further with replaceable backstraps and side panels.

You can definitely customize the gun to fit your hand beyond what Glock offers.

Thankfully, HK got rid of their proprietary rail and gave us a true Picatinny rail.

I mean, if Wick rocks as P30 variant, it’s probably alright.

Beyond that, Glock does a few things better. Like the magazines, which is a recurring theme. Also, Glock makes an optics-ready model — HK doesn’t do the same with the P30.

The HK P30 differs slightly with its DA/SA design, but it’s a fantastic firearm with interesting ergonomics. It might not appeal to everyone, but it’s a winner in my book.

5. Beretta APX Centurion

Poor Beretta deserved a lot more recognition for the APX series. It’s easy for striker-fired pistols to get lost in the mix, but the APX presented a fantastic pistol.

The Centurion model uses 15-round magazines, a barrel length of 3.7 inches, and a width of 1.3 inches.

Beretta APX Centurion and shells
Beretta APX Centurion

This model delivers the closest we get to a compact pistol in this lineup. (Beretta’s actual compact APX is more of a subcompact.)

The APX was Beretta’s entry into the MHS trials and, like the P320, uses an integral chassis from easy-grip swaps.

Beretta released a few different frame sizes and frames with finger grooves and without. APX Centurion owners can swap the back strap, which also changes the side panels of the grip.

Easiest to Control
410
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The APX trigger might be average and on par with Glock, but holy crap is it an accurate and controllable gun.

This little fella is super easy to shoot accurately and quickly. The APX ergonomics and configuration make it easier to control with more accuracy than I expected.

Size-wise it’s a little smaller than the Glock 19 and easier to conceal, but we still get a rail system.

The RDO model allows the shooter to top it off with a red dot on demand, and the ergonomics lend themselves well to adding a red dot.

Tested Pistol Red Dots
Tested Pistol Red Dots

Glock’s G19 still…you guessed it, makes magazines cheaper. And the Glock 19 is much more readily available. Finding the APX Centurion can be tough, and finding the RDO model can be even tougher.

Beretta makes them…allegedly.

The APX Centurion is a top-tier Italian stallion; believe it or not; it’s one of the most affordable pistols on this list.

Right now, you can purchase it for less than $400 — that’s a lot of guns for such a low price.

6. Sig Sauer P365 XL

You may claim the Sig Sauer P365 XL isn’t a compact pistol. You might be right, but then what is it?

The P365 XL has a 3.7-inch barrel, a 15-round magazine, and a width of 1.1 inches. It’s smaller than the Glock 19 but still meets the dimensions of a compact pistol.

P365XL Spectre Comp base
P365XL

This gun packs a rail…even though it’s proprietary, it can mount a TLR 7 SUB. Don’t forget, you can also attach a red dot, and every P365 XL is optic ready.

The main benefit is that the P365 is much thinner than the Glock 19. It easily pulls double duty as a self-defense handgun and a concealed carry pistol.

Not to mention, it conceals easier…and that matters to a lot of smaller shooters.

Most Concealable
599
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Besides being a little smaller, it packs the same style of FCU the P320 does. You can use multiple grip modules from Sig and the aftermarket to get various grip sizes, terrains, features, and more.

Heck, I have an all-metal grip for my P365. What’s not to love?

Besides being optics ready, we also get great Sig Day/Night sights, a great trigger, an ergonomic grip, and multiple options for magazines. The 15-rounder fits, but so do 12-rounders which shrink the gun.

Micro Compacts Sig Sauer P365XL
Micro Compacts Sig Sauer P365XL

What Glock does better, besides magazines, is control. The larger, wider grip offers better control over the gun, making it easier to fire faster and more accurately.

The Sig Sauer P365 XL redefines a compact handgun and offers an option for someone who might prioritize concealment more than control.

7. Glock 48 MOS

So, for those who MUST have a Glock but still want to scoot around the Glock 19…check out the Glock 48 MOS.

G48 and mag
Standard G48

It’s basically a single-stack Glock 19 in size – with a slightly longer barrel at 4.17 inches but a width of only 1.1 inches.

The stock magazines only contain 10 rounds, but a company called Shield makes a flush-fitting 15-round all-metal magazine that gives it Glock 19 capacity.

The MOS model tosses on an optic’s cut and a rail for mini lights like the TLR 7 SUB.

Glock MOS with Trijicon RMR and Buris Fastfire 3
The Trijicon RMR Type 2(left) and Burris Fastfire 3 (right) are great MOS options.

Basically, this version, alongside Shield mags, gives you a Glock 19 that’s smaller than the Glock 19.

The main thing the G48 does better is concealment. It slips under clothes very easily and makes the gun-friendly to carry. Even though it’s more carry-friendly, the hand-filling grip makes it easy to control and manage.

495
at Kentucky Gun Co.

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Like the Glock 19, the Glock 48 is simple, reliable, and robust.

It’s customizable, and numerous companies produce magazines for the weapon. However, the Shield mags are the only option that offers you compact capacity with a flush-fitting design.

Available Coupons

Final Thoughts

Though the Glock fanguys and girls will lament the fact that I’m suggesting anything other than Gaston’s Glory, the PPT team likes options.

P365XL Spectre Comp pair
P365XL and P365XL Spectre Comp

So, when you want something that’s just as good (or even better…yeah, I said it) than Glock, check out the options above.  

Which gun do you think out Glocks the Glock 19? Or have I committed sacrilege even suggesting such a thing? Let me know below. If you need a Glock, check out our list of the Best Glock Models or the Glock Clones we think are worthy of your attention.

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35 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Doug

    Sorry I was hoping the Springfield XDM's would be mentioned, mine makes my sorry marksmanship look acceptable.

    July 12, 2022 5:32 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Frank Hopkins

    I guess I bought the wrong 9…. Taurus is never mentioned in these articles…..

    July 11, 2022 6:10 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Doug

      I love mine too but I bought the p111 g2 and discovered the hard way that they don't like dry fire. It took Terms 2 months to get the gun back to me. Though they were in the process of moving their operations to a more gun friendly state at the time.

      July 12, 2022 5:36 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    JC

    You mentioned both the Walther and Beretta being underrated firearms. Both great guns and your description of both are spot on. The MOST underrated firearm and not mentioned here, of course, is the Arex Delta. My wife is a southpaw and I’m not. The Gen2 has ambi controls plus everything else you said the other guns are good for. Price, trigger, ergonomics and a full set of plates for red dots. Some manufacturers are now not sending those. Food for thought. Cheers!

    July 11, 2022 4:32 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    JOSHUA RUSHFORD

    No love for the Canik TP9SF Elite?

    July 11, 2022 4:11 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      silverlining

      No.

      July 11, 2022 8:23 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Eric

    I have a Sig P365xl with the Wilson Combat grip mod. With standard XRAY3 sights and no light or laser on the rail. It is all around smaller than the Glock 19, especially in the width (1.1” vs 1.3”). The trigger is superior and the ergonomics massively so, especially with the WC grip. But even the standard xl grip module is much better than the Glock for ergonomics.

    I carry IWB with the 12 round magazine. I don’t believe the 3 extra rounds, whether using the extended mag for the P365xl or the Glock 19, is worth it compared to the ability to conceal and carry the Sig.

    As far as shooting it goes … I’ve been shooting handguns since 1985: 1911’s, M9’s, Glocks, Kimber’s, Sigs, Springfields, etc ….. Mostly .45acp, 9mm, and some .40 …. The Sig P365xl is quite manageable and accurate at 7 meters. Which is self-defense range.

    Since we are talking self-defense and concealed carry, that’s what I’m concerned with. This pistol is not a range queen or a competition piece.

    And the Sig P365xl beats the Glock 19 in every category I care about for EDC.

    July 10, 2022 9:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    JAG45

    How can not list the one that has sold more that all the rest, and cheaper. Taurus G3, G3C

    July 10, 2022 8:01 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      silverlining

      The Glock 19 debuted in 1988. It is now on the 5th generation platform, 34 years later. The Taurus G2/3 series only goes back to 2005. Your “sold more that all the rest” needs a citation.

      July 11, 2022 8:32 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        JAG45

        First I did not say anything about selling more than the Glock, but only the 7 listed. All (most) the ones on the list have not been around as long as the G2/G3. Second, most manufactures do not break down sales, only give totals sales on most places you can check. I have seen the G2/G3 listed as the highest traded pistol over the last several years, by most groups or organizations the track sales. Your results may vary.

        July 11, 2022 9:09 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bob Smith

    I also think the S&W Shield Plus is a worthy candidate and might be added to the list.

    July 10, 2022 7:43 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric

      I like the Shield Plus, but I think it’s more Micro Compact

      July 10, 2022 9:04 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Matthew L Gilson

      I carry the M&P 9 shield plus, definitely a micro that packs a bunch! Quick question, have you been able to get 13 rounds in that mag? I can force the last but issues loading the mag. Still shoots better than I am capable...and hides very well appendix.

      July 16, 2022 11:14 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Sean Dimond

    As I agree with Mr.T-Rex about the Canik, the thing is when people want to but a 9mm the stores have the glock on hand these others not so much, and the glock does beat them in price most of the time.

    July 10, 2022 7:32 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric

      I’ve yet to find the Sig P365xl in stock at any of my LGS. But since we have a 10 day wait in WA state, ordering it is not a big deal. If it was in stock, they’d just have to hold it for me anyhow. And yeah, the G19 is always in stock at one, or more, of my LGS

      July 11, 2022 6:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    T-Rex

    I myself have discovered the best all around "compact" for me was the Canik tp9 series, although not as easily modified as the Glock, I found it ultra reliable and at a great price point. I've owned my tp9sf for 6 years, put several thousand rounds through it with no malfunction of any kind with you name it for ammo.

    July 10, 2022 7:26 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Den

    My first polymer was a G19 gen 5. Then G23 , had to have a G21 which all feels natural for me. Reliable and accurate. Recently picked up a Canik TP9 Elite SC all dressed out, The best SC to carry, accurate does anything you want. My favorite of all.

    July 10, 2022 7:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Cain

    I have a few points I'd like to hit on. I'd like to start by saying this is a good article. However I notice a lot of the articles I see from yall like to ignore Springfield. I'm aware there was a confusing moment in the past with them but regardless of your opinion of that, you can't deny they make some good guns. For example. You listed the Walther as the first red dot centered pistol. Springfield has an entire lineup, and has had it for a while, of optics ready pistols and some that come with a red dot already on. They use all high quality materials and processes, are simple and reliable with plenty of features and they keep them at an affordable pricepoint. If I were to have to choose between owning any springfield vs any glock I'd choose the springfield

    July 10, 2022 6:56 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Pat T

    What about the M&P 9 Compact? The optics ready version is definitely on par with the G19, and the new trigger is definitely an upgrade. I would also say that the Hellcat Pro is another worthy option. It’s good that we have so many options for compact pistols.

    July 10, 2022 6:41 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kurt S

    Once again you never mention the Bersa TPR9-C. A compact, service weapon that is not a striker fired pistol. Mine has easily handled every different brand and weight of ammo that I've stuffed into its magazines. Doesn't have all the fancy accessories, comes with two 13 round magazines. It's a little beast of a compact 9mm.

    July 10, 2022 5:56 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bobby Hornsby

    I’m a big walthers fan all my friends that have shot my ppq go out and buy one very if not the best trigger of any market hand gun and very accurate.

    July 10, 2022 5:36 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Christian

    What?!…
    No mention of PSA Dagger, S&W M&P, Springfield Hellcat Pro, FN 509?
    Eric, come on man!

    July 10, 2022 5:27 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Saul Serna

    Unfortunately most of those guns aren't CA friendly. Can you do a comparison with CA friendly models?

    July 10, 2022 5:26 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric

      The Sig P365xl with 10 rd CA compliant mags works great for you, I believe.

      July 10, 2022 9:06 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Andrei

        In California we have list of approved handguns for sale: the Sig P365 isn't on that list so it is not readily available to regular citizens.

        July 11, 2022 7:49 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Eric

          Ugh …. That’s the stupid micro stamping BS that Sig (and others) refuse to do. I bailed out of CA in 2006 and never looked back.

          July 11, 2022 8:09 pm
          • Commenter Avatar
            Andrei

            Honestly, I'm glad no one is following through with it considering the new law making it easier to get pistols on the roster but removing 3 old pistols from the roster every time a new one is added.

            July 11, 2022 9:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bemused Berserker

    Glock. 5 Generations and the trigge,r though improved, still sucks. I own a PPQ M2 that has a phenomenal trigger right out of the box. They say the PDP is even better. Haven't tried one yet, but I'll take their word for it.
    For now, I'm still pleased with PPQ M2.

    July 10, 2022 5:26 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Drew

    The PSA Dagger is fantastic alternative and takes all Glock 19 parts. It shoots amazing and feels so good in your hand, better than a G19 IMO.

    July 10, 2022 5:09 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kevin

    Add Shadow Systems to the list.

    July 10, 2022 5:08 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jacki Billings

      We have them listed in our favorite clones article! https://www.pewpewtactical.com/best-glock-clones/

      July 11, 2022 7:26 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Randy

    You missed the FN 509 line. I borrowed a friend’s FN-9 a few years ago and made the switch from Glock. You don’t have as many after market options as Glock, however I find it shoots and handles better.

    July 10, 2022 4:31 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dave Davidson

    I was forced into a striker fired weapon by my agency going to them ( from SIG to Glock!). I own a couple of striker fired platforms, but if my life is on the line, I am going to a hammer fired. Why limit myself in a bad situation to DA only when I could have DA or SA?

    July 10, 2022 4:29 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Andrei

      Why the preference for hammer fired? Not hating on hammer fired - I'm a big 1911 fan - but curious on your opinion.

      July 11, 2022 7:52 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Randy C Davidson

        Check the last sentence..."Why limit myself in a bad situation to DA only when I could have DA or SA?". With a striker fired you have to stop everything, move grip hands and rack the slide. With a hammer all I have to do is grab the hammer...

        July 11, 2022 7:59 pm
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