6 Best Sub-Compact Single-Stack 9mm for CCW [2019]

What is the best concealed carry gun?  This is a subjective question.  

You’ll have the 1911 guys who don’t care what the Glock guys say because they only carry a full-sized gun under their bowling shirt.

The Glock guy might say a compact like the 19 Gen 4 because they are easier to conceal.

glock 26 vs 19
The much smaller 26 on the left is a good bit more concealable than the 19 on the right.

Who’s right?

As I said, it’s subjective, and everyone has a preference.  

I like the weight, size, and concealability of a single stack 9mm, and if you’re here, chances are you do too.

9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP)
9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP)

Let’s take a look at just what makes a single stack 9mm such a great choice for a concealed carry weapon, and which one of these tiny ninnies is the best choice for you.

Table of Contents

Loading...

Single Stack Means What Exactly?

A single stack magazine has one row of ammo.  

You have a bullet on top of a bullet.  A double stack magazine, on the other hand, staggers the rounds essentially making two rows of ammo. The benefit to a double stack magazine is more ammo in the magazine.

single stack vs double stack magazine
Left: Single Stack, Right: Double Stack.

The benefit of a single stack magazine is the gun can be thinner overall.   The most common double stack sub-compact is the Glock 26.

 It holds 10+1 rounds, and the overall width is 1.18 inches. In comparison, a Springfield Armory XD-S holds 7+1 rounds and is .9 inches wide at the grip.  That’s a little over a quarter of an inch difference.

I know .28 inches might not seem like a lot, but if you set them side by side, it really is.  While you lose 3 rounds, the thinner size makes it easier to hide, an ounce or so lighter, and is more comfortable for some people.

Glock 26 and XD-S 9mm comparison pic
Glock 26 and XD-S 9mm comparison

What Makes a Gun a Sub-Compact?

A sub-compact to many people is considered a pocket gun or a backup weapon.  Personally, I like the sub-compact size for CCW because they are lighter and easier to carry anywhere.

Sub-compact barrels are typically around 3.25 inches, though some are a little longer, some shorter.  The overall length is usually about 6.25 inches, but some with stubby barrels come in at less.

In comparison, the sub-compact XD-S 9mm has a barrel length of 3.3 inches and an overall size of 4.4” high and 6.3” long.  The compact XD-M 9mm has a barrel length of 3.8 inches and an overall size of 4.75” high and 6.75” long.

As you can see, there isn’t a huge difference between the compact and sub-compact guns.  Other manufacturers have a slightly bigger difference in their sub-compact to compact size.  A Glock 26 is 6.41” long, 4.17” tall and a barrel length of 3.42”.  The compact Glock 19 is 7.36” long, 4.99” tall and a barrel length of 4.01”; so it’s a little larger.

Some makes of sub-compact concealed carry guns have bigger grips than others. This can be a benefit if you have larger hands or just don’t like your little finger left with no place to rest.

Why 9mm?

9mm is arguably the most popular caliber for your CCW.  It’s powerful, smaller than a .40 or .45 so you can fit more in a magazine, they are slightly lighter, and even some government and law enforcement agencies are transitioning back to 9mm from the .40, and very few agencies carry .45acp for anything but special purpose use. 

Alright, let’s get down to the fun stuff…the recommendations.  These are the tried and true, battle-tested, single stack, 9mm sub-compacts that should be on anyone’s list when choosing a new CCW.

Best Single Stack 9mm CCW Pistols

1. Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield

This is an all-around great gun. Its light, smooth, and most people can get their whole hand on the grip. There isn’t a lot more you can ask for.

Great Value (Sub-Compact)
350
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

It is a little larger than some sub-compact pistols, but it’s not quite a compact, so that’s why it’s on the list.  Many small carry guns have a looooong and hard trigger pull.  While the theory behind this is safety, in reality, it kinda sucks.  I find my finger wants to curl around the trigger as I pull it that far back.

The M&P9 Shield has a nice, smooth, shorter pull. The reset point for the trigger is good and you’ll be able to squeeze off a few rounds pretty fast if you need to.

Specs:

  • .94 wide
  • 3.1-inch barrel
  • 6.1 inches overall
  • 4.6 tall
  • 7+1 and 8+1

2. Sig Sauer P290RS Nitron Sub-Compact

Like a lot of sub-compact carry guns, the Sig Sauer P290RS has a Dual Action trigger.  Meaning, if you have a light primer strike, you can just pull the trigger again to try and fire the same round. You don’t need to rack the slide like other guns unless it doesn’t fire again.

Very Compact (Single Stack)
450
at Cabela's

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

You’ll have interchangeable grip inserts so you can size the gun to fit your hand better.  Big hands and a small gun makes for uncomfortable shooting without the proper grip.

The Sig P290RS has a stainless steel slide coated with Nitron resists wear and corrosion.  This will help you keep your gun in good shape for a long time.

Specs:

  • .9 wide
  • 2.9-inch barrel
  • 5.5-inches overall
  • 3.9-inches tall
  • 6 and 8 round mags

3. Springfield XD(S) 3.3

Another gun that has a larger grip so you can get all of your fingers on it.  The textured grip also helps you hold onto it easier.  With the XD-S, you get a fiber optic front sight for easier target acquisition in lower light.

480
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The serrations on the slide are deep and make it easier to rack, which means you need less grip strength to hold onto the slide.  I like this a lot because when you’re in a stressful situation, you might be a little sweaty and shaky and your hand could slip off the slide.  

This also makes it an excellent gun for disabled shooters who may have arthritis or another wrist/hand problems that could interfere with racking a slicker slide.

Specs:

  • .9 wide
  • 3.3-inch barrel
  • 6.3-inches overall
  • 4.4-inches tall
  • 7+1 or 8+1

4. Glock 43

The Glock 43 is a result of Glock giving into the demand for a single stack 9mm, and oh what a joyous thing it is that they finally did.  The Glock 26 is nice, but it’s wide and heavy compared to offerings from other manufacturers, and the 42 was a big disappointment for those who wanted a 9mm over a .380.

Ultra Reliable Single-Stock CCW
449
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Let me tell you what… they did a good job.  There was a waiting list for this little guy.  The law enforcement officers I know were pumped to have a thinner lighter backup or off-duty weapon. Weight wise, it’s 3.76 ounces lighter than the model 26 unloaded.  That’s near a quarter pound lighter.

That’s about the weight of an average sized apple.

See more in our full review or our hands-on video below:

Specs:

  • 1.02 wide
  • 3.39-inch barrel
  • 6.26-inches overall
  • 4.25-inches tall
  • 6+1

What’s your take on the super-popular G43? How does it stack up against the others in our best Glocks guide?

Readers' Ratings

4.86/5 (654)

Your Rating?

5. Walther PPS M2

A successor to the Walther PPS, the PPS M2 carries over some of the features from the PPS, but it’s thinner and has a different grip texture Walther borrowed from the PPQ models.

450
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

You’ll get large white dot sights so you can quickly acquire your target. The thin 1-inch thick frame gives you an easy to conceal gun that’s large enough to fit your whole hand on.

The PPS M2 has front and rear serrations so you can rack the gun easier.  You don’t have to rely on your grip strength.

Specs:

  • 1-inch wide
  • 3.18-inch barrel
  • 6.3-inches overall
  • 4.4-inches tall
  • 6+1

6. Ruger LC9S Pro

Ruger has been making sub-compact guns for a long time, and they do a great job.  One of the first CCW guns I ever fired was an LCP.  The Ruger LC9S Pro is much updated compared to that little 380 I fired years ago.

530
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

What the Ruger gives you that most others don’t is the short trigger pull.  This is the main difference between the LC9 and the LC9s.  The pull that would break after, what seemed like, a mile long pull, is now a quick pull of about ¼ the pull.  You also don’t have to bring the trigger all the way back to the front of the trigger guard like on the LC9.

Specs:

  • .9-inch wide
  • 3.12-inch barrel
  • 6-inches overall
  • 4.5-inches tall
  • 7+1

ruger lc9 size

Ruger LC9s

Conclusion

Now that you have a few choices for a sub-compact single stack 9mm, you can start to get into the specifics that are right for you.  I was told when I was at the gun store shopping for my first carry gun, that people tend to stick with the first brand they buy.  This is somewhat true with the guys I shoot with.

Something else we try to do is stick with a common caliber.  For example, I use .40 for most of my carry guns.  This way, I can don’t have to have 7 different calibers when it’s time to go to the range.

9mm is a great caliber to have.  It’s been improved upon over the last few years and has more takedown power than it used to.  Plus, if we run into a situation where there is a shortage again, you won’t have to track down 9mm, 45 ACP, 10mm, .40, 380, and whatever else you have.  You will just need to dip into your 9mm stockpile as needed.

Choosing a single stack sub-compact is a matter of preference.  Finding one that’s comfortable in your hand, that you can shoot accurately, and you are confident carrying in the event you need to use it is the real key.

And if you do go with one for CCW…take a look at USCCA’s CCW Insurance.  I review what you get in terms of civil/criminal defense and other benefits.  Plus how it stacks up against the NRA’s Carry Guard.

What’s your choice out of the sub-compact single stack 9mms on the market?  Also, don’t forget to take a look at our recommendations for Best Range & Defense 9mm Ammo.

121 Leave a Reply

  • Steve

    Great job of delivering the info so anyone can understand it.

    2 days ago
  • Pete

    No Glock 19 gen 5? FN 509?

    5 days ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      Nope! Neither the Glock 19 nor the FN 509 is a sub-compact or single-stack.

      5 days ago
      • Hunter

        I understand the technical categories difference here, but it's about time to write a new CCW list review. The new release of Hellcat, Sig 365 regular and XL, Glock 43 (even 43X), etc. all seem better options for capacity and size relative to those listed above. Albeit they may be in the microcompact category, why carry a LC9 if you can afford to carry something like the Sig or Hellcat sporting at least 3 more rounds in same package?

        1 second ago
  • JVick

    SIG 365???????? Really? It’s smaller than the Glock (block) and is a much nicer pistol! Compare the two at your favorite gun store and you will agree! It also has a nicer trigger.

    1 week ago
  • Robert

    Trevor, I carry the Ruger EC9s, an economy version of the LC9s, and I love this pistol. It’s lightweight, well designed and very accurate even out to 25 yards, which surprised me. Great article/review and all fine picks. I’m sure it was hard narrowing it down to a hand full. So many good ones on the market. Thanks Trevor!

    2 weeks ago
  • Lance Elliott

    No 43x ?

    3 weeks ago
    • Mike Baker

      This. Even though the 48 and 43x are technically a "1.5 stack" I think it's a huge disservice to not even mention them in the article.

      3 weeks ago
  • Cal Wing

    I was disappointed that you didn’t include the Taurus G2s 9mm. Gun Tests give it a solid A rating and places it ahead of S&W’s M&P Shield in several areas and rating the G2s as a Best Buy at $229. I ran several hundred rounds through a G2s at our range then switched over to a S&W M&P Shield and a Walther PPs M2 before buying a G2s for myself and another for my wife. We’ve run a couple of thousand rounds through both guns with zero issues. They tear down for cleaning just like a Glock, have thumb safety and another leaf safety in the trigger so I’m comfortable carrying with a round in the chamber. I will be trying one of the new Hellcats when it makes it to the range. An extra 5 rounds could come in handy.

    1 month ago
  • Bob

    Yes, nice to see the Sig P290rs on here. It's overlooked often. Great gun. If only Sig would make it da/sa with a decocker like all their others.

    1 month ago
  • Mifin

    I have an XDS from when they first came out. It was repaired by the factory, but still has issues with the slide lock mechanism. I have debated selling it v. waiting months to have it repaired at the factory. It is wider and bulkier than the Sig 365, which carries more rounds. the only benefit is the barrel being .2'' longer. It isn't a pleasant shooter either, unless you have the extended magazine. The only reason you should have a single stack is if you are unfortunate to live in a state that restricts your magazine capacity.

    1 month ago
  • HasMas

    My first compact was a Kahr CW9. I loved the gun, only 1 malfunction out of hundreds of rounds fired and that was straight out of the box with no cleaning. It was a light primer strike during the first 100 rounds. When I did clean it it was obvious that from the factory there was some gunk in the firing pin channel in the slide. After that it ran with anything i put in it. However, I couldn't get used to the trigger. Regardless of how much I practiced I could pull off fast shots accurately. For this reason I don't recomend them. Went to a Shield and couldnt be happier. I have had zero malfunctions and it shoots super accurate and to the same POI with every type of ammo I have shot, Underwood, Ameeican Eagle, Fiocchi, +P or Standard pressure, to name a few. Not many guns do that, in fact most Shields don't either, I just got lucky. I want to pick up an CZ P01. Not sure if that's considered a subcompact, buts its still very concealable.

    1 month ago
  • Lincoln

    I went to the range and rented the Glock 43 a few times. Liked the size and feel. Then I saw the new for 2019 Mossberg MC1SC. GLock 43 size but much better grip, much better trigger. Managing recoil seems better too. I got one and love it. I know you probably didn't get a chance at the time of this writing to try one, but Mossberg did a great job. I have fired all kinds of rounds through it with no issues, in multiple grain sizes. Federal American Eagle, Federal Syntech, Federal Personal Defense Hydra Shok, Federal Train & Protect, Federal HST, Speer Gold Dtot, Speer Lawman, Hornady Critical Defense, Norma Monolithic Hollow Point, Black Hills HoneyBadger, Remington Ultimate Defense Golden Saber, Ammo Inc's Jesse James, Independence. It cleans up easy too.

    2 months ago
  • Brian

    Got my Glock 43x a few months back and it’s a great gun but does hurt a little when doing a lot of range shooting bec I have stinking long fingers and my finger nails if not trimmed go into my support palm lol! Teaches me to trim them. Also just bought a Shield 2.0 which has an amazing grip (far superior to the 1.0) so now I have two guns fun to shoot and both concealable!

    3 months ago
  • Teresa

    I got a Ruger EC9. Small hand. Reliable make. Light weight. Fits better than most 380s. Tough to rack until broke in. Just wish came w/2 mags like my husbands Shield.

    3 months ago
    • Joe

      I got one last year from budsgunshop and it did come with two magazines. It's a great little piece.

      3 months ago
  • Buddy

    The Springfield XDe in either 9mm or .45 should definitely be on the list.

    3 months ago
  • Mikala

    your prices are WAY off what the retailer is asking. Cabelas is NOT selling the Shield for $299.

    3 months ago
    • J

      The shield is 199$ right now. Idk what you're smoking.

      6 days ago
      • Frank

        That’s for the first shield model, not the M2. I paid with rebates and gift card for buying gun $250 for the M2 a month ago.

        4 days ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      The prices were accurate at the time of publishing, so March 2019 in this case. Looks like Brownells has it for $350 and Cabelas for $380 depending on model.

      3 months ago
  • Johann Schuster

    Surprised the Kahr P9, PM9 or CW9 aren't mentioned. I've had my P9 for several years and it's been fantastic. Crazy accurate, reliable, simple to use and simple to maintain. I believe it's just as compact, if not more, then many others. I use it for CCW, and also to train my spouse & daughters on. The P9 is a fantastic choice.

    3 months ago
  • Billy Bailey

    Don’t know why the sign 365 was left out for I had two of the if the pistols that are on you list and sold them to buy the sig p365 which I personally think it is better than the ones you listed but I cannot say that for sure for I haven’t shot all of them

    4 months ago
    • Alexander Putnam

      The Sig p365 is technically a double stack magazine, and this list is only single stack pistols. The 365 is just as thin as a single stack, but still doesn't qualify for this list.

      4 months ago
  • Marc

    Why is the Kahr S9 or CW9 not in this list? So much better at getting more barrel in less overall size.

    4 months ago
    • Johann Schuster

      Indeed. Kahr makes fantastic single stack CCW designs. They didn't even mention the design promotes quick follow-up shot placement, and that is crucial!

      3 months ago
    • Paul

      Yep

      4 months ago
  • Mark

    I prefer a p365 to anything on this so called list. Better size, capacity and accuracy. Just my opinion.

    4 months ago
  • granadier

    Why are all of you wasting money on guns. All you need is one hand grenade.

    5 months ago
    • adam

      and yell allahuakbar

      3 months ago
      • Kona Golden

        Aloha Snackbar!

        1 month ago
      • Chris

        I just died laughing. Thank you gents

        3 months ago
  • Bruce

    Taurus GSC 1000rds so far, runs perfect, accurate, around 200 bucks

    5 months ago
  • Gem Gram

    I carry a Kahr P9. Why? It was the closest thing to the feel of a Glock that I could find at the time I purchased it. It is a fine gun if a bit costly when I bought it. What would I buy today? A Glock 43 of course. Why? Because it IS a Glock. But I can not justify that since I have that P9 that is almost a Glock. :-) Why Glock? Because I bought a Glock 17 for personal defense way back when almost no one had one. Because I have two times shot a G 17 ten thousand rounds without cleaning it on purpose just to test them. Not one misfire or mag up in both tests, and almost the same accuracy the last 50 rounds as the first 50. I am a believer that if your life depends on something that is what you have to have. Of course that gos out the window given that ANY gun on you is better than the best one at home. So, when convenient or a bad stress situation I have a 17 or 22 on me, I must admit that 90% of the time when out running around I have that sub compact on me and NOT the one I would certainly want if an actual gunfight is going to occur. So the one on you rule does indeed trump the one that is best rule.

    7 months ago
    • 44 mag

      Oh GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK what would I do without you Glock people that can't shoot anything but a single action

      5 months ago
  • Ian fernandez

    You consistently omit kimber products from any of your reviews. The micro 9 is a fine firearm that has performed flawlessly for me. Retired SMSgt.

    9 months ago
    • JOHN M

      I agree, I love mine, small, light, same controls as my 1911s.

      1 month ago
  • Tom

    Unfortunately the Shield is the only one recommended that you can purchase in California. How about an article that helps us less fortunate?

    11 months ago
    • Johann Schuster

      I bought my KAHR P9 in California. It operates like a Glock, but with an arguably better trigger and a tad less recoil, which promotes better shit placement.

      3 months ago
      • JOHN M

        The o is right next to the i.

        1 month ago
  • Wild Karrde

    This list is worthless without the Sig P938.

    11 months ago
    • Mitch Slot

      I feel ya brother. Could not agree with you more. Paired with my CT grip activated green laser, one can be confident they are prepared and able to protect themselves and their loved ones.

      6 months ago
  • Sam

    I'm not recommending any particular one, just remember most guns are made in the United States of America, but not all. I always try to buy American made. Please help support American company's and jobs. Thanks -Sam

    11 months ago
  • Ray

    NO Taurus G2c or Taurus pt9111

    1 year ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      Taurus has a very bad reputation for quality control, I would not recommend any of their products.

      1 year ago
      • Mike

        I have a G2C, and it has proved as reliable as my Glock 26. Not one FTE, or problem ever. Over 2,000 rounds and zero issues.

        8 months ago
      • Robert Cairns

        Have you tested the G2? Read any other reviews on the G2?

        1 year ago
  • Steve

    Walther ccp is another very comfortable single stack

    1 year ago
  • Tim

    Great article and great discussion!

    1 year ago
  • Bill

    I love my single stack shield in .45 Cal and it's only a small fraction larger than the 9mm

    1 year ago
  • jeff g

    i don't think you can go wrong with any one of your picks . i currently have 3 BUG's in my rotation, XSP, p238 and 642. each one 100%, wanted something in 9mm with a better fit for my large hands..the shield was a perfect fit. i shot my bro n laws before buying, i was very impressed! over a million sold and priced at $299 i see why it is the top seller. this will make a great addition to my EDC;s... g19 gen3 or USPc 45.good honest review!

    1 year ago
  • 7seasdiver

    Hey guys, I hate to be anal, but the picture is of a M&P9 2.0 Compact, not a Shield. The Shield doesn't have pic rail slots on the bottom just a very short rail. Regardless of the wrong photo, I love my M&P9 Shield, carry it everyday. Mine came with two extended mags and tritium night sights which I wouldn't be without now that I have them. Keep up the good work.

    1 year ago
    • David

      Good eye, thank you! I've fixed the picture now.

      1 year ago
  • Will D.

    No love for the Sig P365?

    1 year ago
    • Dave M

      Was it even announced back when this article was submitted?

      1 year ago
    • David

      Great gun, but it isn't a single-stack pistol. While the same size as many size-stacks, it is technically a double-stack mag.

      1 year ago
  • CE Anders

    None of the above. Cz rami with decocker. Once try it will never go back

    1 year ago
    • Mike W.

      Join the discussion...CZ's are great, but why not PCR or P-01? only a little larger.

      1 year ago
  • Samuel H

    I love my shield.

    1 year ago
  • Jim

    One 9mm single stack subcompact pistol that I really like is the Sig Sauer P938.I also own a Glock 43, but I found that the grip feels uncomfortably small in my hand. The G43 it is really small, easy to conceal and shoots well. I added the +1 magazine extension with pinky extension and it really helped. Then I found the Sig P938. It immediately fit my hand better, seemed to be easier to conceal because of its less angled handle, and when I added the +1 magazine, it was even better. The grips are flat and just fine. Then I added the Hogue rubber grips and it now feels like a full size grip on a little gun. Like the G43 it is also single action. Unlike the G43 It does have a hammer and an ambidextrous safety. You can carry with one in the chamber Cocked and Locked like the bigger pistols such as the 1911, and you will be on familiar ground. The G43 has the standard trigger safety which requires positive finger discipline during your draw if you want to carry with one in the chamber. Cost wise the Sig P938 is a little more expensive than the Glock 43. I like both weapons. I like the Sig P938 better because it feels more comfortable in my hand.

    1 year ago
  • Fred Bar

    Not included here is the gun with arguably the best trigger: The Kahr CM9. A gun so small you can hide it in your jogging shorts. It is about the size of the Sig but IMHO, better.

    1 year ago
    • Bart

      While I agree that the CM-9 is very easy to conceal, I certainly can NOT recommend it. I bought one, put over 1,200 rounds of high quality ammo thru it, and it was just plain UNRELIABLE, with an average of 2 to 3 failures per box of 50. I sent it back to Kahr. They finally returned it after 9 weeks. I put another 300 rounds thru it and it was STILL UNRELIABLE! if you buy one of these, I hope you get a good one.

      1 year ago
      • Marc

        More than 1200 rounds (Federal American Eagle 124G FMJ) through my newish S9 (which is just a CW9 with better slide and pic rail) and not a single failure to feed, fire or return to battery. If you clean it, don't limp it, it'll just plain work. Not sure what was wrong with yours... but that's inconsistent with my other Kahr 9mm exposure... though to be fair, the .380 series had issues.

        4 months ago
      • Eric Hung

        Dang, that sucks. Got a good CW-9 on my end though.

        1 year ago
        • Johann Schuster

          My Kahr P9 has been utterly flawless. I'm getting near 1200 rounds and it works perfectly. It's tolerances are TIGHT, so ya gotta keep it clean & lubed, and not limp wrist it. I can't get over how accurate it is!

          3 months ago
  • Don

    Wrong photo for the Shield.

    1 year ago
  • Davosaur

    I prefer Shield 9mm, so definitely in agreement with this article. However, wondering why the Kahr PM9 is not included on the list. Considering getting one. What is your take on it? Thanks.

    1 year ago
  • Mark Wynn

    I transitioned from a Ruger lc.380 with laser to an lc9s. Laser transferred over. The lc9s trigger is light, so I didn't go with the pro model sans safety. The lc9s is truly "pocketable." Since Ruger has dscontinued the lc9s, I had to scramble to get one. The less-expensive, current version doesn't allow one to change-out sights, and I intend to have my gunsmith install tritium sights when I can afford it.

    1 year ago
  • Jeff Jackson Jackson

    Walther PPS 9mm, IWB Alien gear holster, goes bang every time. Easily concealed. For the Southern Michigan woods, a Glock G23, Desantis holster. G23 for small bears, big cats, rabid coyotes, and meth heads!

    1 year ago
  • louie

    thank you very much Sir for a very well rounded and well explained topics.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      You're so welcome, Louie!

      1 year ago
  • Scott in NH

    I have the Ruger LC9S. Fantastic trigger and very easy to conceal.

    1 year ago
  • joseph

    "...found a love for guns" Trevor, gotta say I find this weird

    1 year ago
    • Shanon

      Why is that weird? I think there is some time most who own guns can remember becoming more interested in guns.

      1 year ago
  • Steph

    I'm fairly new to guns. Ruger SR9c.....Does anyone have an opinion? Maybe this vs. walther PPS m2? Also, when c.c. isn't weight an issue?

    1 year ago
    • Todd

      Nice underrated gun

      1 year ago
  • DrGordon

    Astounding that you never listed the weight of any of these guns, Weight is a HUGE consideration in terms of comfort of a concealed carry gun. Another disappointment was that I specifically wanted to know how the Khar stacked up against the others.

    1 year ago
  • Sam

    Has anyone else noticed the picture of what is supposed to be a subcompact Shield is NOT a subcompact shield for this review? Scroll back to the very first picture and look at it. That is NOT a subcompact Shield.

    1 year ago
    • Kieran

      Did it make his words less understandable if they showed the wrong S&W?

      1 year ago
  • Ray

    Hi Kim, Yes, the P7M8 was the most accurate 9mm handgun ive ever owned, and it was 100% reliable. It was a bit heavy and holsters were hard to find but it was still a fantastic pistol. Alas I traded it because of one thing. Before I could finish a box of 50, it became too hot to handle comfortably. Even with the gas shield in the top inside edge of the trigger guard, it really started to burn my trigger finger. Had it not been for that, I’d still have it today.

    1 year ago
  • John Woodward

    The HK VP9 was listed in the best compact handguns. The HK VP9 sk shoots exactly like its bigger brother. I have a Ruger LC9s Pro and I like it; I have a Sig P320 compact and I like it very much;; I have a Sig P320 RX and I like it very, very much; but I like my HK VP9sk more than any handgun I have or have ever shot. Yes, I have a 1911 Colt .45 cal, also. The HK VP9 sk will accept the VP9 15 round magazines and the Grip x adaptor makes it very comfortable. I shot the HK VP9 sk as a tryout handgun for my son and instantly shot far better than ever before. If you haven't fired it, your list is incomplete!

    1 year ago
  • Radpat

    Walther PPS. There is no other.

    2 years ago
    • safetypro

      I love my PPS2 - essentially no adjustment period when acquiring it. First time at the range, at 4', 7' 15', very accurate (though my wife is more accurate than I with any handgun - it's a female thing). 2 eight round mags and 1 seven round, I am very comfortable with using this pistol as a CCW tool. 8+1 makes me happy, considering I'm carrying a fairly lightweight, very concealable firearm. Reliable as Hell, also - and nice-looking.

      1 year ago
  • Joe

    I noticed you did not mention the new kimber micro 9..... is there a reason or reasons you would stay away from it?

    2 years ago
  • Dan Burchett

    I have the shield and the khar cm9 both great guns, the khar is a little smaller and lighter than my shields. And has a dam nice trigger...

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Yup, I recently got a Kahr CW9 so look for a review soon. Sweet DAO trigger once you get used to it!

      2 years ago
      • Gem Gram

        By the way, I have both the Kahr CW9 and the Kahr P9. The P9 really is far superior to shot and simply feels better in the hand. My shooting buddies I have let compare the two all agree with that. Neither has ever failed to go bang and bang again by the way.

        7 months ago
  • Guest

    That pic is a M&P 9, not a Shield.

    2 years ago
  • Jim

    Interesting the Taurus 709 slim wasn't in this list!? I guess the the author didn't see the Guns and Ammo single stack test. The 709 was in the final three.

    2 years ago
    • Raymond

      I had 11 stovepipe or worse rounds out of a 100 round box from my PT-709. Totally unreliable. Sending it back to Taurus for warranty. Don't know if I'll ever trust it as a EDC.

      10 months ago
  • Carlos

    A 1990s vintage Kahr P9 has been my off duty choice for many years. Kahr has been a great company too when I had a frame issue that didn't effect shootability immediately. I'm sticking with my P9!

    2 years ago
  • Shane

    I carry a Glock 19 in the winter, a Glock 26 in the spring/fall and the Glock 43 in the summer and it works well for me. I know just another "Glock guy" and that's true but I have shot many different pistols and I just do better with Glock so that's what I will stick with. I do own a S&W Shield 9mm and the Walther PPS M2 also that I really enjoy and would depend on them as EDC too. I do like how we all have so many great choices these days and there's a different gun for us all. Kimber, Kahr, Springfield, Walther, S&W, HK, Ruger, Sig and Glock. All great choices.

    2 years ago
  • Kim Christensen

    Nothing beats the HK P7M8. Wish HK would bring them back into production!

    2 years ago
  • Gary Ramey

    Some good pistols there, but none with as many features as the Honor Defense pistols. Honor Defense is: - ambidextrous magazine release - ambidextrous slide catch - ambidextrous manual thumb safety - no trigger pull for disassembly - no tools for disassembly - 2 different size back straps for custom fit - 8 and 7 round magazine - stainless modular chassis system - snag free sights when drawing (faster draw) - +P proofed and rated - 100% USA materials and parts - all pistols assembled by veterans

    2 years ago
  • Travis

    I recently picked up the M&P shield 9mm. I like it and the price was right at $199 after rebate. I've only ran a few hundred rounds through it, but it did take a little while to get used to the smaller size. It was hard for me to grip due to my larger hands. I usually shoot a Beretta. 40 which is significantly larger. I ordered the mag extensions for the shield that should be in today. I'm looking forward to using them to improve my grip.

    2 years ago
  • John

    I have been carrying a Ruger LC9s Pro with talon grips and TruGlo sights and it is very easy to carry. It has an excellent trigger and i have been able to shoot it quite accurately. However, I have A Sig P320 Rx and a Sig P320 (both 9mm) and I love them. So I have just switched over to the Sig P320. My wife carries an S&W M&P shield and we both love the way it shoots. Actually, I can shoot just about as well with it as with my Ruger. The truth is that there are many fine handguns and my friends and I are willing to make different compromises. My Sigs are both wonderful for me and I have found ways to carry the non-RX that make it my carry gun. I know that one shot stops are very rare but I hope I would never be challenged to switch magazines if attacked.

    2 years ago
    • David Shultz

      You left off one of the best guns to be made today and that is the lineup made by Kahr. I have carried a Kahr CM 9 for years. It's a sweet shooting handgun with one of the best DA trigger pulls made. It's light and compact also. I also have a larger Kahr 45 that I use in the colder months here in Louisiana. Later David S..

      2 years ago
  • Dave.

    I prefer to carry a compact Glock 19. I have a Glock 26 but rarely carry it. I like the bigger size and more rounds. I bought the wife a Glock 42 in .380. I would have preferred the 43 but the .380 is what the wife is willing to carry therefore that's the best gun for her.

    2 years ago
  • TxTraildog

    That crack on 1911s and bowling shirts is OVER THE LINE! Kahr P9 is slim, trim and light.

    2 years ago
  • Steve

    Sig 938 for me.

    2 years ago
  • John Haley

    Great rundown, but what single spec. is most important in subcompact carry? A spec that cannot be estimated from a picture? Height? Width? Capacity? All are important, but what about WEIGHT? Some of these are small bricks. Some are featherweight. If weight were listed, I wouldn't have to go past this article to pick a subcompact. Weird to me.

    2 years ago
  • Tim

    Don't get too hung up on the spec's guys. It's a good place to start but if possible, shoot as many as you can (rental). When I went to buy my conceal carry gun, there were several mentioned above that I thought were definitely contenders but after shooting them, I personally just didn't shoot them very well at all. When SHTF, you want whatever you shoot best!

    2 years ago
  • Tony

    Xds 9mm for me love this gun as my carry very easy to shoot

    2 years ago
  • kidiraq

    CZ P10C and Springfield Mod 2 .45 are my EDC's. I have Played with the M&P Shield allot and XDs. I personally am a double stack guy, but those to IMHO are the best on this list hands down. That said, I'll stick with my current EDC's!

    2 years ago
  • Will

    You forgot the Walther 9mm CCP (Concealed Carry Pistol)

    2 years ago
  • Big Al 512

    What about The Taurus 709? or any of the Bersa Offerings? I agree on the Sig P938 I have the 238 & 938 Both excellent Guns also The Taurus 709s Great gun , Too many Glock Fan boys , Glocks are like Volvos , Good , but same styling , Boring ,

    2 years ago
  • Blake

    I traded my Glock 43 for a Sig P938. The Sig is far superior IMO. Anyway, the list above is missing a lot of better guns...

    2 years ago
  • Keitj

    Did you forget the CZ Rami or p01?

    2 years ago
  • Jucame

    I have not found one that is fully Ambidextrous as I am left handed and do not want a safety. Does anyone have a recomedation?

    2 years ago
    • Doug

      I Am also lefty and the safety thing is a hassle but I learned to put it in my routine and its second nature now. As far as what I carry it's a little old school it is heavy for what's out there now but I've used it too many years to change S&W 3913 fits great, low recoil, and ambidextrous. In a cross breed style holster I don't even notice it anymore unless I reach for the ground

      2 years ago
  • Kevin

    Bought an M&P Shield 9mm to compliment my Sig Sauer P320 Carry in .40 but have not been able to get accurate shots out of the M&P. Low and left seems to be the normal complaint, me included. Maybe with more time and practice I'll switch but for confidence I still carry the Sig. It feels to be of higher quality and shoots significantly better ...... for me.

    2 years ago
  • Marc

    Just got the PPS M2 from gunbuyer for $256 after $100 mail-in rebate. I've only taken it to the range once so far, but I'm a big fan. Much easier to carry in the summer than my XD Mod2

    2 years ago
  • Vince Corvino

    I just got a Springfield XD-E and have put about 200 rounds through it. Not carrying it as of yet but will be soon. It's a great hand gun.

    2 years ago
  • Ebal Nolom

    Ruger LC9s Pro is my favorite carry 9. Those who can't control the small grips need to do some hand exercise to strengthen their grip. Two fingers on the grip with the pinky folded under the base of the magazine is all you really need.

    2 years ago
  • Jeff Sheldon

    Excellent article, thanks. Like you stated this is a subjective topic. I would love to own a G 43, but in CA only active duty LEO's can buy one. Anyway, we can line out all of the specs; reliability,smallest, lightest, most bullets, etc., and come up with a statically 'best' off duty, carry gun. But the reality of the matter is that the gun has to be one that you are confident and comfortable in carrying. For me, at least until I can get a G43, that is a S&W, 340 PD, extremely reliable, small, very light weight and very powerful. Semper Fi.

    2 years ago
  • Gordon Forester

    I love my Ruger LC9S. Very accurate, great trigger, excellent size for concealed carry. Super reliable.

    2 years ago
  • Ed

    How come none of the Kimber's made the list?

    2 years ago
    • Lando

      Probably because they're Kimber. There's always a better choice. Who would get a micro carry when a P938 is cheaper and a Sig?

      2 years ago
      • Ed

        Actually I have a Sig P938 and a Kimber 1911! I really want to try a carry size Kimber because the full size Kimber is fantastic.. The Sig it great but just does not have the trigger that the Kimber does.

        2 years ago
  • Chuck

    I've seen you mention that you have large hands. I do as well and need the large blackstrap installed on a Gen 4 19. How well do you shoot a 43 and so you have any tips for a larger handed individual who is interested in keeping platform consistency with Glock but worried about the slimness or the grip?

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      I haven't shot the 43 but the sub-compact 26 I have is definitely my least favorite handgun since without the pinkie magazine extension I can barely grip it...but with it I get my ring finger caught in the gap.

      2 years ago
New to Guns ? Check out our beginners guns video course. Start Now