9mm handgun in shop display

The Best 9mm Handgun

Due to its size a 9mm handgun is now one of the most popular self-defense calibers for concealed and open carry. In this review we will look at a range of 9mm caliber handguns across all price ranges.

If you would like to skip the review and just go to the best compact 9mm handguns then here is a quick list.

The 9mm is a weapon that provides a good balance between ease of firing and stopping power. It is a lightweight pistol that has moderate recoil with less chance of over penetration.

Ammunition can be found nearly everywhere and comes in a variety of configurations, FMJ, hollow point and frangible.

So let’s take a closer look at the handguns in our list.

Smith & Wesson M&P9 2.0

There have been some changes made to Smith & Wessons M&P pistol hence the new model number 2.0 tacked onto the name. The changes are added frame strength, additional stippling around the grip with a heavy texture, beaver tail has been removed, small front serrations have been added and they slimmed down the top of the slide.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 2.0

Fully upgraded

Shoots smoothly and solid performer.
$484 at Brownells
Prices accurate at time of writing
This gun is comfortable and has a good feel in the hand. They shoot smoothly and once again this is a reliable compact 9mm worth every dollar.

Springfield Armory 9mm XD(M)

Priced less than the HK but similar to a Glock it's a great first gun to buy and a solid performing compact.
Springfield Armory 9mm XD(M)

Best value for the money

Solid performer packed with features.
$549 at Brownells
Prices accurate at time of writing
This handgun will give you the most value for you money. It is packed with features and shoots flawlessly. Great fun to shoot with.

Glock 19

Known for its reliability, the G19 is by far the most popular handgun in the United States. It is a striker fired polymer frame pistol that other handguns in the same class are compared to and sets the standard for this class of handgun.
Glock 19 9mm G5

The most popular 9mm handgun

A favorite with government and law enforcement agencies.
$559 at Brownells
Prices accurate at time of writing
The gen 5 Glock 19 can be configured with upgrades to the slide, barrel and grip. It also has a rail that allows a flashlight or other accessories to be attached.


The Heckler & Koch VP is an excellent choice for a striker fired weapon. It offers interchangeable backstraps and grip panels and has to be one of the more comfortable and smoothest 9mm pistols on the market.

Another favorite with the military.

Rivals Glock for features and reliability.
$633 at Brownells
Prices accurate at time of writing
Some of the features are a striker fired indicator, ambi controls, luminescent 3 - dot sights and a 5.4 pound trigger. There is also a VP9SK model that has the same features but in a smaller package. The Glock and HK feel different when fired but I cannot say one is better than the other.

Sig Sauer P365

The Sig Sauer P365 has been built to be as streamlined and snag free as possible. This model retains what we liked in prior models such as the flush-fit, 10-round magazine, reinforced polymer frame and stainless-steel slide.
Sig Sauer P365

Unique modular design

Can be customized to your needs, even the caliber can be changed.
$780 at Brownells
Prices accurate at time of writing
This is an excellent shooting pistol that is known for its ease of use, reliability, modularity and accuracy. It is a compact that can be quickly changed to meet your requirements and give you a custom handgun.

Ruger SR9c 9mm

This compact 9mm handgun comes in four versions. The versions differ in color and magazine size with one having a 17+1 round magazine.
Ruger SR9c

Has a 17+1 round magazine

Becoming a favorite with government and law enforcement agencies.
$433 at Brownells
Prices accurate at time of writing
This handgun is at the lower end of the price scale but performs well and gives you every thing you need in a compact 9mm handgun. Only one version has the 17+1 round magazine, the other versions have a 10+1 round magazine.

Video Reviews

Sig Sauer P365 review

Ruger review


Anyone looking for a compact defensive gun will be okay with any of the handguns mentioned in this article. These are some of the best guns in their class on the market. These compacts are about as big as you want for concealed carry, any larger and you will need to start making some adjustments to your clothing, such as an oversize shirt or untucked shirt.
If we have left out your favorite compact 9mm handgun let us know in the comments below and we may include it in our next update to this review.
Review Date
Reviewed Item
9mm handguns


  1. He he….. but alas this article as of July 2018 is out of date. Fine weapons here indeed, but the new king is now here, the Sig Sauer P365!! 9mm 10+1 18 ozs, night sights! 🙂

    1. for compact carry that is! The ultimate combination of size, power, capacity and quality!

      1. The Sig Sauer 365 is a fine gun very accurate right out of the box, mine was made and delivered in may of 2018 night sights right size and weight.

        1. Considered the 365, especially after my 320 was so good. But didn’t like the size — a bit Too small. Didn’t feel comfortable.

      2. My money goes on my TriStar C-100 for conceal carry, when I’m not toting my Ruger SR9C.

    2. I got the Sig Sauer p290rs a few months back comes with 2 mags a 6 and 7 round just love it using +p+ ammo haven’t had one issue

    3. Russ, you are correct. The P365 is my every day carry. I can carry it IWB, OWB or in pocket. It is one of a handful that you can do all three.

  2. The SIG 365 is my EDC – smaller than Glock 43 and 10+1 capacity. I’ve torture tested my gun and it passed with honors. Also very accurate and awesome sights.

  3. I have a Remengton R-51 9mm 7 round magazine. It has a safety like the 1911 ( on the grip) My Ruger LCP does not have a safety and I have to be careful with it. The R-51 has the three dot sight and like the Glock will fire without the magazine. I carry it with an inside the belt holster. I carry under a suit and no one sees it. good trigger pull.

    1. Really wanted an R51 when I first handled one. But then came the recall and another year or so. Finally got a chance to shoot one and soon decided I’d pass. Had a bit too much bite to. Maybe if it were slightly heavier, it wouldn’t have so much bark. Also don’t care for the plastic trigger.

  4. As far as 9mm goes; there’s definitely been an evolution for me and my preferences over the years. I started with an S&W model 469. It’s considered a compact pistol but I didn’t need to worry about concealed carry back in 1986 when I bought that piece. After all, I was born and raised in Bklyn, NY and simply getting that “target” license was an onerous and very long procedure. But I was right out of the Marine Corps after my 4 year hitch; felt that I could do anything (ah youth, lol) and that gun felt so good in my hands. Points perfectly. I still own it, still shoot it and it still shoots well. After getting married we moved out to Long Island. Mortgage, career, wife, kids, etc…..so glad I had my hobbies!

    Then I found myself spending a lot of time at my bro’s place in South Florida during the winter as I got into my 50’s. Needing a pistol after using my bro’s for too long; I wound up buying a Ruger LC9. I was pleased with my LCP up in NY and thought I’d be equally pleased with that LC9. I wasn’t. I am not happy with that gun at the range. Yeah, it’s a reliable belly gun and if your targets are all within 10′ you’ll be alright. Able to stop that close in threat with a dead center mass shot. But I found that punching holes in targets out past 7 yards to be more challenging. At 10 yards I can’t even count on a basketball sized grouping. I’m a good shot. I still had a small crowd around me telling me how great I was shooting but I knew better. Not happy. The barrels of that Ruger simply aren’t good enough for my tastes.

    This leads me to my 3rd 9. I’ve been wanting something easy to shoot, concealable and definitely with a bit more bite than my .380 Ruger LCP. I was debating between Springfield, Kimber with that awesome micro 9 and Sig with that truly mind boggling P938. I got that old hammer fired mindset back again. I’ve got striker fired guns no doubt. And I like them all. But for what I was leaning towards; a hammer fired pistol was just what the doc ordered! I wound up buying that Sig Sauer. Before I even brought it down to my club for fam firing I ordered a Crimson Trace green laser, model #LG 492 G. I had my 1st shooting session with the 938 and was pretty impressed. I didn’t have much time. I did several slow fire drills at various ranges and finished with a couple of magazines of rapid fire drills. This little gun is amazing. Couldn’t get a misfire if I tried….which I will not confirm or deny if I did. I can’t wait to see the groupings once I get the laser sight on. So far I will have to be content with baseball size groupings at 25′.

    So who knows how many more 9’s are in store for me? I’m 58 years old and dammit…..I still like my toys. And before anyone screams at me; yes, they are not toys. I got it. But my point is that I hope I always have a little bit of a kid inside me. Now where did I put my Physical Graffiti cd? 🙂

    1. I love mine. Great gun. I’ve had no problems and being a Walther I expect none. It’s easy to handle and shoot. It is a large gun and a bit heavy, but that’s what I like about it. Not as easily concealed carried as other smaller frame 9 mm’s, but it works for me. I like that it came with two 16 round mags. Plus extra mags are reasonably priced. Great gun for the price. I got mine for under $300 on sale.

    2. Terrific gun. Creed is so easy to shoot and deadly accurate. Feels molded to your hand. So easy, almost like shooting a .22. And a really nice price. No FTEs, FTFs through more than 500 rounds.

      1. I just bought a creed. haven’t had a chance,to shoot it yet. what can you tell me about it.

  5. Got my Glock 19 in 1994. 24 years, thousands of +p rounds later, the gun still looks and feels new. It is accurate, never failed to fire or eject a round, never had any issue other than the night sights dimming. Have several handguns, fired many pistols, this is my number one choice. With 15 round magazines, and 1 in the chamber, it is hard to beat. Sits flush against the body. No rusting or pitting. Have to say this is close to a perfect weapon.

    1. For the same reasons, I like my Glock17 G4. Never had a jam after thousands of rounds, not one. Confidence is priceless.

  6. Vp9sk, great summer carry and it takes the full size magazines. Best trigger and sights out the box

    1. Sig P226 is fabulous gun. Accurate and smooth trigger. Little big for carry though.

    1. I cant believe they left off the P07! Easily the sweetest shooting stock pistol I’ve fired. All the ones they picked were striker fired though so I’d imagine that’s why. Never fired a P10c

  7. If you are comfortable with no external safeties, then the Glock 19 is the way to go. I love mine. Light weight simple and clean, thin 1″ profile. When carrying mine concealed I hardly know its there. And accurate? Wow! If you have not seen it, go to the Hickock 45 You Tube and watch him do a review on the 19. He absolutely loves the gun and shoots it at his farthest targets and hits consistently like he was shooting a rifle. For those that feel more comfortable with an external safety, there is now an aftermarket replacement trigger for the 19 that features a push button safety for around $50.00 that comes with the installation tool and instructions for the do-it-yourselfer. Fantastic pistol!

  8. The best 9mm hand gun I have ever shot is the Canik TP9 SF Elite made in Turkey. It is very accurate and will shoot any type of ammo without jamming. I have fired it very fast and the recoil is very low. It is concealable and comfortable to carry. Also it has a magazine capacity of 15 rounds.

    1. I’m really leaning to this one, but am comparing other 9mm right now. My plans are home defense/CC/ target shooting.

    2. My stepson bought the Canik 9mm. I was impressed at how well it shot. We were hitting mini pumpkins and squash at 45 to 50 yards. On a target 15 rounds in a 9″circle at that distance. Very little muzzle flip. Easy to get back on target.

  9. Beretta Nano is my favorite. Fits very well in my hand and in a waistband holster. Have fired several hundred rounds without a stoppage.

  10. I like the TP9V2, I think it’s a VERY manageable 9mm, I also like the 18+1 so I know at any emergency I would have 37 rounds available.. then 3 seconds another 18 rounds.

  11. You’ve left out the finest handgun I’ve ever had the opportunity to fire. Love the Walther Q5 Match and prefer it over any other firearm I own.

    1. I wish I had access to most of the 9’s on here, ONE DAY..I guess.. one day. I have held a TP9V2 and it felt good (my hands aren’t very large), and if & when I can afford, it comes with 2 18 round mags & I would hope to have 4 extra mags… that would give me 109 rounds!

      1. You should try Walther Creed. Great gun, extremely accurate and easy shooter. Also 16+1. You can get it for around $300. Also love my Sig P320. Super gun. Accurate, great shooter, great for carry. Really smooth trigger. Only thing is, it’s a bit pricey? Around $500, $550. But worth the money. Another economical gun is the Ruger Security 9. Great shooter and Ruger has terrific customer service, if ever needed. Never a hiccup in mine after about 600 rounds. Compared with Glock 19 by lot of folks, at half the price — less than $300.

  12. I think you left out a very reliable little gun. It is the Taurus 709 Slim 7+1. I bought one in stainless for $275.00 and had to add a second clip for $28.00. So for 303 bucks I got a very well built/reliable cc weapon. It is not finished (buffed and pollished) as nicely as some of the 4-600 dollar guns but it is definitely as reliable, if not more. That is all I wanted. reliability first and price next. I have now put 1000 rounds through the gun and it has been flawless. A Gun Digest review rates it very highly. Take a look.

    1. Bruce makes a good point. Taurus Slim is pretty good gun. Easy to carry. Economical value. Reliable.

    1. The gun itself feels really in the hand. Very accurate. Negatives are the trigger. Pretty grainy with an Extremely long pull. Also, I really dislike the mag release.

    2. Hands down the best handgun especially for the price of it feels great in hand I have a larger than most hand and it fits absolutely perfect where most pistols i have to mod a grip etc out the box I fired ten rounds out of the G2 hitting target bout fifty percent a quarter turn adjustment of the sight fired ten more for 9-10… Taurus was bought out but they kept the name the newer ones made are way better than older ones perfect carry size as well I think… hope this helps

      1. absolutely love my PT111 G2. Feels great in the hands, perfect size. 12+1 capacity. The long first trigger pull is perfect for a self defense weapon. I love my Taurus!

    3. I love mine, bought it in December 2017, added a laser and it is very accurate

    4. Failure to Return to Battery, and Poor Customer Service are repetitive complaints that kill it as a choice for me, despite a long list of positives: weight, capacity, optional manual safety, SA/DA. If not for the reliability issue, I would buy it.

    5. It’s a great gun for what it is. The slide may be a bit tight for a person of lesser hand strength, and the sights are simple painted dots. However, the gun is accurate to 20 yards, has a manual safety, and a loaded chamber indicator. Budsgunshop has them around $200, and I feel as safe with it as I do my glock 19.

    6. Taurus G2 is nice gun, dependable. I like the 12+1 in the 9mm, brother likes the .40 S&W with 10 +1. Deep trigger pull, probably 6-8 pounds, but has a quick reset. Good gun for economical cost. Mine is pretty accurate too.

    7. had 2 Taurus G2’s at different times — got rid of both — HATED the trigger — second G2 was worse than first — Ruger SR9C took their place and I never looked back

    8. Carry my G2 all day its my edc i bet i have 3500 thru it and not 1 issue it crisp light and fun love it. I have no neg about it. But the g2 is a bad ass gun and love it. Once i held ot well it was over fits very nice im 6 ft 2 250 bigger hands and fits like a champ. If you are on the fence get off and go get 1 asap. And no the dam trigger is fine just try it youll love it. Again 3500 of all kids ammo brass steel aluminum and +p its a great gun so just try it use your opnion not ours but really buy it…

    9. I have the Taurus G2 and a Taurus g2c the G2 has 3500 rounds through it not one flaw ever carry my G2 for EDC love the gun smooth can’t even tell it’s on my hip so if you’re thinking about buying it pull the trigger you’ll love the gun

  13. You left out the Walther PPQ M2. Best trigger and ergonomics of any handgun I’ve ever shot and they are laser accurate and run like a clock. They now make a compact version which is probably the best concealed carry gun on the market.

    Also, though the M&P 2.0c is a nice pick but the Shield should also be on the list. Perfect concealed size, the 9mm is super controllable and accurate enough to make a head shot in competent hands. Put an Apex trigger in one and you’ll never need another CCW.

    1. HK VP9 and VP9SK are more ergonomic and customizable than the Walther PPQ. HK is know for its outstanding quality and reliability.. shoot one before you say another word. Lol!!! You’ll love it.

      1. The VP9 is not more ergonomic its only more customizable because of the replaceable side panels but the actual ergonomics are almost identical and because of the replaceable side panels the grip gives when squeezing hard for 2 and 3 shots bursts. Having shot both the trigger is better in the PPQ and it has a far better reset. Everything else with the 2 guns is so similar its not worth even bringing up. The price however is a difference where the PPQ is quite a bit less and a much better track record of reliability makes the PPQ the better option.

    2. I bought the PPQ 45 and love it. Trigger is light and predictable. Also have the M&P Shield 45. Great size for CC and accurate right out of the box. I know we’re talking about 9mm here, just saying

  14. Hello, I am ex Military and former Police Officer. I love my Ruger LC9S Pro. Shot hundreds of rounds. Slow and rapid fire. Easy to disassemble. No problems at all. Very compact. Feels good in the hand. Easy to conceal. Does NOT have a safety switch ( I prefer no safety). Price is right!

    1. +1 to Ruger LC9s. The trigger is excellent making it much more comfortable and accurate to fire in my experience than the Shield, it has smooth rounded edges making it comfortable while concealing, and it’s LIGHTWEIGHT so you don’t even notice it’s there. The option of a safety means it’s legal behind enemy lines in MA.

      1. I’d have to agree. I’ve come full circle with the lc9. I started with the hammer fired version but the looong trigger pull made me nervous if I encountered a real threat. Otherwise, I thought it was the perfect balance, and even with the trigger, I was accurate. Next, I went to a Glock 30s. Love the knockdown power and capacity, but concealing it was a chore, and it was uncomfortable. Next, was the 40 S&W Shield. Tried to convince myself I loved the gun, but the grips weren’t right for me, the 1st gen trigger sucked, and talk about recoil. All three were reliable, of course. Now I’ve gotten the lc9s pro. It cures everything I disliked about my first one. It’s easy to carry, summer or winter, and to me is the perfect balance of power and concealability.

      2. Love my Ruger LC9 Shoots fantastic, have the extended magazine, takes a while to get used to but fits my hand very nice. Have custom holsters for inside the waist and never feels uncomfortable nor shows through shirt.

    2. Have the same gun. First and only gun I bought so far after much research. Absolutely love it. Seriously, almost don’t even know it’s there. Never had an issue and not one of those guys who is always cleaning the gun. Run it hard and made to take it and keep on working.

      1. I have one as well and it is awesome. Best part it’s made in the USA!

    3. I carry the Ruger LC9s as my EDC but recently purchased a Security 9. I need more range time before making it my EDC but doning dry practicing, it feels GOOD!

      1. Let me know what you think of the Sec9 compared to the LC9. My son(21)was eye balling the Sec9 as his very 1st purchase and wants to CC as well. Thanks from Virginia.

        1. had the SR9C for about a year — got the LC9S for summer wear — both pistols GREAT — bought the Sec9 — had it about a month — got rid of it — the SR9C was much MUCH better — felt better — shot better — had zero feed problems with any of the Rugers but the Sec9 did not outdo the SR9c at all so I felt no reason to keep it — my 2 cents only

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