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. What’s wrong with handguns made of metal? I suggest the Kimber Ultra and the CZ 2075 Rami for CC.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with metal framed handguns, but they tend to cost more and they do weigh more than polymer framed handguns. Polymer framed handguns are better suited for concealed carry, because they weigh less.

  2. I don’t know much, definitely not as much as others, but here’s the reasons I love my Taurus 9mm (PT111 G2, but it’s almost the same as a G2C):

    It’s smaller framed. I have normal palms, short fingers, so finding something that I can grip is a chore, and the Taurus does.
    It has support. There are makers that like it and have made things for it such as the Alien Gear holster kit, that I was gifted for Xmas last year. The plate is mounted in my truck, the paddle gets switched to the current pants I’m wearing, and I’m carrying all the time, conveniently. Why do they companies like the Taurus…?
    Because it sells. When I bought my second one (I had a 2nd Gen) I had to order it in. It wasn’t in stock like Kimber, S&W, Sig, etc. It wasn’t there used either (Cabela’s). I was told as soon as they come in they’re gone.
    It’s cheap, $200.
    It works, have fired hundreds of rounds, hasn’t jammed once.

    Yet, it’s not on this list. Which makes me then wonder and start looking at the ads…

    1. I too have the Taurus PT111 G2. It’s a reliable, yet inexpensive handgun. There are many snobs who turn their noses up at the PT111 G2, but for the person on a budget, it’s a good bet. Mine has had many rounds put through it without any malfunctions. However, they do not have the accuracy that a Glock, S&W or Walther are capable of delivering. If I have to enter some place where I cannot legally carry, I bring the PT111 G2, so I can leave it in the car.

      1. I have the g5 g19 and g5 g26, as well as a vp9 tactical and I’d have to say H&K wins that battle, hands down. The VP9 is more work to clean, but it’s more crisp in every way I can think of. I swapped the barrel, springs, trigger, and disconnect in the 19 and the vp9 still fires better w/ and w/o a suppressor.

      1. I meant the Walther PPS M2. It already is a compact. It is being recalled by Walther.

  3. Walther PPQ M2 is as good or better than every model mentioned here. Few if any have a better trigger than the Walther.

    1. I have the PPS M2 which has two features that are now my ‘must haves’; no magazine disconnect and an exposed striker that I can feel if it is has cycled and if the trigger is being pulled while being inserted into a holster.

  4. The Glock is comparable to the VP9 as far as features? Glock has plastic sights and no replaceable grips. It does not compare to a HK.

  5. How is the VP9 and a couple others considered compact? VP9sk gets closer to that but everyone knows the vp9 is a full size handgun.

    1. The vp9 isn’t much bigger than a glock 19..and the sk is a “sub kompact”.. I can’t say the vp9 seems “full-size”. I own both and my wife carries a vp9sk. I would consider my HK45T to be “full-size”.

  6. All of the handguns you mentioned are striker fired. I’m not sure how many are double stack for 12 to 15 rounds, I’d have to research it. Why didn’t you mention any of the hammer fired pistols? Like the sig 2022, HK P30, Beretta PX4 Storm.

    1. All of those pistols have double stack magazines. They posted an incorrect picture for the Smith & Wesson M&P9 2.0. The picture they posted was the Smith & Wesson M&P9C with a 12 round mag (S&W makes mag sleeves for the 17 round mags). The Smith & Wesson M&P9C shown preceded the 2.0. The 2.0 has a longer barrel/slide and comes with 2/15 round mags and two magazine sleeves for the full sized 17 round mags. The Smith & Wesson M&P9 2.0 has a much better trigger than the previous models.

  7. Loving my Sig P938. Surprised it didn’t get a mention. Full power chambering, 1″ wide and at 17 oz loaded, it’s very light in the pocket or on the belt. It’s night sights alone are worth bringing this S/A Sig work of art to the top of your list. Oh….and did I mention it is a Micro-Compact!?

    1. Awful field strip, muzzle flip excessive, trigger poor, hand gets sore after 100 + range rounds and pricey to say the least.

      1. Then you are doing it wrong. My 100lb wife carries and trains with this gun. If your hands are too big OR you haven’t trained with it, I can understand most of your worries.

  8. Pistols are firearms that are kept by lots of gun enthusiasts. Nowadays, many people buy cheap pistolsmainly to have some backyard fun but they are known as airsoft pistols.

    1. Go back to your comrades at the Social Democratic Party and tell them their subversion plot was foiled. The article is about 9mm handguns, which are real handguns. Airsoft pistols are toys.

  9. I love my Glocks, I have a 17G4, 19G4, 22, and a 43. My wife has a 19G4 and 43. I am a 1911 convert.

  10. Great article man, actually I was planning to buy a gun for my sister and I have got a tight budget due to my pocket money, I need to give him gift and that’s why i am thinking to buy Smith and Wesson handgun her. And what about if i gave him a gift on his birthday. She’s 21 now. As you have mentioned above its the best and compact handgun.
    Check out this informative article: https://www.virginiaccwonline.com/most-selling-6-best-hand-guns-for-ladies/ticel also

  11. Got a Walther p99c 9mm for carry bought it at shoot straight in Tampa costed 330 dollars 366 dollars out the door new on sale great trigger short reset love this gun

  12. Being a ccdw instructor and a range safety officer I have a lot of contact with different makes and models, and my own personal weapon of choice are Glocks. My grab and go favorite is the 43, its light weight, reliable and easily concealed with minimal imprint. Having moderate arthritis in my hands i find the 43 has minimal recoil and a very comfortable ergonomical design, which makes it easy to rapid fire without readjusting grip. This goes for almost any Glock.

    1. If you have to readjust grip after rapid firing any 9mm you have a bad grip and you are no instructor… at least you shouldn’t be.

      1. Easy there, brother… If you would’ve read his post, you would’ve seen where he said he has arthritis.

    1. I was looking at and listening to what people had to say about. The bersa— they sound like they are good to me

    2. Not my favorite but is my carry at this time. Inexpensive but well made and very accurate. Like the double stack 12 so no need to carry extra mag. I have many more expensive guns I regularly shoot and on occasion carry but my G2 does the job comfortably and effectively 95% of the time.

    3. That is an extremely racist, bigoted remark. I have to believe that Hell will be packed with Democrats.

  13. We need to mention . 45 caliber. My personal choice is Springfield XDS in . 45.. hollow point ammo is best to reduce unintended GSW of people near by the target. Great website btw. I’m glad I found you

      1. Easy there, brother… Roger is bringing up a good mention in regards to the .45 v 9mm debate.

    1. Yes, I do praise the Lord Jesus. The day will come when you and every godless hate monger like you, will bend your knee and call Him Lord.

    2. The article is about 9mm handguns. The 45ACP vs the 9mm debate will continue to rage, but with modern ammo, the 9mm can equal the wound canal of the 45ACP, according to the FBI, who reverted back to the 9mm. It has less recoil and for the same size, can hold a good bit more ammo.

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