10 Best Compact 9mm Pistols – Sep 2023

The best 9mm compact pistols for CCW. Get yours here.

Last Updated September 15th 2023

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Winners at a Glance

The Glock 19 is still the best compact 9mm, on a general level. But there are other guns to consider these days.

Glock 19

Glock 19

  • Overall Winner
Best Price
Sig Sauer P365 XL

Sig Sauer P365 XL

  • A Close Second
Best Price
Smith & Wesson M&P

Smith & Wesson M&P

  • Solid & Cheap Compact
Best Price
Springfield Armory XDM-Elite

Springfield Armory XDM-Elite

  • Potential Glock Killer
Best Price
Palmetto State Armory Dagger

Palmetto State Armory Dagger

  • Best Cheap Compact
Best Price


This is it, the battle for the best compact 9mm pistol for sale in 2023. We’re not focused on tiny micro-compact handguns here, although you can stow them. These are slightly bigger and comfier.

9mm handguns are the volume sellers. They’re the big business for the likes of Glock, Sig, HK, Walther and more. It’s a battleground for a reason and it just got more intense.

Glock rested on its laurels, but those times are over. The new entry is sharper and slicker than ever, but this is a cut-throat market and the opposition has some seriously innovative alternatives.

So what are the leading lights?


Glock 19 for sale now! If you don't know where to buy a Glock 19 online. Then we have the answer!

1. Glock 19

  • Price: $539.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 17+1
  • Overall: 7.28
  • Barrel Length: 4.02
  • Width: 1.34
  • Weight: 1.8lb

Best Overall


We used to pride ourselves on basically having no Glock as outright winners. The Gen 4 wasn’t good enough, but the Gen 5 Glock 19 really is a near perfect pistol.

The Glock 19 Gen 5 is light years better than the outgoing Gen4. It’s a great trigger, the stippling works well and yet the G19 still conceals as well as it ever did. The ability to slip relatively unnoticed into a waistband was always a strength, as was the zero maintenance and insane reliability.

This is the new benchmark for the United States handgun industry. You know it, Law Enforcement knows it. And that’s why they are approved duty pistols for just about every law enforcement agency.

Others can claim the odd victory, It is just too hard to beat this gun as a package. Especially the Glock 19 MOS that is ready for the best red dots.

Sig P365 XL for $599.99. Buy your gun now.

2. Sig Sauer P365XL

  • Price: $599.99
  • Overall Length: 7.2
  • Barrel: 3.7
  • Weight: 1.3lb
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 12+1

A Close Second


The new battle really is coming down to Sig vs Glock, but the simple Sig Sauer P320 Compact was looking a little long in the tooth. No problem, the Sig Sauer P365XL and X Macros are here to fight for honors and this is an awesome gun.

The grown up version of the groundbreaking Sig P365 Nitron fits bigger hands. It is less snappy and is generally a more complete pistol. It’s still easy to conceal as well,

Night sights and an optics ready stainless steel slide are all options.

The longer Sig P365XL is a real viable alternative to the modern 9mm Glock 19 polymer striker fired pistols as the best CCW and a lot of people swear by theirs. Read the pistol review sections online, especially if you’re new to guns.

People still love the Sig P320 compact by the way. It used to be the only mainstream Glock alternative, but now there’s a lot of competition for the Sig P320. And now Sig is even competing with itself.

That does mean you can find good gun deals for the Sig P320 9mm handgun though, and some extreme custom guns for more money.

Smith & Wesson M&P9  Compact for sale. A great rival for the Glock 19 and a different type of pistol. Buy guns online now.

3. Smith & Wesson M&P9

  • Price: $480.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Overall Length: 7.4
  • Barrel Length: 4.25
  • Weight: 1.48lb
  • Rounds: 15+1 Rounds

Iconic Old Favorite


The second generation smaller Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm handgun is easily a match for more any more celebrated gun on this list.

Now the Smith and Wesson M&P9 Shield is one of the lighter semi-automatic pistols on the market.

The grip module is just stippled enough, without going for the blocks that can and will print. Basically, we like the full size Smith & Wesson M&P Series for home defense and the smaller S&W M&P Shield Plus for CCW.

The S&W was designed not to stand out.

Of course that can actually cost it in terms of PR value and visual impact in the photos, even though the S&W M&P Compact works for a carry gun and the gun reviews love it. And the full sized M&P & compact and the Co increasingly common service pistol & duty gun.

For a full review of the best S&W M&P handgun best alternatives and other pistols, go here.

Springfield XDM Elite 3.8" barrel. Get yours here.

4. Springfield Armory XD-M Elite

  • Price: $578.99
  • Overall Length: 7.3 inch
  • Barrel: 3.8 inch
  • Weight: 1.72lb
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Magazine Capacity: 16+1 Rounds

The New Potential Glock Killer


This is the match-grade version of the XD Mod 2, and it might just be the perfect carry pistol.

It is like the Glock that has just got back from the custom shop, off the peg. The barrel is match grade, it is optics ready with heavy slide serrations and there’s an accessory rail too. Also, it’s pretty comfortable to shoot with reduced felt recoil and the grip angle is just, well, better.

The compact size version is a great gun and some folks just like a beavertail grip safety on their polymer handgun.

HK VP9 handgun. A great 9mm handgun for EDC. Get yours here.

5. Heckler & Koch HK VP9

  • Price: $749.99
  • Barrel: 4.09 inch
  • Total Length: 7.34 inch
  • Weight: 1.6lb

High End Pistol That’s Worth Spending More


The HK VP9 doesn’t get much love on these pages and it’s down the list here once again. And yet it’s a fantastic semi-automatic pistol. So what gives?

It’s purely a pricing issue. I think the H&K VP9 is every bit as good as anything here. Better than most even. But it isn’t that much better, and the H&K VP9 is normally significantly more cash.

The Heckler and Koch VP9 really is one of the big names here. But is it worth this much? Some people say yes.

Lots of serious enthusiasts also love the HK USP Compact handgun, which is a rare find on the open market. But if you spot a HK USP Compact then by all means buy it, you won’t regret that purchase for a second.

Palmetto State Armory Dagger. A great 9mm handgun on sale now.

6. Palmetto State Armory Dagger

  • Price: $299.99
  • Barrel: 3.9
  • Total: 7.15
  • Weight: 1.4lb

Best Cheap Handgun


Palmetto State Armory has made its name with budget rifles and AR pistols. Now, with the Palmetto State Armory Dagger, the company has gone after the polymer framed pistol market. And with pricing this aggressive, it’s almost certain to be a smash hit.

The Palmetto State armory Dagger does look like a budget DIY Glock to be honest, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Lots of people build their own Glocks to a price point.

Here, Palmetto State Armory has just done the work for you and you can order your perfect spec with night sights, a ported slide, new front sight and contrasting colors on your double stack magazine baseplates.

Walther PDP is ready to go to war with the big names in the 9mm compact sector. By one today.

7. Walther PDP Compact

  • Price: $649.99
  • Barrel: 3.5
  • Total: 7 inch
  • Weight: 1.38lb
  • Capacity: 15+1

Best Target Shooter


The Walther PDP has put Walther right back in the conversation. It is a competition spec pistol, that sits in an IWB holster.

The Walther OEM trigger set is the stuff of legend and the brand has a hardcore following because of the best triggers. Always remember, though, that is a vocal minority saying the Walther PDP is better than a Glock 19…

Walther’s devotion to match pistols pays off at long range, too. Because underneath the carry handgun exterior is a target shooting pistol and range star of a compact pistol just trying to get out.

Beretta APX A1 handgun.

8. Beretta APX A1

  • Price: $479.99
  • Barrel: 4.25
  • Weight: 1.8lb
  • Capacity: 17+1 Rounds

The first Beretta APX just sucked. It was an ugly mess, but this A1 is a mid-life refresh that has totally transformed it into a gun you might genuinely consider.

Now the slide is leagues better and the frame is has better grips, a rail, just about everything.

The Beretta PX4 Storm Compact is another great option if you find the right gun deals. But honestly the APX is taking over from the Beretta PX4 Storm full size compact now. If you want to go Italian, the new gun is the right choice.

The Beretta APX Centurion micro compact striker fired pistol is also an option if you want to a small gun.

Walther PPQ M2. A brilliant every day carry 9mm.

9. Walther PPQ M2

  • Price: $649.99
  • Barrel: 4
  • Total: 7.1″
  • Weight: 1.6lb
  • Capacity: 15+1

The Walther PPQ is kind of a forgotten hero and it is fairly hard to find one these days.

But if you see a Walther PPQ and you get the chance, try it. You might be very surprised.

Fanboys claim the OEM Walther trigger is as sweet as any aftermarket job you’ll find for a Glock, and they do have a point. The Walther PPQ trigger pull is famous and it gets even better if you upgrade to the Match guns.

Look out for the Walther PPQ Q4 Tactical with the threaded barrel and Picatinny rail as well.

Canik TP9SF is a low budget 9mm compact that is also superb

10. Canik TP9SF

  • Price: $399.99
  • Barrel: 4.19
  • Weight:1.77lb
  • Capacity: 15+1

The Canik TP9SF is a brilliant weapon that costs way less than more famous names.

Check out their range of handguns, read the reviews and check out the pros and cons. They’re not perfect, but they’re such good value that plenty of people won’t carry anything else.

SubCompact Pistol Taking Over

We basically had to shoo the subcompact handguns and the pistol offerings to one side, or they would take over everything.

The new breed of subcompact 9mm have turned into gun store favorites and have hit the sales of the traditional Glock 19 hard.

Get a full review here, but here are the best

Glock 43x, the best concealed carry pistol on the market, in many people's eyes.

1. Glock 43x

  • Price: $449.99

This one could have sneaked in to the main event, but it would probably have won again. The Glock 43x is that good that we’re holding it back to give the G19 a chance.

With the 3.4″ barrel, the Glock 43x fills a sub-niche and bridges the gap between high capacity micro 9mm sub-compact and the longer barrel G19. It has also proved one of the best guns of 2023 and almost certainly the best Glock for concealed carry gun.

For home defense, look at the full size Glock 17 or more of the best Glock pistols for sale. And for deep concealment the single stack Glock 43 could be a winner.

You can get an extended magazine release and slide stop pretty easily, too, as well as an extended mag with 20, 30 or 100 rounds if you really want higher capacity.

The Sig Sauer P365x is on sale now. It's ready for a red dot and comes with a number of X-carry touches for the P365 Nitron. Get yours today.

2. Sig P365

  • Price: $599.99

The Sig became the best micro-compact handgun benchmark and still is one of the top guns on the market to be honest.

Shorter than the Glock, this is about as compact as CCW gets without resorting to gimmicks. The x is an evolution with an extended beavertail to help stop slide bite, an optics ready stainless steel slide and flat faced trigger for these prolific and popular pistols.

Optics really do help at long range, by the way, and are great for rapid target acquisition in low light with compact 9mm handguns. Muzzle flip is an issue with these, but you can upgrade the captive recoil spring, full length guide rod assembly and firing pin with these P365 accessories.

S&W M&P Shield Plus. A fantastic concealed carry pistol with a high capacity magazine

3. S&W Shield Plus

  • Price: $399.99+

The smaller S&W Shield Plus with a double stack magazine is a firm favorite for many of us as a CCW and there are plenty of reasons to choose one over a Glock or Sig.

It all comes down to personal preference, of course. But the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield can come with a thumb safety, plenty of you prefer the grip angle.

This is a complete CCW for less money than the big names if you find the right gun deals. That’s what we’re here for.

Taurus G2C, a great low budget pistol and a CCW legend

4. Taurus G2C

  • Price: $231.99

The Taurus G2C has rewritten the rules when it comes to cheap subcompact handguns with a high capacity. This one is actually good.

There is a proper manual safety and lots of other things to like. But the price tag is obviously the USP. If you’re on a budget, these are the best 9mm pistols here. Especially with the extended mag with the pinky extension for a firmer grip.

So while the Taurus GX4 is a better gun with a great trigger, something nobody says about the budget entry. But the bigger price means that it’s less spectacular in our eyes. And that’s why we left out the Taurus GX4 sub compact tactical pistol…

Springfield Armory Hellcat 9mm pistol for sale. A new 9mm Micro compact 9mm and a Sig P365 rival

5. Springfield Armory Hellcat

  • Price: $529.99

The polymer frame Springfield Hellcat micro compact 9mm handgun has emerged as a true contender in the best micro compact pistols class.

It is optic ready for micro red dot sights and is high price, high quality all the way. It could well be the best gun in its class and it’s easily one of the best 9mm pistols for concealed carry. At one time this was the highest capacity micro compact handgun, too.

We like the Springfield Hellcat Pro compact handgun, as well the Hellcat RDP Rapid Defense Package with custom features like a compensator for a reduced recoil system and Hex Wasp red dot.

The standard gun is fine, though. Especially when you have to be State Compliant and you’re limited to about 10 rounds inside that Adaptive Grip Texture with the flush mag. There is a 12 round mag as well, if you live in gun friendly states and don’t need to worry about flush fitting magazines and restrictive gun laws.

The small size makes it a solid choice for appendix carry and the molded beavertail helps control this snappy pistol for more accurate follow-up shots.

Ruger Max 9 on sale now. A new micro-compact and a family member for the Ruger American pistol.

6. Ruger Max 9

  • Price: $299.99

The polymer frame Ruger Max is the new sub-compact from the best-selling company of value products.

Normally Ruger offers simplified pistols on a budget. But the modern striker-fired Ruger is a serious collection of parts for the best micro compact 9mm cartridge sector.

The fiber optic sights are top class, the slide comes ready for optics like a red dot sight, there’s a cold hammer forged barrel and this is a comfortable grip.

The Ruger isn’t picking fights with the off-brand stuff. It is set to take on the Sig P365 and Hellcat for a place in your IWB holster.

Is the super reliable Ruger Max 9 the best concealed handgun in Ruger’s arsenal now? Yes it really is a great gun with a slightly longer sight radius.

We could have included the likes of the Ruger EC9s 9mm Luger handguns. And the LCP Max.

But who really wants a Ruger LCP Max 9mm when they can have a Hellcat or a G43x rival for 30% less for the most famous guns on this list? Those are the gun deals we’re looking for and there’s a good reason to go for these micro copmpacts, especially with micro red dots.

Kimber Micro 9 handgun. A subcompact pistol with a personality.

7. Kimber Micro 9

  • Price: $655.99
Click For Best Price![/su_button

The Kimber Micro 9 used to be an oddity, but its reputation for reliability is slowly improving. So this mini 1911 chambered in 9mm is an increasingly popular EDC.

If you want a hammer and an aluminum frame metal handgun with more traditional controls, then you might want to try this single stack pistol that is surprisingly light, comfortable to carry and easy to shoot with a crisp single action trigger.

You get lots of design choices and these are great choices these days for daily carry. The best budget option with white dot sights goes right through to $1000 designer handguns with all the bells and whistles. There are pros and cons to these unique micro compacts…

Taurus G3C. A great subcompact handgun. Buy yours today.

8. Taurus G3C

  • Price: $245.99
Click For Best Price![/su_button

The Taurus G3C is a shorter, smaller version of the G3 and it does look suspiciously like the G2C, there’s no getting round it.

But, trust us, the budget option Taurus G3C is a slightly different small gun. So different that the miniscule differences in frame size and profile mean they don’t even share holsters.

The Taurus G3C compact handgun also gets a durable Tenifer finish on the slide and an adjustable rear sight. Big stuff, huh?

We know we should do the Taurus GX4 here, too, but just no. That’s a micro 9mm, not a 9mm compact. If we were totally sticking to the rules then the Taurus G3C wouldn’t be here honestly.

But they are popular pistols, so here we are.

What Else Can We Help You With?

Do you need bolt-action hunting rifles to go with your hammer fired pistol? Maybe a 9mm AR pistol might be more logical, but you know, you do you.

A bolt action rifle firing rounds of 9mm handgun ammo is even an option, with exceptional ballistic performance, but we would still recommend the modern Pistol Caliber Carbine.

Then get sights, lights, parts & accessories or a Crimson Trace with us too. Optics, scopes, iron sights, red dot sigts, we got em all for your full size and compact handguns.

We even have a list of the best air rifles and airsoft accessories somewhere, but not too many, and gun safes and things.

Legal Notices

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As for State Compliant handguns and rifles, we hope you’ve done your homework before you order your gun online. Check the returns policy and shipping policy too and contact the partner direct at their email address with questions. Now skip to content.

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All prices are accurate at time of writing and we regularly check to keep our prices up to date. But we must say they are subject to change. It’s also the buyer’s responsibility to comply with all rules and laws regarding your purchase: Federal, State and local laws, especially California consumers.


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