10 Best SubCompact 9mm Guns For CCW – August 2019

What are the best 9mm Subcompact pistols for concealed carry? What about this glorious designer 1911 from DDA?

The best 9mm sub-compact handguns for EDC


This is the hottest sector in the firearms industry and firearms manufacturers sweat real blood and tears over the course of the year to secure the honors with the best subcompact 9mm for concealed carry.

This is the first gun that most of us own and, in many cases it’s the last. 9mm pistols are the personal defense volume seller, the high-street name and the halo brand, all in one.

So what are the best sub-compact 9mm pistols for CCW?

What is the definition of a sub-compact pistol?

Well we are going with a maximum of a 3.5 inch barrel and 6.75 inches long so you can actually conceal it. That gives us room to manoeuvre and include a couple of options you might not have considered, without just rehashing our list of the best 9mm compact pistols for EDC.

Now the technicalities are out the way, what are the best 9mm subcompact handguns for concealed carry?


Sig P365 Nitron with manual safety for sale - just $499.99 at your favorite online gunbroker.

1. Sig Sauer P365 Nitron + Manual Safety


  • Price: $499.99
  • Barrel Length: 3.1 inch
  • Overall Length: 5.8 inch
  • Weight: 1.1lb
  • Capacity: 10+1

The Sig Sauer P365 Nitron has changed the 9mm pistols game and is pretty much every gunbroker’s best 9mm sub-compact handgun right now. It’s an open secret. 

The only thing we might recommend is the version with the manual safety. It’s a simple frame mounted thumb safety, a cross-bolt safety.


Do you carry with an empty chamber because you don’t quite trust the long throw of the double action/single action operating mechanism? Internal safeties don’t quite do it for you? Then you need a cross-bolt safety.


Sure, it’s a mindset thing, but a lot of people simply aren’t running their gun correctly because they can’t quite trust it with a live round in the chamber. When Sig announced the external safety at Shot Show 2019, it was in response to overwhelming demand.


We think the safety features have taken a great concealed carry handgun and made it even better. Even with the best concealed carry holster that covers the trigger in purest Kydex, peace of mind is a funny thing and it’s worth a lot.


Sig P365 is the Best Subcompact 9mm Pistol


Apart from the simple plastic safety, you probably know all there is to know about the tiny handgun with the excellent ergonomics. A staggered double-stack magazine gives 10+1 rounds, or 12+1 with the extended magazine. 


You can even strap a red dot to the rail under the barrel to remove shooting technique from the equation.


Parts and accessories are starting to flow for what might just be the best subcompact 9mm handgun for sale in 2019. Third party night sights, custom stippling and ported slides are all out there, with more to come.


The Sig XRay3 day/night sights sit atop a stainless steel slide that marries concealability and a decent grip in all conditions. The grip angle and thickness is nigh-on perfect and the trigger pull is clean, crisp and repeatable.


A Giant Leap in Subcompact Handgun Design


It’s a design masterclass and it’s a minor miracle that the overall packaging for an everyday carry pistol is this small.


This might be peak 9mm concealed carry handgun. I am struggling to see how a gun can get smaller and still sit right in the hand. Aside from a complete rethink of the handgun, this might be the best carry pistol money can buy. Now it has the safety, anyway…

Sig Sauer P365 SAS. A custom Sig P365 with no-profile sights

Sig P365 SAS Could Be The Ultimate Carry Handgun


If you are prepared to sacrifice long-distance accuracy for a sight so low profile it’s built into the ported slide, then take a look at the Sig Sauer P365 SAS. At $579.99.


It’s an enticing custom Sig P365 for not much more money and it’s really easy to conceal. That’s important with carry pistols.


The flush fitting FT Bullseye fiber-tritium night sight works like a crude red dot and that is absolutely enough at defensive carry distances. Target acquisition is quicker, but you lose precision over 20 yards.


It’s a sort of next gen Tritium night sights that makes this one of the best pistols for concealed carry. But it has a very specific defensive pistol purpose. You would want front and rear tritium night sights for the range. Or an RMR…


A ported slide means you’re well on your way to a custom Sig P365 for a few extra bucks. Add one or two accessories from this list of Custom Sig P365 parts & accessories and you’re fixed. Seriously, this could be a cost effective start for a seriously pimped out Sig.


Glock 43x for sale. The best 5th Generation Glock and one of the best 9mm subcompact carry guns for sale in 2019.

2. Glock 43x

  • Price: $448.49
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel Length: 3.39 inch
  • Total Length: 6.5 inch
  • Weight: 1lb
  • Capacity: 10+1

Glock was slowly turning into Apple, relying on the name and marketing, rather than than true innovation, to keep pushing its products on the American public. With the Gen 5, that has changed. These are seriously good carry pistols.


Some other gunbroker sites breathlessly talk about the Glock 43 being the most eagerly anticipated subcompact from Glock for years.


But that’s just stupid. Glocks outsell every other carry 9mm handgun in America because they’re reliable, accurate, simple and basically the white goods of the firearms world. 


Why Don’t Gun Guys Like Glock?


A Glock will rarely win anything outright on these pages. Why? The same reason the Austrian manufacturer absolutely dominates the sales charts for American firearms. It’s also why it wins endless best gun awards elsewhere. A Glock does everything exceptionally well, with minimal fuss, and no quirks. 


In terms of personality, soul and pleasure, that’s bad. In terms of keeping you alive in an emergency, it’s good. It lacks character, but the Glock 43x may well be the best concealed carry subcompact 9mm pistol on the market.


It also plays nice with a Glock 34 for home defense if you like to mix and match your Glock parts & accessories. A red dot or extended magazine can change the character of your Glock and they are freely available in the stores.


Could This Be The Ultimate Glock For Carrying Concealed?


The Glock 43x Gen 5 is near perfect engineering. Gone are the days when buying a Glock was the start of a DIY Glock build project, too. The trigger with blade safety is good enough, the stippling is solid without getting in the way of concealment and the whole design is snag free, even down to the contoured front sight.


It’s also drama free and basically designed to fade into the background, until you need your personal defense handgun.


The single stack Glock 43x is the carry version, with a little slide work at the front that could save you a fortune in custom Glock modifications down the road. The beavertail is set, the magwell is flared just enough and all the typical aftermarket Glock modifications seem to have been done at the factory. Even the grip angle seems better, a bit…


The world of Glock parts & accessories has turned into a feeding trough for the likes of Agency Arms, ZEV Tech and Faxon Firearms in recent years. And don’t kid yourself into thinking they won’t make money off the new breed of Glocks either. 


Glock a True Contender For CCW Champ Again


The 43 and the Glock 26 are solid subcompact pistols, but they might need an extended mag or an aftermarket slide for a firm grip when it matters the most. As carry pistols, they’re not quite there.


But the new generation Glock 43x is one of the best sub-compact 9mm CCW pistols in the world right now, straight out the box. If you have one, you chose wisely and you can check out the user reviews on the gunbroker sites that all agree with you. 


CZ 2075 Rami For Sale. Is this the best subcompact 9mm handgun for sale in 2019? It might be...

3. CZ 2075 Rami

  • Price: $548.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel Length: 3 inch
  • Total Length: 6.5 inch
  • Weight: 1.57lb
  • Capacity: 10+1/ 14+1

If we could find a consistent supply of CZ 2075 Rami pistols, and the Sig Sauer P365 wasn’t quite that good, then this would be our number one subcompact pistol, the best gun here by a mile.


Seriously, just click through these links until you find one and then buy it, right away. They come and go that fast and after this long in production that tells you more than any gun review…


Where to buy a CZ Rami online now


Truly Unique Subcompact 9mm Carry Pistols


In a sea of striker fired black polymer handguns, the CZ Rami stands proud as a truly unique piece of old-school engineering.


Defiant tradition feels like innovation here, because the basic Browning Hi-Power mechanism of the CZ 75 B is still kind of ahead of the curve.


It’s the same basic gun as the CZ 75 B, which we still think is one of the best full size pistols on the market for home defense, target shooting at the range and we also think they’re great nightstand pistols. Law enforcement and military personnel around the world also pack these more often than you would think.


A Great Gun in a Compact Frame


Here in subcompact form it is shrunk down to a manageable lightweight concealed carry that can mix it with the very best of modern material science.


You get a proper cross-bolt safety, that thumb safety, and a hammer. The CZ 2075 Rami is designed to be carried in Condition One, cocked and locked. It’s a different kind of carry handgun to the polymer-framed subcompact pistols and their largely internal safeties.


And some people love this subcompact 9mm pistol for that. The world of carry pistols is brighter for its charismatic presence.


In a world of uniform technology, mechanical tradition feels like innovation. The CZ Rami is decades old and sits proud among the best carry pistols of today.


At 1.57lb the forged aluminum CZ Rami does weigh more than the plastic Sig, of cours it does. But you get an awful lot more 9mm handgun with an awful lot more character. 


Extended Magazine Gives 14 Rounds. That’s Huge


It also comes with 14 rounds of 9mm and if you choose your ammunition wisely then that is an awful lot of firepower for a concealed carry gun. 9mm hollowpoints have come a long way after all and 9mm is undoubtedly the self-defense round de jour.


The CZ 75 has been through 1 million torture tests and has become the most copied gun around the world for a reason. This is basically the same mechanism and the same gun, cut down for concealed carry. It’s a brilliant gun, a great gun and one of those rare carry pistols that will put a smile on your face.


Buy one of these subcompact 9mm pistols, if you can find one…


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

4. Springfield Armory Hellcat 9mm

  • Price: $499.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel Length: 3 inch
  • Total Length: 6 inch
  • Weight: 1.15lb
  • Capacity: 11+1/13+1 with extended mag.

Taurus threw a real spanner in the works for Sig Sauer this year. This was meant to be the year of the P365 Nitron and the Taurus G2C turned up and did exactly the same job for much less money.


Saving money on your EDC carry pistol really isn’t smart, but the Taurus wasn’t just making cheap carry handguns. The Taurus G2C was a good cheap gun. It still is a good cheap gun and one of the best subcompact carry pistols in 2019.


The stock black finish on the Taurus isn’t as pretty as the German marque, but of course it isn’t. The black and white polymer contrasting finish isn’t quite as slick. The simple grip zone isn’t quite as good looking. The trigger press, trigger pull and reset is pretty quirky if we’re honest.


Cheap Gun With All The Basics


But these are all things you can get used to and Taurus got all the really important stuff right. 


This is a reliable, accurate, repeatable and trustworthy handgun for less than half the price of the Sig P365 Nitron. What else can we tell you, this is one of the firearms bargains of the decade and a gun that could become an icon. 


Taurus has made some crappy semi auto handguns in the past, but all is forgiven with this sensational double stack semi auto bargain. This carry gun is the best value here by by a mile, the gun reviews love it and they are right.


The single stack Taurus G2S is even slimmer and easier to conceal, but we like the double stack magazine that gives the Taurus enough firepower to mix it with the best carry pistols on this list.


Heckler & Koch VP9SK, one of the best subcompact guns for sale in 2019. Buy yours at the USA Gun Shop

6. Heckler & Koch VP9SK

  • Price: $629.99
  • Barrel Length: 3.39 inch
  • Total Length: 6.6 inch
  • Weight: 1.45lb
  • Capacity: 10+1


If you just want the best subcompact gun on the market and you don’t care about the price, then you’re one of the elite few that can justify the additional bucks that goes into the Heckler & Koch VP9SK.


Now the HK is right on our self-imposed size limit for subcompact 9mm pistols and it’s a little cumbersome next to the Sig that has the same number of rounds in a much smaller package. Does that make the Sig a better pistol? Arguably not.


Some people like the feel of the HK and there is no doubt that this is one of those carry pistols you never really need to tune. The fit and finish are near perfect, enhanced night sights are already in place and the gun is finished in a way that you just know it’s going to look good for years.


Simply the Best in Terms of Pure Quality


The HK VP9 might just be the best gun in the Glock 19 division, but while the VP9SK is a great gun, we’re not sure it’s the best gun here. It’s a polished gem among carry guns and every detail is perfect, even down to the high quality metal internals. It’s a stark contrast to the oceans of plastic inside a Glock, but the HK comes at a heavyweight price.


The HK VP9SK is undoubtedly one of the best subcompact 9mm pistols out there. But if value is a thing in your life, there are cheaper options that are arguably just as good as an everyday carry and personal defense pistol.


Springfield Armory XD Mod 2 9mm on sale now. Get the best prices and buy guns online with confidence at the USA Gun Shop.

4. Springfield Armory XD Mod 2 9mm SubCompact

  • Price: $339.97
  • Barrel Length: 3 inch
  • Total Length: 6.25 inch
  • Weight: 1.625lb
  • Capacity: 13+1

The Springfield Armory XD Mod 2 has been one of the greats in the subcompact 9mm firearms sector and only recently gave up the number one spot to the irrepressible Sig P365. Now the herd is snapping at its heels, but make no mistake the XD Mod2 is still one of the best concealed carry handguns for sale.


If you like multiple safeties on your carry pistols, then it’s still the striker fired black polymer handgun you should carry every day. The grip safety and trigger safety mean there’s almost no way this gun can go off unless you want it to.


It’s a clever system that means you have to have a positive grip before you can fire and it marks this apart from other 9mm pistols that often rely on a blade safety.


That aside, the staggered double-stack magazine is a match for anything in this concealed carry guns class. The extended clip turns this diminutive Springfield subcompact 9mm into a real Glock 19 rival in terms of capacity and accuracy.


Fiber Optic Front Sight is a Premium Touch


The fiber optic night sights up front are a premium handgun touch too and the magazine capacity allows for a few extra hollow point bullets.


The XD Mod 2 features on just about every one of our best 9mm handgun lists, from subcompact CCW handguns right through to full-size pistols. It is one of the best concealed carry guns, and if you haven’t taken one for a test drive then you might find the gun that drags you away from your Glock.


The double-stack 9mm DA/SA has more detail work on the high quality polymer, there are more ridges and natural handles, which means it’s better to manipulate and yet it suffers just a little when it comes to concealment. The fiber optic front sight s a trademark touch that we like and there are also some great deals on this aging rock star right now.


This was a $460 gun and you can pick one up for substantially less right now if you’re prepared to compromise on a Flat Dark Earth frame or some other small detail. Get the right deal and this might just become the best subcompact pistol here on a bang for buck basis


The icon, the Sig P938 Legion for sale. There is a P938 to suit every budget and taste, so buy your mico compact handgun online now.

7. Sig Sauer P938

  • Price: $524.99-$799.99
  • Caliber 9mm Luger
  • Barrel: 3 inch
  • Overall Length: 5.9 inch
  • Weight: 1.06lb
  • Capacity: 7+1


This classic micro compact from Sig walks the line between a functional firearm and jewelry, but it does fill a niche even here.


The Sig Sauer P938 is surrounded on all sides by massively competent striker fired subcompact 9mm pistols, and yet the P938 refuses to fade away.


The single action Sig P938 with a flat-profile trigger now comes in a bewildering range of materials and finishes.


We can talk about the Sig Sauer P938 We The People, Emperor Scorpion, Legion or the $850 rose gold engraved special edition. But it’s best just to see for yourself.


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Custom Guns at Local Gun Store Prices


You can find one or two examples of this designer 9mm limited edition machine at most online gunbrokers in the United States. But finding the whole line-up is a chore.


So if you want this microcompact 9mm pistol for a back-up, pocket pistol, purse pistol or even your main CCW, then we recommend heading to Guns.com.


This online firearms retailer has the biggest and best selection of P938 microcompact handguns. Check the full line-up here.


Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield for sale, a great subcompact 9mm carry gun

8. Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield 1.0

  • Price: $249.99
  • Barrel Length: 3.1 inch
  • Total Length: 6.1 inch
  • Weight: 1.44lb
  • Capacity: 8+1


The single stack 9mm that is the S&W M&P9 Shield 1.0 is something of a legend. Law enforcement officers love it and a lot of people swear it’s a step up from the old Glocks at least in more or less every department that matters.


Simple Guns Can Fit the Hand Better


Truthfully the polymer frame and palm swell of the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 1.0 simply fit some peoples’ hands better. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it. It’s the same with jeans. One brand seems to get you, while another makes you look like a clown every time. Handguns can be like that too.


So while we never really gelled with the Smith & Wesson single stack 9mm carry pistols, we understand why lots of people did. We can also point to the stylish scallops cut into the slide to help with racking this carry gun and the slim profile and cleverly thought out pistol grip that turns this into a dream to conceal.


Slimline Single Stack 9mm For CCW


There are plenty of solid reasons to buy the Smith & Wesson single stack magazine CCW. And now there is one more, the price has dropped like a stone. Perhaps sensing the threat from the other conceal carry icons on this list, Smith & Wesson has dropped $200 from the asking price.


Now the M&P Shield competes with the Taurus, not the Sig. This is a battle Smith and Wesson can win with pure marketing spin and the better fit and finish on the M&P9.


Discount Guns Suddenly Look Better


At the old price, the Smith and Wesson was feeling the heat, especially with its limited magazine capacity. At this price, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is still a real solid concealed carry 9mm and a great back-up pistol.


You can spend a little more on your M&P Shield carry 9mm if you want to go the full Smith & Wesson Performance Center route for $499. Do that and the best engineers at S&W will yank your M&P Shield off the line and do all the custom work you might expect from an Agency Arms or ZEV Technologies. This is the best gun they can give you and its tuned for performance, a crisper break, reduced recoil and a faster reset.


You then get a custom firearm without the extortionate price tag and with a full guarantee from the S&W Performance Center.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Performance Center with custom porting for sale. Buy guns online at the best gunbroker, the USA Gun Shop.

You can obviously keep going with the Performance Center upgrades to create a custom Smith & Wesson for CCW, home defense or target shooting, but these simple upgrades to your carry pistol are more than worth the money.


Mossberg MC1SC - A solid first entry into the 9mm subcompact market for the shotgun and AR-15 star. Buy guns online now.

9. Mossberg MC1SC SubCompact

  • Price: $349.99
    Barrel Length: 3.4 inch
    Total Length: 6.25 inch
    Weight: 1.19lb
    Capacity: 6+1


Mossberg is better known for its shotguns and long rifles, but the Mossberg MC1SC subcompact is a credible first effort as a compact handgun manufacturer.


There are elements of Glock, Taurus, Smith & Wesson and more. So it does beg the question: do we need this gun at all? Can it be the best of the best 9mm subcompact guns with the same type of recipe?


Probably not, is the cold hard truth. But the user reviews and the gun reviews online have been massively complimentary about this new entry into the battle for the best handgun honors.


Custom Handgun Parts & Accessories Off the Peg


The M1SC subcompact features some nice touches and it’s a gun that has been well received by the buying public.


The Mossberg MC1SC subcompact 9mm pistol is comfortable to hold and it’s easy to carry concealed. The flat-profile trigger and integral blade safety is neat, the stippling is exceptional and the gun has so far proved reliable and accurate.


It’s a good gun, it just isn’t a groundbreaking in the 9mm subcompact pistols class. We will wait and see what Mossberg does next.


Walther PPS is a single stack CCW with a sweet trigger. Buy your carry gun online right now.

10. Walther Arms PPS M2

  • Price: $350.99
    Barrel Length: 3.18 inch
    Total Length: 6.18 inch
    Weight: 1.32lb
    Capacity: 7+1


This single stack carry gun has a small, but devoted following that loves one of the best trigger sets in the world of striker fired pistols. Seriously, the OEM Walther PPS trigger is that good and some people will tell you with a straight face this is one of the best subcompact 9mm pistols in the world at any price.


The full size 9mm pistol, the Walther PPQ, has made a serious splash in Match specification, particularly with the metal-framed Pro variant.


The smaller single stack 9mm subcompact never quite grabbed the same market share. But then there are some very convincing mainstream alternatives and if there’s one place where it really doesn’t pay to go against the numbers, it’s your EDC handgun.


Walther is a Niche Choice Pistol Now


So the polymer frame Walther PPS might simply be up against a crowd that has decided on the Sig and the Glock in advance. That’s prejudice, and I am just as guilty as anybody.


The subcompact 9mm Walther shoots great. The stainless steel slide has just enough detail to make it easy to manipulate and push check John Wick style, if you’re that way inclined. The sights slide out and there are plenty of Walther parts, spares & accessories to upgrade your CCW weapon when you’re ready.


The single stack 9mm subcompact is easy to conceal. It’s a compact 9mm subcompact. Ummm yeah…


Walther PPS Left Behind By Competition


The trigger safety is a solid touch and this is a seriously competent back-up gun or pocket pistol. It’s just not the first choice among subcompact pistols anymore, if it ever was. There are better concealed carry handguns.


The truth is the likes of the Taurus and Sig P365 have caught and past the little Walther. Double stack magazine capacity is the way forward and the best pistols on the market have settled on a staggered double stack magazine.


With magazine capacity from 10-14, depending on your state gun laws, these double stack handguns can deliver all the firepower of a full-size 9mm pistol. The Walther cannot, it’s missing those follow up shots that separate the great from the absolute best 9mm subcompact handguns for sale.


Charter Arms Pitbull Nitride finish - a concealed carry gun with a difference. But your 9mm revolver here.

11. Charter Arms Pitbull Revolver

  • Price: $470.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel: 2.2 inch
  • Total Length: 6.5 inch
  • Weight: 1.38lb
  • Capacity: 5

A concealed carry 9mm revolver… Who would have thought it? But here we are, and I have to admit I kind of like it.

Now compact 9mm and revolvers basically go together like things that really don’t go together at all. The personal defense ammunition of choice has been tailored to semi-auto handguns, because they work together. 

This is a 5-round gun, so there’s no magazine capacity advantage and you might as well fire bombs and go with a 44 Magnum. But that might not be the point. You might want a soft firing 9mm revolver for the range, or just for fun. And you know what? It’s your life…


A Snub Nose Pocket Pistol


This Charter Arms Pitbull 9mm comes with a 2.2 inch barrel and weighs in at just 1.38lb. With the size and weight it could serve as a pocket pistol, but then there are better options on this list for that particular job too. 


This 9mm rimless revolver comes with a dual coil spring assembly in the extractor that makes loading and reloading relatively simple.

The Charter Arms Pitbull 9mm revolver isn’t the most logical choice for a personal defense handgun and it’s not the first thing you think of when you’re going for the best subcompact pistols. But then we’re all different. If you want a 9mm revolver for your carry pistol, this Nitride finished pocket gun is as good as they get.


Ruger EC9S 9mm subcompact gun for sale. A great, cheap concealed carry that shouldn't let you down.

12. Ruger EC9S Centerfire Pistol

  • Price: $229.99
  • Barrel: 3.12 inch
  • Total: 6 inch
  • Weight: 1.07lb
  • Capacity: 7+1

This simple single stack 9mm pistol still has a place in the modern world. It’s an affordable handgun for those that aren’t quite sold on the even cheaper Taurus due to personal experience.


Also, the Ruger does offer a tactile experience that’s missing from the Taurus. If you were going for the single stack magazine anyway, this is a nicer gun to hold and operate.


Bigger Rugers Are Simply Better Guns


The Ruger SR9C is a more complete handgun and the Ruger Security-9 Compact is solid too, But if you are looking for a lightweight subcompact gun that can hide anywhere, has an integral trigger safety and basically no external frills, this is an option for that sock gun you always wanted.


The fixed sights are simple white dot numbers. But you shouldn’t really be taking aim with this at 100 feet in a gunfight. It’s a close quarters personal defense 9mm and it does that particular job very well.


Essentially it’s a development of the legendary Ruger LCP380, which turned into the Ruger LCS9. The Ruger LCS9 is now discontinued, though, and you have to buy the ECS9 if you insist on Ruger carry pistols.


Is it one of the best subcompact 9mm guns on the market? Not anymore, but it’s still one of the most popular.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Fowler November 28, 2019
    • Nick December 5, 2019

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