Packing Some Extra Heat: Top 10 9mm Mid-Sized Carry Guns

Kahr 9mm semiautomatic handgun with black frame and burnt bronze slide.

It’s a simple fact of life with firearms: Small guns are easier to carry and conceal than larger guns. However, as anybody who has ever spent considerable time with a mouse gun can attest, shooting tiny pistols isn’t always fun. And with certain models, it can be a downright miserable experience. But for those willing to compromise slightly on carry comfort to enhance shooting performance, there exists another option: The mid-sized carry gun.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best mid-sized sidearms. All of them are in 9mm Luger, which is generally thought to be one of the best calibers for self-defense. And in order to qualify for the title of “mid-sized,” each had to be big enough for an average person to get a full grip with very little, if any, extra room.

Also note that the most expensive handgun isn’t necessarily the greatest handgun by default.

Without any further ado, here they are, ranked from good to best:

  1. Springfield XD Service Model

The Springfield XD is the upper crust of the lesser-value pistol market. While known to have long-term reliability and durability issues when used extensively for training and competition, it’s a superior choice when compared to similarly featured pistols in its price range. As long as you pay attention to basic maintenance and keep certain spare parts on hand (like the infamous striker retainer pin), the Springfield XD is more than serviceable as an excellent mid-sized carry pistol. Click here to learn more about the Springfield Armory XD.

  1. Kahr Arms CW9

The CW9 just barely makes the list for a mid-sized carry gun, due to the adequate length of its grip. It’s just barely long enough for most adults to get four fingers on, but makes up for it in terms of the narrow, comfortable slide width. A single-stack frame gives users an equally slim grip, which is one of the primary reasons the CW9 is so easy to carry all day, every day. However, it’s not the most comfortable pistol to shoot, especially when compared to other pistols on our list, which is why it sits at #9. Click here to learn more about the Kahr CW9.

  1. SIG Sauer P239

Much like the above listed Kahr CW9, the P239 is a single-stack handgun. But unlike the CW9, it’s a double/single-action, and weighs 13.7 ounces more than the Kahr. This combination of a heavier handgun with the crisp single-action follow-up shots that SIG is known for makes the P239 an excellent choice for those who want an easy-to-shoot carry gun without hauling around an uncomfortably thick pistol all the time. High-contrast sights and heavily textured grips add to the “shootability” of the SIG P239.

  1. CZ 75 Compact

Even though it’s named the CZ 75 compact, #7 on our list is still plenty big enough to get a full grip on. There’s never been a consensus between firearms manufacturers about when to start calling pistols compact (or even sub-compact), but this shrunken-down version of the renowned CZ 75 still retains all of the features of the full-sized model. Most notably, the slide is contained within the frame, which makes recoil and follow-up shots manageable and fast. It’s like having a racehorse that doesn’t mind taking you to the convenience store at midnight. Click here to learn more about the CZ 75.

  1. Heckler and Koch P30 V3

No list of “pistols big enough to fight with” would be complete without something from Heckler and Koch. Truthfully, the only thing on this pistol that fits in the “mid-size” category is the barrel length. But, if your body type and holster can comfortably conceal the grip, this double/single-action blaster can provide you with H&K’s unquestionable reliability day in and day out. Interestingly, the non-tritium sights glow in the dark (after being periodically “charged” with a flashlight.) The P30 V3 also features a full-length dust cover rail, which will readily accept lights and lasers.

  1. Beretta PX4 Storm Compact

This is another pistol with a slightly misleading name, as it’s definitely more of a midsized handgun. While striker-fired pistols certainly aren’t going anywhere soon, a large portion of shooters still favor the traditional double/single-action trigger mechanism. The PX4 Storm offers an excellent iteration of this trigger style, and comes with the hallmarks of accuracy, reliability and good looks that end-users have come to expect from Beretta. As an added bonus, the sights are easy to change out for something that you’re a little more used to seeing. Click here to learn more about the Beretta PX Storm.

  1. Beretta 92 FS Compact

Since we have so many military veterans either leaving the service or making a career out of it, there’s no way we couldn’t mention the Beretta 92 FS Compact. Staying true to the tried, tested and trusted design and format of the standard-issue military service pistol, the 92 FS will feel very familiar to anybody who has served. Of course, Beretta’s high-quality control is evident, and the unique open-top slide lends itself well to reliable function with pretty much any 9mm Luger ammunition you can stuff in the magazine. Click here to learn more about the Beretta 92.

  1. SIG Sauer M11-A1

This is the exact sidearm model issued to U.S. Naval Aviation personnel, as well as numerous other special units within our armed forces. The M11-A1 provides a full 15 rounds in an easy to conceal package, with a truncated 3.9” barrel. Upgrades such as a short-reset trigger and glow-in-the-dark night sights round out the package, which makes this choice one of the highest quality carry pistols currently available. And you just can’t beat that pedigree. Click here to learn more about the SIG M11-A1.

  1. CZ P-07 Duty

Coming in at #2 in our list, the CZ P-07 Duty has few flaws as a mid-sized carry gun. CZ really nailed the proportions on this pistol, and it’s easy to hide pretty much anywhere. It also gives users the choice between a traditional double/single-action trigger and a light single-action-only trigger with just the swap of the (included) extra safety lever. Memory texture spots for your thumbs on the frame, impeccable reliability, impressive accuracy, a full-length accessory rail and a price point that’s well under $500 make the P-07 Duty an easy choice.

  1. Glock 19

This is the undisputed king of the mid-sized carry class. Few pistols match the unique proportions of the legendary G19, with its 4.1” barrel and ideal-length grip. All of this comes with a 15 round standard capacity, and the capability of using the bigger mags from its big brother, the G17. The G19 rides well in either traditional strong-side positions, and even better in the newly popular appendix carry. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also fairly affordable. And, since it’s a Glock, you can rest assured that reliability simply isn’t going to be an issue. Click here to learn more about the Glock 19.

So there you have it. Ten fantastic pistols, each big enough to actually fight with, yet small enough to realistically conceal on a daily basis.

Did your favorite make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (143)

  1. Nice choice of weapons although you did forget one important gun.
    The IWI Jericho 941 which comes now in three calibers of 9, 40, and 45
    Did you all not get a sample ?? I have owned to real IWI jericho and loved them better than the berretta and the cz75

  2. Love seeing my Beretta’s on this list. I just don’t see them that often at competitions like IDPA and USPSA. I think of the 92 FS as the sexy one with great lines like Marilyn Monroe. The PX4 looks a little bigger and brassy and in .40 cal. it carries a bigger punch like Mae West. The PX4 is my EDC and I shoot IDPA with the 92 FS, both compacts. Try them out if you haven’t. They are affordable, reliable, sexy, effective and ________.

  3. WOW….stuck on “made in Germany!!” They’re good I suppose, but what about us waving the US Flag?
    I’ve had a S&W M&P9c for years. Compete in IDPA and other events. I was amazed, it shoots almost as good as my modified Colt Commander. I consider it probably the largest you can comfortably carry Concealed ( and I have been for years)
    I buy foreign sometimes but not when I have a very good US choice!!
    To each his own. But there are lots of good choices besides what comes from just one country.

  4. As long as any pistol is made in Germany such as the HK and Glock, they are the best. Any other gun made is BS.

    1. Way to throw the troll bait out there. Unfortunately, you are somewhat unintelligent. Glocks are not made in Germany and have never been made in Germany. They originated in Austria. Glock has a factory in the United States as do many other foreign gun makers. This helps them avoid restrictive importation laws. You really should do some research before you throw yourself under the bus like that!

  5. I have the Berreta subcompact it is a great gun for concealment along with some hot loads and it’s double stack magazines that give you 13 rds. It’s better than alot of 3 inch 5 shot backup pieces . I agree with the author on most of the list every one mentions the smith&Wesson compact it is not good right out the box need a trigger job after market spring might as well pony up and get something good. Sorry guys but when we tested them s&w that is the trigger pull jumps around from 9 to 5 lb trigger pulls!!! Not good enough for my life

  6. ^The Author seems to think that a carry must be fun to shoot. I have fun to shoot guns and I have carry guns and my priority for a carry gun is simple: it must have proven dependability, weigh less than about a pound and a half, have no lever safety, no exposed hammer and must be concealable. If you carry every day as I do then your carry gun is exposed to body moisture and outdoor elements which puts plastic guns in a favorable light. Add simplicity to the list of priorities for carry guns and the Authors list of 10 dwindles down to two. Underline proven dependability and the only one that remains on the Authors list is the Glock. I think that there are several other guns that qualify as good carry guns that are not on the Authors list, but they are probably not fun to shoot either.

    1. I agree whole heartedly. My carry gun is a Beretta Nano. It is easily concealed and comfortable enough to carry all day even when driving. It comes standard with two six round magazines (some with an eight round extended and a six round magazine) that feed flawlessly and drop freely. The magazines are single stack, so they are easily and comfortably carried in a pocket. I have several hundred rounds through my Nano, and no it is not fun to shoot such a small weapon for extended periods. After about a hundred rounds I have had enough of it and move on to something else.

  7. Forgot S&W M&P 9c. In phsical comparisons, it is just like many I’ve seen. Had it maybe eight years, and love it. Shoot it often at IDPA events. Accuracy is pretty close to those with 5″ barrels.
    Made in the USA is a VERY strong apeal to me….and several of those in Your list… NOT fit that claim… I would NEVER own one.

  8. I agree on the Walther PPS. It is remarkably accurate at self-defense range. I want to buy the .40 caliber for winter carry.

  9. I think the Walther PPS with the 8 round extended Magazine should have made the list. All fingers fit on the grip and it has enough weight to shoot like a full size gun. It probably conceals better than any on the list.

  10. Like the list and I am happy to see both of my hand guns made it
    Glock 19 and Berretta px4 storm
    Have to say though that I much prefer the px4
    Little bit more chunky than the 19 but feel more safe with one in the chamber due to the decocker
    I know the glock fanatics say that training and practice makes perfect but accidents DO happen
    Anyway just my opinion
    Like the 19 but love the px4

  11. Great article! I patiently read each firearm that was listed, and very satisfied to see that the G19 was number 1..!! I proudly own two Glock19… A versatile weapon that is reliable and fun to shoot!
    *extended slide lock
    *Lone Wolf trigger connector
    *polished trigger components
    *Talon grips (grit or rubber)

  12. “Top 10 9mm Mid-Sized Carry Guns” – Emphasis on MID-SIZE, not compact or sub-compact. This is a good list for the title.

  13. I have the PPX, SUPER price $360.00 out the door…it is an accurate cannot miss fire arm with a trigger that breaks sweetly @ about 6.4 pound (feels like 4 pounds. I cannot beat the old words craftsmanship and attention to detail for the dollars.

  14. Though the SW M&P Shield 9 & 40 are given high marks in other independent CCW reviews, they’re too inexpensive to make the cut in a review sponsored by gun sellers. For example, I recently bought a new Shield 9 with free shipping for $339 — hardly any profit for the seller. It carries very well (I’m 5’10′” 200 lbs).The Shield should have been put on this list. Otherwise, I agree with the review, the Glock and the Kar are excellent guns.

  15. I’m not an expert by far, but I favor my Kahr CW9. I am also partial to the Sig 290 when it comes to concealed models.

  16. Far and away, the Steyr 9 mm Model S9-A1 is my go to carry. Light but strong. The triangle sights are great. I used to carry the S&W Shield in 9mm. Found the Steyr and fell in love.

  17. I am a big fan of the Ruger SR9c. American made, fits most hands, if 10 rounds don’t get it done it will accept the larger 17 round as a back up magazine & has easily reached manual ambidextrous safety for concealed civilian carry.

    1. Me too after months of research and shopping for a carry gun it came down to the Glock19 or the SR9C and I picked the SR9C over the Glock 19 because it just looked better it fit in my hand better and has a much much better trigger also more concealable than the G19 and two more rounds than the G19 i also carry it with the 10 round mag in it with the 17 round mags as a backup mag.

  18. What happened to the M&P 9C Compact? I love my wife’s! Dual purpose workhorse with the 17 rnd mag and X-grip in it at home with a light on it. Dress it down to 12 rounds sans light on the go! I carry my CPX2 daily and have for 3 years, Shoot it better than my G23..

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Glock made my holding hand bend too much “down” at the wrist.
      The XD is just naturally an extension of my arm. Love it, love it, love it.
      Even converting my friends to look at if not get XDs. 🙂

  19. cz75 P01 better feature set than the compact and lighter with an alloy frame. The model that I have has a NATO stamp. Easy to carry with the right holster. With a little tuning this gun is scary accurate. Would not trade this gun for any two other guns on this list.

  20. Of all the carry pistols mentioned, the P7 would probably be the best pistol to sit in police custody. Masad Ayoob once put several thousands of rounds through his without cleaning it. It’s really too bad HK didn’t set up production in America because it really is an excellent pistol. It is one of the few designs that can be loaded and yet small children cannot cock. Not that I would advocate leaving a loaded gun within the reach of kids. But if an officer is disarmed by a weak-handed perp, the officer may be able to recover the weapon or draw a back-up weapon before the thug can fire.

    1. The P7 is absolutely an outstanding pistol, but thousands of rounds without a cleaning is not the same as being forgotten in a box on a shelf for months or years on end. Unlike your gun safe, the evidence lockup will likely have minimal temperature control and almost no humidity control – and ambient moisture and time are not kind to blued steel.

  21. I like my Rock Island .45 cs. Because shooting anything twice is just silly. It’s compact enough for conceal carry and 6 plus 1 and two magazines are enough.

  22. I agree that the SR9C should be on the list but all guns on the list are nice firearms. I would have also like to see a Walther on the list. I have the PPQ and kinda falls into the medium range. Mine has been very accurate and reliable.

  23. the are many good guns in this category. My favorites are the Taurus PT 709 Slim and the Taurus PT 111G2. Very reasonable price, good ergonomics, have never had one FTL or FTF with mine. Laser sights available for both. They each come in a 9mm or .40 model. I have all four!

  24. I carry a Springfield EMP. It carries well either with an IWB or OWB holster. I have large hands and the EMP easily fits in my hand. It shoots very acuarately to ten yards. At the top end of cost scale it is a great gun on a small 1911 style frame.

  25. @ Bob Bernard.

    You might be in Luck, so to speck. FNH, produces a variant of the Browning BDM. Called the FNH P-35 Hi-Power, which is actually comes in a BRM and PPM-D variant. And is ONLY produced in the United States…

  26. What IS the actual definition of “midsized”? I mostly carry a Glock 17 whose grip I cut down with a Dremel tool to Glock 19 length. What size is it?
    I favor Glock because they’re practical weapons which I don’t care about losing or damaging. An old ex-mercenary once told me “never carry a gun you’re sentimental about, because when you need it, something bad will probably happen to it”. My favorite guns are “sporting goods”, Glocks are “emergency gear”.

  27. Have XDs, several model S&W and shot most of the rest. For my money I’m going with the FNH 9 compact . Just got one and love it. handles good, reliable and super accurate. 12 shot regular mags or 17 rd full size mag. Up until now my favorite was S&W 3913 9r 6900’s. XDs is just okay
    Carried the S&W as cop but have been retired for “long” time….

  28. I would have included the Glock 26. I guess it’s excluded because the grip is not long enough for the little finger to get on the grip. But by weight and width (double stack) it’s in this class.

    I’m a huge fan of mine. Fits my hand perfectly (though of course it’s not for everyone). Also you can get a magazine extender that adds two rounds and provides room for the pinky.

  29. I’ve carried an H&K Compact for years both as a law enforcement officer and civilian. I’ve shot a lot of rounds through my own as well as my issued one with never any problems. It is an awesome well built gun and great for concealed carry. Should be on the top 10 list. My new duty weapon is the S&W M&P 9 and I love the gun but not so much for concealed carry. I like that it’s all double action so no safety or decocker to mess with. Just draw, point, and shoot. I also conceal carry a Walther P22 and the Browning 1911 22. Both very easy to conceal. Don’t underestimate the 22 semi autos for self defense just make sure you use good quality ammo.

  30. It’s a nice list with a varied price range. I am not a big fan of the 9mm even though I have a full size P-226 which hardly qualifies as a small or medium handgun.
    I’m 6’4″ at 225lbs and there is not much I can’t conceal but when leaning towards smaller handguns I carry a Springfield EMP .40 with Federal 135 grain JHP’s, a S&W Model 627 .357 (8 round revolver) with a 2 and 5/8th inch barrel and very seldom but on occasions a Sig P220 Carry
    But none of the above are light and most often for extended carry I a CZ 82, 12 plus one, with Hornady 95 grain Makarov XTP JHP’s. It’s accurate, reliable, has ambi controls and doesn’t take up a lot of body real estate.
    Didn’t mean to go off of the 9mm subject, just my 2 cents worth.

    1. Theyre going to consider a firearm that hasnt been made in almost 20 years, has virtually no aftermarket support, sketchy parts availability, and a virtually unknown reputation?

      Might as well say “What about the GyroJet?”

    2. @ Commander_Zero.

      Unfortunately, the “GyroJet”. Never QUITE found a “Niche” in the Civilian Market, Something about Violating the Geneva Convention prevented it’s introduction…

    3. @ Bob Barnard.

      Production end in 1998 for the Browning BDM, Midwest Gun Works is STILL manufacturing Replacement Parts. But nobody I can find Still Manufacturing the Gun Itself. Maybe FNH of Belgium, they had Licensing Rights to produce Browning Weapons. But it’s a Long Shot, on weather they actual are…

  31. I am also surprised that the Sccy CPX2 did not make the cut. A very comfortable and reliable firearm at a very reasonable price. The lifetime warranty speaks for its quality, and it is made in America thank you.

    1. Three of the guns that did make the list have no manual safety or decocker, so that seems unlikely to be the reason.

      With only ten chosen out of a pool of dozens (if not hundreds), it’s simply inevitable that lots of people will not find their favorites on the list.

    2. I have to agree with Bill Paterra. I got my wife a SCCY CPX2 with a laser for her birthday last year and she outshoots me. Since my Taurus Millenium .40 cal. is now on a recall list, I’ve ordered a CPX2 for myself and will be getting rid of the Taurus. I liked shooting the SCCY and the smaller size with a 9mm 10 round capacity fits my smaller hands and is more concealable as well. Also, SCCY now has it’s own line of OWB holsters which I’ve also ordered along with some an IWB holster for it with laser as well. I’m waiting for Sneaky Pete to bring out a model for the CPX2 with laser. They now have one without laser. Great gun, less expensive to buy, good laser and less costly ammo.

  32. “I have been carrying a Smith&Wesson M&Pc9 for over 2 years on a daily basis and was surprised it did not make your Top 10 List.”


  33. I have been carrying a Smith&Wesson M&Pc9 for over 2 years on a daily basis and was surprised it did not make your Top 10 List.

  34. I really really love my FNS 9C. As in 9 compact. Shoots flawlessly and has never failed once. Great trigger. 12+1 capacity or 17 +1. Comes with 3 mags. I own a lot of guns on this list including a Glock 19 and my FNS 9C is by far my favorite.

  35. Surprised the SCCY CPX-2 didn’t make the list; durable, easy to clean and maintain. It also shoots +P ammo with no problem; even bulk ammo shoots fine. No FTF, FTE,or STOVEPIPING; stiff trigger pull, but accurate. What a gun!

  36. I’ve carried many compact and sub compacts .and you can find flaws with any if you look hard enough . I have recently purchased a walther ccp . and I have never been a walther man . but every one should take a look at this sub . I have run 3200 rounds + thru it. With very good accuracy .and only one stove pipe . the only thing I can complain about is it inharent hard brake down for cleaning. TAKE A LOOK FOR YOUR SELL . IM SOLD.

    1. The only reason you wouldn’t be able to conceal any of these weapons is your choice in clothing. You have to adjust your clothing style to accommodate your decision to carry concealed.

  37. I was never a Glock guy until I owned one. Always liked the feel of steel in my hand like my old Springfield P9. When I was looking for a .45 I went with a Glock 21 because of their reputation of always working and have never been disappointed. Gave my Glock 19 to my ex years ago (she ended up selling it) and have a 19 that carries great. But I have carried everything from Rugers, S&W, Taurus, Springfield, and a few others but I still love my Glocks.

    1. The Springfield P9 is also a CZ 75 clone. I also like Glocks, but not as much as a CZ 75. I’m surprised the CZ P01 was not selected as high as the CZ P07 since the P01 fits like a glove in anyone’s hand.

    2. Maybe those on the list are the ones who boughtvthe most advertising. It seems no one does anything that doesn’t benefit their pocket in these Godless and very troubled times.

    3. @James:

      Maybe Suzanne was just trying to help everyone with an informative article on many popular guns, and there is no huge conspiracy in “these Godless and very troubled times”….(LOL, hahahahaha).

      Maybe all CTD writers are limited in their research because of deadlines, and they are doing the best they can.


      Well I entered the 9mm pistol market yesterday and bought a S&W MP Shield 9 compact, because it fits in the pocket of my Wrangler shorts, and replaces my Ruger .380 LCP which was so small that I couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn with it. I have a totally empty leather wallet which easily fits over the top to take away imprint.

      As far as mid-size goes, I still have my compact Glock 10mm which can easily conceal itself in the same pocket at night when I’m walking, since I always wear long t-shirts.

  38. I have both the G19 and the Sig P239. I also have a P239 in 40S&W. The P239 is my EDC primarily because of the double action first shot. A good safety feature when carrying appendix.

  39. Use to carry glock 23 then went to a glock 19,just put it the Levi’s and go. Great concealment no outlines on a chubby guy.

  40. Left out was the Ruger SR9c. Shoots well and easily concealable, with the ability to use either 10 or 17 rd magazines. Thin for a double stack pistol.

    1. I agree .The Ruger SR9 should have been in also I know its a full size pistol but it carries well shouts well with very few jams. Old ammo !! Ive been carring for over a year now GO RUGER!

  41. As I scrolled down further and further I expected to see the Walther PPS of in the top three. It’s not even in the list? Really??

  42. The Sig P228 is a great carry gun. It was a significant comfort during the Rodney King riots in Seattle. But the Glock 19 conceals a bit better given its flatter profile. I’ve opted for the Glock 23 so I have the option of .40 caliber, 9mm and .357 Sig in the same platform.

  43. Taurus PT 92 can out do Beretta any day!! Also Taurus 709 Slim compares to Glock!! Several shooters magazines have noted this!!

  44. For mid-sized, I’ll go with my Ruger SR9c….thanks. It’s smaller single stack model LC9s pro is also a gem. Both of these are my ‘go to’ daily use/carry guns. Both are great to shoot and are indeed reliable. While Ruger did not make your top ten, I’ll continue to stake my life on either one of the aforementioned pistols by Ruger.

  45. Whatever it is or isn’t, it needs to be a single stack magazine. I have a Kahr P380 for a pocket gun and a Colt 1911 45acp I carry in a shoulder holster.

  46. Ok good I agree that everyone has their own personal favorite. My problem is that I like all of them and enjoy caring in different situations each one of them.

    Has anyone out there carried an H&K P 7 squeeze cock for a personal concealed weapon?

    1. Two issues I would see with making the H&K P7 your EDC pistol.

      1) Limited holster options outside the budget one-size-fits-many nylon models.

      2) If you do find yourself needing to use it for self-defense, it will almost certainly be confiscated by the police during the resulting investigation. If you get it back at all, it will be after it has sat uncleaned and unmaintained in an evidence lockup for months or even years.

      I would much rather have #2 happen to an in-production $400-$700 pistol than something with the rarity and value of a P7.

  47. If you’re currently using a 9×19 Parabellum, and extra Stopping Power above the capabilities of the 9×19. Consider the 960 Roland 9.6×23 Cartridge, it’s specifically designed to be used in 9×19. A “+P+” Cartridge, like comparing a Golf Club with a Baseball Bat…

    1. I am so glad you just mentioned that type of ammo !! I just bought about 500 rds for a song, and now thinking I could have/ should have bought 1000 $$. I own the Glock 19, Gen. 4, and a CZ-75b. Gentlemen and especially combat Veterans: Sad to say we might be needing everything we have, too soon. But there is hope in the Rapture and Jesus Christ. I am a Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70, Army helicopters– gunner…… but also worked 30.5 years at Chrysler in Kenosha, WI. We all hoped and prayed that we could retire in dignity and some comfort — but with Obama, we face a destroyed USA…. sorry. email:

    2. Mr. Schuckman I am sorry for your situation but agree with your outlook. I recently ran into a ex US Embassy guard, USMC stationed in Moscow and he commented in a dystopian future that he saw coming ammo may be a viable short term form of currency, in regards to recent shortages and spike in prices. 9s are fine but a Combat Commander w a couple of mags in .45 fits good.

  48. Personally, I think you pretty much nailed it. I have both a Gluck (17) and a Beretta 92fs. Both are great sidearms.

  49. I like my glock 32 with sig 357 for carry and have the option of 9mm or 40 with easily avaulable interchangable barrels

    1. I bought a Glock 32 13 years ago upon returning from overseas, and with it, I ordered Glock’s 40 S&W barrel… Was my only firearm for years – with these two calibers,and the reliability of a Glock, this compact has been my go-to conceal carry for years. Hard to beat!

  50. They left out the Glock 26 which is very concealable and fully capable, as is the Smith Shield. I’m betting more of those get carried than CZ and H&Ks…maybe the Sigs too. I have to agree that ALL the pistols listed will get the job done though. Personally, I prefer my Glock 23 40cal..I just like that extra bit of oomph.

  51. The single stack M&P Shield should be at the top of this list. I have been a Glock armorer and instructor and duty carrier for 25 years and I am switching to the M&P’s. They are hands down better shooters.

  52. I agree that the M&P Shield is a great carry gun. I had reservations based on my experience with Gen 3 Smiths. But the Shield acquitted itself magnificently at 21 feet against a Jihadi target. It is super ergonomic and points instinctively. Even so, I ended up going with the Walther PPS 9 strictly due to what I believe is a better trigger and an edge in concealibility. Still, I would feel completely confident given an M&P Shield where the chips are down.

  53. Well, my favorite would be my combat commander. But my second favorite would be S&W M&P in any of the 3 sizes, even though the M&P Compact is probably the only one that qualifies as far as size goes. That’s OK, they also left out S&W M&P Shield when they did the top 10 Subcompacts, so their list isn’t very good, as far as I am concerned. While I personally am not a Glock fan, you can’t deny Glock’s popularity.

  54. While I agree with some of those choices, I’d have to add at least two that are missing from the list. The Ruger SR9C and Smith & Wesson M&P Shield. Those two are more bang for the buck and outperform at least half on that list.

  55. Why I am on the topic, the S&W M&P .45ACP compact is reliable, lethal and dead on target out of the box. I was carrying a S&W M&P Shield .40 Caliber as my main carry and switched to the .45ACP. With either Speer Gold Dot 230 grain JHP rounds or even Federal GuardDog, it does the job.

  56. I am a die hard revolver fan myself. My hamerless S&W .38+P does the trick nice and is very light. While I do enjoy my glock and recently picked up the Springfield XD (in .40), I am truly in love with my little IMI… There’s the right amount of weight, flared mag well, and all the craftsmanship of the desert eagle without the size of price tag… I regress and would still take my S&W or Ruger .357 any day, even the Taurus Judge works well for everyday carry much lighter then that damn Thunder 500…

  57. Why didn’t you include the SIG 228. With a MEC GAR mag it holds 15 rounds of 9mm and is exactly the same size as my Glock 19. With the DA/SA advantage it is a better pistol.

  58. I have carried for years, using various pistols and holsters. I am a life member of NRA and charter member of USCCA. Now I am satisfied to carry a Browning 1911 380 in a Yersacarry 9MM M holster. I also have a Versacarry Hub for nighttime use. I suggest you check out Versacarry for your needs regardless of your choice of carry.

  59. Diamond Back db9!! Made in Cocoa, Fl, is a baby glock, target accurate, will NOT jam with any ammo, I sold ALL others!!

    1. I have a db9, kind of. Right now it’s in Cocoa, FL being repaired. The rear slide guide broke after about 700 rounds. Mine had feeding issues with all ammo. It also had a problem with the trigger reset. I hope it works better when I get it back. A baby Glock it is not.

  60. Actually, even though it’s a .45, my p220 carry is still on my hip almost daily. I own several carry sized weapons, and as much as my Hk p2000 is an awesome gun, I still feel that the sig for my hands fits like it was made for me. I also own a few xd’s in both 45 and 9, full sized and carry size, and I love my p220.

  61. I own in one form or another each of the weapons mentioned yet I find it hard to imagine leaving out the Sig 250 or 320. They provide accurate, durable service weapons ina compact size with large magazine carry capacity.

  62. These are all great guns. I personally do like the Glock 19, but I mostly carry a Ruger LC9s…..which is a great carry 9mm too. Thanks.

  63. My personal favorite is an Armalite 24 compact. All steel, 13 round capacity. Very similar to CZ 75. Accurate and ergonomics the best for my medium hand size.

  64. What, no Springfield XDs? The XD is a fine pistol, but the single stack XDs is thinner making it easier to carry all day. Surprised you missed this one.

  65. Best 9 for the money has to be the Ruger SR9E, which you can buy for about three Benjamins and some loose change. Shoots and looks great, can’t beat the value.

    1. I agree,the 9e is a beautiful weapon and small enough to conceal. And enough punch with 17 round mags .not to mention ruger accuracy as well as made in n the U.S.A.

  66. I like the Springfield Armory XDS .45 for concealed carry. I had Trijicon night sights and a Powder River trigger installed on mine. The recoil isn’t bad at all and the pistol is quite accurate.

  67. Although, being of average build with small hands, though not abnormally so, I have never felt over burdened carrying my full sized 1911 A1 in .45 ACP. Don’t know how big or small John Browning was but his design for the 1911 was spot on. In it’s original configuration (single stack magazine)
    it is perfect for all size hands and felt recoil is mild, even to those that are recoil sensitive. So, I suppose with me being both ‘old school’ and old, keep you light weights in what Col. Jeff Cooper called sub-calibers. I will keep my ‘big’ 1911 A1 and not feel over burdened or under-armed. Any way weapons preference is a matter of choice, so I have never ‘ knocked’ anyone for their choice of weapons nor will I in the future. Carry the pistol with which you feel comfortable and will practice with.

    1. Probably the same reason the M&P Shield, Springfield XD-S, and Glock 43 (among others) didn’t make the list – they’re not mid-sized carry guns.

      The CW9 is definitely the odd one here, based on its size.

  68. Just like the top 10 AR list it seems that high priced pieces are considered synonymous with quality and the lower priced concealed guns are overlooked.. SCCY makes a great piece for under $300.00, is easily concealed just about anywhere holds ten rounds in the single stack mag, is deadly accurate, has an internal hammer an available touch sensitive trigger guard mounted laser and an inside the waistband holster that also fits the laser… Enjoy your big bucks Glocks, Sigs and Berettas. I bought a SCCY for myself and one for my old lady for about what you’ll pay for one of those and the SCCY customer service can not be beat..

    1. The SCCY is roughly the size of a Glock 26 or XD Subcompact, smaller than most of the pistols on the list.

    2. Also, if this list was just trying to equate price with quality then the #2 pick wouldn’t be one of the cheapest of the lot.

  69. Can I assume that all these are bigger than a S&W M&P Shield? I was holding one in my hand today and fitting it comfortably in my pocket, and I may buy one on CTD soon. I’m trying to replace my Ruger LCP 380 pocket pistol with a bigger caliber.

    1. Other than the Kahr CW9, everything on that list is longer, taller, and thicker than the M&P Shield or other similarly sized guns (like the Springfield XDS or Ruger LC9).

      The CW9 is actually about the same size as the Shield or XDS, which makes me wonder why it’s listed here as a compact rather than a subcompact.

    2. @Adam:

      Thanks for letting me know about the sizes of everything here.

      Actually the Kahr was the 2nd of 2 guns that a salesperson in a retail store showed me today. He told me he didn’t like it because the slide is pretty hard to pull back. Then when I saw that the magazine held only 6 bullets instead of 8 in the extended M&P Shield, I lost interest in the Kahr.

  70. Have a Springfield XDs in .45, love it. fits in the hip pocket of my jeans in a Super Fly holster. Most will probably opt for the 9mm, I love the .45 and don’t find shooting the XDs a problem. In fact i had a Keltec PF-9 that had much greater felt recoil and a terrible trigger.

  71. Why list the PX-4 Storm when you can get the very similar Stoeger Cougar from the same company, for a LOT less money?

  72. My current favorite is the S&W MP9 with ambi safety. It just feels right in my hand. I’ve equipped mine with a green Crimson Trace minirail laser sight. The only thing I don’t like about it is you need a tool in the handle to field strip it for cleaning. The Springfield XDM line is the easiest that I’ve come across for that although I haven’t tried anything from Glock.

  73. My current favorite is the S&W MP9 with ambi safety. It just feels right in my hand. I’ve equipped mine with a green Crimson Trace minirail laser sight. The only thing I don’t like about it is you need a tool in the handle to field strip it for cleaning. The Springfield MP line is the easiest that I’ve come across for that although I haven’t tried anything from Glock.

    1. I’m also a fan of the M&P line, but they probably didn’t make the list here because the full-size M&P is just a bit too big and the compact M&P a bit too small compared to the other compact models in the list.

      Also, using the tool in the grip is optional. If you’re willing to pull the trigger during disassembly, you don’t need a tool to field-strip the M&P series.

  74. You guys must make a lot on your Glock sales. There is no disputing that it is a good gun but it is far from the top of this list. It is a subjective decision, but when guns like Kahr’s PM9 are left out, I wonder if there is some reason for the subjectivity. It has been the best concealable handgun I’ve ever owned and is not even in the same league as the CW you did include in the list.
    Lets try to be a little less predictable next time around.

    1. Well David it’s not just about you isn’t?
      Glock is one of the most sold guns in the world and is the top pick of law enforcement. Wonder ever why?
      Nothing more simple and reliable; anyone can take it apart completely. It revolutionized the pistol design.
      Show respect and bow your head lol
      YOU can use whatever you want but thinking the G19 doesn’t deserve top 10 shows how little you know about guns.
      Moving forward, the beretta 92 is a bulky pistol. In no way a P239 (single stack 7+1) can be compared to a 92FS. The P239 was my first gun 20 years ago

    2. Whether you like them or not (and I don’t own any), you can’t really argue the massive popularity of Glock pistols for both LEO and civilian carry. The Glock 19, in particular, is sized just large enough to ensure a full grip for most shooters while still being compact enough to carry easily.

      As for the rest of the list, I’d take the Springfield XD(M) 3.8 over the 4″ XD (a bit smaller for easier carry), and the CZ 75 PCR or P-01 over the 75 Compact (both have an aluminum frame rather than steel, and are significantly lighter).

    3. The PM9 IS NOT in the same class as the G19 and the 9 others. What part of “top 10 best mid-sized sidearms” don’t you understand? I carry in a DeSantis pocket holster my Kahr MK9 which is the all stainless steel version of the PM9. I have average to slightly smaller than average hands and my pinky finger DOES NOT fit on the grip! It DOES FIT on the grips of this list of 10!

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