The 9x19mm Parabellum is among the most popular of handguns cartridges, and there are reasons why. A 9mm handgun is easy to shoot (because of its low recoil), easy to shoot well (accurate), accessible (handguns and ammo are available and affordable everywhere) and with the right ammo, can be as great as its bigger caliber rivals in stopping power.
In fact, a departmental study by the FBI’s Training Division determined that the 9mm Luger pistol round is the best option for law enforcement handguns because it penetrates far enough, enables the shooter to carry more rounds and is more widely available than alternative rounds like the .45 ACP.
Here, we’ll take a look at my top ten picks for best 9mm 1911 pistols and discuss why each one is a worthy choice for any gun enthusiast. We’ll explore price point, features, drawbacks and more.
After you read my list, I trust you’ll have a better idea about how and why you should purchase a nine millimeter.
- Beretta 92FS (Commercial)
- Colt Defender
- Dan Wesson Guardian
- FN Herstal FNX-9
- Remington R1 Enhanced
- Smith & Wesson 1911 Pro Series
- Springfield Armory Range Officer
- STI VIP
- Taurus PT 92
- Wilson Combat CQB Elite
Table of Contents
Things to Consider Before Buying a 9mm 1911
9mm handguns have gained in popularity as manufacturers have taken measures to make them more ergonomic and more tailored to self-defense. So how do you know how to choose the right one for you?
There are several important factors one should consider when selecting a 9mm handgun. Always think about how much money you are willing to spend, what kind of features you are looking for, what user reviews have to say about a specific pistol and what you’re expecting out of your handgun.
Are you looking to buy a 9mm pistol for personal self-defense or home defense? Are you looking to purchase a pistol for competition shooting? Will you be using it for small game hunting?
Every 9mm is similar in some ways and different in others. Be sure to do your homework before deciding on a 9mm pistol.
Here is a short, helpful list of other things to look for in a 9mm pistol:
- Accessibility of Accessories & Parts
- Manufacturer Reputation
- Ammo (Availability and price of ammunition)
Best 9mm Ammo
It’s difficult to find the optimal size ammo for your needs, but this short list encompasses the full spectrum of 9mm ammo options. Be sure to research each brand before settling on the right one for your 9mm pistol.
- Federal Premium LS HST
- Hornady Critical Duty
- Remington Golden Saber
- Speer Gold Dot
- Winchester PDX1 Defender
With these considerations in mind, let’s dive into our top picks for a 1911 9mm:
|Product||Rating||Price||Where to Buy|
|Dan Wesson Guardian Semi-Automatic||9.4||$$$|
|FN Herstal FNX-9||9.3||$$|
|Remington R1 Enhanced||9.1||$$|
|Smith & Wesson 1911 Pro Series||9.0||$$$|
|Springfield Armory Range Officer||8.8||$$$|
|Taurus PT 92||8.6||$|
|Wilson Combat CQB Elite||8.5||$$$$|
This Beretta model is currently the official service pistol of the US military and many law enforcement agencies. Otherwise known as the M9, this pistol uses a delayed, open-slide short-recoil system which accelerates its cycle time.
It’s a durable and dependable semi-auto that performs accurately and reliably at fifty meters or more. And thanks to its popularity, most parts and accessories are reasonably priced and readily available from a number of manufacturers and vendors.
If I had to say anything bad about this rimfire model, I’d have to say that the grip is a bit on the bulky side which makes it less than attractive to those who are looking for rapid fire over an extended period of time.
Other than that, it’s a viable option for most shooters and it’s fairly affordable at an average price of $480.00. If you decide to pick one up, I recommend visiting Cabela’s where Beretta 92 Series handguns are on sale for between $324.99 and $479.99
The Colt Defender is a 1911 handgun that boasts a compact design and Novak low-mount carry sights with dots that make it ideal for conceal and carry.
When it comes to handguns, you really can’t go wrong with anything Colt has to offer. They’re a long-established company with a commitment to R & D and innovation.
The Defender has a smooth-operating and flared ejection port as well as an enhanced serrated trigger.
Cabela’s offers deals on Colt 1911 handguns starting at $899.99.
Dan Wesson Guardian Semi-Automatic
Dan Wesson‘s centerfire pistol boasts a bobtail frame forged from anodized aluminum and an aluminum mainspring housing.
It’s a low profile weapon that provides reduced printing when carrying. Other attractive features include its commander-length slide, alloy frame and dual safeties (manual thumb safety and grip safety, respectively).
Cabela’s offers the Guardian for $1,599.
FN Herstal FNX-9
The FNX-9 has an ergonomic polymer frame with a low-bore axis that makes for far less recoil than many of its counterparts. It also provides the shooter with more control over the weapon.
The checkered grip panels are ribbed for your pleasure and that’s not just a pun, it seriously makes for a more comfortable, no-snag carry.
The FNX-9 also comes with two interchangeable backstrap inserts that swiftly adjust to your hand size. The stainless steel slide features front and rear cocking serrations while the 4-inch cold hammer-forged barrel enables the shooter to make precision shots with ease.
If you’re a lefty, you’ll be happy to know that the FNX-9 has ambidextrous controls which also makes it ideal for competitive shooting.
At $584.99, it’s a good value for the money, easily outperforming many $1,000 plus handguns.
Remington R1 Enhanced
Crafted to exacting tolerances, the R1 Enhanced 1911 pistol is the stuff of firearm legend. More than 100 years after its introduction, it continues to earn the Remington name by providing reliable action and personal protection to private citizens as well as career police officers and military personnel.
It’s got a match-grade stainless steel barrel and bushing along with a stainless steel slide and frame.
Each pistol comes with two magazines, a custom checkered grip with thumb groove and beavertail grip safety. Remington’s premium grip panels are comfortable and user friendly.
It’s easy to see why the R1 Enhanced pistol receives a five-star rating among online consumers—its 38.5-ounce weight and grip features make it an easy to handle firearm that’s tailored to suit virtually any shooting environment.
Cabela’s has deals on Remington handguns starting at $649.99 while 1800gunsandammo.com offer the 1911 RL Enhanced for $785.00.
Smith & Wesson 1911 Pro Series
The Performance Center ® SW1911 offers a variety of enhancements to the standard 1911 model. It features competition specifications right out of the box.
It carries a black dovetail front sight, an adjustable rear sight, a matte silver slide finish and a durable wood grip.
If you’re looking for a competition firearm, the Performance Center 1911 is the way to go. This 9mm holds ten rounds whereas its .45 ACP counterpart only holds eight.
The precision-crowned muzzle provides uniformed gas expansion and increased accuracy. The white dot rights help to ensure near-perfect accuracy. There’s really nothing I can say bad about this handsome, top of the line nine milli model.
The only drawback here is the price; if you order direct from the source, you’ll pay $1,609.00 before shipping and handling. However, Cabela’s has a sale on at the moment for $1,549.99.
Springfield Armory Range Officer
This one’s a good choice for fun, casual plinking or competitive shooting, but it’s not necessarily the best piece for self-defense.
That being said, it could be a good option for you, depending upon your personal requirements.
It is easily disassembled and re-assembled for cleaning and maintenance, and the ergonomics are fairly adequate. It’s got Cross Cannon double-diamond Cocobolo grips and a checkered mainspring housing that offers a decent grip.
The skeletonized trigger and match-grade aluminum trigger are two of its more attractive features.
All things considered, this is a solid choice for 9mm pistol for most carry and home uses.
1800gunsandammo.com offers the 1911 for $899.00 while Cabela’s offers them for $699.99. Availability may vary.
This compact 9mm model is a high capacity piece with a modular alloy frame and a tactile nylon grip. It features a unique and signature Recoil Master system that utilizes a plastic sleeve for containment of the recoil spring when it’s removed from the gun for disassembly and cleaning.
The Heinie low mount rear unit prevents the pistol from snagging when you draw your pistol. This is just the beginning in terms of its noteworthy user-friendly features.
Seasoned shooters will appreciate the superior grip safety that prevents hammer bite and the extended thumb safety for easy manual handling.
In my experience, there aren’t really any noteable cons to this pro 1911 model. It’s a great piece for carry people, especially those with money to burn. The MSRP on this bad boy is $1,645.85, but I gotta be honest, it’s totally worth it. There’s a reason it carries the “V.I.P.” moniker.
You’ll feel like a boss when carrying an STI 9mm.
Taurus PT 92
Maybe it’s because I’m a superstitious dude who’s totally sold on the perceived significance of my astrological sign, but the Taurus brand has been a mainstay in my personal gun collection. Call me a stubborn bull, but I can’t shop for firearms without snatching up at least one Taurus piece.
The PT 92 1911 is a full-size semi-auto with double-action/single-action lockwork and an open-topped steel slide.
If its features seem a bit familiar, there’s a good reason: When Taurus built their first PT-92, they didn’t just copy the already popular Beretta model, they actually bought Beretta’s Brazilian factory and made use of their machines, parts and plans.
Consequently, the PT 92 possesses all of the attractive features of the Beretta nine milli at a reduced price point. The PT 92 AF is generally priced at around $340-350.00, making it the cheapest 9mm on my list.
Don’t let the reduced price fool you, this is a bad ass handgun for the savings.
Wilson Combat CQB Elite
This one’s not for the frugal gun owner, but it is an exceptional pistol for those who can afford a high ticket item. The CQB in the Elite’s name stands for Close Quarters Battle and this one stands by its name.
The CQB Elite is custom-designed for tactical shooting purposes, boasting a Battlesight rear sight with a corresponding fiber optic front sight. With a serrated slide and a semi-extended release button for fast reloading, the CQB Elite is a superior combat model that contains top of the line parts.
Wilson Combat’s fastidious efforts to research and develop the best tactical handgun has resulted in a piece that’s guaranteed to fire every time and never jam.
If you order directly from Wilson Combat, they will even customize the CQB Elite to your personal specifications. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of a manufacturer doing that before.
Other features include a 30 LPI high-cut checkered frontstrap and a 3 ½ to 4 ½ crisp trigger pull. The G10 diagonal flat-bottom grips are among the most comfortable I’ve ever handled.
The Elite costs $3,425.00, so it’s hardly an economic option, but if you can afford it, it’s well worth throwing the big bucks at it.
There you go, that’s my list of the top ten nine millimeters on the market. I hope I’ve shed some light on the 9mm marketplace and the features you can expect to find in most 9mm pistols. Thanks for reading and happy hunting.