For Serious Gun Lovers

What Is The Best Compact 9MM Pistol For Concealed Carry?

9mm for Concealed Carry

Concealed carry guns have been growing in popularity in the last few years, and more people now than ever before have their concealed carry licenses. That means that gunmakers are having to keep up with the demand in the area of compact .9mm pistols. We review the best compact 9MM pistols for concealed carry.

Anytime there is such a large demand or surge in popularity, it usually also tends to lead to some really cool innovations. When talking about firearms, those innovations can come in the form of upgrades and size reduction to some of the classic full-size models you have come to love over time.

If you are an avid gun enthusiast or just have a favorite make and model of pistol, you should have no problem finding a compact version of the 9MM that you enjoy just as much. Maybe even more.

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If you still need a little help though, we have rounded up a few of our favorite compact 9MMs for you to browse through to help you narrow down your choices.



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ProductRatingPriceWhere To Buy
image of Walther PPQ M2
Walther PPQ M2
9.7$$$Check Price
image of Ruger LC9
Ruger LC9
9.5$$Check Price
image of Smith & Wesson M&P 9C
Smith & Wesson M&P 9C
9.6$$Check Price
image of Sig Sauer P320 Nitron Compact
Sig Sauer P320 Nitron Compact
9.4$$$Check Price
image of Glock 19
Glock 19
9.8$$Check Price


The Best Compact 9MM Pistols for Concealed Carry

The are so many great choices when it comes to the compact 9mm.  While we had a tough time narrowing down the list, we feel the options below will serve you well.

1. Walther PPQ M2 (Best Value)


Walther PPQ M2


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The Walther PPQ M2 is a semi-automatic 9mm with a compact frame. It is almost the exact same build as the original PPQ, with the only real difference being that the PPQ M2 incorporates a thumb release push-button for the magazine release. It holds a total of 15 rounds of 9mm caliber Luger ammo.

This pistol is only slightly larger than a Glock 19 and has a total length of 12 inches. And weight is also a non-issue with the PPQ M2, weighing in at only 3.5 pounds.

There is a bit of heavy recoil that you can feel when firing this pistol. This is minimized to an extent thanks to its low bore-axis design, however. And because it has a low bore-axis, the grip handle is also a good deal shorter. This makes it an easy pistol to handle and conceal. In addition to this, it features an ergonomic design that just feels comfortable in your hands.

Couple all this with a relatively large trigger guard and probably one of the best triggers on the market, and you have yourself a gun that is simply a pleasure to fire.


Extremely accurateAmbidextrous safety pin takes getting familiar with
Ergonomic handleHeavy recoil on the 4-inch barrel version
Low bore-axis3 dot sights aren't very tightly grouped
Sleek design


2. Ruger LC9


The Ruger LC9 Semi-Automatic pistol is easily concealable and lightweight


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The Ruger LC9 (Lightweight Compact 9mm) is a semi-automatic, double-action only pistol that lives up to its name. It is easily concealable and weighing in at only 1.1 pound; it makes for a quick-draw sidearm.

There are a lot of really great features that come with this small frame. For starters, finger grip extensions are sleek, comfortable and easy to handle, and the overall ergonomic design is on point.

The adjustable three-dot sights are tight and easily adjusted. Just behind your sights, there is a load indicator feature. This feature works by displaying a red pop up indicator bar anytime there is a live round in the chamber. This feature may seem a bit silly to most gun enthusiasts, but it’s also fairly useful.

Furthering the safety factor of this pistol, it has a locked-breech system, and a frame-mounted thumb safety similar to that of a 1911. And you never have to worry about the pistol being disabled in the middle of a firefight due to the magazine being engaged thanks to its superior mag lock system.

There is a good deal of recoil that comes with the LC9 but it is easy to deal with and stabilize after you get adjusted to it.


Solid and well-builtHeavy recoil
Lock back slideVery long trigger pull
LightweightNo firing without mag


3. Smith & Wesson M&P 9C


The Sig Sauer P320 Nitron Compact semi-automatic 9mm pistol


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The M&P 9C from Smith & Wesson is a compact version of their highly popular full-size M&P pistol. Dare we say, one of the best carry guns for the price?

Despite its small size, the M&P 9C packs one big punch. It is a striker fire action pistol, and it holds a total of 12+1 rounds. There is certainly plenty of firepower on this pistol to get you through a firefight.

Built on a high-quality polymer frame, this bad boy weighs only 24.07 ounces, or 1.5 pound, making it a prime choice among most gun enthusiasts as a lightweight concealed carry weapon.

Its overall length is only 6.7 inches and it features a slimmed down look with all of its rounded edges and no thumb safety. This style helps keep it from getting hung up on your holster during a draw and really lends to the ergonomic feel.


Very comfortable ergonomic designCan be difficult to disassemble and service this firearm
Sights out of box are really good qualityVague trigger reset in comparison to something like the Glock 19
Slide lock is sensitive enough to pick up on magazine slamming


4. Sig Sauer P320 Nitron Compact


The Sig Sauer P320 Nitron Compact semi-automatic 9mm pistol


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The Sig Sauer P320 Compact is a semi-automatic strike fire 9mm pistol that is an excellent choice for a concealed carry firearm. It offers a smooth and crisp trigger that is sure to give you the right amount of pull-ease to get just that much more accuracy out of your shots.

The P320 Compact is built upon a stainless steel frame, which of course adds a bit more weight than a polymer frame. Depending on your shooting style, this may or may not be something you want.

The safety features on the P320 Compact include a striker safety, in addition to a disconnect safety. Speaking of safety, this pistol is also extremely easy to disassemble without tools and thanks to the ergonomic design that fits just about any hand, you will never need a backstrap.

The Sig P320 is often compared to the next pistol on our list, the Glock 19. Not only do these two guns look the same, they also perform just about on the same level. The major advantage we would have to give the Sig P320 is that the groupings seem to be just a little tighter at longer range.


Low recoilReplaceable grips feel cheap
Excellent ergonomicsExpensive magazines
Best trigger for a striker fired pistolNot as modular as they claim to be
Bulky for a compact concealed carry pistol


5. Glock 19 (Top Pick For Best Carry Pistol)


Glock 19 pistol


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If you ask just about any gun enthusiast what they think the best compact 9mm pistol is, I guarantee you will hear “Glock 19” more than a few times. And honestly, the G19 has certainly earned the title and it’s often thought to be one of the best concealed carry pistols ever created.

This pistol is ideal for use as an all-around gun and great for beginners and pros alike. It excels in this area and is usually on the list of approved firearms for many law enforcement agencies and in various branches of the U.S. military.

The G19 is a semi-automatic, striker fired, compact 9mm that is constructed with a black polymer frame. It holds 15 rounds in its 4-inch steel barrel and weighs roughly 23 ounces when unloaded. Loaded fully, it will bring you to around 29 ounces when it contains a full magazine.

The safe action trigger is rated with a 5.5-pound trigger pull, and it feels very similar to the trigger on the Sig P320. It is smooth, crisp and has minimal recoil.


LightweightSlide rail is molded directly into the polymer frame
Great for all skill levelsNo trigger safety
Large magazine release buttonTrigger may be difficult for most to learn and get comfortable with
Magazines are inexpensive


What Makes A 9MM Pistol A Good Choice For Concealed Carry?

We’ve narrowed it down to three main areas we believe are the major determining specs to pay attention that make a 9MM a good concealed carry choice.

  • Weight
  • Ergonomics
  • Capacity

When you need a well-concealed carry pistol, you need something compact, easy to handle, and lightweight. Of course, there are a number of other factors that go into naming a compact 9MM pistol as a good choice for a concealed carry sidearm.

While all of these will vary from person to person, the following should at least provide you with a decent set of guidelines to follow.

Compact 9MM Concealed Carry Pistol Weight

When looking for the best compact 9mm, the weight of the pistol is going to be one of the most important factors to consider.

If the gun is too heavy to comfortably support in your hand for more than a minute, keep on searching. The heavier it is, the more recoil you are likely going to feel when you fire it. And with all that extra weight the more cumbersome it is going to be when you need to quick-draw your sidearm.

But you still need something that has enough weight to it as this helps to stabilize it while firing. The range you probably will want to consider for your compact pistol is right around 1-3 pounds. Keep in mind that you can very easily double your load when you have a full clip in depending on the type of ammunition you are using.



shooting a semi-automatic pistol


Ergonomics is very important when we are discussing the best concealed carry pistols.

First of all, whatever pistol you choose needs to fit comfortably in your hand. Your fingers should fill out the finger grips fully, and the handle shouldn’t make you try to contort your hands in an unnatural position.

It shouldn’t extend too far from the bottom of your palm when holding it in a shooting stance. The longer the handle, the more awkward the handling and even concealment may become. The recoil may be lessened with a longer handle but the control your hand has over the pistol is too.

This is a big one for most gun owners I know. Having a comfortable, fitting grip on your gun can easily be a game changer.

Why is Gun Capacity Important in a Compact 9MM?

The ability to hold several rounds while remaining compact is a feat that any 9mm concealed carry pistol should be able to pull off easily. There is nothing worse than being pinned down or otherwise caught in a situation and you run out of ammunition.


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Semi automatic magazine with bullets


Remember, as we mentioned above, the more ammo your pistol is able to hold, the more weight you will be adding to your load. And if your pistol only accepts a single stack magazine, it will more than likely come at the expense of a longer profile.

Double Stack Magazines

Alternatively, if you want to keep your handle length short, check into double stack magazines if your pistol will accept one. Double stack magazines are great for packing in more ammo, but all those extra bullets require more room so this type of magazine does come at the expense of a wider profile.

In general, you probably want to be able to hold at least 12 rounds in a compact magazine and one chambered.

Best Compact 9MM – Final Thoughts

In this review of our top picks for best compact 9mm pistols, we looked at some of the most popular handguns on the market. While it was a tough decision for us to settle on only one of them as our top pick for best compact 9mm, we had to go with the Glock 19. This is a solid sidearm that is great for the novice shooter, packs a major punch and is what you may call “just right”.

When it comes time for you to make a decision on which firearm to invest in, it all really just comes down to personal preference. With the help of our guidelines for what to look for, you should be more than well-prepared when you are ready to scoop up your next concealed sidearm.

We hope that we have been able to help you narrow down your choices and have given you enough to think about to pick between them. If there is a compact 9mm pistol that you believe deserves a place on this list, please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

Recommended Reading

Best Compact .9mm Pistol

Best Single Stack 9mm

9mm Holster

Best 9mm 1911 Pistols

Best 9mm Ammo

9mm VS .357 Sig

6 Responses

  1. Personally, I don’t trust safe action triggers; they are all comparatively really light with really short pulls that makes them like a single action with no safety. Presently, I much prefer double action for the safety of the added pull length and weight (which by the way is not difficult to master shooting well at speed). I speculate that the real reason we have all these “safe action” autos out there is because they are simply cheaper to manufacture and nothing more. For pros this is not a big deal (pros more skilled then typical police officers). However, for everyone else double action provides that safety against the likelihood of an accidental discharge which I’d wager is both more likely than being attacked in the first place and most likely, comparatively, than all other platforms – even single action when proper safety use is utilized. In an auto I would much prefer da/sa … Maybe in a Barretta PX4… Presently I just in a couple wheel guns though I would certainly give the right double action auto a good hard look.

  2. WOW PPQ M2 12 INCHES IN LENTH WITH A 4IN. BARREL REALLY. the article is total bullshit

  3. Always an argument on what gun is best…..9 out of these 10 make good choices…..but an LC9?……I think you made the LC9s…..the LC9 was a major flop

  4. The Glock 19? I challenge you to take one to the range and carry it around all day, then do the same with either the P320, the PPQ, or the M&P9C, and tell me that you honestly think it’s the best carry option of all of them. And don’t give me that reliability argument because ALL of these pistols are just as reliable with just a little routine maintenance. For me, G19 would be at the bottom of the list of those four. And I would know because I USED TO CARRY ONE. I’m not just some Glock hater going on a rant. I have experience with all of them. For my money, out of these choices, I’m probably going with the Sig.

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