Best 9mm Pistols, Sizes & Uses – Updated 2023
The 9x19mm caliber is the most common handgun in the United States. There are many reasons for this: 9mm ammunition can be found in abundance, it’s inexpensive, has less recoil, and they offer a good level of self-defense. What is the most effective9mm handgun?
It’s not just their popularity. It’s not only because they are popular, although they do dominate the market. There are many different intended uses. Some of them are real and some are perceived. Not least because there are some 9mm pistols that can be used for multiple missions.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 9mm pistols available and provided you with the knowledge to make the right choice.
The purpose of the pistol is, as mentioned above. There are many factors to consider when choosing a pistol.
RELIABILITY AND DURABILITY
The reliability of a weapon is determined by how it functions when fired. A weapon that jams, does not fire, cannot extract or fails to work as intended regularly is not reliable. For defensive firearms, reliability is essential. A non-reliable weapon is nothing more than a piece of paper.
Durability is the length of time a firearm will continue to function without breaking. A reliable and durable gun is a good one. Modern firearms tend to be both durable and reliable, but this is not always the case. You may wonder how you can tell if a gun is reliable without spending a lot of money and time. It’s easy to do, just read our website and check out our reviews. Then, look at the firearms we recommend.
It’s a good idea to test your firearm with different ammunition before you buy it, especially if you intend to use it for defensive purposes. Make sure the gun is reliable for at least 200 shots.
Modern firearms are safe. Modern designs make sure that the gun doesn’t bang until the trigger is pulled. It’s a big deal if a modern gun deviates from the course. If you decide to use a gun made in the past, safety is a major concern. Imported surplus pistols may not be drop-safe. A little research can save you a lot of pain.
Does the company who makes your 9mm pistol offer a guarantee? What kind of warranty is offered? If something goes wrong, a company that stands by its products will give shooters some reassurance.
It may seem insignificant, but it can make a huge difference when you search to find spare magazines, holsters and other accessories. A popular weapon will likely have a large aftermarket. If you have a large aftermarket, it is much easier to equip your weapon for home defense or carrying.
You’ll need to maintain your pistol if you have one. You can do this by using the right cleaner, and oil.
You can then read the article to learn how to maintain your firearm.
The 9mm will remain in use until something better is developed. The 9mm round is durable, cheap and plentiful.
You’ll be able to select your 9mm pistol after reading this article.
What does “9mm” mean?
There are many 9mm rounds. There are many different names for the most common 9mm round. You may not be aware that 9mm Parabellum is the same as 9mm NATO, 9mm Parabellum or 9mm Para.
The traditional 9mm is not compatible with rounds like the 9mm Makarov (aka 380ACP), the 9mm Winchester Magnum (9mm Japanese), the 9mm Largo (9mm Japanese), and others. When shopping for 9mm cartridges, you’re unlikely to find strange cartridges. You should know this just in case.
Types of 9mm pistols
You should be aware of three types of 9mm handguns. There are many other categories of 9mm pistols. However, for those who are just getting started, these three are the most likely to be considered.
Concealed carry pistols (CCW). A CCW handgun is designed to be lightweight and compact to allow you to easily carry it without it sticking out. The 9mm concealed carry pistols are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from single-stack up to compact battle pistols. If you’re looking for a CCW, you may also want to consider CCW Insurance.
Home Defense HandgunsThe great news is that home defense handguns can be as large and bulky as they want. It is not necessary to conceal a firearm that will be used in the home. It is possible to have a larger and heavier firearm, especially if it has a higher capacity.
Guns for the Range: There are a variety of range guns. They can be fun plinkers, competition guns or a collection of guns used primarily at the shooting range.
The Best 9mm Pistols According to Author’s Choice:
You can find the best 9mm pistol for each category in the table below.
If you want to see the ranking of each pistol, scroll down or click on the category below.
- Best 9mm Pistol Overall
- Best Concealed 9mm Pistols
- Best Cheap Handguns (most affordable)
- Best Home Defense 9mm Handguns
- The Best 9mm Pistol to Shoot at the Shooting Range
Compare the best 9mm pistols based on their specifications
|Sig Sauer P320 Compact||Best Overall||15||25.8 oz||7.2″||4.7″|
|Sig SauerP365||CCW||10, 12, 15||17.8 oz||5.8″||4.3″|
|H&K VP9sk||CCW||10+1||23.07 oz||6.61″||4.57″|
|Glock 43x||CCW||10+1||18.72 oz||6.5″||5.04″|
|Springfield Hellcat||CCW||11+1||18.6 oz||6″||4″|
|Walther CCPH||CCW||8||20 oz||6.41″||5.1″|
|Ruger LCR 9mm||CCW||5||17.28||6.5||4.5″|
|Sig Sauer P226||Home Defense||15||34 oz||7.7″||5.5″|
|Canik TP9SF||Budget||18+1||28.48 oz||7.55″||5.7″|
|Ruger Safety 9||Budget||15||23.8 oz||7.24″||5″|
|S&W M&P Shield 9, EZ||Home Defense||8+1||23.2 oz||6.8″||4.85″|
|H&K VP9||Range||15, 17||25.56 oz||7.3″||5.41″|
|Walther 5 PPQ Barrel||Range||15||26 oz||8.1″||5.8″|
|CZ 75 TS Czechmate||Range||20, 26||52.7 oz||10.47″||5.51″|
|Glock 34||Range||17||23.10 oz||8.82″||5.47″|
|RIA 1911 GI Standard||Range||9||39.52 oz||8.56″||5.5″|
List of the Best 9mm Pistols
The best 9mm guns are:
- Sig p320 Compact (Overall)
- Sig Sauer P365 (Best CCW)
- Canik TP9SF (Best Budget)
- Sig Sauer P226 (Best Home Defense)
- Walther 5-inch
- S&W Shield 9 (Best For Women)
- CZ 75 TS Czechmate (Best Competition)
Review of the Best Overall 9MM Handgun
We had to choose the best handguns for the most shooters.
This 9mm gun isn’t the best in a particular category, but the overall best.
This is the 9mm pistol you need if you are looking for a first 9mm handgun or a good general purpose gun.
Choose Your Own Adventure
SIG P320 COMPACT
Sig P320C 9mm Review
The SIG P320 Compact is not my favorite gun, nor is it my favourite 9mm. It is my choice for the best pistol because it can be used as a conceal carry gun, as a home defense gun and as a range gun.
The modular design is great because it allows you to switch between categories. It also gives you more customization options. The gun includes a metal SIG night sight, a rail, and an extra magazine.
This gun is the best overall 9mm firearm you can buy. It’s a great choice for CCW, home security, range and many other categories. This is a great first gun or only one.
Check out our SigP320C Review for a detailed review of this firearm.
Sig P320C Pros And Cons
Reviews of the Best Concealed Carry 9mm Pistolis
Concealed carry is one of the most common uses for 9mm pistols.
The 9mm pistol is a more powerful weapon than a larger caliber gun of the same size.
The 9mm pistols designed for concealed carry are compact and lightweight, making them easy to conceal.
Best 9mm pistol for concealed carry:
- Sig Sauer P365
- H&K VP9sk
- Glock 43x
- Springfield Hellcat
- Walther CCPH
- Ruger LCR
Sig P365 Review
The Sig p365 was a game changer when it first came out. I couldn’t wait to get it. The double-stack capacity was squeezed into a single size gun. It is easy to carry, and it’s comfortable for all shooters. The P365 is an ideal concealed carry gun. It comes with a 10, 12 or even 15-round magazine. The size and weight of this gun are perfect for me. You can also choose from the Sig P365 SAS, which is a version with a bigger capacity.
It is a good gun, but it is still a small pistol. This can make it difficult to use compared to other guns on the list. The weapon is a bit snappy with the right self-defense ammunition. Practice makes perfect.
The Sig p365 is my favorite CCW handgun because it’s small, but has a full-capacity. You can read our full review to learn more about the reasons we believe the p365 is best for concealed carry.
Sig P365 Pros And Cons
H&K VP9sk review
The H&K VP9sk is one of the most ergonomic concealed carry guns I have ever used. This weapon comes with interchangeable grip panels, which is one of my favorite features. I can now customize the grip to fit my hand.
Since we’re discussing CCW guns, the VP9sk will be a bit thicker than the SIG p365. It is therefore not the smallest gun you can buy and does not ride as comfortably as appendix carrying. The VP9sk’s size is not a major issue for me, as it is comfortable. The size of the VP9sk is perfect and I can handle it better with the grips than other smaller CCW guns.
As far as dependability goes, I have fired over 1000 rounds without any issues. I have fired various types of 9mm ammo and there has not been a problem.
It is impressive that this product has so many features, and is also backed up by a great reputation. This product has been used in many situations, and it never failed me.
You can read the full review here of the H&K 9sk pistol.
Glock 43x Review
The Glock 43x hybrid handgun is one of Glock’s hybrid models. It is a small Glock 43x that looks like the G48.
The 43x increases the G43’s capacity from 6 to 10+1 without compromising concealability or comfort.
To increase the size of the grip, you can create a frame that is slightly higher and wider. This maneuver comes with its own set of complications. The magazines and holsters must be customized to each firearm.
Glock has also listened to its shooters based on the feedback they received for this gun. The slide was given front cocking serrations to improve grip.
The Glock 43x may be a great weapon, but it does not feel as comfortable as Sig or Walther. If you are a fan of Glocks and have used a different model, you may want to consider this gun. Check out our review of the Glock43x for more information.
SPRINGFIELD HELLCAT – 9MM
Springfield Hellcat Review
The Hellcat is next on our list of CCWs. When I first picked up the Springfield Hellcat, I was struck by the serrations that wrap around the slide. They provided an excellent gripping option without a need for a sight system. Springfield has included pre-drilled red dot upgrades for the red dots. I think that red dots will be the way to go in the future of handguns.
Springfield deserves points for providing a full-sized rail accessory, which allows me to easily modify this pistol using standard add-ons. It is very accurate, and I rarely encounter snags when firing it.
The price is my biggest problem with the Hellcat. It seems like a great deal but it doesn’t have the Sig quality I expect. This gun is worth $100 less.
You can read our complete review of the Springfield Hellcat here .
Walther CCP Review
The Walther CCP M2 pistol is attractive and popular. It’s a polymer-frame, striker fired gun like many others, but it uses Walthers Softcoil Technology.
The CCP M2 is a soft-shooting gun thanks to this system. It is easy to rack the slide, so almost anyone can use it.
The Walther CCP M2 has a subcompact, single-stack handgun. It is ideal for concealed carrying. This design is ideal for those with smaller hands or less hand strength.
CCP M2 is my second best CCW firearm because it’s not as compact and doesn’t handle as well as the Sig p365. The CCP is slightly larger than necessary, but still small and comfortable for everyday carry.
Click HERE to see a detailed review of the Walther CCp!
RUGER LCR 9MM
Ruger LCR 9mm Review
Ruger LCR is one of a few revolvers chambered for 9mm. The LCR revolver is very modern with a polymer frame which reduces the weight of the gun without using expensive metals such as scandium.
The LCR’s double-action lever is great, but its ultra-short barrel and lack of rear sight make it difficult to shoot accurately.
Ruger LCR revolvers are lightweight and very easy to conceal. The 9mm revolver is a low-cost alternative to the snub-nose revolvers that require lots of practice. The LCR revolver is a modern, no-nonsense revolver.
Click HERE to read our review of the Ruger LCR.
Reviews of the Best Budget 9mm Pistol
cheap is not the same as poor. Or substandard.
In fact, there are some that are not only good for the price but are also pretty good in general.
Best budget 9mm pistol:
- Canik TP9SF
- Ruger Safety 9
- Taurus G3C
Canik TP9SF Review
This is a polymer gun that’s super reliable and has one of the best triggers I’ve ever fired. This includes Glocks, Czs, Sigs, and other guns.
Do I believe that this pistol will replace a high-end duty gun? No. If you want a budget-friendly gun that will do the job…you should look at the Canik.
You’ll notice that the Canik is mentioned a lot in our reviews of duty pistols. This 9mm is worth your time. This 9mm is not only worthy of being on my list of best budget guns, but also of home defense pistols.
Click here to read our Canik TP9SF full-length review.
RUGER SECURITY 9
Ruger Security 9 Review
Budget guns are tricky. They can be difficult to get right, and this may lead to poor quality and reliability issues. Ruger Security 9 breaks the mold.
Security 9 is a reliable and affordable security system.
The trigger is not something to boast about but it is reliable and will not throw you off your target. The Security 9 is an oversized gun that’s comfortable to shoot.
The design may be Spartan but it is effective. The gun includes two magazines of 15 rounds, a Picatinny Rail, and interchangeable sights.
Click here to read the complete review of this gun.
Taurus G3C Review
Some people believe that Taurus produces good revolvers, but poor semi-autos. I must disagree. In face, I think the opposite. The G3C is a great low-priced gun.
Some people believe that Taurus produces good revolvers, but poor semi-autos. I must disagree. In face, I think the opposite. The G3C is a great low-priced gun.
Taurus G3 compact has many things going for it. It can take Glock sights and SIG P226 mags. There are a lot of aftermarket options.
It’s not a spectacular race gun but it is a simple and effective design. The magazine is adequate and the accuracy for a small pistol is reasonable. However, if you hold the gun with a high grip, be careful of the slide bite.
It’s absolutely reliable. How often can you say that about a pistol under $300?
Want to know more? Read our full Taurus G3C review.
REVIEWS OF 9MM PISTOLS WITH THE BEST SHOOTING RANGE
Any 9mm pistol suitable for concealed carry, home defense or shooting ranges will be fine.
If you plan to use a 9mm handgun for defensive purposes, you should practice with it often.
We understand, however, that you might be looking to purchase a 9mm pistol for your trips to the range. Here are some 9mm pistols that you can use for target practice, pistol competitions or “plinking”.
The Best 9mm Pistols to Shoot at the Shooting Range
- HK VP9
- Walther 5-inch PPQ
- CZ 75 TS Czechmate
- Glock 34
- Rock Island Armory 1911 GI Standard
H&K VP9 review
The H&K VP9 is my number one choice for the range. H&K’s first striker-fired gun was released in 1970 and was a total flop. Maybe that’s why they waited 40+ years before releasing a gun that was actually worth it. The gun in question was the H&K VP9.
The VP9 is available in two main models: VP9 (with the push-button magazine release “American style”) and VP9B.
The VP9 is a very reliable and accurate entry for 9mm and a joy to shoot.
Check out our full H&K VP9-B gun review!
WALTHER PPQ : BEST 9MM FOR THE RANGE
Walther PPQ Review
Walther PPQ is my second choice. It is a polymer-framed striker-fired pistol with one of best triggers ever seen on a production firearm. The trigger has a reset of 0.1 inches and is extremely light.
The 5-inch barreled version is exceptionally accurate, thanks to its easy-to-see sight and long-sight relief. The PPQ has excellent ergonomics and is a great range gun.
The grip is especially comfortable. It’s not easy to conceal as a full-sized weapon, and aftermarket options are limited. The PPQ pistol is still a great gun and a lot of fun to shoot at the range.
Check out our Walther Review to see our personal review of this gun.
CZ 75 TS CZECHMATE
CZ 75 TS Czechmate Review
The CZ 75TS Czechmate is a top-tier handgun for competition in the world. The CZ 75 standard frame is used to build the Czechmate, which combines all the features that competition shooters enjoy with a convenient package.
The Czechmate has an excellent trigger, amazing ergonomics and more upgrades that you can shake a stick.
Upgrades include an optical, compensator and magazine well. The Czechmate comes as a ready-to-use option for those who are willing to pay a premium for their gun.
You will have a wonderful experience if you just take a shot.
Check out the CZ75 TS Czechmate review for more information on this gun.
Glock 34 Review
The Glock 34 is the fourth gun on my list. It’s a 9mm long slide built on a full-size traditional frame. Its extended barrel is ideal for home defense, range shooting, competitions, and even competitions.
The majority of professional armed guards have chosen Glocks because they are reliable. Glocks are not the best in every area, but they have a good overall package.
The Glock 34 is a full-sized pistol that is easy to handle and shoot. Glock guns are popular, and there’s a huge aftermarket to allow you to customize them to an insane extent.
The G34 is a poor concealed carry gun, but it does a good job in other roles.
Click HERE to see the complete review of the Glock 34!
ROCK ISLAND G.I. 1911
Standard Review 1911 RIA
RIA 1911 GI Standard Specs
- Overall Length8.56 Inches
- Barrel Length5 inches
- Width1.04 inches
- Weight39.52 ounces
- Capacity9 rounds
If you’re looking for a 9mm pistol that is fun and affordable, then Rock Island Armory G.I. Standard 9mm makes a good choice. The RIA 1911 series is affordable and simple, which makes it to my list of best 9mm pistols.
The sights on this pistol are small but the trigger and recoil of a 9mm 1911 is very soft. Why not get a 1911 that is affordable for everyone?
Standard G.I. The G.I. Standard controls. It’s not a fancy gun, but a basic one.
My experience is that RIA 1911s need a period of break-in, but they then run smoothly.
Click HERE to read the complete review of the RIA 1911 .
Reviews of the best 9mm pistols for home defense
This list contains the best pistols for home defense if you are interested in a 9mm self-defense handgun but don’t want to carry it concealed.
The full-sized pistols have a higher capacity and are easier to operate. They also come with the option of adding a pistol flashlight. Some of these pistols can be concealed, but most people find them too big to do so.
The Best 9mm Pistol to Use at Home:
- Sig Sauer P226
- S&W Shield 9
SIG SAUER P226 : BEST FOR HOME DEFENSE
Sig P226 Review
The P226 is my first choice for 9mm home security. It’s a legendary gun that has been used in law enforcement circles and the military for decades. This is a full-sized, metal, large firearm that’s easy to use and ergonomic.
The P226 has a DA/SA system, which requires a deliberate pull of the trigger for both the first shot (and light) and subsequent shots.
Weight and reliability of the P226 make it a very reliable home defense weapon. It’s also easy to handle and shoot. The controls are excellent, and modern versions include a rail to attach a light and, of course, SIG Night Sights.
SIG P pistols are expensive and difficult to sell compared to other handguns.
Click HERE to read our complete review of the P226!
S&W M&P SHIELD 9 EZ
S&W M&P Shield EZ Review
The M&P Shield EZ would complete my home defense list. This pistol is a continuation from the EZ line S&W launched back in 2018. The pistol is designed to make manual firing of the gun easier for those who are new to shooting or have diminished hand strength. There are many features to make the operation of this firearm easy, such as a magazine thumb stud, a scalloped sliding, and minimal felt recoil.
It’s not a very special gun, but it will still do the job without much effort. We had some problems with the mag feed.
Click here to read our complete review of the S&W M&P Shield 9, EZ.
BUYING A GUN FOR THE FIRST TIME?
You should consider a few things if this is your very first gun, or even just your 9mm handgun. This will help you get the best out of it and keep you safe as well as those around you.
- Extra magazines:Most guns will come with only one or two magazines. But you’ll soon find out that this is not enough. You don’t want to spend your time reloading instead of shooting. You can find extra magazines for your 9mm in many cases. Be sure they are legal in your state. Be aware that some states limit the capacity of your firearm.
- Gun Cleaner: Owning a 9mm gun responsibly also means knowing how to take care of it. This means disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling. It’s important to get a good cleaning kit to remove all gunk from places it shouldn’t be. On Amazon, we recommend the Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit.
- Shooting Eyewear If you have never shot a firearm before, you might not know why you would need safety eyewear. All it takes is a piece of hot brass to get into your eye, and you could suffer serious injuries. To find the best fit for you, check out our article The Best Shooting Glasses.
- Hearing protection It is pretty obvious but…guns bang. It doesn’t even take much to cause hearing damage. Buy some premium ear pro to protect your hearing and ears. You can choose from a variety of great products. Our Best Shooting Hearing Protection Review will help you find the right product for you.
- Storage : If you want to be a responsible gun owner, then you should store your pistol properly. It’s not a good idea to leave it lying around where someone can grab it. On Amazon, we recommend the Lifepod by Vaultek. This is a safe that is dustproof, waterproof, and airtight. Even if it’s accidentally spilled, the Lifepod will float!
- Gloves? If you are a beginner, combat or pistol gloves will not be necessary. You can use them later when you are in more specific situations.
Best Ammo for your 9mm Pistol
Each pistol may or may prefer a different type of ammunition. One thing is for sure: You will want to purchase two different types of ammunition: one for range use and another for self-defense.
Due to the round shape of the nose, range ammunition is often referred to by the term “ball ammo”. This round shape has both advantages and disadvantages.
These bullets do not slow down at all when they pass through obstacles. It can limit the effectiveness of an ethical one-shot stoppage, as the energy is not well transferred into the target. This can be a benefit if you need to shoot through thin barriers or walls to reach your target. The rounded bullet nose allows for a smoother feed up the gun’s ramp to reduce jams.
Ball ammo is MUCH cheaper. It may not have the same stopping power as other ammo but it is much cheaper, especially if you shoot large quantities at the range. It’s crucial to select quality range rounds as well as good working ammunition. Here’s a recommendation and where you can find each:
BUYER’S GUIDE FOR 9MM HANDGUNS
Why use a 9mm gun?
The 9mm handgun is often the best compromise between size, performance and price. The 9mm round has been proven to be a powerful and effective combat cartridge. It is available in many different weights, speeds and loads. You can choose the best load for your gun based on recoil, muzzle-flip, and performance downrange.
The 9mm gun is also easy to handle. Both new and experienced shooters find the muzzle rise, and recoil, to be pleasant and easy-to-handle. It takes a weapon that is absurdly small for it to cause pain in the hands or issues with controllability.
A 9mm pistol’s ease of use is another important factor. It’s a very popular round, and dozens of companies produce it. There are loads for self-defense and suppressors, as well as practice. Most of the ammunition available is inexpensive and easily accessible.