The Most Popular Compact 9MM Options
The Most Popular Compact 9MM Options
compact 9mm

The Most Popular Compact 9MM Options

Determining the best compact 9mm is a subjective exercise. It depends on your lifestyle, needs, and preferences. Each user has to evaluate a gun’s characteristics, including the weight, size, and performance, to find one that works. To ensure you make the most of your compact 9mm purchase, here are six of the best models on the market.

Glock 19 Gen5

The Glock 19 Gen5 marks the latest in Glock’s innovation and excellence. The design features 20 modifications that improve on the functionality and versatility of its Gen4 predecessor. That includes a Glock Marksman Barrel, an ambidextrous slide stop lever, and a flared mag-well.

The combination makes the Glock 19 Gen5 the standard for concealed carry guns. Even newcomers to 9mm handguns will find the device easy to use, accurate, and ergonomic. Once you try it for yourself, it’s easy to see why Glock 19s are among the best-selling compact guns of all time. 

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15+1
  • Weight: 24 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 4.02 inches

Glock 48

The Glock 48 was born of both necessity and desire in that it includes many features Glock owners have dreamt of over the years, and it meets legal standards for use in Canada. 

The popular before-mentioned Glock 19 is illegal in Canada due to its short barrel and large capacity. The Glock 48 resolves those issues with a longer barrel and a smaller 10+1 capacity, earning it the moniker the “Canadian Glock 19″—but don’t let that mislead you. This model is just as popular in the US.

This is a handgun with a bit of heft but a slim profile, creating a 9mm that shoots and feels like a service pistol but is appropriate for concealed carry use. It’s unique design also makes it suitable for all hand sizes, and an aggressively textured handle ensures a secure grip, even if your hands are wet or sweaty.

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 10+1
  • Weight: 18 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 4.17 inches

Smith & Wesson M&P Compact M2.0

The name Smith & Wesson has been an industry leader for more than 160 years. The M&P Compact M2.0 is a testament to that legacy, excelling in overall quality and price. It features a seamless fit and finish, while retailing for $100 less than similar guns.

It also scores high marks across the board for its trigger, reliability, and ergonomics. You’ll find a home for this gun, whether using it for personal or professional life. Smith & Wesson also offers a lifetime service policy and a limited lifetime warranty on each purchase. 

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15
  • Weight: 27 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 3.6 inches

Smith & Wesson SD9

The Smith & Wesson SD9 is a popular compact 9mm for more than just its brand notoriety—it’s also an inexpensive yet reliable choice. Based on Smith & Wesson’s Sigma series pistols, the SD line features lightweight polymer frames with Armornite-finished, stainless steel barrels, striking a balance between durability and affordability.

The SD9 is striker-fired with a Self Defense Trigger (SDT) for consistent pulls. It has an ergonomic, textured grip for a secure hold and a white-dot front sight along with a two-dot rear sight for quick targeting. It even comes in two colors: flat dark earth and gray.

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 16+1
  • Weight: 22.3 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 4 inches

Sig P320 Compact/Carry

The Sig P320 Compact Carry excels as a popular alternative to the Glock 19. However, it features a substantial grip that may make it difficult for some users to wrap their fingers fully. The dense design makes the Sig P320 Compact easy to conceal and control, even during rapid shooting.

Experienced shooters rave about the handling and trigger. It feels like a natural extension of the hand and is lightweight, so it does not become cumbersome or unwieldy. Combine that with smooth trigger action, and it’s easy to understand why the Sig P320 Compact is a favorite for concealed carry purposes. 

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15+1
  • Weight: 26 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 3.9 inches


The Sig P320 XCOMPACT delivers the reliability of the P320 with the world-class performance of the XSERIES. The new model comes with a redesigned trigger and grip for improved control and a barrel that’s one-third of an inch shorter than the Sig P320 Compact. Despite having smaller measurements, the gun still holds 15 rounds.

You can take advantage of the red-dot mounting and X-Ray3 day/night front sight. The reduced recoil increases the usability of this compact 9mm handgun. Anyone looking to strike a balance between form and function can’t ignore the Sig P320 XCOMPACT.

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15+1
  • Weight: 25.3 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 3.6 inches

Canik TP9 Sub Elite

The Canik TP9 Sub Elite is the sub-compact version of the TP-9 SF Elite designed for concealed carry. It’s the smallest of the TP9 line and lightweight yet feature-packed with an ambidextrous tungsten slide, reversible magazine release, and optics-ready slide mount.

The value of the Canik TP9 doesn’t stop there, though. It also comes standard with an impressive accessory list, including a foam-lined hard case, convertible holster, two magazines, interchangeable backstraps, and more. It falls middle-of-the-road price-wise on our list, but the additional goodies it comes with more than justify the price tag.          

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 12+1
  • Weight: 24.78 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 3.6 inches

Beretta APX

Another of Beretta’s forays in the striker-fired polymer-framed pistol market, the APX is similar to Smith & Wesson’s SD9 in that it offers impressive quality at a low price. However, the APX was designed specifically for law enforcement and boasts pro-level performance.

It’s engineered to function flawlessly every time, under every condition, focusing on “function over form,” as the company puts it. Even so, we feel they did pretty well on both counts. This is a sharp-looking handgun with a comfortable grip and front and rear slide serrations. Like the SD9, it also comes in a few color options: black, OD green, wolf grey, and flat dark earth.

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 10-15+1
  • Weight: 27 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 3.7 inches

What to Look for in Best Compact 9MM and Subcompact 9MM

Many people opt for a compact 9mm or a subcompact 9mm for a more manageable and discreet shooting experience. While barrel length and weight factor into usability, many people overlook the width. The width determines how easy the gun is to conceal and the quality of grip when firing. 

Other characteristics that improve shooting ability include less recoil, a sturdy frame, balance, and sights. Some factors, like the bore axis and barrel length, are matters of preference. If you’re unfamiliar with compact guns, visit your local gun shop and have an expert walk you through the different makes and models.

The Bottom Line

We can’t say enough about the compact 9mm guns on this list. Whether you’re in search of a modern classic, like the Glock 19 Gen5, or an affordable competitor, like the Smith & Wesson M&P Compact M2.0, you’re sure to find a gun that fits your needs. Learn more about the best guns on the market by checking out our other reviews today. 

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