Best 9mm Pistols In Stock

Compiling a list of the best 9mm pistols is a difficult game to play. Pistols are kind of like pizzas. Everyone has their own personal tastes (in both firearms and oven-baked Italian dishes). Crowning one version as “the best” is probably going to ruffle a lot of feathers.

Thankfully, there are plenty of 9mm pistol options to choose from. This is by no means an exhaustive list. However, the options we’ve included tend to be solid performers that work for a wide range of shooters.

Best In Stock 9mm Pistols

Our Top Picks for the Best In Stock 9mm Pistols:

Why 9mm?

In the not-so-distant past, .40 S&W and .45 ACP were considered the only effective cartridges for self-defense. Although both cartridges deliver devastating terminal performance, they also produce some pretty powerful recoil. That recoil can make them difficult to shoot accurately and effectively.

More and more people are turning to the easier-shooting 9mm Luger (9x19 Parabellum) cartridge for both law enforcement and civilian carry. 9mm ammo is affordable, easy to shoot, and usually easy to find. Modern 9mm loads also produce relatively mild recoil while delivering effective stopping power through massive projectile expansion.

Size, Weight, and Recoil

When choosing a new 9mm pistol, one of the most important things to consider is the size and weight of your weapon. A small, lightweight handgun is definitely easier to carry concealed. However, those bantamweight, sub-compact models are generally much more difficult to shoot.

A small handgun with a short barrel has a short sight radius. Because there is less distance between the front and rear sights, the sights are more difficult to align, especially when you have to shoot under stress. That short sight radius is much less forgiving of even the smallest aiming errors, which can have a huge effect on your downrange accuracy.

Heavier pistols are easier to shoot, but not only because they have a longer sight radius. They also have more mass to absorb recoil. Since much of the recoil energy is absorbed by the weight of the gun, shooting a heavier 9mm pistol is less painful than shooting the tiny (although admittedly adorable) micro pistols you may be drawn to in the display case.

That reduction in recoil also makes rapid, accurate follow-up shots much easier to achieve, which is a major asset in a self-defense situation.

If you plan to use your 9mm pistol as a concealed carry weapon, it is important to find the right balance between concealability and shootability. Although a tiny pistol is much easier to conceal, concealment shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. If you can’t effectively handle your pistol once it leaves its place of concealment, it probably isn’t going to do you much good.

Our Top Picks

Since different shooters have different needs, we’ve tried to compile a list that includes something for everyone. We’ve divided our favorite models into full-size, compact, and sub-compact categories to make things easier.

Glock G17

Glock G17

Type: 9mm Pistol

Length: Barrel - 4.48" | Overall - 7.95"

Weight: 24 oz

Capacity: 17+1 round

Brand: Glock

The Glock 17 has an almost cult-like following, but for good reason. Although the Glock 17 features a lightweight, polymer frame, it is one of the most rugged, reliable, and attractive pistols on the market today.

First introduced in 1982, the basic design of the G17 hasn’t changed much over the years. However, the newest iteration of the G17, the Gen 5, has several upgrades shooters will love, including modified rifling to increase precision and interchangeable backstraps for grip customization.

Because the G17 is a full-size pistol, there’s plenty of mass to help soak up recoil. Even though this pistol has a long 4.5-inch barrel, it is surprisingly easy to shoot, even for small or weaker shooters.

It’s size can make concealment problematic, so if you’re looking for a reliable CCW, you may be better served with the smaller G19 or G26. However, with a standard carrying capacity of 17 plus one, the GI7 makes an awesome weapon for law enforcement and civilian home defense.

Sig Sauer P320

Sig Sauer P320

Type: Semi-Auto Pistol

Length: Barrel - 3.9" | Overall - 7.2"

Weight: 26 oz

Capacity: 13+1 round

Brand: Sig Sauer

The P320 is Sig Sauer’s flagship semi-automatic pistol. This top-of-the-line sidearm is also the standard issue handgun for the U.S. Army. It is also a popular duty weapon for stateside law enforcement personnel. With plenty of tactical experience under its belt, the Sig P320 has proven its reliability in some of the toughest, most grueling conditions on the face of the planet.

The P320 comes in several variants, but we’re big fans of the Full-sized P320 Nitron. With a 4.7-inch barrel and weighing almost 30 ounces unloaded, this pistol has plenty of heft to absorb recoil.

The barrel has an accessory rail, so you can easily add a red dot optic. The P320 Nitron also boasts one of the best stock triggers on the market.

Sig included several ultra reliable safety features on all their P320s. A striker safety and 3-point Take Down Disconnect Safety System will provide some extra peace of mind for safety-minded shooters.

Heckler & Koch VP9

Heckler & Koch VP9

Type: Semi-Auto

Length: Barrel - 4.09" | Overall - 7.34"

Weight: 29.84 oz (with Magazine)

Capacity: 15+1 round

Brand: Heckler & Koch

Heckler & Koch has been designing high-quality firearms for more than 70 years, but the HK VP9 is one of their first attempts at a polymer-frame, striker-fired pistol. We admit we are pretty impressed. The HK VP9 easily holds its own against pistols with big brand names like Glock, Sig, Ruger, and Smith & Wesson.

The HK VP9 is well-balanced and has impressive ergonomics. It comes with removable grip plates and backstraps so you can find that just-right, Goldilocks fit. With serious adjustability, the VP9 works just as well for shooters with big, beefy paws as it does for shooters with small, slender hands.

This German-designed pistol comes with a standard 17-round magazine and an instinctive, hi-vis front sight. It measures just over seven inches from stem to stern, has a 4-inch barrel, and weighs 25 ½ ounces when unloaded.

Springfield Armory XD-M Elite

Springfield Armory XD-M Elite

Type: Semi-Auto

Length: Barrel - 3.8" | Overall - 6.75"

Weight: 28 oz

Capacity: 20+1 round

Brand: Springfield Armory

Another awesome polymer frame handgun, the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite is well-known for its accuracy, reliability, and easy handling. This pistol is a fan favorite among competition shooters. However, the qualities that make the XD-M excel on the competition field also make it perfect for personal protection.

One of the major selling points for the XD-M Elite is its ergonomic design. The pistol comes with multiple interchangeable backstraps, so you can customize the textured grip for a perfect fit.

The pistol aims intuitively and it provides a smooth, crisp, consistent trigger break. Safety conscious shooters will appreciate the XD-M Elite’s passive grip safety and mechanical loaded chamber indicator.

The XD-M Elite features tough, steel sights with a fiber optic light pipe for high visibility, even in low light. It also comes with a multi-slot Picatinny rail, so you can easily mount lights or lasers.

With only a 3.8-inch barrel, the XD-M Elite makes a great choice for concealed carry. It also has an impressive 20-round magazine capacity.

Kimber Micro 9

Kimber Micro 9

Length: Barrel - 3.15" | Overall - 6.10"

Weight: 15.60 oz

Capacity: 6 round

Sight: Fixed low-profile

Brand: Kimber

Kimber produces some handsome handguns, and their Micro 9 is definitely a head-turner. However, there’s more to this 9mm pistol than its stunning good looks. The Micro 9 is durable, reliable, and just plain fun to shoot.

If you love the classic Colt 1911, you’re going to love the Kimber Micro 9. This appealing pistol has all the style and function of a traditional 1911, only it’s chambered for the milder shooting 9mm cartridge. The Micro 9 has all the classic 1911 controls, including the magazine release, thumb safety, and slide release.

Featuring rock-solid construction, the Micro 9 has a machined corrosion-resistant stainless steel slide and a non-corrosive aluminum frame. Fans of popular polymer frame pistols shouldn’t be put off by the Micro 9’s all-metal construction, however. This thing weighs only 15 1/2 ounces, making it perfect for EDC.

The biggest drawback is the Micro 9’s meager 6-plus-one round capacity. This could be problematic for a home defense or personal protection weapon. However, the compact size, light weight, and easy shoot-ability make the Micro 9 perfect for use as a backup pistol.

Walther PPS M2

Walther PPS M2

Length: Barrel - 3.2" | Overall - 6.3"

Weight: 19.4 oz

Capacity: 6/7/8 round

Trigger Pull: 6.1 lbs

Brand: Walther

Measuring only one inch thick, the Walther PPS M2 has an ultra slim, easy-to-conceal design. Despite its narrow build, the PPS M2 is surprisingly easy to hold. With a full frame and an undercut trigger, the PPS M2 has plenty of grip surface, allowing substantial room for rock-solid off-hand support. Although this lightweight tips the scales at a meager 19 ounces empty, the extra grip surface makes it easier for the shooter to manage recoil. The PPS M2 is easier to handle than most other sub-compact models.

Like many of the handguns on our list, the PPS M2 comes with several interchangeable backstraps. You can switch them out until you find the perfect grip for a consistent, straight-back trigger pull.

The PPS M2 measures 6.3 inches from end to end. It also features a 3.2-inch barrel and an internal steel chassis that provides excellent slide-to-frame fit. The Walther PPS M2 is one of the most accurate, concealable, and fun-to-shoot compact pistols on the market today.

Best Sub-Compact 9mm Pistols

Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield

Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield

Type: Semi-Auto Pistol

Length: Barrel - 3.1" | Overall - 6.1"

Weight: 19 oz

Capacity: 8+1 round

Brand: Smith and Wesson

Smith & Wesson took the performance and features of their effective full-size M&P and packed them into a sub-compact package with an ultra thin profile. The result of their effort is the M&P9 Shield, which is only slightly larger than the average adult hand. This is the perfect pistol for deep concealment.

The Shield has a short, 3-inch barrel and an overall length of just over 6 inches. The pistol weighs only 20.8 ounces when its 7-round magazine is empty. There isn’t a lot here to help absorb recoil, which can make for some snappy shooting. However, it conceals easily, so shooters will consider it well worth the trade off.

The pistol’s polymer frame is embedded with a sturdy stainless steel chassis system for serious durability. The white dot sights are effective, although some shooters may want to upgrade for easier low light shooting.

All in all, this is an awesome little back-up pistol. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Just ask one of the more than one million Shield owners across the U.S.

Ruger EC9s

Ruger EC9s

Type: Semi-Auto

Length: Barrel - 3.12" | Overall - 6"

Weight: 17.20 oz

Capacity: 7+1 round

Brand: Ruger

The newer version of Ruger’s popular LC9s, the EC9s has a slim profile and lightweight design that are perfect for concealed carry. Ruger kept the striker-fired system with a tabbed trigger and integrated trigger safety of the LC9s. The carrying capacity (7 plus one), weight (18 ounces unloaded), and dimensions (3.12 barrel and 6-inch overall length) also remain the same.

So what is different? First, the standard blued finish of the LC9s has been upgraded to a heartier black nitride coating. Also, the sights of the EC9s are machined into the slide instead of dovetailed in like they are on the EC9s. The sights are adequate, but you’ll either need to love them or leave them. You won’t be swapping them out without a trip to the machine shop.

Perhaps the best feature of the Ruger EC9s is the price tag. This is definitely an economy pistol. Although you won’t find any fancy frills, bells, or whistles, you can get this sub-compact CCW for little more than a song.

Final Thoughts

9mm is undoubtedly the most popular handgun cartridge in the United States today. This is good news for shooters looking for a new 9mm pistol, because there are plenty of options on the table.

Choosing a pistol is a highly personal decision, and only you can decide what will work best for you. If you’re looking for a quality 9mm pistol for self-defense, competition, or just for fun, any of the models on our list should serve you well.

However, it is always best to give any prospective pistol a thorough test drive before you commit to purchase. Don’t be afraid to hit the range and sling some lead before you pull out your credit card. That is the only surefire way to determine if any model is the best 9mm pistol for you.