Best Subcompact Pistols (2021) – Reviewed

Best Subcompact Pistols

Single stack 9mm pistols are becoming increasingly popular among those who want to comfortably carry their pistol with them throughout the day. The single stack 9mm set up is more streamlined and lightweight to make them easy to conceal. In today’s article, we will be running through a selection of the top subcompact handguns on the market for you to exercise CCW carry.

Pistols Name Editor’s Comment Rating Get The Best Deal
Heckler & Koch VP9SK

Most Recommended Option

1. Black oxide finish
2. Luminecent 3-dot steel sights
3. 10+1 magazine capacity

10/10 SHOP NOW
SIG Sauer P365 9mm Subcompact 1. Available in 10+1 round capacity or 12+1 extended magazine
2. Textured polymer construction
3. Polymer frame and stainless steel slide
9.5/10 SHOP NOW
Glock 43 1. Black frame and black slide finishing
2. 6+1 magazine capacity
3. Compact and small size with total length of 6.26 inches
9.5/10 SHOP NOW
Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield 2.0 1. Choice of either 7+1 round or 8+1 round magazine capacity
2. Simple to activate takedown lever
3. Added thumb safety and Crimson Trace laser version available
9.5/10 SHOP NOW
Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact 9mm Semi-Auto Pistol 1. Manual cross-bolt safety
2. Glass-reinforced polymer frame
3. Three-dot front and rear sights
9.0/10 SHOP NOW
Walther Arms PPS M2 1. Strong and durable polymer material
2. Great texturing and subtly molded finger grooves
3. Smooth and crisp trigger pull release
9.0/10 SHOP NOW
Taurus G2C 9mm Pistol 1. Double-action-only (DAO) trigger
2. White fot front sight and adjustable rear
3. Ships with two 12+1 round capacity magazines
8.5/10 Currently unavailable
Ruger LC9 1. Double-action semi-auto trigger system
2. Textured polymer grips and slide serrations
3. Super lightweight construction
8.5/10 Currently unavailable
Glock 43X 9mm 1. 10+1 round magazine capacity
2. Either 3.39-inch or 3.41-inch barrel length choice
3. Slick silver finish and special protective compound
8.0/10 Currently unavailable
SIG Sauer P938 Centerfire Pistol 1. Single-action (SA) trigger operation
2. Sturdy alloy frame with stainless steel slide and rear serrations
3. Available with a number of finishes available
8.0/10 Currently unavailable
Beretta PX4 Storm 1. Stainless steel barrel
2. Picatinny accessory rail
3. Works either single-action or double-action trigger system
8.0/10 Currently unavailable
Glock 19 Compact Gen 4 1. Striker-fired polymer pistol
2. Polymer “U” dot configuration with adjustable rear sights
3. 15+1 magazine capacity
8.0/10 Currently unavailable
Glock 26 1. 10-round magazine capacity
2. Features identical internals to the Glock 19
3. Larger grip size
7.5/10 Currently unavailable
SIG P320 1. Trusted by the U.S. Military
2. Modular system to customize grips, lengths, and calibers
3. Black, Nitron finish
7.5/10 Currently unavailable
Springfield XDS MOD 2.0 .45 ACP 1. Striker-fired pistol
2. Aggressive texturing grip safety
3. 13+1 magazine capacity
7.5/10 Currently unavailable
Kahr CM9 1. DAO Trigger cocking with browning type recoil lug
2. Textured polymer grips
3. Drift-adjustable white bar-dot combat sights
7.0/10 Currently unavailable
Walther PPQ 1. 3-Dot adjustable low profile sights
2. 15+1 magazine capacity
3. 5.6 lbs. trigger pull weight
7.0/10 Currently unavailable

Buying Guide – Picking Out the Best Subcompact Pistol for Concealed Carry

The popularity of sub-compact pistols has skyrocketed recently, which has resulted in many firearm manufacturing companies designing and producing a wide range of guns for shooters to select from. So how do you distinguish a high quality and reliable pistol from one that is not so good? Here are a few main factors that you need to consider when picking out a pistol:

Action Type

Handguns come in four types of action, which are striker-fired, double-action-only (DOA), double-action semi-automatic, and single-action.

Striker-fired guns are good if you don’t like your pistol to snag as they feature a hammer-less design. 

Double-action-only pistols are great for beginners as the trigger will be consistent every time you shoot. 

Double-action Semi-auto pistols are commonly preferred by experienced pistol shooters that prefer something familiar

Single-action pistols are the top option for anyone wanting to let off an extremely urgent shot thanks to its characteristically smooth, short, and light trigger pull. 


Obviously, subcompact guns are designed for concealment. However, you’ll likely find certain manufacturers do a better job than others. Ideally, you should look for a pistol that is slimline, short, and lightweight enough for you to carry for long periods without any trouble. 


The price is certainly an important factor when shopping for a new pistol, especially for those who are working with a tight budget. However, you should remember to not sacrifice quality just to save a few bucks. It is best to go for the best quality pocket handgun that you can afford, even if it means forking out a few extra bucks. 

Pistol Caliber

There are plenty of powerful handguns that can accommodate different calibers. While there are full-size or more powerful options out there, many have found that the 9mm caliber is good enough for concealed carry and personal defense. 

The 9mm caliber offers a good balance between power and performance as it’s one that delivers relatively low recoil. 9mm handguns also come in a wide variety of choices that range from the best for first-timers to models that experienced shooters will love. 

Another added benefit for getting a 9mm gun is that this ammo is readily available and is also relatively inexpensive to make practicing at the range a highly affordable sport. 

Magazine Capacity

The next factor that you need to consider is the number of rounds your gun can take. Revolvers are limited to between 5 and 7 rounds while semi-autos have a far broader range depending upon caliber and round stacking. Novices or those with little firearm experience may have a better time with handguns that have a higher round count availability. 

17 Best Subcompact Pistols – A Comprehensive Buying Guide

1. Taurus G2C 9mm Pistol

Best High Capacity Single Stack Subcompact 9mm Pistols


  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 12 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.25″
  • Height: 5”
  • Width: 1.25”
  • Length: 6.25”
  • Weight: 21.15 oz.
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Grip: Polymer Grips
  • Front Sight: Fixed (White Dot)
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable (White Dots)
  • Safety: Manual Safety


If you’re worried about capacity, then you will enjoy this one as it comes with 12+1 rounds to offer you sufficient rounds to last the whole day at the range. Despite the high number of ammo, the pistol remains relatively lightweight in design thanks to its strong and durable polymer construction. 

Featuring a double-action-only trigger, the subcompact 9mm G2C is perfect for beginners as it delivers a predictable pull weight every time. The subcompact 9mm pistol comes with a 3.25-inch barrel length to make an overall length of 6.25 inches. Aside from manual safety, the Taurus pistol also comes with an added white dot front sight and adjustable rear to give you that extra accuracy required. 

Overall, the Taurus G2C is well recognized among the firearm industry for its reliability at a low price point, making it great value for money. Not only is it super accurate, but it’s durable and lightweight build makes it an ideal option for either home defense or concealed carry. 

You would like this product if:

You want a product with plenty of rounds. The Taurus G2C comes with two magazines with 12+1 round capacity to last you through the whole day at the shooting range. 

You want to take it straight to the shooting range. Not only is this pistol accurate as hell. It even comes with a white dot front sight and adjustable rear sight right out of the box to let you hit the bullseye every single time. 

You might not like this product if:

You want good grips. While the pistol is very accurate out of the box, it does not come with a good grip zone. Instead, you may have to purchase additional rubber grips to make it feel more comfortable at the range. 

2. Walther Arms PPS M2 

Best Concealed Carry DAO 9mm Pistol 



  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Length: 3.2″
  • Trigger Pull: 6.1 LBS
  • Capacity: 6+1/7+1
  • Overall Length: 6.3″
  • Height: 4.4″
  • Safety: 3
  • Width: 1″
  • Weight Empty:19.4oz


The Walther PPS M2 comes with a barrel length of 3.18 inches and a 7+1 round capacity. With a total length of 6.3 inches only, this lightweight model makes for a very good concealed carry gun that is easy to use. Other than the slim, subcompact 9mm profile that aids in concealment, the compact pistol comes with a push-button magazine release to let you make rapid reloads easily. 

Made with a strong and durable polymer, the Walther PPS M2 also carries Carl Walther’s signature ergonomics. The great texturing and subtly molded finger grooves not only fit most average size hands, but it is also extremely comfortable to grip. 

Featuring a double-action-only trigger, this set-up delivers a smooth and crisp pull release action that feels the same every time. Both beginners and experienced shooters will find that the single stack Walther PPS M2 pistol is very easy to handle with little practice at the shooting range. 

Finally, this pistol also comes with adequate fixed rear and front sights that are suited for close-quarter targeting. 

You would like this product if:

You want to practice concealed carry. The PPS M2 features a slimline design that makes it very inconspicuous under a shirt or in a holster. 

You want a gun with high capacity. The pistol comes with two 7-round magazines in the package and a convenient push-button mag release for quick reloads. 

You might not like this product if:

You have larger or smaller hands. The finger grooves on the PPS M2 pistol are not a universal fit. So, we would recommend that you test them out at the gun store before making the purchase. 


3. Ruger LC9 

Best Concealed Carry Lightweight Single Stack Subcompact 9mm Pistols


  • Capacity: 7 Round
  • Barrel Length: 3.12″ 
  • Overall Length: 6″
  • Weight: 17.2 oz


Next on our list is a 9mm single stack model that comes with a double-action semi-auto operation from Ruger. The LC9 is an affordable gun choice that comes with several quality specifications in a sleek black finish.

At only 3.1 inches long, the handgun can easily be hidden away with your favorite holster or belt holster. In addition to that, the barrel even supports adjustable three-dot sights, which remain highly visible in various light conditions. 

Not only is it slim and petite in build, but the pistol is also incredibly lightweight, weighing only one pound to make it one of the lightest subcompacts on the market. This makes it super easy to carry around with you over long periods without wearing you down. 

Featuring a double-action semi-automatic trigger system, the Ruger LC9 shoots predictably with minimal effort. Another thing we like about the pistol is that it comes with slide serrations for a non-slip racking of the slide. 

On top of that, shooters can also benefit from a good 7 rounds capacity with one spare magazine included with your purchase. The great gun also comes with textured polymer grips in place to maintain a firm grip. 

All-in-all, the Ruger pistol is a high-quality semi-automatic firearm that you can purchase at a very reasonable price. This concealed carry gun makes the perfect choice for anyone looking for a super lightweight solution that is reliable and has decent capacity. 

You would like this product if:

You want a gun with high capacity. This double-action semi-auto pistol not only shoots smoothly but it also comes with two 7-round magazines in the package.

You want a pistol that is comfortable and accurate. Not only is this pistol super lightweight at only 17.02 oz, it features nice grips and adjustable three-dot sights to get your shot right where you need it to be. 

You might not like this product if:

You’re used to heavier firearms. At 17.02 oz, the Ruger LC9 may be too lightweight for some, especially for those who have experience with heavier guns. 

4. Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield 2.0

Best Concealed Carry 9mm Pistol Without Safety



  • Model: M&P®9 SHIELD M2.0™
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 7+1, 8+1
  • Barrel Length: 3.1” (7.9 cm)
  • Overall Length: 6.1″
  • Front Sight: Steel – White Dot
  • Rear Sight: Steel – White Two-Dot
  • Action: Striker Fire
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 18.3 oz / 518.8g
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel – Armornite® Finish
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel – Armornite® Finish
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Purpose: Concealed Carry, Personal Protection


The Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield 2.0 9mm comes in at a 6.1 inches full length to make it one of the best concealed carry guns available, but it does not come with safety features. Instead, shooters have the option of either a 7+1 round or 8+1 magazine capacity. Choosing either one won’t have a noticeable difference but that one extra round could potentially be a lifesaver during a self-defense scenario. 

On top of that, the S&W M&P Shield 2.0 has an incredibly lightweight and refined trigger that has a very crisp break and predictable reset. To make things better, S&W has even added an enhanced grip texture to the single stack concealed carry pistol design to enable a positive grasp when quick-drawing. 

The Smith & Wesson pistol comes with a simple to activate takedown lever method in place of the trigger depression method to reduce the likelihood of an accidental misfire while disassembling the pistol, making this a much safer option for first-timers. 

Although this model does not come with safety, you can still get a version of this weapon with an added thumb safety and a Crimson Trace laser sight built onto the platform. The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Performance Center models are hard to find, so if you do see one, do nab it up for the perfect subcompact 9mm handguns. 

You would like this product if:

You want a pistol that is comfortable and accurate. Not only is this pistol super lightweight at only 18.03 oz, it features enhanced textured grip to give shooters a more secure handling. 

You like a crisp trigger. M&P9 Shield gun has a crisp trigger break with audible trigger reset to let you know when it’s ready. 

You might not like this product if:

You like classic hammer-fired pistols. The pistol utilizes a striker-fired operation which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. 


5. SIG Sauer P365 9mm Subcompact



  • Barrel Length: 3.1
  • Brand: Sig Sauer
  • Caliber Gauge: 9mm Luger
  • Frame Size: Sub Compact
  • Weight: 17.8 oz.


The SIG P364 pistol has a short 3.1-inch barrel length and chambers the 9mm Luger rounds. It also offers an impressive 10+1 round capacity (or 12+1 with the extended magazine) in a sleek black finish for a modern appearance. The striker-fired pistol design actually utilizes a double-stack magazine while still maintaining its very slimline construction. With a full length of 5.8mm, the P365 is still best for pocket carry.

Not only is it easier to conceal, but the gun has a textured polymer construction to enable a firm positive grip. This is especially helpful to counteract the effects of heavy kickbacks. Furthermore, the main body is also made from super-strong material, which contributes to the overall weight of only 1.11 pounds. 

Although it is a polymer frame pistol, the slide has a strong and durable stainless steel construction. The slide also has both front and rear serrations to allow for a non-slip racking process. 

On top of that, the striker-fired mechanism is complemented nicely with SIG Sauer’s incredibly smooth and crisp trigger. And since there is no manual safety, you’ll be able to quickly engage a threat for quick reaction situations. You can also add a DPM 3-stage recoil spring kit and guide rod to the single-stack gun for better shooting and reduced muzzle rise.

Other than that, the SIG Sauer P365 9mm pistols come with two 10-round mags and the renowned SIG Sauer X-Ray 3 day/night sights that work great for short-range targets at all kinds of light conditions thanks to its Tritium inserts. The carry gun also features an underframe rail for you to add on your favorite light or laser attachment. SIG has even started to offer grip safety as well. 

You would like this product if:

You want to practice concealed carry. The P364 features a slim profile design thanks to a one-inch width to make it very inconspicuous under a shirt or in a holster. 

You want a gun with high capacity. The pistol comes with a 10+1-round magazine (or a 12+1 round extended magazine) in the package and a convenient push-button mag release for quick reloads. 

You might not like this product if:

You want a gun with a manual safety. The gun does not come with a manual safety, which means you’ll need to be extra careful with it to prevent any accidental misfires. 


6. Glock 43X 9mm

Best Concealed Carry High Capacity 9mm Pistols


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds
  • Type: Semi Auto Pistol
  • Barrel Length: 3.41″
  • Sights: Fixed
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Case: Hard Plastic


No subcompact 9mm pistols list is complete without a Glock at some point. Here we have the Glock 43X 9mm Fixed Sight model that comes with a 10+1 round capacity. And similarly to the SIG P365 pistol, this does not come with a manual safety built into the design. 

However, you do get to pick either a 3.39 inch or 3.41-inch long barrel version. While both are great, we think the smaller version works best for concealed carry. The long-barreled choice may be better for home defense or for pinpoint close-quarter accuracy. 

The G43X has a very similar design to the Glock’s original G43, apart from the extra capacity. Another change to the design is that the slide has a slick silver finish and is coated with a special protective compound for enhanced longevity. 

Weighing at just 1 pound, the Glock 43X is definitely a go-to semi-automatic pistol that many experienced shooters will love since it was announced at Shot Show 2015. The carry gun even has added front and rear serrations to make the racking process that much easier. 

Overall, the G43 X is the perfect choice for Glock fans looking for very easily concealed pistols on the market with a little bit more capacity.

You would like this product if:

You want a gun with high capacity. The pistol comes with two magazines with 10+1-round capacity to last you through the whole day at the shooting range. 

You want a durable gun. Featuring slick silver finish and a special protective compound, you can trust that the G43X will last you for a very long time. 

You might not like this product if:

You have a shorter body. At 3.41 inches, the barrel may deliver more accurate shots, however the length may be a little too long for some to handle comfortably. 

7. SIG Sauer P938 Centerfire Pistol

Best Concealed Carry Durable Pistol


  • Trigger pull (lb.): 7.5
  • Handedness: Ambidextrous
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Manual Safety: Yes
  • Product weight: 16 oz.
  • Metal finish: Black
  • Manufacturer warranty – general: Lifetime
  • Style: Pistol
  • Magazine capacity: 7
  • Rear sight: SIGLITE
  • Barrel length (in.): 3
  • Action: Single
  • Rifle Ammo Type: Centerfire
  • Front sight: SIGLITE
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Product length (in.): 5.9


If you want something that is extra durable, then the SIG Sauer P938 might just be the one for you. This hammer-fired centerfire pistol utilizes a single-action (SA)  type trigger and even comes with a custom distressed finish. 

The single-action trigger pull is super light and crisp, making it suitable for those with limited hand strength or anyone that needs to let off a rapid first round in self-defense. Additionally, you even gain the benefit of a semi-auto design with the P938 pistol too. 

Unlike many guns that come with a polymer frame, the SIG P938 pistol uses a sturdy alloy frame that is both lightweight and durable. The manufacturer even adds on a stainless steel slide and rear serrations into the equation. 

Other than that, the P938’s barrel is actually one of the shortest we have seen at just 3 inches long to make a total length of 5.9 inches only. This makes the P938 a super compact solution that is best for concealed carry. 

This sub compact gun even comes in a number of finishes available, including hard coat anodized, flat earth cerakote, and black Nitron versions to suit all kinds of preferences. The grip also differs slightly with most of them being black or green g10 grips. If you prefer, they even have a black rubber finger groove option available for you to pick.

Overall, SIG Sauer offers plenty of great features in a small package such as the P928 that could serve you for many years to come. Although it is a little more costly than some of the other pistols here, we believe it is a worthy investment.

You would like this product if:

You want a durable gun. Featuring a tough alloy frame and stainless steel slide, you can trust that the P938 will last you for a very long time. It even has great finish options to suit a wide range of preference. 

You want a pistol that is compact and easy to shoot. Not only does this pistol feature a slim profile, but it has a light and crips trigger pull to get a shot out with a light squeeze.  

You might not like this product if:

You are shopping on a tight budget. Without a doubt, this gun has one of the best specs compared to most subcompact pistols on the market. However, coming at a price tag of $699.99, not everybody would be comfortable in paying such an amount.

8. Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact 9mm Semi-Auto Pistol



  • Caliber: 9x19mm Para 
  • Overall Length: 6.25″ 
  • Barrel Length: 3.40″ Six Groove 1:16 RH Twist 
  • Weight: 19 oz. (unloaded) 
  • Trigger Weight: 4.249 lbs. average of 25 pulls 
  • Magazine Capacity: 6+1 / 7+1 both included 
  • Finish: Titanium Nitride 
  • Ambidextrous Magazine Release 
  • Dovetailed carry-style three-dot sights 
  • Blade-style trigger safety (crossbar style also available) 
  • Can use Glock 43 Magazines


The Mossberg MC1SC Subcompact 9mm pistol has a manual cross-bolt safety and glass-reinforced polymer frame and a 3.4-inch barrel length to allow CCW carry without any fuss. 

Thanks to its slim and dehorned profile, the MC1SC pistol will ensure shooters do not experience any bulkiness or bulging when carrying it around over long periods. This experience is further enhanced with Mossberg’s seven single stack magazine design used by the pistol. 

Although the concealed carry pistol does have a slightly longer barrel length than some of the other 9mm subcompact models we’ve looked at, it does give you much better accuracy. Plus the model only weighs 19 ounces, meaning weight will not be an issue for all-day-long concealed carry. 

Other than a slightly longer barrel to aid in accuracy, you even get to benefit from three-dot front and rear sights that have been made to be snag-free and are dovetailed to the side. 

Another thing we appreciate is the solid stainless steels slide with diamond-like carbon coating in the set-up that will certainly add some welcome durability. The coating will even protect your pistol from corrosion and rugger use over time. 

Mossberg added another great safety addition to the gun, which is the flat profile trigger. The MC1SC pistol uses an integrated blade safety to reduce the chance of misfire through snagging, meaning you get to exercise concealed carry with a peace of mind. 

Finally, the gun has an excellent texturing and grip aligned beavertail at the back for easy gripping and prevent slide bite. Overall, the Mossberg MC1SC is a low profile striker-fired pistol with a straightforward takedown.

You would like this product if:

You want to practice concealed carry. The pistol features a slim and low profile design that makes it very inconspicuous under a shirt or in a holster. 

You want a pistol that is comfortable and accurate. Not only is this pistol super accurate, but it also features good texturing and stainless steel slide to give shooters a more secure handling. 

You might not like it if:

You don’t like a gun with trigger safety. While the safety feature might be good to have, some may find it cumbersome. 


9. Beretta PX4 Storm


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Semi-automatic
  • Capacity: 13
  • Barrel length: 3″
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Grips: Textured polymer with interchangeable backstraps
  • Sights: 3 dot
  • Overall length: 6.22″
  • Overall width: 1.42″
  • Overall height: 4.8″
  • Overall weight: 1.63 lbs.


The PX4 Storm comes with ten rounds of 40 S&W cartridges at a time with a stainless metal barrel to keep the ammunition moving out smoothly while ensuring that the gun is easy to clean out and wash. 

While the three-dot white light setup provided is useful, we believe an additional laser might be a good idea to enable easier firing. Fortunately, the Beretta handgun features a Picatinny accessory rail for new shooters to add their favorite scope or light. 

With an ambidextrous design, the PX4 Storm model is suitable for use by left and right-handed shooters alike. The gun even weighs less than two pounds when fully loaded to ensure a much better grip that will not wear you out after a long day of shooting. 

Note that you can also use the PX4 Storm carry gun as either a single-action or double-action type, whichever works best for you, making this one of the best concealed carry guns for novices. 

You would like it if:

You want a lightweight pistol. The PX4 Storm only weighs 1.63 lbs, which makes it very comfortable and easy to carry around with you the whole day without adding on weight to your overalls.

You want to practice concealed carry. The pistol features a rounded trigger guard to prevent any snagging issues while drawing. 

You might not like it if:

You don’t want a pistol with a fussy decocker. The decocker operation may need a little getting used to, so you might just need to spend some time with it at the range before taking it out. 

10. Glock 19 Compact Gen 4


  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Length: 7.28”
  • Height: 4.99”
  • Width: 1.18”
  • Barrel: 4.02” – 1:9.84” RH twist
  • Trigger: 5.5 pounds
  • Sights: Polymer “U” dot configuration, rear adjustable (standard)
  • Weight: 23.65. w/empty magazine
  • Slide Finish: Black Melonite
  • Capacity: 15+1 


Few modern weapons on the subcompact market today are as prolific as the Glock 19. While it had some bad press and negative reviews back in the days, the manufacturer has quickly overcome those and has improved the G19 into one of the most carried firearms by both civilians and police forces in the world to earn its reputation as one of the best concealed carry guns. 

Even if you hate Glocks, you cannot deny that the Glock 19 is the standard on which modern-day concealed carry guns are graded on. If you look at the size, weight, and capacity in modern handguns, our perception of those numbers is most likely based on the Glock even if we do not realize it. 

The Glock guns were a revolution and have existed for a long time without a challenge, but as more and more companies enter the striker-fired polymer pistol market, the Glock 19 is set to face stiff competition. Regardless, the G19 is still a reliable pocket gun that many trust their lives on for self-defense. 

11. Glock 26


  • Overall Length: 6.4″
  • Height: 4.17″
  • Barrel Length: 3.4″
  • Width: 1.18″
  • Weight: 21.17oz unloaded, 26.12oz loaded


Although the Glock 26 has never gained the reputation of the Glock 19, the G26 has its own merits within the subcompact pistols market. One main criticism the G26 faces is a dramatic cut in terms of ammo capacity compared to the G19 without the difference in size and weight. 

In any case, the Glock 26 offers a 10-round magazine as standard with less than an inch shorter overall than the G19 with similar weight. Many find that the significant sacrifice in firepower is difficult to justify especially for so little savings. 

While the original Glock 26 had identical internals to the G19, the modern variant has been updated with a lighter slide and stiffer recoil. These improvements have certainly boosted the Glock 26 into a viable choice in a crowded handgun market. It’s still worth noting that the G26 is markedly more accurate and easier to shoot than the earlier versions. Though the grip size is large enough to fit a variety of hand sizes, If you find the G19 a bit too big, the g26 may just be a better fit for you. 

12. Glock 43



  • Caliber: 9×19 (9mm)
  • Length: 6.26”
  • Slide Length: 6.06”
  • Height: 4.25”
  • Width: 1.02”
  • Slide Width: .87”
  • Barrel: 3.39”
  • Weight: 17.95oz. (w/empty magazine)
  • Finish: Black frame / black slide (Tenifer)
  • Capacity: 6+1


When Glock produced their first single stack 9mm pistol, every gun store in the region was packed with pre-orders. And it’s no surprise considering that the Glock 43 is truly a fine little firearm. 

Although it is a little rough on recoil, the Glock 43 is surprisingly accurate for a slim-line, single-stack market. Not only that, but its small size also makes it one of the best concealed carry pistols that can be used by smaller people. 


13. SIG P320 


  • Chambering: 9mm
  • Length: 7.2”
  • Height: 5.5”
  • Width: 1.4”
  • Barrel: 3.9”
  • Trigger: ~5.5 lb.
  • Sights: SIGLITE® Night Sights
  • Safety: n/a
  • Weight: 26 oz.
  • Slide: Black, Nitron® finish
  • Capacity: 17+1


SIG Sauer handguns have always had a good reputation for their reliability, craftsmanship, and accuracy. Their carry guns are so good that the U.S. Military has even replaced the aging Beretta M9 with a SIG years ago.

Although the SIG guns will not be the cheapest option for a compact carry gun, you do get a lot of quality for the money. The SIG P320 subcompact 9mm pistols come with a modular system that lets you change grips, lengths, and even calibers with the right parts. 

Other than that, the SIG P320 even comes in a Subcompact variant that has all the same specs except the ammo capacity, weight, and size. Much like the model discussed above, the size and weight difference in the subcompact version are minimal. But if you do need something a little smaller, the SIG P320 sub compact will certainly deliver. 

14. Springfield XDS MOD 2.0 .45 ACP (Service Pistol)


  • Type: Dual-recoil operated semaiuto pistol
  • Cartridge: .45 ACP
  • Capacity:5 +1 rds. or 6 +1 rds. /w mag extension
  • Sights: ProGlo Tritium
  • Overall Length: 6.5 in.
  • Height: 4.25 in.
  • Barrel Length: 3.3 in.
  • Weight: 21.5 oz.
  • Width:  .975 in. 


The MOD2 is Springfield Armory’s latest version of the XD MOD2 series and is a striker-fired gun that comes with an even more aggressive texturing grip safety and favorite stock trigger to ensure better control of the weapon. 

For a .45 ACP, the Springfield XD-S MOD 2 does come with a pretty good capacity of 13+1 rounds while the 4-inch barrel length makes it another small, lightweight hand cannon, perfect for concealed carry and close-quarters self-defense situations. 

The Springfield Armory XDS MOD 2 gun even features a Melonite finishing for complete wear and tear resistance. Other than that, the hand gun comes with shooting accessories such as stainless steel flush fitting and a full-size XD gear Mag-X Tension magazine. So, if you’re on the hunt for a compact and comfortable little gun that is best for concealed carry while on a tight budget, the Springfield Armory XD-S MOD 2 is definitely the way to go. 

15. Kahr CM9 & Kahr CW9


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 6+1 (CM9), 7+1 (CW9)
  • Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; “Browning – type” recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
  • Barrel: 3.1″ (CM9), 3.6” (CW9), conventional rifling; 1 – 10 right-hand twist
  • Length O/A: 5.42″(CM9), 5.9” (CW9)
  • Height: 4.0″ (CM9), 4.5” (CW9)
  • Slide Width: .90″
  • Weight: Pistol 14 ounces (CM9), 15.8 ounces (CW9), Magazine 1.9 ounces
  • Grips: Textured polymer
  • Sights: Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights (CM9), Drift adjustable white bar-dot combat rear sight, pinned in polymer front sight (CW9)
  • Finish: Black polymer frame, matte stainless steel slide 
  • Magazine: 1 – 6 rd flush floorplate (CM9), 1 – 7 rd, Stainless (CW9)


The CM9 and CW9 subcompact guns are some of the best carry guns available that perform admirably. Though they had a few hiccups that needed some getting used to, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you can expect them to run like a champ. 

Both CM9 and CW9 are close in specs with the CW model just slightly larger than the CM9. Both pistols are thinner than the Springfield Shield and G43 but they do have a significant recoil that can make keeping them on target a slight challenge. 

16. Walther PPQ


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Length: 4″
  • Sights: 3-Dot Adjustable Low Profile
  • Trigger Pull: 5.6 lbs
  • Trigger Travel: 0.4″
  • Capacity: 15+1
  • Overall Length: 7.1″
  • Height: 5.3″
  • Safety: 3 Auto
  • Width: 1.3″
  •  Weight Empty:24.5 oz


Despite the not so stellar performance in the late ’90s, the company has made a great comeback with the Walther PPQ. The gun is a great little compact gun for those who enjoy a little history behind their firearm or someone that likes to carry something with a little James Bond style.

However, one thing’s for sure, the PPQs are definitely not the smallest, lightest, or even the most affordable compact pistols on the market. Instead, the company found a comfortable middle ground that offers quite an impressive accuracy and good functionality compared to some of the more esteemed competitors. 

17. Heckler & Koch VP9SK



  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Length: 6.61″
  • Height: 4.57” with flush magazine, 5” with extended magazine
  • Width: 1.31”
  • Barrel: 3.39”
  • Trigger: 4.5lb to 5.5lb.
  • Sights: Luminescent 3-Dot, steel
  • Weight: 23.07 oz. w/empty magazine
  • Slide: Black oxide finish
  • Capacity: 10+1


The gun is a scaled-down version of the H&K VP9, but you can definitely still count on it to have the same quality and reliability. Some gun reviews have mentioned that the SK model actually seems to point better and feels more natural to fire. However, it does produce a slower follow up shot and a shorter sight radius that somehow seems to work for this gun. 


Bonus: Best 9mm Revolvers

1. Ruger LCR

The LCR is easily the most available and cheapest 9mm revolver on the market that you can consider investing in. It is a great pocket alternative for when your primary gun isn’t an option. Not only is it accurate and easy to control, but it has a pretty manageable kickback compared to most higher caliber revolvers.

2. S&W 986

This is a sweet little 9mm revolver that has a classic L frame and 7-round capacity. Unfortunately, the S&W 986 is extremely rare and can cost a fortune. But if you do have the money and the luck in finding one, you can be sure that it is tack driver accurate and has enough weight to handle any recoil.  

Honorable Mentions

With such a large market for concealed carry guns, it is impossible to list all of them in our review today. However, we feel that the guns below are worth mentioning in our article for their reliability and performance. 

  1. Glock 17
  2. SIG P290RS
  3. Walther PPK
  4. Walther CCP
  5. Kimber Micro 9
  6. Kimber Evo
  7. Ruger Security 9 Compact
  8. Taurus G2S
  9. FN 509
  10. Ruger SR9C
  11. Beretta PX4 Storm
  12. CZ Rami


We admit that we can’t keep count of how many pistols are constantly released these days. All we know is that the list above of the best tried and tested favorites have been proven to work amazingly for CCW and self-defense. Regardless of whether you’re an amateur or a shooter with years of experience, finding a carry gun that is accurate, reliable, and easy to conceal is critical for personal defense. 

Hopefully, today’s article and review of the best concealed carry guns have given you enough information and knowledge to make the best subcompact purchase to meet your needs. If you’ve found a favorite, remember to check other reviews and recommendations before making the final decision. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the smallest 9mm guns? 

Some of the smallest 9mm guns include the Ruger LC9’s, Ruger LCP, Glock 42, Glock 43, Kel-Tec P3AT, and Taurus Curve. 

Q: Can a pocket handgun kill?

Yes, a pocket handgun can kill. In fact, all guns can kill, but some guns tend to kill better than others as they incorporate one or more of the three deadly C’s – concealability, capacity, and caliber. The essence of pocket rockets is the way they’ve combined these three factors into one convenient package that you can use to carry around. 

Q: Can I conceal carry a loaded gun?

Yes, you can carry a loaded, concealed firearm in public if you have an issued concealed weapons license. Otherwise, it is actually illegal to bring a loaded firearm with you. 

Q: What is the best concealed carry position?

The best concealed carry position depends on individual preference. In any case, here are the top 5 best CCW positions: ankle carry, appendix carry (IWB), pocket carry, shoulder holster carry, and strong side hip (IWB or OWB).


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