These micro 9mm handguns are more than ready for everyday carry and backup-gun duty.
The top micro 9mm handguns available today:
- Ruger Max-9
- Springfield Armory Hellcat
- SIG Sauer P365
- Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus
- Ruger LCRx
- Ruger EC9s
- Ruger SP 101
- Glock 43
Nothing beats a micro 9mm pistols and revlovers when it comes to capacity, concealment and power. Here are eight of the best micro compacts on the market today. Each is a standout small and stout self-defense gun.
Ruger joins the micro 9mm fray with a pintsized pistol that more than has the stuff to contend. More than anything, the striker-fired Max-9 offers up excellent capacity in a small package, feeding off 12-round extended capacity and 10-round flush-fit magazines. The 3.2-inch barreled gun is excellently executed, with aggressive texturing on all grip faces and ample cocking serrations on the slide. It’s a modern take on the concealed carry pistol to boot, boasting a slide cut compatible with a wide selection of red-dot optics. That's plenty for a gun with a pricetag of $499.
Springfield Armory Hellcat
There’s little wonder why the Hellcat is widely considered among the top micro-compact pistol. Quite simply it ticks off all the boxes. In addition to a minuscule 18-ounces in weight and 4-inches in height, the 9mm keeps 13+1 rounds on tap. Furthermore, the striker-fired isn’t stripped down, with a downright snappy trigger and high-visibility Tritium front sight and U-notch rear. With an MSRP of $569, it's competitively priced, especially given all it's bells and whistles.
SIG Sauer P365
Groundbreaking, SIG squeezed full-sized capacity into a micro 9mm pistol's concealable package with the P365. The 10+1 capacity with its flush-fit magazine and the option to up it to 13 round with an extended mag. It has XRAY3 Day/Nights sights, comes in at 1-inch in width and weighs 17.8 ounces. Hard to beat with a price tag of $599.
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus
We used to brag up the Shield 2.0 on this list, but its days are numbered since the release of the Shield Plus. Configured similarly to the old model, the Plus has a distinctive capacity advantage with 13+1 onboard. That more than enough to handle nearly any life-or-death situation.
Smith & Wesson offers two models of the pistol, standard and a dolled-up version from its Performance Center. The goods on the latter, besides having a souped-up trigger, the pistol is optics ready and even available with a factory-installed Crimson Trace red dot. There's quite a price different, with the standard running $553 and the PC model $896.
Best Starter Kit for Concealed Carry:
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This revolver’s monolithic frame is made from aerospace grade, 7000-series aluminum. It also has a stainless-steel cylinder and, at 17.4 ounces, it’s not all that heavy for a six-shot 9mm revolver. It comes with three full-moon clips to make reloads easy and has a suggested retail of $669.
This very affordable polymer-framed semi-automatic has a capacity of 7+1 and weighs 17.2 ounces. It’s 6 inches long, less than 1 inch wide and the sights are integral to the slide. It comes with a finger extension you can add to the magazine, but its most attractive feature is that it’s less than $300.
Ruger SP 101
For those who like the feel of steel, Ruger’s SP 101 is right up your alley. This five-shot, all stainless-steel, double-action revolver has enough weight to tame the recoil of the hottest 9mm +P loads. It ships with three full-moon clips, and though a bit heavy, that weight and the cushioned rubber grips make it extremely comfortable to shoot at $719.
Among the most anticipated Glocks ever produced, the G43 lived up to expecations. At 6.26 inces in overall length and 17.95 ounces unloaded, the 6+1 pistol runs on the larget side of micro pistols, yet is concealable as ever. Aggressive grip texturing makes it easy to shoot, large magazine catch helps lightning-fast magazine reloads and is more than affordable at $449.
For more micro 9mm information check out:
Which Is Best: Kimber Micro 9 Or SIG P938?
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the 2018 Shooter's Guide issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.