Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

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The Shield is one of the most popular single stack 9mms, and there’s a reason for that. It’s affordably priced, easy to conceal, and it is loaded with features like white, low profile three-dot sights and a smooth 6.5-pound trigger. This polymer frame striker-fired nine comes with two different magazines: a seven-round version to maximize concealability and an eight-round version to maximize capacity. At .95 inches wide and just 6.1 inches long with a 3.1-inch barrel, the Shield is perfectly proportioned for easy concealment under light clothes. The textured grip offers a secure hold without being overly aggressive and painful for ungloved hands. Metal parts receive a corrosion-resistant finish to protect the gun against the abuses of daily carry. ($449;

The 9mm single stack semi-autos are ideal for personal defense, and here’s a look at some of the best offerings in the class.

The booming concealed carry market has generated tremendous interest in compact carry guns, and there are dozens of options when it comes to selecting a slim 9mm auto for personal protection. And while the 9mm single stacks do have limitations—they lack the added punch of the .40 S&W and the .45 ACP and the high magazine capacities of their double-stack counterparts—these guns have proven to be the right blend of concealable design and threat-stopping power.

The current crop of quality 9mm defensive ammo is better than at any time in history, and new bullets like the Barnes VOR-TX, Federal HST, Hornady Critical Defense, Winchester Defend, Nosler Defense and SIG V-Crown (among others) offer consistent penetration and energy transfer. The 9mm single stacks are so popular because they are the right gun for personal defense. Now, which one is the right gun for you? Here’s a look at nine of our favorite skinny nines.

Handgun Training

The Confidence to Defend Yourself

Self defense can be a matter of life and death for your family. Keeping your shooting skills sharp is important to using the best home defense weapon possible when the unexpected occurs. Turn your handgun into the best handgun for home defense with the drills outlined in Handgun Training – Practice Drills for Defensive Shooting. Nothing will give you more peace and security in your own home than the confidence you will hit your target. Learn More


  1. I most certainly never recommend a Taurus 709 Slim for anything. The one I had wouldn’t feed three rounds in a row without jamming. And there service department was useless made more excuses than any place I ever tried to get a new product serviced finally got rid of it just in case I ever needed to protect myself I wanted something that worked.

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