Smith & Wesson M&P Shield
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; Smith-Wesson.com)
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.
NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Concealed Carry GuideThis special FREE Concealed Carry Guide features the latest CCW handgun reviews, plus concealed carry holsters, and gear. But that's not all. If you want to carry a gun for self-defense, you'll need the handgun shooting tips and tactics needed to survive a life-threatening encounter. This special Concealed Carry Guide has you covered:
- Mossberg MC1-SC pistol review
- 9mm vs. .38 Special
- Gun Digest writer rigs (what we carry and why)
- Reloading ammo for self-defense: A good idea?
- And more!