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Personal Defense Compacts Handguns Semi Auto

What’s the Best Subcompact 9mm on the Market?

by Dusty Gibson   |  August 12th, 2013 106

With all the subcompact 9mm pistols on the market today, choosing the right one for you can be a truly difficult decision.

The expansion of concealed carry reciprocity across the country has triggered a competitive market among firearm manufacturers. Companies are racing to engineer smaller guns without sacrificing the features and effectiveness of a full-sized platform.

By nature, subcompacts are unforgiving in nearly every sense of the word. A short sight radius, truncated barrel and reduced grip area amplify the slightest operator error. Making each shot count requires some practice, especially when magazine capacity is typically half that of full-sized guns. What seem to be small differences can often give one pocket pistol a significant advantage. So I set out to find the best subcompact out there today.

After firing a majority of subcompacts on the market, the best advice I can give—especially if it’s for concealed carry—is to avoid buying based on brand loyalty. Just because a particular brand makes your favorite full-sized 9×19 doesn’t guarantee its subcompact will follow suit.

Each of the subcompact candidates considered were magazine-fed semi-autos—but that’s about all they shared in common. The top contenders included a spectrum of hammer- and striker-fired guns with a variety of trigger actions and safety mechanisms.

In choosing the best subcompact 9mm on the market, there are numerous factors to consider: how the gun feels in your hand, reliability, concealability, type of action, magazine capacity, safety features and overall value.

Based on this set of criteria, the new Springfield Armory 9mm XD-S takes the crown as the best subcompact 9mm on the market. Overall value and concealability give the XD-S an edge over the honorable Smith & Wesson Shield and Glock 26 Gen 4 as the best all-around offering. There’s something to be said for a carry gun you enjoy training with, and every time I leave the range with the XD-S, I’m hungry for more.

What it Has
One reason the XD-S is the best subcompact 9mm on the market is because of its extensive list of standard features. Included in the kit are a holster and double mag pouch, replaceable backstrap, chamber flag, bore brush and replacement rods for the fiber optic front sight.

Then there are its single-stack magazines—two of which come standard and fit flush with seven rounds, while a nine round extended magazine is available from Springfield and extends the overall grip length by an inch. The magazines fit in most standard 1911 mag pouches, and they’re also slim enough to slip in a pocket and travel unnoticed. Compared to the competition, dimensions of the XD-S magazines are most similar to the Ruger LC9 and SIG P938, which are thinner than the Shield and nearly twice as slim as the Glock 26.

The XD-S sports a set of steel three-dot sights with a bright fiber optic front sight that enables the fastest daytime target acquisition among its competition. Tritium night sights would be more desirable on a carry gun, but very few subcompacts come standard with tritium sights—with exception to the SIG P938, which costs roughly $225 more than the XD-S. Many aftermarket sights fitting the full-size Springfield XD will also fit the XD-S. Some options available from the Springfield Armory Custom Shop include—Trijicon HD Night Sights and Heinie SlantPro or Ledge sights with tritium inserts.

Most people who carry concealed will also benefit from the XD-S’ lack of an external safety selector. The grip safety—combined with a safe trigger mechanism and a responsible trigger finger—are more than enough to prevent accidental discharge. Ride the XD-S in a quality holster that isolates the trigger from getting snagged on clothing and you have a very safe and effective weapon system.

Interestingly enough, the replacement backstrap actually reduces the grip size, compared to the Glock 26 Gen 4, on which the replacement straps make the grip larger. I also found the smaller backstrap slightly decreases the grip angle, but with hands large enough to palm a basketball, I prefer the extra surface area on the standard-sized backstrap. Difference in size between the two backstraps—especially in terms of showing through clothing while carrying concealed—is trivial, so carry on with the size that feels most comfortable in your hand.

The versatility of an integral Picatinny rail for attaching accessories is an added benefit left out by the other subcompact 9mm candidates. Folks who carry may choose not to use the rail, in which case it can simply be ignored. But since its big-bore brother—chambered in .45 ACP—has been on the market for the past year, lights and lasers such as the Crimson Trace Laserguard and Viridian C5L are available now to fit the platform.

In terms of features, the XD-S sets the stage as the new standard for what people should expect to get out of the box in a striker-fired subcompact. As with all firearms, however, features take a back seat to how the firearm performs.

What it Does
The XD-S is addicting to shoot. When I first took it to the range, it was 102 degrees and I was in direct sunlight. Once I started shooting, it might as well have been a cool, spring afternoon—it was just me and the XD-S, and we didn’t stop until flawlessly burning through 300 rounds of ammo. I’ve shot it twice since, and unlike many subcompacts, I can’t wait to get back to the range and run it again.

After shooting the XD-S, I’d confidently recommend the gun to just about anyone who’s shot a semi-auto before. For such a lightweight gun, it’s a soft recoiling, smooth shooter—even with some of the hotter +P ammunition. The aggressive grip texturing made it easy to grasp firmly even with sweaty palms in the blistering heat, and the deep-cut rear slide serrations were a much-needed feature.

The nine-round extended magazine makes recoil even more manageable, and allows for precise follow-up shots. Carrying with the extended mag might be undesirable, but it’s certainly possible. The best option for concealed carry is to have the flush-fit, seven-round mag in the pistol, and the nine-round mag as a backup.

While the XD-S is not completely impartial to left- and right-handed shooters, it does sport an ambidextrous magazine release. The release button makes a distinct “click” when dropping the magazine from either side of the frame. However, I find it difficult to release the nine-round magazine so it drops free, similar to the Smith & Wesson Shield and Ruger LC9. Their rubber extension pads tend to grab on the palm of my hand to keep from clearing the mag well.

The XD-S is surprisingly accurate for a subcompact with a 3.3-inch barrel. I’m able to effortlessly shoot tight groups on paper at 7 to 10 yards, even in fast shot sequences and with double taps. At distance, the XD-S—like many subcompacts—leaves a bit to be desired, but it’s still certainly capable of popping two-liter bottles from 30 yards. We used Federal American Eagle 124-grain FMJ, Barnes 115-grain +P TacXPD, Hornady 124-grain Custom XTP and Hornady 115-grain Critical Defense ammunition during testing.

Part of the XD-S’ accuracy has to do with the barrel and bright fiber optic front sight post. But the rest is in the trigger, which is tuned more like a competition trigger than any striker-fired subcompact I’ve ever shot. Its consistent 5.5-pound pull is very similar to the Glock 26, which I find to perform notably superior than the Shield’s trigger. For a factory trigger, over travel is almost non-existent. A short, crisp reset also contributed to quick follow-up shots and reliable double taps.

Overall, the XD-S sets an example for other subcompacts to follow. Packed with features right out of the box, you’ll be hard-pressed to walk out of the gun shop with a more complete package for the price of $599. Combine those features with a reliable, smooth-cycling semi-auto that shoots as accurately as the person pulling the trigger, and you have a recipe for the best 9mm subcompact on the market.

  • MrApple

    S&W Shield!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lee

      S&W .40 Shield is the best CCW weapon around.

      • MrApple

        I love the Shield but like the 9mm better than the .40.

    • B-Ry

      I love my S&W Shield .40!

  • Mr.Ed

    I’m certain this is a fine gun but with the weight and dimensions is isn’t really suitable for use as a pocket gun, which is why I carry a Kahr PM9. The PM9 is both smaller and lighter and performs flawlessly.

  • Joe Sobotka

    I’ve been wanting to get one of these since they came out on the market. Saving my pennies. I haven’t read a bad review about them. I Love my full sized XD and carry it every day. If not that I carry my 92FS.

  • Bruce

    Paid for by Springfield. I will stick with my 938, It is thinner conceals better and is dead on at 25 yards. If you are used to an 1911 which is what I learned on in the beginning then it is a natural. My wife carries a Glock 26. It shoots well but doesn’t conceal as well as the 938 and neither of us need all the extra ammo. The only Springfield I like is their American made 1911. Now that is a nice pistol.

    • DustyG223

      If you’re looking for a 1911-inspired 9mm carry gun, the 938 is indeed an excellent option. Be sure to visit our “10 Best Carry Guns” article on Handguns and vote the for P938.

    • Gum slinger

      Yes the 938 is excellent!

    • Benjamin Gerow

      “Need all the extra ammo”? Ha! Yeah, not until you NEED it when you’re fighting for your life. What a joke of a statement and of course……..its a 1911 guy.

      • BillinDetroit

        I agree with you.

        Zombies tend to bring their friends. So I need to bring mine.

      • Ben Dover

        If you are that bad a shot u can always carry xtra clips

        • Benjamin Gerow

          First of all, learn to spell. You look as stupid as you sound talking about “clips” when I can’t think of one modern gun which utilizes clips. In real life bag guys don’t stand there while you carefully line up a shot, and more likely than not you’ll be RESPONDING TO A SURPRISE ATTACK FROM BEHIND. So how’s your aim while your target is behind you smashing your head in with a bat/stabbing you with a knife in the back/kicking you in the junk and jumping on top of you MMA style?

          Second, should you ever be in a fight for you life via gun, I encourage you to tell the bad guy “please halt whilst I reload. You see, my pistol only houses several rounds, as opposed to a dozen or more, and I need to do a few things in rapid succession while you’re attempting to kill me. I need to
          1)realize I’m empty
          2)eject my mag
          3)remove one hand from my gun and lift my shirt/reach in my pocket/fumble through my belongings to retrieve a replacement
          4)insert said replacement into my gun
          5)forward the slide
          6)re-acquire you as a target
          7)put my finger on the trigger and resume firing”

          Perhaps you can just ghost him with your killer online wit!

      • Anthony Romano

        A wise man once said you can never have too much money or ammo. Do you ever fill up your gas tank or do you just run around town on a quarter tank because you “don’t need all that gas”? Lol

  • Fitch

    There are three criteria that govern acceptability of a concealed carry pistol.
    First and foremost is reliability. There are hundreds of thousands of tested and proven Glock 26s. Glock reliability is legendary. XDs reliability isn’t. Period. There are very few XDs 9s. The XDs .45s have issues with FTF. I have one. It has the issue. The XDs 9s have other issues. There is no way to rationally recommend the XDs ahead of the G26 or the Shield on the basis of reliability. It is clearly in no better than third place with the most important criteria. I had a Shield but it had no advantage over the G26 for conceal ability even on my 5′-8″ 156 lb. frame, and held less ammo than the G26, so I sold it.
    Second, the pistol must be concealable enough that a person committed to the life style of concealed carry will have the gun with them if it’s ever needed. The XDs is thinner than the 26, nearly a quarter of an inch, and that makes it easier to conceal, but it isn’t ‘enough’ easier to conceal to make a difference to one who has committed to do what it takes to carry a gun, every day, every place it’s legal. I have an XDs .45. There has not been a time I could hide the XDs but not the G26 or the Shield. The Shield has a longer grip length that makes it about equal to the 26 for concealment and second to the XDs, but not by much.
    Finally, one has to be able to shoot it well enough to hit a dessert plate from touching to 10 yards. All three guns meet that criteria.

    • Tracy Thorleifson

      I got one of the first .45 XDs pistols. I’ve run close to 2K round through it so far, mostly reloads. Never had a single FTF. Ever. Now, maybe I just got lucky, or maybe you just got unlucky. Anyway, I couldn’t be happier with the Springfield. (And no, I don’t have anything against Glock, or S&W – the G26 and Shield are great pistols, too.)

    • Donnie Bisson

      my XDs would not feed or eject sold it

  • Kevin

    Disappointing article. I thought they would actually do a comparison of some 9mm sub compacts not just arbitrarily pick a winner. Personally I have a CM9 which is smaller and lighter and has been flawless. Not sure what makes this better other than it generally costs more and has a grip and trigger safety. To be honest I’m in the market for this gun in 45ACP and it may be the best .45ACP sub compact. But the best 9mm sub compact…. not buying that considering how many other good options are out there.

    • DustyG223

      Thanks for your feedback. If you’re looking for a comparison of several 9mm pocket pistols, this article may be more along the lines of what you’re looking for:

      • Boone

        I think the xd is best still because if the ease of breakdown to clean. I have some physical limitations in my hands. Had the the sig but it was very very difficult to break down to clean. Got rid of it and got xds. Love it. Easy to shoot and easy to clean. It’s the best sub compact out there IMHO!!

    • Glock29

      I have several Kahr’s and and love them all! I love the XDs too but they should have told everyone about the major recall of all of them!Been at the factory for over a month now!

  • David Kachel

    Plastic wonder. No thanks!

  • BikerBill

    I’m a happy owner of a .45 XDs, and everything the author says about the 9 applies to the .45 … but not sure how he can declare the XDs the winner over only two other competitors; without Kahr in the mix, it’s a hollow victory … I’ve been carrying a PM9 since I got my plastic nine years ago and it has been flawless since it came out of the box … if you’re going to buy based on this review, at least try the two that lost and a few others, including any 9 from Kahr … I’m a big fan of Springfield … I have an XDm-9 and my nightstand gun is a Springer 1911 Loaded, but a bunch of plastic accessories (which I use) doesn’t make a carry gun …


    I have shot over two hundred + rounds with my XDS 9MM without a single misfire, the same case with my XDS 45 ACP (my CCW)

  • Ron

    How much did Springfield pay for this advertorial? No, this article isn’t biased at all.

    • frank907

      I’m with you on that one. It reads like a paid advertisement. I have an XDs in 45 and like it. I also have a Ruger LC9 in 9mm that I like even better. I have mag extensions on both that add no rounds but provide a full hand. Both shoot well, not as good as a full size handgun but good enough to carry.

    • DustyG223

      While Springfield is indeed a sponsor, they had no idea we were publishing this article. Which subcompact 9mm do you prefer?

      • CAPT Ken

        As a 1911 guy, I love the SIG P938. Nothing compares, and I’ve tried any number of them. You can keep your combat Tupperware.

        • Neil

          yup, single action trigger, built much better, higher quality, better sights, best mini 9 on the market.

          • Doc

            The Sig is nice except for the trigger pull has to be over 10 lbs! Dropped in a lighter hammer spring and stainless trigger and it is around 7 lbs now. Not the greatest out there.

          • Scott Varner

            um yeah… i own it and it is unbelievably easy to pull. It is a hair trigger just like a 1911 soon
            as that hammer is back….

      • Anthony Romano

        We’ll that just confirms that you are fluff girling your sponsor.

    • Michael Ray Anderson

      When I read the title of the article I knew exactly who was going to win as well haha

    • ksmithdc

      I disagree with the author’s conclusions that the XDS is the best subcompact 9mm. It’s okay…I have the XDS in 45 ACP. And they’re fine pistols. But for subcompact, the best value out there has to be the Smith Shield. Personally, I like the external safety – and it’s never, ever snagged on clothing.

      • Anthony Romano

        Yep., what u said.

      • mbj

        I bought a s.a Xds9 and the trigger was terrible . I have a m&p shield now much better gun , as far as for the money not even close

    • jess

      Yup. Anyone who says they like the feel of the XD’s trigger had to have been paid by Springfield

  • David

    I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. Sub compact in my opinion should include LC9, Bodyguard, PT111, PF9. Maybe a better test would be several different price categories, not everyone can afford $600.00 plus for a compact 9mm. I’m sure Springfield is happy with endorsement. A non-biased magazine like consumer reports maybe a better testing mechanism.

  • Forever Man

    I have an Shield and an LC9, but this XD-S 9mm is certainly on my wishlist. Everything that Uncle John needs. I’m not a brand (Glock) or model (1911) loyalist. Springfield makes a fine product. (I also have an XD-40.)

  • Tracy Thorleifson

    I carry an XD-S in .45 ACP; it’s a fantastic pistol. It’s the best carry gun I’ve ever owned, and I’ve no doubt the 9 mm is every bit as good.

    That said, I’m surprised Mr. Gibson couldn’t even be bothered to mention Kahr. My son carries a CM 9, and it’s a great carry gun, too. First time out we fed the little Kahr a collection of left overs – factory ammo of different types, and reloads, stuck into the mag in random order. The Kahr ate everything without a hiccup – ZERO malfs from the first shot fired. My son informs me it’s NEVER had a malfunction. That’s pretty darn impressive, and in a pistol that’s considerably less expensive than the Springfield (albeit without all the extras included with the XD-S). If I was on a tight budget, I’d buy the Kahr.

  • Chimookman

    I like my Walther PPS in 9mm. It has 6,7 and 8 round magazines, and I chose the mag to fit my destination. It is striker fired and works as well as my Glock 17,which it kind of feels like, same safety. I also have a PPK, but although it is heavier and only .380, it turns my hand to hamburger if I do any practice. Not so the PPS. I tried the Kahr, but the slide as stiffer and the trigger likewise. I am not averse to Springfield, as I have an XD-40 and an M1A Scout, but I liked the thin lines and flat surfaces that don’t print my clothing as much as some other weapons. For deep concealed carry I vote for the Walther PPS.

  • ShootStr8

    I am not confused…was this an advertisement no and here’s why!? I have an XDs-45acp with a Viridian C5L in a custom made Paddle Holster. Has been on my side for almost a year! If and I suspect most of you folks here do read multiple Gun Magazines, you’ll see that the XDs has won since it’s introduction many many awards. Since it was and is recognised as a top of the line CCW in 45acp why would it not stand to logic that this platform would be just as great and for some better in 9mm??? That is the only question I have here is why they failed to tie that fact up in a nice bow here in this article. I will leave you folks to do one exercise check the dimensions of a Walther PPS against the XDs? Same Size Gun and the PPS I had was a great 9mm! Now that I carry a XDs in 45 I WILL BE THE OWNER SOON OF A BRAND NEW XDs 9mm!

    • MasterWes

      Amen Brother!

      • Steve A

        Kahr CM9 is my choice !!!

  • Birdog

    PM9 is quite a bit easier to conceal than the XDs. Any many Kahrs, like mine, shoot flawlessly. Poor article.

    • DustyG223

      Thanks for your feedback. In your opinion, what about the PM9 makes it easier to conceal than the XD-S?

      • Rik van den Berg

        Size maybe? PM/CM 9 are smaller than the XD-S. I like the XD-S but the size doesnt cover the void between my CM9 and my Glock 23.

  • Nimble Fingers

    I bought my wife a PX4 Storm Sub Compact for $399 from Ganders last year, and Beretta did it right, SA/DA, decocker, safety, rail and can also take the mags of its big brothers! Plus it doesn’t have that silly safety in the trigger. Shoots great, same size and doesn’t look like a “Lego” toy. I think they are now around 550-600 but they don’t come with a holster and mag holder set nor is the box as nice. But i would rather have a decocker and manual safety any day. But that’s my humble opinion.

  • Sivispace

    I would not trade my Walther PPS for that piece of Yugo trash regardless of the promotional fees paid by Springfield to G&A.

    • rk08

      Agreed. Walther PPS is an excellent choice, it’s my first choice for concealed carry between my Sig, 229, Kimber Solo or S&W 340

  • Rich

    I am happy with my Rock Island CS in .45 acp round. And, my 3 revolvers all in .357/.38 all Rugers.

  • Waldo

    Ok, I have many of these 9mm, but that aside. XD’s DO NOT come with a higher capacity magazine. They only come with 2 lower capacity magazines.

    • JT

      That’s what the article said. You can purchase the higher cap. mag separately.

  • Bill

    Twice as thick? Where are the dimensions? Where is the data? This is an opinion piece, which is fine, but to be an article you need to have every single solitary subcompact on the market in your test, and if you do not, explain why not to your readers.
    Weight, height, length, thickness, capacity, trigger pull, safeties, sights, then move onto a 500 round test with each and every pistol, minimum. Then onto the accuracy tests.
    If you cannot do this, due to time constraints, lack of ammo, again fine, but to not call it an article. Call it a “first look”, or “initial review”.
    I’m reminded of a saying, “Articles? Oh, you mean those things between the ads which allow us to pay you?”

  • Tom

    What is the recoil on the .45?

    • MasterWes

      The recoil an XDs 45 is stout with 230 grain ammo and with the textured grips they leave a nice imprint. I buy all the185 grain 45 ammo I can afford, because it is like shooting a full size 9. The 45 is nicer to shoot than the Shield. Shoots as accurate as the shield too.

  • Charlie

    I like my XDS better than my subcompact Glock 30s. Overall I find it is more comfortable, easier to carry, comes with more goodies and overall a bit more refined.

  • Bowserb

    Nice piece, but it starts with a flawed (to me, anyway) assumption: that a subcompact can be more than a BUG. IMO, the best subcompact handgun is the COMPACT G19. 3-finger grip, 15+1 rds, 4″ barrel, 21oz. I carried an SA XD9SC for a couple years. The standard grip was too short; the extended mag was too wobbly. While I prefer the grip safety of the XD, the G19 worked a lot better for concealed carry/self defense.

    In the end, I decided to stop compromising and make the purpose of being armed my objective: being able to defend myself and family. Now I carry an XDM-45 4.5″. Bigger, heavier, but I’ve adapted to it…and its 13+1 rounds of .45ACP.

  • Gum slinger

    The Beretta NANO is better than any of the listed “best picks”!

  • kristy

    Love my xds9mm. Of course, i love xdm’s as well. I do like my shield also. But if i had to choose between the two- xds wins! Shoots well, never jams, easy to carry. Some small guns are not accurate, not the case with the xds- makes me look like i am a good shot!

  • Meach

    I wish you had put that XDS up against the new Taurus PT111 Millennium G2. I think your article would have looked vastly different!

    • URSilly

      Yep, love my PT111 G2 AND the extra money still in my bank account.

  • Marvin Spragg

    If this is a sample of what you are going to be printing I wish I had not wasted my money renew my subscription. The come on sound like a look and comparison of what is currently out there….not a very poor sales pitch that it turns out to be…..

  • KSAT

    Guys – It’s called an opinion. Not a scientific study. Take it for what its worth and chill with the random slamming! Provide your own opinion why or why the XD-S is not worth the title, that’s great…

    With that said, I also just picked up the XD-S. Great little gun. And, for $499, I couldn’t pass it up!

  • atmar

    bp9cc is better…..and i also have an xd-s :)

  • scott will

    funny the 26 is the hardest to find Glock followed by the 19. In 2013, in 9mm Glock is still king.

  • Barry Newman

    Glock hater

  • Michael Knight

    And NOT available in CALIFORNIA !

  • TerdFerguson

    walther pps is better than every pistol listed. this was clearly a springfield paid ad.

  • MasterWes

    I bought a Shield which is a good carry gun, but very snappy. Sold the G26, because wife didn’t shoot it well. Purchased a P938 which we dearly love after a trigger job, because it tore our trigger finger up out of the box. Loved the XDs 45 so we got the XDs 9 and not disappointed. Also have a P239 SAS which is great on the range and carry. Also have a PT 111 and Judge which are really great to shoot, but not CC. Ammo prices are forcing us to practice with a Ruger SR22. Carry what you can shoot well. Everybody is different so one size does not fit all so get what works for you

  • TXgnnr

    Now see DustyG223, You just can’t write and “opinion” article without stirring up a hornet’s nest. I have three Springfield XDs and I love them all. I also have an 92FS, three 1911s (one Springfield Mil-Spec, one High Standard GI and one Kimber Pro Crimson Carry II (which is my CHL weapon of choice)) a Taurus and others. I have pros and cons about all of hem. However, I read the article from a purely informational posture. What you say about the XDs is spot on and I agree with your assessment. My ONLY suggestion, with future articles of this nature, make your headline

    “IMHO The Best Subcompact 9mm on the Market!” That way, you can avoid all of the whiners that just can’t handle a one example editorial/evaluation.

  • jrthomasjr

    I’m currently still with a Colt Pocket Nine along with S&W 340 w/CT laser grip. The P938 has me tempted, but it’s SA, whereas the Colt is a true DA. Bad thing is I haven’t seen a laser for the Colt; they only made it for about a year due to patent infringement on Kahr. As to the sights, I’m not convinced tritium is the way to go. If there’s only enough light to see the tritium, should you be shooting? Can you ID the target? A good fiber site should pick up any ambient light and amplify it, making it visible in a situation where you have enough light to ID your target.

  • BigTex

    Kahr CM9 is smaller, cheaper, and a has a lower bore axis.

  • doliver

    Very High Bore Axis equal heavy perceived recoil and wild flip, not for neophytes for sure, and not for me at all. Neither are the P938, nor the LC9 both equally craptastic firearms.

    • r0cknu

      OK. So what DO you like?

      • doliver

        Not a big fan of sub compact 9mm, G26 is about the smallest that my level of dexterity will command. Normal carry is a P35 with various rig. I do like a vintage Walther PP in .22 that I will stash in a pocket occasionally. The reason I mention the the Sig and Ruger being less than satisfactory is my first hand knowledge of customers that bought them, their reported experience, and the number returned to factory for repair. The Ruger is more likely to work. All this simply translates into my bias. And they may be fine for some one else.

        • James R.

          The Ruger LC9 with the Galloway Precision trigger mod is hard to beat. The trigger mod drastically reduces the trigger travel and has increased my aiming accuracy considerably.

  • MAC

    Most of the firearms mentioned including the XDs are super cool and very reliable, BUT, I’m sure I’ll get kicked around for this, my glock 26 always does and I think always will go bang, parts are vast and always available, after market parts are vast. Magazines, holsters and the like are convertible with other glocks (like my 19) . They are super durable, accurate as I am, combat and duty proven. If I scratch it drop it, well no big deaI. A little bulky however 10+1 or 15+1 or 17+1 or 33+1, sorry that rocks! I also live close to Smyrna Ga so the warranty locally uber par! Drop it off at Glock and “walla is like new again” for another 10-20-30 thousand rounds.

  • Alec

    Have you ever wondered how it is that it is the big boys like Springfield, Beretta, Sig, Ruger, etc. get such positive “reviews” of their offerings? Look who spends most on advertising in firearm pubs.

  • Steve A

    Kahr CM-9 is very good !!!

  • CItizen_Soldier

    This article is ridiculous. Where is the in depth look on the M&P Shield, Kahr CM/CW/PM series, or Springfield EMP pistols? I would carry any one of these long before touching the recall riddled XDs. I guess we know who’s lining this author’s pockets.

  • Gunnut1933

    The best gun is the one you fell comfortable with. The one you can easily get on target with. The one you practice with. The ONE that you rely on to protect yourself and family.

    • Gunnut1933

      “feel” not “fell”…oops!

      • madfam004

        I have to thank the spell checkers on the net for improving grammar. You are doing a great job. Don’t fartget to check mine.

  • Draftdude

    I have shot and carried both the Ruger LC9. They both shoot well, but when it comes to actually carrying I think the Ruger LC9 is more comfortable and easier to conceal. I am shocked it was not even a runner up?


    its junk now that the gun can go off at anytime……Stick with S&W

  • micrappoogle

    I have a problem with it fail to chamber and a over expanded steel case inside the chamber. I blame the cheap steel ammo I shoot for the over expanded, but failure to chamber is a bit of a problem.

  • Glock29

    Funny how they forgot to mention ALL of the 45 and 9mm have been recalled! The factory has had mine for over a month and some are reporting 2 month turn around! I love the XDs as a backup to my 29 but had to go back to my Kahr CM40 for a backup. I am pissed at Guns and Ammo for not stating this! They all have a major flaw for either double tap or even firing while loading a round in the chamber!

  • madfam004

    When it comes to effectiveness,concealment and size the Ruger LC9 is the best.

  • mickey_meador

    A serious contender not mentioned is Sig Sauer’s P938. Any 1911 would feel close to home with it. With the 7rd extended mag, this 9mm is still very concealable and accurate.
    Sig quality and selection of styles.

  • Christiano

    My personal fav 9mm will always be the Springfield XD The HS2000 or XD (X-treme Duty) is a series of semi-automatic pistol
    that are based on polymer-framed and striker-fired. XD is Manufactured
    in the city of Karlovac, Croatia ,which is licensed and sold in the
    United States by Springfield Armory, Inc.It is a single barrel light
    weight pistol and quite popular in weapon junkies

  • Christiano

    And for me, the 9mm is currently the most used and reliable hand gun, it has been
    used by Police of many countries also is considered the best for
    self-protection at home.

  • Paul

    At 6.3″ in length and 23 oz. it might be a very good subcompact but I don’t consider it a pocket pistol, at least not for my pockets (I’m 5’6″). For the role of 9mm pocket pistol I’d go with in the size/weight of a Kahr PM9 (which I do own) or Beretta Nano.

  • Jim

    Well I guess the best compact 9 on the market needs a good full recall to really put itself right on top

  • donzap

    Good article. As the author pointed out, there are other articles that are more for comparison. I have owned the XDS in .45 caliber and was happy with it for the most part.

    A friend wanted it so I agreed to sell it to him only because I want a carry arm that is lighter. When I first bought the XDS, I was thinking it would suffice as a pocket pistol and at least one review suggested that would be the case. I found that the XDS was marginal in terms of size for pocket carry, for me, as I mostly wear jeans. Probably better to be carried in an IWB holster. Was not comfortable carry the .45 on the supplied belt holster. Nothing against the gun or the holster, it’s just that as I’ve grown older, I don’t have hips and any weight causes an issue in keeping things where the belong and as Jeff Worthy once noted – older guys don’t have a butt either because they’ve scratched it all off. LOL!

    Anyway, I’m going back and forth as to whether or not I will buy another XDS.
    If I do, I will most likely look for an IWB holster. Loved the XDS – just may compare with lighter carries in 9mm. Will probably take a look at the Sig 938 and start from there but have a feeling, I may come back to the XDS.

  • jackobean

    author is high. the trigger on the xd-s is long and heavy compared to the others

  • Anthony Romano

    It is the best if you truly enjoy badly vertically strung groups and useless grip safeties.

  • Jack

    I own the XDS in 9mm and find that it the worst firearm I have ever tried to shoot. The sights had to be adjusted as it shot about 6 inches left at 30 feet. Since it was recalled and “fixed” , the trigger pull is terrible. I complained to Springfield but never got a response. Think I will trade it for something on a 1911 concept. Needless to say, it won’t be another Springfield!

  • scott will

    I love all these articles that get the comment section fighting. Get what you want and get good with it. Stop fighting like school kids.

  • Brian Dooley

    What a crappy one sided review

  • M. Cameron O’Dell

    The XD-s is too long and too expensive!

    A CC weapon should be …
    1. Affordable(<$350 street price)

    2. Low recoil(<9 Ft-Lbs)

    3. Pocket size(<6.0"x4.5"x1.0")

    Much better options listed from lowest to highest recoil

    Beretta Nano – $350

    Ruger LC9s – $330

    Kahr CM9 – $330

    SCCY CPX2 – $230

    Kel-Tec PF-9 – $240

  • Backbone Throwing Knives

    Only gun snobs and yuppies would’ve left the pf9 out of this line up. 1000s of rounds through mine with no issues. Just doesn’t cost enough to make this list though. Sad….

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