Are you getting tired of all the gun videos and blog posts online where the only EDC handguns people talk about are their SIG P365s, their Springfield Hellcats, their Glock 43Xs, their Smith & Wesson Shield Pluses, their Ruger Max 9s, their Taurus GX4s, et cetera, et cetera?
Micro compact wonder nines have become so prevalent in the past half decade since SIG introduced the P365 to the point that they have gotten pervasive. These are typically polymer framed pistols that are shorter and lighter than a Glock 19 or any compact size handgun but still have room for 10 or more rounds in the mag.
These days, no other pistol or revolver or any other type of handgun matters. But I know of a lot of people who are on the tenterhooks waiting for the newest double stack pistols that will become available some time before the first half of this year is over.
Those pistols are being marketed as 2311s because the 2011 brand name is apparently a trademark owned by Staccato and they can sue anyone who uses that term for marketing. And if you happen to like 1911s, I did a topic on that not too long ago, but I digress.
If you’re getting tired of your micro compact and you want to carry something else without feeling undergunned, a slightly larger but still concealable handgun is the way to go, like, again, a compact size Glock 19.
It has about the same number of rounds in the mag, if not more, and because it’s bigger than a micro compact, it also has a longer sight radius for more accurate shots, a longer barrel that gives bullets slightly better ballistic performance, and a heavier weight which makes it easier for the shooter to control its recoil.
If you want to try carrying one of those, here’s my list of the 9 best compact pistols for every day carry.
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In 2021, Taurus decided to hop on the optics ready semi auto bandwagon by releasing their G3 T.O.R.O. series pistols with factory optic cuts for easy attachment of micro red dots. It has an interchangeable plate mounting system makes it possible to fit a wide variety of optics on the market.
Even with its compact frame, Taurus manages to fit 17 rounds of 9mm in the G3’s magazine. It also has additional features including stippling patches, an ergonomic palm swell, and side frame Memory Pads to maximize control and retention, making it suitable for different shooting conditions.
The frame has a Picatinny rail, while the manual safety and slide release lever are positioned above the thumb for ease of use. The G3 has a 6 lb. trigger, which provides a smooth take up and clean break, exceeding the standard striker fired pistol trigger performance.
A short reset ensures quick, controlled follow up shots. The T.O.R.O. sighting system also comes with a serrated steel rear sight, a white dot steel front sight, and two 17 round mags all for a low MSRP of $450 and street prices within the $350 range.
The Security 9 is a compact pistol ideal for concealed carry, boasting a 4 inch barrel for ease of concealment. Its sturdy construction features a black oxide, through hardened alloy steel slide and barrel, and a high performance, glass filled nylon grip frame.
The precision machined hard coat anodized aluminum chassis comes with full length guide rails, and the trigger has a short, smooth pull with a clean break and positive reset. The textured grip frame ensures a secure and comfortable grip.
The high visibility sight system of the Security 9 is dovetailed and includes a drift adjustable rear sight and a fixed front sight. It also has front cocking serrations that enable positive slide manipulation, and an internal hammer that provides strong ignition force. This hammer also allows for easier slide racking compared to many striker fired pistols.
To enhance safety, the Security 9 has several features, including an integrated trigger safety, a neutrally balanced sear with significant engagement and strong spring tension, and a hammer catch to prevent the hammer from contacting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. The pistol comes with two 15 round magazines and has an MSRP of $469.
The Canik Mete SF is the compact version of the Mete series of pistols being made by Canik, a Turkish firearms manufacturer. The SF version has a 4.19-inch barrel and a 15 round magazine, making it a tad bit longer than most compact pistols but nowhere near as big as full size ones so it can still be carried concealed.
The Mete SF utilizes the sleek configuration for which the Mete line is known, with features that include an integrally flared mag well, a double undercut trigger guard, a redesigned beaver tail, an aggressive grip texturing, and a modular build.
With a white dot front sight resting on top of the slide which is perfectly mated to its synthetic frame, and Co Witness optics ready slide cuts that accept the Trijicon RMRcc and Shield RMS/RMSc footprint micro optics the Canik Mete SF is built to give more established pistol brands a run fo their money.
Additional features include new Easy In Easy out push pins for easy disassembly and maintenance, an ergonomically redesigned beavertail to protect against slide bite, and a new angled rear sight edge designed for emergency one hand racking of the slide.
Also, the Mete SF has a low profile ambidextrous slide stop release, a side reversible magazine catch, a loaded chamber indicator, and the best thing about it is its single action trigger that feels much smoother than Glock’s stock trigger. All these for an MSRP of $519.99.
The Glock 45 MOS is a crossover pistol chambered in 9mm. It combines a compact slide with a full size frame, incorporating all the benefits of a Gen 5 model.
Based on the military version of the Glock 19, the G19X, the design and engineering of the Glock 45 MOS are fine tuned to meet the specifications of military operators and law enforcement agencies worldwide.
The MOS configuration of the slide allows for the easy mounting of a reflex sight, eliminating the need for a separate mounting system or slide. The slide is finished with GLOCK’s hard surface nDLC finish which has a non reflective black color. The slide also has front serrations for a more tactile surface.
The frame also has a subdued black finish and includes a flared mag well for quick and easy reloads and enhanced grip texture for a tighter and more purchase. The Glock 45 MOS also includes a reversible mag catch, ambidextrous slide stop lever, Modular Backstrap System for individual adjustability, and the company’s Marksman Barrel.
With its performance that is proven to be 100% reliable, you can’t go wrong with the Glock 45 MOS, especially with its $650 MSRP which includes two 17 round mags.
Smith & Wesson has expanded their line of M2.0 pistols with the M&P M2.0 Compact, including an optics ready version that adds to their highly respected M&P polymer pistol line. These models are chambered in 9mm, featuring a 4-inch barrel and a 15 round capacity.
Intended for personal, sporting, and professional use, the M&P M2.0 boasts innovative features in every aspect of the pistol, including the trigger, grip, frame, and finish. It also includes an extended stainless steel chassis and a low barrel bore axis, which helps to reduce muzzle rise and increase aim recovery speed.
With the M2.0 upgrade, the pistol features a refined, crisper trigger, lighter pull, and tactile and audible reset, resulting in improved performance. The slide cut for optics, co witness white dot front and rear sights, and enlarged forward serrations are among other features that come standard.
The M&P M2.0 comes with four interchangeable palm swell inserts for the perfect fit, an aggressively textured grip, and two 15 round magazines out of the box. Additionally, it includes seven mounting plates designed to fit popular slide mounted optics, all for an MSRP of $654.
4: CZ P 10 C O.R.
Česká zbrojovka, more commonly referred to as CZ, is known by many as the company that designed the second most cloned pistol platform in the world, the all steel, hammer fired CZ 75. It’s why many people were surprised when the company announced their model P 10 C in 2017, a functional departure from anything they had ever done before.
At first glance, it appears to be just another Glock 19 competitor, no different from Smith & Wesson’s and SIG Sauer’s offerings. but the real difference is in how it shoots. The P 10 C is one of the flattest shooting polymer framed 9mm pistols with a 4-inch barrel on the market today.
Furthermore, the P 10 C boasts a straightforward and appealing design, combined with a comfortable grip and a remarkable trigger. The grip contour of this pistol provides greater comfort compared to that of the G19, and its metal sights are a significant improvement over the plastic ones. All of these at a price point approximately $100 lower than its direct Glock competitor, make the P 10 C a compelling option that cannot be easily dismissed.
If you want a high quality pistol that requires no modification and offers good value for money, has most of the features of the Glock 19 but with a more comfortable grip contour and a more visually appealing design, has an exceptional trigger, and is optics ready out of the box, you’ll be hard pressed to find any other pistol like the CZ P 10 C O.R. selling for only $500.
The Walther PDP Compact Optics Ready is a duty pistol with a 4-inch barrel designed to enhance performance. It features an RDS optimized frame with improved ergonomics, and comes with a factory milled, optics ready slide that has enhanced superterrain serrations for improved slide manipulation and reliability.
When used without a mounted optic, the dovetailed adjustable sights allow for intuitive target acquisition, while they also ensure reliable and natural co witness with mounted optics for unparalleled reliability. The stepped chamber and stainless steel barrel can withstand high pressure +P cartridges and provide improved velocities for more reliable stopping power and enhanced accuracy. Additionally, the performance duty grip texture ensures a dependable, nonslip grip for improved control.
The newly introduced ‘PDT’ Performance Duty Trigger is Walther’s updated trigger system that shortens the length of travel and increases the tactile definition of the trigger break. This provides a highly distinct, recognizable feel that offers a consistent, light pull for repeatable accuracy.
Furthermore, the modular frame design allows for a customizable setup, and the grip has Walther’s proprietary Performance Duty Texture, which uses a tetrahedron design to provide a premium, yet functional grip. It offers an aggressive but non abrasive surface that helps to maintain proper grip performance without causing any irritation to your skin or clothing.
With two 15 round magazines included, the Walther PDP offers incredible value similar to a gunsmith tuned pistol which makes it tough to beat with its MSRP of $699.
The P30 is a relatively recent pistol design from Heckler & Koch, designed for modern police and security personnel usage. One of its modern features is its ergonomic design, which includes interchangeable backstrap inserts and lateral plates in the grip frame, ensuring that it can be tailored to fit the preferences of individual users.
The P30 has been subjected to extensive testing and has been adopted by various police agencies in Europe. In a 2010 endurance test, a P30 pistol was selected at random and fired more than 91,000 rounds without any significant component failures.
The H&K P30 boasts several notable features. The slide is machined from nitro carburized steel and has a corrosion resistant blued finish for hostile environments, while its special grip frame is crafted from a fiber reinforced polymer that is resistant to corrosion. It also has a Picatinny rail for attachments.
The barrel of the P30 has a polygonal bore profile similar to Glock’s, which enhances velocity, makes cleaning easier, and prolongs the barrel’s lifespan.
The pistol employs HK’s patented recoil reduction system and also has fully ambidextrous slide levers and mag release. It has an MSRP of $750 and ships with two 17 round mags, two additional backstraps, and two additional sets of lateral grip plates.
FN created the FN 509 by modifying the FNS Compact in their efforts to meet the strict performance standards required for the MHS project, with guidance from industry experts. The company conducted rigorous tests on the platform during development, firing over one million rounds in the pistol to verify reliability, durability, and ammo compatibility.
To make the FN 509 more user friendly, the slide has improved front and rear cocking serrations to make it easier to rack. The gun features 3 dot luminescent combat style sights, an external extractor, and a loaded chamber indicator. The cold hammer forged stainless steel barrel has a recessed target crown and polished chamber and feed ramp to ensure reliable feeding.
The frame of the FN 509 is polymer, and the steel frame and slide rails are replaceable. The grip is textured to provide a secure purchase, improving recoil management and facilitating faster follow up shots in any conditions. The gun is also equipped with a Pic rail for attaching accessories, as well as a fully ambidextrous slide stop lever and magazine release.
The FN 509 has an MSRP of $754 and ships with two 17 round high visibility magazines, each with a low friction follower and a black polymer base. It also comes with two interchangeable backstraps and a soft pistol case.