Imagine this scenario. You’ve trained for years at the range. Your aim lands on target with every shot and you can shoot matchsticks out of your friends mouth. Your draw is quicker than anyone you know. You’ve proven to yourself you can shoot. Finally the day comes when your skills are challenged. It’s a life or death situation, and as you pull your trusty Taurus out the holster to fire a kill shot, the gun jams. 

Once you realize you placed your trust in the wrong weapon, it will be too late. When carrying a weapon for self-defense, you should know it better than the back of your hand. 

This means you should spend hours at the range with a handgun, before you even determine whether you should buy it. 

This can be quite a hassle, since you likely don’t have the time or money to try every gun on the wall. As much as you want to.

Hopefully, we can help make that decision a little bit less complicated and save you from the unwanted scenario mentioned. 

The handguns in this topic have been chosen because they offer above-average reliability while still being accurate, easy to use, and shootable. 

If you have any other suggestions for some of the most reliable 9mm pistols out there, let us know in the comments section!

9. Ruger LCR

You cannot doubt the reliability of a revolver. The smaller a handgun gets, the less reliable its parts are, so having a bug-out revolver is a smart idea. The Ruger LCR is an innovative little revolver that has turned a few heads since its release in 2009. It’s been on the market long enough to prove its real-world practicality and durability.  

What makes the LCR different from other revolvers is the polymer frame and concealed hammer. This creates a snag-free design that even the smallest person can carry undercover. The barrel, chamber, and internal parts are all steel to add to the durability. Weighing only 17.2 ounces, the LCR has some snappy recoil and it can be a bit hard to find the right grip. Fortunately, the Hogue Tamer Monogrip reduces felt recoil in the hand, and there are many other grip options available. The LCR makes up for its weird ergonomics and small stature with a crisp trigger. The double-action is long but smooth and consistent throughout the pull. 


The Ruger LCR is a super reliable double-action revolver from a reputable company. If you are looking for a back-up gun that won’t ever let you down, then give the LCR a try.

8. S&W Shield EZ-9

If a revolver is not your style but you still want a concealed carry back-up gun that’s got your back, take a look at the EZ 9. Smith & Wesson has developed the EZ9 to be comfortable, intuitive, and usable by anyone. 

The EZ-9 feels great in my hands and is even better to shoot. The ported barrel and texturing on the grip ensure the recoil is manageable, and the barrel has an Armornite corrosion-resistant finish. Many of the aluminum parts, such as the trigger and safety, have been anodized for extra strength. Shooting the EZ-9 is an absolute pleasure. The slide racks easier than any gun I’ve ever felt and it has solid slide serrations to get a positive grip. The trigger is also in a league of its own. It’s smooth with a tactile, audible reset. Both the front and rear sights are Litewave H3 Tritium equipped. 


The Shield EZ-9 has excellent handling and accuracy, but most importantly, very little chance of failure. Many police and law enforcement personnel trust this as their back-up weapon of choice, and for good reason.  

7. Canik TP9SFx

Before making their first pistol in 2009, Canik was a leading manufacturer of aerospace and aeronautical components. Using their experience and knowledge of durable materials, Canik decided to enter the firearms manufacturing world. I am sure glad they did. 

The TP9SFx is a brilliant example of their depth of knowledge when it comes to quality manufacturing and durable parts. The handgun works reliably in any condition, never once failing or misfiring. It is no surprise that many competition shooters choose Canik. This is thanks to the precise manufacturing of parts with added features like the Tungsten Grey Cerakote finish. The magazine capacity is also something to boast about. It holds a ridiculous 20 rounds in the magazine, plus one in the chamber. I think the TP9SF is an extremely sexy gun, but be warned, it is big and heavy. It weighs 30 ounces, has a 5.2-inch barrel, and a total length of 8.27 inches. 


Internal parts have been nickel coated for improved durability as well as to make for a smooth shooting experience. The trigger works flawlessly, and every shot lands exactly where you are aiming. Whether you are a competitive shooter or looking for something mean for home defense, the Canik TP9SFx brings a wealth of dependability and accuracy to the table.

6. Springfield Hellcat

The Springfield Hellcat is considered one of the highest capacity micro-compact pistols on the market. Springfield utilizes a patented magazine to offer an 11+1 magazine capacity, as well as a 13+1 extended magazine for those of us with bigger hands. 

Behind the high magazine capacity and innate accuracy, lies a durable gun guaranteed to succeed. An extreme torture test was done on the Hellcat. The gun had ten thousand rounds fired through it without a single part breakage. From the cold hammer-forged barrel down to every last spring and pin, the Hellcat was built to last and blast through any ammunition you run through it. Besides being tough as nails, the Hellcat is also a brilliant concealed carry option. It is small enough to carry comfortably but not too big that you can’t get the right grip. The slide serrations and adaptive grip texture ensure you get a proper purchase around the entire handgun. 


It includes a Gen 2 trigger that makes emptying the gun downrange addictive. An optics-ready version is available for those who want to take their accuracy to the next level. 

Springfield outdid themselves with the Hellcat, crafting a handgun that is deadly, accurate, and reliable. 

5. H&K USP

The U.S. Special Operations Command over-engineered the H&K Universal self-loading pistol. It broke the ceiling on all testing standards, and then some. It was frozen, heated, dropped, soaked in salt water, mud, and rain and still managed to shoot. A bullet was intentionally lodged in the chamber and successfully cleared by firing another round down the barrel. Sure, the accuracy was affected after that, but the gun still kept firing without fail. 

It’s these rigorous tests that have made the USP known as one of the most durable guns around. Any ammunition you run through the gun will fire, and it does this well. A recoil reduction system has been built into the recoil assembly to reduce the kick and offer a smoother shooting experience. Admittedly, the gun is heavy and bulky. Steel wiring runs through the polymer frame, reinforcing it and bringing the weight up to 31 ounces unloaded. The USP holds a 15-round magazine and is available in many different calibers. 


Many armed personnel around the world rely on the USP and know that it won’t let them down. A home defense or duty weapon that will fire every round is something you should seriously consider having around.

4. Sig Sauer P320

The Sig Sauer P320 won the contract to supply the U.S. military, but does that mean it is good enough for you? The P320 was SIG’s first striker-fired pistol, and it’s everything one could hope for from Sig Sauer. Innovative, comfortable, and ready to eat through ammunition.

The design of the P320 is unique. It has a standard steel chassis that has been seamlessly integrated into the polymer frame. The seamless integration adds to the durability as well as the striker-fired action. There are fewer moving parts in a striker fired pistol, so there is less chance of parts breakage and failure. This also means there are more internal safety features, preventing any accidental discharges. Some have complained that the P320 is bulky, and while this may be true, it is ergonomically beautiful. It sits perfectly in your hand and aims even better. Another unique feature of the P320 is the ability to swap out the chassis. Small, medium, and large versions are available, so you can get the one that works best for you. Since it is only the trigger unit that is serialized, you can replace the chassis without any hassle. 


I can understand why the P320 was chosen to be the U.S. army’s main sidearm. It is a workhorse that will keep running through any terrain. 

3. CZ 75 series

The list of rugged, heavy-duty handguns that CZ has made is almost inexhaustible. When I speak of the CZ 75, I am not only referring to the original 75 that turned heads. I am also referring to sub-variants that have been produced since. There are many options available, and this depends on your needs. 

Every sport-shooter knows of the sexy CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow and Shadow 2, and if you are fortunate enough to have used one yourself, you will know why this is a beacon of accuracy and dependability. Its ergonomics also make it one of the quickest-handling guns around. If sport-shooting isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe the CZ 75 P-07 or P-09 will appeal to you. Both are polymer-framed weapons made for the self-defense market. These are ideal carry weapons that will not fail you in a life or death situation. They stick in your hands like glue, shoot as straight as an arrow, and have very few reported failures behind them. 


CZ guarantees their handguns will work, even when dirt, grime, and dust are slowing it down. They are known to fire regardless of how clogged up they are. Whatever model suits you best, you can trust in the robust and comfortable designs of CZ. 

2. Steyr M9-A2

I have to admit, the Steyr M9 is one of my favorite handguns on the market. In response to the polymer craze that Glock started, Steyr jumped on the bandwagon with their M series, and it has proven itself as an ultra-tough combat weapon. 

The 17-round striker-fired pistol has a 4-inch barrel and a weight of 28 ounces. One addition I love on the Steyr M9 is the triangular sights. While this may seem like a gimmick, I have an easier time lining up the sights and keeping the gun on target. This is also because of the low bore-axis the M9 offers. It fits in your hand just right and instinctively lands where you’re aiming. One thing that will strike you as odd is the lack of recoil. Shooting the Steyr is as soft as one could hope for from a 9mm. They aren’t picky about ammo either. The M9 makes easy work of most ammunition with no failures. 


I don’t believe Steyr has seen the success it is capable of in many countries. The Glock dominates the market, but the Steyr brings a lot to the table that makes it worth owning. It is ultra-reliable, super accurate, and feels superb to shoot. 

1. Glock series

The only reason Glock made it onto this list is out of obligation. I feel that since the Glock gets so many mentions, every shooter is aware of the capabilities of these fine weapons. They have been known to work no matter what the conditions, easily eating through ammunition without a hitch. The tight tolerances and expert manufacturing behind the Glock name have brought it to the front of the pack. 

The polymer frames are another level, and the inherent simplistic design means there are very few part breakages and failures. Glock has manufactured their weapons for a purpose, and this purpose is to keep on working no matter what. I won’t mention a specific model, as it entirely depends on your needs. Keep in mind that the smaller Glocks, such as the Glock 42, don’t have the same reliability as something like the Glock 17. 


Whether you are carrying it every day, a competitive shooter, or a combat tactician, Glock makes the perfect companion to place your full trust in.

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