The 9mm pistol is one of the most popular and widely used handguns in the United States and around the world. They are the top choice for military and law enforcement agencies around the world and are great options for beginners and for women. They have always been a favorite of both casual shooters and gun enthusiasts due to the ease of use and minimal amounts of recoil.
So what’s so special about the 9mm pistol? Their reliable design, compact size, clip capacity, and velocity all set them apart from other types of handguns. They are ideal for self-defense, concealed carry, and even sport shooting.
But not all 9mm pistols are the same. Though they usually share the same basic profiles, the specific features and characteristics of the handguns tend to change for manufacturer to manufacturer and from model to model. Below we review our favorite five of the best 9mm pistols on the market.
In our opinion, these are the handguns with the best balance of reliability, quality of design, ease of use, affordability, and overall performance.
Smith & Wesson SD9VE
A great pistol for both new and old gun owners, the Smith and Wesson SD9VE is a solid pick on our list of the best 9MM pistols. This handgun features a polymer frame giving it a light overall weight at just 22.4 ounces. With its slim profile, it is perfect for carrying in the home or concealed carry. If you have this gun in your home, it will perfectly fit in almost any bedside safe due to its smaller size.
The stainless steel slide gives the gun a sleek look and also ensures that the gun remains corrosion resistant. This gun will handle any weather be it rain or shine.
This gun comes with two 16 round magazines if purchased using the above link giving you a total of 33 rounds on your person or 17 if you leave the spare magazine at home.
If you are into adding attachments to your pistol, this gun has dovetailed sights as well as the standard Picatinny-style rail. While the gun does feature your standard iron sights, it can hold most red or green dot sights made for handguns.
Since this is a Smith & Wesson, it does come with a lifetime service policy. The S&W SD9VE is a great choice that is sure to last you a long time if you pick this to be your first or next addition.
The CZ-75 SP-01
Originally designed for use as a military and law enforcement sidearm, the CZ-75 SP-01 is a high-quality 9mm pistol from one of the best companies in the industry.
The model is often praised for its accuracy and superior handling. In fact, these characteristics have led security forces around the world to adopt the gun for use in the war on terrorism.
The CZ-75 SP-01 has also found a number of supporters in sport and target shooting circles thanks to its accuracy and ease of use. In addition, the handgun features an attractive sleek black finish that reduces corrosion and increases overall durability.
It is also the perfect 9mm to use with customized attachments and alterations and the tactical rail makes for easy add-ons if you plan to use a tactical light or red dot attachment.
Getting right to the bone, the CZ-75 SP-01 is built with a stainless steel frame. It weighs in at just 39 ounces and features an 18 round magazine capacity.
This 9mm pistol is usually quite affordable in most places. The price you pay brings high performance and equally high reliability. This is one handgun you can count on to shoot through thousands of rounds without a single issue. Straight out of the box, it is a top contender.
The Glock 17 Gen 4
Glock is a name known and loved by gun enthusiasts. Indeed, they are one of the most well-known gun companies and many users highly prize their Glock firearms. Their Gen 4 line is more popular than ever before with Glock fans.
The Glock 17 Gen 4 is Glock’s answer to the 9mm pistol. In an attempt to manufacturer the best possible 9mm handgun possible, Glock built their Glock 17 on an incredibly solid polymer frame. While durable as any other 9mm on the market, the pistol is also lightweight clocking in at just 25.06 ounces.
The main highlights of the Gen 4 Glock 17 include its comfortable design with a strong grip and great texturing. These factors combine together to make the gun easy (and fun) to hold and to shoot.
Any existing fan of other Glock firearms will love the Glock 17. And those that have not yet given this company’s handguns a try will likely love the gun. Glocks are known far and wide for their versatility and are among the easiest handguns to get used to shooting as long as you are comfortable with the grip. You should also consider upgrading the sight on the Glock if you go that route, as the stock sights aren’t known to be the best quality.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 2.0 Compact 9mm Pistol
There is simply no denying that the Smith & Wesson M&P9 2.0 Compact 9mm Pistol is another strong contender for the title of the best 9mm pistol currently on the market. Like the CZ-75 SP-01 and Glock 17, this Smith and Wesson handgun is popular with military and law enforcement officials.
Constructed from a durable polymer frame, the M&P9 Shield weighs in at 25.9 ounces. It has a 15 round magazine. The pistol is noted for its incredible accuracy. In fact, this is its best feature, bar none. The 2nd best feature is its slim profile and concealability. If you are looking to concealed carry, this gun is a top choice.
It is as easy to use up close in tight quarters as it is at long distances, of up to 50 yards or more(their claim). Best of all, its accuracy is consistent at long distances.
If you want a 9mm that is built to last, there are few better choices than the M&P9 Shield. It is great for concealed carry and everyday carry. If you’re looking to keep it in your home for self-defense, be sure to get a pair of night sights for the Shield so that you can aim in pitch black scenarios.
The Heckler and Koch VP9
The Heckler and Koch VP9 is the handgun for those that demand the utmost in quality and reliability. It ranks as one of the best 9mm pistols on the market thanks to its amazing construction. This construction is what gives the gun its reliability and durability.
At just 25.6 ounces, the Heckler and Koch VP9 uses a polymer frame and features a 15 round magazine capacity. It is a lightweight pistol that nevertheless feels solid in your hands. It shoots straight and true with accuracy. The trigger pull is near perfect with little takeup and a clean break.
The Heckler and Koch VP9 is another one of those 9mm pistols that is a favorite in the law enforcement market. Police organizations use the VP9 as their primary sidearm.
The reasons include, once again, its superior quality of construction which benefits every other aspect of the gun from reliability to durability to performance to accuracy.
If the Heckler and Koch VP9 is good enough for law enforcement officials that constantly put their lives on the line, then it is more than good enough for the average gun enthusiast.
The Walther PPQ
Walther is a unique firearms manufacturer that does things their own way. They do not follow the trends and are dedicated to creating only the best handguns that they themselves would use. In this sense, the Walther PPQ is a unique 9mm pistol that is a little bit different than other top contenders on the market.
The Walther PPQ sits on a polymer frame and weighs in at 24 ounces. It features a 15 round magazine and has one of the best grips in the game. Though, the grip is ergonomically molded to fit in the hand as comfortably as humanly possible. The gun actually feels like it was made for your own hand.
The trigger action is another factor that many people compliment the Walther PPQ on. It is short and crisp. Many people compare it to a 1911 combat pistol.
Beyond this, the Walther PPQ oozes accuracy and performance. It is durable and holds up to abuse. It is reliable and rarely jams.
It is customizable and can be used for concealed carry. Simply put, the Walther PPQ Is capable of doing almost anything.
Wrap Up & Recommendations
There are so many great 9mm pistols out there. It is very difficult to narrow down the list to the top five. While the best 9mm pistol for you depends on your personal preferences, the five above are all almost universally well reviewed.
At the end of the day, the best overall 9mm pistol should be based on trial and error and most importantly, experience at the range with each firearm.
We always recommend renting any gun before buying at a local firing range so you can choose what fits you best. The 9mm is a perfect firearm to keep locked up in car or next to your bed and will bring you reliable protection for years. Without a doubt, any one of these firearms can be a reliable choice for years to come.