Top 9mm Handguns of 2024

Author: Chris G.
Date: November 10, 2023

For firearm enthusiasts and professionals, the 9mm handgun is a standout favorite. Selecting the right 9mm handgun is a crucial decision for shooters of all backgrounds, whether you're a seasoned enthusiast, a responsible homeowner looking to enhance home security, or a concealed carry permit holder seeking a reliable companion.

In this article, we explore the best 9mm pistols on the market---popular firearm choices for their manageable recoil, versatile applications, and ample ammunition capacity. We will examine their features, specifications, and what makes each one stand out in a crowded market.

Whether you're seeking a firearm for personal protection or simply exploring the diverse options available, this guide will assist you in making an informed decision on your next 9mm handgun purchase.

Best 9mm Handguns 

Here's a list of the best 9mm pistols in the market. Let's take a closer look at these models' features and what made them stand out.

1. Glock 19

While the Glock 19 isn't the newest model on the market, it's maintained its status as one of the top 5 9mm handguns of 2024 due to its reliable performance and wide range of holster options.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: Varies (typically 15+1 or 17+1 rounds)
  • Barrel Length: 4.02 inches
  • Features:
    • Lightweight polymer frame
    • Striker-fired design
    • Safe Action trigger system
    • Accessory rail for attachments
    • Renowned reliability and durability
    • Available with various sight options

2. CZ P10C

Among the top 5 9mm handguns of 2024, the CZ P10C certainly holds its own, boasting impressive features that make it stand out.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: 15+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 4.02 inches
  • Features:
    • Polymer frame with interchangeable backstraps
    • Striker-fired design
    • Low-profile three-dot sights
    • Ambidextrous slide stop and magazine release
    • Excellent ergonomics and trigger
    • Picatinny accessory rail

3. Sig Sauer P320

Next on the list is the Sig Sauer P320, a top-notch 9mm handgun renowned for its customizability and high performance, and it's unquestionably one of the top 5 handguns of 2024.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: Varies (typically 15+1 or 17+1 rounds)
  • Barrel Length: 3.9 inches (Compact) or 4.7 inches (Full Size)
  • Features:
    • Modular design with interchangeable grip modules
    • Striker-fired operation
    • Smooth and crisp trigger
    • Accessory rail
    • Ambidextrous slide release
    • Outstanding accuracy and reliability

4. Walther PPQ M2

When it comes to compact 9mm handguns, the Walther PPQ M2 stands out as one of the best in its class. It's renowned for its top-notch ergonomics, boasting a sculpted grip that fits a wide range of hand sizes.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: Varies (typically 15+1 or 17+1 rounds)
  • Barrel Length: 4 inches
  • Features:
    • Ergonomic grip with interchangeable backstraps
    • Quick Defense Trigger with a short reset
    • Low-profile three-dot sights
    • Ambidextrous slide stop
    • Excellent trigger feel
    • Accessory rail

5. Springfield Hellcat

Among the best compact 9mm handguns, Springfield's Hellcat stands out, offering both a high round capacity and impressive internal engineering.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: Varies (typically 11+1 or 13+1 rounds)
  • Barrel Length: 3 inches
  • Features:
    • Compact and lightweight design
    • High-capacity micro-compact pistol
    • Adaptive Grip Texture for enhanced control
    • U-Dot sights or optional Tritium night sights
    • Accessory rail
    • Excellent for concealed carry

6. Beretta APX Compact

One of the standout compact 9mm handguns on the market is the Beretta APX Compact. It boasts a well-balanced blend of size, performance, and comfort. Its design offers excellent ergonomics, with a grip that's easily contoured to a wide range of hand sizes.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: 13+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.7 inches
  • Features:
    • Striker-fired operation
    • Modular frame with interchangeable backstraps
    • Ambidextrous slide catch and reversible magazine release
    • Low bore axis for reduced recoil
    • Picatinny accessory rail
    • Three-dot sights

7. Smith & Wesson M&P 9 M2.0

The Smith & Wesson M&P 9 M2.0 combines a modular design with enhanced features, making it a top choice for those seeking reliability and customization in a 9mm handgun.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: 13+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.7 inches
  • Features:
    • Striker-fired operation
    • Modular frame with interchangeable backstraps
    • Ambidextrous slide catch and reversible magazine release
    • Low bore axis for reduced recoil
    • Picatinny accessory rail
    • Three-dot sights

8. Heckler & Koch VP9

With its ergonomic grip and patented charging supports, the Heckler & Koch VP9 is designed for comfortable shooting and easy manipulation, making it a contender among 9mm pistols.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: 13+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.7 inches
  • Features:
    • Striker-fired operation
    • Modular frame with interchangeable backstraps
    • Ambidextrous slide catch and reversible magazine release
    • Low bore axis for reduced recoil
    • Picatinny accessory rail
    • Three-dot sights

9. Ruger SR9

The Ruger SR9 offers affordability without compromising performance, making it a practical option for those looking for a reliable 9mm handgun.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: 13+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.7 inches
  • Features:
    • Striker-fired operation
    • Modular frame with interchangeable backstraps
    • Ambidextrous slide catch and reversible magazine release
    • Low bore axis for reduced recoil
    • Picatinny accessory rail
    • Three-dot sights

10. FN 509

The FN 509 series, known for its ambidextrous controls and interchangeable features, provides versatility and high capacity in the 9mm pistol market.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: 13+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.7 inches
  • Features:
    • Striker-fired operation
    • Modular frame with interchangeable backstraps
    • Ambidextrous slide catch and reversible magazine release
    • Low bore axis for reduced recoil
    • Picatinny accessory rail
    • Three-dot sights

What is a 9mm Handgun?

A 9mm handgun, also known as a 9mm pistol or 9mm semi-automatic pistol, is a type of firearm that is designed to fire 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition. The "9mm" refers to the caliber or diameter of the bullet, which is approximately 9 millimeters, and the "19mm" refers to the length of the cartridge case.

They're favored by many for their common features such as compactness, ease of use, and affordability.

However, like any firearm, they also have their drawbacks, which we'll unpack in the following discussion.

Common features of a 9mm Handgun

The 9mm handgun, often found in various shapes and sizes, typically shares a set of common features that make it a staple in the realm of firearms. Common features of 9mm handguns can vary depending on the specific make and model, but there are several key characteristics and features that are often found in many 9mm handguns. 

  1. Semi-Automatic Action: Most 9mm handguns are semi-automatic. This means they have a self-loading mechanism that automatically chambers a new round from the magazine after each shot is fired. This allows for faster follow-up shots compared to revolvers.
  2. Magazine Capacity: 9mm handguns typically have detachable magazines that can hold varying numbers of rounds, often ranging from 10 to 17 rounds or more, depending on the firearm's design and intended purpose. High-capacity magazines are common.
  3. Striker-Fired or Hammer-Fired: 9mm handguns can be either striker-fired or hammer-fired. Striker-fired pistols have a striker mechanism that directly impacts the primer of the cartridge, while hammer-fired pistols have a hammer that strikes a firing pin. Both systems are widely used, and the choice often comes down to user preference.
  4. Safety Mechanisms: Most 9mm handguns feature safety mechanisms to prevent accidental discharges. These can include trigger safeties, thumb safeties, and firing pin block safeties. The types and locations of safeties may vary between models.
  5. Slide Release Lever: A slide release lever is used to release the slide and chamber a round when a new magazine is inserted. This is often found on the left side of the frame and can be manipulated with the shooter's thumb.
  6. Accessory Rail: Many modern 9mm handguns come equipped with an accessory rail on the frame, typically under the barrel. This rail allows for the attachment of accessories such as lights, lasers, or red dot sights.
  7. Sights: Handguns are usually equipped with sights, which can include front and rear sights. Some models have adjustable sights for windage and elevation, while others have fixed sights. Night sights with luminescent or tritium dots for low-light shooting are also common.
  8. Ergonomic Grip: Manufacturers often design the grip of 9mm handguns for comfort and control. Grips may have texturing, finger grooves, or interchangeable backstraps to accommodate different hand sizes.
  9. Frame Material: Frames are typically made of polymer, aluminum alloy, or steel. Polymer frames are lightweight and resistant to corrosion, while steel frames provide added durability but are heavier.
  10. Caliber Marking: 9mm handguns are marked with their caliber, often displayed on the slide or frame, to indicate that they are chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition.
  11. Takedown Mechanism: 9mm handguns feature a takedown mechanism for disassembling and cleaning the firearm. The method for disassembly can vary between models, with some using a takedown lever or pins.
  12. Ambidextrous Controls: Some models offer ambidextrous features such as ambidextrous slide releases, magazine releases, and safety controls to accommodate both right-handed and left-handed shooters.
  13. Finish: Handguns may have different finishes for corrosion resistance and aesthetics, including blued, stainless steel, or various coatings like Cerakote.

Advantages of Using a 9mm Pistol

9mm pistols offer several advantages that have contributed to their widespread popularity among shooters, law enforcement agencies, and concealed carry permit holders.

  1. Manageable Recoil: 9mm ammunition generates less recoil compared to larger calibers like .40 S&W or .45 ACP. This makes 9mm pistols more comfortable to shoot, especially for novice shooters or those with limited firearms experience. The reduced recoil allows for faster follow-up shots and improved accuracy.
  2. Higher Magazine Capacity: 9mm pistols often have higher magazine capacities than handguns chambered in larger calibers. This means you can typically carry more rounds in a magazine, which can be especially valuable in self-defense situations or competitive shooting sports.
  3. Adequate Stopping Power: Advances in ammunition technology have led to the development of effective self-defense loads in 9mm. Modern hollow point ammunition offers reliable stopping power, making 9mm pistols a viable choice for personal defense.
  4. Availability and Affordability: 9mm ammunition is widely available and is often more affordable than ammunition for larger calibers. This makes practicing and training with a 9mm pistol more cost-effective.
  5. Versatility: 9mm pistols are versatile and can be used for various purposes, including self-defense, target shooting, competitive shooting sports, and law enforcement duty carry. Their adaptability makes them suitable for a wide range of applications.
  6. Concealability: Many 9mm pistols are compact and suitable for concealed carry. Their smaller size and lighter weight make them easier to carry discreetly.
  7. Firearm Selection: There is a vast selection of 9mm handguns from various manufacturers, offering a wide range of features, sizes, and designs. This diversity allows individuals to find a 9mm pistol that suits their specific needs and preferences.
  8. Reduced Over-Penetration Risk: The 9mm cartridge, with proper ammunition selection, may offer reduced risk of over-penetration in self-defense situations compared to larger calibers, which can help minimize collateral damage.
  9. Ammunition Compatibility: Many law enforcement agencies and military forces around the world use 9mm ammunition, which can simplify logistics and reduce costs for agencies and individuals who choose 9mm pistols.
  10. Training and Skill Development: Due to its manageable recoil and affordability, 9mm pistols are excellent choices for training and skill development. Shooters can practice more rounds without breaking the bank, leading to improved marksmanship and firearm proficiency.
  11. Reduced Wear and Tear on Firearms: Smaller calibers like 9mm generally result in less wear and tear on the firearm, contributing to longer firearm lifespan and lower maintenance costs.

Disadvantages of Using a 9mm Pistol

Surprisingly, despite its many advantages, there are also some notable drawbacks to using a 9mm handgun.

  1. Limited Stopping Power: While modern 9mm ammunition is effective for self-defense, some individuals may perceive it as having less stopping power compared to larger calibers like .40 S&W or .45 ACP. This perception can affect confidence in the caliber's stopping ability.
  2. Limited Barrier Penetration: The 9mm's relatively high velocity can lead to decreased barrier penetration compared to larger calibers. While this can reduce the risk of over-penetration, it may also limit effectiveness when shooting through obstacles such as barriers or heavy clothing.
  3. Reduced Range and Accuracy Compared to Rifles: 9mm pistols are inherently less accurate and have a shorter effective range compared to rifles. This limitation can be a disadvantage in situations where precision and longer engagement distances are required.
  4. Capacity vs. Size Tradeoff: Smaller 9mm pistols designed for concealed carry often sacrifice magazine capacity for compactness. This tradeoff may result in lower round counts, requiring more frequent magazine changes.
  5. Recoil Sensitivity: While 9mm recoil is generally manageable, individuals with physical limitations, such as arthritis or reduced hand strength, may still find it challenging to handle.
  6. Availability During Shortages: During times of high demand or ammunition shortages, 9mm ammunition may be more scarce and expensive compared to less popular calibers.
  7. Variability in Ammunition Performance: The effectiveness of 9mm ammunition can vary based on the specific load and manufacturer. It's crucial to select quality self-defense ammunition to ensure reliable terminal ballistics.
  8. Noise and Recoil (Subjective): Some shooters may find 9mm handguns to be louder and produce more recoil than expected, impacting their comfort and shooting experience.
  9. Limited Range for Target Shooting: If you're primarily interested in long-range target shooting, a 9mm pistol may not be the ideal choice due to its limited effective range and accuracy compared to rifles.
  10. Maintenance and Cleaning: The smaller components and tighter tolerances in 9mm pistols can make maintenance and cleaning slightly more challenging and time-consuming for some users.
  11. Caliber Compatibility: If you already own firearms in a different caliber, such as .40 S&W or .45 ACP, you may prefer to stick with that caliber for the sake of ammunition compatibility.

Different Types of 9mm Handguns

In exploring the world of 9mm handguns, one will find a diverse array of options, including full-size, compact, and sub-compact models. It's essential to choose a 9mm handgun that aligns with your intended use, preferences, and comfort level. Factors like size, magazine capacity, and action type will influence your decision. Additionally, consider seeking guidance from a knowledgeable firearms instructor or dealer to find the right type of 9mm handgun for your needs.

  1. Full-Sized Pistols: Full-sized 9mm pistols are typically designed for duty use, home defense, and target shooting. They offer a longer barrel and a larger grip, which can accommodate higher magazine capacities. These pistols are often used by law enforcement and military personnel.
  2. Compact Pistols: Compact 9mm pistols are smaller and more easily concealable than full-sized pistols. They are popular choices for concealed carry due to their reduced size and weight. Some compact pistols are designed for subcompact or pocket carry, making them highly concealable.
  3. Subcompact Pistols: Subcompact 9mm pistols are even smaller than compact models and are intended for deep concealment. They are often favored for concealed carry in situations where discretion is crucial. Subcompact pistols may have reduced magazine capacity compared to larger models.
  4. Single-Stack Pistols: Single-stack 9mm pistols have magazines that stack rounds in a single column, resulting in a thinner grip profile. These handguns are known for their comfort during concealed carry, although they typically have lower magazine capacities.
  5. Double-Stack Pistols: Double-stack 9mm pistols have wider grips that accommodate magazines with staggered rounds. This design allows for higher magazine capacities but can be bulkier, making them more challenging to conceal for some individuals.
  6. Striker-Fired Pistols: Striker-fired pistols are popular among law enforcement and civilian users. They feature a striker-fired ignition system, often with consistent trigger pulls for each shot. Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P, and Springfield XD are examples of striker-fired 9mm pistols.
  7. Hammer-Fired Pistols: Hammer-fired 9mm pistols use a traditional hammer to strike the firing pin. They may offer single-action or double-action trigger modes. Examples include the Beretta 92 and CZ 75.
  8. 1911-Style Pistols: These are 9mm handguns that follow the design of the classic Colt 1911. They are known for their single-action trigger and distinct grip angle. 1911-style pistols can be found in various sizes, including full-sized and compact versions.
  9. Competition Pistols: Competition-specific 9mm pistols are designed for accuracy and performance in shooting sports such as IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) and USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association). They often have extended barrels, adjustable sights, and enhanced triggers.
  10. Tactical Pistols: Tactical 9mm handguns are designed for use in tactical or combat scenarios. They may feature threaded barrels for suppressor attachment, night sights, and accessory rails for attaching lights and lasers.
  11. Revolver-Chambered Pistols: Some manufacturers produce 9mm handguns that resemble revolvers in appearance but use semi-automatic actions and magazines. These pistols offer a unique blend of aesthetics and functionality.
  12. Polymer Frame Pistols: Many modern 9mm pistols feature polymer frames, which are lightweight, durable, and resistant to corrosion. Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P, and Springfield XD series are well-known examples of polymer frame 9mm pistols.
  13. Bullpup Pistols: Bullpup 9mm pistols have a unique design with the action located behind the trigger. This design allows for a compact overall length while maintaining a full-length barrel.
  14. Pocket Pistols: Pocket-sized 9mm handguns are extremely compact and lightweight, designed for easy carry in a pocket holster. They are suitable for concealed carry but typically have limited magazine capacity.

Recommendations for Home Defense 9mm Pistols

Recommended 9mm pistols for home defense can vary depending on personal preferences and needs. However, several models are well-regarded for their reliability, features, and suitability for home defense. Here are some recommended 9mm pistols for home defense:

  1. Glock 17/19: Glock pistols are known for their reliability and simplicity. The Glock 17 (full-sized) and Glock 19 (compact) are popular choices for home defense due to their proven track record, ease of use, and ample magazine capacity.
  2. Smith & Wesson M&P Series: The Smith & Wesson M&P (Military & Police) series includes various 9mm models, such as the M&P9 and M&P9 M2.0. These pistols offer excellent ergonomics, reliability, and customizable options.
  3. Sig Sauer P320: The Sig Sauer P320 is a modular pistol with a reputation for accuracy and reliability. It's available in various sizes, including full-sized and compact options, allowing you to choose the one that fits your home defense needs.
  4. Springfield XD-M: Springfield Armory's XD-M series includes 9mm pistols known for their reliability and ergonomic design. They come with various barrel lengths and magazine capacities to suit different preferences.
  5. CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical: The CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical is a full-sized 9mm pistol known for its accuracy and build quality. It features a large magazine capacity and can be an excellent choice for home defense.
  6. Walther PPQ M2: The Walther PPQ M2 is a striker-fired pistol with a fantastic trigger and ergonomic grip. It's available in various configurations, including threaded barrel options for adding a suppressor.
  7. Heckler & Koch VP9: The HK VP9 offers a comfortable grip, excellent trigger, and ambidextrous controls. It's known for its reliability and is a suitable choice for home defense.
  8. FN 509 Tactical: The FN 509 Tactical is a versatile pistol with a threaded barrel for suppressor use and a high-capacity magazine. It offers customization options and is well-suited for home defense.
  9. Ruger Security-9: The Ruger Security-9 is an affordable yet reliable 9mm pistol. It provides a good balance of features and is an excellent budget-friendly option for home defense.
  10. Beretta APX: The Beretta APX is known for its modularity and ease of use. It has ambidextrous controls and a low bore axis, which can help reduce recoil and enhance control during rapid fire.

The best pistol for home defense is the one you're most comfortable using. So, it's recommended to try these pistols and see which one feels best in your hands.

Choosing a 9mm Pistol for Home Defense

When selecting a 9mm handgun for home defense, it's essential to consider both its features and your comfort level with using it. The gun's size, capacity, safety features, and ergonomics can significantly influence its effectiveness in a home defense scenario. Reliability is paramount; the selected firearm must perform flawlessly when needed most.

  1. Identify the purpose of your handgun.
    • Determine the primary purpose of the handgun. Is it solely for home defense, or do you plan to use it for other purposes like concealed carry or target shooting? Your intended use will influence your choice.
  2. Set a budget.
    • Determine your budget for the handgun. While there are affordable options available, remember that your life and the lives of your loved ones may depend on this firearm, so it's worth investing in a reliable and quality handgun.
  3. Consider size and concealability.
    • Home defense handguns don't need to be as compact as concealed carry pistols. Consider whether you prefer a full-sized, compact, or subcompact handgun. Full-sized handguns often offer higher magazine capacities and longer barrels for improved accuracy.
  4. Consider ergonomics and comfort.
    • Choose a handgun that feels comfortable and natural in your hand. Grip size, texture, and shape should be considered. Some handguns offer interchangeable backstraps or grip panels to customize the fit.
  5. Can you handle its recoil?
    • While 9mm is manageable for most shooters, consider your ability to manage recoil comfortably, especially if you're not an experienced shooter. A pistol with good recoil management can help with rapid follow-up shots.
  6. Check magazine capacity.
    • Home defense handguns should have adequate magazine capacity. Standard 9mm handguns typically hold 15 to 17 rounds, but some models offer even higher capacity magazines. More rounds can be advantageous in high-stress situations.
  7. Make sure you're buying a reliable firearm.
    • Prioritize reliability above all else. Research reputable manufacturers known for producing reliable firearms. Look for models with proven track records and positive reviews.
  8. Consider the sights.
    • Consider the type of sights on the handgun. Night sights or high-visibility sights can be beneficial in low-light situations. Ensure the sights are easy to acquire quickly.
  9. Put an accessory rail.
    • An accessory rail allows you to attach a flashlight or laser, which can be crucial for identifying potential threats in low-light conditions. Ensure the handgun has an accessory rail if you plan to add these accessories.
  10. What about the trigger?
    • Pay attention to the trigger characteristics. Some prefer a crisp, light trigger, while others prefer a heavier one. A consistent trigger pull can be advantageous in high-stress situations.
  11. Test the pistol.
    • Physically handle and, if possible, test fire handguns you're interested in. Shooting the pistol can provide valuable insights into how it feels and operates.
  12. Make sure you're familiar and you've trained with the handgun. 
    • Choose a handgun that you are willing to train with regularly. Proficiency with your firearm is crucial for home defense. Invest in training courses to learn how to use the handgun effectively and safely.
  13. Think about legal considerations.
    • Be aware of local, state, and federal firearms laws and regulations. Ensure that your chosen handgun complies with all applicable laws.
  14. Make sure you store the gun securely and safely.
    • Consider additional accessories like a quick-access handgun safe or lockbox for secure storage, especially if there are children in your home.
  15. Consult experts.
    • Seek advice from knowledgeable firearms instructors, gun store employees, or experienced shooters. They can provide valuable guidance and recommendations based on your specific needs.


Choosing the right 9mm handgun is a personal decision that should be based on your unique needs. Whether it's a full-size, compact, or sub-compact model from Glock, SIG, or S&W, each holds its distinctive features.

Don't overlook the importance of a suitable holster and concealed carry insurance. With the right information and a bit of research, you'll find the perfect best value 9mm handgun that offers reliability, accuracy, and the safety features you require.

The name's Chris. Just a regular dude who loves firearms. I've been shooting since I was a kid. My old man taught me the ropes. I'll never forget the first time I missed an easy shot on a buck, thanks to a bum scope. The image was fuzzier than my dog's butt. After that, I got obsessed with understanding scopes. What makes the good ones tick and the bad ones trash. After a few years and a few thousand bucks, I learned what separates the winners from the losers. Once I had a good stockpile of knowledge, I launched this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Table of Contents
Primary Item (H2)

Texas Watch Dog

Texas Watch Dog is your trusted source for meticulous reviews of optics and firearm accessories. We rigorously select products based on safety and performance standards, user feedback, and brand history. Our focus on quality, safety, value, and accessibility, along with ethical standards, ensures that you make informed decisions with confidence.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscription Form
We care about the protection of your data. We’ll never share your details.

Texas Watch Dog is an Amazon Affiliate. All earnings from this website are from qualified purchases. Learn more about our affiliate disclosure terms.
Copyright © TexasWatchDog. All rights reserved.