*This post was updated for 2017*
What is the best 9mm pistol? Well….that is a bit of a broad question. What I want to know is, what is the best 9mm pistol to buy in 2017 that gives me, the average guy, value for my hard earned money?
So today we want to find out what 9mm pistol we would buy, if we were shopping for a new pistol. But what should be taken into account when shopping for a nice new 9mm pistol?
Personally, I would have the following criteria in mind when looking for the best 9mm pistol for my needs:
Guns can be expensive. If you were looking for the best 9mm pistol in the world of all time, you can probably name some pistols that are made from super space materials and the latest engineering known to man….but they are also going to cost you an arm and a leg! When I buy a gun, I don’t mind spending on a good quality gun, but price is an important factor. The value you get from the gun must justify the price you pay for it.
I don’t know about you…but when I intend to fire my gun, I want to know it is going to fire! A gun jamming on me just when I need it is not something I ever want to experience. So when I shop for a gun, a big deciding factor is how reliable it is going to be.
Most modern guns are reasonably accurate. And if you are a competent shooter, you should really be shooting accurately with most guns. But still, if I am shopping for a gun I would want to know that the weapon is known for being an accurate gun.
You get some really big guns that look awesome! Some are even nickel-plated and look like something out of an action movie. But in reality I intend to carry my gun on me everyday. For that reason, the gun needs to be light enough to not be an annoyance or hindrance to me.
Let me just start off by saying that I realize some folks are going to get really hot under the collar, because their favorite 9mm is not on the list. Or one of the pistols mentioned here is rubbish in their opinion. But that is okay! That just shows we are all passionate about the topic, right?
So please, share your thoughts and tell us what pistol you think is the best 9mm pistol that you would buy if you were shopping for a new gun. You can leave a comment in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!
|Gun||Weight (oz)||Length (In)||Height (In)||MSRP ($)|
|Glock 17 Gen 4||25.06||7.95||5.43||$539|
|SIG Sauer P226||34||7.7||5.5||$900|
*The prices listed are at the time of the writing of this article and are subject to change without notice.
Glock 17 Gen 4
Weight (loaded) -32.12 oz
Length – 7.95 in
Width – 1.18 in
Height – 5.43 in
Barrel Length – 4.48 in
Magazine Capacity – 17
MSRP – $539*
What is a list of the best 9mm pistols without a Glock on it?! The Glock 17 is a legendary weapon that has been around since the 1980’s, when Gaston Glock designed a handgun for the Austrian Army.
A quick interesting fact: The 17 in the name is due to the fact that Glock 17 was Glock Ges.m.b.H.’s (the company that makes Glocks) 17th patent.
There are a bunch of Glock models out there, in different sizes and calibers. Heck, a lot of those models could probably even be considered by some as the best 9mm pistol out there!
Of course a lot of folks do not like the Glock due to it being perceived as a “plastic” gun. And if you want something that looks stylish and sleek…well this gun probably won’t get your blood pumping with its no-frills minimalist look. If we are being honest with each other….a lot of people firmly believe it is kind of an ugly gun! Nick Leghorn from The Truth About Guns even went so far as to say “the Glock is what Bee Arthur is to the string bikini“. An interesting insight into his mind, I guess…
But that is what I actually like about it. I like the fact that it focuses on function and reliability over looking sleek. It is a tool to be used.
While it is certainly not pretty, here is why I think it is a really good gun.
- It is a well engineered piece of kit (as you would expect from Austrians/Germans), with a lot of thought having gone into a lot of the gun features
- At 25.06 oz (unloaded) it is not too heavy
- It is a good and practical size for everyday carry
- It is well known for being a reliable gun
- There are a lot of after-market mods and accessories available
For a pretty good practical review, check out this video from HICKOK45:
The CZ-75 SP-01
Weight -40.7 oz
Length – 8.15 in
Width – 1.46in
Height – 5.79 in
Barrel Length – 4.6 in
Magazine Capacity – 18
MSRP – $680*
The CZ 75 is a gun from the Czech Republic and is even older than the Glock, having been first introduced in 1975. When it was introduced, it was known as one of the new “Wonder Nine” pistols that was replacing revolvers in law enforcement agencies.
You also get a tactical version, unsurprisingly known as the SP-01 Tactical, which has a decocker in place of the manual safety and a accessory rail.
Different from the Glock, which is made from Nylon-based Polymers, the CZ is made from all steel. So for traditionalists that want a solid feeling pistol in their hands, they probably really like it. But of course if you plan to carry it everyday all day on your person, the extra weight might not be so comfortable. If you do decide to carry this gun everyday, you are probably going to need a really good holster and gun belt.
A big selling point for the CZ would probably be its accuracy. It has a very light recoil and should give you a very tight grouping out at the gun range. In fact, the recoil is so light some have compared it to shooting a BB gun!
Overall it is a well built and reliable gun. It is more expensive, heavier and larger than the Glock 17 though. But if you don’t fancy the Glock/Polymer-framed guns, the CZ could be a really good option.
Check out this practical video review from Colion Noir.
Weight -33.3 oz
Length – 8.5 in
Width – 1.5 in
Height – 5.4 in
Barrel Length – 4.9 in
Magazine Capacity – 15
MSRP – $700*
The Beretta is a pistol that has been used by military and law-enforcement forces the world over. The US military affectionately knows this pistol as the M9.
The weapon is made by Beretta in Italy and has been around since the 1970’s. It was adopted by the US armed forces in 1985 after extensive trials where guns from various suppliers were tested.
A quick interesting fact: Beretta (the company) is a privately held company and has been around since the 16th century! They are the world’s oldest active manufacturer of firearm components.
The 92FS is well known as a reliable and accurate weapon (that is why it is so popular in military and law-enforcement circles), but it does have a lesser magazine capacity than the other guns mentioned so far.
When it comes to a sleek and stylish design, you can see it is an Italian product. I think it is a really good looking gun! If the Glock 17 is the Bee Arthur of pistols, is the 92FS perhaps Angelina Jolie?
If you are looking for a solid and reliable gun that will be accurate, then the 92FS is a really good option. It has the typical accessory options available (you can add a light, laser, etc), but of course the accessories available might not be as numerous as those for the Glock.
But is it the best 9mm pistol to buy today? I think for the money that you have to pay for it, I might be more tempted by some of the other options.
HICKOK45 puts the 92FS through its paces in this video:
Weight -24.5 oz
Length – 7.1 in
Width – 1.3 in
Height – 5.3 in
Barrel Length – 4 in
Magazine Capacity – 15
MSRP – $650*
The PPQ is made by Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen from Ulm in Germany. And like most things German, this is a well designed and well made gun! Interestingly, it is not a 100% German design, as it uses a modified Browning cam-lock system adapted from the Hi-Power pistol.
With its angular design and glassfiber-reinforced polymer frame, it reminds me a little bit of the Glock. But it seems a lot of guns are going that route, i.e. the Glock clone route. However, Joe Grine from The Truth About Guns believes the PPQ has better ergonomics, a better trigger, better operator controls, easier disassembly and definitely better aesthetics.
While the Glock and Beretta 92FS are widely used across the world by military forces and law-enforcement agencies, the PPQ is not. It seems the main law-enforcement force to use it is the Taiwanese Police Agency. Which is weird, because it is a really nice gun! I suspect it comes down to price, accessories available and the amount of after-market support available. And of course, the Glock has a reputation and name recognition that few other gun suppliers can compete with.
Once again, HICKOK45 gives a detailed review of the PPQ:
Heckler and Koch VP9
Weight -25.56 oz
Length – 7.34 in
Width – 1.32 in
Height – 5.41 in
Barrel Length – 4.09 in
Magazine Capacity – 10/15
MSRP – $680*
The H&K VP9 is another gun on our “best 9mm pistol” list that is made by our German friends. It is also another Polymer-framed Glock look-alike.
In case you were wondering, the VP stands “volkspistole”, which translates to “people’s pistol”. So it seems they intend this to be the VW of pistols? The pistol is used by a number of German as well as US police forces.
As usual, the German made gun is solid, well made, reliable and accurate. Is it as accurate as say the PPQ though? Some folks say no, and that the PPQ is a better option if you are going for accuracy.
If you have to choose between theVP9, a PPQ and a Glock….it will probably come down to your personal preferences.
Check out this video for a practical review of the firearm:
Weight -29 oz
Length – 7.6 in
Width – 1.18 in
Height – 5.75 in
Barrel Length – 4.5 in
Magazine Capacity – 19
MSRP – $600*
Finally! An American gun on our list of the best 9mm pistol options! Or wait…is it?
Actually, it seems the Springfield Armory XDM (X-Treme Duty, the M is for the match grade barrel and match grade trigger) is manufactured in Croatia by HS Produkt. Springfield Armory XDM is the marketing name they have given the HS2000 pistol for the US market.
Similar to the German guns on this list, the XDM is a polymer framed pistol. It has steel inserts and the expected mounting rail for your lights and lasers.
The XDM is used by some police departments in the US, while the HS2000 is used by quite a few military and police forces across the world. So it should be a pretty solid and reliable gun!
If you want a big gun that can carry more ammo than the other options, this is probably the best 9mm pistol for your preferences. It is not as light as the PPQ or the VP9, but is a lot lighter than the CZ-75 SP-01! But, if everyday concealed carry is your thing then this gun probably won’t work for you. I must say, I quite like the idea of having 19 rounds at my disposal though.
From a usage perspective it is a nice gun to shoot, with little recoil. But I doubt it can compete with the PPQ in terms of accuracy. If you have fired both guns, please drop us a comment in the comments section below to let us know what your experience has been? Still, it is probably accurate “enough” to get the job done.
If you are a lefty, you will like the fact that it has an ambidextrous magazine release. So you don’t have to worry about “fixing” anything as soon as you take it out of the box. As with all the other guns on our list, this is a well made and reliable gun that should not let you down.
TexaBulldog74 does a pretty good review of the XDM. Check out the video:
SIG Sauer P226
Weight -34 oz
Length – 7.7 in
Width – 1.5 in
Height – 5.5 in
Barrel Length – 4.4 in
Magazine Capacity – 15
MSRP – $900*
The Sig is a Swiss made gun, being made by Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft (SIG), with some German influence coming from J.P. Sauer & Sohn. The P226 was submitted by SIG into the XM9 Service Pistol trials in 1984 to replace the M1911A1. The P226 and the Beretta 92F were the only pistols that completed the trials satisfactorily, but the P226 lost out to the Beretta due to overall price. Interestingly though, the Navy SEALs chose the P226 with special corrosion protection.
An interesting design feature of the P226 is the lack of a safety. This is meant to allow the gun to be drawn quickly without the shooter having to worry about having to flip the safety on or off.
Once again, this is a gun that is not the smallest or the lightest. Everyday concealed carry is not going to be very comfortable with this pistol. If you are carrying OWB, then of course it is not too much of a problem (though you will probably still need a sturdy belt and holster).
As you would expect from a Swiss/German gun, it is a really well designed and well made weapon. It is an awesome firearm. But the reason I won’t buy it is simply the price. It is much more expensive than the other options on our list. And I am not convinced that it justifies spending so much more on this pistol when I can get a really good PPQ or Glock for a lot less. But I am sure there are a lot of folks that would disagree and happily spend that kind of money on this pistol. Are you one of them?
Check out this review video of the Sig P266:
Which Pistol Would We Choose?
There are a lot of people out there that would list some pistols that they say are the best 9mm pistols out there. And that is fine, but we want to find the best 9mm pistol that we can buy today, and that gives the best value for money.
That means our final selection will be biased though. Everyone has different needs and preferences. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I want a gun that is affordable, reliable and accurate. I also want to be able to carry it everyday with comfort.
So really that will exclude the CZ-75 SP-01, Beretta 92FS and SIG Sauer P226, as they are either too large and heavy, or just too expensive.
That leaves us with the Glock and its clones, the Walther PPQ and the H&K VP9. And this is where personal preference comes in. If I had to go out and buy a 9mm pistol today, I would probably go for the Walther PPQ. It is slightly more expensive than the Glock, but I just like it more in terms of looks and design features.
What Do You Think – What Is The Best 9mm Pistol?
If you were on the market today looking to buy the best 9mm pistol for the money, which pistol would you go for and why? Have you owned any of the pistols we talked about above?
If you have some thoughts, please share them with us in the comments section below. We would love to hear which pistol you think is the best 9mm pistol.