The 9mm pistol is one of the most commonly used type of handgun in the United States. They’re great for self-defense, tactical purposes, military use and even sport shooting with their sleek designs, compact size, great clip capacity and high velocity. However, the question of which gun is the best 9mm pistol is still a topic of serious debate for gun enthusiasts. There are several top contenders for the title of best 9mm pistol. To really get a good grasp on which one earns that title, we’ll have to explore the various benefits of each.
Basic Guidelines for choosing The Best 9mm Pistol
While 9mm pistols vary with their designs and features, there are some basic guidelines to follow that can immediately make or break a pistol to be qualified for the title of best 9mm pistol. First, the price should always be below $650 excluding custom attachments and alterations. This is the best area for price as it is affordable yet not at a range where people would be worried that it’s too cheap to be quality.
Second, their outward appearance shouldn’t matter. Some people will prefer a firearm simply because it looks better than others. However, though you’re free to prefer one design over another, the main focus is on performance.
Finally, the best 9mm pistol has a good balance of reliability, quality design and materials, ease of use and performance.
The Top Contenders
Those with a passion for firearms and shooting have tested the various 9mm pistols to see which one they believe is the best of the best. Here are the main picks from the various gun enthusiasts of the world.
FN Herstal FNX 9
While it is known as being a bit of a Sig clone, that doesn’t mean that the FN Herstal FNX 9 doesn’t have a quality design and many features to offer that can make it the best 9mm pistol. It has a polymer frame, weighs 21.9 oz., has a capacity of 17 rounds and typically goes for about $470 to $500. Its ergonomic design and good grip allow it to fit comfortably in your hands. It comes with a built-in Picatinny rail to easily install various accessories. The safety, decocker and magazine release switches are all ambidextrous to allow easy use for both left and right handed people. The main highlight about this gun is in its redesigned trigger. It provides a smooth and easy pull both in single and double action that allows the user to have incredible control and accuracy. It is also seen as a much more affordable option to a Sig Sauer. Some complaints include the backstrap being a little loose, and the coating on the magazines wearing off too easily. Some of the included backstraps also feel a little too rough to grasp comfortably.
What others have to say about the FN Herstal FNX 9
“Recoil is very soft, with minimal muzzle rise. The recoil spring is a captive one (meaning it is permanently attached to the guide rod) and must be stiff because it really dampens the recoil. I need to take them side by side but I believe that the FNX-9 may have less recoil than the Beretta 92FS.” – Aaron Spuler on weapon-blog.com
“The FNH FNX is easy to shoot and very accurate in single action only mode. The single action stroke, in fact, is clean and crisp but with more takeup than you would expect. The break surprised the shooters every time. The gun’s trigger was smooth-faced and caused no problems with fingers after squeezing off hundreds of rounds.” – Mark Kakkuri on dailycaller.com
Glock 17 Gen 4
The Glock is one of the most prized types of firearm in the world, and the Gen 4 line is more popular than ever with Glock fans. The Glock 17 Gen 4 pistol has a polymer frame, weighs 25.06 oz. and has a capacity of 17 rounds. The usual price for this gun is about $530 to $560. It also has replaceable backstraps and slide texturing. Some of the main highlights about this gun are in its incredibly comfortable design, strong grip and nice texturing that make it very easy to hold and shoot. Many users also enjoy the great durability that this Glock offers, especially when used for law enforcement and self-defense purposes. A couple of complaints about this gun include the trigger pull being a little tougher than usual, and the fact that the accuracy isn’t as great as it could be.
What others have to say about the Glock 17 Gen 4
“If you’re a Glock afficianado, you’ll be pleased with the changes Glock made with the Gen. 4 guns. If you’re not an existing Glock fan, I’d recomend you try one out and see what you think. All jokes and odd nicknames for the weapons aside, they functional as they should. Load it, aim it, pull the trigger. It’ll go bang every time unless you work hard to make it do otherwise.” – Frank Borelli on officer.com
“Despite my gripes, the Glock 17 is a downright solid handgun. It’s reliable, built like a friggin’ tank, and has some pretty darn attractive features. It handles well, has tons of aftermarket mods and a booming accessories market to keep new Glock owners well stocked with various and sundry add-ons. It works, and for the money it’s a pretty good buy.” – Nick Leghorn on thetruthaboutguns.com
The Beretta 92FS is a strong contender for the title of best 9mm pistol as a great long-distance pistol. It has been popular with military and law enforcement for years, and has been solidified as the replacement for many old police revolvers and the ACP 1911 pistol. It weighs 33.3 oz, has a 15 round magazine, includes an alloy frame and usually goes for about $570 to $600. The main highlight about this pistol is the incredible accuracy. Many users state that they get great and consistent accuracy from 50 yards or more, making it a great long-distance pistol. Some negatives about this gun are the magazine size and the safety. The magazine size isn’t as large as most 9mm pistols, and the safety is located on the slide, which makes it easy to accidentally engage or disengage when pulling back the slide.
What others have to say about the Beretta 92FS “I love the Beretta 92 and think it’s a great pistol. Mine has digested what I venture to guess is about 6,000 rounds and it’s functioning perfectly. I bought one of the last Berettas produced with all metal parts (no plastic). It’s on my “Never will sell” list.” – Kevin Halm on pistol-training.com
Baby Eagle II BE9915R
Don’t let the name fool you. This isn’t a child’s gun. The Baby Eagle II BE9915R is seen as the best 9mm pistol for easy and comfortable concealed carrying. This pistol has a stainless steel frame, weighs 41.6 oz, and has a 15 round capacity. It typically goes for $540 to $570. It includes ambidextrous safety and decocker, and it includes a steel Picatinny rail. The main highlight of the Baby Eagle II BE9915R is the compact yet nicely weighted design. It’s small enough to be a great concealed carry gun while also having enough weight to bear the brunt of the recoil and feel more comfortable in the shooter’s hands. The smooth trigger pull also gives it a great reputation as a fantastic double-tap gun that is perfect for competitions. Some negatives about the gun include the smaller clip capacity, slide-mounted safety, and the fact that this gun is not rated for use with +P ammunition.
Springfield XDm 4.5″
A serious rival against the Baby Eagle II for the best 9mm pistol in terms of concealed carry usage is the Springfield XDm 4.5″. It doesn’t pack as much weight as the Baby Eagle II with only 29 oz., but the lighter weight can be a benefit to some. It has a 19 round magazine, a polymer frame and usually goes for about $570 to $610. It also features a strong and durable Melonite finish that improves grip and reduces corrosion.
The main highlights of this gun are the fantastic magazine capacity and the compact size. The length is slightly shorter than the Baby Eagle II with .02 inches shaved off, and the magazine size is even better than larger 9mm handguns.
Some negatives include the light weight and compact size allowing for stronger recoil, and the default sights on the gun being a three white dot sight, which makes aiming confusing and frustrating on occasion.
EAA Witness Elite Match
The EAA Witness Elite Match has been chosen as the best 9mm pistol for beginners while also being great for seasoned shooters as well. The gun has a stainless steel frame, weighs about 40 oz., has a clip size of 17 rounds and usually goes for around $580 to $610. It has a Picatinny rail system, and it works on a single action design.
The main benefits highlighted in this gun are the low amounts of recoil, simple design and easy operation. While this pistol may not hold a lot of bells and whistles for more experienced shooters, it is still incredibly accurate, easy to control and even easier to maintain, making it a favorite of beginners and veterans alike.
In the area of negatives, the finish tends to wear off easily, and the pull is a little too long for some shooters. While a long pull is safer, it can also make beginners uneasy while shooting.
Topping many lists as the best 9mm pistol available on the market is the CZ-75 SP-01. Sporting incredible accuracy, great control, a sleek black finish to reduce corrosion and even night sights, this pistol is a favorite choice among many shooters. It has a stainless steel frame, weighs 39 oz., has an 18 round magazine capacity and usually goes for about $620 to $650.
The main benefits of this gun are in its accuracy and reliability. Many shooters enjoy fantastic accuracy right out of the box and continue to shoot off thousands of rounds without issue. The larger magazine capacity is also a great plus for shooters.
On the negative side, some shooters don’t like the added weight in comparison to its predecessors, and the price is on the high side compared to the other pistols listed here.
Figuring out which gun is truly the best 9mm pistol is always a bit of a tossup. Some features are more important than others to various people, and other people aren’t as bothered by some of the negatives. Some pistols can also be called the best for one reason and not another. There are some amazing 9mm pistols out there, but which one is the best overall is up to the shooter.
Which pistol do you think is the best 9mm pistol?
A lot of people have different opinions on what the best 9mm pistol is, and we want to know which gun do you think is the best 9mm pistol around? Please share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below!