Best Concealed Carry 9mm – We Investigate 5 Great Contenders!

What is best concealed carry 9mm gun? Concealed carry is an option that a lot of gun carriers prefer. Folks who carry in public or want a back-up weapon, want a gun small enough that provides effective concealment. When it comes to smaller guns, there are a few calibers that can be considered. These include .22, .380 and 9mm. The .22 is considered not powerful enough to be effective in a self defense situation, so is generally only used by folks for target shooting or small game hunting. The .380 caliber has historically been popular with folks who want a smaller caliber. However a lot of folks want a bigger caliber for self-defense andd prefer the 9mm caliber to .380 as it would have more stopping power. Thanks to modern new designs in the 9mm gun market, we have seen some nice guns come out that are small and light enough for effective concealed carry.



Below we look at five 9mm options that are excellent guns, which could be argued to be contenders to be called the best concealed carry 9mm gun. To specifically choose one gun as the best concealed carry 9mm is of course not truly possible, as each person would have their own unique requirements when choosing the best concealed carry 9mm for their needs. These requirements might include a mix of price, build quality, reliability, after market products and design/looks. So we picked five 9mm guns that we really like and think are good for concealed carry. Of course we realise there are other great 9mm guns that are not on our list, so if you have a 9mm in mind that you believe should be on a list of the best concealed carry 9mm guns, please share with us your thoughts in the comments section below.

GunWeight (oz)Length (In)Height (In)CapacityMSRP
Glock 26/27226.494.1710 + 1$599
Beretta Nano175.64.176 + 1$450
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield18.26.14.67 + 1$519
Kahr PM9145.4247 + 1$810
Ruger LC917.164.57 + 1$479

Glock 26/27

Glock 26The Glock 26 and Glock 27 forms part of Glock’s 9×19mm Parabellum series of guns. The Glock 26/27 are widely known as “Baby Glocks” due to their small dimensions. It was introduced in 1995, mainly for the civilian market. It features a smaller frame compared to the Glock 19, with a pistol grip that supports only two fingers, a shorter barrel and slide, and a double-stack magazine with a standard capacity of 10 rounds. A factory magazine with a +2 extension gives a capacity of 12 rounds. A nice feature of the Baby Glock is the fact that it can accept factory magazines from  other Glock variants, such as the Glock 17, Glock 18, and Glock 19.

The Baby Glock is bigger and heavier than any of the other 9mm options on our list. This of course is not ideal when considering concealed carry, however if you have bigger hands and prefer a gun with a bigger magazine capacity, then the Baby Glock might just be the best concealed carry 9mm for your personal requirements. At a MSRP of approximately $599, the Baby Glock is not the most expensive compact 9mm, but it is not the cheapest either! Only the Kahr PM9 is more expensive on our list of 9mm compact guns.

What others have to say about it:As it currently stands, I think I’d still steer people either to the Springfield Armory XD/XD(M) or the Smith & Wesson M&P. GLOCKs are the Ford (or Chevy, if you swing that way) of the gun world. Out-of-the-box they come with enough to get you up and running at a fair price, even if many users will want to add options that will increase the cost.” – Jim Barrett on TheTruthAboutGuns.com

Beretta Nano

berettaNANO9mmThe Beretta Nano, which was introduced in 2011, is a semi-automatic, striker fired, micro compact pistol line manufactured by Beretta in the United States at its Accokeek, Maryland facility. The Nano was designed and engineered to be capable of firing a .40 S&W round but the pistol’s initial release is chambered in 9mm.  It has a technopolymer frame and a Pronox finished slide. Pronox is a nitriding finish similar to Tenifer (typically used on Glock pistols) and Melonite (typically used on Smith & Wesson M&P pistols).



Designed to be used as a concealed carry self-defense weapon, the Nano has no external slide lock or release. Additionally, the Nano has no external safety. The absence of these protruding controls reduces the likelihood of the weapon snagging on clothing during an occasion where a quick and clean draw is required.

Compared to the Baby Glock, the Nano is a much smaller gun with a smaller ammo capacity. However this makes it much more suited to concealed carry with its sleek profile. It has a MSRP of $450, which makes it one of the most affordable guns on our list. Include the fact that this gun is specifically designed for concealed carry, it will be tough to beat.

What others have to say about it:The utterly sleek, projection-free profile and side surfaces make it ideal for inside-the-waistband or inside-the-pocket concealed carry holsters.” – GunsAndAmmo.com

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

Smith Wesson MP ShieldThe Smith & Wesson M&P (Military and Police) is a polymer-framed, short recoil operated, locked breech semi-automatic pistol introduced in the summer of 2005 by the Smith & Wesson. It uses a Browning-type locking system. While targeted at law enforcement agencies, the M&P is also widely available on the commercial market.

In 2012, Smith & Wesson introduced the M&P Shield in 9mm and .40 S&W. The Shield is a subcompact single-stacked magazine variant of the M&P line. The Shield has roughly the same silhouette as the M&P Compact but is considerably thinner at less than 1-inch in width. The Shield is the first M&P to incorporate an improved trigger with positive reset.

What others have to say about it:The M&P Shield is a capable defensive pistol, and for concealed carry comfort and discretion it strikes a very responsive chord among both male and female holders of concealed carry permits.” – Massad Ayoob on PersonalDefenseWorld.com

Kahr PM9

kahr pm9The Kahr PM series (Polymer Micro) is a series of double action only (DAO) hammerless, striker-fired, short recoil operated, semi-automatic pistols manufactured by Kahr Arms. The target market for the PM line is the civilian concealed carry market, as well as being intended as backup weapons for law enforcement officers.

The Kahr PM9 comes standard with either a black frame and stainless slide, or fully matte black. Additional features available on some models are tritium night sights and Crimson Trace laser sights. A special model also features a manual safety and a loaded chamber indicator.

The PM product line is known for requiring a ‘breaking-in’ period. Kahr Arms has indicated that its products are to be broken in with at least 200 rounds fired initially, as is the case with many semi-automatic firearms.

With a MSRP of $810 (at the time of writing), this pistol is a lot more expensive than any of the other guns on our list of the best concealed carry 9mm guns. It is smaller and much lighter than the other guns on our list, but we are not sure whether that justifies the price tag.

What others have to say about it:I think the PM9 is a shooter, and a keeper. I certainly enjoyed running it and it could be the gun that changes my mind about small pistols.” – TheTruthAboutGuns.com

Ruger LC9

Ruger LC9 holsterThe Ruger LC9 (standing for “Lightweight Compact 9mm”) is a recoil-operated, locked breech, double action only, semi-automatic pistol that was introduced by by Sturm, Ruger & Co. in 2011.

Safety features on this pistol include a loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect safety. THe LC9 features a black polymer (glass-filled nylon) frame and blued alloy steel slide and barrel. The LC9 was chosen as the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence’s Handgun of the Year in 2011!

The LC9 is not smaller or lighter than any of the other guns listed on our list of best concealed carry 9mm guns, however it is one of the cheapest with a MSRP of approximately $479. With the Beretta Nano being cheaper and the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield only a little more expensive, some folks might be tempted to rather buy one of those two options. If price is a big factor in deciding which gun is the best concealed carry 9mm for you, then you could also consider the Kel-Tec PF-9, which at the time of writing has a MSRP of $356. Some folks might argue that the Kel-Tec should be on the list rather than the Ruger LC9 due to the Kel-Tec being lighter and having no external safety or magazine disconnect. The Ruger however wins in terms of quality of construction, strength and a crisper trigger pull.

What others have to say about it:The LC9 is a good piece of work. All those Ruger fans who have been clamoring for a 9mm version of the LCP now have one. And other shooters who may not have been quite convinced yet about the shootability of an ultra-compact DAO 9mm pistol for serious concealed carry defense might need to give this new item a close look.” – GunsAndAmmo.com

What Do You Think – What Is The Best Concealed Carry 9mm?

We only listed five guns in our list of guns that we believe could be contenders to be called the best concealed carry 9mm. However there are many more guns out there that could be argued to be the best concealed carry 9mm. For example we do not have any Sig or Springfield on here, which there probably should be! So what do you think, which 9mm would you say is the best concealed carry 9mm and why? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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