Best Micro Compact 9mm Options

December 18, 2023  
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Categories: Guns

You’ve probably seen the term micro compact being thrown about quite a bit lately. It’s a new genre of firearms that has become a mainstay in the firearms world. So much so that picking a single model to be the best micro compact 9mm.

A micro compact pistol is essentially a firearm roughly the size of a (formerly traditional)single stack 9mm with an extended magazine for a double stack’s worth of ammo. Most are chambered in the 9x19mm cartridge, but were beginning to see a few in .380.

SIG started the trend with their 365 pistol, but now we have a new model seemingly being released weekly. As such, we’ve gathered the cream of the crop of micro compacts for your reading and viewing (and maybe shooting) pleasure.

Best Micro Compact 9mm Handguns

(Or at least the most popular.)

SIG P365 – OG Micro Compact

The P365 started the Micro Compact revolution and quickly became one of the best-selling firearms several years in a row. The little P365 swung into action with its original 10-round magazine and was later backed by a 12-round magazine. This little fella still dominates the market and has since released a wide variety of models.

SIG P365.

The SIG SAUER P365 kicked off the Micro Compact genre.

As of this writing we have the standard, the SAS, the XL, the X, and the Spectre models. Its pretty certain well get more.

Each offers a variety of features and a variety of sizes. One neat feature of the P365 series is the FCU. Much like the P320, the serialized portion of the gun is a chassis that pops in and out. Shooters can swap grip modules on the fly and change the color, size, and hell, even material of the grip. There are even 80% lower style FCUs you can finish yourself. 

sig p365 with extended fifteen round magazine

With 15 rounds of 9mm the P365 is tough to beat.

I carry a P365 daily and have found it to be an excellent option for everyday carry. I’ve put several thousand rounds through mine, and it’s worked like a clock. I, among many others, will carry this gun for years to come.

P365 for Sale

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Springfield Hellcat

The second Micro Compact ever unveiled was the Springfield Hellcat. The Hellcat is a variant of the XD series and pulled a Spinal Tap and turned things up to 11 with 11 and 13 round magazines at launch. The Hellcat provided a deliciously small firearm with a ton of features right out of the box. This includes a flat-faced trigger, an awesome grip texture, really fast to acquire sights, and optics compatibility.

springfield armor hellcat pistol

The Hellcat was a very pleasant surprise from Springfield.

Currently, there are three Hellcat models on the market, the standard, the opticsready OSP, and the RDP, which features an optic and compensator. The Hellcat came in first with optic compatibility and did so on their standard model, which I appreciate a fair bit. The RDP is an interesting take, and I found it surprisingly controllable.

The RDP model features an optic and compensator.

Why Buy This One?

The Hellcat does offer a slightly more efficient magazine size paired with optics compatibility on the standard frame size. The RDP offers users a feature-filled gun that packs everything the modern shooter wants on a small platform.

Capacity OptionsMagazines come in capacities of 11, 13, and 15 rounds.

Hellcat for Sale

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Taurus GX4

Taurus surprised everyone with the GX4 Micro Compact, and who doesn’t like surprises? Well, they keep rolling in with the GX4 using Glock sights, which makes finding sights super easy. Additionally, Taurus rolled out the new gun with the backing of holster companies to make it easy to conceal on the fly.

taurus gx4 pistol

The Taurus GX4 gives shooters a price-conscious micro compact.

The GX4 provides shooters with a budget-minded micro-compact capable of utilizing 10, 11, or 13 round magazines. The 10 and 11 round magazines seem to be the same size, but ten-rounders are for less free states. The Taurus GX4 boasts an impressive trigger as well as a very ergonomic grip.

taurus gx4

The GX4 snuck up on us in 2021.

Why Buy This One?

The Taurus GX4 provides a budget-friendly option for those looking for a modern concealed carry firearm. At less than 400 dollars MSRP, it’s the cheapest on the list by far. Plus, for the money, it’s a healthy amount of gun.

Capacity OptionsMagazines of 10, 11, and 13 rounds are available.

Taurus GX4 for Sale

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Ruger Max 9

Ruger doesn’t typically jump on bandwagons and follow fads. I mean, come on, they still produce the Number 1, but here we are. The Max 9 takes design influence from the LCP 2, the EC9, and the Security 9 and brings us a modern Micro Compact. This little gun utilizes the awesome enhanced grip texture of the LCP 2 with a high capacity that makes it a competitor with the big dogs in the arena.

Optics ready is the name of the game.

Ruger released several models, including an optics-ready design. They also feature-filled the Max 9 with tritium sights that co-witness with an optic. On top of that, they offer a manual safety or a Pro model without a safety. My favorite part is probably the trigger, which looks odd but is impressive.

The Max 9 provides a simple, but effective Micro Compact 9mm.

Why Buy This One?

The Ruger Mx 9 is optics ready with witnessing sights on top of including both the 10 and 12 round magazines for a great price. It’s not the lowest-priced gun on the list but offers the most bang for your buck are far as I’m concerned.

Magazine Options – Ruger gives 10 and 12 round magazines.

Ruger LCP Max

So far, every micro-compact released has been 9mm, but Ruger released a second in 380 ACP. The LCP Max brings pocket pistol size to the micro compact world. If you want the smallest, lightest gun with a 10-round capacity, then the Ruger LCP max is here for you. It’s superbly small and super lightweight while still packing some real punch.

ruger lcp max

380 Auto ain’t for everyone, but if you want a high capacity pocket pistol…

Pocket pistols offer a lot of compromises, but you won’t be compromising capacity with the LCP Max. It’s impressively small and super lightweight at only 10.6 ounces. We get the LCP 2 trigger and grip design with a slightly bigger butt to hold all that firepower.

Why Buy This One?

It’s a pocket pistol with 10 to 12 rounds of 380 ACP on tap. It provides the smallest weapon with the highest capacity possible. It’s an impressive specimen, and I’m excited to snatch one up for deep concealment days. Plus, it’s affordable.

Capacity Options – Ruger offers 10 and extended 12 round magazines.

 LCP Max for Sale

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Smith and Wesson Shield Plus

It seems only natural for the Shield to wear the Micro Compact crown. The MP Shield started the single stack nine craze and now gets its own Micro Compact option with the Shield Plus. If you’ve handled a Shield before then, you’ve handled the Shield Plus. There isn’t much difference, and the Shield Plus is perfect for those transitioning out of 2011 and into 2021.

The Shield Plus combines Shield ergos with P365 capacity.

Ergonomics are the same as is the general design. The biggest change is the addition of 10 to 13 rounds of ammunition. It retains the same easy concealable design while packing more of a punch. Although the Shield offers a high capacity, it does lack any optics-ready options (at least currently). So, it’s still a little 2011.

Why Buy This One?

If you are transitioning from a Shield, this is a natural option as an upgrade. It’s the same gun with higher capacity and a more efficient design. Plus, it offers a manual safety, and I know some of you fellas like that.

Capacity Options – 10 and 13 round magazines are available for the Shield Plus.

Shield Plus for Sale

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Kimber Micro R7 Mako

I can’t lie. The Mako 7 surprised me. Kimber is a 1911 company that rarely deviates, but this time they went big. The Mako R7 is a micro-compact 9mm with a polymer frame and uses a striker-fired design. Kimber made an odd little gun with a heavily hooded ejection port, but that turned out to be a wise feature on an optic ready 9mm pistol.

kimber mako

Kimber also makes things that aren’t 1911s.

Additionally, they utilized Glock sights which are extremely easy to find and swap. The sights included will co-witness with an optic. The Mako R7 comes out of the box ready for optic use. In fact, one model even includes the Crimson Trace 1500 optic. It’s not a bad combination of features by any account.

Why Buy This One?

The Mako R7 would appear to be the best all-around optic’s ready micro-compact. It comes with an optic, co-witness sights, as well as a hooded ejection port to vent gas and brass away from the optic.

Capacity Options – Kimber offers 11 and 13 round magazines at this time.

Kimber R7 Mako for Sale

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The Micro Compact 9mm World

Micro compact pistols are going nowhere anytime soon. In fact, I’m patiently waiting for CZ to release a feature-filled, ergonomic option that blows the competition out of the water. Innovation is tough to come by these days, and it’s nice to see something that packs a punch in a compact package. Well, several somethings. Including at least one that isnt chambered in 9mm.

Which one is your favorite? Or what are you looking forward to? Let us know below!

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Travis Pike

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