Carry Small But Shoot Big: A Round-Up of Popular Micro Compact Pistols

There are some great pistols in the smaller-than-compact 9mm market.

posted on November 24, 2023
micro compact pistols

In recent years, the firearms market has witnessed a surge in demand for micro-compact pistols, driven by the growing trend of concealed carry and personal defense. It’s the age-old issue of capacity vs. concealability: People want magazine capacity similar to full-size guns, but in a size that's really easy to carry. This roundup explores five popular micro-compact pistols, each renowned for its unique features and performance: the Taurus GX4, Ruger Max-9, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus, Springfield Armory Hellcat, and SIG Sauer P365.

Taurus GX4Taurus GX4

The Taurus GX4 has gained considerable attention for its affordability without compromising quality. This micro-compact pistol is chambered in 9mm and boasts an impressive 11+1-round capacity, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a balance between firepower and compactness. The GX4 features a textured grip for enhanced control, a 3.06-inch barrel, and a polymer frame, contributing to its lightweight design. The Taurus GX4 has earned praise for its reliability and ease of concealment, making it a top choice for budget-conscious individuals. MSRP is $399.99.

Ruger Max9Ruger Max-9

Ruger, a stalwart in the firearms industry, offers several micro-compact pistols catering to diverse preferences. The Ruger MAX-9, chambered in 9mm, is a notable contender. With a 10+1-round capacity, it balances compact size and ammunition capacity. The MAX-9 features an optics-ready slide, allowing users to easily mount red dot sights for improved accuracy. Ruger's commitment to quality craftsmanship and innovation is evident in the MAX-9, making it a popular choice for those seeking a reliable and customizable micro-compact pistol. MSRP is $439.

Shield PlusSmith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus

Industry legacy brand Smith & Wesson offers the M&P Shield Plus as its flagship micro-compact pistol and an upgrade from the original Shield introduced a decade ago. Available in 9mm and 30 Super Carry, the Shield Plus offers an impressive 13+1- or 16+1-round capacity, respectively. Thanks to its slim profile, the enhanced capacity doesn't compromise on concealability. The pistol features an ergonomic grip, aggressive texturing, and a reliable trigger, ensuring shooters can maintain control and accuracy in critical situations. With Smith & Wesson's reputation for durability and performance, the M&P Shield Plus is a top choice in the micro-compact market. MSRP is $499.

Springfield hellcatSpringfield Armory Hellcat

The Springfield Armory Hellcat has earned its place among the elite micro-compact pistols with its exceptional capacity and compact design. Chambered in 9mm, the Hellcat boasts an impressive 11+1- or 13+1-round capacity, depending on the magazine used. The adaptive grip texture ensures a secure hold in various conditions, and the U-Dot sight system provides quick and accurate target acquisition. With Springfield's commitment to innovation, the Hellcat is a feature-rich option for those seeking a micro-compact pistol that doesn't compromise capacity or performance. MSRP is $633.

SIG Sauer P365SIG Sauer P365

The SIG Sauer P365 has gained widespread acclaim for its revolutionary design, packing a high capacity into a compact frame. Chambered in 9mm, the P365 offers a remarkable 10+1-round capacity while maintaining a slim profile, making it an excellent choice for concealed carry. The pistol features an excellent trigger, textured grip, and SIG Sauer's renowned reliability. The P365's popularity is further heightened by its modular design, allowing users to customize grips and accessories to suit their preferences. MSRP is $499.

Parting Shots

Micro compact pistols have become a staple in the firearms market, catering to individuals prioritizing concealed carry and personal defense. The Taurus GX4, Ruger MAX-9, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus, Springfield Armory Hellcat, and SIG Sauer P365 each bring unique features and performance. Whether it's affordability, innovation, or high capacity, these micro-compact pistols offer diverse options for individuals seeking reliable and concealable firearms for everyday carry. Pick the one you shoot best, get some training with it and carry it with confidence.


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