October 12th, 2021

9mm Compact Double-Stack Pistol Reviews — 5 Miracle 9mms

9mm pistol compact carry glock sig sauer smith wesson springfield hellcat ruger Max-9 P365 guns america digest

Are you considering a small 9mm handgun for concealed carry (CCW) and self-defense? Then you should read an excellent 5-gun comparison review released recently by Guns America Digest. This detailed article and accompanying video cover what the author calls the “Miracle 9 category” — 9mm micro-compacts that hold 10 or more rounds without the use of extended magazines. All these five pistols are very easy to conceal and all are striker-fired. The pistols compared are: Ruger MAX-9, SIG Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus, Springfield Armory Hellcat, and Taurus GX4.

Here are key, short highlights of the Guns America 5-pistol roundup review. This is a start, but we strongly recommend you read the full comparison review on Guns America Digest.

9mm pistol compact carry glock sig sauer smith wesson springfield hellcat ruger Max-9 P365 guns america digest
L to R: Ruger MAX-9, Springfield Armory Hellcat, S & W M&P Shield Plus, Taurus GX4, SIG Sauger P365.

Ruger MAX-9

“The Ruger MAX-9 is the only pistol in this class to come standard with a slide cut that is ready for a mounted red-dot optic. The MAX-9 [also has] an impressive pair of sights. The front sight is a long one that houses a florescent yellow fiber optic[.] The slide stop control is small and can be quite difficult to use as a slide release – a common trait for Ruger handguns.”

SIG Sauer P365

“The P365 was the first Miracle-9 to market and literally knocked the industry on its butt. Despite rumors of intermittent problems or QA concerns, the marketplace beat a path to SIG’s doorstep and bought this pistol in droves. Being first to market has its rewards. The P365 is available in about a half-dozen variations, some significantly distinct — like the XL with its longer barrel and slide.” [Note: in this article, the reviewer focuses on the P365 SAS model with flush-mount fiber-optic sights.]

9mm pistol compact carry glock sig sauer smith wesson springfield hellcat ruger Max-9 P365 guns america digest

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus

“The Shield is most likely the best-selling micro-compact 9mm handgun in the past decade. The Shield Plus [is] a gun with millions of rounds of experience and credibility, proven popular ergonomics, and the presumption of staunch reliability. It is available in several variations that included sight upgrades and [optional] manual safety switch.”

Springfield Armory Hellcat

“The Hellcat is well-appointed, with an excellent set of sights called ‘U-Dot’ and a very nice trigger. Absent on the Hellcat is the rear grip safety that is found on XD models. The Hellcat is available in two variations – with or without the slide cut for an optic (and the inclusion of an optic is a further option).”

Taurus GX4

“The GX4 follows closely to the very popular TX22 in terms of ergonomics and grip texture. The controls are well placed and function very nicely. Similar to the P365 SAS, there is no takedown lever that protrudes from the frame, just a rotating pin. This reviewer has found the trigger of the GX4 to be less than ideal.”

Should the Five Miracle 9mms Be Six? (Adding a Glock 43X)

One Sheriff’s Deputy posted this comment on the Guns America review, suggesting that the Glock 43X should have been added to the comparison: “I’ve had a SIG P365 from the release. Love it. I’m a Deputy Sheriff and it is my constant off duty companion for years. Tried Hellcat, nice gun but paper and shot timers don’t lie, I was less accurate and slower. Other officers were better with it than Sig. So like we all know, shoot what suits you. Now I have two Glock 43X MOS. Factory night sights and just a trigger connector for add-ons. Those guns surprised me, I beat my Sig times and accuracy was same, excellent. So I’ve been carrying a 43x more. The 43x is definitely a contender to look at.” Here is the Glock 43X, silver slide version (10+1 3.39″ barrel):

9mm pistol compact carry glock 43x guns america digest

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