A 360° comparison of single stack 9mm firearms recommended for every day carry.
I encourage everyone to bring as much information with you as possible when shopping for a firearm. Deciding to become a concealed firearm license holder is a step often taken before actually gaining experience with firearms for most, and choosing the right gun as your first concealed firearm purchase can prove to be quite challenging. As a Florida Concealed Weapon/Firearm License (CWFL) holder, I can share tons of horror stories on my experience of carrying a concealed firearm. Some of my least stealthy and most uncomfortable moments packing stem from carrying a gun too big for my stature and preferred attire. It isn’t necessarily difficult to hide a larger gun, but it requires finesse and constant awareness. Anyone who has carried a full size pistol on, or in the waistband can attest to the inconvenience of using a public restroom. I almost always have to wear a cover garment, like a vest or button-up over shirt to conceal larger firearms, and an extra layer in the midst of a Florida Summer is just absurd, so I’m restricted to concealing double stack pistols to about three weeks a year. The following will outline three options I have chosen as optimal recommendations of single stack 9mm pistols for the new concealed weapon or firearm license holder. May it be noted I have taken into consideration that the new shooter is interested in enjoyable shooting at the range and reasonably comfortable concealment, as opposed to an experienced shooters’ confident interest in carrying a micro 9mm pistol as one would carry their cell phone in a pocket. Feel free to print these pages and highlight the features that stand out to you. Bring these notes with you to our Port Orange or Ormond Beach locations for more recommendations from our Professional Staff. We look forward to seeing you in person!
Glock Model 43, PerfectionWhen people ask me how I became interested in firearms I remember the face of my father. His introduction of me to the shooting world began with a Gen 2 Glock Model 19, at age 8. It seeded in my heart a passion for understanding the mechanics of guns. Grasping the simplicity of all Glock models sparked a flame in me that shed light on interests I wouldn’t have otherwise pursued without this foundation. I could refer to Glock as my “gateway gun” into the firearms industry. With this I recommend first, as a concealed carry single stack 9mm firearm, the Glock Model 43.
This model meets a level of performance and dependability that I, and millions of others, have grown to rely on through owning and operating its predecessors. In this single stack 9mm the grip angle, sight alignment and trigger action are seamlessly transferred to its slim profile, light-weight and subcompact frame. The provided flush fitting magazine, with a healthy capacity of 6+1, provides minimal ‘printing’ whilst carrying. An additional 6rd magazine with pinky extension will help develop comfort and control during training. Rest assured this little monster will chew up and spit out anything you feed it, with deadly accuracy right out of the box (Throw Back: remember when Glocks came in tupperware containers?).
Springfield XDS 9, 3.3” and 4”Springfield broke the polymer semi-auto striker fire pistol mold when they introduced their XD Series. Followed by an upgraded XDM Match Series, loyal consumers developed a demand for the single stack XDS Series pistols. With four independently operating safeties, this slim frame firearm ensures the user has a proper grip and has engaged the trigger before a discharge may occur. It comes from the factory with one flush fitting 7rd and one extended 8rd magazine, as well as multiple color choices of fiber optic front sights. Ask your sales associate to try out the smaller back strap accessory included with your purchase if you desire an even smaller profile.
Rest assured whilst carrying this firearm, sans a manual safety, that you have the most innovative and secure design available on the market. Look forward to affordable and readily available ammunition as an enjoyable 9mm plinker when you invest in the 4” model, compatible with nearly all 3.3” model holsters and accessories. Try Springfield’s even higher capacity 9rd magazine with XDS Gear grip extension sleeve for ultimate control at the range, and added capacity for familiar operation on the home front.
Ruger LC9S/LC9S ProRuger offers the slimmest of the single stack 9mm handguns with their model LC9S. Spawned from the LC9, this upgraded striker fire version boasts an aluminum trigger with incorporated safe action. Base models include a manual safety and magazine safety (the pistol will not fire without a magazine inserted), and Pro models omit both of these features. Each is equipped with a firing pin safety, and safety pin plunger as two independently operating safeties disarmed ONLY by engaging the trigger safe action and executing (on average, from factory) a 5.5lb trigger pull.
The only drawback to this purchase is that it comes with only one 7rd magazine accompanied by one flush fitting, and one extended grip magazine floor plate. Standard models include an orange “safety mag” intended for use during disassembly, as the trigger must be engaged/disarmed to remove the slide from the frame. This is a feature of nearly all striker fire semi-auto pistols, and this ‘safety mag’ ensures responsible handling during maintenance and care of the Ruger LC9S. Optimistically, the ridiculously affordable retail price of this quality sidearm leaves the budget wanting for accessories like the optional 9rd w/grip extension magazine, or a TechnaClip carry system to enhance your concealing and shooting experiences. Consider TruGlo’s TFO Sight Systems to see things in a different light at the range and on the night stand at home.