The Search for the Perfect 9mm Carry Pistol


For a while now I’ve been looking for a good 9mm pistol that I could carry in colder weather when I’m wearing a few more layers of clothing. The .380 works well for me when it’s warm out (and I’m wearing less clothing), but I know I’m sacrificing power for the small size.

It’s not that I’m ready to make the purchase or anything, but I just keep looking. There are good guns out there, but I’m looking for the perfect one.

After looking in vain for this perfect gun, I’ve realized I have developed several stipulations. My ideal carry 9mm would have the following criteria:

Ammo Choice

Obviously the ammunition has to be 9mm Luger. The reason is because the round has plenty of power, but is small enough to create more capacity room in the magazine. It usually ends up giving you an extra round.

Not Too Big

It’s easier to hide a smaller pistol in your apparel than a bigger one (obviously). So it needs to be minute.

I want the barrel length to be around 3 inches or less. The width then needs to be closer to 3/4 of an inch than it is to a full inch.

Then the overall length and height requirements are a little more ambiguous. It has to be small enough to fit into the drawers without printing.

Not Too Small

The only problem with the lack of size then becomes that if it’s too small, it will be hard to hold onto when firing. That won’t do either.


I’d like to have at least 7 rounds in the magazine, 8 would be better, 9 is a dream.


Because I’d like the pistol to be thin, the magazine has to be single stack. Of course a single stack won’t hold much more than 9 rounds. I guess that means that the capacity issue is clearly defined.


Because I could be carrying it all day, the pistol has to be light-weight. I’m guessing that much more than 20 ounces empty is too heavy. I gotta be comfortable.


Since it has to be to be light, a polymer frame is the way to go.


I don’t have a huge preference here. The pistol can be either be striker fired or hammer fired. But if it’s a hammer, I don’t want an exterior hammer. That could get caught up in the clothing when being removed quickly from the holster.

It appears to me that the interior hammer fired pistols are a little shorter on the back end than their striker fired competitors. That might make it a tiny bit easier to conceal.


As you can see, my criteria is a little strict. It may not be possible to find this perfect carry 9mm. We’ll see.


Has anyone out there found the perfect 9mm carry pistol?

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  1. Kimber Ultra Aegis II is the gun you’re looking for. At 25 oz. (I think) It’s a little heavier than what you desire, but there’s your gun. Have fun saving the money!

    • Nice lookin’ gun, and only a hair over $1300.

      • So, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, partly because I’m also searching for the perfect carry weapon – but I’ve been hoping for something in .45.

        I saw this today in my email inbox via GunsAmerica: Springfield XDS. I am very intrigued. It comes really close to your requirements (and mine, simultaneously).

        A buddy of mine has the full-size XD (9mm), and I have operated it a number of times. I have really liked everything about it. If the XDS is anything at all like the XD, it’s a GREAT gun – and relatively inexpensive.

        This might be my next purchase.

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