Top 5 Scientifically Best Sub-Compact 9mms

In this episode of TFBTV, James tells you which guns are SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN to be the best subcompact 9mm handguns on the market. Kind of. James walks you through some formulas he came up with to find what carry nines are the most efficient in terms of how many rounds they carry in relation to their size and weight. James gives you the top 5 most efficient doublestack subcompact 9mms,  and then covers the most efficient 6, 7, and 8 rounds single stack 9mms.

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Transcript …

– Hey guys! James again from TFB TV.

True story, I got a D in algebra when I was in high school and I had to go to summer school, which was awful because that meant more algebra instead of doing fun stuff.

Now, to be fair, every now and again some of the other kids that went to summer school would call in a bomb threat.

So, about once or twice a week we’d get an extra beach day.

But, math sucks! Everybody hates it, I hate it, it’s not fun! However, I’m going to try to introduce you guys to a new subject today and it’s call gun math.

So what is gun math? Well if you look at the title of this video you’ll see that I wanted to figure out what the most efficient, or the scientifically best subcompact nine millimeter hand guns were.

Why did I want to do that? Well as you guys know, I’m a big fan of the single stack nine millimeter.

That’s what I typically prefer to carry.

However, I also wanted an option to carry a double stack gun.

And so, in that search, there are a lot of double stack nine millimeters out there.

And they’ve been around, or more popular rather, than the single stack 9 millimeters in recent history.

I mean for example just look at the Glock 26 which came out, ya know whatever, 20 years ago, and the Glock 43 which just came out last year.

So there’s a little bit better selection with the double stack nines.

So I wanted to find out, what was the most efficient.

And, what do I mean by the most efficient? I wanted the most capacity of nine millimeter, in either the lightest or smallest package possible.

So, how do you do that? How do you find which gun is the most efficient? Well, I isolated two ways.

One is, it’s very easy, rounds per ounce.

You just take the weight of the gun and divide that into the capacity of the gun.

So for example, if you have a 20 ounce gun and it holds 10 rounds then that’s.5, one half.

You get.5 rounds per ounce.

Now as far as figuring out size, that was a little but trickier.

So what did I do? With size, again, we divide into capacity but the number we divide in is the height of the gun times the width of the gun in inches.

So, how did I come up with this formula? Well, if you carry a lot the two dimensions that you’re most concerned with are the width of the gun and the height of the gun.

Those are really the hard parts to conceal, not so much the length of the gun.

And for that matter, I didn’t want to handicap any of the guns for being longer because if you have a longer gun it’s going to be more powerful, longer sight radius, and you get some advantages from that length.

And it really doesn’t detract from the conceal-ability of the gun.

So in any case, height times width in inches divided into capacity and that’s rounds per square inch.

Then what I did just for purposes of ranking is I would take these two numbers, so the rounds per ounce and the rounds per square inch, add them together to come up with a composite score and that’s how I ranked the guns.

So how do they rank? But before we get there, I want to talk about a few general notes.

One of them is, I actually prepared an Exel spreadsheet and it’s got all the formulas built in.

So you can plug in your own guns dimensions, weight, whatever and it’ll spit out the number, the composite score, the rounds per ounce, rounds per square inch if you enter the data correctly, And I’m going to try to find a way to maybe put a link where I can distribute this to you guys so you can use it.

And as new guns come out, you can plug that info in and see where the gun stands.

Now as a general rule, double stacks are going to be more efficient than single stacks.

Why is that? Well, you need the same width barrel you need the same, roughly, the same size gun.

Going from single stack to double stack it only saves you a few tenths of an inch.

So the measurements really aren’t that far off.

And the weights not that far off because you’ve got to have a slide, you got to have a barrel, you got to have a trigger, you got to have all the same guts.

The double stacks just add a little bit more material in the frame.

So, they are always going to be more efficient.

Similarly, full size guns, the larger guns are going to be more efficient than the smaller guns.

And that’s for the exact same reason.

All you got to do it just add a little bit of frame material and then you increase your capacity greatly.

A good example of this is the Glock 19 verses the Glock 26.

The Glock 19, it’s only two ounces heavier and only.8 inches taller than a Glock 26, but it holds 50 percent more ammo.

That’s 15 rounds versus 10 rounds.

And another thing, polymer is always going to be more efficient than aluminum, which is always going to be more efficient than steel in terms of the frame of the gun.

And to kind of prove what I just said, I threw, in the spread sheet, the Glock 19 and the Sig 228.

Not neccesarily because I consider those to be subcompacts, they’re not part of this top five list, but what they do demonstrate…

The glock 19 demonstrates how well a larger, a full size polymer frame pistol, how much more efficient that is than its single stack and subcompact brethren are.

And guys, don’t take this too seriously.

This is a roughly objective list.

I’m not saying that, ya know, a Kel-Tec or a Glock or whatever is the best gun in the entire world.

I’m just saying that say a Kel-Tec P11 is going to be a lot more efficient than a subcompact 1911 with a steel or aluminum frame.

That’s just the way it is.

I know there’s going to be a lot of butt hurt out there, especially you guys that like the metal frame guns, especially you 1911 guys.

But that’s not what I’m going for.

This is purely by the numbers.

So number five, I was shocked to find out was the Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact.

And that surprises me because, at 1.42 inches wide the Beretta PX4 Storm, like your college girlfriend, is way to thick to get into my pants.

I just don’t see it.

It is a, I consider it to be a large, like a chunky gun and I would never carry one.

I think that’s probably by virtue of the fact that it uses a rotating barrel.

That probably adds a little bit more width to the slide and makes it really a larger gun.

But here’s the thing, is its got a 13 round capacity and it weighs 26 ounces so you get a.5 ratio, which I found out is pretty good for rounds per ounce.

If you get about half around per ounce of gun you’re doing pretty well.

It barely edges out the slightly thicker, but lighter Bersa UCP.

– Number four, the Glock 26.

I am so glad the Glock 26 made it to the top five in terms of composite score, just because it’s a hell of a carry gun.

It’s a great concealed carry pistol.

It’s got a decades long proven track record.

It holds 10 plus one rounds, not 13 plus one like the storm.

However, it’s four ounces lighter than the Storm.

It’s a quarter inch thinner than the storm.

And, it’s.6 inches shorter.

So it’s just a smaller gun, but you lose three rounds of capacity.

Alright, Springfield XD fans rejoice.

Finally, a top five list that I make that the Springfield XD is going to be on.

That’s because the Springfield XDs are the number three most efficient subcompact nine millimeters on this list.

You guys, you Springfield XD guys give me such a hard time about not including an XD in my top five concealed carry video.

Which is justified.

I mean they’re good guns, they’re just not my personal favorite.

So, I’m glad to see them on the list.

I’m glad to make you Springfield XD fans happy.

But, there’s a three way tie between the XD suncompact, the XDM or the XD Mod 2.

They’ve got a composite score of roughly 2.8 each.

They’re slightly bigger than the Glock, but 30 percent more capacity.

You get 13 rounds.

So, in that way the XD almost completely out classes the Beretta PX4.

It’s got the same capacity, but they’re just smaller and lighter.

And that’s great news for XD fans because you’ve got three flavors of XD.

You can go with any one that you choose and they’re all going to be roughly the same size, the same weight, the same level of efficiency.

So, if you’re looking at an XD pick one of those three and you should be happy.

Now, even beating the Springfield XD is, one of my favorite subcompact double stacked nine millimeters, and that’s the Smith and Wesson M&P 9 compact.

(gun shots) – [James] In fact, in my video from a few months back my top five concealed carry pistols video, I named this my favorite double stack subcompact nine millimeter.

So I was glad, when I ran all the numbers, to see that this was the second most efficient gun out there.

But, to be perfectly honest, I kind of suspected that because the whole reason I picked the M&P 9 compact, well I wanted to have a counter part to my full size M&P 9.

But, when I ran the numbers before I did this list just to see how the M&P 9 stacked up to its competition, I saw that this gun, while it holds 12 rounds, is roughly the same size as the Glock 26 that I had been carrying for a long time.

So, I was glad to carry 20 percent more ammo in the same size package which is why I got the M&P 9C.

And also, which is why it’s number two on this list.

So the number one scientifically best subcompact nine millimeter also happens to be the number one worst trigger for a concealed carry gun.

And that is the Kel-Tec P11.

Like every other Kel-Tec subcompact pistol, the P11’s got an awful trigger, But also, like every other Kel-Tec Pistol, they did a great job in engineering this gun and fitting it into the smallest possible package.

In fact, nothing else on the list can even touch this gun and I don’t know how Kel-Tec did it.

Maybe it’s because they make their guns out of recycled matchbox cars and ocean plastic.

But, for whatever reason, they’re really small, they’re really light.

The P11, it’s only 1 inch thick and it’s only 14 ounces light.

14 ounces, is I believe, that’s how much the single stack, six round Carr PM 9 weighs.

So, it’s pretty amazing that Kel-Tec managed to get a one inch thick gun in a 14 ounce package.

So, what did you guys notice about that list? It’s like I said at the beginning of the video, they were all double stack subcompact polymer frame guns.

Now I’m going to make a quick shout out to the Bersa UCP, because the Bersa UCP has an aluminum alloy frame but it was still barely, just barely number six.

To make things fair, I’m going to do a little mini top three of just the single stack guns.

The best single stack six round, seven round, and eight round gun.

And those are: the best single stack, six round gun is the PM9.

It’s got the highest score for six round subcompacts of 2.1.

It’s only.9 inches thick.

It’s one of the thinnest, lightest nine millimeters on the market at 14 ounces.

And, like I said, a composite score of 2.1 is pretty good.

Now, the only gun that I could find that was actually smaller than the PM9 was the Sig P290.

It’s smaller by one tenth of an inch, but it weighs 50 percent more at 21 ounces.

So the sig 290 was 7 ounces more than the 14 ounce PM9, which to me is just crazy.

Now the best seven round gun.

The Kel-Tec PF9.

The PF9 is the most efficient single stack on the list, period.

It’s bigger than the PM9, but it’s one ounce lighter.

And it beats several double stack guns on the list.

It’s got a 2.35, which makes it the best composite score of all the single stack nine millimeters.

And then for the best eight round gun, the Bersa BP9cc.

I recently did a review of it.

You can see the review, I put a link below.

I thought it was a great gun, but it holds eight rounds.

It’s got the best grip area to capacity of all the single stack guns.

And it’s got a composite score of 2.22.

Anyways guys, I thought this was interesting even though it’s math.

I hope you did too.

I could totally see this as bombing and everyone thinking it’s boring as shit, and useless, and hating it.

But these are all really important things to me when I pick out a concealed carry gun.

Again it’s so important, I’ve said it before, so important to have a gun that you’re actually going to carry.

When are you actually going to carry a gun? When it’s not too cumbersome for you.

Something you can slip in your pocket.

Something that you don’t even notice when you’re carrying.

When you need a gun everyone wants a bigger gun, but unfortunately we don’t turn to carry around the biggest gun that we have with us at all times.

So that’s why these subcompact nine millimeters are an excellent compromise of portability and power.

So anyways, I found the list interesting.

I thought this was neat.

I hope you guys like it too.

If you do, leave a comment.

If you don’t, pound sand.

No that’s fine, leave a comment too.

I could do a bottom five worst, I could do different calibers, whatever.

So if there is something else you guys want to see, just leave a comment.

I’ll be glad to do it.

Anyways, thanks for our sponsor Ventura Munitions.

Thank you to subscribers, Patreon supporters.

See you guys next week.



James Reeves

James Reeves is a licensed and practicing concealed weapons instructor, the winner of Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, a graduate of Front Sight, the Shooter Performance Institute, and Tier 1 Group, and is an Appleseed-qualified Rifleman. James previously owned and operated a gun shop in Tallahassee, FL and worked as a regional sales representative for distributor/importer, Interstate Arms Company. He is a coverage litigation attorney by day. James likes traveling with his wife, boating, America, photography, guns, gear he doesn’t really need, cold beer, and a little exercise here and there (James is also GORUCK Tough). Above all, James enjoys creating content for TFBTV. Follow James on Twitter @jjreeves.


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  • John Yossarian

    Eye-opening – Thank you James!

  • Kevin Harron

    Interesting vid. Thanks James.

  • Austin

    This could be a useful metric for choosing a concealed carry gun, though I think there should also be an allotment for ft/lbs per mag for easier comparison between different callibers.

    • Anonymoose

      That’s dependent on ammo brand, and we’re only talking about 9s here.

      • Austin

        True but you could use a standard type for the formula like HST, Critical Defense or Gold Dot and use it across the board

      • CS

        9mm+p+ is about the same as 357sig.

        • Anonymoose

          Yeah, and it’ll also blow your gun apart (make sure to use barrels with fully-supported chambers, reinforced breech face, and XP recoil springs and you should be okay, sorta like with a .45 Super or .460 Rowland). 5.7 also has about the same energy as most common 9mm, so with 20 rounds of that you’ve basically got every 9mm pistol on the market beat.

          • BattleshipGrey

            How many guns would be on the .460 Rowland list :)?

          • Austin

            Last I saw they had conversion kits for 1911, XD and Glock, as well as a few Mechtech variants chambered in it.

          • Anonymoose

            Whatever they make conversions for (1911s, G21/30, XD, M&P, P220).

          • iksnilol

            So no Glocks then?

            😛

          • De Facto

            I was looking into .45 super/smc conversions for glocks and the consensus is if you plan on shooting much “over pressure” you should replace the barrel with an aftermarket option with more chamber support, I imagine the same holds true for +p+ 9mm.

          • Anonymoose

            Not with factory barrels, anyway. 😀

          • Cattoo

            Thank goodness.

        • supergun

          Very good bullet. Plus Ps are plenty though.

  • Marc Ciurdariu

    Beretta PX4 Storm SubCompact uses the classic tilt-breech system en lieu of the rotating barrel system of its larger siblings.

    @James: Throwing some revolvers into the mix to see how they stack (pun not intended) up next to the semi-autos would be a great deal of fun!

    • Anonymoose

      340/360PD for the win!

    • James R.

      Greta idea. A revolver list would be fun.

  • Bob

    I have exactly none of these pistols. Clearly science says I am a lousy CC holder…

    • ostiariusalpha

      It’s irrefutable.

      • Bob

        Ow, you hurt my feelings. I’m gonna go CC the least efficient handgun i can find, like a Desert Eagle in .50 cal… Oh wait, I don’t have that either!

    • Mike Lashewitz

      Well . . . neither do I but I am large so I can carry my M&P 45 IWB and get away with it. Though it is uncomfortable. On all the smaller ones I always have to get the extended mags just to fit my palm…

  • CS

    At 25.9 oz and 15 rounds, the All aluminum Lionheart LH9 really deserves a sweet spot on this list.

    • James R.

      Added with credit to you! Thanks-

  • manBear

    ooooooor … Glock 17? Shoot any competitive pistol match, then tell me how capable a compact handgun is.

    • BattleshipGrey

      It’s hard for most to conceal a full sized Glock though. That’s why I chopped the grip of my G22 down to a G27. It conceals very well and is actually fun to shoot too.

    • Geoff

      Dude, this was specifically discussing compacts with an eye towards concealed carriers. Yes, a G17 can be carried, just like a full size 1911 can, but that’s not what this video was about.
      FWIW I have and love the G17.

      • Brent

        On an Excel sheet, it would be possible to add “Importance Factors”, or non-linear scaling.

        IE, Compared to a 1″ wide gun, a 3/4″ thick gun would scale differently than a 1 1/4″ thick gun.

        Or, provide a “Comparision Point” that would normalize to that instead of “unit 1”. IE, I carry a double stack Glock, so I want to compare guns to that, since I am familiar with the Glock unit of measure on thickness.

        Someone mentioned measuring volume, so more accurately compare revolvers. I like that idea, it also would help normalize variances such as safeties/controls. However, I would again incorporate both volume and width, because extreme width can be a factor.

        All around, useful information here. Thank you for the article/review!

  • FelixD

    Well this was refreshing. No ego, no obvious bias, no visible tattoos, no dark Oakley’s and you never used the word “tactical”. Obviously you are a throwback to the last century. As a shooter I hope you continue this archaic practice of providing useful facts.

    • James R.

      Haha thanks man. I don’t know what to say, I really appreciate it.

  • A different James

    Nice job, James. The factors for me with the most weight are first, you have to want to carry it every day and second, reliability.

  • Badwolf

    “…like your college girlfriend…” im totally stealing that.

  • jng1226

    Very interesting analysis James, good job. For single-stack 9mm sub-compacts, you missed the Diamondback DB9. 11 ounces, 4 inches x 0.80 inches and 6 round mag capacity leads to a 2.43 composite score by your metrics, making it far away number 1 for that category. I have 2 of them and love them. Keep up the great work!

    • James R.

      Thanks! I’ll add and credit you.

  • randomswede

    As someone who is quite fond of math, just at a glance I think this formula could be expanded to accommodate shooter/carrier body size and weight as well as carry position.
    Theory being that there are “sweet spots” where 1/16 of an inch of width is worth more than an ounce of added weight and vice versa. For those who “purse carry”* I would assume the largest lightest pistol that will fit and can easily be drawn is to be preferred.

    As an example I think the Bizon SMG with its 53 round magazine is worse to carry than the formula would indicate.

    *I’m not sure off-body carry is a good idéa, but there are those that do.

    • Austin

      Because this only goes off height x width and weight the Bizon would probably get a decent score thanks to that helical magazine not tacking on height

  • A Fascist Corgi

    A few points:

    – I love math…

    – The Beretta Px4 Storm SubCompact doesn’t use a rotating barrel like it’s bigger siblings. Which is too bad since they’re the softest recoiling non-steel framed 9mm pistols that I’ve ever shot.

    – M&P9c master race. I did this same type of efficiency calculation when I decided to choose the M&P9c as my EDC gun. I also bought into the single-stack 9mm trend but quickly abandoned it because I realized that it was retarded to sacrifice so many rounds just to save a couple tenths of inch in width and a few ounces. Not to mention that double-stack pistols are easier to train with and you can carry full-sized backup magazines. With my M&P9c and a backup magazine, I’m carrying a whopping 30 rounds. In comparison, a Glock 43 + backup magazine is only 13 rounds. And for the people like me that don’t like the aesthetics of the M&P line of pistols, the FN FNS-9 Compact is pretty much the same gun.

    – For the people like me that could never own a Kel-Tec P-11 because of how hideous it is, the SCCY CPX-1 and 2 are pretty much P-11 clones.

    • James R.

      Haha thanks. For a fascist dog with stumpy legs, you are pretty articulate. I’ll add the 938.

      • A Fascist Corgi

        It looks like the SCCY CPX-1 is the new winner now, right?

        • Just say’n

          Except for the horrible DAO trigger, the SCCY is a great gun. But , I just can’t get past the loooong 9 lb trigger pull.

  • Marcus D.

    I wonder how the numbers would add up for those of us who live in states with magazine capacity regulations, to wit, a max of 10 rounds.I’d hazard a WAG that the singles would show a lot better

  • politicsbyothermeans

    “Maybe it’s because they make their guns out of recycled matchbox cars and ocean plastic.” Great video and thanks for a huge laugh at that.

  • De Facto

    Hm. I feel conflicted about this list. First, I love Bersa. I have shot their full size 9mm and carried their UCP model for a couple years, so it’s nice to see them getting some recognition.

    On the other hand, I disagree fundamentally with the premise that polymer trumps metal and that lighter = better. What can I say, I like my old fashioned metal frame handguns

  • Pete Sheppard

    Fun, interesting video! For the stated criteria this was informative. Actual carry modes and personal feel is a whole ‘nother subject.
    I was gratified to see the respect for Kel-Tecs. I have both and have shot them extensively. I pocket carry, and the slight differences in dimension (and much nicer trigger) make the PF9 attractive to me. *NOW, if Kel-Tec would combine the PF9 trigger and rail with the P11 capacity…

  • Big City Lawyer

    As a lawyer James should know that until the scientifc community sees his article published and the subject of peer review, and then “accepted” as true, it is just a theory…and not scientfically valid at all….You will never get the gun community to agree this is the way to measure a best carry gun…as everyone is an expert…I find it an interesting read, but after concealed carry for 4 different law enforcement agencies and lots of training…I personally dont find a double stack necessary….I carry a Glock 43, which replaced my PF9 and my wife has the Ruger LC9s….all three shoot good groups at 25 yards….suggesting they are plenty big and all hold 7 or more rounds…..a single spare magazine puts the totaly far above what any CCW should need or could ever justify for a self defense shooting….that being said, if you can hit a human sized head at 25 yards, then bigger is not better…the 3 we have will drop easily into the front pocket of jeans or cargo pants and never be seen…that being said the Keltec PF9 is superior to the others in both size and weight…it is the choice backcup for most of the cops and troopers that I know…..just my 2 cents….did I mention I spent 4 years in deep cover assignments which gives me a bias toward tiny 9mms…..?

    • iksnilol

      A HYPOTHESIS, NOT A THEORY YOU NUMB-SOMETHING!

      • Big City Lawyer

        Actually, the law does not accept a proposed scientific conclusion in the same way we might define theory or hypotheses which are used interchangeably. In fact the US Supreme Court defines scientific validity differently. The Court says before a witness can testify as to an expert opinion it must be based on a “theory” that has been published, subject to peer review from other experts on the subject, and thirdly, only then accepted as a valid “method” of reaching a result on the theory. Once the methodology is accepted by the experts in the discipline may a witness use that method or technique to use in forming his opinion.
        The court does not use the word hypothesis nor would anything called a hypotheses be allowed in evidence. Daubert has now been the law accross the country for at least a dozen years. I personally have appealed a half dozen cases to a state Supreme Court on the subject. Just Google “Daubert standards” and you will get thousands of articles…
        The law looks at things differently from industry and science many times.

        • iksnilol

          Wuuut?

          I was always taught that theory = peer reviewed and accepted as truth (for now, until the opposite is proven).

          • ostiariusalpha

            *accepted to the degree by which testable or observable evidence can be shown, that have not been contradicted by other equally testable or observable evidence.

            fify

          • Bill

            I believe it is just the opposite; hypotheses can be quantitatively tested, theories must be reduced to one or more testable hypotheses. Or a theory could be considered a set of tested hypotheses, or disproved by the same.

            I was also taught that you can’t really prove a theory; you can only fail to disprove it, but I think that concept has fallen out of favor, at least when presented to the public.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Which is almost exactly what I wrote, except that mine is more correct. 😉

          • Bill

            NERD FIGHT!!!!!!! 😉

    • James R.

      I appreciate the well developed comment, but a few remarks in response: (1) “Science” was invoked for humorous purposes only; (2) The article/video was a ranking based upon a metric, not an advocation of that metric (check my disclaimer), and; (3) That said, numbers are numbers, can’t argue with them.

      • Bill

        “numbers are numbers, can’t argue with them”

        You sir have obviously never sat through a couple years of graduate level stats and research methodology classes nor had to defend a thesis. 😉

        This doesn’t apply to the study of economics, which is just voodoo wearing a tie.

  • Catt Stark

    Beretta PX4 Storm Sub Compact also uses a 15 round mag that doesn’t make the gun any bigger just slightly heavier.

  • Isaac Newton

    Just a thought: Normalize the size and capacity factors to be <1 before adding so that each gets equal weight. Moreover, it may be more appropriate to multiply the factors rather than add.

  • Wanderlust

    Better way to do this test: Since you basically are comparing the volume of the grip + rear of the slide a simple solution: put gun into a unbroken plastic grocery bag. Dip just rear of gun into a known volume of water while in the bag (yeah so it does not get wet) up to the trigger. Measure change in volume of water. This accounts for any curves or dips and would be more accurate. Cans still use wight etc unchanged but you could even get an accurate revolver test this way (since most of a revolver is way thinner then its widest point). Good article.

    • Shankbone

      I would add that vacuum sealing each pistol in separate bags and measuring entire displacement would also be a beneficial data point.

  • Reed

    First, I thought that this test was very neat. I liked how applying math can give objective way to compare things. I’m sure my brother, the engineer, would find it entirely too simple, but that’s not me. Thanks for doing this. It’s fun to apply to lots of different weapons beyond handguns just for fun.

    Still, I don’t like how people, to include you, insist on promoting a culture of laziness:

    “When are you actually going to carry a gun? When it’s not too cumbersome for you. Something you can slip into your pocket. Something you don’t even notice you’re carrying.”

    Right out of the gate as the reader I feel like you’re calling me lazy, but I know you aren’t. You’re just assuming I am lazy because I suppose many Americans are quite lazy. It’s a free country, but a little extra work for a big payoff in performance isn’t something to just completely disregard. I find, even in shorts and short sleeves in the Georgia summer, that my comparatively fat-n’-heavy CZ P-07 is plenty concealable. Granted, I’m 6’1″ with fairly broad shoulders and a very narrow waisted combined with exceptional physical fitness, so things are somewhat easier. I got some other Soldiers into the same weapon (or the Glock 19) and they’re doing just fine as well. I get 15 rounds (19 on the reload) with a nice stock trigger and very comfortable shooting in exchange for almost nothing other than some printing if I bend down to grab something (mitigated easily by kneeling).

    Sure, I know the gun is there and I have to put on my holster before fastening my belt, but that is not that hard or inconvenient. People whine too much. Personally I’m biased toward performance versus convenience, but I feel like insistence of maximum convenience at the cost of all else is a bit of a plague in the United States and it bothers me that it has infected firearms culture as well. I’m not against compromise, just outright laziness. For example, that news story the other week asserting that one minute of exercise is plenty. (No, really, this is a thing.)

    (Disclaimer: these subcompacts still have their place: deep cover people, I’d imagine. My wife is shorter than 5′ has hands so small the S&W Shield has too long a trigger reach, so she needs a wee little handgun. Me? I’m just settling for less if I carry something on this list.)

    • James R.

      All people are lazy, some just more than others. No one sane complicates things for the sake of complication. Fact is if something is easier to do than the alternative but net the desired reward, the path of least resistance will be taken.

      • Reed

        Well, your point about the desired reward is certainly fair in these circumstances. Perhaps I was simply applying my particular standards to a broad audience without considering the variables that affect others’ decisions about carry.

  • Edeco

    I used to use science, it’s good for some things. But now I run on pure intuition at all times.

  • Wharrgarbl

    This may sound stupid, but why does everyone care about weight so much? I’ve concealed-carried a Springfield XDS (21.5 oz) and a Dan Wesson CBOB (35.2 oz). The weight didn’t make one bit of difference. The size made all the difference.

    If anything, I want more weight. It mitigates recoil.

    Yes, for off-body carry I understand why it matters. But, isn’t that a separate question?

    • SM

      I used to be in the same camp, but after I did a rough hike with my full EDC, carrying lightweight stuff got a whole lot more appealing. Besides, 99.99% of concealed carriers will only ever carry their guns, not actually use them for defense.

      For what it’s worth, I went from carrying a Beretta 92A1 to a Glock 17 Gen 3 and I’m looking at buying a Glock 26 (maybe even a Ruger LCP) at the end of the summer.

      • Wharrgarbl

        Still seems like a specialized concern, though. When I think EDC, I think of *everyday* function; i.e. office job and light errands. I don’t think of intense physical activity, something done occasionally, or a special event one can prepare specifically for (such as a rough hike).

        I could see weight being an issue if you were, say, jogging (i.e. the lighter jogging clothes not being able to hold as much weight and the bouncing). But, being a special activity, I could also see it calling for a special tool; i.e. a mousegun.

        Mr. Reeves already took length out of the equation, so I’m assuming he’s using a definition of EDC closer to what I have in mind.

        • SM

          Both the Beretta and the Glock carry 17+1, however, the Glock is smaller/thinner, lighter (33oz vs 25oz empty) and just as accurate and reliable. Recoil is a non-issue with a full size 9mm.

          For EDC, weight can matter a lot. A heavier gun can sag your pants down when moving around. People are also much more likely to carry something lighter over something heavier. I move around a lot while carrying, so I guess I’m more sensitive to the weight of my EDC.

          Not to sound condescending, but why would you want to carry something heavier when something lighter will do the job just as well or better?

          • Wharrgarbl

            I already did answer that one: more weight gives better recoil properties. Also, if one is insensitive to weight, then one can purely consider the size, which does matter quite a lot.

            “People are also much more likely to carry something lighter over something heavier.”

            Yes, I acknowledged that this position was *popular.* But I can’t understand *why.* Why do people care? I’ve carried weights at the two extremes and it made no difference to me at all.

            On sag: my pants did not sag in the slightest with 35.2 oz. We are talking the same thing, here, right? IWB, in a holster, with a strong belt?

    • Nicefish

      I’m with you; I’ve carried an XDS 9 for about a year now. All the time, if I’m not in bed or in my office it’s on me Unfortunately my office is one of those self defense prohibited zones. I prefer the relative weightiness of it for recoil control and long range sessions. Got a good gun belt and inside the waist band holster from White Hat and am comfortable all day. Have my choice of 7,8, & 9 rounders plus one in the chamber. Usually go with the 8 + 1 and a 9 spare in the pocket.

  • Mark Horning

    Ruger SR9C 24.3 oz 11 rounds. = 2.1 oz/round. Trigger is not that bad either for a striker fired gun.

  • Austin

    With the first update to the spreadsheet up, did you expect many/any changes to the top 5? And would you expect similar results if this exercise was done with a different calliber?

  • Cmex

    For the first time in TFB history, a TFBTV list involves 0 HK firearms!

  • Guy in Virginia

    The subcompact px4 does not feature the rotating barrel only the compact and full size do, I like the goal of this video/excel sheet I’d like to see trigger pull and felt recoil factored in some how

  • no

    Just did the formula on my wife.. welp.. the Hi-Point 45acp did way better than her…. bahahah
    Lol the video like most of the videos you do man.. keep up the good work!

  • Old Vet

    I like my Star Super SM in .380, slim, long sight radius, all steel, and nice full length grip for my pudgy hands…

  • Barry Gaddis

    How in the world can this expert (and I do hold some respect for his opinion) leave the FN FNS-9c off this list is beyond me. In no way would it make it to the top of “his” list, but it sure belongs on it.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    Well done! I am glad I am a large person because I can get away with many IWB CWP variants. Sometimes bigger is better. Yeah I know “That’s what she said!” She really did….

  • Treiz

    I did the same math when the 9mm single stack craze was jumping off. I stuck with my m&p 9c, saved some money for training ammo. M&Ps FTW!

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    “Carr PM 9”. I believe you meant “Kahr PM9”.

    PS – Good info, I love data (I are an engineer), but I like charts and graphs in my Gun Math science posts.

  • The Concerned Conservative

    A terrific review. You took your Glock bias and put it aside. Thank you for a fair and objective rating system. Pretty clever, too!

  • SaveUsFromLiberals

    I would really like to see a similar analysis for .45s. Thanks for the information. Enlightening.

  • RickOAA .

    My choices are super unscientific by choosing guns I like and shoot best.

  • Archie Montgomery

    This ‘math’ works, as long as the underlying premise is one caliber is as good as another.

    I don’t. So I’ll politely point that out.

    Also, I find most – not all – double stack semi-automatic pistols are a bit too wide for my hand. Perhaps I should qualify that by adding “… to be confident firing one handed.” None of the Glocks ‘fit’ me. I suppose the .380 ACP version might.

    However, your argument is well explained and completely understandable; even if I don’t fully agree with your conclusions.

    I would encourage you in your efforts and writing. I would also encourage you to think outside the ‘common wisdom’ of the current phase of thought; the world did not begin and will not end with a semi-automatic pistol in 9mm Parabellum.

  • Mark

    I am surprised that nothing was mentioned about the S&W Shield. It is one of the more popular cc pistols out there.