TFBTV Subcompact Showdown PART 2: Glock vs. S&W M&P vs. Ruger vs. Kel-Tec


In this second episode of a two part TFBTV series, James compares four popular doublestack compact 9mm handguns:

-Glock 26
-Smith & Wesson M&P9 Compact
-Ruger American Compact
-Kel-tec P11

James ranks each of these guns and assigns points based on the following criteria:

Part I:
Round 1: Dimensions: Size and weight against capacity – which gun is the most efficient?
Round 2: Trigger: Trigger weight and feel.
Round 3: Mechanics: Charging and discharging/loading and unloading the gun.
Round 4: Fit & Finish: Quality of finish, external machined features, overall fitment.

Part II:
Round 5: Sights: Quality and practicality of sights.
Round 6: Value: Cost-to-performance ratio.
Round 7: Shooting Performance: How well do all of the other factors coalesce into producing a functional shooting machine?

Also, James announces two new TFBTV features:

First, TFBTV will start a monthly “TFBTV Mailroom” program. Viewers can send anything they want to TFBTV at TFBTV’s PO Box in New Orleans. (TFBTV Mail Room, PO Box 52288, New Orleans, LA 70152). Send (a) The Item; (b) A Short Description of the Item, and; (c) (OPTIONAL) Your Name and/or Contact Information. We will open everything on camera and read your description.

Second, TFBTV is going to roll out a comment competition. *This is for subscribers or Patreon supporters only, so make sure you are a sub and we can view your subs in your profile.* The best comments will get a random item that was sent in to the mail bag (feel free to request a hand-pick, we will do the best we can).

The comment competition for this video is:
*”Which of these guns should lose the Subcompact Showdown and Why?”*

Winners will be announced on the TYouTube Video Page (check the pinned comment) or on James’ Instagram:

Good luck!

Official Rules for Mail Room and Comment Competition:

TFBTV Mail Room Rules:
– Please send an (1) An item; (2) A description, and (3) (OPTIONAL) Your name and contact information.
– Sending in an item does not guarantee that it will be shown on air.
– Postage is the responsibility of the sender.
– Any item sent to TFBTV becomes the property of TFBTV.
– Sender assumes all liability for sending any unreasonably dangerous or illegal material to TFBTV.

TFBTV Subscriber Comment Competition Rules:
– Comment competition is open to subscribers only. TFBTV will verify the commenter’s subscription before sending any prizes.
– TFBTV reserves the right to select any comment as the winning comment based upon any criteria whatsoever. While “thumbs up” counts are helpful, TFBTV recognizes that earlier comments tend to accumulate more attention than “better” comments that are submitted later.
– TFBTV is under no obligation to deliver any prize whatsoever and does not guarantee that the winning commenter will receive any prize, regardless of any comments or actions made by TFBTV stating otherwise. (For example only, if the winner’s package is lost, or stolen, or TFBTV deems the prize impractical to send for whatever reason, TFBTV has no responsibility to replace, reimburse, or in any way compensate the winner). Accordingly, do not act in reliance upon a promise that TFBTV will be sending the winner a prize.
– The winner accepts and uses the prize at his own risk and agrees to release TFBTV from all liability for use or possession of the item. The winner will be responsible for verifying the legality of the item in his or her locale.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Proxibid – Shop For Home Defense Pistols Online Here

 Ventura Munitions – Retailer of quality ammunition.


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Transcript ….

[coming soon]

James Reeves

• NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
• “Co-Director” [air quotes] of TFBTV
• Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
• Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
• GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
• Lawyer
► Instagram: jjreevesii
► Twitter: @jjreeves
► Vimeo: JJReeves
► 500px: JJReeves


  • Sean

    Isn’t part 7 all that matters?

    • ostiariusalpha

      Not on a subcompact. Otherwise we’d all be trying to conceal carry long-slide target pistols.

  • DwnRange

    The winner in my book (own the P11 and the G26, btw) is the only one that will run 10, 15, 17 & 33 round magazines.

    (even if I owned the 2 Glock clones I’d still have to replace the sights w/ Meprolite NS and replace the triggers on ’em as I don’t do stock triggers on any pistols, save my Detonics Combat Masters 45acp, my Les Baer UTC 45acp & my Wilson Combat Beretta 92G Brigadier 9mm)

    • codfilet

      isn’t the idea of a subcompact is to be small and concealable?

      • DwnRange

        It can be that, but a concealed pistol can also be more than that, should the situation require (ie.. BU mag/s, easily concealed for additional firepower) and the G26 is both…….., hence it is my choice. Why load another 10, when 15, 17 or 33 is an option?

        Ya can’t predict what will happen in today’s world – so plan for the worst and hope for the best.

  • healthycuriosity

    I’ve purchased 2 S&W pistols in my life, a Shield, and a Victory. Both had problems right out of the box.

    The take-down lever on the Shield required Herculean strength to rotate to the take-down position. Not just me, took it to the LGS where I purchased it, and they couldn’t believe it. Exchanged for another one, same thing. Took it back again, requested my money back.

    The Victory…the screw that’s supposed make taking it apart so easy was inserted so f#*^ing tight, that I stripped the factory-supplied allen wrench trying to disassemble the thing. Once again, took it to the LGS (same one) to see if they could lend a hand. Three guys tried loosening that screw with a driver, not an allen wrench, and none could budge it. I think it almost became a test of manhood, which all of them failed. Exchanged it for another one, and it’s been just fine.

    Bottom line, I’ve had some QC issues with S&W, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever purchase another of their products.

    Just my personal experience — sure not meaning to offend.

    • valorius

      I had 3 separate S&W 3rd gen autos (6906, 5903, 915), loved all three. To me, to this day, no one has made a significantly better mousetrap than that line of auto pistols.

  • Nashvone

    How about an ultimate bottom dollar budget shootout between the P11 and a High Point C9?

    • Hoplopfheil

      That would be cool. Finally a competition in which the KelTec is the obvious favorite!

  • Hoplopfheil

    The loser will be the Kel-Tec P11, because it’s a really dated, basic design without any creature comforts. The highlight of the P11 is probably the magazine, and only because it’s made by MecGar.

    The loser SHOULD be the Ruger American Compact, because it’s a fat ugly brick that no one asked for. It’s amazing that after so many years of making fat, ugly bricks in the P series, Ruger made the handsome, svelte and ergonomic SR series pistols only to IMMEDIATELY renege on all their good ideas with the American.

    And how deliciously apropos that the American series is obese. Freudian slip, Ruger? 🙂

    • valorius

      I like the SR series better, but I like the American too. It would be my choice of the four listed guns.

      • Hoplopfheil

        Bah, I’d sooner carry a P95!

        • valorius

          P95 is a really good pistol in it’s own right.

        • Jeez Louise

          Screw that! I’m a small Asian guy and the P95 was a b*tch to carry. The American is nowhere near as unwieldy as the P95. For a polymer gun, the P95 was freaking heavy. But it was my first gun and I learned all the basics of shooting, cleaning, and carrying a gun with it.

          I finally sold it a year ago to get an SR9c. Now that’s a perfect carry gun.

          • Hoplopfheil

            SR9c is all things to all men.

            I love the “classic” P series guns (I’m a hipster, what can I say), but they were never competitive carry options. Except maybe in price.

  • valorius

    I’m a Ruger man. This is an easy decision for me.

  • 22winmag

    Too bad the Walther PPS (M1, not the hideous M2 of course) wasn’t allowed to stomp these also-rans.

    • Mrl

      My go to carry gun. M1 of course. Mine is the .40 cal. this was one of the first thinnest single stacks produced.

      • Dougscamo

        Expect attacks from 9mm fans in 3..2..1…

  • Jeez Louise

    But I just got my SR9c. Now I need to get the American too.

  • Mrl

    Had to sell my G27, couldn’t hold on to it. My G22 shoots great though. Love my S&W. Sorry to many horror stories about the P11. If you have a reputable gun shop I rather pick up a used S&W or Ruger over Kel-Tec for about the same money
    . If there is a problem with either they will take care of it or send it to the manufacturer for me. So the loser here is Kel-tec.

  • jonp

    The loser will be kel tec because its junk. You might as well have substituted a Hi Point. Works every time and customer service off the charts good.
    My first semi auto was a Ruger P 89. Ugly, big, loose and like every other Ruger went bang without fail. Isnt that the ultimate point?

  • Greg

    I’m confused, it says subcompact showdown and yet using the S&W compact. Seems the Shield would have been more of a subcompact.

    • Hoplopfheil

      But then it would be a comparison against the Ruger LC9, GLOCK 43, and KelTec PF9.

      Single stack 9mms are a whole different class of guns.