TFBTV: Top 5 Single Stack 9mm Handguns

In this episode of TFBTV, James takes up his favorite subject again – concealable 9mm pistols. While James has put out a few CCW top-fives in the past, this time, he’s discussing the very specific category of single stack 9mm handguns designed specifically for concealed carry, which models of this very popular genre are the best, and which one is his absolute favorite. Unfortunately, the regulars already know what number one is, but at least listen to the runners-up. As a special treat this time around, James also shows you the single stack 9mm CCW tournament that’s going on right now on the TFBTV Patreon page. Check it out towards the end of the video, and check out Patreon to join in!


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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


  • somethingclever

    I came here for the rage comments and I’m only hearing crickets. très déçu

  • Bigbigpoopi

    We called you a Glocksucker.

    • Sorry you were glockblocked.

      • iksnilol

        I got dadblocked once, does that count?

  • nova3930

    Had a PM9 for a while. Much as I tried to like it I just couldn’t…

  • Jason

    Glock still uses Tennifer?

    • ostiariusalpha

      I’m not sure that they are still calling it Tenifer, but the current nitrocarburizing process is much closer to S&W’s Melonite treatment than what was used on Gen 1-3 Glocks.

      • What he said.^ with EPA regulations, pretty much all Nitrocarburizing (sp?) processes have become very similar,at least that’s my understanding.

  • BillyOblivion

    Unable to load file
    Try to load it again or send an error report.

  • Bill

    The Glock 43 is the J Frame of our time. I suppose the Shield could be the Detective Special.

    • Stuki Moi

      Like the 19 is the 19 of our time…..

      I honestly think the Shield is more of a J frame substitute than the 43, in that it’s the bug of choice for users of almost any pistol platform, while the 43 is more of a Glock guy thing.

      • Bill

        The 19 is the S&W Model 10 M&P of our time, while the current M&P is the Glock of the 90’s trying to make inroads into the police market.

        Now if I could just figure out what the S&W Model 19/66 of our time is…unless it’s the new Model 66.


    • tiger

      booo…. hisss…..

  • DwnRange

    hummm, Colt New Agent 9mm is nowhere to found in the video or the speadsheet, also – “Who would want a CCW pistol with a mag-disconnect?”

    Yea it’s heavier and has no sights (save the trench) but at CCW distances it’s a point and shoot weapon and I have yet to fail any CCW qualification with it’s bigger brother’d 45acp NA and the 9mm version, like it’s bigger brother has without question the best trigger of any semi-auto pistol, (like any properly maintained 1911 in comparison to “striker-fired” plastics) and holds 8, (7+1), 10, (9+1) or 11, (10+1) rounds of whatever 9mm rounds ya like.

    ps – I have multiple Glocks and even a 43, (son uses it) and no question like all my Glocks they are fine pistols, utterly reliable; that said Glocks have only been around since 1986 and before that my Combat Master was my favorite go-to CCW handgun, (still is on occasion, as is the 45acp New Agent – they fit the same holsters).

    Kimber should NOT BE the only representative 1911 CCW pistol on the list IMHO, as they much like Glock have only been making pistols since 1996 (according to the SN on my early Clackamas, OR. stamped Kimber Custom Classic).

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    If Sig would make a P290 with striker fired internals (that was drop safe) It would be my #1 and nothing else would come close.

    • Stuki Moi

      What’s wrong with the Shield?

      I like the 290rs just the way it is. Just like the DAK (and 250) Sigs, it’s a high capacity, quick to reload, magazine fed revolver.

      There’s a million striker guns to choose from already. I can’t be the only one who consider revolvers my currently “important” guns, with the autos just something to have around in case things take a serious turn for the worse. And who consequently prefer the latter feeling as close to the former from behind the trigger as possible.

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        I would recommend the shield to anyone, but it doesn’t fit my hands. I put 800 rounds or so through the one I had and could never shoot it as well as other similar pistols. The g43 fits me much better. I also prefer striker triggers to da triggers. I vastly prefer the p320 to the p250. I have never inherently shot a carry gun as well as I shoot my p320.

        • Stuki Moi

          I do think Sig will come out with a single stack 320 companion. They may have to get the ship completely under control first, but single stack strikers are a big market now.

  • The Mystic Seer


  • Xanderbach

    I carry a shield 9, as the glock kept pointing at the sky when I shot it. Most likely because I learned on 1911s. Still- It was a toss up between the Shield 9 and the Glock 42 when I was buying my carry gun.

  • Ken

    Not to pick nits, but: ” . . . a whole smattering of variations . . .” on the Ruger?? Can I suggest that I think you meant “plethora”, “abundance”, “shitload”, or some such?
    I know. I’m a pr**k. Just can’t hep m’self. 🙂

    • No, you are correct. I was just drunk.

      • iksnilol

        Now you are a proper author!

      • BrandonAKsALot

        There’s no such thing as a sober person from our great state. If you aren’t drinking you aren’t doing Louisiana proud.

  • Marc

    Sig p239 for the win. 8+1 capacity trumps all comers. Oh, and it is hammer fired, thank you very much.

    • Haha, I love the 239, but is is one of the least efficient guns out there by the numbers. Very heavy and thick for 8+1. The 30 ounce all-steel P7 weighs about the same as the 239, has the same capacity, but is slightly slimmer.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    Well done and thank you. I have a few of these and will say I have a complete lineup of M&P Shields. I do love them more than my Glock. Except they seem to get dirtier faster.
    My wife also prefers her M&P Shields. Yes we both have complete lineups…

  • scaatylobo

    Glock owner and the gun I have EDC’ed for over 25 years,in harms way too.
    But just bought a S&W .45 shield and pretty impressed with it.
    Just not near as small and concealable as the G-43 !.
    And very annoyed at the requirement to play with that “wire” inside the slide to take it down = WTF was that all about ?.
    The G-43 is a GREAT BUG,and the Shield is a bit too large for the pocket carry that the G-43 loves [ YES in a pocket holster of course ].
    Rant off, go ahead and tear me a new one = its my thoughts and beliefs.
    AND if you want DEEP cover,the G-43 is about as easy to hide as a Browning baby .25 !!.

    • Grant

      If the .45 Shield is the same as the 9, you don’t have to reach in with a tool through the ejection port to trip the wire during disassembly. Just pretend it’s a Glock & pull the trigger.

    • iksnilol

      I don’t quite understand the G43, much rather have the G26. Pretty much the same thing only with 4 more rounds.

      • tiger

        Hunh? What is so hard to figure?

        • iksnilol

          The appeal, it’s basically the same size in exchange for having 4 less rounds.

          • tiger

            Still Slimmer as a single stack.

          • iksnilol

            Like, half a centimeter (about 1/5 inch). Something about diminishing returns.

          • Matt O

            I carried a 26 for years and had pretty much the same thought. Until a 43 fell into my lap in a trade. It’s not the size, it’s the weight that really makes the change apparent.

          • iksnilol

            What weight difference is there? The weight of 4 rounds?

            I still find it a non-issue. Besides, the 26 uses regular Glock mags. Thus you can carry it with a 10 rounder and keep a 17-26 rounder as a spare.

          • Matt O

            Number from glock, 43=22.35 and 26=26.1 so nearly 1/4lb. I carry both depending on how I’m dressed, while shooting they feel almost the same but on my hip I can tell the difference

          • Indianasteve

            Glock 43 unloaded=16 oz.

          • You are both exactly right. The double stack polymer framed pistol, generally speaking, is much, much more efficient than any single stack counterpart. If you check my neurotic chart, it’s apparent. However, the numbers belie the “in your pants” factor. The 26 and 43, while seemingly close on paper, vary greatly on non-quantifiable grounds. You also have to be on the lookout for the slippery slope. If a 26, why not a 19? They are really close in numbers. It’s like button soup all over again.

          • iksnilol

            What is button soup, comrade Reeves?

          • I’m sure it’s based on an older parable, but the “button soup” story I know is about Daisy Duck tricking Scrooge McDuck. She tells him that she’s going to make soup with water and a button, but she keeps telling him “so it’s good as is, but if we just added a liiiiitttle extra [ingredient] to it, it’d be perfect.” She does this over and over again until they have a legit stew, and Scrooge is in disbelief about how they made it out of just a button.

            Point being, it seems like the next level is *so* close to the level you’re at now. “It’s only 4 ounces and a quarter inch thickness to get from 43 to 26.” Well, it’s only a less than 2 ounce increase to get to a Glock 19 from a 26. And it’s only an ounce and a half to get from 19 to 17. So why carry a Glock 43 when you can carry a Glock 17?

          • iksnilol

            I see what you are saying… but sadly I’ve yet to afford an S&W 500.

          • haha exactly

          • iksnilol

            But in all seriousness, I sorta want a G34 with a G26 grip.

            I like a short grip if I’m concealing.

          • Indianasteve

            Why not an AR pistol ?

          • Indianasteve

            Prbly same as stone soup

      • scaatylobo

        I have owned a G-27 for a few decades and did carry it as a BUG when I was working [LEO].
        But the G-43 is a TON lighter and MUCH thinner too.
        I prefer the 27 for its load,the 43 for its concealable size and weight.
        The 43 is GREAT gun to carry for deep concealment,like in summer time.

      • Indianasteve

        The 43 I can carry in my front pant pocket, usually as a 2nd gun. The 26 I wear on my hip inside waist. I don’t carry my 19 much at all anymore. I do carry the 19 mags as spares for my 26.

  • will ford

    Sorry the 43 felt like junk when I racked it never got any farther. carry a 938 highly tuned and a turned P380 or a XDS w/Powder river pack.

  • Marcus D.

    Personally, I don’t understand the choice of the CM9 instead of the CW9. The CW9 is a svelte 15.9 oz. empty, is 7+1, has a full three finger grip, and a 3.5″ barrel (versus the 3″ barrel on the CM). It is the same width and has the same double action trigger with no mag disconnect or external safety. I bought mine when they were still hovering near $400, but now the price has dropped to under $350, even $320 on a special. All in all, a better CCW choice than the CM. Mine has been utterly reliable.

  • jerry young

    I knew it somehow glock had to be added to this they always are like glock is the god of guns I call B**L SH*T can’t anything be said about guns without bringing up glock? anyway I carry a Springfield XD Mod2 9mm with a 4 inch barrel and have no problems with concealment, why would I want to go back to a single stack? I have a small subcompact .380 I carry sometimes for backup and sometimes when I just cannot carry anything else but no way I would go back to a lesser gun for everyday carry.

  • ShooterPatBob

    As for single-stack 9mm, my household carries the LC9s and a Kimber Micro 9. Both of them are easy to carry and are still great at the range. We haven’t tried everything on the list, but it’s always fun to learn about other guns.

  • Tym O’Byrne

    Another not to “pick nits”, butt, Ruger has a stainless steel slide option for their LC9s me thinks.

  • Tom

    If Remington was smart they’d take the RM380, a design they bought from Rohrbaugh, and release it in 9mm. The R9 in 9mm is way smaller than the glock 43 which is already smaller than the Shield or XDs.

  • jeff

    lol – – “specs are respectable?” dude…really? classic dad joke. 🙂

    Great review – while not a great fan of Glocks (I carry a PX-4 for my EDC . I’m a bigger guy and more comfortable with the compact frame.) I liked this review because it wasn’t only a subjective review. It had actual stats that backed up the placement on the list …mostly 😛 (ewww…. Glocks). Keep up the good work. I will be checking out all of these, including the Glock, for my replacement EDC weapon.