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.

    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.


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    James Reeves

    • NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
    Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
    • TFBTV Executive Producer
    • 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: gunshorts
    ► Twitter: @jjreeves


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