When it comes to compact concealed carry pistols, nobody seems to have got it 100% right just yet. I carry a Glock 19 all the time, because I have yet to find a small 9mm pistol that fits all of my criteria.
S&W got really close with the new Shield, and I thought it was going to be a winner, but they had to add the teeny, tiny, little safety that I have doubts I would be able to deactivate in a life or death situation. The Shield feels great in the hand, has a phenomenal trigger, and will take sights from the regular M&P line of pistols. Close S&W, very close, but the little safety ruins it for me. I’m hoping someone like Apex Tactical will come out with a larger safety for the Shield, or maybe someone will even find a way to modify the stock safety lever to get a little more purchase on it. If I felt like I could get the thing deactivated in a hurry, I’d buy one.
The Walther PPS is another compact 9mm that fits most of my criteria, its small, has decent trigger, and no manual safety. It is limited in available sights, and it has the funky euro style magazine release. The mag release is the killer for me, I’m sure I could get used to it, but I would rather stay consistent with all the other pistols I own.
The Ruger LC9 is small and slim, but Ruger turned it from an ok little pistol, to a firearm that is just about useless to me. It has a long, heavy trigger, limited aftermarket sights, manual safety, internal lock, and a magazine disconnect. Not what I’m looking for. Size wise, its great for a 9mm, but everything else turns me off, especially the internal lock, and magazine disconnect.
The new Springfield XDs looks promising, although it appears that they are only releasing the .45 right now, and the 9mm and .40 are rumored to be released sometime down the line. I need to find out if the XDs will take standard XDm sights, as there are already a lot of manufacturers making XDm sights. The XDs does have the grip safety which I could do without, however at least it isn’t something that can be missed when gripping the pistol, like the tiny safety on the Shield.
We do have the Kahr PM9 and CM9, which are great little pistols, with triggers not quite as bad as something like the Kel-tec PF-9, or Ruger LC9 but they are still long, with a non existent reset.
Maybe I’m picky, but I really just want a singlestack 9mm, roughly 3″ barrel, 7+1 capacity, ability to take quality sights, no manual safety, no magazine disconnect, no internal lock, and a “safe action” type trigger, with a good reset, and 1″ or less in thickness.
Is that really too much to ask? I really wish Glock would fill this niche with a singlestack 9mm, but I’m not going to hold my breath.