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How Many Rounds Should a Singlestack 9mm Pistol Hold?

How much capacity do you require in a carry sized singlestack 9mm pistol?

A couple nights ago I had my Springfield XDs 9mm, and S&W Shield 9mm sitting on the coffee table as I was comparing and contrasting them. I guess that I hadn’t really noticed that while being just about the same size, the XDs 9mm has the ability to carry an extra round in the extended magazine over the Shield.

[table caption=”Carry Sized Singlestack 9mm Pistols”] Pistol,Standard Capacity ,Extended Capacity,Extended Capacity 2
Springfield XDs 9mm, 7, 9
S&W Shield 9mm, 7, 8
Walther PPS, 6, 7, 8
Walther CCP, 8
Kel-Tec PF-9, 7
Kahr PM9/CM9, 6, 7
Kahr CW9, 7
Remington R51, 7

It seems like most manufacturers shoot for the 7+1 number in their pistols. The new Walther CCP on the other hand looks like it’s going against the grain a little with a standard 8rd magazine. This should lead to a little larger grip (hopefully allowing my whole hand to sit on the grip) whereas on most of the other pistols listed my pinky rides underneath the magazine with the standard mag inserted.

On the flip side, I can get those same 8rds into my Shield, with the option to go smaller should I need to for concealment.

All this to say, I personally think 7+1 or 8+1 is pretty ok with me. 6+1 seems a little too small, and the 9+1 with the extended mag in the XDs is a little large for most circumstances.

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.


  1. A Hi-Point C9 carries 8 in the magazine (making it an 8+1), and a 10-round magazine is available (making it a 10+1).

  2. As mentioned in the article, the Shield and the XDs are very similar in size with their extended magazines installed. This gives the XDs a one round advantage over the Shield for only about a .25-.375 increase in length. With the smaller capacity magazines installed, the two pistols are nearly exact in their size.

    I own both of these pistols and when I carry them, I always carry them with the smaller magazines in place and the larger capacity magazine is my spare.

  3. I think it depends on your local laws.

  4. I would highly recommend the Pierce Grip extensions for the XDs. Fits the .45 and 9mm. Makes a world of difference in the handling, actually gives that floating pinky somewhere to go, without adding the bulk of the 9 round mag, which imo defeats the whole purpose of the size of the XDs in the first place.

  5. Thanks for that info Steve!

  6. Really helpful Stevie…gracias mi amigo

  7. Beretta 84FS = 13+1 of .380 (aka 9mm short). .380 is available up to 120 grain 1100FPS.

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