The Case for the 9mm Micro Pistol


Every armed American has their favorite carry piece (and caliber too for that matter). Here’s an option that should be looked at if you haven’t already: The Micro sized 9mm pistol.

Consistent Carry:

Like many Americans, I find myself in clothing ranging from white collar attire to knock around work clothes as I work underneath my vehicle. And to tell you the truth, as much as I love my Glock 19, I just can’t carry it as often as I’d like. Either it’s getting in the way or I cannot properly conceal it. Sure it’s fine in the winter when I’ve got a jacket on, but in the middle of the summer when you can fry and egg on side walk, and I’m in running shorts? It ain’t gonna happen. And what ticks me off is that I like the high capacity of the G19, the terminal performance of modern 9mm defense ammo, and the overall reliability of the gun. (If you’re not a Glock fan, and you carry an XD or an M&P, go ahead and insert that gun here, same difference, they ‘re all pretty reliable).

So what I’ve found myself doing to remain consistent is going to the “micro” 9mm handgun. Anywhere I’m not prohibited by law from carrying, I can conceal a micro 9mm pistol. Any time of year, any type of dress. Throw in a low-pro style holster and one can carry several extra single stack mags too.

*For the record, when I say “micro”, it’s with the following assumption: Full size = Similar Size to a Glock 17 (5.0” to 4.5” Barrels), Compact = Size to a Glock 19 (4.0” Barrels), Sub-Compact = Similar Size to a Glock 26 (3.5” Barrels) and Micros refer to 3.0” barrel single stack pistols (in general).

Although studies have shown that VAST majority of defensive shootings happen inside contact range or just outside of contact range, one can still achieve fairly decent accuracy at 25 meters with most Micro 9MM pistols. As it is with most guns, practice, practice, practice makes all the difference in my world.


Terminal Performance out of Short Barrel “Micro” 9mm pistols:

When it comes 3.0 barrel ammo, it seems heavy is the way to go . . . in general. Take a look at how the Federal HST 147 gr performs out of 3.0” barreled autos:

This ammo load is not the only good performer out of a 3.0” barrel. The bullet technology has really improved in the last 15 years. There’s lots of independent research in ballistic gel tests these days that come close to or exceed the FBI standards for ammo performance.


Why not a .45 or .40 Micro pistol?

If you like that sort of thing, sure. For me I like have an extra 1 or 2 rounds of 9mm over the typical capacity that a .40 or .45 offers. This one comes down to personal preference, but if one has to have a single stack, the capacity of a 9mm seems to be the winner in my book. I’d agree that it comes down to personal preference though.


Many choices:

Kahr. Smith & Wesson, Berretta, Kimber, Walther, Kel-tec, Ruger are some of the manufacturers just to name a few. There are more and more “micro” model 9mm offerings than there were 10 years ago. And it’s great because competition drives innovation and creates jobs, and as well it lowers the cost for the consumer. So you and I win in the end. Heck, there are even rumblings about Glock coming out with a single stack 9mm. We shall see. If you don’t like one of them, there’s a bunch of others to choose from.

So am I going to ditch the trusty Glock 19? Not by a long shot. It’s great to throw in a “get home” bag or for SHTF carry. Sometimes I just feel like carrying it, because. So you’re not convinced that a Micro or Sub-compact is the way to go? That’s cool. To each their own.

All I can say is that it works for me. I’m more likely to be found carrying a 3.0” barreled 9 any given time than a full sized auto. I won’t end up taking it off because I’m under my vehicle changing a starter or because the weather has gotten nasty hot or because I’m wrapped up in a full piece suit. I practice with it, I can hit consistently with it, and it’s reliable. With the advances in bullet technology, I can still get great penetration and near perfect expansion in ballistic gel testing (yes I understand BG is different than actual living tissue).

The recoil of a 9mm is mild, so follow up shots are quick. If I don’t like the trigger on one manufacturer’s micro 9, I have many other options. When it comes to outfitting myself for concealed carry, the world of 9mm micro pistols seems to be my oyster.

In order of importance, training skill sets are more important than the hardware one chooses for defense.  But when it’s time to look for tools for protection, the Micro 9mm Pistol isn’t a bad option.


– AJ

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