Top 5 Micro-Compact Pistols

Although it’s possible to conceal a full-size or otherwise larger handgun for self-defense use, it’s definitely easier to conceal smaller guns. That’s one reason micro-compacts are so popular. If you want to add a micro-compact to your collection and aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry. We have some ideas about where to start in your search for the perfect micro-compact. We’ve compiled a list of our top five micro-compact pistols and might even give you a few tips along the way.

sig p365xl pistol
The P365XL is a bit larger than others in the family of guns, which translates to a more comfortable feel in the hands. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Sig Sauer P365XL

We know what you’re thinking. If this is the P365XL rather than the smaller and original P365, is it still a micro-compact?

Yes, according to Sig Sauer, the P365XL is a micro-compact. Generally speaking, the sizes that make a gun a micro-compact—or subcompact, as many manufacturers call them—depend on the brand. The 9mm Sig Sauer P365XL is small enough to be concealed more easily than full-size handguns. However, it is larger than other micro-compact pistols, offering greater comfort and a firmer grip during live fire.

The Sig Sauer P365XL has a 3.7-inch barrel, an overall length of 6.6 inches, and a height of 4.8 inches. It has a polymer frame and stainless steel slide, giving it good balance while making it lighter weight than some counterparts. A Nitron finish protects the slide from use-related wear. It has a flat-face trigger, an aggressively textured grip, and an ergonomic shape to help the shooter maintain a high, solid grip. It’s a well-made pistol that’s proven reliable and accurate. Also, it weighs 20.7 ounces empty, so it isn’t an excessive bulk for concealed carry use.

mossberg mc2sc
The MC2sc is a micro-compact polymer pistol that’s gained a lot of popularity. (Photo: Mossberg)

Mossberg MC2sc

This is a pistol marketed as subcompact, which is a term frequently used to describe the size of a gun another manufacturer would label micro-compact. The Mossberg MC2sc is a fantastic little polymer pistol with a variety of features that make it an excellent option for defensive use. It’s chambered in 9mm Luger and boasts a 10+1 capacity with a flush fit magazine and a 13+1 capacity with an extended magazine. The magazine you choose will come down to concealment and whether you can readily conceal an extended magazine (it helps to have the right holster for it).

The Mossberg MC2sc is optics-ready and compatible with red dot sights with a Shield RMSc footprint. So, if you don’t want your carry gun to have iron sights, it’s simple to mount a red dot to it. Mossberg designed this pistol—and the entire line—with a unique Safe Take-Down System that allows you to disassemble the gun without pulling the trigger (a complaint that sometimes arises with striker-fired firearms).

An interesting feature is that you can remove the striker assembly from the rear of the gun. It has a 3.4-inch barrel, an overall length of 6.25 inches, and an empty weight of 19.5 ounces.

walther pps m2
The PPS M2 is a slim micro-compact that offers the reliable cycling and performance we expect from Walther. (Photo: Walther)

Walther PPS M2

Walther credits their PPS M2 as the single-stack micro-compact that started it all in the gun industry. This latest iteration of the gun is even slimmer than before, making it incredibly easy to conceal. According to the gun maker, the PPS M2 might be small, but it’s created in a way that offers greater gripping surface area than most guns in its class. And that is all with an overall width of one inch. The PPS M2 is one of the most comfortable micros on the market.

The Walther PPS M2 has a barrel length of 3.2 inches and an overall length of 6.3 inches. It’s a polymer-framed gun with an internal steel chassis for rigidity and durability. This gun weighs 19.4 ounces. It has a capacity of 6, 7, or 8 rounds, depending on the magazine. So, while it doesn’t have a super impressive capacity, it’s still a nice little gun for a micro-compact that’s as diminutive, easy to conceal, and comfortable to wield as it is. You can always carry a spare magazine, too. This gun has slide serrations at the front and back of the slide, a safety blade trigger, and an ergonomically designed, textured grip.

Taurus GX4 T.O.R.O.
An optics-ready micro-compact? Excellent! (Photo: Taurus)

Taurus GX4 T.O.R.O.

The GX4 TORO is chambered in a 9mm Luger and offers a 10, 11, or 13+1 capacity, depending on the mag. Its optics-ready footprint is compatible with many popular micro-red dot sights, such as the Shield RMSc, Sig Sauer RomeoZero, and Trijicon RMRcc. Of course, it can also be used with the factory irons.

The Taurus GX4 TORO is designed to be user-friendly, featuring a take-down pin for simple disassembly, machined magazine and grip cuts for faster mag changes, and a reversible magazine release for southpaw shooters. It has a barrel length of 3 inches and an empty weight of 18.5 ounces. The gun has a safety blade trigger and a squared-off trigger guard, and the grips are aggressively textured, which helps retain your grip with wet or sweaty hands.

Overall, the GX4 TORO is an affordable little gun that’s great for defensive use.

wilson combat edc x9 subcompact
This micro-compact is a high-quality 1911 created for top-tier performance. (Photo: Wilson Combat)

Wilson Combat EDC X9

The Wilson Combat EDC X9 Subcompact is a 1911-style pistol with an impressive 15+1 capacity. Chambered in 9mm Luger, this gun sports a 3.25-inch match-grade stainless steel barrel that the gunsmiths at Wilson Combat tune for superior accuracy. It’s also designed to keep cycling reliably if it gets dry. The slide is subcompact, while the frame is more compact in size, hence the greater capacity.

The EDC X9 Subcompact has an overall length of 6.75 inches, a height of 5.25 inches, and a width of 1.4 inches. It weighs 27.6 ounces, empty. Standard irons are a rear Tactical Battlesight and a red fiber optic front sight. X-TAC serrations are placed at the forward and rearward portions of the slide and provide an excellent gripping surface for manipulations. It has black G10 starburst grips, an aluminum X-Frame, and a fluted barrel. The gun also has an accuracy guarantee of 1.5 inches at 25 yards. This is a high-quality pistol that’s impressively precise and enjoyable to shoot.

So, there you have it.

That’s it. That’s our list of five of the best micro-compact pistols currently on the market. Do you agree with our list, or is there anything you’d add? Let us know in the comments!

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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