5 9mm Semi-Automatic Concealed Carry Guns Under $400
Jeremy S for TTAG
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There are over 17 million concealed carry permit holders in the US now with more coming on every day. That’s not to mention all of the residents of constitutional carry states who don’t need a permission slip to pack a gun.

That’s why the concealed carry handgun market has been one of the hottest segments of the firearms business in recent years. Gun makers have met that demand with dozens of great options that are slim, concealable, reliable and perfect for armed self-defense.

In the most popular concealed carry caliber — 9mm — cost can be an issue for many who would like to carry a pistol for personal defense. Lots of people may first think of guns like the GLOCK G43, Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD, SIG P938 or Springfield XD-S first when it comes to carry pistols, but not everyone can afford one.

Not to worry. We’re living in a golden age of dependable, affordable, American-made, concealed carry pistol options. There’s one that’s right for virtually everyone.

With that in mind, here are five excellent 9mm pistol options that keep concealed carry within everyone’s reach. Take this list to your local range, rent them and decide which one best fits your hand, your carry style and your budget.

5 9mm Semi-Automatic Concealed Carry Guns Under $400
Courtesy Ruger

Ruger EC9s $249

You may think that you don’t get much in a gun for less than $250 any more, but the Ruger EC9s proves that just isn’t true. The Ruger EC9s is the affordable evolution of their original LC9 model pistols. The slim 7+1 striker-fired single stack 9mm pistol is personal defense distance accurate and features integrated sights and a manual safety. It also has a magazine disconnect, so won’t fire unless a magazine is inserted.

5 9mm Semi-Automatic Concealed Carry Guns Under $400
By JchanceOwn work, Public Domain, Link

KelTec PF9 $249

KelTec’s PF9 is proof positive that you don’t have to pay much money for a perfectly packable concealed carry gun that will be with you when you need it. The single stack PF9 gives you 7+1 capacity in a thin, light weight package that you’ll want to carry every day. The external hammer pistol has a long five-pound trigger pull that functions as the gun’s safety.There’s also a version with a nickel-finished slide for about $40 more. The PF9 is a reliable, ultra-affordable personal defense gun that you’ll never hesitate to take with you.

5 9mm Semi-Automatic Concealed Carry Guns Under $400
Courtesy Walther Arms

Walther PPS M2 $349

One of the biggest complaints some gun buyers have with small striker-fired concealed carry guns is their triggers. They’re usually either long and heavy or gritty and mushy. Those aren’t complaints that have ever been directed at the Walther PPS M2. The ergonomically excellent pistol has one of the best triggers in the business, one that rivals those in many full-size guns. The PPS M2 ships with both flush (6 round) and extended (7 round) single stack magazines to let you carry the way that’s best for you.

5 9mm Semi-Automatic Concealed Carry Guns Under $400
Courtesy Beretta

Beretta Nano $349

Besides its concealable size (only 5.6″ overall length) the sleek, modular, striker-fired subcompact Beretta Nano also lets you swap frames for different colors and features without a transfer fee. It features an excellent trigger, an easy-racking slide and 6-1 rounds of standard magazine capacity (there’s an optional 8+1 magazines, too). The Nano, with its 3-inch barrel length, is also incredibly slim at only .9 inches, so it virtually disappears on your hip.

5 9mm Semi-Automatic Concealed Carry Guns Under $400
Wes Minton for TTAG

Kahr CM9 $369

Kahr’s little single-stack CM9 has drift-adjustable sights set in an impressively machined stainless steel slide. The attractive pistol’s nicely textured polymer frame gives you a firm, sure grip. It packs 6+1 rounds of ammunition and features a smooth, long revolver-like double-action trigger pull that also acts as a safety. Be sure to break in your CM9, as Kahr recommends. You’ll then have an accurate, supremely reliable compact carry 9mm handgun that you can depend on.


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    • I have shot one. Very slim and comfortable….needs more texture on grips…nice sights.

      I ultimately went with Glock 43. Its squareness gave better control and operation for me and my wife.

      • Specialist38: I thought the squareness made it more uncomfortable. Doesn’t it poke your palm and hurt. (or her palm?) Maybe my hands are too bony. I replaced the grip on my S&W 442 so it would be rounder/softer.

        • Victoria…kinda.

          My wifes issue with the 43 was that her palm is thinner and she was getting too much finger on the trigger. We put on a Hogue beavertail sleeve and her accuracy and speed went way up.

          The PPS moved around too much in her hand ( and mine) and she wasnt able to consistently grip the slide for a fast track. You personal model of hand may be different.
          The Glocks square slide was easy to grip for her and the square trigger guard gave her an easy shelf to slide her support hand underneath.

          The Glock still hurts my middle finger knuckle and I don’t need the sleeve. The Glock was just more solid in my hand as well even if it isn’t comfortable. The bigger Glocks are more uncomfortable for me but I can shoot them.

          I should also point out that our Glocks have the Talo Ameriglo night sights which are better than stock sights IMO. My wife really liked the Orange ring with the U notch rear sight.

          I have a new 48 which gives me a more solid grip without as much knuckle rub. I don’t know why. I really shoot these slim guns better and I have a large hand. Just five me more control and confidence. If I have a gun where I have to readjust my grip while shooting, I get rid of it.

          Hope this helps…..handle and shoot as many pistols as you can…..look at your scores with each pistol and not just how good it feels. I had an LC9 that felt great…..just couldnt shoot it well.

        • My 042 and 640 have the small wooden grips with TGrip adapter. I like to wrap my hand around it solid I also hold a high grip with web of hand at the top of the backstrap. Almost a 4 finger grip that way.

        • Spec38: my Glocks also used to hurt my middle finger until I smoothed the trigger guard near where it meets the grip. There’s a little curve that whacks your middle finger knuckle during recoil. I shoot .40S&W, and got tired of being done after 50 rounds.

        • Perry
          Thanks …. I am looking to undercut my 43 and 48 to make room for my knuckle. I hope it works. I have a little more confidence hearing it worked for you.

        • strych9, I have a PPS M2 and the CCP M2, both are nice. But I find the PPS to be a bit thin for my hands (medium size) but still very controllable and accurate. The CCP M2 though fits my hand like a glove. Just my $.02

        • Scott C – How is the CCP M2 as far as recoil and racking the slide? I’ve wanted to check one out but can’t find one for rent here in the “Shoot a machine gun” capital of the world – Las Vegas. I keep hoping to find one but no go so far.

        • @Random, the recoil is…. different than most. The slide is ridiculously easy to rack. With the gas delayed blow back, it’s more of a minor “hop”, for lack of a better term, instead of a distinct flip and/or push. For it’s size and weight, the intensity of the recoil is far less than I expected, I’d liken it to a pistol the next frame size up. Where the CCP M2 falls off a bit is the trigger, most Walthers in the PPQ line are notorious for phenomenal triggers, the CCP however is “meh”. I took mine apart and buffed out all the internals and smothered out the trigger, it’s a very long 5.5ish pound trigger now, but the reset might as well be all the way out. And invest in some bright, glow in the dark paint, the white dots are kinda small and deeply inset into the sights. Despite the 2 “flaws” if it reliable, accurate, and fits my hand perfectly so I call it a win.

        • @Scott C – Thanks for the reply. I had heard about the trigger issues but I can get used to it if I buy one. I have arthritis in my hands that limit me quit a bit as to what I can use. I have been reading about the CCP and the Shield 380 EZ as they both sound like something I could use but would prefer the 9mm to the 380. The trigger on the EZ is supposed to be very good as it has an internal hammer instead of a striker but 9mm ammo is cheaper than 380 so I could afford to practice more with the CCP. Maybe I’ll get lucky and some one will come out with a replacement trigger for it. Once again thanks for the info.

    • gritty reset. definitely no PPQ. and there’s a recall for risk of drop fire. i have not sent mine in yet for the fix.

    • Its one that i want to like….but dont.
      Have already sent it to walther 2x for a creepy trigger and then for the recall, still not much improvent. Its the trigger i like the least, ironic based on the reviews and ive tried all the other single stack 9s. My recc is shoot it first if u can. I bought mine shot unseen and ultimately regret it…and the LE version might not be worth it based on price. I got it and ended up putting trijicons on it anyway and u can buy the mags separately

    • My brother and I both carry one. It’s the softest-recoiling subcompact single stack 9mm I’ve ever fired. The trigger isn’t as nice as a PPQ, but far better than the XD-S, G-43, etc. The extended mags don’t pinch fingers. Controls are all intuitive, simple, and respond well.

      It’s one of my all-time favorites. I’ve since sold my G43, Kahr, and some similar-sized handguns in other calibers.

      It’s not as popular as other models so prices have dropped a lot since it was first introduced. At $350 it’s a steal. It’s also a true Walther quality build, not a Umarex job like some of Walther’s offerings.

      The drop safe issue is the only recall I’ve seen.

    • I have been carrying my PPS M2 for over a year now. I love it. I did find that the grips didn’t have quite enough texture to them, but that wasn’t anything some Talon Grips couldn’t fix. Great little gun, carries comfortably and you can get 7 and 8 round extended mags if you need a full grip.

    • Having both I prefer the Walther, better trigger and better ergonomics. Shooting side by side the Walther is less “snappy”. Gunbuyer.com has $315 for the LE version which includes 3 mags and free shipping.

    • I had a PPS M2. It’s a very nice gun out of the box…it carried easily, the trigger was pretty nice, and I hit pretty well with it. However, I played heck getting extra magazines and holsters and such for it at the time. Since I already had a Shield with an Apex trigger and had absolutely no problem getting accessories for it, I sold it for what I paid for it. Hopefully the market is a bit more accommodating now.

    • I like mine, picked it up for $270 from Palmetto. I didn’t care for the squareness of the grips of most single stack 9mms. the PPS M2 was just more ergonomic, not a bad trigger, and had 6, 7 and 8 round mags. with grip extensions for the 7 and 8 round mags

      • Speaking of Palmetto, they’re offering the 9mm Shield for $249 right now. Just saw their Daily Deal ad. Not bad.

    • I have shot the M2 in 9mm, and the original in .40. I liked both. I usually hate .40 cal guns. Very comfortable to shoot. Feel great in the hand.

    • I own one, super accurate. Painted the rear sight black and put a dawson precision firber optic front. I wish I could carry it but when I 2 hand the gun, I have a problem with hitting the mag release when shooting.

  1. I know you guys use MSRP.

    What’s funny is this could have easily been 9s under $325 using current pricing.

    And under $250 could be done (SCCY and Taurus G2C)

    It is certainly a buyer’s market at the moment.

    • The only guns I have not noted serious downward movement in terms of price on are high end hunting guns, moderate to high end 1911’s and full sized tactical pistols.

    • I’ve got a SCCY CPX2. It’s been flawless. 10 in the mag. $200.00. I have more expensive firearms by the you name it makers but I trust that little SCCY implicitly. It’s my keep in the car piece.

  2. The best gun not mentioned is the Taurus G2C and G2S (I paid $199 for my PT111- G2 before it was renamed G2C). They are very reliable, accurate and they run $200-230 nearly everywhere. The warranty has changed from a lifetime warranty regardless of ownership to a lifetime warranty for the original owner.

    • Agreed. The G2C is fantastic and so far no issues what so ever. After more spare mags, mine cost $278. I missed the sale by a couple of days so had “full” price of $229. My PF9 cost more than this.

    • Along the same lines: Taurus 709 Slim.

      They seem to be decent little pistols and as reliable as anything else. And they were available on sale for $200.

      Before anyone starts bashing Taurus for historical quality concerns, they seem to be producing first-rate quality firearms for at least the past 10 years. When it comes right down to it, every — and I mean EVERY — firearm manufacturer occasionally produces a lemon these days.

      • Can confirm about the 709, mines never had a problem even half full of lint from being carried concealed all the time. Got it for 190 out the door during a mothers day sale. Spare mags were hard to find when i last looked a couple years ago.

  3. I have noticed a huge increase in the number of brick and mortar stores, ranges, and advertising related to the firearms business. Back in the 1990s I never saw a gun ad in a local newspaper. Now I see them all the time. New ranges are being built. Competition is bringing the cost of everything down.

    A Sccy pistol is only about $40 more than a Hi Point. Locally I’ve seen Hi Points for $150 an Sccys for $199.

    • The SCCY1 was $279 + tax at MegaSports in Plainfield. I was just happy they had a #1. No one else did.

      • MegaSports = MegaRipoff. The employees are also very unfriendly. Try Rinks in Lockport or Shoot Point Blank in Mokena. Range at 355 is almost $20 cheaper per handgun.

      • Honestly would be amazed if you were wrong but it was a common pistol to show up on drug/gang arrests from the 90’s to mid 00’s and is not a rare find for police now. Even as a bitch duty MP I saw quite a few

      • Agreed. Bangers leave them behind and they get noticed.

        But a lot of folks buy what the can afford at some guns store.

        My LGS does not sell HiPoint pistols. They told me they sell tons of SCCY, LCP, as well as Taurus and Charter revolvers. Oh…and a bunch of Taurus G2Cs.

      • I’ve been told that even though HiPoints are ugly as sin they are reliable, take abuse, and go bang every time. I saw a story no long ago where a gunsmith school used one for the students to whack on, butcher up, then some guy bought it for $50 and used it as a target for birdshot, shot the shit out of it, then slapped a full mag in it, racked the slide, and fired away. As I said, reliable and take abuse.

  4. Picked up a Canik TP9SF Elite for $399.99 a couple of years ago at my favorite LGS. It is 1″ longer than the Walther PPS M2, has an excellent trigger, great sights and twice the ammo capacity.

  5. Had the lc9s pro for awhile, was a good little gun. Basically an ec9 without the safety stuff, used to throw it in my hiking pack. Was so small and light had to dig around in there for it to get it out.

  6. CW9s are a better choice for most people over the CM9 (see lots of people run a +1 on the CM9 because they cant get a grip and you can always chop the CM is you want to)

    PF9 Are NOT reliable, They can be if you get lucky. Personally I have had the barrel lug braked off on mine, you have to be careful how you grip it or you will drop the magazine (on all of them). Hands on experience with them, 60% chance you will get a “good” one. They are slim, but also painful to shoot.

    And I recommend that you shoot ANY of these guns before you buy one. LC9 and PF9 I can do about 50 rounds and I want to put it down. Khars I can do a 300 round session without issues.

  7. Had a Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol, but it was a bit too snappy for me, and I had to put a trigger shoe on it to keep the soreness it caused in my trigger finger down. Finally gave it to my daughter. Now I have a Taurus PT111 G2 and am completely happy with it. Not snappy, reliable, good ergonomics, a comfortable trigger and 12+1 rounds.

    • I have both and shoot both, a lot. The PF9 is snappy for sure, but a re-spring and some aftermarket parts almost took care of all of that. I have the mag extensions from Kel-Tec that gives me 8+1. Still, it is a good final option piece that hasn’t let me down yet. The G2C is newer to me and again with a bunch of aftermarket parts and I do like near double the amount of rounds compared to the PF9. Either is works well for me after grinding the trigger guard to get rid of the knuckle rub.

    • Yeah, ‘snappy’ is a nice way to put it.

      Side by side with my friend’s XDS 45 everyone who shot both on the same day said, ‘no thank you’ to the PF9. Its not that is has heavy recoil, it just smacks the hell out of your palm in some weird physics-defying manner 🙂

      Sad, as the DA trigger (with one exception) is the best DA trigger I’ve used in a compact auto, and I have a lot of old-school SA/DA autos. Very light, smooth, but it has way too much overtravel after the trigger break. I’ve done what a number of PF9 forum goers have done and add in a poly-molded trigger stop, right after the break. So much better. Doesn’t address not wanting to shoot it.

  8. I’ve never been a big fan of striker firing.

    Sure I have a couple, but I shelled out the extra bit for the Sig P938 for my EDC. Twice.

    Well worth it, IMHO.

  9. I am a certified internet poster, and can tell you all with unquestionable authority that all of these guns are a pile of sucky ass.

    • I am a tenured message board scholar and I concur except for the Ruger (which can be found for about $220). The rest are outdated junk. The Nano is SO 2012.

  10. Buy used.

    Find the guy that went all John Wick on his ulti-striker-poly gun with quasar beryllium lightened slide, unobtanium striker, extended Special Ops mags, radar absorbing cerakote, frickin’ tritium/laser sights, and 500 rounds of depleted uranium ammo; then the girlfriend came home with one in the oven….

    “I know what I’ve got” You’re not gonna get what you want, Jr!

    50% off retail.

    Works with hot rods, boats, jet skis, 4 wheelers, etc.

  11. Do a review on the Bersa BP9CC. 8 + 1 shot single column 9mm. Slim, 21.5 ounces, feels good in the hand and the trigger is about 3 1/2 pounds with a short reset. I bought my first one and then let my 88 year old mother try it and she ended up getting one. Very underrated gun. Magazines are $45 is the only drawback.

  12. Not a bad bunch of cheap gats…I hated the PF9. Inaccurate but it ran. Too much pain. I’ve had a Taurus TCP and it was nothing to shoot. My 709 is similar in size but EZ to shoot with a Handall Jr. Got a 111g2 which runs well too. All under $250. No excuse to buy a frickin’ Hipoint😏

    • The HiPoint has the advantage of being so ugly that whoever you aim it at is going to hurl.😁

    • Before Taurus dropped the TCP, in favor of the Spectrum, they started putting “cocking wings” on the slide. I wish all manufacturers would do that. Makes charging the gun a breeze. BTW, for a .380 the TCP is one badass little gun.

  13. Well shucks, I need new glasses, when I first saw 5 9 mm pistols, I saw .5.9mm pistols. So I was all hopped up to read about a pistol like the .9mm only in a .0357

    • Seriously, if someone can’t afford a shield (currently 249.99 at palmetto) they can’t afford a single gun on this list which are all the same price or more expensive.
      And I’d take a Shield over just about any of these guns.

      • I can get a Shield 2.0 in any caliber (9mm,
        .40 or .45) any day of the week at the LGS for under $400, including sales tax; less if I can wait for a sale.
        Seems like a REALLY solid choice missing from the list.

        Also SCCY’s can be had for just a hair over 200 and they’re a solid offering. Mine was always a well build, reliable firearm.

        • Out of all of mine, the Shield and SCCY CPX2 are my favorites. Never a problem, dependable, reliable. Comfortable with either one.

    • Cabelas has Shields on sale this month for $269. Seems to me that is probably the best option

      • Damn. I’d buy a 3rd shield for that price, but we can’t buy the 2.0 in CA unless that person is a LEO.

    • I was shocked the shield wasn’t listed.

      Mk1 is cheap.
      2.0 meets the article guidelines.

      And why an arbitrary $500, to just be below Glock list and the popular P365?

      • $400, but your right the shield should be there. Probably showing newbies there’re more options then they think, look into the “used” market and one can score all kinds of stuff for $400 if their patient.

  14. i just purchased a M&P 2.0 Compact at sportsmans outdoor superstore for 349.00 in 9mm but they have .40 short and whimpy models for 299.00 plus free shipping.

  15. Enjoyed the list. Celebrating my first year of concealed carry. Amazing journey. Still learning what works for me. I have a Walther PPS M2 – my EDC. The perfect fit for me. Love the trigger. Very little recoil. Sweet shooter. No problem finding accessories for it. Can find it on sale in my area for $299. Also have a Taurus G2c. A surprising gem of a gun for the price. Got it on sale, out the door, for $186. It’s almost the same size as the Walther, yet with 12 rounds. Took a couple of mags to get use to the trigger, after that, a fine shooter. Feels good in the hands. We’re blessed to be in the time of life where there are so many firearm options. For “newbies” like me, listen, learn, and live the safe and joyful experience of being a responsible firearm owner! It’s a great community. P.S. It’s a blast to read and research all things about guns. God Bless.

    • Oh it gets better! Just wait till you start reloading, a whole new world opens up. I’m already jealous, you live in a state you can carry!

        • My wife asked why I have so many empty holsters? I replied that for every empty holster that a gun has to go in it. It’s a rule and I think it’s even in the Goodbook somewhere. It’s not in the Commandment category but it’s high up in the hierarchy of must do’s. The truth is one of my LGS’s has a bin with used holsters piled high and if I see one, or two or more, that look promising I score them. (Another bin with slings) It’s worked out great!

      • Is reloading 9mm worth it, assuming one does not have a progressive reloading press? Ammoseek.com is your friend. Just make sure they don’t get you on expensive shipping.

        • A case of 9mm cost around $260 where I live, i can load it for around $170. Less even, considering 1,000 9mm uses only alittle more than half a pound of powder. I order my pills from Everglades, great site. No issues shipping to Hawaii like a lot of other places, I started with a single stage then moved up to a turret. With the setup I have now I can easily keep up with the ammo consumption for the 5 of us, handguns and rifles.

  16. $385 Mossberg mc1 sc. Been my daily carry since January. Great carry gun, under $400, great shooter

    • They just came out, curious to see how they stack up in the long run. Taking one for the team, good man…Thank you

      • Yeah, I think I’ll wait about a year then see what people say. If Mossberg makes pistols as rugged and dependable as their scatter guns it might be worth a good look.

  17. Love the Beretta Nano, but it does NOT have what most would describe as an ‘excellent trigger’. The trigger is long and heavy by design – serving as a kind of safety

  18. My pf9 will last forever, since it hurts my hand so much it rarely gets used. Someone had a brain fart when they designed the grip frame from hell. I will wear my lc9s out, feels good to shoot and is reasonably accurate, my only small gun that get play time.

  19. My CZ P07 with tritium was under $400 from Buds several years ago. 3.85″, 15+1, 9mm ARX. I went right for full size when I started carrying so I don’t understand those who want slimmer, lower capacity because I find it comfortable in a leather Alien Gear cloak II? I’m soon to try a CZ P-10 and will probably switch, just to have one trigger pull (same mags, same holster I think), but I love my P07.

    I do pocket carry a SW642 or PT738 on occasion, but not if I’m wearing a belt.

    • let me help you understand what you stated you don’t understand: imagine living in a climate where most people are wearing shorts and a t-shirt and flip-flops, where most of the year jeans and jackets and full-button shirts are not worn unless required at work.

  20. If you’re willing to spend time and learn the Kahr trigger, you’ll be rewarded with a handgun capable of accuracy far beyond its size and price point.

    I have a bunch of Kahrs—all very small—but I also have a Glock 17L. At distances up to 10 yards, the CM9 is just as accurate as the long Glock.

  21. The S&W Shield 9mm is basically on sale everyday for $250 from a major etailer. If I was cash restricted, that is the one I would buy. I have the 45acp version and it’s a keeper. The SA XDS is even more CC able and I think the street price is less than $400.

  22. Of the subcompact 9s in this list I have or had 2: EC9s and Kahr CM-9.

    I have also owned a Sig P938 and currently own a Kimber Micro 9 (these are both Mustang clones jacked up from .380 to 9mm).

    IME, my Kahrs have become unreliable after shooting a lot of rounds, so I divested them. YMMV. i also found the CM9 hard to shoot decently but at that time I didn’t have much practice with tiny 9s, which seem to me to be much, much harder to shoot decently than a full size 1911.

    I didn’t like the squared edges on the P938. The Kimber micro-9 feels much more comfortable to shoot and was actually cheaper (base model micro-9). Both are/were reliable. The only issue with the kimber is that it’s easy to accidentently hit the mag release when shooting.

    The EC9s is thin, reasonably comfortable, reliable, inexpensive, and accurate enough for a pocket pistol. It also has a tiny manual safety, which can be useful for pocket carry if you are worried about shooting yourself in the leg or bullocks. The black front sight is hard to see against black targets at the range but that is easily cured with some dayglo orange nail polish. The Kimber micro9s sights are far superior

    So IME, the budget EC9s is better than the CM9 or the more expensive P938 and I like it almost as much as the Kimber micro9.

    That’s one dude’s opinion you can evaluate in your decision making process.

  23. I carried the Beretta Nano until yesterday. I made the mistake of periodically testing it with a spare and not test firing it with the same magazine that I carry. When I used the carry magazine, it failed to feed firing only the single round that I carry in the chamber. I cleaned and oiled the magazine and inspected it moving forward. Yesterday, the Nano failed to fire making me think I did not have a round in the chamber so I cycled the action and once again, click no bang. I put a fresh round in the chamber and still no bang. I inspected the round and there was no mark from the firing pin. Bought a Glock 43x same day and retired the Nano.

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