Best Full Size 9mm Pistol – 2020 Top Picks Reviewed

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Finding the best full-size 9mm pistol can be tough. But if you have a good idea of what they are and how they work, you may find the search process to be a bit less of a hassle.

A great pistol that you can use for multiple purposes like target shooting and self-defense is really important. There is no doubt that a full-size 9mm pistol will certainly be one of the best options out there.

While there are so many of these pistols out on the market, you might expect a whole slew of them available for your purchase. However, we’ve put together a list of the best full-sized 9mm pistols so you can choose one that will not disappoint in quality and performance.

Before getting to the list itself, we’re going to talk about what benefits you can get out of a full-size 9mm pistol and what you’ll need to look for in a full-sized 9mm pistol for your own personal use. 

Comparison of the Best Full Size 9mm Pistol

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Includes fixed sights
  • Barrel measured at 4.49 inches
  • Best overall full-sized 9mm pistol
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  • Includes a three-dot sight
  • Includes EDC kit with additional items
  • Best full-sized 9mm pistol for the money
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  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Barrel measured at five inches in length
  • Includes 3 magazines, each with 17 round capacity
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  • Fixed sights included
  • Three, 17-round magazines included
  • Frame made from high-quality polymer
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What are the Benefits of a Full-Size 9mm Pistol? 

You never know what you are going to get out of a full-size 9mm pistol compared to some others. But rest assured, if you do invest in one you’ll get some sweet benefits out of the deal. Here are some things you can expect with a full-sized 9mm pistol:

Excellent For Home Defense

While a full-sized pistol may not be ideal for concealed carry by some users, it will definitely serve its purpose as a self-defense pistol when you are at home. Things can go bump in the night. But if it just so happens to be someone breaking into your home, you can use this to your advantage without even having to fire a single shot (should the opportunity present itself). 

Great Control = Shots on Target

It’s no secret that a full-size pistol of any caliber will offer more controllability than their compact or subcompact counterparts. What people often skip over is that a hit with a 9mm is much more effective than missing with a .457 hand-cannon, especially when the situation is life-threatening. So if you are looking for something that will give you respectable accuracy with targets ranging from about 50 yards out, a full-sized pistol will be your best bet.

Can Be Used for Concealed Carry

There are many skeptics that say that full-sized is not right for concealed carry, but you are not alone to believe it's possible. A full-sized pistol can be used for concealed carry purposes; all you need to do is find the right kind of holster to ensure that it is kept secure and out of sight at all times while providing you with a sense of preparation in knowing that you can use this in a moment’s notice if and when you are in danger. 

What Should I Look For When Buying a 9mm Pistol?

If you are in search of a 9mm pistol, it’s important to find some features and characteristics that will make one stand out from the pack. You should be able to distinguish a great one from one that sucks in terms of quality and performance. Here’s what to keep an eye on while looking for a full-sized 9mm pistol:

Price

The price tag is important to budget shoppers, but it’s not as “do or die” as some people think. It’s important to find a pistol that is affordable for you when it comes to the best quality and performance. You don’t need cheap, flimsy, and disappointing. It may be hard to resist going for the lower price. But if you spend even a bit extra on your budget scale, you won’t be disappointed in the long run.

How Many Rounds Do I Need?

Most full-sized 9mm pistols have a round count of anywhere between 15 rounds to as high up as 22. The more you need, the better off you probably will be. The number of rounds you need will depend on personal preference and even an intended application. If you are a target shooter or a competition shooter, aim for more rounds so you have more at your disposal. 

To Conceal Carry or Not to Conceal Carry?

Most full-sized pistols can be used for concealed carry. If you choose not to use a full-sized pistol for such a purpose, that is understandable. These full-sized pistols can be put to good use for home defense or taking it for a spin at the range for a couple hours. Remember, a full-sized pistol will require a holster that fits. So if you choose to conceal carry, get a holster after finding your pistol of choice. 

Trigger Pull Weight

Most of these pistols will have a decent trigger pull weight. Some will be lighter than others while some might be a bit heavy. If you are looking to get a shot off quickly, you may want to consider a trigger pull weight of 5 pounds or less. This will definitely be a must if you intend to use your full-sized pistol in a life and death situation. 

Quick Take - The Best Full Size 9mm Pistol

These are our recommendations for the best full size 9mm pistol:

  1. Glock 17
  2. S&W M&P9 Shield M2.0
  3. Sig Sauer P320 XFive

Review of the Best Full-Size 9mm Pistols

The following is a list of the best full-sized 9mm pistols currently on the market. As you read through each review on the list, it is important that you note the features and characteristics so you can find one that is close to the description of your ideal full-sized 9mm pistols. Now, let’s start off with “best overall” firearm on our list:

Best Full Size 9MM Overall: 
Glock 17

Pros

  • Great for home defense
  • Solid construction and durability
  • Excellent reliability Glock is known for
  • Fits in most concealed carry holsters (full-size measurement)

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were quite happy with the pistol in general. Most of them used this for target shooting sessions for either fun or tune-up. One user said that he usually puts this to good use at the range, but would not hesitate to use it in the event of being in a dangerous situation where self-defense was in the realm of possibility. He also added that this Glock never steered him wrong nor did it jam on him after firing 100 rounds.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We kick off the list by taking a look at a name that is mostly known for making reliable handguns. Glock is a name trusted by many law enforcement and military personnel around the world simply due to its reliability and inability to jam in the times when they need to use it most. So, it makes a lot of sense knowing that you get jam-free operation no matter how many times you fire.

Tough as nails and able to fire shots with a good amount of power, this gun is effective with targets that are situated some 30 yards out. If you want a pistol that will get the job done in a target or self-defense situation, this could easily be the go-to option for you.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be great for the purpose of home defense or if you are up for it, EDC carry. Just because it’s full-size doesn’t mean you can write it off as a pistol that you can’t take anywhere. After all, you are dealing with a pistol with superior quality and reliability that is hard to match when compared to other full-sized pistols on the market. Don’t be shocked if this thing doesn’t even jam at all for as long as you use it.

Bottom Line

The Glock 17 might just be one of the most reliable and dependable concealed carry and home defense full-sized pistols on the market. You’ll definitely want to give this a try if you are in search of something with power, reliability, and the ability to make the competition look bad (even though there are a few others that may give this a run for its money).

Best Full-Size 9MM for the Money:
S&W M&P9 Shield M2.0

Pros

  • EDC kit is a welcome addition
  • Great size for concealed carry
  • Very few jam issues to speak of
  • Knife is pretty sharp; best used for survival purposes (cutting paracord, starting fires, etc.)

Cons

  • Flashlight might not be bright enough for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new buyers were super impressed with the package deal they got out of this. They said that this was one of the best investments they have made in terms of starting what may be a complete EDC kit for survival purposes. But to focus on the pistol, users were impressed with the overall accuracy and reliability. One user said he managed to get consistently accurate shots with targets situated some 25 yards out at the most. Construction-wise, the pistol was durable and tough all over and could withstand high-stress situations.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This obviously stands out for a number of reasons. You get a flashlight, a knife, and a pistol all in one nice package for a price that is affordable even for pistols. So you get bonus items out of the whole deal without spending a bit extra. That alone is quite impressive, especially when you are on a budget. Not to mention, each one of these items are high in quality and are built to last. So if you want accessories for your EDC kit to last you when SHTF, this pistol along with the other goodies are exactly what you need.

Who Will Use This Most

This would be a great deal for those who want to build out their EDC kit. These three things are some of the most recommended items you need for such a kit. You may never know when you need one item or the other. And best of all, you can take the kit with you wherever you go. It might just fit your tactical belt assuming that you have enough space. If you want to be seriously prepared, this kit might just do the trick.

Bottom Line

The S&W M&P9 Shield 9mm pistol with EDC kit is the best choice on the market so far for those looking for a full-sized pistol for EDC purposes. You may be impressed with what you get out of the deal, but we’d be disappointed if you didn’t say that you are getting a whole lot more than what you’ve paid for. Even for the pistol itself, the performance and quality are pretty awesome for the price it’s going for.

Pros

  • Great for concealed carry use
  • Accurate across various distances
  • Superior reliability; no malfunctions at all
  • Excellent for home defense and target shooting
  • Includes three magazines that won’t jam and provides smooth chambering

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Many new users were quite happy with the overall ability of this SIG Sauer pistol. Not only were they happy with the reliability, but they also managed to hit their targets consistently with targets situated between 20 to 40 yards out. And with the addition of two extra magazines, they were impressed with the amount of firing power that was at their disposal. The more rounds the better, according to one user.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The SIG Sauer name is one that concealed carry users have depended on for years and even decades. In fact, if you were to add a list of the most reliable names in firearms other than Glock and HK, SIG would certainly make the cut. This pistol is full-sized and packed with a good amount of power that isn’t intimidating to newbie users. The pistol itself allows for tight, consistent shooting groups, thus making it really accurate in any given application. So, if you want a pistol that will make accurate and precise shooting a reality, this just might be what you are looking for.

Who Will Use This Most

This would be a great pistol for those who are looking for a pistol that is reliable and accurate in any given application. If a pistol that is free from malfunctions is what you are looking for, then you may want to give this SIG Sauer pistol a chance. Not only that, but it’s also a really reliable pistol for newbie users who have never concealed carried at any point in their lifetime.

Bottom Line

The SIG Sauer P320 X-Five Legion is a full-sized 9mm that you can trust. And best of all, you can take it just about anywhere you want provided that you have a good enough holster for it. With a name like SIG Sauer, you know dang well that it will be a good enough pistol for those who want to be prepared for the danger ahead of them.

Pros

  • Additional magazine included
  • Easy to load; only takes a few minutes
  • Grip allows for better control and less recoil
  • Superior durability; able to last you years, even decades
  • Accessory mounting rail allows for a good number of sights and accessories

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, this pistol impressed a good number of users for its reliability and overall quality. They said that the pistol didn’t jam through 100 rounds or more and definitely provided a good deal of accuracy while shooting targets between 25 to 35 yards. One user said that he was able to get some really tight shooting groups out of the whole deal while at the range. He was also confident in making sure that he was able to hit any prowlers or attackers if they were daring enough to come after him.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pistol is once again from the name that defines reliability. The Glock 45 is one of the later models, and it certainly lives up to the name. It’s less likely to malfunction compared to other pistols and delivers powerful, precise accuracy like no other Glock. It’s the textbook example of how a full-sized 9mm should be. And since it’s made from a high-quality polymer, it’s destined to be one of the toughest pistols you can own (all while being lightweight enough to carry in your holster). If you want something that will stand out as a good option for self-defense or target shooting, this pistol might just be what you need.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be perfect for the use of concealed carry and even target practice. You’ll want this pistol on hand for any application where reliability matters most. Especially when time is not on your side and you need to defend yourself against dangerous threats that may harm you or your family. A Glock 45 will certainly be the go-to full-sized 9mm for you if you want excellent power, superior reliability, and unmatched accuracy.

Bottom Line

The Glock 45 might just cover all your bases if you need a full-sized 9mm pistol for your own personal use. It doesn’t matter if you use it for the purpose of self-defense or just for fun (i.e. target shooting), you have a pistol that will be an excellent option for those who are newbies or seasoned users. If reliability is your #1 make or break deal, this pistol will definitely not leave you hanging.

Pros

  • Great quality and construction
  • Excellent firing power and accuracy
  • Fits most full-sized holsters without any issue
  • Perfect for home defense and target shooting
  • Additional magazines are an excellent convenience

Cons

  • May not be suitable for competition applications
  • Trigger pull might be a little heavy for some users
  • Some have complained about it being a little pricey

What Recent Buyers Report

This pistol was a hit with many of the new users. They were happy with the overall accuracy of the pistol as they were able to consistently hit targets from 20 to 30 yards out with little to no effort. They even noticed that shooting groups were much tighter regardless of the type of 9mm rounds they were shooting with. One user said that he uses it for the purpose of target shooting on a weekend basis, but plans on using it for home defense if the situation were to arise.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pistol is known for being one of the most powerful in the world. That comes as no surprise considering the H&K name has a reputation for manufacturing handguns that are known for being the most powerful in the world regardless of caliber. On top of that, they construct pistols of excellent quality and this model was no different. If you want something that is super sturdy and will have a good deal of power for you to work with, this bad boy just might be what the doctor ordered.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be an excellent pistol for those who have used pistols for a long time. So it will be best used by seasoned vets rather than the newbie users. This will give you a good amount of accuracy and reliability to work with. In terms of reliability, it may rival that of the Glock 17 (whether it falls short or ends up on par with it). If you want full-sized 9mm that will really pack a punch, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything else like this on the market.

Bottom Line

The HK VP9 will definitely be a must-have for the long-term concealed carry user. If you’re ready to make an upgrade in terms of power and performance, this is your opportunity to make it happen with this kind of pistol. This bad boy is the real deal in almost any given application and will not disappoint you.

Benefits in Investing in a Full-Size 9mm Pistol

If you are looking for a full-size pistol, investing in one might be one of the smartest decisions you’ll ever make. You’d be disappointed in having to miss out on owning one if given the opportunity. Here are a few reasons why you’ll need one now:

Effective Protection

If you want some decent stopping power thats most likely to find it's mark, a full-size 9mm will prove to you time and time again that it is a great contender. While you may not make a ton amount of damage compared to some other calibers, the stopping power of a 9mm is getting better and better with new specialized ammo. Especially when you intend to use it against assailants that are stupid enough to attack you.

Affordable Compared to Some Sizes

Believe it or not, they are larger in size but actually a lot more affordable than your compact and subcompact pistols. You can still utilize a full-size pistol that will be great for concealed carry provided that you find the right holster. If you are looking for a 9mm pistol on a budget, start with the full-size first before working your way down into different categories.

Better Reliability and Accuracy

Yes, you’re reading this right. A full-size pistol will be an edge better in terms of reliability and accuracy compared to its subcompact and compact counterparts. In fact, full-sized pistols will less likely jam on you compared to the two types. Accuracy wise, you have longer barrels to work with (which of course, means better accuracy and velocity). Just another reason why you should never overlook full-sized pistols in terms of concealed carry. 

Conclusion

The best full-sized 9mm pistol for you is out there. Be sure to find one that will fit your personal preferences and needs so you can be able to use it in the long run. No matter what your intended application is, you will have a really great pistol to have on hand that will be excellent in reliability and accuracy. Don’t be surprised if you wind up using it for years or even decades down the road. 

People Also Ask

Below is a list of frequently asked questions from prospective buyers. It is important that you use these questions and answers to your advantage so you can make an informed decision on making a choice on a full-size 9mm pistol. Here are the following questions:

Is 38 Special More Powerful Than 9mm?

A 38 Special and a 9mm are both identical in size in terms of rounds. But which one is more powerful? The jury is out at this point although there are some that say the 9mm has a bit of an edge over the 38 Special in terms of velocity.

Is 9mm Good Enough For Self Defense?

Short answer: yes. To elaborate further, a 9mm is perhaps one of the best calibers you can use for self-defense because of its stopping power alone. At the same time, it won’t leave a devastating amount of damage, so it would be excellent for indoor self-defense (if such a situation were to arise). 

Is a .45 More Powerful Than a 9mm?

No. And we’re going to tell you why. A 9mm is proven to have more power and even better penetration than a .45 caliber handgun. While a .45 may not be useless by any stretch of the imagination, the ballistics give 9mm an edge especially when you need to deal a fatal shot to an attacker at the best moment possible.

Which 9mm Pistol Has The Highest Capacity?

As of today, the CZ 75 Tactical Sport 9mm pistol is said to have the highest capacity with 20 rounds in one magazine. Another is the Italian made Modello 9mm Sosso which carries up to 22 rounds in one magazine.

How Big is a Full-Size Pistol?

Full-sized pistols will likely have a barrel that is measured between the lengths of 4 to 5 inches. Also, all the fingers on your hand should be able to easily wrap around the grip of the gun without any hint of slipping out of your hands. 

About Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!

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