[VIDEO] Sig P365, Springfield Hellcat, Ruger Max-9, Taurus GX4, M&P Shield Plus


The micro sub-compact 9mm pistol has become a very competitive market. Ever since Sig Sauer developed the P365, there has been a “race to the top” to see which manufacturer could pack the most rounds in a 9mm magazine. Add to that, optic ready slides, night sights, holsters and modifications, each of these pistols have their own personality. There are now an abundance of small 9mm striker-fired pistols that carry over 10 rounds. It seems the once popular single stack 9mm craze has been replaced. Adding just a little more girth on the grip, these manufacturers created some incredible double stack 9mm handguns.

I was able to acquire each of the “newer” sub-compact 9mm handguns. Sig Sauer, Springfield Armory, Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Taurus all created their version. They all share certain characteristics however they are also very different in their own way. The one common denominator, more rounds. Let us take a look at each of these pistols and run down some of their features. I believe there is something for everyone in this growing field of micro sub-compact 9mm’s.

Sig Sauer P365

When Sig Sauer designed the P365 in 2018, the concealed carry market was lit on fire. They created a small carry gun that shooters could holster or pocket carry. The P365 has since evolved to a series of pistols that have become extremely popular. They started with a 10 round magazine which has increased in size and capacity throughout the years. Shooters enjoy the size, reliability, accuracy and ergonomics. The P365 has become a staple in the CCW world as they continue to improve and develop variations of the original pistol.

Barrel length: 3.1”

Overall Length: 5.8”

Sights: X-Ray3 Day/Night Sights

Optic Ready: Yes (P365X)

MSRP: $499

Springfield Armory Hellcat

Springfield Armory released the Hellcat in September 2019. They produced magazines that hold 11 and 13 rounds. That is the most capacity for a sub-compact pistol in the market. Springfield included two Hellcat models upon the launch. A standard Hellcat and an OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) that is optic ready. The ergonomics are amazing with it’s adaptive grip texturing and the trigger measures at 5 pounds. It includes a front tritium night sight and metal U-notch rear sight that aligns perfectly. Springfield Armory expanded the Hellcat line with three different models and now offers a 15 round magazine.

Barrel Length: 3”

Overall Length: 6”

Sights: Tritium Front U-Notch Rear

Optic Ready: Yes (OSP Model)

MSRP: $569 Standard $599 OSP

Ruger Max-9

Not to be outdone, Ruger released the Max-9 in spring of 2021. The Max-9 pistols are optic ready (14 different red dots) with 10 and 12 round magazines. The Max-9 is available with a manual thumb safety or their Pro model without a thumb safety. The rear sight is metal serrated black with a fiber optic tritium front sight. The trigger measures at 5 pounds allowing the follow up shots precise accuracy. The Max-9 looks and feels like a Ruger pistol which stays true to their strong reputation. With an MSRP of $559, the Max-9 packs in a lot of features that allow the shooter several options.

Barrel Length: 3.2”

Overall Length: 6”

Sights: Fiber Optic Tritium Front Serrated Black Rear

Optic Ready: Yes (All Models)

MSRP: $559

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus

Smith & Wesson released the Shield Plus in the spring of 2021. The Shield Plus ships with 13 and 10 rounds magazines and has the same M&P 2.0 grip texturing. They moved away from the standard Shield hinged trigger and added a flat face 5.25 pound trigger. Upon the launch, Smith & Wesson offered the standard Shield Plus and various Performance Center pistols. The Performance Center handguns offer optic ready slides, night sight, porting and a four inch barrel.

Barrel Length: 3.1”

Overall Length: 6.1”

Sights: 3-Dot (metal)

Optic Ready: Yes on Performance Center Models

MSRP: $553 (Standard Model)

Taurus GX4

In May of 2022, Taurus released their new GX4 pistol. The GX4 is much lighter and smaller than the well regarded G3C. It ships with two 11 round magazines however 13 round magazines are available on their site. Taurus also includes a larger backstrap in the case. Taurus created a flat face trigger that breaks at 5.25 pounds with a very short reset. The GX4 has a pinned in front dot and a serrated black adjustable rear sight. Staying true to their form by offering quality made pistols at a working man’s budget, the GX4’s MSRP is only $392.

Barrel Length: 3”

Overall Length: 5.8”

Sights: Front Dot Serrated Black Rear

Optic Ready: No

MSRP: $392


Concealed Nation

Sign up for all the latest news, updates,
and exclusive deals...

We respect your email privacy

About the Author

Dan has been an avid gun collector and enthusiast for several years. He enjoys shooting and reviewing all firearms on his YouTube channel called TheFireArmGuy. Most importantly, he believes in the 2nd Amendment and strongly feels that all Americans should practice situational awareness and carry a gun daily.

Click for more:

Leave a comment