New Compact Pistol Reviews

Compact Pistol Reviews



In years gone by, there were typically only two types of pistols. There were service pistols built on large frames and then matched to full-sized barrels and there were pocket pistols that consisted mainly of breach-loaded single or double shot derringers. As materials, technology, and gun crafting methods have improved there has been a constant push to create compact pistols that perform as well as their full-sized counterparts while being produced in a smaller overall package.

This pattern of shrinkage has picked up steam in recent years as more and more people begin to get carry permits and most manufacturers have begun to answer the call. Many high volume producers will sell a compact model right along side the service model, and it is often difficult to tell the two apart. The Springfield Armory XD-45 and XD-45 Compact are a good example of how similar two variations of the same gun can appear to be.

In fact, true compact pistols are very often confused with their smaller sub-compact cousins. While both are typically built on the platform of the originating service model and keep key features such as the action and safety mechanisms, the differences between the two are easily identified if you know what to look for. Here's a list of the major elements that make up a true compact pistol:

Size Comparison

XD Compact Size Comparison

1) Shortened Grip - the majority "compact" space savings benefit on a compact pistol is accomplished by reducing the overall height of the pistol by cuttind down the grip. This seemingly simple modification goes a long way when carrying the gun concealed. The length of the barrel and slide are of little consequence if they are burried deep in a IWB holster(inside-the-waistband) that conceals that muzzel of the gun inside your trousers. The size of the grip is what matters at that point. A standard length grip of a service pistol will stick out and "print" under most cover garments while a compact pistol will avoid this often unnearving sticking point. The grip is not "drasticly" reduced however...at least not akin to the chop job that a sub-compact undergoes.

2) Similar Barrel Size - in most cases you find that both the barrel and accompanying slide lengths on a compact pistol remain the same as those found on their service counterparts. This works very well for law enforcement officers on a tight budget who do not wish to buy a smaller gun to carry while off duty because they can alternate between short and long magazines to meet the demands of their situation.

3) Multiple Magazine Lengths - naturally, one of the shortfalls that come with chopping down the grip of any gun is the fact that the number of rounds that the gun can hold will be reduced. This is a non-issue for those looking to trade firepower for conealability and they take the shorter grip and magazine in stride. In an effort to make their compact pistols as versitile as possible, however, gun producers have been typically found issuing extended grip magazines with their smaller variants. These larger mags enable the gun to practically be converted back to full-size service pistol while the convenience of carrying a smaller gun is retained by the use of the shorter magazines.

3) Near Exact Functional Components - as the grip and magazines are typically the only altered elements of a compact pistol you traditionally will find that all other aspects of the pistol remain the same. The safety systems, action, and trigger operation remain the same in most cases.

The compact pistol, with it's multiple magazine configuration, is one of the most versitle handgun variants made today. You can find the newest reviews of various models below. A link at the bottom of the page will take you to a more complete index of available reviews or you can use the search function at the top right of this page to find information on a specific gun more quickly.

Newest Compact Pistols Reviewed


Springfield Armory Loaded Champion 1911 Pistol Springfield Armory Loaded Champion 1911 Pistol
Performance55555
Durability55555
Concealability3.53.53.53.53.5
Overall Value55555

While new manufacturing techniques have made making reliable 1911 pistols smaller and smaller, concealed carry 1911 compact pistols were have been around for years in the form of Commander, Champion, and Officers models. These types of guns have served... [Read more of this review]

3 Reviews


Glock 19 9mm Compact Pistol Glock 19 9mm Compact Pistol
Performance55555
Durability55555
Concealability55555
Overall Value55555

While the Glock 17 may be the most widely favored of the company's pistols amongst law enforcement agencies, the G19 compact pistol is the favored model with civilian shooters in the United States these days. This is easy to understand considering the... [Read more of this review]

3 Reviews


Springfield Armory XDm-40 3.8 Compact Pistol Springfield Armory XDm-40 3.8 Compact Pistol
Performance55555
Durability55555
Concealability4.624.624.624.624.62
Overall Value55555

Most gun companies, when releasing a new handgun chambered in 9mm will also release another version of the pistol in .40 S&W because the guns are so similar in dimension that it is easy to produce both guns on the same production line with minimal... [Read more of this review]

14 Reviews


Glock 32 .357 Compact Pistol Glock 32 .357 Compact Pistol
Performance4.754.754.754.754.75
Durability4.754.754.754.754.75
Concealability4.754.754.754.754.75
Overall Value55555

In the world of self-defense pistols, a lot of ink is spilled in various publications about which cartridge is the best. The .45 crowd ignores the tech talk of others and holds to tradition, easy access to ammo, and the overall size of the round as the... [Read more of this review]

11 Reviews


Taurus Model 709 Slim Compact Pistol Taurus Model 709 Slim Compact Pistol
Performance3.563.563.563.563.56
Durability3.633.633.633.633.63
Concealability4.694.694.694.694.69
Overall Value3.753.753.753.753.75

The Taurus Model 709 Slim is a compact pistol primarily designed for use as a civilian concealed carry gun and not marketed as a service pistol to be used by police forces. That is not to say that this low-profile 9mm handgun does not find its way into... [Read more of this review]

20 Reviews


Beretta 84FS Compact Pistol Beretta 84FS Compact Pistol
Performance55555
Durability55555
Concealability4.54.54.54.54.5
Overall Value55555

The Beretta 84FS is most recent rendition of the original Series 80 line of compact pistols made by the Italian gun manufacturing company. At a distance, the gun seems to hold a close resemblance to the better known Beretta 92FS while it is, in fact,... [Read more of this review]

2 Reviews


Springfield Armory XDm-9 3.8 Compact Pistol Springfield Armory XDm-9 3.8 Compact Pistol
PerformanceNo Ratings
DurabilityNo Ratings
ConcealabilityNo Ratings
Overall ValueNo Ratings

Many would say that the Springfield Armory XDm 3.8 is a not a true compact pistol because, while the barrel length is shorter, the height remains virtually the same. Regardless of this fact, the 9mm XDm 3.8 is bought by many who are looking for the functionality... [Read more of this review]

1 Review


Glock 23 .40 Compact Pistol Glock 23 .40 Compact Pistol
Performance55555
Durability55555
Concealability4.754.754.754.754.75
Overall Value55555

The Glock 23 is a compact pistol chambered in .40 Smith & Wesson. It looses just under half an inch in both lenght and height when compared against its larger cousin the Glock 22. This is just enough of a difference to make the gun significantly... [Read more of this review]

5 Reviews


Springfield Armory XD-45 Compact Pistol Springfield Armory XD-45 Compact Pistol
Performance55555
Durability55555
Concealability4.254.254.254.254.25
Overall Value55555

One of the best moves that Springfield Armory ever made was to start building XD pistols chambered for the .45 ACP. While the 9mm may be the best selling round in the world, and the .40 S&W is loved by American police departments, the .45 ACP round... [Read more of this review]

5 Reviews


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