Since 2001 the United States experienced an explosion of interest in carrying a gun for personal defense amongst the general population. The states quickly responded to the demands of their constitutents by passing legislation that made it easier to carry a concealed pistol with only a handful of states making no allowance for the practice ten years later. Soon the demand for smaller, more convenient and more easily concealed guns skyrocketed. This led to the expansion many company's product lines to include at least one sub-compact pistol.

Most sub-compact pistols are built on the same design principles of their larger service pistol brethren. This goes without saying as most gun companies found it easy to take their most popular designs and cut down both the barrel and grip as far as possible without rendering the pistol ineffective or unreliable. For the most part the guns look like "baby" versions of the same gun. Usually they are so closely related that the sub-compact pistol will fit perfectly into any holster designed for the larger service model.

Beretta Storm Sub-Compact

Beretta Storm Sub-Compact Pistol

The small size usually does not translate into a lower price, however. Sub-compact pistols usually cost the same, or even a bit more, than larger versions of the same gun. Part of this is due to lower production numbers which translates directly into higher production costs. Another reason for the price is that making a sub-compact is not as simple as making a shorter barrel, slide, and frame. Often, these seemingly insignificant design elements translate into major operational problems for the gun. To address these issues gun companies have to invest significant resoures in engineering "tweaks" that work to bring the sub-compact pistol back in line with the level of performance found in the same gun built on a full-size frame.

The seeminly high price has not proved to be a deterrant to sales as the sub-compact pistol has a myriad of uses. Some carry the gun as a weapon while others employ it as a backup gun (BUG). An increase in the number of ankle holsters available to the public has led to these guns becoming the preferred platform for ankle carry. Some shooters by both the service size and sub-compact versions of the same gun. They carry the larger version on a daily basis, but switch the sub-compact pistol when attending events which the more formal type of attire which tends to "print" more easily.

Whatever the case may be, most gun enthusiasts have found that there is plenty of room in their gun safe for a sub-compact pistol or two. The question then revolves around which one is gun of choice. Feel free to glean information relating to this all-important question by reading through some of the reviews below. The newest reviews are displayed here and a link to a full index organized alphabetically is found at the bottom of the page.


Kel-Tec PF-9 Sub-Compact Pistol

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One of Kel-Tec's most popular sub-compact pistol designs, the PF-9 is a single-stack 9mm double-action only pistol. This 7 round capacity pistol is one of the ...[Read More]

Glock 26 9mm Sub-Compact Pistol

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Probably the most popular sub-compact pistol in the world, the Glock G26 retains all of the key design characteristics of its larger brethren in an extremely co...[Read More]