Striker-fired semi-automatic pistols use a spring-loaded firing pin that is partially cocked by the movement of the slide, then the trigger continues to cock the firing pin before releasing it to fire the pistol.
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Striker-fired pistols do this without the use of a protruding hammer, which can hamper a draw from deep concealment. Some models also incorporate a safety in the trigger as well as a firing pin safety and drop safety, making them very safe.
Here are 11 compact striker-fired pistols.
The BP Concealed Carry, or BPCC, is Bersa’s first polymer-framed pistol and features a single-stack magazine, so it is thin in hand. Models are available in .380 ACP, 9mm and .40 S&W. All of the controls are ambidextrous, and it uses a short-reset trigger to activate the striker firing mechanism. Several finish options are available, and the BP9CC (shown) features an olive drab frame with a matte black slide. (732-493-0333; bersa.eagleimportsinc.com)
The new 9mm FNS-9 Compact has all the features of the full-sized FNS-9 pistol, including the ambidextrous slide stop and magazine release, but in a smaller, compact package. At only 6.7 inches in length and less than 24 ounces unloaded, the FNS-9 Compact is easy to pack. The extended magazine floorplate offers a finger rest for a full grip and better control. A .40 S&W version is also available.
The new G43 is sure to become a very popular pistol with law enforcement due to its compact size and single-stack magazine, which holds six rounds. In fact, the pistol is only 1.02 inches wide, making it very easy to conceal in an ankle holster, a pocket or on a vest. Of course, the pistol is made to Glock’s high standards with the same Safe Action system utilized on the company’s other pistols. (glock.com; 770-432-1202)
The venerable CM9 is a highly affordable 9mm pistol that is easy to conceal for backup duty, and Kahr has updated it this year by offering it with a front night sight for better targeting in low-light situations. The matte stainless slide contrasts the black polymer frame, and the pistol uses a flush-fit six-round magazine. The CM9 has a 3-inch barrel and a smooth trigger pull thanks to Kahr’s striker-fired system. (kahr.com; 508-795-3919)
Lightweight, rugged and reliable—that’s the best way to describe Ruger’s SR9 series of pistols. Add “compact” and “lightweight” to the SR9c variant. The pistol’s designed to offer users either a flat or arched backstrap for individual shooter comfort. Matte black and two-tone versions are available with 10- or 17-round magazines. Dovetailed into the slide are three-dot sights, and the rear sight is adjustable. A .40 S&W version is also available. (ruger.com)
Sig Sauer P320 Compact
The most modular of all striker-fired pistols, the polymer-framed Sig Sauer P320 makes it easy for operators to switch calibers—from 9mm to .357 SIG or .40 S&W—as well as grip frames and slides that range from full-sized to subcompact. The P320 Compact variant (shown) weighs 26 ounces and is only 7.2 inches in length. Compact and reliable, the P320 has outstanding ergonomics and a smooth, crisp and short trigger pull. (sigsauer.com; 603-610-3000)
Smith & Wesson M&P40c
Many LE agencies across the U.S. have chosen the M&P series of pistols, from the full-sized variants to the Shield, for its officers. Like all M&P series pistols, the M&P40c features a reinforced polymer frame with a short accessory rail and grip-enhancing ergonomics. The magazine release and slide stop are ambidextrous, and the striker-fired system offers a smooth, consistent trigger pull. (smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852)
Springfield Armory XD Mod.2
Springfield’s XD pistols are designed to deliver uncompromising firepower, and the new Mod.2 variants feature stylishly redesigned slide and frame contouring as well as the high-traction Grip Zone. The 3.3-inch-barreled, .45 ACP version (shown) comes with both a nine-round magazine and a 13-rounder with Springfield’s X-Tension for a fuller grip. The pistol also comes with a fiber-optic front sight and a white-dot rear for fast targeting. (springfield-armory.com; 800-680-6866)
Steyr Arms S9-A1
The striker-fired S9-A1 is very concealable with a cold-hammer-forged, 3.6-inch barrel for enhanced accuracy and an ergonomic polymer grip frame with a Picatinny rail for mounting accessories. The pistol is designed to offer a high grip with a low bore axis for less muzzle rise while firing. Finally, the pistol comes with triangle/trapezoidal sights and a 10+1 capacity. (steyrarms.com; 205-417-8644)
Taurus Millennium G2
The Millennium G2 pistol has a double-strike capability. In other words, if the trigger is pressed and the cartridge fails to fire, the pistol goes into double-action mode, allowing the shooter to re-strike the cartridge. There’s no need to re-rack the slide on the Millennium G2 like you would with other striker-fired pistols. This Taurus is also very safe to carry with a firing pin block, a trigger safety, a thumb safety and a loaded chamber indicator. (taurususa.com; 800-327-3776)
The German-engineered Walther P99C is the compact version of the street-proven, full-sized P99, except with a 3.5-inch barrel and a reduced grip size. One of the features that sets this striker-fired pistol apart from the others is a decocker, which, when pressed, resets the trigger for a longer double-action pull. With a user-friendly and comfortable ergonomic grip, the P99C offers a compact pistol that is safe and reliable. (waltherarms.com; 479-242-8500)