Shooting Illustrated | 8 Great Optics-Ready 9 mm Defensive Handguns

Over the past decade, many shooters have understood that optic handguns – especially compact reflex sights – provide quick target acquisition in any light and improve accuracy without adding bulk to your pistol. This has led to an increased demand for red dot-equipped handguns, which in turn has led more gun manufacturers to offer ready-to-wear pistol models for personal defense. From large guns to lightweight, compact EDC pistols, you can now probably order optics-ready guns from your favorite gun manufacturer. If you’re considering joining the Red Dot Revolution, these eight great optic-ready guns are an excellent place to start.

SIG Sauer P365XL

SIG’s P365 is America’s best-selling pistol, and the XL version has everything shooters love about the standard version, with a slightly longer sight radius and larger magazine capacity. The 20.7-ounce P365XL has a 3.7-inch barrel and measures only 6.6 inches long, but has a 12-round capacity usually reserved for larger guns. If you’re not using optics, you’ll appreciate the standard X-RAY3 day / night vision devices. This beautifully balanced, solidly built 9mm semi-car features SIG’s superb straight XSeries trigger. You can buy this gun without a visor, but SIG’s $ 897 package gun with Romeo Zero is a great buy. MSRP: $ 699 (without optics), $ 897 (with Romeo Zero Sight).

CZ P-10 F / C / S optics ready

CZ offers you a comprehensive range of optically-designed P-10 semi-auto pistols that are fired by strikers. The S version (Subcompact) has a 3.5 inch barrel, a capacity of 12 rounds and a weight of 24 ounces. The C-Model (Compact) has a 4-inch barrel and adds a few more ounces and three cartridges to the magazine compared to the S-Model. The F (full-size) is equipped with a 4.5-inch barrel and an impressive 19-lap capacity. These America-made CZs are well built and have excellent triggers. The reversible mag release makes them south paw friendly. All CZ Optics Ready models come with a cover plate that makes it easier to assemble the optics once it has been removed. MSRP: $ 577- $ 590.

Stoeger STR-9 optics capable

Stoeger amazed the shooting community when this shotgun-focused brand launched a striker-fired 9mm semi-auto pistol, the STR-9. The initial response to the budget-friendly STR-9 was largely positive, and now Stoeger is offering an optically compatible model of its affordable 9 mm pistol. With its 4.17-inch barrel and 15-shot capacity, the overall size of the Stoeger STR-9 Optics-Ready, which costs 399 US dollars, can hold its own against compact models such as the Smith & Wesson M & P9 and Glock G19. The trigger is good and the handle design is excellent, allowing even recoil-sensitive shooters to handle the recoil of a heavy 9mm defensive load. If you are looking for an affordable, durable 9mm optic tire, this is a great choice. MSRP: $ 399.

Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP

There are many who believe the Springfield Armory Hellcat is the ultimate 9mm micro-compact carry weapon and you won’t get any argument from me. With its 3-inch barrel, the Hellcat measures a total of just 6 inches long and weighs less than 18 ounces when unloaded. Somehow, however, the Springfield engineers managed to cram 11 rounds in the standard magazine and 13 in the extended magazine without this gun feeling bloated or unwieldy. From the handle structure to the upper sliding teeth to the U-Dot sights from Tactical Rack, this weapon is equipped with first-class functions and should be on the shortlist of everyone looking for a micro-compact, optically-designed EDC weapon. The Hellcat is available in black or FDE and there is a package version that comes with a Shield SMSc 4 MOA red dot for a few hundred more dollars. MSRP: $ 599 to $ 799.

Ruger American Pistol Competition

Yes, the Ruger American Pistol Competition was developed for match shooters. However, if you are looking for a full size 9mm pistol for recreational shooting or home defense, this gun is a great option. At 34 ounces empty and an overall length of 8.3 inches, the Ruger is the largest weapon on this list. However, that extra weight helps to moderate the muzzle lift and recoil, and this is one of the most fluid and accurate OR 9mm out there. The interchangeable wraparound grip modules allow the shooter to customize the fit of the weapon, and the sliding cutouts are functional and elegant. The drilled and threaded slide enables the direct assembly of several common optics via the mounting screws No. 6-48. When I tested the Ruger American Pistol Competition, I found it to be fluid and extremely accurate, and it has definitely earned a spot on the list of the best surgical weapons. $ 579.

Glock G19 MOS

Gaston Glock’s pistol design has nothing left to prove, but somehow Glock guns just keep getting better. Unsurprisingly, Glock was one of the first major pistol manufacturers to add an optic-ready weapon to its standard catalog. The Glock G19 Gen 4 and Gen 5 MOS pistols are a great option for anyone considering a Red Dot Ready pistol. G19s have become the archetypal compact 9mm, and the specs of the gun – a 4.02-inch barrel, 23.8 ounce curb weight, and 15 rounds capacity – are standard for other 9mm strikers in this class. With a reflex sight, the G19 is an even more versatile weapon that shoots precisely and handles a wide variety of loads. There’s a reason these guns sell so well year after year. MSRP: $ 745.


Do you think you can’t afford a ready-to-use pistol? Think again The CPX-1/2 RD (Red Dot) from SCCY is available as a package pistol with a Crimson Trace Red Dot reflex optic for only 339 US dollars. The SCCY CPX is available with manual safety (CPX-1) or without (CPX-2). These DAO pistols have a long but steady trigger. The slide of the CPX RD is made of steel and the frame of aluminum. As a result, this 9mm has a curb weight of only 17.5 ounces. CPX RD guns have a 3.1 inch barrel and are easy to conceal. They offer a capacity of 10 rounds. MSRP: $ 339- $ 349.

Smith & Wesson M & P9 M2.0 4-inch compact OR

The M & P9 M2.0 4-inch compact OR is a new model, but Smith & Wesson has been perfecting its M & P9 pistols for the last 15 years – and it shows. With four easy-to-change back straps, seven optical bases and two 15-round magazines, the 4-inch compact OP M & P9 M2.0 offers a lot of money. The grip structure and angle, trigger, fit, and accuracy of this 4 inch weapon are all top notch. The OP version has extended visors with white dots that match your optics. The armornite finish withstands sweat, moisture, and the other abuses of everyday wear. The Smith & Wesson is a well-rounded pistol that easily deserves a spot on the list of top OR 9mm pistols. MSRP: $ 616.

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