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9mm Handguns: Versatile and Easy to Shoot

There is a reason why military recruits and police cadets learn to shoot a 9mm handgun during boot camp and police academy – and it is the same reason the 9mm is such a popular handgun with all kinds of civilians.  If you are looking for a good handgun for home protection, the 9mm is a good weapon to start with.

It is light enough and has a small enough grip to be handled by even small statured women and kids who are learning to shoot their first handgun, and it is powerful enough to stop an intruder.  It is easy to find an affordable 9mm, and rounds are common and reasonably priced.

While the 9mm is easy to find, it is important to get a good, serviceable weapon that you can count on in the event you need to use it for more than target practice.  Buy a quality weapon, not a cheap imitation,   and, don’t hesitate to take it out to shoot.  Like we learned in the movie The Patriot, “Aim small, miss small.” Shoot a lot, and be sure everyone who is old enough to be responsible with a weapon knows how to use it.

Don’t be afraid to teach your kids how to use and handle your weapons as well, with plenty of supervision, of course. Children can learn responsible gun ownership and use, despite what our squeamish society might believe. Enroll them in a child safety course, like the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program. Living off grid means being prepared for the unexpected, and believe it or not, your kids can learn to be prepared for the unexpected as well as any adult. Now that I have put in my two cents worth, let’s take a look at some 9mm’s.

Beretta 92

I happen to like the Beretta 92 quite a lot, and maybe that’s because it was the first 9mm I ever shot.  Made in Italy, and service weapon of choice for many police departments and the U.S. military (who use a specialized version of the 92 called an M9), the Beretta 92 comes in several calibers. There are various Beretta models nicknamed “Beretta 92,” but they all have some things in common.  First, they are semi-automatic.  In case you’re not familiar with gun terminology, semi-automatic weapons are designed to shoot rounds one after another – one round per trigger pull.  In an emergency situation, you don’t need to do anything but keep on pulling the trigger until your attacker is rendered harmless.

Second, the Beretta is equipped with an open slide design for easy ejection of spent ammunition.  This design allows for smooth feeding and makes clearing any obstructions easier.   Finally, the barrel has a hard chrome barrel bore that helps prevent corrosion.  Beretta makes good guns for the price and they are accurate at longer ranges, which is one reason law enforcement professionals like them. Older models were heavier, but the newest are a bit lighter and more corrosion-resistant, thanks to polymer parts.  You can buy a brand new Beretta 92 9mm for a little more than $400 in sporting goods stores.

MRI Baby Eagle 9915R

The semi-automatic MRI Baby Eagle 9915R is a smaller relative of MRI’s popular Desert Eagle .44, .50AE, and .357 magnum pistols.   It is heavy for its size, and is all steel with a 4.52” barrel.  Made in Israel, the components are built to last – Magnum Research Inc. builds solid weaponry designed for combat under harsh conditions.   One thing I really like about the Baby Eagle is the adjustable palm swells that can be customized to fit the hand.  The gun feels stable and secure in the hand, and it is super accurate thanks to interchangeable front sights.  A basic Baby Eagle costs between $550-$650 new.

Sig Sauer Pro SP2022

Sig Sauer is famous for manufacturing excellent weaponry, and the SP2022 is no different from the rest of the manufacturer’s line.  This gun is extremely accurate, has light recoil and comfort grips, and weighs more than most 9mm pistols.  As 9mm pistols go, this is top of the line and is the personal weapon of choice for many seasoned police officers as well as the US Army’s Tank Automotive and Armaments Command.   Expect to pay between $800-$1000 new.

Just like every other gun, a 9mm handgun needs to be fired regularly, and breaking in a brand new weapon is important.  Most 9mm weapons need to be fired between 300-500 times for a good break in. While the Sig Sauer Pro’s specifications claim it to be accurate “right out of the box,” it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with your new gun and practice often – no matter what kind of handgun you choose.

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  1. I qualified with the Berretta many yeasrs ago an wasn’t fond of it, it just diidn’t fit me well. it had a tendency move a bit much in my hand. I preffer the Browning hi-power or Glock series. the 9mm is easy to master for those who like low-medium recoil. You can find ammo everywhere.

  2. southern patriot

    I’m interested in a handgun and the one I think I’d like to have is the WWII 45. Are they still available and can you get bullets for them? Always enjoy reading your articles. Thanks again. SP

    • Yes these guns are everywhere. This is the 100th anniversary of 1911 .45 pistol. A basic model will cost you about $1,000. The modern, current-production guns are updated for using modern ammo. This means they are very reliable. Ammo is very available, but it fairly expensive because the bullets are large. Also you can 7,8, and 10 round magazines for most.

  3. Another well thought out article Mike and I enjoy your perspectives. The 9mm is time proven like the .45 and .38, hard hitting caliber it is definitely. The ammo is fairly cheap and available most everywhere. My preference is a Glock 23 in .40 caliber. Ballistics are in between the 9mm and .45, as is bullet weight. The pistol is reliable and fits my needs well. Southern Patriot, do some serious shopping and you’ll find a big variety of 1911 Army style .45’s, many styles and price ranges. Mike is right though, the 9mm is a sweetie and up to most any task. Good Summer to all and God Bless.

  4. I’m a fan of the .40 S&W, but an advantage of the 9mm not mentioned, is that it is the most available handgun cartridge in the world.

  5. I have a SIG P226 9mm and just love that weapon. I taught my wife to shoot it and she became a better shot with it than I.

  6. If you are a long time shooter then get what you like, but if you are new to the idea and don’t have any real experience, go to the range and see what you like and shoot the best with. Once you have the list of these firearms, either long or short, start narrowing it down by uses and needs. These can include, but are not limited to hunting/self defense, concealment, number of rounds, ammunition weight, ease of use under stress, ect….
    While cost is always a factor; a cheap gun is just that, cheap. Don’t beat you families safety on cheap.

  7. I don’t know why, but the springfield XDM 9mm gets overlooked alot. 19 plus 1. that is 20 rounds. the extra mags have 19. with 20 plus 2 extra mags that is 58 shots. and this hand gun is very accurite. they are easy to clean also and low maintence. I love mine. I don’t think the standard glock mage holds over 19 rounds. they have a 33 round mag, but it would be impossible to conceil underneath your t-shirt. both are great guns, but I prefer the XDM.

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