as you know I've been looking for a concealed carry gun. ive been debating between a compact and a subcompact so i went down to the range and rented several guns to make my pick. i love my glock 34 but i was a bit apprehensive about carrying a glock just cause it doesn't have a manual safety so i decided to check out a bunch of other guns too to see if I get over my glock obsession... I couldn't. So I rented a a glock 19, glock 19c, glock 26, springfield xd-9 compact springfield xd-9 sub compact and a smith and wesson m&p 9mm compact. My thoughts before shooting today were that I wanted something very small that was easy to carry but i also wanted something I could shoot so I was kind of thinking I would probably get the compact because whats the point of carrying something if you cant shoot it? I figured I would just have to get some bigger clothes or something. I was dead wrong! I could shoot the 19 a little bit better than the 26 but not much. I was putting bullets through basically the same holes with both sizes of guns and had nice tight groups. If I was shooting for money or in a contest id rather have a compact of course but shooting at human sized targets at relatively close ranges I'm fine with either. Bottom line is...I bought the Glock 26 and I dont regret it one bit! Im actually more sure about this purchase than I was about the 34 when I bought it. Here are my thoughts on the guns i tested. 1. 19 and 19c: both felt good but were a little big for what I wanted. There was a small difference between the 19 and 19c but not a whole lot. plus the 19c was quite a bit louder which I think makes up for any differences in felt recoil. 2. Springfield xd-9 compact and subcompact. I know I risk starting a flame war but i am merely stating my subjective opinion...I thought both XD's were garbage. They both jammed once each (nothing else I shot today jammed). They seemed to be poorly constructed, not as tightly constructed, they were very top heavy compared to their glock equivalents. and they were both bigger than the comparable glocks. however I noticed that the xd compact only held 10 rounds despite being bigger than the glock 19. I also thought the triggers were mushy compared to the glock and the M&P triggers. 3. S&W M&P compact 9mm. Nice gun. I liked the feel of the trigger more than the xd but not as much as the glock (although maybe im just used to glock triggers). The gun felt fine in my hands and I shot it fine. I didn't like it as much as the glocks, but I still liked it. I would definitely buy an M&P before I would even think about buying an XD. If I had decided that a subcompact pistol was too small I would have spent a lot more bullets trying to decide between the two. unfortunately it didn't come to that point.