The New H9: A Handgun Worthy of the Daniel Defense Name

There’s something special about the new Daniel H9 handgun. Sure, it’s special because it’s the first handgun Daniel Defense has ever produced and represents a marked departure from the legendary AR-style and bolt-action rifles the company is known for. But it’s also special in its own right, because this compact, lightweight handgun is feature heavy, extremely accurate, and easy (and fun) to shoot.


Lightweight and Rugged

Weighing in at just over 29 ounces, the aluminum and steel H9 is highly maneuverable and lightweight enough for concealed carry. Its aircraft-grade aluminum frame helps keep weight down while also helping to make this handgun rugged and durable enough for just about any use in even extreme conditions.  

Thin Profile

The first thing you’ll notice when you hold a Daniel H9 is its thin profile. It’s not thick and unwieldy like some other striker-fired handguns, and the H9’s overall aesthetic is pleasing to the eye. It’s not brick-like or blocky in any way. In fact, its styling is modern and even a bit futuristic. How your handgun looks may not be at the top of your priority list, but the H9 will definitely turn some heads when you take it out of its case at the range. So be ready for questions about the unique-looking pistol you’re shooting.

Contributing to the handgun’s slimness is a 15-round double-stack magazine, which is among the thinnest in the industry and is coated with a low-friction finish for easy insertion and removal.

Natural Overall Feel

Aside from being thin and sitting low in your hand, the H9 provides a natural feel and “pointability.” The gun has been described as a striker-fired pistol meets a 1911, and it points and feels precisely like that. If you’re used to shooting 1911s but have been interested in crossing over to a striker-fired handgun, this is the handgun for you. If striker-fired handguns are what you’re comfortable with but you’ve been looking to expand into a 1911-style pistol, the H9 provides the best of both worlds. 

Low Bore Axis

The H9 has a low bore axis, which means it sits low in your hand and there’s less gun protruding up above your hand than handguns with a higher bore axis. With less gun sitting above your hand, more of the gun’s recoil drives straight back into the meaty part of your hand, which helps reduce muzzle flip. Handguns with a higher bore axis tend to have more muzzle flip because, when recoil drives the gun back into your hand, your hand serves as a fulcrum and the muzzle flips up. 

It may be basic physics, but it definitely makes a difference. More muzzle flip means your sights jump farther off target, which means it takes more time to reacquire your sight picture, resulting in slower follow-up shots. The Daniel H9 was designed to minimize muzzle flip, allowing you to reacquire your target faster and make accurate follow-up shots quicker.  

Ambidextrous Operation

The H9’s slide-stop latch is ambidextrous, and its magazine-release button is reversible to accommodate both right- and left-handed shooters. This may not mean much to you if you’re a right-hander but, lefties, rest assured that the H9 has been designed with your needs in mind as well.  


Cold Hammer Forged Barrel

Like all Daniel Defense firearms, the H9’s barrel is cold hammer forged. Cold hammer forging is a method of barrel production that’s more time-consuming and expensive than traditional barrel-manufacturing techniques. It requires specialized machines that forge a barrel through intense hydraulic pressure applied at opposing angles by mechanized steel hammers. The result is a barrel that’s incredibly accurate and equally as durable. 

Aircraft-Grade Aluminum Frame

The aluminum frame of the H9 is built to last without weighing the gun down. It’s tough but much lighter in weight than a steel-framed handgun, making it a great choice for concealed carry.

Legendary Daniel Defense Quality

The H9 is stamped with the Daniel Defense name, which means, like everything Daniel produces, it’s backed by the company’s 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. It’s manufactured and assembled in the U.S.A. by Daniel’s expert American workforce, which means Daniel Defense stands behind it. Period. 

Dovetail Sights

The standard sights on the H9 are dovetail cut, matching Sig’s P-Series, making the H9 compatible with a plethora of aftermarket open sights straight from the factory.  Of course, the H9 is designed to accommodate many popular red-dot optics as well, but the sights it comes with will do the job putting shots on target and can stand up to most any paces you put the H9 through. 


Fast Cycling

The Daniel H9 is a semiautomatic handgun that cycles remarkably fast—but not at the expense of reliability. Combine this with minimized muzzle flip from its low bore axis, and you have an easy-shooting handgun that fires follow-up shots quickly and accurately.

Straight-Pullback Trigger

The H9’s trigger is a wide, 1911-style blade that pulls straight back for precision control and minimize “trigger jerk.” It has a smooth, crisp break and features a striker-fired-style trigger safety blade, so you can draw and fire the H9 without any fumbling around for a safety lever or button. 

Well-Balanced Grip Panels

The G-10 grip panels of the H9 are long enough and the right texture to provide a secure purchase and the proper amount of friction to keep the gun from jumping around in your hands, helping with accuracy and to better control muzzle flip. But these grips won’t tear up your hands—or your clothing if you carry the gun concealed. The customizable panels are replaceable, but as dialed-in as these panels are, why bother? 

RDS Compatible

The H9 can accommodate many popular red-dot optics, should you choose to add one. When you purchase an H9, you will receive a coupon code for a complimentary mounting plate for a red-dot optic of your choice. There are four plates to choose from, accommodating Trijicon, Shield, Docter, and C-more red-dot aiming systems, which covers the majority of popular red-dot sights on the market. 

Exceptional Magazine (Again)

It’s worth another mention that the H9’s magazine is among the thinnest double-stack magazines in the industry. So, you have more rounds at your disposal without a thick, brick-like handle. And because it’s coated with a low-friction finish, you can be confident that, with a little practice, you can drop and reinsert a magazine quickly and efficiently.   

Shoots Like a Much Larger Handgun

After a few shots, you may not believe that the H9 is as lightweight as compact as it feels in your hands. The combination of its natural feel and pointability, G-10 grips, dovetail sights, straight-pullback trigger, and reduced muzzle flip from its low bore axis make it feel like you have the controllability of shooting a heavier, much larger handgun. Again, it really does look—and shoot—like a hybrid between a 1911 and striker-fired pistol.   

The over 1,200 words you’ve just read describing what’s special about the Daniel H9 still don’t do it adequate justice. The best way to truly get a feel for this revolutionary handgun is to hold one in your own hands. Better yet, actually fire one to see how ergonomic and easy shooting this revolutionary new handgun truly is.