10 Best Handguns for Recreational Shooting – Top Picks

Best Handguns for Recreational Shooting

November 7, 2023 / Comments (0)


Recreational shooting is a fun and rewarding hobby that can improve your skills, confidence, and enjoyment of firearms. Whether you shoot at a range, in the woods, or in your backyard, you need a handgun suitable for recreational shooting.

A too-powerful, complex, or expensive handgun can ruin your shooting experience. That’s why you must find a handgun that is easy to use, accurate, and affordable for recreational shooting.

Options of Best Handguns for Recreational Shooting

Recreational shooting involves engaging targets for fun rather than self-defense or professional purposes.

The suitable handgun for this activity should balance accuracy, reliability, ergonomics, and ease of use. Factors such as caliber and capacity.

Let's delve into the key considerations when choosing a firearm.

Glock 19 Gen 5

It is a popular choice for recreational shooting due to its reliability, accuracy, and versatility.

It offers a compact size, a 9mm caliber with a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds, balancing maneuverability and firepower.

best handguns for recreational shooting

Importance of Glock 19 Gen 5 in Recreational Shooting

  • Versatility and Popularity: The Glock 19 Gen 5 is one of the most popular handguns in the recreational shooting community due to its versatility, accommodating various shooting preferences, and its widespread availability of accessories and aftermarket support.
  • Reliable Performance: Renowned for its unmatched reliability, the Gen 5 variant of the Glock 19 ensures consistent performance, making it a trusted choice for recreational shooters who value a firearm that functions flawlessly even in demanding shooting sessions.

Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm

The Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm is known for its ergonomic design, excellent trigger, and modularity.

This striker-fired handgun offers a range of sizes, capacities, and sight options, allowing shooters to tailor it to their preferences.

Importance of Smith & Wesson M&P in Recreational Shooting

  • Versatility: The Smith & Wesson M&P offers a wide range of models, calibers, and configurations, catering to the diverse needs of recreational shooters.
  • Reliable Performance: Known for its exceptional reliability and durability, the M&P ensures consistent performance, allowing shooters to enjoy recreational activities without worrying about malfunctions.
  • Enhanced Safety Features: The M&P incorporates advanced safety features, such as an ambidextrous slide stop and a passive trigger safety, promoting safe handling practices during recreational shooting sessions

Sig Sauer P320

The Sig Sauer P320 is a modular handgun in various sizes and calibers.

Its unique design lets users easily swap frames, slides, and grips, offering a customizable shooting experience. The P320 also boasts a smooth trigger and reliable performance.

Importance of Sig Sauer P320 in Recreational Shooting

  • Modular Design: The Sig Sauer P320's modular design allows shooters to easily swap out grip modules, slide assemblies, and barrels, enabling customization and accommodating various shooting preferences.
  • Accuracy and Performance: The P320 is renowned for its exceptional accuracy and reliable performance, making it a popular choice among recreational shooters seeking precision and consistency.
  • Safety and Ergonomics: With features like striker safety, disconnect safety, and an ergonomic grip, the P320 prioritizes shooter safety and comfort, enhancing the overall shooting experience in recreational settings

CZ 75 SP-01

The CZ 75 SP-01 is a full-size, steel-framed handgun known for its exceptional accuracy and robust build.

It features a single-action/double-action trigger, a comfortable grip, and a high magazine capacity, making it suitable for extended shooting sessions.

best handguns for recreational shooting

Importance of CZ 75 SP-01 in Recreational Shooting

  • Exceptional Ergonomics: The CZ 75 SP-01 is celebrated for its ergonomic design, providing shooters with a comfortable and natural grip and improving control and accuracy during recreational shooting activities.
  • Reliable and Durable: Known for its robust construction and reliability, the SP-01 offers consistent performance, allowing recreational shooters to enjoy their shooting sessions without interruptions or concerns about firearm malfunctions.
  • Competitive Advantage: The SP-01's reputation for accuracy and smooth trigger pull gives recreational shooters a competitive edge, making it a popular choice for those seeking to excel in shooting sports or competitions

Beretta 92FS

The Beretta 92FS is a classic handgun appreciated for its reliability, accuracy, and iconic design.

Its open-slide design aids in reducing malfunctions, while the double-action/single-action trigger provides versatility for recreational shooting.

Importance of  Beretta 92FS in Recreational Shooting

  • Timeless Design: The Beretta 92FS is a classic and iconic firearm, renowned for its sleek and timeless design. Its aesthetic appeal adds to the overall enjoyment of recreational shooting.
  • Accurate and Reliable: With a reputation for exceptional accuracy and reliability, the 92FS ensures consistent performance, making it a trusted companion for recreational shooters who prioritize precision and dependability.
  • Comfortable Handling: The ergonomic grip and well-balanced design of the 92FS contribute to its comfortable handling, allowing recreational shooters to maintain control and shoot comfortably for extended periods.

Ruger Mark IV

The Ruger Mark IV is a popular choice among rimfire enthusiasts. Its semi-automatic design, comfortable grip, and superb accuracy make it ideal for target practice and plinking.

The Mark IV is available in various models for different shooting preferences.
Importance of  Ruger Mark IV in Recreational Shooting

  • Superb Accuracy: The Ruger Mark IV is highly regarded for its exceptional accuracy, making it an ideal choice for recreational shooters who value precision and strive for tight groupings on the target.
  • Easy Maintenance: Mark IV's simple takedown and reassembly process facilitates easy cleaning and maintenance, ensuring that recreational shooters can enjoy their shooting activities and spend less time on upkeep.
  • Fun and Versatile: With its comfortable grip, smooth trigger, and a wide range of available models and configurations, the Mark IV offers a fun and versatile shooting experience, appealing to recreational shooters of all skill levels and preferences

Colt Python

The Colt Python is a legendary revolver renowned for its craftsmanship and smooth trigger.

It offers a nostalgic shooting experience and is highly regarded for its accuracy and reliability.

While it becomes with a higher price tag, Python delivers exceptional performance.

best handguns for recreational shooting

Importance of  Colt Python in Recreational Shooting

  • Timeless Appeal: The Colt Python is a legendary revolver with a rich history, exuding a timeless appeal that attracts recreational shooters who appreciate its iconic status and craftsmanship.
  • Exceptional Accuracy: Known for its exceptional accuracy and superior barrel alignment, the Python delivers precise and consistent shots, enhancing the shooting experience for recreational enthusiasts seeking optimal performance.
  • Smooth Trigger and Recoil: The Python's soft trigger pull and reduced recoil contribute to its excellent shootability, allowing recreational shooters to enjoy comfortable and controlled shooting sessions, promoting accuracy and enjoyment.

Springfield Armory XD-M

The Springfield Armory XD-M is a polymer-framed, striker-fired handgun with a high magazine capacity and excellent ergonomics.

It provides various models with barrel lengths and calibers, catering to different recreational shooting preferences.

Importance of Armory XD-M in Recreational Shooting

  • Enhanced Capacity: The Armory XD-M offers a higher magazine capacity compared to many other handguns in its class, providing recreational shooters with more rounds for extended shooting sessions without frequent reloads.
  • Optimal Performance: With its match-grade barrel and exceptional reliability, the XD-M delivers consistent and accurate shots, enabling recreational shooters to achieve their shooting goals and enjoy a high-performance shooting experience.
  • Customization Options: The XD-M's modular design allows for easy customization with accessories such as optics, extended magazines, and interchangeable backstraps, providing recreational shooters with the flexibility to personalize their firearm to suit their preferences and shooting style

Walther PPQ M2

The Walther PPQ M2 is praised for its comfortable grip, crisp trigger, and excellent accuracy.

It features a striker-fired action, ambidextrous controls, and a low bore axis, enhancing recoil control and overall shooting performance.

Importance of  Walther PPQ M2 in Recreational Shooting

  • Ergonomic Excellence: The Walther PPQ M2 is renowned for its ergonomic design, featuring a comfortable grip and intuitive controls, ensuring a natural and secure hold for recreational shooters, resulting in improved accuracy and shooting comfort.
  • Superb Trigger: With its crisp and smooth trigger pull, the PPQ M2 offers exceptional trigger performance, promoting precise and consistent shooting, making it a favored choice among recreational shooters who prioritize trigger quality.
  • Reliability and Performance: The PPQ M2's reliability and consistent performance make it a trusted companion for recreational shooting activities. Its solid construction and attention to detail contribute to a firearm that delivers reliability shot after shot, enhancing the overall shooting experience.


The H&K VP9 is known for its outstanding ergonomics, customizable grip panels, and superb trigger.

Its striker-fired system and high magazine capacity make it a reliable choice for recreational shooting.

best handguns for recreational shooting

Importance of H&K VP9 in Recreational Shooting

  • Superior Ergonomics: The H&K VP9 is highly regarded for its ergonomic design, providing a comfortable and customizable grip that promotes optimal control and shooting accuracy for recreational shooters.
  • Excellent Trigger: With its crisp and smooth trigger pull, the VP9 offers a delightful shooting experience, allowing recreational shooters to achieve precise and consistent shots, contributing to improved overall performance.
  • Durability and Reliability: Built with H&K's renowned quality and attention to detail, the VP9 exhibits exceptional durability and reliability, ensuring that recreational shooters can enjoy their shooting sessions without worrying about firearm malfunctions or failures.

What Makes a Handgun Suitable for Recreational Shooting

A suitable handgun for recreational shooting should possess certain qualities that enhance the shooting experience. These qualities include:

  •  Accuracy and Precision: Having a handgun that offers consistent accuracy and precision is essential when engaging in recreational shooting. A firearm with a well-designed barrel, sights, and trigger will aid in hitting targets accurately and confidently.
  • Reliability and Durability: A reliable handgun ensures uninterrupted shooting sessions. It should be capable of cycling various types of ammunition without malfunctions. Durability is equally important, as recreational shooting often involves high round counts, and a sturdy handgun will withstand the associated wear and tear.
  • Ergonomics and Comfort: A handgun that fits comfortably in your hand and has well-designed ergonomics will significantly enhance your shooting experience. A comfortable grip, adjustable backstraps, and intuitive controls improve recoil management and handling.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to keep your handgun in optimal condition. Choosing a gun that is easy to disassemble, clean, and reassemble will save you time and effort in the long run.
  • Customization Options: Many shooters enjoy customizing their handguns to suit their preferences. Opting for a gun with a wide range of aftermarket accessories and customization options allows you to personalize your firearm to your liking.
best handguns for recreational shooting

Factors of Choosing a Handgun for Recreational Shooting

Before diving into the top handguns for recreational shooting, it's essential to consider a few key factors to narrow down your options:


Your caliber depends on your preference, shooting goals, and the level of recoil you're comfortable with. Standard handgun calibers for recreational shooting include 9mm, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and .22 LR.

Action Type

Handguns come in various action types, such as single-action, double-action, and striker-fired. Each has advantages and considerations, so choosing one that suits your shooting style and preferences is essential.
Consider the capacity of the handgun's magazine and how it aligns with your shooting needs. A higher power allows for more rounds without frequent reloading, but it also affects the size and weight of the firearm.


Set a budget range for your handgun purchase. Some options are available at different prices, so balancing quality and affordability is crucial.

Tips for Recreational Shooting with Handguns

  • To make the most of your recreational shooting experience, consider the following tips:
  • Practice proper firearm safety at all times, including keeping your finger off from trigger until ready to shoot and pointing the firearm in a safe direction.
  • Familiarize yourself with the specific handgun's operation and handling characteristics through proper training and practice.
  • Start with shorter shooting distances and gradually increase the range as you become more comfortable and proficient.
  • Experiment with different shooting stances and grips to find the most comfortable position for accurate shooting.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your handgun to ensure its reliability and longevity.

Choosing the best handgun for recreational shooting is based on individual preferences, shooting goals, and budget.

The Glock 19 Gen 5, Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm, Sig Sauer P320, CZ 75 SP-01, and Beretta 92FS are just a few examples of excellent options available. Consider accuracy, reliability, ergonomics, and customization options when choosing.

By selecting a suitable handgun and following proper safety guidelines, you can enjoy a fulfilling and enjoyable recreational shooting experience.

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