A reliable handgun can provide security and peace of mind regarding personal protection. Whether you're a seasoned firearm enthusiast or a beginner looking for the perfect handgun.
In this article, we'll explore the best handguns in detail and their uses for different purposes, considering reliability, affordability, ease of use, and more factors. Let's dive in and discover the top handguns for various purposes.
Understanding Handgun Types
Handguns are designed to be operated with one hand, making them highly versatile and convenient for civilian and professional use. They come in two main categories: revolvers and semi-automatic pistols.
Revolvers are a classic type of handgun known for their simplicity and reliability. They feature a revolving cylinder that holds multiple rounds. Revolvers are available in both single-action and double-action configurations.
Single-action revolvers require manually cocking the hammer before firing, while double-action revolvers allow firing by simply pulling the trigger.
Semi-automatic pistols are the most popular type of handgun today. They use a removable magazine to store ammunition and employ the energy from each fired round to cycle the firearm and load the next round.
Semi-automatic pistols offer higher ammunition capacities than revolvers and are available in various sizes and calibers.
The best 9mm handguns include the Glock 19 Gen5, known for its popularity and reliability, with a compact design ideal for concealed carry and home defense.
It offers enhanced accuracy and comfort through improved triggers and ergonomics.
The Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield is a lightweight and compact option, perfect for personal protection, providing a comfortable and accurate shooting experience with excellent ergonomics and reliable performance.
The Sig Sauer P320 is a versatile and modular handgun in different calibers.
It features a striker-fired mechanism and smooth trigger pull, known for its reliability and customization options, making it a favorite among law enforcement and civilian shooters.
The best 9mm handguns for home defense include Smith & Wesson 686, Ruger SP101, Springfield Armory XD(M), and many others.
Smith & Wesson 686 is a robust and dependable .357 Magnum revolver with durable stainless steel construction and a comfortable grip.
The Ruger SP101 is a compact and reliable revolver chambered in .357 Magnum or .38 Special, offering excellent stopping power.
Its durable construction and comfortable grip make it popular for concealed carry and personal protection.
The Springfield Armory XD(M) is a versatile semi-automatic handgun of different calibers, known for its feature-rich design and exceptional reliability.
With a large capacity and comfortable shooting experience, it is favored for self-defense and competitive shooting.
The best 9mm handguns for women that are easy to use are the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ, Ruger LCRx, Walther CCP M2, etc.
The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ is a user-friendly and accessible handgun. Designed with ease of use in mind, it features a simplified slide and light recoil for effortless operation.
With its comfortable grip and manageable size, the M&P Shield EZ is an excellent choice for individuals seeking a reliable and manageable firearm for self-defense.
The Ruger LCRx is a compact and versatile revolver known for its smooth operation. It combines a lightweight frame with a comfortable grip, making it easy to handle and carry.
The Walther CCP M2 is a reliable and ergonomic semi-automatic handgun. Its soft recoil and reduced muzzle rise offer comfortable and accurate shooting.
The best 9mm handguns for women's self-defense are Glock 43, Sig Sauer P238, CZ P-10 C, and many others explained in this section.
The Glock 43 is a popular and compact 9mm handgun. With its slim profile and lightweight design, the Glock 43 is a favorite choice for concealed carry, providing users with a reliable and effective self-defense option.
The Sig Sauer P238 is a stylish and reliable single-action semi-automatic handgun. Chambered in .380 ACP, it perfectly combines power and concealability.
The P238 is popular for individuals seeking a reliable and accurate firearm for concealed carry and personal defense.
The CZ P-10 C is a versatile and highly regarded semi-automatic handgun. Its ergonomic design and excellent grip texture provide a comfortable and secure hold. The CZ P-10 C is preferred for self-defense and competitive shooting, offering reliability and performance in a compact package.
The best 9mm handguns for beginners are Ruger SR9c, CZ 75B, Beretta PX4 Storm, and many others explained in this section.
The Ruger SR9c is a reliable and compact semi-automatic handgun.
With its slim profile and lightweight design, it offers comfortable concealed carry. Featuring a crisp trigger and adjustable sights, the SR9c delivers accurate shots, making it an excellent choice for self-defense and everyday carry.
The Beretta PX4 Storm is a versatile and well-regarded semi-automatic handgun. The PX4 Storm provides a comfortable shooting experience, making it a popular choice for self-defense and recreational shooting.
The CZ 75B is a classic and highly respected semi-automatic handgun. Renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and reliability, it has stood the test of time.
Featuring a comfortable grip and smooth trigger pull, the CZ 75B offers excellent accuracy and shooting ability, making it a favorite among both enthusiasts and professional shooters.
The best 9mm handguns for concealed carry are Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, Glock 43X, Sig Sauer P365, and many others explained in this section.
The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is a popular and reliable compact handgun. It is designed for concealed carry and offers a balance of size, firepower, and comfort.
The Glock 43X is a highly regarded and compact 9mm handgun. Its slim profile and increased capacity offer an excellent balance of concealability and firepower.
The 43X provides users a dependable and accurate firearm for concealed carry and personal defense, making it a popular choice among shooters.
The Sig Sauer P365 is a game-changer in the world of concealed-carry handguns. Notably compact and lightweight, it offers an impressive capacity of up to 12 rounds in a flush-fit magazine.
The P365 delivers exceptional accuracy and ease of use. It is a top choice for individuals seeking a highly concealable and reliable firearm for personal defense.
The best 9mm handguns for beginners are Ruger Mark IV, Smith & Wesson 617, Colt 1911, and many others explained in this section.
The Ruger Mark IV is a renowned and reliable semi-automatic .22 LR handgun. Featuring a simple and user-friendly design, it offers easy takedown and reassembly for maintenance.
The Mark IV is a favorite among target shooters and blinkers, providing a fun and reliable shooting experience for both beginners and experienced enthusiasts.
The Smith & Wesson 617 is a top-tier and versatile .22 LR revolver. Its full-size frame and 10-round capacity offer a fantastic shooting experience. The 617 is highly regarded among target shooters and enthusiasts who appreciate the classic revolver design and the affordability of .22 LR ammunition.
The Colt 1911 is an iconic and legendary semi-automatic handgun. Originally designed over a century ago, it has become a symbol of reliability and power.
Colt 1911 offers exceptional accuracy and a timeless design that continues to be favored by shooters, particularly in the realm of self-defense, competition shooting, and as a collector's item.
The Glock 19 is a highly acclaimed and widely used compact 9mm handgun. Renowned for its reliability and versatility, it is favoured by law enforcement, military personnel, and civilians.
With its balanced size and capacity, the Glock 19 offers a perfect combination of concealability and firepower, making it an ideal choice for self-defense, everyday carry, and even recreational shooting.
Sig Sauer P320 Compact
The Sig Sauer P320 Compact is a popular and modular semi-automatic handgun. Featuring a polymer frame and interchangeable grip modules, it allows for customization to fit various hand sizes.
The P320 Compact offers accurate shooting and comfortable handling, making it a favored choice for professional and civilian shooters in self-defense and concealed carry.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0
The Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 is a highly regarded and updated version of the M&P series. Its improved trigger, grip texture, and aggressive serrations offer superior ergonomics and control.
The M&P9 M2.0 is a favorite choice for law enforcement, competitive shooters, and individuals seeking reliable and accurate handguns for self-defense.
The Canik TP9SF is a feature-packed and affordable semi-automatic handgun. Its ergonomic design and interchangeable backstraps provide a comfortable grip for various hand sizes.
Offering a smooth trigger pull, reliable performance, and impressive accuracy, the TP9SF is a popular choice for shooters looking for a reliable and budget-friendly firearm for self-defense, competition, and recreational shooting activities.
The Taurus G2C is a compact and budget-friendly semi-automatic handgun. Its lightweight polymer frame and textured grip offer comfortable handling and control.
The G2C provides reliable performance and accuracy, making it an attractive option for individuals seeking an affordable yet reliable firearm for personal protection and concealed carry.
The Ruger Security-9 is a reliable and affordable semi-automatic handgun. With its smooth trigger pull and impressive capacity, the Security-9 provides users with a dependable and accurate firearm for self-defense and home protection, making it a popular choice among budget-conscious shooters.
The CZ P-09 is a powerful and versatile semi-automatic handgun. Its full-size frame and extended capacity perfectly balance firepower and shooting ability.
The P-09 delivers exceptional accuracy and comfortable handling, making it a favored choice for duty and recreational shooting.
Its reliable performance and durable construction have earned it a strong reputation among firearm enthusiasts and professionals.
The FN FNS-9 is a high-quality and reliable semi-automatic handgun. It features a polymer frame, a striker-fired system, and a smooth and consistent trigger pull.
With its ergonomic design and interchangeable backstraps, the FNS-9 provides a comfortable grip for a wide range of hand sizes.
Kimber Micro 9
The Kimber Micro 9 is a compact and sleek semi-automatic handgun. Designed for concealed carry, it offers a small profile and lightweight construction.
The Micro 9 delivers precise accuracy and reliable performance with its smooth trigger pull and excellent craftsmanship.
Its comfortable grip and manageable recoil make it a popular choice for individuals seeking a high-quality, reliable handgun for personal defense and everyday carry.
Walther PPQ M2
The Walther PPQ M2 is a renowned and highly regarded semi-automatic handgun. Its ergonomic design and comfortable grip offer excellent handling and control.
The PPQ M2 provides a satisfying shooting experience. Its reliable performance and attention to detail make it a favored choice for professional and civilian shooters, whether for self-defense, competition, or recreational shooting.
Smith & Wesson J-Frame Revolvers
Smith & Wesson J-Frame revolvers are compact and reliable handguns. Designed for concealed carry and personal defense, they balance size and firepower.
Springfield Armory XD-S
The Springfield Armory XD-S is a compact and reliable semi-automatic handgun. Its slim profile and lightweight design offer excellent concealability and comfortable carry. The XD-S provides accurate shooting and secure handling.
The Ruger LCR is a lightweight and compact revolver known for its reliability. Its polymer frame and small profile offer easy concealment and comfortable carry. The LCR provides reliable performance and accurate shooting.
The revolver's simplicity and dependability make it a popular choice for individuals seeking a low-maintenance, easy-to-operate firearm for self-defense and concealed carry.
Smith & Wesson 642
The Smith & Wesson 642 is a popular and compact J-frame revolver. Designed for concealed carry, it offers a lightweight and snag-free design.
The 642 provides simplicity and ease of use. Its small size and reliability make it a preferred choice for individuals seeking a reliable and easily concealable revolver for personal defense purposes.
The Taurus 856 is a compact and reliable revolver known for its affordability. The 856 delivers accurate shots and dependable functionality.
It is popular for individuals seeking a budget-friendly and reliable revolver for self-defense and concealed carry applications.
The Glock 17 is a widely recognized, highly regarded full-size 9mm handgun. The Glock 17 offers a balanced shooting experience.
It is a favored choice for law enforcement, military personnel, and civilians, whether for duty use, home defense, or recreational shooting activities.
Its reputation for reliability and its wide availability of accessories make it a top pick among firearm enthusiasts.
The FN Five-seveN is a unique and innovative semi-automatic handgun. Chambered in the 5.7x28mm cartridge, it offers high velocity and reduced recoil.
With its lightweight polymer frame and ambidextrous controls, the Five-seveN provides comfortable handling and easy operation. It is favored for its impressive magazine capacity and ability to penetrate body armor.
The Five-seveN is preferred for those seeking a high-capacity handgun with exceptional accuracy, making it suitable for self-defense, target shooting, and other specialized applications.
Heckler & Koch VP9
The Heckler & Koch VP9 is a reliable and feature-rich semi-automatic handgun. Its ergonomic design and customizable grip options offer comfortable handling for various hand sizes.
The VP9 is suitable for self-defense, competition shooting, and recreational use, providing users with a versatile and dependable firearm option.
The Glock 22 is a renowned, reliable full-size handgun chambered in .40 S&W.
The Glock 22 provides users with accurate shooting and ease of use. Law enforcement agencies and civilians alike favor it for its reliability, magazine capacity, and overall performance.
Whether for duty use, home defense, or recreational shooting, the Glock 22 is popular among firearm enthusiasts.
Smith & Wesson M&P40
The Smith & Wesson M&P40 is a versatile, reliable full-size handgun chambered in .40 S&W.
The M&P40 delivers consistent performance and reliable functionality. It is popular among law enforcement professionals and civilians looking for a dependable firearm for self-defense, duty use, or recreational shooting.
The M&P40's reputation for reliability and its wide range of available models and configurations make it a trusted option in the .40 S&W market.
Sig Sauer P226
The Sig Sauer P226 is a highly regarded and proven semi-automatic handgun. Its full-size frame and exceptional build quality offer a reliable and accurate shooting experience.
Featuring a smooth trigger pull and excellent ergonomics, the P226 provides shooters with superior control and comfort.
Whether for duty use, self-defense, or competitive shooting, the P226 remains a top choice for those seeking a high-quality and dependable handgun.
The Glock 26 is a compact, versatile semi-automatic handgun chambered in 9mm. The Glock 26 offers a balance of capacity and compactness.
It features Glock's signature durability and simplicity, making it a favored option for self-defense, everyday carry, and backup purposes.
The Glock 26's reputation for reliability and its wide availability of accessories make it a trusted choice among firearm enthusiasts and professionals.
Sig Sauer P365 XL
The Sig Sauer P365 XL is a compact and high-capacity semi-automatic handgun. The P365 XL provides enhanced shoot ability and improved sight radius.
It delivers accurate and comfortable shooting with a crisp trigger and excellent ergonomics.
The P365 XL has gained popularity among concealed carry enthusiasts and professionals seeking a reliable, feature-rich handgun. Its reputation for reliability, high capacity, and compactness has made it a top choice in the concealed carry market.
Ruger LCP II
The Ruger LCP II is a compact and lightweight semi-automatic handgun. It is a favored choice for individuals seeking a reliable and easily concealable firearm for personal defense purposes.
The LCP II's compactness, simplicity, and affordability make it a popular option for those looking for a reliable backup or deep-concealment handgun.
CZ Shadow 2
The CZ Shadow 2 is a competition-oriented semi-automatic handgun. Built on the CZ 75 platform, it offers exceptional accuracy and controllability.
With its extended barrel and enhanced ergonomics, the Shadow 2 provides a stable shooting platform and reduced recoil. It features a crisp trigger, adjustable sights, and a generous magazine capacity, making it a top choice for competitive shooting disciplines such as USPSA and IPSC.
The CZ Shadow 2's reputation for superior craftsmanship, reliability, and impressive performance has made it a sought-after handgun among shooting enthusiasts and professional competitors.
Springfield Armory XD(M) Competition Series
The Springfield Armory XD(M) Competition Series is a purpose-built semi-automatic handgun designed for competitive shooting. Its extended barrel, slide cuts, and fiber optic front sight offer improved accuracy and fast target acquisition.
The XD(M) Competition Series is favored by competitive shooters for its reliability, enhanced features, and outstanding performance on the range.
Smith & Wesson Performance Center 686
The Smith & Wesson Performance Center 686 is a high-quality and specialized revolver. Built on the renowned Smith & Wesson 686 platform, it offers enhanced features and superior craftsmanship.
With its adjustable sights, tuned action, and custom barrel options, the Performance Center 686 delivers exceptional accuracy and smooth shooting.
It is preferred for revolver enthusiasts, competition shooters, and those seeking a reliable and accurate firearm for target shooting and recreational purposes. The Performance Center 686's attention to detail, precision machining, and outstanding performance make it a top-tier revolver in the market.
Smith & Wesson 686
The Smith & Wesson 686 is a legendary and versatile revolver. Built on the robust L-frame, it offers exceptional durability and reliable performance.
With its adjustable sights and comfortable grip, the 686 delivers accurate and controlled shooting. It is favored by revolver enthusiasts, target shooters, and those seeking a reliable and powerful firearm for various purposes.
The 686's reputation for smooth operation, solid construction, and versatility has made it a go-to for recreational and professional use.
The Ruger SP101 is a compact and durable revolver; compact size, reliability, and solid performance have made it a trusted option for those seeking a reliable and easily concealable revolver for personal protection.
Springfield Armory XD(M)
The Springfield Armory XD(M) is a versatile and reliable semi-automatic handgun. Its robust construction and modern design offer a trusted platform for shooters.
The XD(M) is favored by both civilian shooters and law enforcement professionals for its reliability, performance, and wide range of features. Whether for self-defense, competitive shooting, or recreational use, the XD(M) is popular among firearm enthusiasts.
The Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe is a highly secure and durable storage solution for handguns. Its solid steel construction and tamper-resistant locking mechanism offer reliable protection for your firearms.
The Fort Knox PB1 is a trusted choice for firearm owners prioritizing security and accessibility. Its rugged design, pry-resistant features, and reputable brand name make it an excellent investment for keeping your handguns safe and secure.
Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe
The Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe is a top-notch and reliable storage solution for handguns. Crafted with sturdy steel construction and advanced locking mechanisms, it offers superior security for your firearms.
The Fort Knox PB1 is a trusted choice among firearm owners who prioritize the safety and accessibility of their handguns.
With its robust design, pry-resistant features, and renowned brand reputation, it stands out as a premier option for safeguarding your firearms with peace of mind.
Vaultek VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe
The Vaultek VT20i, Biometric Handgun Safe, is a cutting-edge and secure storage solution for handguns. Featuring advanced biometric technology, it allows quick and convenient access with the touch of a finger.
Constructed with rugged 16-gauge steel, the VT20i offers robust protection against unauthorized access and tampering. It boasts a spacious interior with adjustable shelving and a responsive LED-lit keypad for easy navigation in low-light situations.
The biometric fingerprint scanner ensures that only authorized individuals can access the contents of the safe. Additionally, the VT20i can be remotely accessed and monitored via a smartphone app, providing added convenience and security.
The Vaultek VT20i, Biometric Handgun Safe, is an ideal choice for firearm owners who prioritize quick and secure access to their handguns while also ensuring reliable protection against unauthorized access.
Hornady RAPiD Safe 4800KP
The Hornady RAPiD Safe 4800KP is a high-quality and secure handgun safe. Featuring a touch-free entry and advanced RFID technology, it allows for quick and reliable access to your firearms. With its heavy-duty construction and tamper-proof locking mechanism, the 4800KP provides peace of mind and protection for your handguns.
SentrySafe QAP1BE Biometric Gun Safe
The SentrySafe QAP1BE, Biometric Gun Safe, is a reliable and secure storage solution for firearms. It is equipped with advanced biometric fingerprint scanning technology and offers quick and convenient access to your handguns. With its solid steel construction and pry-resistant door, the QAP1BE provides robust protection against unauthorized access, ensuring the safety of your firearms.
AmazonBasics Deluxe Quick-Access Firearm Safety Device
The AmazonBasics Deluxe Quick-Access Firearm Safety Device is a dependable and user-friendly storage solution for firearms. The Deluxe Quick-Access Firearm Safety Device offers reliable protection against unauthorized access and damage to your guns.
Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe
The Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe is a compact and secure storage option for firearms. Designed to fit conveniently in a drawer, it provides discreet and easily accessible protection for your handguns. With its solid steel construction and electronic keypad, the PDS-1500 offers reliable security and peace of mind for firearm owners.
Selecting the suitable handgun depends on personal preferences, intended use, and budget. This list comprehensively overviews the best handguns for home defense, concealed carry, and target shooting.
Remember to research and try out different models before making a final decision, ensuring that the chosen handgun aligns with your needs, comfort, and shooting abilities. Always prioritize safety and responsible firearm ownership.
Got more ideas about Handguns? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 6, 2023, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.