Most often, new shooters are introduced to the sport on .22 LR pistols for good reason. They have a low recoil, light Bang!, and offer an easy initial introduction. But what about a “first gun” for new shooters or those who have shot before, but are not familiar with the latest models? Perhaps you have a need for a home defense pistol or carry gun without time to go through the motions of learning on a .22 LR for personal reasons. Fear not, we have a few of our top picks to get you started. There will be plenty of dissension and additions to the list, but here are 7 pistols perfect for any new or experienced shooter.
Beretta PX4 Compact
The Beretta PX4 Compact Semi Auto Pistol is an ideal carry gun for just about anyone. It features a lightweight polymer frame, ambidextrous safety, interchangeable back straps, and a stainless steel barrel which all lead the PX4 to ideal carry gun status. The integral Picatinny accessory rail is ideal when mounting a laser or light. The modular construction allows you to interchange back straps to perfectly fit your hand and shooting style. The slide lock and safety are ambidextrous; the magazine release is reversible, meaning that you can easily train with and use your PX4 with either hand.
|Beretta PX4 Compact|
|Action||Semi Automatic, DA/SA|
|Overall Length||6.1″ inches|
|Weight Unloaded||27.4 oz|
|Sights||Fixed 3 dot|
|Stock or Grip||Textured|
|Extras||Picatinny accessory rail|
S&W M&P 22 Compact
The M&P22 is a wonderful for target practice without breaking the bank. Designed as a dedicated .22 Long Rifle handgun, the M&P22 compact pistol combines the look, feel and familiar operating features of the trusted M&P series of centerfire pistols. This particular model features a suppressor ready 3.56-inch barrel and the pistol comes in a black, hard-coat anodized finish. The M&P22 is ideally suited for training or simple shooting enjoyment with the popular and inexpensive .22 LR cartridge.
|S&W M&P 22 Compact|
|Action||Single Action (Internal Hammer)|
|Barrel Length||3.56″ Threaded Barrel with Thread Adapter|
|Overall Height||6.65” (16.9 cm)|
|Overall Length||5.03” (12.8 cm)|
|Overall Width||1.48” (3.8 cm)|
|Weight Unloaded||15.3 oz. (433.8 g)|
|Sights||White dot front sight
White 2-dot screw adjustable for windage and elevation
|Stock or Grip||Polymer|
|Extras||15% reduced scale version of the full-size M&P Pistol
Fits most 1/2×28 thread suppressors
2 magazines included
Ambidextrous manual safety
Reversible magazine release
Picatinny-style accessory rail
Magazine Safety – Will not fire without magazine inserted
Captured recoil guide rod & spring for easier assembly/disassembly
Black, hard coat anodized finish
Remington Arms 1911 R1 Enhanced
Remington Arms 1911 R1 Enhanced is an excellent modern take on the venerable classic 1911. With modern day features, the R1 Enhanced is an absolute must for 1911 enthusiasts who want a sweet shooter or a new shooter wanting a handgun they will them as far as they want to go over a hooting career. Not just for range or competition use, the R1 Enhanced will serve as an excellent duty sidearm. Warning: This is not your grandpa’s 1911.
|Remington Arms 1911 R1 Enhanced|
|Caliber||.45 Automatic Colt Pistol|
|Weight Unloaded||39.5 oz Empty|
|Sights||Adjustable Rear Sight
Fiber-Optic Front Sight (Red)
3.5-5 lbs Trigger Pull
Satin Black Oxide Finish
Enhanced Laminate Wood Grips
Front/Rear Slide Serrations
Beavertail Grip Safety with Checkered Memory Bump
Anodized Aluminum Match Trigger
Enhanced Wide Thumb Safety
Flat Checkered Mainspring Housing (20 LPI)
Match Grade Stainless Barrel and Bushing
Front Grip Strap Serrations
Custom Grips with Thumb Groove and Ambidextrous Cut
8-Round Magazines with Bumper Pad (2)
The wait is over, after more than four years in development the VP9 is Heckler & Koch’s latest handgun and is a return for HK’s roots in the striker fired arena. The VP9 shares similar aesthetics with the P30, which has a direct influence on the design. However HK engineers we dissatisfied with current striker fired technology, and in particular the triggers. The VP9 trigger has a consistent pre-travel pull with a positive crisp break, while the trigger reset is short and fast making follow up shots a breeze. The VP9 is also sports a MIL-STD-1913 picatinny rail as well as HK’s hostile environment finish.
|Heckler & Koch VP9|
|Action||Semi Automatic, Striker Fired|
|Barrel Length||4.09″ Polygonal Barrel 6 groove, 1:9.8″ right hand twist|
|Sights||Three Dot Sights|
|Stock or Grip||Interchangeable back strap inserts|
|Frame||High grade fiber reinforced polymer frame|
|Extras||Ambidextrous magazine release
Firing Pin block
Trigger latch safety
Tool-less field strip
Mil-STD-1913 picatinny rail with four segments rated to 5.6 ounces for lights, lasers and accessories
Extended service life
5.4 lbs trigger pull
.24″ trigger travel
.12″ return trigger travel
Recoil operated with browning-type modified linkless locking system
Ruger’s LCR Double Action Revolver .357 Magnum with 1.875-inch barrel is ultra concealable, lightweight, powerful and backed by Ruger’s legendary quality. The LCR was designed to be carried all day without the discomfort of heavier firearms. Weighing in at a mere 17 ounces and firing the potent .357 Magnum cartridge (or lighter recoiling .38 Special), this gun is destined to become a favorite among revolver fans or neophytes ready to become a fan.
Here are a few highlights of Ruger’s LCR:
The monolithic frame, which supports cylinder and barrel, is made from aerospace grade, 7000 series aluminum in LCR models and from blackened 400 series stainless steel in the powerful LCR-357 models.
The Friction Reducing Cam is a next generation design in fire control systems with an optimized cam that results in a smooth, non-stacking trigger pull.
The Polymer Fire Control Housing holds all the fire control components in their proper dimensional relationships, reduces weight significantly, and helps reduce recoil.
The Grip Peg allows a variety of grip styles to be installed, leaving ample room for recoil cushioning. Standard model has a Hogue Tamer grip, which is highly effective at reducing felt recoil
The High-Strength Stainless Steel Cylinder is extensively fluted (reducing weight) and is treated to an advanced form of Ruger”s Target Grey finish for excellent durability.
|Action||Double Action Revolver|
|Weight Unloaded||17.1 oz|
|Sights||Rear: U-Notch Integral
Front: Replaceable, Pinned Ramp
|Stock or Grip||Hogue Tamer|
|Extras||Twist: 1:16″ RH
Cylinder Finish: Advanced Target Grey
Glock 34 Gen 4
You were running late to meet up with your friends and ended up parking a lot with limited space so you are in the back. Now it’s after 2 a.m. and you find yourself walking along a dark, isolated street and your situation is about to get hairy. This is a scenario that plays out more than ever with financial times as tough as they have been in decades. Like countless military, law enforcement, and concealed carry aficionados you carry a Glock for just such an occasion.
Glock is used by law enforcement and security personal world wide as well as here in the USA because of its rugged dependability and combat reliability. In fact, when it comes to iconic firearms, Glock is at the top of any list because of its innovation and quality components that has made Glock world famous. No other firearm is relied on more than a Glock for defense and duty use. Pick up a Glock 17, 21, 22, 31 for duty use; Glock 19, 23, 32, 30 for duty and carry, or Glock 26, 27, 33, 36 for deep concealment.
The Glock 34 Gen4, in 9×19, introduces revolutionary design changes to the “Tactical/ Practical” Glock designed to be the same overall length as the Government Model 1911 pistols. The Modular Back Strap design lets you instantly customize its grip to adapt to an individual shooter’s hand size. The surface of the frame employs the new scientifically designed, real-world-tested, Gen4 rough textured technology. Internally, the new Glock dual recoil spring assembly substantially increases the life of the system. A reversible enlarged magazine catch—changeable in seconds—accommodates left or right-handed operators.
|Glock 34 Gen 4|
|Action||Semi Automatic, Striker Fired|
|Barrel Length||5.31″ Right Hand Hexagonal|
|Weight Unloaded||25.95 oz|
|Stock or Grip||Polymer, Textured|
|Extras||Trigger Pull: 5.5 lbs
Length of Twist: 9.84″
Rock Island Armory M200 Revolver
The Rock Island Armory M200 Revolver is a great bargain for the money! Featuring a 4.02″inch barrel with a cylinder that holds 6 rounds. Rock Island’s M200 revolver shoots .38 Special, making it a good choice for personal protection.
|Rock Island Armory M200 Revolver|
|Action||Revolver, Single and Double action|
|Weight Unloaded||1.76 lbs|
|Sights||Fixed ramp front sight
Fixed wide square notch rear sight
|Stock or Grip||Black combat-type plastic checkered grips|
|Extras||Matte Black Finish
Right hand 1 turn twist 6 groove
Floating firing pin
Transfer bar system safety
Wide finger radius trigger
Do you agree with the guns on this list? Which ones would you have added? Share your picks and opinions in the comment section.
Growing up in Pennsylvanias game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Daves writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersens Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersens Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!
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