I discovered long-slide pistols when I spent two years as a counter monkey at a local gun merchant. The Glock 34 and 17L whetted my appetite, but they didn’t truly light the fire. Sure, they had much better balance, helped to reduce muzzle flip and the longer sight radius helped accuracy. They were cool but not hot, if you know what I mean. The other long-slide pistols on this list, however, did — starting with the S&W M&P.
1. Smith and Wesson M&P Pro 9mm
I ended up deciding the rounder profile of the Smith and Wesson M&P grip fit my hand better and one of the M&P Pro 9mm long slides followed me home. I really like that gun and used it as my carry gun for two years. The ergonomics are awesome on my Gen 1, but it isn’t what you would really call a shooter. It might be that I got a “Monday morning barrel.” You know, the ones where the employees are still a bit asleep from the weekend. I just know that my gun, or more specifically, my gun’s barrel, is the limiting factor in precision shooting.
The 5″ barrel shoots worse than my 4.25″ M&P, despite the longer sight radius. I know some other people who have tight shooting 5″ M&P Pros, but my (shorter) full-size M&P shoots much tighter groups, is easier to use and is my current carry gun. Part of that is most likely the Apex trigger, but even when I switched the trigger over, the groups were still significantly larger.
At some point, I will likely get an aftermarket barrel and see where that leads me. (Note to self #1: Check to see if Faxon makes such a barrel.) Despite this moderate disappointment, long slides keep calling my name.
2. EAA Witness Pro Hunter 10mm
The first gun that really jumped up and got my attention was the EAA Witness Pro Hunter. The CZ 75 clone by Tanfoglio is gorgeous, points well and is a 6″ barreled 10mm. What’s not to like?
The primary reason I don’t currently own one is that I don’t reload for 10mm and most factory ammo is really +P 40 “short and weak” with long brass. I don’t see much point in that, especially in a steel long-slide gun.
I know the owner of EAA and was hoping I could get him to swing me a sweet deal, but to no avail. Not that he should, but a guy can hope. Every single time I pick one up, it almost fills out the 4473 for me. One will end up living at my house.
3. CZ-USA 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm
To stay with the CZ theme, the CZ-USA 75 LS-B 9mm is another gun that just jumps up and dares me to pick it up. So far, I have not found one loose in the wild. The 5.4″ barrel is the shortest of the bunch, but the proportions are wonderful as is.
In my attempts to get direct information, CZ confirmed that this gun has been fully discontinued. It really is a shame, as the simple elegance of this gun has such a sultry allure, especially to those of us already under the CZ 75 spell. To make this gun mine, I may have to haunt the used long-slide pistols market.
The good news is that they have a descendant of this pistol fresh for 2019. The CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange is a slightly shorter (5.23″) and slightly gamier version of the super sexy LS-B 9mm. There is a flared magwell, a thinned trigger guard, and fully adjustable sights. At first, the one thing I didn’t particularly like is the orange grip panels. Perhaps it is because I’m living in Tennessee, but they are growing on me.
4. SIG Sauer P226 X6 9mm
Another one of the long-slide pistols I really want is the Sig Sauer P226 X6 9mm. For me, the P226 in standard form is a great functional gun, but it is only slightly sexier than a Glock. Let’s face it, while Glocks are awesomely reliable and decently accurate, they won’t win any beauty contests. For me, the P226 is marginally prettier. I made the mistake of handling one of the P226 X6 Classics. Sometimes you have to have physical contact to fall in love.
This gun came alive in my hand and then I shot it. It was the exact opposite of the long-barrel M&P. Instead of having to deeply concentrate to obtain superior accuracy, this gun just shot where I aimed… again and again and again. A gun that makes the shooter look good is a great thing.
5. Guncrafter Industries Model 4 .50 GI
The last 6″ barrel gun I crave is the Model 4 .50 GI from Guncrafter Industries. This gun has the subtle elegance of the CZ and the easy accuracy of the SIG Sauer, combined with the soft recoil of the .50 GI round. At 10 yards, shooting cloverleaves with every three-round group was not tough. Admittedly, the .500” diameter bullets make for very large cloverleaves. This could hide some inaccuracy, but going through three full magazines with no errant pistol shots is not a normal experience for this author.
Also, everything about this gun screams understated perfection, from the precise machining to the exquisite finish and the wonderful balance in the hand. As a full custom house, Guncrafters can make that perfection anything but understated if they have the checkbook. All of that comes with the fact that I carried it in a pancake holster for four hours and didn’t notice its 41-oz. weight (plus bullets) at all. The only real downside: it costs more than the EAA and the CZ combined. (Note to self #2: Pick up lotto tickets.) The BBQ gun set up I would have to get costs almost as much as any of the three other guns combined. But oh so worth it.
What do you think of longslides? What’s your favorite among long-slide pistols? Let us know in the comments below.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March of 2020. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and clarity.
To those who have mentioned the 30 carbine. I’ve never tried the one’s you mentioned but
I’ve got a 30 carbine Ruger Blackhawk that always gets attention. I load 90gr XTP or Lapua 100gr OTCE. Just watch the case length and COAL.
With high accolades about AMT the.45 long slide and the AMT III .30 Carbine investors please resurrect AMT to make a 10MM long slide if anyone can !!!!
AMT Hardballer for me. My favorite version of the 1911.
The Kimber full size .45 competition II is like a smooth riding Caddy 👍
I have a Gen 1 M&P Pro identical to the authors. My first automatic pistorl and the one I like the most. Shoots well has a tight groupimg when using high quality ammunition. I note accuracy falls offf when cheeper target ammunition is used for shooting but I have to note when shooting without having a rest I can’t tell the difference in ammunition it’s me who limits the accuracy. It;s served me well as a target pistol and for personal protection.
AMT Longslide .45 for me. Several folks mention ‘setting it up’ for +P+. What’s involved with this?
You don’t own a 10mm because of anemic ammo, but you admire a pistol in .50GI? Double Tap and Buffalo Bore make and sell full throttle 10mm ammo, and unless you live in a State that prohibits mail-order ammo sales, obtaining hot 10mm fodder is no more difficult than buying anything else. For that matter, reloading 10mm is little different than loading .40S&W. A healthy dose of Blue Dot will give you all the horsepower you can handle.
I liked the Longslides made by ParaOrdnance, but it ended up being a little cheaper to build a high capacity long slide .45 acp. I used a Rock Island steel frame and parts from Fusion Firearms, since not much was required beyond a barrel, slide, and sights.
Hk P30 L
See first John Wick movie for my reasoning
If you know the owner of EAA, please ask him to start producing a series of holsters for the Hunter. Literally NOBODY makes a holster in either leather or Kydex for the long slide! I had one custom made but it took a year to find a local source. A cross-draw would be good in leather. It’s not a good gun to IWB conceal. The slide is guaranteed to lay across your Sciatic Nerve. A high ride holster wouldn’t let you even draw without shoulder dislocation.
If you thought AMT .45 Hardballer was awesome ( and it was) try getting your hands on an AMT automag in .30 caliber carbine! It had a nice long slide was stainless steel and what a blast to shoot (pun intended)!! Super accurate and people shooting 44 magm pistols at a range will be drawn your way to see what’s creating the shockwave ,loud report, and powder still burning down range of the puzzle LOL!
Remington 1911 R1 Hunter in 10mm with 6″ barrel. Smooth as silk. Crisp trigger (bordering on too light, but discipline keeps the finger off until shooting time). Good factory sights. Tight grouper. And easy on the eyes to boot. Paid under $800 new in box.
The EAA HUNTER ELITE 10mm sits in my safe awaiting my yen to hike in the Smokey Mountains come spring. You’re correct that most ammo is anemic but the stuff from Buffalo Bore can produce in excess of 750 foot pounds of muzzle energy. Even a +P+ 45acp only gets a little more than 450 foot pounds of muzzle energy. My Hunter is awesomely accurate and even with brutal big game loads kicks like a 9mm due to the custom porting I had done about mid way up the slide/barrel.
Ditto to “Jack C” on the Canik TP9SFx, winner of the 2017 Industry Choice “Handgun of the year” Award, and no kidding:
Long slide 5.2″ barrel, interchangeable backstraps to make it fit your hand just right, two 20 round magazines, viper vortex red dot sight, holster with paddle / belt attachment, speed loader, barrel cleaning rod & brush, etc. etc. etc. all neat;y contained in a nice hard black plastic carry case.
Scratch that long slide itch and still have enough money left to buy a bunch of ammo!
After building the cheapo RIA 80% 9mm 1911, I went big time and built an 80% 10mm Stainless longslide with Fusion slide, 1911 Builder’s frame and Briley 6″ barrel. Various other Ed Brown, Les Baer, Wilson, etc. small parts. I’ve had good luck with the Metalform mags. It’s a nice gun to fondle. Not quite finished as I have blending to do and I haven’t test fired it yet.
Dan Wesson Patriot Commander BobTail 4.25″ and Pointman 7 both very accurate. Bought the bobtails new did have to polish the ramp and top of chamber for short hollow points to feed (think they missed doing this at the factory) reliably. Not a single hiccup in 5K+ rounds. got the bobtails when you could get them new for less than $900.
well and good but price is a factor for nost of us. lets keeper real even if the high end builders just ignor the masses!
I love my Springfield Armory 6″ Omega 10mm, my 6″ Glock 40 10mm and my AMT 7″ Javelina 10mm.
I own a CZ TS (not Orange since it wasn’t on the California roster). That is one sweet target pistol. Mine has a SA trigger pull of just 1.5 lbs. The extra weight makes for a stable platform. It makes me a much better shooter than I am.
I have the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25″ (as well as the 4.5 and 3.8!) in 9mm. It features a match grade barrel and can shoot a tighter group than I can manage. I find the trigger pull is long but smooth and breaks cleanly.
I agree with the AMT Hardballer, But I think the AMT Automag III in 30 carbine is the most fun you can have with a handgun. I have found it has better accuracy at 50+ yards than most autos.
No Glock 34 or 40? They’re in the price range, the best of the bunch and under-respected,
Yeah, exactly that! The original Long Slide pistol, the AMT Hard Baller Long Slide. See? It even says it in the name! Long wanted to set one up for +P+
Glock 24 in .40 easy to shoot. accuate
I suspect that you missed the best of the best of these long slide pistols.
I recently picked up one of the .45acp Sport line Heckler and Koch USP Elite pistols from my local gun store.
It’s a long slide handful of accuracy and refinement. My second H&K pistol (I have a P30SK with LEM trigger too), I’m very satisfied with it as well as accuracy when I’m shooting it.
Two guns, the STI perfect 10, 10mm , no recoil, accurate beyond belief and holds 21 rounds. Also custom made Wilson CQB in 6 inch threaded barrel in 38 super, fully engraved.
I agree with the canik tp9sfx pointing is real good balance is good accuracy is good cost is nice.
I really like the look n feel of the Les Baer Premier tactic let’s not forget superb accuracy on top of that
I always wanted a AMT Hardballer in 30 cal. Those AMT are original sexy long slides in my opinion.
What no Beretta 92fs enox stainless on this list ?
The Casi Company Browning Hi-Power competition (mine was made in 1988) From what I understand is there were around 300 made.
6 inch barrel
Millit rear sight
Front sight integrated into a 50 gram counter weight
When I got my M&P pro gen 1, the 1st thing I did was crown the barrel. The only crown I’ve ever seen that was worse was a Ruger SR9.
Now with an Apex trigger it can group 2 inches at 25 yrds.
Apex does make a barrel as well which times the mechanics to allow the barrel to stay locked up longer when the shot breaks.
An old AMT 45acp HardBaller Longslide set up to shoot 200 gr. Hornady XTP at +P
Sig Sauer Tacops in .45 ACP with 5″ barrel. Is accurate, reliable and easy shooting. Like it so much I have 2, plus my 4.25″ Sig Sauer C3 in .45 ACP that’s my EDC gun.
Thought I would see a Canik TP9SFx with a 5.2 barrel in your list.
But I understand that it’s too inexpensive for this class and price point.
But wait, it sure points nice and bangs every time you pull the trigger.
I also did not need to hope for a lotto winner to purchase one and traded in my M&P Pro with money in my pocket.