The past decade has certainly been a golden age for the firearms industry. We have more guns than ever before that are not only reliable, but also bring modern features that many shooters now define as the standard.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 handguns from 2010-19, in no particular order.
(Remember, this is my list, not yours, but I tried to select handguns that are innovative, popular and high-quality. They may not all be my favorite, or yours, but they all certainly hold their weight. Click here to skip the infographic and read the rest of the article.)
First up, is the SIG Sauer P320 in all its various forms. This is a revamp of the P250 in a polymer-framed, striker-fired package.
The P320 has an incredibly modular design due to an isolated firing control unit that is easily removable from the gun and swappable into different frames.
It recently won the U.S. Army service handgun contract as the M17 and M18, which has certainly boosted its fame.
Additionally, the P320 can be found in competition pistol packages as the X5, one of which— “The Legion”— incorporates a tungsten-infused polymer frame for added weight.
Whichever size you choose, the SIG P320 is a solid choice that won’t disappoint and deserves a spot on any top 10 handguns list.
2. Colt Snake Guns
The Cobra is about the size of an S&W J-frame, but packs an extra round, giving you a distinct advantage. These firearms are also now rated for +P ammunition, making them great for defensive use.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the upcoming remake of the Colt Python. This is a classic revolver with a cult-like following and has previously been discontinued and priced to a point where most of us could only dream of owning one.
This newly released version gives shooters the chance to get in the door and is surely better for actual shooting, as opposed to collecting.
3. Smith & Wesson M&P .380/9 EZ
As most of us know, the Smith & Wesson M&P is a solid competitor to GLOCK for those looking for a reliable, polymer wonder-nine.
But there are multiple types of people looking for firearms, many of which, for various reasons, have trouble racking the slide on a traditional semi-auto.
The EZ pistols include a number of features for those who have trouble operating a handgun, including a lightened pull to rack the slide, grip safety and manual thumb safety. (Read the full review here.)
Smith & Wesson did a great job of targeting a specific subset of the gun community with this firearm by delivering a dependable handgun that basically anyone can use.
4. Budget 2011s
This next firearm is more of a category that is quickly growing in popularity and that is the 2011.
Though the 2011, a double-stacked 1911, is not a new concept, previous examples that actually functioned well have typically been a few thousand dollars.
You get the crisp, single-action, straight back trigger pull that the 1911 is famous for, along with magazines that hold a standard 15-17 rounds.
If you can get over the increased grip size, these firearms make great choices for competition and plinking.
5. CZ Shadow 2
The CZ 75 has always been noteworthy for having a slide that rides inside of the frame, differing from most pistols, and the Shadow 2 is no different. This construction allows for a lower bore axis by placing your grip higher up on the firearm.
That, coupled with the less reciprocating mass of the slide, allows for incredibly light felt recoil helps keep you on target and leads to fast follow-up shots.
The Shadow 2 is a popular option for competitive shooters and goes toe-to-toe with custom 2011s that can cost upwards of twice as much.
Going down in size, but certainly not value, is the SIG Sauer P365. Though it had some initial kinks, SIG seems to have ironed them out and new production guns should be solid.
Being developed around the magazine, the P365 packs a lot of firepower (10+1) in a small, pocketable package.
If you want higher magazine capacity and a slightly longer barrel, SIG offers the P365 XL that also comes equipped with an optics mount for red dot sights and a flat-faced trigger.
SIG also recently introduced the P365 SAS that includes their anti-snag treatment to round off any sharp edges and Meprolight Bullseye sights sunk into the slide.
Whichever option you decide on, the SIG P365 will be with you when you need it.
7. Full Conceal M3D/M3S— GLOCK 19/43
This is an incredibly innovative approach to concealed carry and I love the initiative. If a folding, pocket knife-style gun is what it takes for you to carry, and carry every day, then, by all means, do it!
The Full Conceal M3D and M3S take all the tropes from GLOCK pistols and wrap them in a folding package for your convenience.
There’s not much else to say about these pistols; if you’ve seen them you either think they’re the coolest thing to hit the market or you completely hate the idea.
8. Silencerco Maxim 9
The next pistol takes a bit more paperwork to procure. The Silencerco Maxim 9 features an integrally suppressed barrel in an almost space-age-looking-yet-holsterable package.
Now, you’ll need to fill out some extra paperwork for the ATF, pay for a tax stamp and do a whole lot of waiting, but this is an awesome concept. The Maxim 9 gives you all the benefits of an external suppressor with a shorter overall length.
Shooters are also able to shorten or extend the overall package by adding or removing modular sections at the muzzle which contain the baffles.
If you have any interest in suppressors and want a James Bond-style of gun, you should definitely take a look at the Silencerco Maxim 9.
9. H&K VP9/VP40
H&K has been in the business of making polymer handguns longer than anyone and they haven’t changed their ways. The H&K VP9 and VP40 are two of their newest options with incredible ergonomics and a crisp trigger.
Available in both 9mm and .40 S&W, the VP series are striker-fired pistols that do an excellent job at competing for GLOCK’s share of the market.
Many shooters prefer the grip shape, texture and angle, and find the trigger to be much smoother without modification.
The handguns feature interchangeable backstraps to fit the grip to your hand and have paddle-style magazine releases that are completely ambidextrous.
The VP series also includes SK (Sub-Compact) versions for those looking for a more concealable package for carrying. Either way, they are rugged handguns.
10. SIG Sauer P210
Finally, we have my favorite gun on the top handguns list, the SIG Sauer P210. Now, this is another reintroduction of an older, previously discontinued gun, but it sure is cool.
The P210 is a single-stacked 9mm pistol with a single action trigger primarily set up for target shooting, though it was initially designed for service use.
It shares some similarities with the CZ 75 design, in that, the slide rides inside the frame. In fact, SIG did it first.
This setup and the full steel frame make this pistol incredibly shootable, and the long sight radius allows for long-distance shooting.
The P210 utilizes a manual thumb safety similar to a 1911 and can be purchased in either the classic looking legend edition or a target model.
Either one is an absolute tack driver capable of shooting 1” groups at 50 yards and has high-quality components with tight tolerances.
Bonus: AR Pistol Braces
One last consideration isn’t a firearm at all, but an addition to one.
Previously, shooters would either have to register the firearm as a short-barreled rifle to add a buttstock or deal with the bare buffer tube which limited their appeal.
Modern alternatives from SB Tactical and Maxim Defense give you the same basic function as a stock while keeping your firearm legal and tax stamp free.
Did we leave one out? What was your favorite handgun from the past decade? Let us know in the comments below!