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In our guide, we delve into the top combat pistols for 2024, examining various models to assist you in selecting the ideal firearm. We focus on crucial aspects such as reliability, accuracy, and durability, and analyze the pros and cons of each pistol. Our expertise in the armed forces informs our reviews, ensuring they are both comprehensive and informed.
Choosing the best combat pistol is a task fraught with challenges. In addition to the traditional questions of reliability, accuracy, and durability, you also need to determine what features are required for your needs. In this article, I will attempt to provide you with an informed overview of each type of pistol available on the market today, as well as their potential benefits for different applications.
The most common types of pistols are semi-automatic and revolver. Semi-automatic pistols have magazines that hold ammunition, which is fired through a barrel by pulling a trigger. Revolvers have rotating cylinders, and they fire their rounds when the trigger is pulled. Revolvers are generally more accurate, but they tend to be slower than semi-automatic weapons due to their larger size and weight.
What makes me an expert? I’ve used combat pistols for over two decades now. With my background in the armed forces, I know a thing or two about the best combat pistols out there. I am the proud owner of a 1911 Classic, and I can safely say it is one of the best combat pistols available. If you’re looking to learn more about this pistol and other top models, please read on.
Rock Island M 1911 Classic (45ACP)
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FNS 9 Longslide
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SMITH & WESSON Semi-Automatic
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Also Read: 14 Most Powerful Air Pistols in 2022
Here Are The Best Combat Pistols (Our Picks)
If you’re a serious gun enthusiast, you’ve probably been keeping up with new developments in the world of firearms. It’s been a big year for combat pistols, and 2022 promises to be even bigger. I’ve compiled a list of some of the best combat pistols that I think you’ll love.
The 1911 Classic (45ACP) pistol is perfect for those who want to add some flair to their shooting. The 5″ barrel and front strap checkering ensure that you have a balanced, stable shot.
This is a semi-automatic pistol that features a high-quality carbon steel frame and slide, which has been given an ultra-durable matte black finish. Its high-performance single-action trigger delivers a crisp 4- to 5-pound pull. Other features include a beavertail grip safety for added shooting comfort, a 7+1 capacity, three white dot dovetail sights, as well as two 8-round magazines. This gun is ideal for concealed carry and self-defense.
- Classic design
- Cheap ammo
- Good stopping power
- Bulky size
The 1911 Classic is designed to shoot one bullet at a time. This model is the preferred firearm of experts. This pistol uses both single and double action for firing. The barrel length is 5″, and it has an overall length of 8.5″.
The 1911 Classic comes with two seven-round magazines, but you can also order eight-round magazines from the company’s website if you are looking for extra capacity. The pistol weighs 2.4 lbs., making it heavy enough to absorb recoil while still being light enough to carry easily on your person or in a holster while you’re out and about. Also read our review of best red dots for 1911 here.
Featuring a removable front sight, the Beretta M9 pistol is constructed with a locking block system, a fully-adjustable rear sight, a chrome-lined barrel, and reinforced barrel threads. The pistol is coated with a black polyurethane finish that provides additional protection from wear and weather elements. Its polymer frame houses a 10-round magazine and offers an ambidextrous safety lever.
The pistol’s slide and barrel are steel, and its frame is a compacted polymer. The trigger guard is enlarged to allow for easier use on “gloved hands,” while the magazine release button is reversible for left- or right-handed use.
- Larger than most other pistols, so very comfortable to hold
- One of the easiest pistols on the market to pull back and shoot (low recoil)
- Great for concealment options due to its popularity
- It does not come with factory night sights (although it can be changed out later)
- Not as accurate or easy to use as other models
The design of the Beretta M9 is a radical departure from previous Beretta firearm designs. Although there are several cosmetic similarities to older Berettas, the controls and layout have been totally revised. Additionally, to prevent accidental discharge during handling, a “Safety Lock” has been added to the M9 that requires the user to depress the trigger to deactivate the safety. Whether you’re serving or protecting your country or simply looking for an update to your old-fashioned firearm, the M9 is a quality sidearm that’s easy to use and comes with all the latest Beretta technology.
The FNX 9 pistol is a masterpiece of performance and precision. FNX pistols are renowned for their accuracy and reliability. These pistols have passed the most rigorous testing regimes in the industry, so you know that when you pick one up and aim it at your target, it will fire every time you pull the trigger.
Whether you’re getting ready to go hunting, looking to protect your family, or just want to spend a weekend practicing at the range, the FNX 9 pistol is the right choice for you. When you handle one of these firearms, you can feel the quality of the craftsmanship that went into creating it. You’ll be able to tell right away that we put our heart and soul into making these pistols as good as they can possibly be.
FNX 9 Pistol is an ergonomic pistol equally suited to duty, competition, and personal protection. Features include a trigger that breaks crisp and clean, ambidextrous operating controls, interchangeable backstrap inserts, enhanced grip texturing, and consistent accuracy.
The FNX 9 offers the perfect combination of safety and in-hand feel. With the addition of an external hammer, this polymer-framed semi-auto is easily cocked for single and double action use. Its ergonomic and ambidextrous design makes it ideal for all.
- It is reliable.
- Easy to conceal.
- Simple to use and clean.
- Not very customizable.
- Not very accurate at long distances.
The FNX 9 is a double-action/single-action hammer-driven pistol that offers the simple and easy operation you expect from a classic firearm with the modern convenience of a stainless steel barrel and slide and three interchangeable backstraps for maximum comfort. The ambidextrous magazine release makes it easy to change magazines in seconds.
The FNX 9 also features a safety that allows you to carry in all conditions without fear of accidental discharge. The hammer is blocked from moving forward unless the trigger is pulled fully to the rear, so even if dropped or impacted against a hard surface, it’s nearly impossible for any sort of discharge to occur while carrying.
The FNS 9 Longslide is a striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol with a modular grip assembly and interchangeable backstraps. Available in 9mm, the FNS 9 has a 5-inch barrel with an overall length of 8.25 inches.
This pistol is designed for personal protection, home defense, and law enforcement. Borrowing the long barrel and slide from its bigger brother, the FNS-9 Compact, and adding a small chassis frame, this firearm delivers pinpoint accuracy at ranges well beyond other small handguns. With its advanced ergonomic grip, low bore axis, and high hand position, this handgun delivers exceptional recoil reduction and comfort.
This pistol features an ambidextrous magazine release, so it is suitable for right- or left-handed shooters. The frame has two interchangeable backstraps with aggressive texturing to reduce your hand’s chances of slipping out of place. The external indicator on the back of the gun lets you know whether the pistol is ready to fire with a quick glance. It will also show you if there’s a round in the chamber.
- Lighter than its competitors
- Uses HST bullets
- More rounds available in the magazine than other pistols of the same class
- Can be a little difficult to aim for beginners
The FNS 9 Longslide is a polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol. It has a 5″ barrel, cold hammer-forged from stainless steel. The slide stop lever and release button are fully ambidextrous, and the slide has front and rear cocking serrations. Your grip can be adjusted to fit your hand by swappable backstraps.
Also Read: 8 Best Subcompact Pistol in 2022
Semi-Automatic pistols are an improvement to the original automatic pistol. The semi-automatics are less prone to jamming and require less frequent cleaning. These pistols do not use a rotating barrel when firing them, making them easier to manufacture and thus cheaper than an automatic pistol.
Semi-automatic pistols are high-performance firearms using a brief recoil to eject the spent cartridge and load the next round. These guns come in various sizes, calibers, and finishes, making them excellent for target shooting or home protection.
- Easy to use
- Fewer moving parts than in other handguns
- Their small size can make them difficult to grip with larger hands
- They require more strength than other handguns to discharge properly
Semi-automatic pistols are the most popular handgun in America due to their versatility, design, and power. Ideal for protection, competition, or target practice, a semi-automatic pistol is a must-have for any enthusiast.
The Sig Sauer P229 pistol combines a compact size with a lightweight, durable frame that ensures easy concealment and quick handling. Its simple design makes it easy to use, and its self-lubricating finish makes it easy to clean and maintain. The P229 has been a standard sidearm for the US military since its introduction in 1983, and it’s carried by federal agents and law enforcement officers across the country.
The P229 is built to last with Sig Sauer’s tough manufacturing process. Its stainless steel slide is Nitron coated for added durability, while its polymer frame resists wear even under heavy use or in harsh environments like deserts or extremely cold temperatures. This pistol also has an internal safety feature that prevents accidental discharges if dropped or struck.
The P229 pistol is compact and lightweight and features the ergonomic grip design that Sig Sauer is known for. This particular model has a Nitron finish, interchangeable grips, and a rail. The Sig Sauer P229 pistol is extremely popular with law enforcement agencies, most notably the Secret Service, Homeland Security, and the US Navy Seals.
- Can be carried discreetly
- Requires little ammunition to bring down an aggressor
- Easy to learn how to use
- Lacks the power to be effective at bringing down game
The Sig Sauer P229 is a semi-automatic pistol with a DA/SA trigger system. The pistol features an all-metal frame, stainless steel slide, hard-anodized alloy beavertail style frame, and railed polymer grips.
The P229’s ergonomic design makes it very user-friendly and easy to carry concealed. The pistol has a reversible magazine release button as well as a safety lock that allows the weapon to be carried “cocked and locked.” This feature gives the user the ability to chamber a round, engage the thumb safety and carry the weapon loaded but on safe until it is needed. The safety lock can also be engaged when the weapon is not in use to prevent accidental firing if dropped or mishandled.
The Smith & Wesson 340PD 357 Magnum 38 Special double-action revolver features a 1.875″ barrel, 5-round capacity, a fiber optic front sight and fixed rear notch, stainless steel frame and cylinder, exposed hammer, and black rubber grips with finger grooves.
The 340PD features a concealed hammer and double action only trigger, making it perfect for self-defense and personal protection in any situation. It’s also chambered for 357 Magnum, 38 Special, and .38 S&W Special +P ammunition, so you can pick and choose the ammo that makes the most sense for you, your style of shooting, and your environment.
- Easily concealed
- Easy to clean
- Durable and reliable
- Not suited for long-range shooting because of its short barrel length
The Smith & Wesson 340PD is designed for easy concealment. It packs great features into a small, polymer frame. Extra caution must be taken when firing this weapon due to its lightweight frame and sharp recoil. However, the recoil feels similar to shooting a 357 magnum revolver.
The Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 pistol is a classic take on a modern gun. It’s lightweight and has an ergonomic grip shape that fits comfortably in your hand. With its crisp trigger pull, you’ll love the way this gun feels when you pull the trigger, and it’ll be easy to practice with! The gun’s high-strength polymer frame makes it lightweight and easy to maneuver, while the stainless steel barrel and slide make it highly durable. The pistol offers a well-rounded option for those who want something reliable and accurate.
- Long-lasting, strong, and durable.
- The ergonomics are great.
- The gun comes with two magazines.
- The trigger pull is decent.
- It is easy to conceal
- No night sights included.
The Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 pistol comes with a reinforced polymer chassis, superior ergonomics, and an 18-degree grip angle that combines to create a comfortable, intuitive firearm that enhances the user’s ability to deliver fast and accurate shots. The pistol features four interchangeable grip inserts and ships with two magazines, including one that features an extended finger rest for improved control.
The Glock G20 is a ten-millimeter with a barrel length of 4.6 inches and a polymer frame. The sights are fixed, the magazine capacity is fifteen rounds, and it has two safeties, one on the trigger and one on the slide. The pistol comes with two magazines and three interchangeable backstraps so you can best fit the pistol to your hand.
- Offers better performance than other handgun calibers
- Easy to use and very customizable
- It is capable of firing +p loads without any issues
- Not a compact pistol
- Can be considered expensive by some
The Glock G20 is the first pistol with all the proven advantages of the Glock Safe Action System, combined with the most powerful cartridge that Glock makes. The result is unquestionably the finest big-bore semi-automatic pistol ever.
Also read: Best Semi-automatic Tactical Shotgun
This pistol is perfect for personal protection, recreation, and competitive shooting. The de-horned slide is easy to grasp, making it ideal for concealed carry. The single-action trigger gives you a short, crisp pull with every shot.
A Pocket Guide to Buying Combat Pistol
Purchasing a combat pistol can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. You want to make sure you’re getting the best weapon for your needs, but there are so many options out there that it can be hard to make a decision. Here’s a quick checklist to keep in mind as you weigh your options:
Depending on what kind of operations you’ll be involved in, you may need a lighter weight than others. The heaviest pistols will generally be better at handling more punishing ammunition, so that should be taken into account as well.
Again, this will depend on what kind of operations you’ll be involved in. The longer the barrel, the greater the accuracy—but shorter barrels are easier to maneuver in tight spaces.
Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to caliber—more powerful ammo will recoil harder and may impact accuracy or maneuverability.
If you are planning to buy a combat pistol, you must first answer the question, “what is the purpose of buying a gun?”. Once you have decided on your purpose, you need to choose a gun that suits the purpose.
Know the Law
Buying a combat pistol is a big decision. It’s not like picking up a new pair of earrings or buying a little decorative dish for your desk—this is serious business. Because of this, you need to make sure that you’re aware of the laws in your state before you make your purchase.
The Safety Switch prevents accidental discharge of the firearm by disengaging the trigger mechanism from the firing pin when not in use. Safety switches are standard on most pistols, but not all. If you are looking at an older model gun that does not have one, it may be possible to have one installed by a qualified gunsmith.
A grip safety is another physical barrier between you and the accidental discharge of the firearm. It keeps the gun from firing unless there is pressure applied to the handle—typically because someone is holding it or has their finger on the trigger. Most pistols with a grip safety have a thumb safety as well, which must be engaged before grip safety can be disengaged.
Easy to Clean
The gun should be easy to clean. This can be a pain point for some users. The last thing you need is a time-consuming clean after every use, particularly if you use it daily.
A combat pistol needs to be reliable above all else. You may not have time to clear jams or stop and load more bullets into your gun. A good way to determine whether or not the firearm you are buying is reliable is by talking to other people who have used it and reading reviews online. If you can’t find a lot of information about the gun, move on to something else.
You also need to consider what kind of sights the gun has on it. When you are aiming at something quickly in combat, you need sights that are easily used and make sense for your goals. Some people prefer iron sights, while others like holographic sights or red dot sight better.
Also Read: 32 Best Self Defense Weapons
It is said that the sun never sets on a combat pistol—and for a good reason. These weapons are in use all over the world, rain or shine. If you’re looking for a pistol that will stand up to hot, cold, wet, dry, and even humid conditions, look no further. My comprehensive list is here to help you find your perfect match.
All these make excellent combat pistols. The shot capacity of these weapons really stands out against their other counterparts. However, if you want to go for something more serious, try out the 1911 Classic. This has been my favorite for long now.