Must Have Pistols | 36 Best Must Own Handguns For Beginners Or Defense


When it comes to reliability, concealment, and ease of use, this list provides the must-have pistols you can get in the market today!

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Must-Have Pistols for Gun Aficionados and Beginners

Best Pistols for Accuracy and Overall Function

If you’re planning to buy a firearm, there’s quite a lot to choose from among the best handguns on the market. What matters is how you’re going to use the weapon, whether it’s for protection at home, a concealed carry gun, or just something to use at the shooting range.

It’s not easy to find the perfect gun, but you can look into the right features that incorporate reliability, safety, and the caliber that suits your preference. I’d go for a powerful weapon but I also want to be comfortable with the grip and should easily put the gun to safety when not in use.

Choosing the best 9mm pistol or the right handgun is not as easy as deciding what clothes to wear for the day.

Must-Have Pistols that are Less Than 10 Ounces

1. Baby Browning

No mouse gun collection is complete without the Baby Browning, an iconic piece that’s been around since the 1930s.

It comes with a six-round little steel magazine which is only 4 inches in overall length and weighs only 8.7 oz.

Must Have Pistols that are 11 Ounces – 20 Ounces

2. Beretta Nano

This thing fits right in the palm of your hand and shoots really well for a pocket gun.

It has an overall length of 5.63 inches and weighs 18 oz. The Beretta Nano has quite an attitude for a small handgun.

3. Kimber Micro Carry

Kimber Micro Carry is one of the best handguns for concealed carry.

This handgun from Kimber weighs only 14 oz and has a magazine capacity of six to seven shots.

4. Kahr CM9

This concealable firearm is very reliable and accurate. The grip has texture in the rear and the front that gives you that nice firm feel of the gun.

The Kahr CM9 is so light it only weighs 19 oz. fully loaded.

5. Colt Agent

The Colt Agent is a lightweight aluminum-framed handgun.

It doesn’t have a shrouded ejector rod and simply hangs out underneath the barrel. This firearm is also suitable for concealed carry.

6. Smith & Wesson Model 642

The Smith & Wesson Model 642 is the ultimate concealed handgun.

It’s a five-shot J-frame revolver with a uniquely concealed hammer. A very interesting pistol for gun enthusiasts.

7. Ruger SR9C

The Ruger SR9C is a concealable handgun that comes with the option to use a full-size 17-round magazine with an extended grip.

This is suitable if you have large hands and want more firepower.

8. Walther PPQ

The Walther PPQ has one of the best striker-fired triggers in a 9mm pistol.

Its design comes with a polymer grip with a texture that makes it nice to hold and weighs about 20.8 oz.

Must Have Pistols that are 21 Ounces – 30 Ounces


The FNX series are hammer-operated guns that have stainless steel slides and barrels.

Out of the box, the FN FNX comes with three 17-round magazines and weighs only 21.9 oz. unloaded.

10. Smith & Wesson Model 940

Smith & Wesson Model 940 is the ultimate concealed gun.

It’s very lightweight weighing only 15 oz unloaded with an aluminum alloy frame. This revolver works double action only.

11. FNS Compact

The FNS compact has a completely ambidextrous slide stop and magazine release. It comes with two sets of backstraps – the flat and the curved.

The barrel of this gun is 3.6 inches in length and is available in 9mm and .40 caliber.

12. Rossi R462

This gun has a five-round cylinder and a full-size grip that feels really good in your hand.

The Rossi R462 is included in Taurus unlimited lifetime repair so you can send it in if you need one.

13. Smith & Wesson Pro

This gun has a high visibility front sight post. It’s got a nice Apex trigger and interchangeable backstraps which come in different sizes.

The whole system of this gun is very rigid which is good for accuracy.

14. Heckler & Koch P30

The HK P30 incorporates a removable backstrap and side panel and fully ambidextrous control.

Test samples of this gun have gone over 90,000 rounds without major part damage and replacement. HK is also a popular choice for law enforcers worldwide.

15. Ruger SP101

The Ruger SP101 has a very smooth and easy-to-use trigger. It’s made of stainless steel and has a unique rubberized grip for great shooting control.

This handgun is one of the best revolvers on the market today.

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16. Glock 17 Gen 4 9mm

The Glock 17 Gen 4 comes with 17 rounds of standard capacity mags. This pistol measures 8 inches in overall length, 5 1/2 inches in height, and weighs 25 oz. unloaded.

Glock is one of the best-selling handguns in America.

17. FNS

This pistol is also available in a smaller version specifically for concealed carry. FNS has pretty good traction on its grip with a magazine also available in 17 rounds.

One of its cool features is the manual safety lever, slide stop lever, and magazine release buttons are all ambidextrous.

18. Colt Diamondback

The Colt Diamond is part of the snake gun series and inspired by the Colt Python.

This cool handgun is a collector’s item and a pistol that John Wayne carries in one of his movies.

19. Springfield XDM

The Springfield XD is a neat handgun with a polymer frame and steel slide.

It has a grip safety so the gun will not fire unless you get a proper grip on it. This handgun has a length of 8 inches and weighs 32 oz.

20. Kimber Pro Carry II

The Kimber Pro Carry II weighs only 28 oz and has a barrel length of 4 inches. It features a synthetic rubber that feels really good in your hands.

A lot of gun enthusiasts say that this gun is very accurate.

21. CZ-P01

This is a full-size forge alloy frame pistol from CZ with a 15-round magazine capacity. The P01 features an ambidextrous safety which also uncocks the pistol.

The grips of this handgun have a very nice texture and panels.

22. Taurus Tracker 627

The Taurus Tracker 627 has a manageable recoil for a full-power 357 magnum. It’s a double-action revolver and utilizes a hammer transfer bar safety.

Talk about power, ruggedness, and reliability — this is the handgun for you.

23. Springfield Armory XD9

The standard magazine capacity of the Springfield Armory XD9 is 16+1. This gun has a loaded chamber indicator which I think is very cool.

ammunition gun locked loaded use | must have pistols

Other features include a Glock-style trigger safety and 1911-style grip safety.

24. Colt Lightweight Commander

The Colt Lightweight Commander has front and rear Novak sights.

colt 1911 commander singleaction semiautomatic magazinefed | must have pistols

This gun is engineered to have a dual recoil spring for much less felt recoil. It’s a great entry-level gun for new shooters.

25. Springfield Range Officer

Out of the box, the Springfield Range Officer comes with two six-round stainless steel magazines.

The 3 1/2 bull barrel is also made of stainless steel and is one of the best quality handguns for concealed carry.

Must-Have Pistols that are More Than 30 Ounces

26. Browning High Power

The Browning High Power is very well designed from a field maintenance point of view.

The Browning High Power is very well designed from a field maintenance point of view.

This handgun has a superb reputation before and after the war.

27. SIG Sauer P229 Elite

The SIG P229 Elite is made of all solid stainless steel.

What makes it different from other SIG handguns is the frame and the slide are also made of stainless steel.

28. Beretta M9

Beretta M9 is the standard issue of the military sidearm and perhaps the most tested. It’s a semi-automatic handgun with a 4.9-inch barrel length.

gun close on wooden background 45 | must have pistols

Also, you can use this firearm in both double or single-action mode with a 15-round magazine.

29. EAA Witness Elite Match

The EAA Witness Elite Match has a barrel length of 4.75 inches.

This gun has adjustable rear sights, and synthetic grips, weighs 33 oz, and has a magazine capacity of 10+1 rounds.

30. Baby Desert Eagle II

The Baby Desert Eagle II is made by Israel Weapon Industries and is available in three calibers – 9mm, .40, and .45ACP.

IWI is known for manufacturing top-quality guns. This Baby Eagle, which has excellent firepower, is one such example.

31. Taurus PT 92

The Taurus PT 92 is manufactured almost exactly like the Beretta 92.

This pistol is very accurate so you can use it as a range gun or for home defense. It’s too big though for concealed carry.

32. Rock Island 1911 Compact

The Rock Island 1911 Compact has a 3 1/2-inch barrel and a seven-round magazine capacity.

This small handgun is made by ARMSCOR, a Filipino company.

33. Ruger GP-100

The Ruger GP100 has a reputation for being tough as nails, which is well-deserved.

It can handle any factory-loaded .357 magnum ammunition on the market.

34. CZ 75 SP-01

The CZ 75 was not widely available in the United States until 1993. The quality steel frame of this gun makes it a bit heavy at 37.5 oz unloaded.

automatic gun bearingcz 75 compact | must have pistols

This gun is available in both 17 and 19 rounds of 9mm magazines.

35. Smith & Wesson 625 JM

The 625 JM from Smith & Wesson’s Champion series is a large N-framed revolver.

This gun has an overall length of 9.38 inches and a weight of 40.3 oz. It’s a full stainless steel revolver with a six-round capacity of .45 ACP.

36. Smith & Wesson M28

This Smith & Wesson M28 has beautiful wood grips in a Rosewood-type finish. It’s kind of a baby brother to the Dirty Harry .44 magnum version.

Gun enthusiasts just love classic-style revolvers like this one.

Obviously, the world of handguns has so much to offer from 9mm pistols to revolvers, all with loads of firepower. There’s no running out of weapon choices these days with all these must-have pistols.

But always remember to be a responsible gun owner. Bear in mind that a single thoughtless action can change your life forever.

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Do any of these sidearms fit your idea of a perfect or the must-have pistol? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 11, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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