16 Must-See Handguns

Handgun sales are still strong, as concerned citizens continue to invest in the American dream.

16 Must-See Handguns

Legacy Sports Citadel M1911 Flag Pistol

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), more than 5.4 million citizens of the United States purchased a firearm during 2021. And based on retailer surveys and adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background checks, nearly 30 percent of those purchases were made by new gun owners. For tactical retailers who are paying attention, that’s a whole lot of new sales — many of them handguns purchased for home and personal protection. Here’s what you should know about these newbies. (Source: 2021 NSSF Survey of Retailers)

  • Nearly 47 percent of first-time gun buyers in 2021 inquired about training and 43 percent signed up for training.
  • Nearly 23 percent of retailers indicated that first-time gun buyers in 2020 purchased another firearm in 2021.
  • Retailers saw an increase in first-time gun buyers who were women and minorities.

The handwriting is on the wall. There continues to be a vibrant market for firearms sales, with handguns accounting for a large portion of the purchases, especially with first-time buyers. So don’t disappoint when those newbies visit your stores to purchase some peace of mind. Here is a handful of models that are sure to trip their trigger.


American Tactical FXH-45M Moxie Commander

American Tactical’s FXH-45M Moxie 1911 pistol in Commander size features an all-new barrel, slide and sight set and a patented polymer frame with two metal inserts for added stability and durability. The Moxie has a 4140 steel slide with a parkerized finish — its frame designed with built-in finger grooves for an ergonomic feel. The FXH-45M Moxie Commander is a single-action, semi-automatic pistol chambered in .45 ACP with a 4.25-inch barrel. It has black polymer grips and a removable top plate that allows for the addition of an optics mount. The Moxie Commander accepts Glock front and rear sights, including aftermarket night sights. It ships with one eight-round magazine included. MSRP: $459.95.



Bond Arms Stinger

The Bond Arms Stinger has the familiar fit, feel, function and reliability of other Bond double-barrel pistols in an ultra-concealable and super-comfortable size and weight configuration —currently chambered for either 9mm or .380 Auto. It has a robust yet slim stainless-steel frame, and a generously sized integral trigger guard protects the trigger while allowing easy access. Slim high-impact Zytel composite grips paired with the wasp-waisted pistol’s narrow profile make it perfect for concealability. The new Stinger also includes standard rubber grip panels for those who prefer a larger grip. The hearty stainless-steel frame allows firing +P rounds. The release lever, cross-bolt safety, hammer and trigger are also stainless steel. MSRP: $279.



Canik USA SFx Rival

With a length of 8.1 inches, height of 5.7 inches, 1.41-inch width, 5-inch barrel and an overall weight of 29.5 ounces, the Canik SFx Rival pistol can be used to compete in IDPA, IPSC and USPSA competitions without restrictions. Features include adjustable fiber-optic sights, lightened 90-degree diamond-cut aluminum flat trigger, reversible magazine releases and sizes, ambidextrous slide release, aggressively serrated and ported slide, 1913 Picatinny rail, external mag-well, three grip backstrap sizes, double undercut trigger guard, ergonomically redesigned beavertail, aggressive grip texturing and a completely modular setup. Each SFx Rival hard case includes two 18-round magazines, additional aluminum magazine base plates, a custom holster, Canik punch and toolkit, cleaning kit and optic plates. MSRP: $679.99.



Colt Python

In 2020, Colt relaunched its Python revolver with two-barrel length options — 4.25 and 6 inches. New for 2022, the 3-inch-barrel version of the Python is chambered for the powerful .357 Mag. and features a six-round cylinder. Its semi-bright stainless-steel finished barrel and frame contrast with stunning walnut grips, and the grip’s shape, deep checkering and inlaid golden Colt logo are reminiscent of the classic. Pythons are double- and single-action guns with a spurred hammer, and its silky-smooth trigger pull is part of why these premium revolvers have such outstanding accuracy. A match-grade adjustable rear sight (windage and elevation) and interchangeable red-ramp front sight allow zeroing the revolver with any load from full-house .357 Magnums to .38 Special target loads. MSRP: $1,499.



CZ-USA Scorpion 3+ Pistol

The redesigned CZ Scorpion 3+ 9mm micro pistol is made from advanced materials that are rigid and lightweight. It features a 4.2-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel for outstanding ballistic performance and an ambidextrous AR-style mag release and bolt catch/release. Its M-Lok handguard’s reinforced, heat-resistant polymer construction provides durability without the weight and expense of an aluminum rail handguard. A slimmed-down upper receiver accommodates more options when attaching different accessories to replace the end cap. A redesigned magwell is resized, adding more purchase on the handguard for large or gloved hands. The adjustable four aperture aluminum sights are updated to deliver lower 1/3 co-witness with popular red-dots, providing a better sight picture and reliable backup. MSRP: $1,299.



EAA Girsan MCP35 PI

The new compact and reliable 9mm Girsan MCP35 PI designated handgun from European American Armory was created to be easy to carry and conceal, whether on the job or at the beach. Engineered with respect for the original John Browning pistol design, it pays homage to one of the most widely used military handguns in the world. With its classic, black-matte styling and built on a steel frame, the MCP35 PI boasts a 15+1 capacity in a staggered-column magazine. The Browning was originally introduced as a military pistol and necessitated extreme accuracy. The Girsan MCP35 PI falls completely in line with the original. It is equipped with a windage-adjustable rear sight, ring hammer, ambidextrous safety, slim trigger and 3.88-inch barrel. MSRP: $563.



Excel Arms X-5.7P

Through innovation and design, the X-5.7P pistol incorporates the shortest barrel in 5.7x28mm caliber on the market, resulting in ergonomic enhancements that optimize overall handling and shooter performance. CNC-machined from billet aluminum and featuring tactical AR styling, its unique design features a Picatinny rail for mounting various optics and sights, and tapping holes in the hand guards provide mounting of accessory rails. This ambidextrous semi-auto pistol is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum for durability and comes standard with a threaded 4-inch bull barrel. Built to accept A2-style pistol braces and paired with a 30-round magazine, the X-5.7P delivers both power and accuracy in a lightweight design. MSRP: $862.



Glock G43X MOS

Chambered in 9x19mm, the Glock G43X MOS (Modular Optics System) handgun features slide cuts designed for specific micro-optics and the Glock Slim Mounting Rail for mounting accessories. It has a short subcompact barrel length and a comfortably balanced, versatile compact-size grip with a minimal profile — incorporating elements of the Slimline series, such as the short trigger distance, a frame with a built-in beavertail as seen on the G43 and the G42, and a reversible magazine catch. The G43X has the incredibly accurate, match-grade Marksman barrel of the Gen5 series as well as the tough nDLC finish on the slide. It also features precision-milled front serrations and has an orange magazine follower for higher visibility. MSRP: $538.



KelTec P15

Compact size and maximum firepower generally don’t go hand in hand. However, the 9x19mm Luger P15 striker-fired, polymer pistol from KelTec weighs only 14 ounces and boasts a 15+1 capacity right out of the box. The company calls it the lightest, thinnest double-stack 9mm handgun on the market. This pistol offers plenty of dependable firepower in a uniquely small package. It stands just 5 inches tall and is 6.6 inches long and .875 inches wide, while still housing a 4-inch barrel, and comes standard with a 5-pound trigger pull. MSRP: $425.



Legacy Sports Citadel M1911 Flag Pistol (pictured above)

Wrapped in a Cerakote-finished American flag with Battleworn effect, the Citadel .45 ACP M1911 Flag pistol from Legacy Sports is available in three color schemes — Red, White and Blue American Flag, Grayscale American Flag and Bazooka Green. In addition to its good looks, the M1911 Flag pistol also has a host of top-shelf features, including a Series 70 firing system, extended ambidextrous thumb safety, full-length guide road, skeletonized hammer and trigger, extended beavertail safety grip, flared and lowered ejection port, beveled magwell and two magazines. MSRP: $909.



Mossberg MC2sc Optics Ready 9mm Subcompact

Mossberg has redesigned its MC2c (compact) 9mm pistol with an optic-ready slide that allows for the direct mounting of micro-dot optics and increased capacity with its double-stack magazines. The MC2sc Optic Ready pistol comes with a 14-round flush and a 16-round extended magazine with a 10-round standard version available. It combines superior ergonomics, an ultra-slim profile and performance-driven features that make this pistol a great option for concealed carry or home protection. The MC2sc frame is constructed of glass-reinforced polymer and the slide is stainless steel with Black DLC (Diamond-Like Coating) for rigidity and chemical resistance. The slide features angled serrations for positive manipulation ,and slim-profile grips have an added palm swell and are angled at 18 degrees. MSRP: $556-$662.



Nighthawk Custom Treasurer

Nighthawk Custom has introduced the fourth installment of its prestigious Boardroom series of 1911 pistols, the compact Treasurer, which follows up on the popularity of the Chairman, President and Vice President models. The 9mm Treasurer is built on an officer frame and features a 3.8-inch bull barrel. The heavy angle cuts in the slide aid in faster cycling for competitive shooters, while windows show off the gold titanium nitride crowned barrel. This pistol has a Heinie Black Ledge rear sight with a 14k gold bead front sight. Custom Ascend grips provide a sure purchase on the pistol, and a durable DLC finish will keep the Treasurer looking new for years to come. MSRP: $4,599.



Rock Island Armory STK100 

Rock Island Armory has announced the addition of a striker-fired pistol to its long line of product introductions. The STK100 features a solid frame that gives shooters the advantages of metal for the price of polymer. It comes with an aluminum grip to make it more durable and give it enough added weight for a smoother feel with less felt recoil and less flex for improved accuracy. Chambered in 9mm, the STK100 has a 17-round capacity. It also boasts an extended beavertail that’s angled more like a 1911 to provide a more natural point of aim and greater control. It also comes with a standardized sight plate compatible with most sight options. MSRP: $499.



SAR USA SAR9 Compact X

The 9mm SAR9 Compact X DNA comes directly from the SAR9 pistol, which was originally designed and engineered as a military sidearm. It features a lightweight polymer frame with accessory rail, serrated slide with Cerakote platinum finish and a 4-inch hammer-forged barrel with recessed crown for increased accuracy. With a 3-Dot sight optic-ready mount plus a choice of three insertable back straps to personalize fit, the SAR9 Compact X points naturally and is a pleasure to shoot. Couple these features with an ambidextrous safety trigger that is smoother than a double-action revolver and the SAR9 Compact X becomes the perfect concealed carry pistol. It comes standard with two 15-round magazines. For restricted states, two 10-round magazines are included. MSRP: $632.



Sig Sauer P365-XMacro

The 9mm P365-XMacro from Sig Sauer packs an unprecedented 17+1 round standard capacity into the iconic 1-inch slim profile of the P365. It is a striker-fired, polymer-frame pistol featuring the all-new Macro-Compact Grip Module with a standard 1913 accessory rail, an integrally compensated P365 XSeries optics-ready slide with Xray3 day/night sights and flat trigger. The pistol ships with interchangeable small, medium and large backstraps and two 17-round steel magazines. The P365-XMacro is optimized for use with the Sig Sauer Electro-Optics Foxtrot1 rail-mounted flashlight and RomeoZero Elite Micro red-dot sight. It weighs 21.5 ounces and has a barrel length of 3.1 inches and a sight radius of 5.1 inches. MSRP: $799.99.



Stoeger STR-9C Optics-Ready Sub-Compact

Stoeger Industries’ polymer-frame striker-fired STR-9C Compact Optics-Ready pistol is factory machined to accept several of the most popular red-dot optics on the market. It features a factory optic-cut slide with four included mounting plates to accommodate the most common optic mounting patterns. With this system, installing a red-dot sight is an easy DIY project that doesn’t require the services of a gunsmith. The receiver is made from fiberglass-reinforced polymer with steel inserts for a blend of light weight and strength, and the slide’s nitride finish minimizes wear during IWB or OWB carry. Aggressive front and rear slide serrations ensure this small-profile defensive pistol can be easily manipulated for charging and clearing during high-stress operations. MSRP: $399/13- and 10-round models.



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