2021's Must-See Handguns

Check out this roundup of the year's hottest handguns.

2021's Must-See Handguns

Ruger 57

Beretta 92X Centurion

The 92X Centurion takes the proven reliability of Beretta’s venerable M9 semi-auto handgun family to the next level by incorporating new universal ergonomic features, such as a standard straight backstrap profile frame with highly textured flat wraparound grips, included to fit the majority of shooters’ needs right out of the box. The Vertec-style vertical grip of the 92X enables shooters with smaller hands to find a more natural grip when compared to a traditional 90 series gun. Shooters with large hands can simply add Beretta’s new rigid wraparound polymer grips for proper fitment. These features, combined with Combat sights, enhanced fire control and an extended magazine release improve performance when used for competitive shooting and/or self and home defense. MSRP: $799.



Century Arms Canik TP9 Elite SC

The easily concealed 9mm Canik TP9 Elite SC — featuring a 12-round standard capacity magazine — measures a compact 1.45 inches wide and 6.7 inches long, weighing in at just 24.78 ounces. Its 3.6-inch barrel is the optimal length designated by Canik’s engineers to ensure top-tier accuracy out of the 4.6-inch-tall handgun. The TP9 Elite SC comes with an optics-ready slide mount, allowing co-witness with iron sights, a loaded chamber indicator, ambidextrous slide release, reversible magazine release and a white dot front sight and blackout rear sight. Every pistol also comes standard with a subcompact holster that can be mounted for an inside- or outside-the-waistband carry and a 12- and 15-round magazine. MSRP: $429.



CZ P-10 C

CZ’s P-10 C features an ergonomic grip angle that eliminates that “brick-in-the-hand” feeling that plagues many striker-fired handguns — allowing it to point naturally — and a mild palm swell, deep beavertail and three interchangeable backstraps accommodate a wide variety of hands. The P-10’s trigger is designed to minimize creep and stacking and after initial break-in averages a clean 4.5- to 5-pound pull and rebounds with a short, positive reset. Built to withstand the rigors of military use, its fiber-reinforced polymer frame and hardy nitride finish are made for daily grind, and a generous trigger guard allows use with gloved hands. A set of metal tactical three-dot sights allow for one-hand manipulation of the slide when the gun is worn on a belt. MSRP: $499.



Ed Brown Products FX2

Available in .45 ACP and 9mm, Ed Brown’s FX2 shares some features with its predecessor — FX slide cuts, American flag serrations and a recessed slide stop with a serrated pin — but in a Commander Bobtail configuration, with the company’s popular snakeskin treatment. Topped with Trijicon’s new RMRcc miniature reflex sight and Ed Brown-designed co-witness rear sight with Ameri-glo orange front sight, the FX2 is a great choice for concealed carry. It’s finished out in industrial stainless for an edgy look, with black accents on the trigger and barrel bushing to tie in nicely with its black G10 grips. The FX2 is hand built with fully machined parts, completely customizable and backed by Ed Brown’s lifetime warranty. MSRP: $4,295/.45 ACP; $4,395/9mm.



Excel Arms X-9P

Excel Arms’ newest 9mm pistol in the X-series platform, the X-9P, is designed to fit shooters’ needs for home defense or as a dedicated truck gun. Machined from aircraft grade aluminum, it is compatible with Glock magazines. Its compact profile utilizes a Picatinny top rail for mounting various optics and sights, and tapping holes in the handguards accommodate the mounting of accessory rails. The model X-9P is designed as a right-hand pistol, but a supplied bolt handle can be moved to the right or the left depending on the shooter’s preference and all X-9P models are threaded to receive mil-spec buffer tubes. MSRP: $753.



Glock G43X Black

Chambered in 9mm Luger, the Glock G43X sports a compact Slimline frame with a black slide with an nDLC finish. Its 10-round magazine capacity makes it a great choice for concealed carry. Designed for comfort, the G43X combines a compact-size grip length, a built-in beaver tail and a subcompact-slim slide for a comfortably balanced, versatile grip that’s a great fit for a variety of users. The frame incorporates elements of Glock’s Gen5 and Slimline series, such as a short distance to the trigger, reversible magazine catch and an accurate, match-grade Glock Marksman barrel and precision-milled front serrations. MSRP: $582.



Kimber Rapide Black Ice

The Kimber Rapide Black Ice is a unique 1911 semi-auto pistol, featuring stepped cocking serrations, slide lightening cuts for faster lock time, striking two-tone Kimpro finish and a DLC-coated 5.25-inch barrel for extreme durability. It is equipped with Kimber Stiplex front strap stippling and black G10 grips with matching accents for extra gripping confidence. It comes equipped with Truglo TFX Pro day/night sights with a high-contrast orange front ring and a flush-fit extended magwell and mainspring housing with matching accents. The Rapide Black Ice will ship with one eight-round Tac-Mag magazine and is available in .45 ACP, 9mm and 10mm versions. MSRP: $1,490-$1,510.



Legacy Sports Citadel M1911 Flag Pistol

Wrapped in a Cerakote-finished American flag with Battleworn effect and paired with a matching ammo can, the Citadel .45 ACP M1911 Flag pistol from Legacy Sports is available in three color schemes — red, white and blue, grayscale 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, skeletonized hammer and trigger, extended beavertail safety grip, flared and lowered ejection port, beveled magwell and two magazines. On one side of the ammo can is an American flag theme and on the other, military depot-style laser script detailing the contents inside. MSRP: $999 with matching ammo can.



Les Baer American Handgunner Special Edition 1911

A cooperative effort between Les Baer Custom and American Handgunner magazine, the new American Handgunner Special Edition 1911 starts with America’s most iconic handgun chambered in .45 ACP. From there, Les Baer Custom has added an impressive host of features preferred by American Handgunner’s readers. The Special Edition 1911 is built on a Baer N.M. steel frame with 5-inch N.M. government-length slide with rear cocking serrations and sports a 5-inch government-length barrel and custom-fitted stainless steel bushing. It also includes low-mount adjustable tritium sights, lowered and flared ejection port, tuned and polished extractor, extended ejector, checkered slide stop, a Baer speed trigger with a crisp 4-pound pull and two Baer premium eight-round magazines. MSRP: $2,995.



Mossberg MC2c Compact 9mm

Mossberg’s MC2c (compact) 9mm pistol combines superior ergonomics, performance-driven features and an increased shot capacity, making it a great choice for concealed carry or home protection. Five initial offerings include two frame variants (standard and cross-bolt safety), a choice of slide finishes (black DLC-finished or bead-blasted stainless steel) and optional Truglo Tritium Pro Night sights. All MC2c models come with 13-round flush and 15-round extended coated-steel magazines. Weighing in at 21 ounces (unloaded), the MC2c features a 3.9-inch barrel and has an overall length of 7.1 inches. Other standard features include dovetail-mounted, low-profile white 3-Dot sights (drift adjustable), stainless steel barrel with cut-broached rifling, front accessory rail, oversized trigger guard and flat-profile trigger with integrated blade safety. MSRP: $490-$595.



Nighthawk Custom TRS Comp 1911

Nighthawk Custom’s new 9mm TRS Comp (tactical ready series) 1911 full-size pistol was purpose-built for shooters who prefer the high-round capability provided by a double-stack frame. The TRS Comp features a match-grade 5-inch barrel and a full-length dust cover, and its precision-designed port in its integrated compensator reduces muzzle flip, allowing the shooter to stay on target for follow-up shots. The entire pistol has been finished in black nitride for a durable, sleek look, and its lightweight aluminum trigger has a serrated flat face that provides a non-slip surface. The TRS Comp utilizes unique dimples at the rear of the slide, matching the pattern of the grip to provide a non-abrasive surface that won’t snag clothing when holstering. 17+1 capacity. MSRP: $4,599.



Rock Island Rock Ultra

The full-size 1911 Rock Island Rock Ultra pistol is chambered in 10mm with a 5-inch button-rifled barrel supported by a full-length guide rod. It includes a double-stack magwell with a 16-round capacity. This firearm features a low-profile adjustable rear sight and high-visibility fiber-optic front sight and includes a skeletonized hammer and trigger with adjustable over travel stop and ambidextrous safety. Its smooth-angled, snag-free styling allows for a quick draw. The Rock Ultra is finished with a tough parkerized matte coating and battle-ready G10 tactical grips. True to all Rock Island 1911s, the Rock Ultra comes with a crisp 4- to 6-pound factory trigger, which provides a great shooting experience right out of the box. MSRP: $798.



Ruger-57 Pistol (pictured at top of page)

The 5.7x28mm caliber Ruger-57 pistol is designed for shooting comfort and efficiency, featuring a textured ergonomic frame, easy trigger reach, 1911-style ambidextrous manual safety, robust slide release and reversible magazine release latch. It utilizes Ruger’s safe, reliable and proven Secure Action fire-control system with protected internal hammer and short-stroke, double-action bladed-safety trigger that’s comfortable, pulls smoothly, breaks cleanly and has a positive reset. Its 4.94-inch alloy steel barrel features a black nitride treatment for wear resistance and its 10-round capacity steel magazines — two included — provide double-stack capacity without unnecessary bulk. An inspection port allows for visual confirmation of a loaded or empty chamber and a Picatinny-style accessory rail accommodates lights and lasers. MSRP: $799.



SAR USA 109T 9mm

Chambered in 9mm, the new SAR USA 109T semi-automatic pistol is engineered for reliability. Originally designed for close quarter combat situations, the SAR 109T features SAR’s proven blow-back design with an 8.6-inch chrome-moly steel barrel, making it extremely maneuverable. The 109T also has a free-floating handguard with a Picatinny rail system capable of handling a wide range of accessories, and it comes optics-ready. The chassis is a two-part aluminum alloy receiver with a hammer-fired mil-spec trigger. The firing control system is based on the U.S. M16-type non-reciprocating charging handle and a fire mode selector/safety switch located on the left side above the pistol grip. The 109T comes with three 30-round Colt-type magazines. MSRP: $1,999.99.



Sig Sauer P320 RXP Red-Dot Series Pistols

It’s now possible to get red-dot accuracy right out of the box with Sig Sauer’s P320 RXP series pistols, which combine a factory-installed Romeo1Pro reflex optic from Sig Sauer Electro-Optics with four popular P320 — Full-size, Compact, XFull and XCompact RXP — 9mm striker-fired pistols. The Romeo1Pro is a miniature open reflex red-dot sight that comes with 12 brightness settings for a full range of lighting conditions. It features a molded glass aspheric lens with high-performance coatings for superior light transmittance and zero distortion, a new upgraded point-source emitter for increased brightness in day or night conditions, MOTAC, 20,000-hour battery life and an IPX-7 waterproof rating. Its TruHold Lockless zeroing system is designed to endure recoil and return to zero shot after shot. MSRP: $849.99-$999.99.



Springfield Armory Hellcat

Springfield Armory’s high-capacity micro-compact 9mm Hellcat was designed specifically for everyday carry with its Adaptive Grip texture and high-visibility tritium U-Dot quick-to-engage sight system offered on both the OSP and standard non-optic models that ensures positive target acquisition in a wide range of lighting conditions. The Hellcat has a capacity of 11+1 with its patented magazine — 13+1 with the included extended mag — and features a hammer-forged steel barrel and billet-machined slide, both featuring Melonite coating. A high-hand beavertail and undercut trigger guard situate the pistol low in the hand for maximum control and rear serrations run over the top of the slide for quick and easy manipulation and are designed for positive engagement. MSRP: $569-$643.



Taurus G3c Compact

Taurus has expanded its G-series line of polymer-frame, striker-fired pistols with the next-generation 9mm G3c compact — integrating new features designed to enhance overall performance, durability and customization potential. The G3c slide is treated with a Tenifer finish, and the standard rear serrations are now accompanied by serrations at the front of the slide to provide a more positive grip. Standard on the G3c are all-steel front and rear sights, an upgraded Gen 3 trigger and a new ergonomic grip profile with a contoured palm swell, highly textured grip panels and memory pads for precise, repeatable finger/hand placement. The G3c comes standard with three 12-round magazines or three 10-round magazines. Fifteen- and 17-round G3c magazines are also available. MSRP: $305.74.



Walther Q4 Steel Frame

Walther’s high-class performance conceal carry Q4 Steel Frame 9mm pistol — precision machined from a solid steel billet — improves ergonomics with a wrap-around grip panel, extended beavertail, full-length Picatinny rail and recessed slide release. The weight distribution of the steel frame drastically reduces recoil to improve shooter performance, ultimately contributing to overall efficiency. The Q4 features a Walther barrel, LPA sights as well as front and rear serrations, plus the option for optics for when the situation demands it. With an overall length of 7.4 inches, it has a 4-inch barrel, 5.6-pound trigger pull and a 15-round capacity. It weighs in at 39.7 ounces empty. MSRP: $1,599.



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