9 Must-See Handguns for 2022

Handguns are still practically selling themselves — but these nine models are sure to stand out on your shelves.

9 Must-See Handguns for 2022

In a letter to English Major John Cartwright in 1824, Thomas Jefferson exclaimed, “The Constitution of most of our states, and of the United States, asserts that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person; freedom of religion; freedom of property; and freedom of the press.”

While this seems to be a crazy time to be an American, a 2021 Grinnell National Poll determined 81 percent of Americans still believe the Second Amendment is worth protecting. The Economist and YouGov polled Americans from another angle, with comparable results — 21 percent believed the Second Amendment should be repealed. While the Second Amendment has certainly been under attack for decades, it’s not likely to disappear. Moreover, outright attempts to further control firearm ownership has only led to dramatically increased firearm sales — but what are buyers looking for?

While the AR-15 is currently America’s most popular rifle, exponentially more consumers continue to flock to handguns. And, as much as their motivation follows Thomas Jefferson’s view of being “at all times” armed — defending their right to continue breathing and if need be, resist tyranny — handguns have become a solid mix of purpose-driven tools and lifestyle representations. With purpose and lifestyle in mind, here are nine new ways to get your handgun sales on target.


F-1 Firearms BSF-19

F-1 Firearms made a name for itself as an unapologetically American lifestyle-themed AR manufacturer; however, February 2022, marked a new chapter — handguns. F-1’s initial leap into handguns follows suit with the company’s ARs — functional yet jaw-dropping. The fit, form and function of the BSF-19 are premised upon tried-and-true striker-fired utility; in fact, the pistol’s foundation is effectively a Glock 19 Gen 3, a workhorse favorite of mine. Of course, while this handgun’s bones are based on one of America’s most popular personal defense pistols, its guts are top-shelf quality, and its aggressively styled and finished skin screams the same lifestyle messaging that lifted F-1 Firearms to elite manufacturer heights.

The BSF-19 9mm pistol boasts an aggressively cut and serrated steel slide, 7075-T6 aluminum frame, non-threaded and threaded barrels with multiple finish and port options, Grant trigger, textured grip and insanely cool anodized finish options. BSF-19 pistols are available with an RMR optic cut and included cover plate, and they feature a Picatinny rail to accommodate a light, laser or other handgun accessory. www.f-1firearms.com


Canik SFx Rival

Distributed exclusively by Century Arms, Turkish-made Canik pistols continue to generate noteworthy buzz. Considering the acceptance and accolades Canik pistols have received over the past handful of years, especially with TP models like the TPS9 and Mete, Canik has positioned itself, with the help of Century Arms, as a top contender in handgun popularity. This is due in large to Canik’s build quality, overall performance and exceptionally low price points. What’s not to like about handguns with great balance, crisp triggers and superb reliability? I’ll answer: Nothing, and the latest, greatest Canik pistol, the SFx Rival, only builds on the manufacturer’s stellar reputation for delivering quality and value.

True to its name, the Rival truly does rival premium competition handguns, and for good reason. It most certainly is built to compete.

The Canik SFx Rival is a full-size competition 9mm pistol with 18+1 round capacity and a 5-inch barrel. As has been hyped in previous Canik TP models, the Rival’s diamond-cut, 90-degree, aluminum trigger is exquisite, boasting a crisp, lightweight break with insanely short travel and reset. Having played with the Rival, I can say it just might be the best factory-included pistol trigger I have experienced to date. Additional SFx Rival features include an easy-to-assemble/disassemble modular, fiber-reinforced polymer frame; aggressively cut and serrated slide; ergonomic grip with an included competition magwell and multiple backstrap options; ambidextrous slide-stop lever; multiple mag-release button options and a striker status indicator. Canik Rival pistols also are cut for reflex-style optics and include optic mounts as well as extra magazines and tool/cleaning kit, all for a MSRP of just $679. I don’t know how they do it. www.canikusa.com


Taurus G3X

Taurus: The bull. A zodiac sign. Dependable, hardworking, dedicated, diligent. Based upon my personal experiences, Taurus Firearms is aptly named, and the models I have personally owned certainly demonstrated such attributes; in fact, my current concealed-carry pistol is a Taurus GX4 9mm, and I’ll soon be hunting hogs with a Taurus Raging Hunter .460 S&W Magnum revolver. As a side note, the Taurus 605 revolver also is a quite a nice representation of quality and reliability one can expect from today’s Taurus offerings. That said, and based on my personal Taurus experience, the 2022 Taurus G3X 9mm is sure to satisfy the needs of many customers looking for a compact pistol packed with reliability and value.

Taurus touts its new G3X striker-fire pistol as a hybrid — perfectly compact for concealed carry but with a full-size, stippled grip. The Taurus also features a black polymer frame; Tenifer matte-black, steel-alloy slide with serrations for positive gripping; matte-black, 3.2-inch stainless-steel barrel; serrated, adjustable rear sight and fixed front sight; and a crisp, 6-pound trigger with butter-smooth travel and short reset. The bottom line here: Taurus’ G3X is perfectly suited for customers interested in concealed carry, training, recreational shooting and more. www.taurususa.com



I have a soft spot for CZ firearms — in my safe. Among my all-time favorite hunting rifles sits a Model 3 .300 WSM, complete with a Montana Rifle Company barreled action. It’s beautiful and reliable and a perfect heirloom rifle to pass on to my son, and it took six months of hunting to find it. More recently, I hunted waterfowl on North Dakota’s North Loupe River with a CZ-USA Model 1012 shotgun. It’s tough to beat CZ’s overall value, their sweet spot being a balance of craftsmanship and affordability. A superb 2022 representation of this winning combination is found in the CZ-USA P10-F striker-fire pistol.

Full-size yet easily concealable, CZ-USA offers the P10-F in two 9mm models, a low capacity of 10+1 and high capacity of 19+1. Both models feature a fiber-reinforced polymer frame, 4.5-inch barrel, full-size grip with interchangeable backstraps, flush-sitting magazines, reversible magazine release, extended beavertail and a crisp, comfortable, 4.5- to 5-pound trigger with short travel and reset. P10-F pistols also boast a rugged nitride finish and fixed three-dot sights. www.cz-usa.com


Sig Sauer P320 AXG Equinox

Sig Sauer has built a reputation on firearm reliability and innovation military forces and first-responders have staked their lives upon. Central to Sig’s most popular offerings sits the ultra-modular P320. Yes, P365 pistols sit in that mix, too; however, the latest, greatest P320 iteration, a Sig Custom Works limited edition striker-fire masterpiece, the P320 AXG Equinox, was the root of much chatter at Sig’s 2022 SHOT Show booth.

The second hybrid in this roundup, Sig Sauer’s P320 AXG Equinox, masterfully combines the fit and form of classis metal-frame Sig pistols with the ridiculously reliable function of the P320. Like CZ’s P10-F, the P320 AXG 9mm is available in high- and low-capacity models, a 17+1 and a 10+1. Perfect for concealed carry, both models include a stainless-steel frame with hard-anodized finish; two-tone Equinox stainless-steel slide; crisp, flat, skeletonized trigger; 3.9-inch carbon-steel barrel; AXG grip, X-Ray3 sights and M1913 Picatinny accessory rail. www.sigsauer.com


Wilson Combat SFX9 HC 4-Inch X-Tac

I can’t imagine there is a 1911 enthusiast left in American who hasn’t heard of Wilson Combat. The company has built an industry-leading reputation for producing premium 1911 pistols as well as AR-platform rifles. Wilson Combat parts and accessories also sit comfortably among best choices for project guns undertaken by discriminating shooting and hunting enthusiasts. As a personal attestation, it’s tough to beat the surgically precise accuracy of a Wilson Combat AR-platform barrel; half-MOA or better groups are pretty routine. Of course, this is a handgun roundup, and Wilson Combat delivered big on a small hammer-fired pistol package worth highlighting, the SFX9 HC 4-Inch X-Tac 9mm Pistol (we’ll stick to SFX9 for short).

In our get-what-you-pay-for world, the Wilson Combat SFX9 oozes quality and performance, and true to the company’s reputation, zero corners have been cut. Wilson Combat appears to have spared no expense without creating a dramatic expense for your customers. SFX9 highlights include a compact solid-body, aluminum X-Frame with enhanced frame rails; 4-inch stainless-steel Tri-Top slide with front and rear X-Tac serrations; 4-inch stainless-steel, fluted barrel; fluted chamber; Bullet Proof hammer, magazine release and thumb safety; red fiber-optic Concealment Battlesight and a crisp 3.5- to 4.5-pound trigger. www.wilsoncombat.com


Diamondback Sidekick

Diamondback Firearms has an interesting history and an older one than many realize. For most, Diamondback burst onto the scene just a handful of years ago with the DB-15, its popular AR modern sporting rifle. Truth be told, Diamondback’s first firearm was the DB380, an ultra-compact .380-auto pistol. Diamondback swings back to the handgun side for 2022 to add a revolver to the lineup, the Sidekick.

A blast from the past — marrying Old West looks with high-tech reliability, the single- and double-action Diamondback Sidekick is a nine-shot revolver with .22LR and .22 Magnum cylinders. The Sidekick features a 4.5-inch barrel, glass-filled nylon checkered grip, zinc frame and a rich, black Cerakote finish. Whether your customers are new shooters or Old West enthusiasts, the Sidekick makes a great “pardner.” www.diamondbackfirearms.com


Ruger Wrangler Birdshead

Ruger’s contributions to shooting are undebatable. As the leading .22 rimfire firearm producer for more than a half-century to the iconic 1966 Ruger No. 1 and soon after, Ruger Model 99 big-game hunting rifle, I suspect there are few pro-firearm households that haven’t housed a Ruger or two… or three… or more. Ruger’s storied history is as rich as any other industry leader, and the brand is synonymous with terms like heirloom, craftsmanship, heritage and quality. With such brand reputation and appeal to shooters of all experience levels, the Ruger Wrangler Birdshead is a great fit for this roundup — a perfect fit for new shooters and revolver enthusiasts, and yet another superb nod to American Old West heritage.

The Ruger Wrangler Birdshead is chambered in .22LR rimfire with a six-shot cylinder and boasts a cold hammer-forged 3.75-inch barrel. Your customers also are sure to appreciate the high-quality creature comforts standard under the Ruger brand, like precision barrel rifling and a silver Cerakote finish. The Ruger Wrangler Birdshead also includes an aluminum-alloy frame and cylinder, synthetic grips, a front blade sight, notched rear sights and a price point your customers are sure to appreciate. www.ruger.com


Springfield Armory XD-M Elite 3.8 OSP

While it functioned as an armory clear back to the early days of our American Revolution, Springfield did not begin manufacturing firearms until 1794. For the next 174 years, Springfield Armory produced all manner of firearms and supplied arms for every major war or conflict — the Model 1877 Springfield Trapdoor Carbine, Model 1903, M1 Garand and the M14 all come to mind. Unfortunately, Springfield Armory fell on tough times and closed in 1968; however, Bob Reese resurrected the legendary gun maker just six years later. While Springfield’s reputation was built on rifles for a couple of centuries, handguns have played a mighty role. Consider the M1911. Springfield Armory built the iconic pistol through WWI before ramping up Model 1903 production. Of course, since Springfield’s resurrection 44 years ago, the company has produced a bevy of phenomenal semi-auto handguns. Most recently the XD-M Elite line of pistols have created quite a stir, and for 2022, the XD-M Elite 3.8 OSP has been added.

The 2022 XD-M Elite 3.8 OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) is available in 10mm (11+1 capacity) and .45 ACP (10+1 capacity). Two models come optics-ready, while a third model (.45 ACP) includes a reflex sight. True to its name, the XD-M Elite 3.8 boasts a 3.8-inch hammer-forged steel barrel. Additional features include a forged-steel slide, polymer frame, META (Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly) trigger, Tactical Rack U-Dot Rear Sight, fiber-optic front sight, ambi slide stop and a removable mag well. www.springfield-armory.com


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