The Finest Handguns of 2022


Extra individuals are shopping for handguns for private safety than ever earlier than, making self-defense handguns the best-selling firearms in America proper now. However weapons price cash and with inflation, cash is tight. When you’re one of many 1000’s of individuals searching for a brand new handgun, the very last thing you need is to expertise purchaser’s regret the primary time you are taking it to the vary. We’d like to assist forestall that, and it’s why we carried out a take a look at at my dwelling and personal vary in West Virginia to guage as most of the new-for-2022 handguns as we may discover.

I take advantage of the phrase “we,” as a result of one shooter can not present a sensible analysis of how a gaggle of handguns may enchantment or interface with totally different individuals. So, to assist with the take a look at, I invited Subject & Stream senior editor, Matthew Each; skilled legislation enforcement SWAT officer Will McGuire; and graduate of Gunsite Academy’s 250 pistol course Sebastian Mann. This gave us a balanced opinion of skilled shooters, aged from 22 to 57 years. We additionally wanted assist with ammunition, targets, and holsters, and with out Federal, Buffalo Bore, Thompson Targets, and Galco, our take a look at of the perfect handguns wouldn’t have been potential. 

The 2022 Handgun Winners

How We Take a look at Handguns

Two of our shooters examined each handgun for precision by taking pictures three, 5-shot teams from a sandbag relaxation at 10 yards, with no less than two totally different hundreds. Then, working from holsters, we ran every gun by means of a collection of timed defensive drills. The primary was a 6-shot rendition of the El-Prez Drill and not using a reload. The purpose on this drill was to get two hits every on three IPSC-size silhouette targets at 10 yards as quick as potential. This drill allowed us to guage how effectively we may transition between the targets with every handgun whereas getting quick hits alongside the best way.

Handguns and ammo on a table.
Federal offered 9mm HST ammo and it was used to check each 9mm handgun. Sabastian Mann

The second drill was a model of the Failure Drill. Usually, this drill requires double-tapping a torso goal at 5 yards twice, evaluating the consequences, after which firing a head shot if wanted. We modified the drill to assist us higher consider our interface with every handgun whereas underneath strain, and strived for a par time of two seconds. After drawing the gun, we hammered two fast photographs to the torso after which—as quick as potential—made a precision shot on a swinging head-plate.

The third drill was my customary analysis drill when evaluating defensive handguns. Referred to as the Forty-5 Drill, it requires you to attract from the holster and fireplace 5 photographs right into a 5-inch circle at 5 yards in lower than 5 seconds. This drill is a good measure of how exhausting the recoil of a handgun is to manage. However on the identical time, it requires a shooter to see the sights and ship quick and correct hits. It’s a drill the place easy-shooting weapons with good sights stand out.

How We Rating Handguns

We fired a minimal of 200 rounds by means of every handgun. For those who we needed to analyze additional, that had a stoppage, or that we actually loved taking pictures, we fired two to a few occasions that a lot. All of the drills have been scored, and we then awarded factors within the following classes:

  • Precision/Accuracy (1-15 factors) 
  • Sensible Drill Efficiency (1-15 factors) 
  • Suitability for Self-Protection/Carry (1-10 factors) 
  • High quality (1-10 factors) 
  • Capturing Consolation/Shooter Interface (1-10 factors) 
  • Holster Availability (1-5 factors) 
  • Reliability (30 factors) 
  • Worth (1-5 factors) 

We added all the pieces up for a potential whole of 100.

Shooter holding a handgun.
Each handgun in our take a look at was shot extensively by a number of shooters and with a number of hundreds. Sabastian Mann

In any case this, we mentioned the outcomes, argued opinions, after which named the Editors’ Choose for the perfect handgun of the bunch. We additionally acknowledged the handgun that provided the perfect worth, and the revolver we thought was the perfect of the three examined. And, since that is Subject & Stream, the place you come to search out the perfect data on looking, fishing, tenting, and survival, we chosen what we felt was the perfect total handgun for the outdoorsman.

Key Options

  • Value: $2,995
  • Chambering: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel size: 4 inches
  • Weight: 29.3 ounces (unloaded)
  • Set off: 3.0 kilos
  • Capability: 15+1

Execs

  • High quality of building
  • Person interface

Cons

The SFX9 from Wilson Combat is basically an upgraded model of their EDC X9 handgun. The distinction is that the SFX9 has a stable body. The flat-sided body feels a bit Glockish, however the grip angle is pure 1911. And, like all 1911-style handguns, the SFX9 is a single-action semi-auto outfitted with a guide thumb security. Nonetheless, just like the EDC X9, the SFX9 doesn’t have a grip security. The set off on this pistol was excellent, the sights have been glorious for quick defensive work, and the motion cycled with impeccable smoothness.

We shot this pistol lots as a result of we appreciated it. We did expertise two failures to feed someplace after about 450 rounds. That’s once we realized we’d not put a drop of gun oil on the handgun because the take a look at started. After a bit gun juice, we put one other 200 rounds by means of the SFX9 with out challenge.

All concerned thought of the SFX9 as essentially the most appropriate pistol we examined for hid carry and felt it had the perfect shooter interface. It additionally carried out the perfect on all of the defensive drills. By way of building high quality, it tied with the Korth Revolver as the perfect of the bunch. This isn’t an affordable pistol—it misplaced virtually 5 factors due to its worth—however when you get it in your hand and put it to the take a look at, you notice why it prices what it does.

Finest Worth: Taurus GX4 (Rating: 88.25) 

Key Options

  • Value: $468
  • Chambering: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel size: 3.06 inches
  • Weight: 18.7 ounces
  • Set off: 5.5 kilos
  • Capability: 11+1

Execs

  • Value
  • Modular grip and optics prepared

Cons

  • Subject-strip requires a screwdriver

When you like the best way a Glock appears and feels in your hand, you’ll just like the Taurus GX4. It’s a polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol, with a passive set off security, and a detachable slide plate for optics mounting. At solely 6 inches lengthy and 4.4 inches excessive, it’s an amazingly compact, and light-weight pistol. Nonetheless, with its easy-to-see sights, it was very manageable on all the sensible drills and scored fourth place total in that class. Stacked up in opposition to all the opposite handguns within the take a look at, this pistol ranked third, and had a best-of-the-test rating of 4.64 factors out of 5 on the worth scale. We skilled no stoppages with the GX4.

The GX4 has a reversible journal launch and comes with two 11-round magazines with a much-appreciated prolonged base plate. An extra backstrap is equipped that will help you modify the grip to suit your hand. The slide cease is of minimal proportions to stop unintended engagement, however is positioned effectively sufficient for thumb management if that’s the way you prefer to launch the slide. The rear sight is neatly devoid of pointless dots and the entrance sight has a white dot. The pistol disassembles simply sufficient, however a flat-blade screwdriver is required. This was the one characteristic our take a look at group didn’t like.

Key Options

  • Value: $3,699
  • Chambering: 38 Particular, 357 Magnum, 9mm Luger
  • Barrel size: 2.75-inch
  • Weight: 33.6
  • Set off: 7.75 lbs. (double-action) 3.0 lbs. (single-action)
  • Capability: 6

Execs

  • Unbelievable set off
  • Multi-cartridge compatibility

Cons

Upfront it should be acknowledged that this can be a fabulous handgun. It tied for high quality of building with the Wilson Fight SFX9, however as a result of it’s a revolver, and since it’s put collectively so effectively, it simply appeared kind of particular. With the one exception of a plain black—hard-to-see—entrance sight, nobody that dealt with the Korth mentioned it may have been made higher. Concerning the sight, the handgun we examined was an early model. All new Carry Specials include a gold bead entrance sight. Up in opposition to semi-auto pistols, it ranked 9th total. Had it had the better to see entrance sight it might have in all probability are available in a number of spots increased.

Apart from having the perfect double and single-action set off of any revolver anybody within the take a look at group had ever pulled, in a matter of seconds, you may swap the cylinder and convert this gun to fireplace 9mm Luger. (We examined 9mm Luger, .38 Particular, and .357 Magnum hundreds within the Korth.) After all, the draw back is the worth. You might buy eight Taurus GX4s for a similar cash. Then again, a 6-shot revolver will deal with most defensive handgun conditions, and there’s some consolation in realizing you’re carrying what may be the perfect revolver ever made. Its ammo interchangeability, mixed with the extent of precision the Korth delivered, makes this pistol fairly versatile.

Finest for Outdoorsmen: Colt Python 3-inch (Rating: 84.42)

Key Options

  • Value: $1499.00
  • Chambering: 38 Particular/357 Magnum
  • Barrel size: 3 inches
  • Weight: 38 ounces
  • Set off: 8.5 lbs. (double-action) 5.0 lbs. (single-action)
  • Capability: 6

Execs

  • Match and end
  • Cool issue and magnificence

Cons

  • It solely is available in stainless
  • Heavy

For 50 years, many thought of the Colt Python the Cadillac of revolvers. Popularized by the 1973 movie, “Electra Glide in Blue,” its costs doubled after it was discontinued in 2005. Now reintroduced by Colt, they provide a 6-, 4.25-, and 3-inch model, the final of which is the newest. Our take a look at gun had an impeccable polished stainless end, good wooden grips, an adjustable rear sight, and an interchangeable entrance sight. Although a tad giant for on a regular basis carry, primarily based on the worth and high quality, we felt it the best handgun for outdoorsmen who may use it for looking, path carry, or absolutely anything else somebody who lives exterior may have to do with a handgun.

On the sensible drills, the Python outperformed all of the revolvers within the take a look at. It obtained a rating of 9 out of 10 in high quality of building and shooter consolation. With mild .38 Particular hundreds, it’s perfect for plinking, with high quality hole factors it would work for private safety; and with Buffalo Bore .357 Magnum hardcast hundreds, it’s appropriate for looking or bear safety. The Python was the heaviest of all of the weapons examined however there are many good holsters to select from. Although it was the third most costly gun we examined, it was with out query essentially the most stunning. And you would purchase two Pythons and lots of ammunition for the worth of the Korth.

Key Options

  • Value: $799
  • Barrel size: 3.37 inches 
  • Weight: 19.5 ounces (20.5 ounces with Crimson Hint sight)
  • Set off: 5.5 kilos
  • Capability: 10+1 (as examined) 11+1 and 13+1 as marketed.

Execs

  • Accessible with reflex sight from the manufacturing unit
  • Respectable Set off

Cons

The Mako functioned flawlessly and delivered the second-best rating on precision from the bench. It additionally obtained the second-highest rating for suitability for hid carry. We examined the Optics-Put in model which comes with a Crimson Hint CTS-1500 reflex sight and prices $200 greater than the usual model, which can also be optics prepared. Each are fitted with three-dot Tritium sights. The pistol is marketed as coming with an 11-round and a 13-round prolonged journal. Ours got here with two 10-round magazines, one in every of which was prolonged—making the pistol far more comfy in hand. The set off pull on our take a look at gun was good for a striker-fired handgun, and it had a really distinct and audible reset.

The Mako’s slide lock is effectively protected against unintended engagement and simple to succeed in with the thumb of the taking pictures hand. The slide lock can also be ambidextrous, as is the Mako’s journal launch. Texturing on the complete circumference of the grip was about perfect for consolation and retention, and the Mako could be very simple to subject strip. Many of the testers thought the pistol a bit ugly however that didn’t negatively impression its efficiency. Nonetheless, there’s a security recall on the Mako—our take a look at gun had been serviced. Supposedly this addressed a security challenge with the firing pin block however did nothing to assist the pistol’s appears.

Key Options

  • Value: $579.95
  • Chambering: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel size: 4.0 inches
  • Weight: 26.8 ounces
  • Set off: 4.0 kilos
  • Capability: 18+1

Execs

  • Value
  • Extraordinarily modular grip
  • Optics-ready

Cons

  • A bit giant for hid carry

What must you anticipate from a striker-fired, Turkish-made, polymer pistol, that you may decide up for round $500? Based mostly on our testing, lots. This pistol delivered the perfect precision from the bench, carried out second-best on the defensive drills, and was rated second with regard to shooter interface/taking pictures consolation. The PX9 can also be loaded with options. It’s optics-ready, has an 18+1 capability, non-compulsory flared journal effectively, interchangeable grip panels and backstrap, a threaded muzzle, and a hard and fast rear and fiber optic entrance sight. It’s additionally accessible in black, flat darkish earth, or olive, and the slide has a Cerakote end.

So, with all this going for it, why did it not come out as the perfect of our take a look at? It is a duty-size pistol; it’s a bit giant for hid carry. It was additionally equipped with a poorly designed IWB holster. (The PX9 will match Springfield XD holsters.) The set off broke at 4 kilos however had the everyday mush of many striker-fired handguns, and out of the 300 plus rounds fired, we had one failure to feed. Nonetheless, of the 13 handguns examined, it ranked fourth in worth and, although it’s a bit huge, would make a perfect dwelling protection handgun—particularly with its accent rail for a weapon mild. Don’t overlook this gun due to its Turkish building. It’s a advantageous pistol.

Key Options

  • Value: $556.00
  • Barrel size: 3.4 inches
  • Weight: 19.5 ounces
  • Set off: 5.5 kilos
  • Capability: 11+1 or 14+1

Execs

  • Simple and protected disassembly
  • Optics-ready

Cons

Fed from a double-stack journal, the MC2sc changed Mossberg’s MC1sc single-stack magazine-fed, micro 9mm pistol. Surprisingly, the grip on this higher-capacity pistol is simply infinitesimally thicker. The pistol ships with an 11- and a 14-round journal, and is out there with white three-dot sights or TruGlo Tritium sights. One model even comes with a cross-bolt security, and all variations have an optics-ready slide lower. 

The MC2sc was an in depth second to the Taurus GX4 for the perfect worth award. The Taurus beat it by lower than a half-point, which was earned solely by the Taurus’s $88-less recommended retail worth. However the Mossberg delivered barely higher precision from the bench, carried out barely higher within the sensible drills, and is far simpler to subject strip.

Some shooters did expertise a little bit of finger pinch between the tip of the set off and the set off guard, which did detract from its taking pictures consolation rating. Nonetheless, the MC2sc was ultra-reliable. One of many issues that units the MC2sc aside from the opposite Micro 9mm pistols is how protected and simple it’s to subject strip. You merely lock the slide to the rear, take away the striker plate on the again of the slide, after which pull out the striker. Whenever you launch the slide, it comes utterly off the pistol, without having to drag the set off.

Key Options

  • PRICE: $699.00
  • Chambering: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel size: 4.62 inches
  • Weight: 29.6 ounces
  • Set off: 5.0 kilos
  • Capability: 15+1

Execs

  • Elegant and stylish look
  • Smooth taking pictures

Cons

  • Hammer chunk
  • Non-ambidextrous security

Springfield Armory’s SA-35 is a principally devoted clone of what’s perhaps essentially the most prevalent preventing pistol ever made. The first distinction within the SA-35 and now-discontinued Browning HiPower, is that the SA-35 doesn’t have {a magazine} disconnect security. It does have a Commander-style hammer, a barely chamfered magazine effectively, and superb sights. The SA-35 is a really enticing pistol and ranked third in high quality of building in our take a look at. Through the first 30 rounds, we did expertise a single stove-pipe—failure to totally eject—stoppage. After some lube, it digested the subsequent 200-plus rounds flawlessly. It prices a bit greater than the EAA MC P35, and whereas we’re undecided it’s made any higher, it does have an air of sophistication the MC P35 lacks.

Even at 5 kilos, the set off on our take a look at gun was good. Although some evaluations declare Springfield mounted the irritating hammer-bite of the HiPower, all our take a look at shooters skilled it. By outsourcing {a partially} accomplished body and slide, Springfield was in a position to maintain prices down on the SA-35 and nonetheless meet the “made in America” requirement—it prices about half of a used Browning HiPower in good situation. One among our testers who had by no means shot a HiPower had bother along with his assist thumb participating the slide lock. That is one thing to think about however is correctable with coaching and apply. Springfield-Armory’s SA-35 is an excellent instance of a traditional pistol.

Key Options

  • Value: $567.00
  • Chambering: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel size: 4.62
  • Weight: 29.8 ounces
  • Set off: 5.5 kilos 
  • Capability: 15+1

Execs

Cons

  • Hammer chunk
  • Journal-disconnect security

The HiPower is among the most iconic handguns of all time, and its pivoting set off, double-stack journal, and link-less barrel are the muse for nearly each fashionable semi-automatic handgun. By fashionable requirements, it’s a bit giant and heavy for hid carry, although I carry an authentic light-weight HiPower virtually on daily basis. EAA’s MC P35 is an in depth copy of the Browning HiPower and consists of the journal disconnect security—the pistol won’t fireplace and not using a journal inserted. Homeowners typically disable this characteristic to enhance the set off pull. Additionally, due to the journal disconnect, the magazines won’t drop free. The MC P35’s set off had some gritty take-up however broke cleanly, and all shooters skilled some hammer chunk, which is frequent with the HiPower. 

Throughout our bench relaxation precision testing, the Springfield SA-35 carried out barely higher, however within the sensible drills, the MC P35 and SA-35 carried out identically. Since they’re primarily the identical pistol, you’d anticipate this, and it considerably validated our testing protocol. The MC P35 had adequate sights and the ramped entrance sight could be very holster pleasant. It additionally has an ambidextrous thumb security. The pistol is manufactured in Turkey by Girsan, and all of the shooters have been impressed by its high quality. Nonetheless, the black plastic grips and desert tan Cerakote end—it’s additionally accessible in blue/black, and two-tone black and gray—gave the gun a considerably toyish look. The pistol proved to be one hundred pc dependable.

Key Options

  • Value: $609.00
  • Barrel size: 3.1 inches
  • Weight: 19.5 ounces
  • Set off: 5.0 kilos
  • Capability: 10+1 and 12+1

Execs

  • Compact and concealable
  • Handbook thumb security

Cons

  • Poor set off
  • Problematic disassembly

For a single-action set off, the one on our CSX take a look at pistol was unhealthy. It had some mush and take-up. This was very noticeable from the bench however not a lot when shot underneath strain in the course of the sensible drills. Through the precision bench relaxation testing, the CSX solely outperformed two of the 13 handguns examined. Nonetheless, and really surprisingly, in the course of the sensible drills, it scored third. 

At solely 6.1 inches lengthy, the CSX is a really compact pistol, nevertheless it weighs in at 19.5 ounces even with its alloy body. The pistol ships with a 10- and a 12-round journal, the slide lock and guide thumb security are ambidextrous, and it additionally ships with an additional backstrap to permit for some adjustment to the grip.

We discovered subject stripping the pistol a bit tedious and a drift punch is required to finish the operation. The guide thumb security may have been a bit bigger, which might have made it simpler to function, and oddly, this single-action pistol additionally has the Glock-like passive security on its pivoting set off. The backstrap was simple sufficient to swap out and a instrument for this was even equipped with the pistol. It will have been good to have a punch equipped as effectively to assist with subject stripping. The CSX was totally dependable and may make a very good everyday-carry gun. With a number of tweaks, it might be very good.

Key Options

  • Value: $653.00
  • Chambering: 10mm
  • Barrel size: 3.8 inches
  • Weight: 27 ounces
  • Set off: 4.5 kilos 
  • Capability: 11+1

Execs

Cons

  • Harsh recoil
  • Smallish/uncomfortable grip

Our take a look at group was a bit confused in regards to the Springfield Armory XD Elite 3.8 OSP. It suggestions the scales at solely 27 ounces, which is mild for a 10mm. The barrel was additionally solely 3.8-inches lengthy, which is brief for this cartridge. Nonetheless, if a compact 11+1 capability 10mm is what you’re searching for, that is your gun. The query we had was, what would anybody need with a micro-compact 10mm? Recoil was not nice, and the flared backside of the grip didn’t match anybody’s hand comfortably. After the 42-round sensible drill session fired by every shooter, all of us massaged our arms and questioned the idea.

Disregarding the practicality of this pistol, it proved to be very exact from the bench, rating third in our take a look at for accuracy. Being optics prepared, it might have in all probability carried out even higher with a mini-reflex sight put in. (For a further $184 it comes from the manufacturing unit with a Hex Dragonfly reflex sight.) When you needed the smallest semi-auto accessible for protection in opposition to huge bears, it might additionally make sense. However that software doesn’t name for a compact and concealable firearm. Oddly sufficient, Springfield-Armory as soon as provided longer barreled 10mm XD handguns, however all have been discontinued. If, nevertheless, you need to have a 10mm, and it should be small, look no additional.

Key Options

  • Value: $472.63
  • Chambering: 38 Particular/357 Magnum
  • Barrel size: 3.0 inches
  • Weight: 23.52 ounces
  • Set off: 5.25 kilos (single motion) 10+ kilos (double motion)
  • Capability: 5

Execs

  • Compact for hid carry
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Sturdy recoil
  • Poor set off

This Brazilian-made revolver ranked because the second-best worth within the take a look at. From the bench, it carried out simply in addition to the Colt Python. Nonetheless, this can be a five-shot versus a six-shot revolver, and it’s restricted capability damage it in the course of the sensible drills. Nonetheless, it was the lightest and best to hide of the three revolvers we examined. After all, together with that got here elevated recoil.

One characteristic we actually appreciated was the orange-outlined Tritium entrance sight that stood out like a beacon on the goal. Then again, the set off pull fooled a few the shooters who short-stroked it throughout velocity drills. Within the double-action mode, you need to pull this set off such as you imply it.

The little 605 did have a cushty and sculptured Hogue rubber grip and we discovered the brushed stainless-steel end enticing. With standard-pressure .38 Particular hundreds, it was comfy, and with +P .38 Particular hundreds, it was not overly offensive. Nonetheless, with full-power .357 Magnum hundreds, it was a handful. Given its measurement, it did outrank seven of the 13 weapons examined with regard to suitability for hid carry. The only-action set off pull was a bit stiff and the double-action pull was too heavy for our 10-pound gauge to measure. 

Key Options

  • Value: $561.00
  • Barrel size: 3.2 inches
  • Weight: 20.8 ounces 
  • Set off: 7 kilos
  • Capability: 7+1 or 8+1

Execs

  • Comfy grip
  • Good fight sights

Cons

  • Security is small and exhausting to govern
  • Sights aren’t zeroed from the manufacturing unit

The Stance didn’t carry out effectively in any of our assessments aside from reliability. We examined the $561 model with the Viridian laser. The slim grip, which homes the single-stack 7- or 8-round magazines that include the pistol, in all fairness comfy. Nonetheless, the pistol has a definite top-heavy really feel. It obtained good marks for the great U-notch rear sight and factory-installed laser, however neither the laser nor the mounted sights have been zeroed from the manufacturing unit.

The Stance does include an easy-to-swap-out backstrap, however the ambidextrous guide thumb security was simply not giant sufficient for simple operation throughout fast-draw and when manipulated underneath the stress of the clock. Additionally, weighing in at 20.8 ounces, it was one of many heaviest micro 9mms we examined. The slide required substantial power to function when in comparison with the opposite pistols. 

On the plus facet, the pistol functioned flawlessly with each load we tried in it. Subject stripping the pistol is straightforward and rotating the takedown lever deactivates the sear, which is an added security characteristic. The Stance may save your life, however even on the laser-less worth of $479, the Taurus is a greater choice.





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