- Pistols are the smallest of all guns and maybe fired with one hand. It is made for domestic as well as military applications. We examined the top ten handguns in the world.
- The argument as to the best handgun for carrying (and cartridge to go with it) has lit up the internet since Al Gore invented it, and it’s not likely to be settled soon.
Which gun in the world is the best? What is the best pistol made today, and why? Our Top 10 list is based on the total score for accuracy, reliability, range, penetration, magazine capacity, production numbers, number of users, and a few other things.
This list only has modern pistols that are still being used. It doesn’t include prototypes that aren’t made yet or old pistols that aren’t used anymore.
At the moment, these are the top 10 pistols in the world:
Beretta 92 (Italy)
One of the most-used pistols in the world is the Beretta 92. It was made by Carlo Beretta, Giuseppe Mazzetti, and Vittorio Valle in Italy in 1972. It changed from what Beretta had made before. The first batch was made in 1975. There have been 5,000 pistols made up until 1976. In 1976, production got going on a large scale. It has been sold in more than one country. Under licence, some countries make this gun. Its copies are made in other countries.
The whole US military uses a version of the Beretta 92 as a standard sidearm. At the moment, the 92 is an old platform that most modern pistols are better than. Beretta just came out with a number of new, more advanced pistols. But the model 92 is still used a lot by the military and the police. At the moment, the Beretta 92 and its different versions are in use in 40 countries. Even though it is old, it is still very popular with civilians.
The Beretta 92 can shoot 9×19 mm Parabellum bullets. The action is short-recoiling. It is stronger than the blowback pistols that Italians used in the past. Even at a long distance, the Beretta 92 is accurate. Some people also like the way this gun looks.
The trigger on the Beretta 92 works in two ways. But it can also be fired with a single shot. The safety on this gun is done by hand.
In order to make this pistol lighter, light alloys were used to make it. But it made the pistol break down more quickly. There have been times when the slide broke after 4,000 to 6,000 shots, hurting the shooter. The company Beretta was always making changes to the design of the Model 92, and most problems with how reliable it was have been fixed in later models. Overall, this gun turned out to be a good one. Beretta’s data show that this improved Model 92 pistol can fire an average of 17,500 rounds without stopping.
The fact that this pistol is big and heavy is one of its flaws. Some people find it hard to handle, fire, or hold. Also, this gun is hard to sneak around with.
This gun has a double-stacked magazine that can hold up to 15 rounds. At the time it came out, most pistols had single-stack magazines that were much smaller.
The iron sights on a pistol are fixed. About 50 metres is the most you can shoot.
Since it first came out in the mid-1970s, this pistol has had many different versions and changes. Even now, it is still made in many different styles and chambered for different calibres. There are some copies of the Beretta 92, like the Turkish Yavuz 16 and the Brazilian Taurus PT92. Also, this gun is made in some countries under licence. These are the Helwan 920 from Egypt, the PAMAS G1 and M92 from France, and the Vector Z88 from South Africa.
Walther P99 (Germany)
The Walther P99 pistol was made for both police officers and regular people. It was made in the middle of the 1990s. In 1997, production began. At the moment, more than 10 countries use this pistol. It is also made under licence by the Radom factory in Poland and the Smith & Wesson company in the United States. But in both cases, the frames are made in Germany.
The Walther P99 is used by the Finnish military, the Iraqi army, and a number of police departments and law enforcement agencies from around the world.
The Walther P99 is a pistol with a frame made of polymer and a slide made of steel. When it first came out, this pistol was different in a number of ways. It moved the Walther company forward.
The original size of the barrel for this gun was 9×19 mm Parabellum. In 1999, it came out in a.40 S&W version.
The P99 is a gun with a short recoil. It fires with a locked breech and a Browning locking system that has been changed. It turned out to be a good weapon.
Even though the Walther P99 is a striker-fired pistol, it has a strange way of pulling the trigger. It works in a way called “double action,” which is similar to how hammer-fired pistols work. It can also fire one shot at a time. There is a version of this gun with a trigger that can only be pulled twice. The third version is the “Quick Action” Walther P99QA. It has a partially pre-cocked trigger that lets you pull the trigger the same way from the first shot to the last.
The safety on this gun is built into the firing pin. The automatic safety on the P99DAO is a little different and is built into the trigger.
There is an indicator for when the chamber is full and another one for when the striker is cocked. A decocking button is another odd thing about the basic Walther P99. It’s right at the top of the slide. On the side of most other pistols, there is a standard lever. On the standard P99, this button is pretty big because it lets the striker go off. On the P99QA, the decocking button is much smaller and is only used when taking the gun apart. The P99DAO doesn’t have a button to release the trigger because the firing pin is always disconnected.
All of the P99’s controls can be used with either the right or left hand. The only difference is that the slide release on the first generation pistols is only on the left side of the frame.
Depending on the calibre and version, the P99 can hold anywhere from 8 to 16 rounds in its magazine. A full-size version that shoots 9×19 mm is fed by magazines with 16 rounds, while a similar version that shoots.40 S&W is fed by magazines with 12 rounds.
This gun’s sights are made of iron. The post for the rear sight is dovetailed into the slide and can be moved. There are white pieces in the sights so you can shoot at night.
The P99 has small, medium, and large grip backstraps that can be switched out. So that the shooter can put on the backstrap that works best for him.
Under the barrel of this gun is an accessory rail that can hold a laser pointer, a tactical flashlight, or something else.
SIG Sauer P226 (Germany / Switzerland)
The SIG Sauer P220 was the predecessor to the P226 pistol. It was made in the 1980s, and its main purpose was to give the US military a new sidearm to replace the old Colt M1911 and Smith & Wesson pistols. 38-caliber pistols. The military trials in the US started in 1982 and ended in 1984. One of the two pistols that seemed to meet all of the technical requirements of these tests was the SIG Sauer P226. But in the end, the Italian Beretta 92FS was better because it was cheaper.
The US military chose the Beretta 92FS as the winner. In 1985, it became the M9. The SIG Sauer P226 quickly became one of the most popular service pistols, even though it lost this competition. It is used in more than 30 different countries. At the moment, military, police, and security forces all over the world use the P226 a lot. It is used by the US Coast Guard, the Federal Air Marshalls, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and a number of other operators. Elite forces like the British SAS also use it. The US Navy Seals used the P226 pistol for 30 years. People who shoot for fun also like to use this gun. As of 2015, this gun is still made in both Germany and the United States.
The SIG Sauer P226 is mostly the same as the P220, but it has a slightly different shape and a double-stack magazine with a higher capacity. This pistol has a locked breech and a short recoil system.
At first, you could buy this pistol with a chamber for 9×19 mm Parabellum ammunition. Later, more guns with.40 S&W or.357 SIG rounds came out. It’s important to remember that the P226 was the first pistol with a.357 SIG chamber. It is a 9 mm round with a fast speed and a lot of penetration.
The trigger on the P226 can be set to either double action or double action only. This gun has a built-in safety for the firing pin. There are no manual safety features. On the left side of the frame is a lever for letting the gun go off. It is important to note that the version with only double action doesn’t have a decocker.
The P226 can come with a standard aluminium frame or a frame made of stainless steel. A 9 mm pistol with an aluminium frame weighs 870 g, while one with a frame made of stainless steel is heavier at 1,180 g.
For the 9×19 mm version of the SIG Sauer P226, double-stacked magazines that hold 15 rounds are used. There are also magazines that can hold 20 rounds. The magazines for the.40 S&W and.357 SIG versions hold 12 rounds. The magazine release button can be turned around.
The P226 turned out to be a strong, dependable, and well-made gun. This gun comes in several different styles. There are copies of this weapon in China and Iran (PC-9 ZOAF).
Glock 17 (Austria)
In 1980, the Austrian army put out a call for a new pistol to replace the Walther P-38. Several companies entered this competition by submitting designs. These were the Steyr GB, the Heckler & Koch P7M13, the SIG Sauer P220 and P225, the Beretta 92S, and the Glock 17, which had never been seen before. In the end, the Glock 17 was chosen as the winner, and in 1982, it was used by the Austrian Army.
It was also used by the police in Austria. In 1986, full-scale production began. Due to its benefits and aggressive marketing, this new and unusual pistol became one of the most popular handguns in the years that followed. It was used by a lot of different military and police forces from all over the world. This pistol is in use in more than 50 countries right now. There were some copies and clones of this pistol. The Smith & Wesson Sigma is one of them.
The Glock 17 was made from scratch. It is not the same as any other design. This gun was made by a company called Glock, which was run by Gaston Glock. The Glock 17 turned out to be a big hit. When it was first made, this pistol was called a “revolutionary design.” Even though it had answers that were already known. This gun is easy to use, reliable, light, and cheap.
This gun is simple and doesn’t have a lot of parts. Even with the magazine, there are only 33 pieces. This gun can be taken apart with just a pin or nail in less than a minute. Between different Glock models, many of the parts can be switched out. Failures are rear. The Glock 17 is easy to use as well.
Most of the parts, including the frame, were made of polymer, which kept the weight down. The barrel, slide, and trigger are the only parts that are made of metal. Even though this gun is made of polymer, it works well in temperatures from -40°C to +200°C. Also, this tough gun doesn’t rust. All the metal parts are coated so that they won’t rust. The Glock 17 completely changed the market for guns. Almost every major handgun maker makes pistols with polymer frames now.
Even with 9×19 mm ammunition, the Glock 17 has a high muzzle energy and does a good job of penetrating.
The barrel of a Glock pistol is said to be able to hold about 360 000 shots. It’s a really impressive number, since the barrels of other high-quality modern pistols only last about 40,000 shots.
This pistol has a double-stack magazine that holds 17 rounds and feeds it. Polymer is also used to make the magazine. There are also magazines with bigger capacities that can hold 19 or 33 rounds. The magazines for compact and sub-compact guns are smaller. In some cases, magazines from different models can be used with each other.
There are no manual safeties on this gun. Instead, it uses a “safe action” trigger system that has been patented. The trigger has a built-in safety that works by itself. It stops the trigger from being pulled if it is not done right. It stops shots from happening on their own or by accident. Each time the gun is fired, the safety lock is reset and turned “on” until the trigger is pulled again. If the barrel is not fully locked, another automatic safety does not let the gun fire.
Most pistols in the Glock family have sights that don’t move. Adjustable sights are only on special target models made for competitions.
Since it first came out, the Glock 17 has been changed in a number of ways. The first generation of pistols were made from 1986 to 1990, and they were made to hold 9×19 mm bullets. From 1990 to 1998, guns from the second generation were made. These were made with slightly different frames and grips. The second generation added new calibres, such as 9×22 mm (.375 SIG), 10×22 mm (.40S&W), 10×25 mm (10 mm Auto), and 11.43×23 mm (.45 ACP). From 1998 to 2010, guns of the third generation were made. These pistols were made better by adding a rail for accessories under the barrel and making some other changes. In 2010, the fourth generation of pistols went into production. These have a bigger button to release the magazine, back straps that can be changed for better ergonomics, and a few other small improvements inside.
After the basic Glock 17 sold well, the Glock company made a lot of other models with the same basic design. All of the major pistol calibres can be used with these. There are also different sizes, barrel lengths, and magazine sizes for each model. There are standard, compact, subcompact, target, and other types of pistols.
SIG Sauer P320 (Germany / Switzerland)
In 2014, the SIG Sauer P320 pistol came out. The SIG Sauer P250 is improved in this way. The pistol was made to replace the M9, which the US Army and Air Force might need. In the end, the US military used it and called it the M17. The SIG Sauer P320 pistol is also being offered to people in other countries, as well as to law enforcement agencies and the commercial market. The commercial version of the P320 is different from the military version in a few ways.
It is a modular pistol with more than one calibre. This pistol comes with conversion kits from the maker. Changing the barrels, slides, frames, and magazines is all it takes to change a gun’s calibre. The same trigger group is used by all models. So, the same trigger group can be easily moved between different sized frames to make a full-size, compact, or even subcompact pistol. The P320 is easy to change to different calibres, such as 9×19 mm,.40 S&W,.375 SIG,.380 ACP, and.45 ACP.
The P320 is a striker-fired pistol that loads itself and can only be fired with a double-action trigger. It is a short-recoil weapon that shoots with the breech locked. It has the typical SIG Sauer barrel that works with a cam.
The slide is made of steel that is not rusty. Polymer makes up the frame. There are no grip backstraps on this gun. But the people who made it say it will fit any hand size. Both hands can use the slide hold and release buttons.
The P320 can be bought with a trigger safety like the one on a Glock. A manual thumb safety that is attached to the frame is an option.
A full-size 9×19 mm P320 uses double-stack magazines that can hold 17 rounds. The capacity of the magazine depends on how the pistol is chambered. The magazines for the.40 S&W and.375 SIG versions hold 14 rounds. The.45 ACP version comes with 10-round magazines. The magazine release button can be turned around.
The SIG Sauer P320 comes with a pistol rail that looks like a Picatinny. It works with all standard tactical accessories, like flashlights and laser pointers.
This gun has iron sights with three dots. The elevation and windage can be changed on both the front and back sights.
You don’t need any tools to take apart this weapon.
Beretta PX4 Storm (Italy)
The Beretta 8000 Cougar was built on to make the Beretta PX4 Storm. It is the most recent semi-automatic pistol from Beretta. It looks like this gun was made to compete with the well-known Glock 17. This handgun is mostly made for people in law enforcement and business. It started being made in 2004. At the moment, police forces in at least 11 countries use the Beretta PX4 Storm. It is also used by the National Guard of Venezuela.
The PX4 Storm can shoot 9×19 mm Parabellum rounds. It can also be made to fit other popular calibres. There are versions that can shoot.40 S&W,.45 ACP, and 9×21 mm IMI.
This Italian pistol is made of high-strength polymer materials that are common in modern times. Steel is used to make the slide. It is a weapon that fires from a locked breech when it is pulled back. Like the Beretta 8000 Cougar, it has a locking system with a rotating barrel. When the gun is fired, the barrel turns and separates from the slide. Such design reduces muzzle jump.
People say that the Beretta PX4 is a very reliable and long-lasting gun. The people who made this gun say that it fired well over 150,000 rounds without breaking anything.
The trigger works the same way as the Beretta 92. (M9). There are four basic models, each with a different way to pull the trigger. The Type C has a trigger that is called “constant action.” It’s kind of like a double-action system with a lighter trigger pull. The trigger on the Type D can only be pulled twice, and there is no manual safety. The Type F has a standard double-action trigger with a manual safety and decocker. The Type G’s double-action trigger had a decocker, but it didn’t have a manual safety. The safety or decocker levers on the Type D and Type F models are on both sides of the slide, so they can be used by either hand. All models have a firing pin block that works on its own.
A double-stack magazine that holds 17 rounds feeds the PX4 Storm. It’s about the same size as the Glock 17. Beretta makes baseplates for magazines with larger capacities. Once it’s been used, the number of rounds it can hold goes up to 20.
This gun has simple iron sights with three dots. With 9×19 mm ammunition, the effective range is 50 metres, and with.40 S&W and.45 ACP ammunition, it is 25 metres.
This pistol has sleek lines. The designers put a lot of thought into how it would feel to use. The backstrap of the PX4 grip can be taken off. Backstraps come in many different shapes and sizes. There are three different backstraps for each pistol. The shooter can change these to fit their needs.
Under the barrel, there is a rail for adding extra parts. It is used to mount a tactical flashlight or laser pointer.
FN Five Seven (Belgium)
A Belgian company called Fabrique Nationale (FN) came up with the idea for the Five Seven pistol. It is sometimes called the Five-seveN to spell out the initials of the company that makes it. The numbers in the name of this gun (5-7) also show that it uses an unusual 5.7 mm bullet. The main goal was to make a handgun that could go through body armour well but still had good size, weight, and recoil.
This gun was first shown to the public in 1996. At first, this gun was only sold to the military and law enforcement. The Cyprus National Guard was the first to use the Five Seven in 2000. In the end, it was very popular. The Five Seven is currently being used by the military and police in over 20 countries, including the United States. In 2004, a civilian version came out.
This gun is made to fire the new, high-speed 5.7×28 mm SS190 ammunition. In the late 1980s, Fabrique Nationale made this cartridge, which was first used in a P90 submachine gun. It looks like a normal NATO 5.56×45 mm Remington round that is smaller. The intermediate 5.7×28 mm round is bigger than traditional pistol and submachine gun ammunition, but smaller than ammunition for an assault rifle.
This round is moving very fast. A 9×19 mm Parabellum bullet moves twice as fast as a 5.7×28 mm bullet. Compared to the 9×19 mm round, it has better penetration because the bullet is sharp and moves at a high speed. At close range, it can break through armour vests, helmets, and ballistic glass with ease. The FN says that the Five Seven can shoot through a standard CRISAT (kevlar and titanium) vest from 100 metres away and a PAGST vest from 300 metres away. There are different types of rounds, including standard, tracer, and subsonic rounds. This one-of-a-kind cartridge can only be used in the Five Seven.
But the only new thing about this pistol is the cartridge. Aside from that, it’s a traditional design with a delayed blowback. This gun has a trigger that works in two ways. So you can carry the gun with the chamber full. There is a version with a trigger that only lets you do one thing.
Above the trigger is a safety switch that can be used by either hand. It also has a safety for the firing pin inside. Early versions of the Five Seven only had a safety for the firing pin; there were no manual safety features. The gun is easy to take apart into 4 main parts.
The Five Seven has a double-stack magazine that can hold 20 rounds. The button that lets the magazine go can be moved from the left side of the grip to the right side.
Iron sights are all that’s on the pistol. Effective firing range is up to 100 m.
Different-sized backstraps can be put on the grip. So the pistol can be changed so that it fits most hands well. Under the barrel, there is a rail for adding extra parts. It can be used to mount laser pointers or tactical flashlights. A sound suppressor can be used with this gun. Once a gun has a sound suppressor on it, it has to use subsonic bullets.
HK USP (Germany)
The Universal Slebstlade Pistole (USP), also called a “universal self-loading pistol,” is made by the German company Heckler & Koch. In 1989, work on making this gun began. It started out as a pistol called a Heckler & Koch MK23.
The goal was to make a new pistol that could be used by civilians, the military, and the police, and that could come in different versions. It was made for civilians in the US as well as the military and police around the world. In 1993, production began. A lot of different versions have been made. In 1995, the German army made the P8, which is based on the USP, its main sidearm. At the moment, the USP is used in nearly 20 countries.
The first version of the USP was designed to shoot.40 S&W rounds. At the time, it was a pretty new type of weapon. But soon after, other USPs with chambers for 9×19 mm Parabellum,.45 ACP, and.375 SIG ammunition came out (USP Compact).
This gun has a metal-reinforced polymer frame and a milled steel slide that is all one piece. All metal parts have a special finish that keeps them from rusting or getting worn down. The gun can even be kept in salt water for a long time.
It is a gun with a short recoil. This gun has a recoil reduction system that has been patented. The USP has a trigger that works in two ways. It can also be set to fire in a single action. There are also versions with a trigger that only works when pulled twice. There are actually nine basic ways the trigger and safety can be set up. On the right side of some of them is a safety lever. Other ones don’t have a manual safety or have a lever that only decocks. This gun also has a firing pin safety that works on its own.
Heckler & Koch was so sure of the USP that they gave it a warranty that lasts for life. This gun can be used for about 20,000 shots.
The USP has a double-stack magazine that can hold up to 15 rounds. Both hands can use the button to release the magazine.
The simple sights on this pistol are built into the slide. Up to 50 metres away, the USP is accurate. The most you can shoot is about 60 metres away.
Under the barrel, there are grooves that can be used to mount different accessories, like a tactical flashlight or laser pointer.
Smith & Wesson Military & Police (USA)
Smith & Wesson came up with the idea for the Military & Police pistol. In 2005, it was first seen. As the name suggests, it is meant to be sold to the military and the police. But it is also available to people who are not in the military. Smith & Wesson has used the name “Military & Police” as a trademark for about 80 years. Before that, this company used it to make the most popular revolver. More than 20 countries chose to use the Military and Police pistol. However, law enforcement uses it in most countries. It is used by many police departments in the US. Iraq, Lebanon, Peru, and Singapore all have military bases.
This gun can shoot.40 S&W,.375 SIG,.45 ACP, and 9×19 mm Parabellum bullets. The.40 S&W version is mostly used by police, while the 9×19 mm version is made for use by the military.
This gun is made in a completely new way. The Smith & Wesson Sigma was its ancestor. But it looks different, and none of the parts can be swapped with each other. Also, it is like the Smith & Wesson SW99 pistol in some ways. Polymer is used to make the frame. Slide is made of steel that is not rusty. When making this gun, ergonomics was a big deal.
The Military & Police is used with a short recoil. It has locking like Browning. The trigger of the gun works twice. The Military & Police can do everything with both hands. On both sides of the frame, there is a slide release lever.
The magazine for the 9 mm version of the Military & Police holds 17 rounds. The magazine release button can be turned around. The gun comes with two extra rounds.
Both the front and back sights are dovetailed into the slide. For shooting at night, these are easy to change or replace with tritium sights. About 50 metres is the range of a good shot.
Under the barrel, there is a rail for adding extra parts. It can be used to mount a tactical flashlight or laser pointer.
For better ergonomics, grip backstraps can be switched out. Each gun comes with three different types of backstraps. So each shooter can make this gun fit his hand better.
There are many different kinds of this pistol, such as target and compact versions.
CZ-75 (Czech Republic)
The CZ-75 pistol was made by the Koucky brothers at the Ceska Zbrojovka arms factory in the former Czechoslovakia, which was owned by the government. This gun was made for the military and was only meant for the export market. In 1976, production began. During the first year of making them, about 2,000 were made.
In the following years, this number went up to more than 20,000 pistols, but this was still not enough to meet the demand. By 2007, they had made more than a million of these pistols. It is still being made, and improvements are always being made. It is used by the military, police, and special operations forces in more than 20 countries. Many people made copies of this gun. ITM of Switzerland has bought the rights to make this pistol. The American Springfield P9, the Chinese NZ-75, the Israeli Jericho 941 series, the Swiss ITM AT-88 and Sphinx 2000, and the Turkish Sarsilmaz M2000 are some of the most popular copies of the CZ-75.
The CZ-75 looks good, works well, hits its target, and is easy to handle and shoot. It worked well and is one of the best pistols in its category.
The CZ-75 has a chamber for the 9×19 mm Parabellum round. It’s important to remember that the Czechoslovak army and police forces used Soviet 7.62×25 and 9×18 mm pistol ammunition. In the West, the 9×19 mm was the most common pistol round. There are also CZ-75s that can shoot.40 S&W and 9×21 mm IMI bullets.
This gun is made out of steel from top to bottom. It has a Browning locking system and is used with a short recoil. It looks like the SIG P210 pistol from Switzerland. This type of operating system gives a smoother cycle and better tolerances, which leads to more accuracy.
The basic CZ-75 has a trigger that works in two ways and a hammer that can be seen. But there are different kinds of trigger systems, like those that only work once or twice. The basic model has a safety built into the frame. Since the late 1980s, all pistols in the CZ-75 series also have a safety inside the firing pin. Some models don’t have a manual safety and are only equipped with a decocker.
A magazine with two stacks can hold 16 rounds. The first CZ-75s had magazines that held 15 rounds.
The iron sights on this gun are very simple. The rear sight fits into the slide like a puzzle piece. Some models, though, have rear sights that can be changed. The CZ-75 is a gun that works well. About 50 metres is the most you can shoot.