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12 Best Combat Pistols Available Today

by Brad Fitzpatrick   |  June 30th, 2014 58

Glock-17In practice, combat pistol shooting focuses on defensive handgun deployment for personal protection or sport.

Today’s crop of quality combat pistols include a combination of designs that are more than a century old, as well as new models utilizing modern polymers.

Many of these guns feature ambidextrous controls, accessory rails and corrosion-resistant finishes. Additionally, the need to accommodate shooters of all sizes has prompted many companies to offer interchangeable grip inserts. Design features vary from one model to the next, but what they do have in common is utter reliability under the worst conditions.

Ultimately, the choice of which one suits you best is largely a matter of taste and preference. Here’s a look at 12 of the best combat pistols available today.

  • Ergo

    the cz75 is the most widely fielded service pistol worldwide and you stick the polymer abomination on the list. Are you guys even trying anymore?

    • ComeAndTakeIt

      Take it easy Ergo…The Glock has earned its place on the list of Best Combat Pistols.

      • smitty yego manjensen

        hes talking about the p-09 not glocks

      • tommy

        But glock just doesn,t feel lika a 1911

        • ComeAndTakeIt

          You’ll get no argument from me on that one. Love the ergonomics of the 1911.

      • Mark Monroe

        It doesn’t meet the criteria for what the Army is looikng for.

    • Euron Pacificus

      the cz75 is the most widely overrated Eastern European crap Ive ever held in my hands. Thanks, but Ill stick to German/Austrian plastic guns any day of the year.

      • Mark Monroe

        I love when dickheads spout off their opinion then give NO data to support their stupid f*cking statement. You have an opinion? Tell me why or shut the f@ck up! You look like an ass clown and you’ve embarrassed yourself with this weak shite of a statement. When you feel like being a man come on back

        • Caleb Boltiador

          Wow and they let you own a gun with that temper? Wow.

        • clint yeastwood

          Dude calm down everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but i have read some dumb ones but After getting out the army ,i would go down to the range with my uncle whos a cop but is the one who teaches all the new cops so they qualify. At first i had to get used to shooting a handgun again. Glocks and i see some cops carrying sigs are a great weapon but the i liked the springfield alot and The five-seven one of the esu guys let me use

        • John Hardin

          You’re a fucking idiot too ! Probably a damn Yankee !

          • Mark Monroe

            Do you have Downs Syndrome? I’m from the most southern state in the US and what would that have to do with thinking that using a foreign gun that weighs 600lbs. is foolish?

    • Mark Monroe

      AK’s are the most used rifle on the planet. They got that way by being easy and cheap to manufacture. Just because you’re number one doesn’t mean you’re the best by any stretch of the imagination. It just means your cheap. Most people are poor so the most used gun is going to be made to fit a poor person’s budget? Do poor people have the best of anything.

      • Caleb Boltiador

        Wrong. There are plenty of guns that were cheaper and easier to manufacture than Ak. Maybe it was the performance and reliability as a combat rifle?

  • rebart

    I agree with Ergo, the CZ75 is one of the finest pistols ever made.

    • peter

      Anyone who is serious about this genre knows that the “best” is totally dependent on the person holding the weapon!
      Obviously there are NO customs here as most of us cannot afford the ransom! Kimber isn’t here,the Springfield 1911’s aren’t here(TRP),various 1911’s,Colt is not here and a number of others like Beretta,S+W et al do Not appear here,H+K isn’t here,so,there are many people who swear by what they own or wish they owned which are NOT here!

      Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder so,those who claim to KNOW what’s the best are just needing some love,some respect but you won’t get it from me as I own what I deem the best for ME!

      • bigwigunguy

        Well said Peter, well said! It’s is too easy for loudmouths with big egos to spout off about how others are wrong. Just offer your opinion about what is best for you and back it down a bit. If I can control and shoot my favorite accurately I can inflict any necessary hurt to defend myself.

        • peter

          Thanks bigwig!!
          You sound like my kind of guy!

    • George Estepp

      I agree. I have fired A CZ 52 in 7.62×25 and it is one sweet pistol.I do wish it held A couple more rounds but its awesome. CZ makes great pistols of excellent quality

  • 2War Abn Vet

    I pounced on the CZ P-09 (in .40) as soon as I could acquire one, and was disappointed to fund the trigger pull to be anything but “crisp”.
    Oh well, I guess I’ve been spoiled by decades with the M1911.

  • Charles Kiser

    As always, the very best gun was left out. The Steyr M-A1 and family will perform with the $1000 guns and sell for 1/2 that.

  • bigdukesix101

    Can’t stand the slide release on the M&P9 just ruins a great gun.

    • Samuel_B

      The trigger action doesn’t do much for me either. S&W M&P 9 “the best”? Not until you spend some money on upgrades. My Sig 226 or my Kimber Custom II straight out of the box could outperform an M&P any day of the week.


    As an 80 year old (revolver six-shot shooting) sheriff,.. I am still a bit nervous about automatics for fear of “jamming” at the wrong time, and it is all over, but the more I hear you younger dudes talk, I am still thinking about trying for a 1911 -.45 auto…..maybe shoting one will change my mind…..think?
    S&W, Remington, Colt, Browning, or ???

    • EDK

      Stay with made in USA name. The Ruger SR1911 and Remington R1 are very good performers and fantastic values. Colt 1911’s are good but over priced. S&W enhanced 1911’s require a higher investment, but are high quality. Stay away from barrels under 5″. 1911’s with barrels under 5″ are where operating problems start. They require specific ammo be used. Always clean and lubricate your 1911 before going to the range. 1911’s should always be properly lubricated. Dirty or low lubrication lead to failures to feed or eject. Also, keep magazines clean. Do not leave a magazine loaded for long periods as that will weaken the spring, leading to feeding issues.

      • BIGEAGLE

        EDK: Appreciate your advise…thank you….

        • Town22

          I’m a 1911 user (Wilson Combat). I second EDK’s statement and advice. John Moses Browning creation will
          hook you.

          • tommy

            Town22 I agree with you that the M1911 is still at the top of the list. I,ve shot and have many different models
            but I get that warm/fuzzy feeling whenever its a 1911. EKD,i appreciate your comments.

      • Jim Tebo

        I shoot a Kimber well three of them and my favorite is the Kimber ultra, 1911 style with a 3″ barrel, never had a operating problem. lubrication should be at a minimum as it can collect dirt, sand, a gun cleaning after shooting them is always a great idea.

      • M_lizar

        Leaving a magazine loaded does not weakend the spring. It’s the constant loading and unloading that weekends the spring. With your logic Springs in a car would be weakend just sitting parked in the garage. It’s the constant bumps compressing and rebounding of the springs is what weakends the spring.

        • Ndoyle

          I do not normally respond to these things, but I have to correct you. I have witnessed mags being loaded too long and not allowing them to feed. I cannot confirm if loading and unloading causes the same result but for reader safety issues it needs to be known that if you have a semi auto you need to rotate rounds between mags to avoid a weak spring. Also, the springs on a vehicle are made of “spring” steel. Not the same as a weapon mag. Spring steel is specifically designed to handle loads and absorb impacts and is also used in some suspension components. It typically will not weaken but rather will snap when damaged. No disrespect lizar, but if someone left a gun in their nightstand for 3 years and never touched it the weapon owner has one bullet to defend themselves with and only If they keep one in the chamber.

        • tommy

          I agree, I have some colt .45 magazines that I have kept loaded for years,really for years, with no problem feeding. they are stamped “19200 ASSY 5508694 MFG.1.M291

        • Andyman

          Incorrect, if you fully compress the wheel into the fender bottoming out the suspension & KEEP IT THERE for years is like leaving a magazine full…

          Parking it in you garage is like Leaving the magazine only half full.

    • Guest

      dude there talking about stupid air guns not the real thing

      • BigEagle

        and your point is ? I made a statement about my thoughts on:
        any automatic weapons…..I never mentioned air guns….

      • Mark Monroe

        Dude! It’s they’re, thanks for making the country look stupid, but why are you talking about kid shit in here? Grow some balls and come back when you’re a man.

    • Zipp

      The fear of jamming is something that one trains for. I assume you are talking about combat shooting of course. Proper training is what you need to operate in combat.

      • BIGEAGLE


    • Mark Monroe

      Well, no offense, but you were around to see the first automatics. The first version of anything isn’t going to hold up to its evolved children. You witnessed failure after failure. Younger people haven’t seen automatics fail like that so we don’t have that mental obstacle. But if you made it 80 years you must have done things right. Be well sir.

  • USPatriotOne

    I really wonder about all these blog post? I have been firing Hands Guns from .22 LR to .44 Mags for the last 40 years and one of the best hand guns for the price on the market today is the EAA SAR B6P 9mm. The gun is well balanced and fires true with little effort and it holds 17 rounds. Many of the hand guns presented on this list have a lot more issues then EAA SAR B6P and the B6P is very reliable for a 20% to 40% less than many of the hand guns listed here, and the B6P is used by Military’s and Police all around the World. And another high quality hand gun is the Ruger 24/7 2 in .40 cal and is used by Police all over this Country.

  • daveguyette

    This list is faulty. As others have pointed out, the excellent CZ 75 is not on the list, and the miserable, crappy M9/M92 is. I have gone into combat with the M9 (and my son has too). It made me wish that I could have traded it for a rusty .38 revolver from the 1940’s.

    • p

      really…seriously. That makes one of us. I’d pick my 92 over any handguns hear because I trained on it.

  • Drop Point Tactical

    I think the Beretta PX4 should be high on this list – ergonomically, and becasue of its rotating-barrel technology. Its just a very user-friendly handgun, and should replace the M9.

  • Tim Woodruff

    The best combat handgun is the one that is good for one shot one kill ! To me if you have to shoot 16 rounds without knowing where those tounds are going you are in trouble . If I pull out my single action 45 Long colt, or my single action 44 mag. I intend to hit my target with one shot ! If you do not have a good handgun and plenty of practice no amount of ammo will help you . I watched a video of an officer that was killed . He had 14 shots in his semi auto . Got the fever got nervous , emptied his gun . The criminal dodged the officers shots and came around the side of the car and shot the officer before the officer could re-load . Throwing out a bunch of lead will not secure your safety . Practice , practice,practice . To be safe is to hit your target with extra rounds left over for the just in case . Then there is the back up gun ! Like anything else things can break . In a fire fight always have a back up plan .

    • Jim Tebo

      and when you think that you have practiced enough practice some more, when the cops shot at the Boston bomber while he was in a boat they fired 1500 rounds at him and never hit him. I am sure that they didn’t know were all those shots were going, just that they were shooting. One shot one kill, like the man said when you pull out your gun, you are doing it to stop someone, not to wound them, not to fire a round over their head, or into the ground, but to fire center mass, and stop them, dead in their tracks.

    • Detour

      A handgun is only used to fight your way to your rifle.

  • SigJac

    “The best combat pistols” and no Sphinx SDP ? More like “the best known pistols”.

  • Combatdude

    I carry S&W M&P 9mm 17 round ..the best pistol easy to conceal …

  • Joseph Kool

    The Walther PPQ made the list and it’s a piece of junk, but the CZ 75 didn’t. Wtf is wrong with you guys?

  • Grythnur

    My favorite weapon of choice is an original design 1911A1 made by colt. It is the AK of handguns. I prefer .45 over everything else because of the knock down power. Although, in my opinion, the glock doesn’t deserve to be on this list. I don’t like it for two reasons.
    1. It’s ugly, and rather uncomfterable to hold.
    2. I once knew a guy that could take a glock, grab onto the trigger guard with one hand, and rip out the trigger assemble. (Don’t try this a home.)
    It’s place should be taken by the S&W .38 special. Yes, a revolver. My reasoning for this is that Americas finest used these pistols from the 30’s till the 90’s. I like stuff with hammers, because I know when the hammer goes down, the gun goes bang.

  • Johnny

    This is an excellent list- I’m torn between Glocks and Sigs myself but I’d carry any of these guns without reservation. I think with new ammo technology the 9mm deserves more accolades. It’s flatmshooting efficient accurate- what more do people want? If you need more power just carry a M14 716 REPR SCAR G3 or FAL

  • Zipp

    Glock is a beautiful thing when it comes to combat. Simple with few parts, lightweight, durable. I saw numerous shooters run over a thousand rounds through them without cleaning and no FTF. They field strip in seconds and go back together just as quick. I love the 1911, but can’t argue with the Glock when life and limb are on the line.

  • nate

    The glock 20 is excellent.

  • ElvO

    where’s the H&K USP MP443 Grach FN Five-seveN

  • Bernardo Sánchez Rojas

    The various concepts in this forum said if the magazine spring properties of the spring depletes ammunition leaving much time inside the magazine, you only have to mention an anecdote: I have a Colt M1911A1 Goverment. 45 number 70 and made a test leaving years (3) without removing the cartridges and believe it or not the spring of 5 magazines of more than 20 years, jajajajaj allow my beloved Colt 1911 cycling perfectly. Those original magazines have kept the story lovingly and modern magazines and classic designed by Wilson Combat right now. I have an FIVESEVEN Tactical Glock 21, Glock 26 and I made the same experiemento; of course, because I have enough springs when desired a confrontation is not better to have a spring that does not lead to doubt of sun operation. And if I keep clean, lubricated and shooting them to monitor the operation of them. However, as my Colt 1911, tested for over 100 years in all battlefields, there is no other. Their weight to carry it every day is my limitation.

  • jeff

    Im looking to buy a new handgun and am not sure which is more reliable, I am favoring the sig p226 or the 1911 but am not sure yet, what are thoughts of anyone?

  • SanosukeSigara

    I would say this list is missing the best of all of them the FNH Five Seven

  • Mark Monroe

    How is it a no-brainer? They are hard to take a part, hold a max of 8 rounds, and don’t penetrate as well as the smaller calibers. They are also heavy when an infantry soldier already has more than enough weight to carry. Single stack pistols are harder to load than a double stack.

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