6 Best .45 ACP Pistols (That Aren’t 1911s)

When it comes to handguns…nothing is more of an American classic than the .45 ACP.

It’s big, powerful, and packs a mean punch that can stop nearly anything that comes in its way.

The .45 ACP has been an American icon since Colt released the M1911 in 1911.

Colt M1911
Colt M1911

This pistol was the official sidearm of the United States military for the longest time and saw most of its action between World War I and the Vietnam War.

But now it’s not only the 1911’s that have the fun…

We’ll cover what we think are the top seven .45 ACPs on the market.  

9mm, .357 Sig, .38 Spl, .40 SW, .45 ACP, .44 Mag, .50 AE
9mm, .357 Sig, .38 Spl, .40 SW, .45 ACP, .44 Mag, .50 AE

Each of these models have set the standard for reliability and accuracy.   They’re excellent for home defense and will make a great addition to your firearms collection.  

If you really want a 1911 (everyone needs at least one) check out our Best 1911’s for the Money.

For those of you who can’t wait…

  1. HK45
  2. Taurus 24/7 OSS
  3. Beretta PX4 Storm
  4. Glock 21
  5. Sig Sauer P220
  6. Springfield XD(M) .45

The .45 ACP

If you’re a firearms enthusiast, you already know that the .45 has a little bit of recoil.

Because of this, it’s not a caliber that’s recommended for beginner shooters who’re looking for a first self-defense handgun.

Handgun Caliber Smallest to Largest
Handgun Caliber Smallest to Largest

One of the reasons that the 9mm has experienced recent popularity among law enforcement is because it’s easier to control than the .45 ACP.  Plus, hollow point ammo advancements have given the 9mm more stopping power.

However, once you learn how to accurately shoot the .45, you’ll appreciate that raw power that other most other handguns calibers just can’t offer.

Pros/Cons of the .45 ACP

So we’ve established that one of the biggest advantages of having a .45 ACP pistol is power.

What’s another?

The ammo variety.  

There’s so much out there because of its popularity.  We help you narrow it down a little for cheap but reliable plinking ammo plus self-defense rounds.

.45 ACP 230 gr HST
.45 ACP 230 gr HST

The downside of buying a .45 pistol is that they’re usually more expensive than other handgun models.

Also, the ammo tends to cost a bit more and most .45 ACPs don’t carry as many rounds as their 9mm counterparts.

However, if you’re looking for a reliable gun with a lot of stopping power, nothing beats the .45 ACP.

(L to R) .45 ACP, .357 SIG, and 9mm
(L to R) .45 ACP, .357 SIG, and 9mm

The Best .45 Pistol For You

While .45 ACPs are a bit bulkier than some of the other handguns on the market, they’re still a very popular handgun for conceal carry.

If you’re considering purchasing your very first .45 ACP, make sure that you do some testing before you make a purchase.

Comfort is part of what makes some guns better than others.

Take some time to see how the gun feels in your hand.  Pay attention to how much it weighs, if the grips are slippery or not, and if you can easily reach all the levers with your hand.

Good Trigger Discipline Glock 17
It Fits

Some are better at range shooting and others are better for defense.  Take some time to think about what your .45 ACPs primary function will be.

While there are a number of high-quality .45 caliber pistols out there, the guns covered in this article are some of the most well rounded and diverse pistols on the market.  They are the pinnacle of craftsmanship, dependability, and accuracy.

Now…finally (in no particular order)

Best .45 ACP Pistols

1. Heckler & Koch HK45

Editor's Pick (.45 ACP)
at Cabela's

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you want to purchase a gun for home defense (or tactical ops), then this is the pistol for you.

With a sticker price of around $1,100, the Heckler & Koch HK45 is an excellent upper-range gun that gives you both excellent craftsmanship and functionality.

It was designed with the hopes of replacing the M9, the US military’s official sidearm.  While that never took off, it did become a favorite among some police departments in Australia and the United States.


  • Double action trigger.
  • 4.25” barrel length.
  • 10+1 capacity.
  • 31.4 oz.

Are you looking for an ergonomically designed firearm that is reliable and easy to use?

If so, the HK45 is first in its class.

You’ll find that the HK45 fits comfortably in your hand.  Its adjustable grips allow you to have a good hold on the gun regardless of your hand size.

The HK45 isn’t as bulky as some of the other .45 ACPs on the market, which makes shooting it an absolute pleasure.

The gun’s special octagonal rifling allows for longer barrel life and a better gas seal around the bullet, which makes for a more accurate gun.

This, combined with how well the HK45 rests in your hands, makes for one highly accurate firearm. 


  • Sits comfortably and nicely in your hand
  • Laser sights, lights, and various other accessories can be easily attached to its MIL-STD 1913 Rail
  • All of its functions are fully ambidextrous
  • Its polygonal rifling provides a boost in accuracy and improved durability


  • Expensive sticker price
  • The inner trigger guard has a groove that can cause discomfort for some people

You’ll have a difficult time finding any drawbacks to shooting this gun.

It’s an excellent piece to have for range shooting or home defense and is able to hold its own against its competitors.

2. Taurus 24/7 OSS

Taurus 24/7 OSS
Taurus 24/7 OSS

If you want a .45 caliber that’s tactical and fun, the .45 OSS by Taurus 24/7 is the gun for you.

When developing this firearm, Taurus surveyed various Special Forces teams from different parts of the world.  Taurus then took that feedback and used it do make a weapon that is effective in virtually every type of combat situation.


  • Single/Double action trigger
  • 5.25” barrel length
  • 10+1 capacity
  • 31.4 oz

The .45 ACP OSS is a sleek gun that feels great to hold.  It was designed to work with both left and right handed shooters, and all of its levers are able to be depressed without any issues.

If you’re looking for an affordable gun with advanced features that don’t come with the average pistol, consider the .45 ACP OSS.  Along with precision and durability, you also get the following functions:

  • A self-illuminating sight for improved accuracy in dark environments
  • An additional security system that locks the safety into place
  • Improved SA/DA trigger that has a consistent feel on the first and second pull
  • A life-saving trigger system that fires twice if the bullet’s primer doesn’t ignite on the first shot

Since Taurus designed the gun with military personnel in mind, they went to great lengths to ensure that the .45 ACP OSS is as reliable as possible.

It’s durable enough to handle the most intense environments, including extreme humidity, blazing heat, and freezing cold.

It also is designed to shoot after being covered in dirt, mud, or sand.

But since the OSS didn’t win the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) contract, it was soon discontinued which makes it a little hard to find. You’ll likely have to look at auction sites for this unicorn.


  • Advanced slip-resistant grip that is easy to hold, even with wet or dirty hands
  • Added safety features
  • Optimized for self-defense
  • Very reasonably priced at $690


  • Advanced features require some time to get used to
  • Too big and bulky for concealed carry
  • Stiff and sticky magazine release
  • Discontinued

3. Beretta PX4 Storm

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

When it comes to self-defense, there’s hardly a better handgun on the market than the .45 PX4 Storm.

What this pistol lacks in extra flair and features, it makes up for in performance and improved handling.

When Beretta designed the PX4 Storm, their goal was to create a gun that was optimized for one thing, shooting.  The result was a highly-accurate .45 ACP that beginners and proficient shooters can handle without any problems.


  • Single/Double action trigger.
  • 4” barrel length.
  • 9+1 capacity – also comes with an extended magazine for 10+1.
  • 28.2 oz.

When you shoot the .45 PX4 Storm, you’ll notice that it doesn’t have the same amount of recoil as other .45 ACPs have.

This is in part due to a new locking design, which reduces recoil by rotating the barrel 45 degrees after each shot.  This, in turn, prevents your muzzle from rising as much as other .45 calibers, meaning that you can fire rapidly with improved accuracy.

Another factor that makes the PX4 Storm .45 ACP an excellent firearm to own is convenience.

Its ambidextrous features mean that you can use your right or left hand to engage the safety lever or de-cock the pistol.  You can even modify its magazine release buttons so that they accommodate your hand size.


  • Comes with small, medium, and large size grips for maximum comfort
  • Easy to hold in wet or dry conditions
  • Designed to accommodate all types of hand sizes
  • Lightweight and easy to handle


  • Slide mounted safety can feel unnatural
  • Magazine springs are stiff

Along with the recoil being significantly reduced, another reason that the PX4 Storm shoots so accurately is because it feels comfortable to hold.  

If you’re looking for a well-rounded .45 ACP to own, the PX4 is one to seriously consider.  It’s an easy gun to operate for beginners and advanced shooters.

The PX4 is slightly smaller than most .45 ACPs, so it’s a bit more comfortable to conceal carry.

4. Glock G21

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

You’ll be hard pressed to find a list of top pistols without Glock making an appearance.  Whether you love or hate them, Glocks have a reputation for excellence that is well deserved.  The .45 ACP Glock G21 is no exception.


  • Glock Safe Action trigger
  • 4.6” barrel length
  • 13+1 capacity
  • 29.8 oz

The Glock 21 sets the standard for durability and performance.  If you’re looking for a .45 ACP to put in significant range time with, you’ll be pleased to know that this gun will meet all of your expectations.

If you’re used to shooting Glocks, comfortably holding the Glock 21 shouldn’t be a problem.

It has the same rectangular designed that the company is known for.  However, if you’re new to Glocks, you’ll need to take some time getting used to the way the gun feels in your hand.

If you find Glock pistols to be extremely uncomfortable, test out the Glock 21 SF.  It’s a slimmer version of the gun that’s designed to maximize comfort for people with smaller hands.

For some firearm owners, the way the Glock is designed is a deal-breaker, so make sure that you give yourself the opportunity to hold the gun before you buy it.

A component that is common across Glock models is the striker-fired feature, which removes the need for a protruding hammer.

The Glock Safe Action trigger is another feature that comes standard on Glocks and is something that will take some getting used to.

It functions similarly to the SA/DA trigger system, except that it has the same pull weight for every shot.  While this can initially throw off your accuracy, it doesn’t take long to become accustomed to it.


  • One of the most durable handguns on the market.
  • Added internal locking safety feature that prevents the gun from being fired.
  • Indicator that notifies you when the chamber is loaded.
  • Trigger reset feature.
  • Above average round capacity.


  • Uncomfortable grip that comes standard with all Glock pistols.
  • Bulky magazine.
  • Its block shape makes it difficult for concealed carry.

The truth is that most people who don’t like shooting a Glock aren’t fans of the stylistic component of the guns.  

When it comes to functionality, there are few .45 caliber pistols on the market that can perform as well as the Glock 21.  It’s durable enough to take neglect and abuse and continue to shoot accurately.

The Glock 21 sells for around $600, making it one of the best .45 ACPs on the market for the price.  If you’re looking for a gun that known for unconditional dependability, regardless of the stress you put it through, the Glock 21 is your best bet.

One of our favorites…what’s your take?

Readers' Ratings

4.92/5 (251)

Your Rating?

5. Sig Sauer P220 Super Match Full Size

Sig Sauer P220 Super Match
Sig Sauer P220 Super Match

When it comes to both style and performance, SIG Sauer is one of the leading companies in the industry.

If you want a gun that is as sleek as the S&W Performance Center 1911, but is also well-rounded and practical in every situation, the P220 Super Match Full-Size will be the gun of your dreams.

OK, it’s basically a 1911, but it doesn’t have 1911 in the name!

Its superior craftsmanship and excellent functionality make it the perfect gun for collectors and shooters alike.


  • Single/Double action trigger with reduced trigger reset
  • 5” barrel length
  • 7+1 capacity
  • 39.1 oz

The P220 Super Match Full-Size is one of the finest .45 caliber pistols you’ll come across.

Its grip has enough grab to sit safely and comfortably in your hand without being rough enough to cause discomfort.

However, one of the downsides of the P220 is that it can feel a bit unnatural to people who have smaller hands, so make sure and properly test the gun before making a purchase.

The P220 Super Match Full-Size’s DA/SA trigger system reduces the trigger reset travel by 60%, making it easier to fire follow-up shots.

While this is one of the more favorable features of the gun, it can take some getting used to – especially if you’re someone who isn’t used to this type of trigger.

If you purchase this gun for self-defense, be sure to spend some time on the range getting used to the trigger system and de-cocker function.


  • Unparalleled craftsmanship
  • Slide-release and de-cocker easy to access
  • Improved accuracy with short reset trigger
  • Easy to mount attachments like lasers and flashlights


  • Size can be hard for some people to control
  • Not optimal for concealed carry
  • Trigger system takes some getting used to
  • Below-average capacity

The P220 Super Match Full-Size retails for around $1,200, making it one of the most expensive .45 ACPs on the market.

However, if you can afford the expensive sticker price, the P220 is a great gun to have.  You’ll even get a lot of looks from interested enthusiasts if you plan on spending a lot of time at the range with it.

6. Springfield XD(M) .45

Most Affordable (.45 ACP)
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Springfield Armory has built a well-deserved reputation for producing excellent firearms.

The XD(M) .45 continues this reputation by providing a gun that has a perfect balance of power and ergonomics.

The XD(M) is much easier to control than some of the other .45 calibers on the market, yet it still packs the same punch as bigger, bulkier pistols.


  • Minimal Reset Trigger system.
  • 4.5” barrel length.
  • 13+1 capacity.
  • 2lbs.

When you shoot the XD(M) for the first time, you may need to take some time to get acquainted with the trigger system.

After shooting off a few rounds at the range, you’ll find that maintaining accuracy while rapid firing is easy to do.

Additionally, the XD(M) has an added safety feature that locks the trigger into place, so you don’t have to worry about the gun accidentally firing if dropped or knocked into.


  • An affordable suggested retail value of $685.
  • Has an indicator for when the chamber is loaded.
  • Higher magazine capacity.
  • Comes with three magazines.


  • Not many options for customization.
  • Rear white-dot sights can be distracting.
  • Polymer frame might be a turnoff for some people.

The XD(M) .45 ACP brings the dependability and durability of Glocks without the design that people love or hate.

This means that you get a pistol that can spit out cheap or expensive ammo without an issue, and is also easy to operate.  

If you want the most bang for your buck with a full-size carry pistol, the XD(M) .45 ACP is the way to go.

Ready to Add a .45 ACP to Your Collection?

As you can see, there are a number of excellent .45 caliber pistols available on the market.  Each one has its own benefits and drawbacks, so finding the right one for you depends on what you’re looking for.

If you’re buying a gun for home defense, I’d recommend a .45 pistol with low recoil or higher magazine capacity.

You’ll be thankful that you have that extra round or two if you are in a situation where you need it.

Also, make sure that you spend enough time at the range getting used to your gun. Even if you have experience shooting .45 caliber pistols in the past, every .45 ACP model shoots a little differently.

The .45 ACP is a great gun to have.  Not only will it be an excellent home-defense tool, it’ll also provide you with hours of enjoyment at the shooting range!

What .45 pistol did you end up choosing?  Check out more of our favorite guns & gear in Editor’s Picks.

50 Leave a Reply

  • Sami

    Does anyone know what gun is best for a petite, thin female who's never owned a gun? A 9mm? If so which 9mm? I only want to own ONE gun, so I don't want to get a beginner gun. They're expensive. I want to buy one good gun for home defense that I can have forever. Also, what prices points are good and where is the best place to buy one so I can get a deal? Thanks!

    3 months ago
    • Sami

      Thanks for all the info you guys! I appreciate it!

      3 months ago
    • Gina Huff

      Listen to Bob. Get a full size Glock 9mm. Don’t try to get one pistol that you can carry but also serves as a “home” gun. One can’t do it all.

      3 months ago
    • Ryan

      Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9mm 2.0 is an excellent gun for smaller to medium size hands. I'm a 26 year old man and I find this gun to be really comfortable and concealable.

      3 months ago
    • Bob

      I would go with a Glock 19 (my first pistol and I have had it for 30 years). Price point is in the $450 range. Great gun and easy to shoot. I recommend going to a local range and trying out a few. You should be able to rent some for about $10 per gun (most will require you to buy the ammo from them). Good luck!

      3 months ago
  • Wilbur Post

    But, but, where's my Walther PPQ M2 in .45 ACP? Removable backstraps give it the edge over the Glock 21 IMHO.

    4 months ago
  • Scott

    There is no finer handgun than the FNX45. Invalidates this list that it is not included . Accurate, reliable. I have both the HK45 and the FNX45, and the FN offering is a better pistol. Plus, my HK is finicky with ammo brands.

    4 months ago
  • Dennis Bechtel

    why is the fnx ,.45 acp pistol not listed ? it holds 15 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber 16 total.is more accurate than most v1911 pistols is reachable under 800 bucks and has a double single action trigger ,tunable to 2 lb trigger pull ?

    5 months ago
  • Joe

    Ruger P90 thats all you need to know

    6 months ago
  • Levi

    Have you looked at the CZ 97 B / BD.......

    6 months ago
  • james

    title says (that aren't a 1911) FIRST GUN ON THE LIST IS A 1911?!!?!?!?!?!? WTF

    6 months ago
  • Paul Metz

    Brandon, #6 the Sig Sauer P220 Match does not have double action. It is a SAO .

    7 months ago
  • ron ronson

    1. Title is misleading; it should read "6 guns that aren't 1911's, and a 1911 because I can't google very well". 2. You excluded some of the best options on the market to make way for what I can only imagine are your sponsors. 3. The article has many areas which are poorly written, and the unwarranted advice about self- protection makes me cringe. 4. Please don't write your bio like you're an expert on anything.

    8 months ago
  • Daemon Richman

    The Cz 97B Is one of the most accurated 45 acp, i have all guns of the list except for the Beretta and i will said, to me the Cz 97B is the best of them.

    9 months ago
  • cyo

    Hi Point 45 should not only be on this list but it should be number 1.

    10 months ago
  • cyo

    How can you leave the Hi Point 45 off this list? Its number one by far.

    10 months ago
    • Shawn

      Lol from what I hear it's reliable enough, but I don't like my women or my guns ugly.

      7 months ago
      • Lee schaefferkoetter

        It actually is quite reliable. I have one but dang is it heavy and ugly

        7 months ago
  • Natasha

    The FN FNX 45 should be near the top of this list. The fact it's not even on it makes me wonder about this article.

    1 year ago
  • Hi country Rick

    I'm just curious how you can leave the FN tactical out of this group.. you are very well versed but that pistol should of definitely been included..

    1 year ago
  • Joe Blow

    7 Best .45 ACP Pistols (That Aren’t 1911s) And the first one is a 1911.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Keeping you on your toes!

      1 year ago
  • Ryan

    Why isn't the FN on this list? Also the Taurus 24/7's were all recalled so I wouldn't buy one, also the magazines for the G1 taurus 24/7s have been discontinued for years so it's very hard/expensive to find one... ask me how I know.

    1 year ago
  • Timothy

    Don't forget about the Walther PPQ 45! 12+1 rounds of 45 ACP and Walther's incredible PPQ trigger, selling for ~$650 around here

    1 year ago
    • Pete

      I would say possibly the best two were left off this list... FN Tacticle and the Walther PPQ 45 ... both are AMAZING!!

      11 months ago
  • Taiel

    Where is the CZ 97 B ???

    1 year ago
  • Keith

    Hk45c, I love it. My new favorite.

    1 year ago
  • Doug

    Want a great trigger on a .45 pistol? Try a Pardini GT45. Mine breaks at 1.5 lbs but easily adjusted higher if desired.

    1 year ago
  • Dan

    I have an HK45c. Awesome pistol. Accurate. Easy to shoot. Great mag release. Better than my Sig P220, by a bit. Great ergonomics!

    1 year ago
  • SBH

    I'd consider the hk mark 23 as a top pistol design. Yes, it's big but designed to outlast any of us.

    1 year ago
  • public Adjuster

    The 16 Round FNX-45 Tactical (Fabrique Nationelle/Winchester) is far superior in in its features if a tad bigger handgun is Ok. Mine is outfitted with a Grizzly Muzzle Brake in SS-Dark Earth Finish, has the Laser Sight and low-profile rail Laser. Custom gun leather was made by Kevin Nightingale in Ohio. Re-think your position; no benefit is more important than capacity.

    1 year ago
  • zach

    Umm the FNX-45 Tactical isn't on here.....Serious loss of credibility here. I never comment on these things, but was completely floored when I saw that the FNX was missing....15+1 capacity, DA/SA, decocker, night sights standard, threaded barrel standard (none of the listed guns had that) was a serious contender to replace the M9. The list goes on, go ahead and look it up. I love this blog, but I'm very glad this is an old post....... .

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Yup, we're looking to do a lot of updates in the new year...thanks for reading, Zach!

      1 year ago
  • Mark

    Your article sparked some interest as I started searching for a .45 and did not necessarily want a 1911 frame. I recently fired an FN and a griffon(1911 frame). I really like the FN but out of my price range. I started researching Taurus 24/7 OSS. I own a 909 and it is great. I was able to locate a new in the box 24/7 oss. but just learned it is on the Taurus class action claim. What feedback information etc. as the author can you follow up with. The reviews I have read regarding the OSS have all been great. Thank you for your feedback.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hi Mark, actually not familiar with the class action claim. I'll get back to you on any updates we find.

      1 year ago
  • Wes

    Title of article "7 Best Non-1911 .45 Pistols"...first pistol mentioned? A 1911. Come on man, seriously?

    1 year ago
  • Bud

    Lol 19+1 45acp xdm.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks for catching that, Bud!

      1 year ago
  • John T

    the supermatch is SAO .................... and I have one and its excellent .......... but if you have smaller hands like myself, the gorgeous wooden grips are a tad large........ but hogue grips offered by sig for this model are excellent and reduce the grip size significantly.

    1 year ago
  • Bonnie

    Thanks for the review. I am interested in the Springfield XD(M) in .45 caliber. But I believe your links and information are pertaining to the XD(M) 4.5 inch barrel in 9mm with 19+1 capacity.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks for catching that Bonnie...fixing now!

      1 year ago
  • Rick

    Can I get some comments on the Kimber Raptor 45

    2 years ago
  • Michael P

    Thank you for all the information you provide here. I just recently started buying and collecting guns. I feel like im buying my first car, dont know quite what is good or bad, but anxious to own. I have a dpms ar15, a century arms ak47, and a glock 19 gen4. i have not fired either of them yet because i do not want to screw anything. i know they need to be cleaned and oiled, i assume anyway, before any of that activity happens. reading your articles and browsing your site gives me confidence to get started. i think this is a hobby that will grow on me. i will be spending alot of time here.

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      Hi Michael, welcome to the hobby and thanks so much for your kind words. We'll see you around!

      2 years ago
  • Gene Black

    Taurus has some newer 24/7s now that are supposed to have OSS DNA in them and look pretty promising. That aside though, did you consider the Sarsilmaz K2-45? (EAA SAR K2) I have one I've been pretty happy with. 14+1 capacity, DA/SA trigger, sturdy and well built, accurate, etc. It's also quite cheap - but I believe it performs much better than many of it's more expensive counterparts.

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      Hi Gene, thanks for the update on the OSS. That Sarsilmaz...even I had to google it since I've never heard of that Turkish manufacturer.

      2 years ago
  • rick

    Handgun Caliber Smallest to Largest you left out the 25 and 32 acp cartridges in common handgun ammo, also 41, 44 Magnum, 5,56 isn;t really a handgun cartridge, 32acp jhp w baretta 32 lynx, best POCKET pistol by far, great job, u r better than guns and ammo !! here's a good one, repeat if you wish, i ordered a bb gun magazine from Midway USA and they refused to ship it because i live in Kalifornia, and it was more than 10 shots! Larry Potterfield supports gun control. I had to explain the diff bet a firearm and a toy gun to them

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      Hi Rick, yup I tried with the ones I had on hand. 5.56 for reference! Thanks for reading!

      2 years ago
  • Lou Szabo

    Great review! It must be really difficult limiting the list... I found an older model that I really like: Para Ordnance P12. Compact size for easy carry, but with a 12 round double stack magazine. My P30SK has more muzzle flip. If you like the 1911 style trigger and feel of the 1911, this is a nice alternative. I almost went with the M&P shield 45 when this came to my attention.

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      Thanks for the suggestion Lou!

      2 years ago
New to Guns ? Check out our beginners guns video course. Start Now