The Beretta 21A is the perfect size for concealed carry and even pocket carry if that’s something you’re interested in. It’s a .22 LR model with a tip-up barrel — perfect for those that struggle with semi-auto slides. The gun is a fun plinker and a nice one to take to the range.
“The CZ P-01 is a small pistol that doesn’t know it. Most smaller guns feel like small guns, but CZ found the magic though and built the P-01 so that it’s smaller but doesn’t feel like it. Between an excellent cold hammer-forged barrel and outstanding design, it is the most accurate compact I have in my safe. While there is an argument to be made that it isn’t as important as some might claim it is, the P-01 has a very low bore axis. Combined with the metal frame and it simply eats recoil. Everything about the P-01 adds up to being a great pistol.” – David Lane
A metal-framed .32 ACP semi-automatic pistol is almost an oddity in today’s world. Despite this, the Tomcat is an interesting pistol. A tip-up barrel means you never have to rack the slide, making it accessible to just about every shooter regardless of strength or dexterity. The .32 ACP cartridge is also extremely soft shooting, and even with a heavier trigger, this gun is accurate and fun to shoot.
It disappeared for a bit…but it’s back. The Python has made a triumphant return and builds onto Colt’s Snake Gun series. This revolver is a decent wheelgun that admittedly had some kinks on first launch, but those seem to be worked out. It offers a modern stainless steel barrel while keeping to that classic Python look. It’s accurate and a stunningly fun gun to shoot.
“Kimber did an awesome job with this revolver. Aesthetically it’s appealing and eye-catching. The controls are easy to manipulate, the trigger is beautifully smooth, and the gun feels good in my hands. The biggest downside is the need for speedloaders because they are not easy to find.” — Kat Stevens
The Beretta M9 served as the standard sidearm of the U.S. military for over 30 years, owing to its reliability and ease of use. These are accurate handguns with strong ergonomics, and the size and weight make them easy to shoot and instill confidence in the user. Although the design is a bit dated at this point, many are still drawn in by the aesthetics, shootability, and reliability of the 92-series platform.
“This is a very accurate and precise gun that’s consistent in its ability to hit your target. Contributing to its accuracy is the fact it’s easy to control, and you’re unlikely to flinch firing it. This gun feels excellent in the handle. The front and rear texturing is a nice touch, and the grip fits just right in the hand. The magazine release and slide lock are easy to reach and engage. All in all, it’s a little dated but still a good gun.” – Travis Pike
“As a gun frequently touted as a defensive option where revolvers are concerned, the Taurus Judge offers up an option for those looking to work around their farm or carry while out on hikes. With a few options in terms of calibers (.410, anyone?), this revolver is a good option for when there are critters around. Its trigger pull isn’t terrible for a revolver, and its large size helps mitigate that big recoil. Downside? Those will small hands or who are petite in size might struggle with some of the heavier models and large grips. And there are not a lot of aftermarket options here.” – Aden Tate
“The American firearms industry has seemingly ignored the Beretta Px4 Storm series, and that’s a shame. Beretta utilizes a rotating barrel, first pioneered with the Beretta 8000 series pistols. This rotary barrel reduces recoil and helps make the help more controllable. It works, but it’s not a revolutionary break in recoil reduction. Worth noting that the recoil reduction is prominent enough that it makes the 9mm a very soft shooting pistol. However, be warned the subcompact model doesn’t keep the rotary barrel function.” — Travis Pike