The first gun I ever shot, a Ruger Single Six, and the first gun I ever owned, a Sig Sauer P226, were pistols. I have a special place in my heart for handguns, and they will always serve many useful purposes in my life. You might be a plinker, a competitor, a hunter, or you’re training for self-defense.
A pistol has a place in all these pursuits. It’s a versatile firearm that can accompany you in your travels. This is great year for new pistols. Whether you’re looking to buy your first pistol or your 10th, at least one of these will tickle your fancy.
Here are my pistol picks, in no particular order. I hope you’re as excited as I am to go shoot them!
Smith & Wesson | 460XVR Bone Collector
Shooting a mighty powerful .460 round, the 460XVR’s 7 1/2-inch barrel and five-round cylinder will be able to take down any big game in North America, even past 200 yards.
There’s a limited run of 1,500, so get one before they’re gone. I’ll be at the front of the line.
Glock | 40 GEN4 MOS
The new Model 40 Gen4 MOS (Modular Optic System) is a 10mm pistol with a 6-inch barrel and a 15-round magazine. It’s made so you can pick a sight, like one of the new popular red-dots, and easily mount it on one of four included plates.
Sport shooters and hunters will particularly enjoy the Model 40, which Glock notes is capable of taking down game such as whitetails and hogs. Time to schedule that pig hunt.
Ruger | 22/45 LITE
Ruger’s new 22/45 LITE pistol has a refreshed look for 2015. The shark-gill pattern on the side ports give it a custom look without a custom price.
The 4.4 inch barrel and superlight 23-ounce weight makes the 22/45 a fantastic all-around .22LR pistol for plinking, hunting and competition shooting.
Kimber | Eclipse Custom II (LG) 1911
When you want a quality 1911, Kimber is a go-to brand. The new Eclipse Custom II (LG) sports a 5-inch barrel with an 8-round magazine. Fixed MeproLight Tritium 3-dot night sights help the user align their sights no matter the light conditions.
And the best part: The grip-activated Crimson Trace laser. Who needs a shark with freakin’ lasers on their heads when a Kimber with a laser can get the job done?
Sphinx | SDP Standard Alpha
If you haven’t had a chance to shoot a Sphinx 9mm pistol, you should know that the new Standard Alpha is a product of Swiss precision.
The low-profile slide and low bore axis keep recoil down to help you stay on target for follow-up shots. The DA/SA trigger is top-notch, and the rubber grips are interchangeable to accommodate shooter hands of any size.
Salient Arms International | BLU 9MM
Salient Arms is a well-known gunsmithing company that can take a $500 Glock and turn it into a sleek beauty.
Salient has taken all of their expertise and built a new pistol from the ground up. The BLU pistol takes cues from the Glock platform but adds some unique Salient touches such as the gold-ion bonded barrel, effective stippling and aggressive slide cuts to give you a better grip.
The BLU is not cheap, but as with many things, you get what you pay for.
Beretta | M9A3
The U.S. Armed Forces has used more than 600,000 Beretta M9s for 30 years, and the recent A3 update improves a time-tested design.
The two new features that caught my eye are the grip and the trigger. The grip is a smaller, thinner “Vertec” style along with a flat backstrap. I found the A3 more comfortable to shoot, but this of course is a personal preference. The new DA/SA trigger also felt really good with smooth, clean breaks.
No word on price yet.
Taurus | CURVE
Truly one of the most innovative pistols of 2015, the Taurus Curve is actually curved to better fit the contours of a human torso. This super light, 10.2-ounce conceal-carry comes in .380ACP and has a 6-round magazine capacity. It also has an onboard light and laser to make sure you can see your target with the lights out.
The clever built-in belt clip lets you go holster-free. Keep an eye out for this provocative pistol in 2015.