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10 Best First Handguns for Beginners

10 Best First Handguns for Beginners

Investing in a firearm to protect yourself and your family is a big commitment. Even if you’re purchasing a handgun for the shooting range, it’s important to consider all of your options before pulling the trigger. Here are the top 10 best beginner handgun options, as well as some factors to consider before purchasing your new firearm.


How to Select the Best Handgun for You

This may be a top 10 list, but you won’t find the single best handgun for every beginner. There are many factors to consider before selecting a handgun for your personal protection or shooting range outing. The first factor is personal safety while you carry or shoot your handgun.


Use extreme caution when handling a firearm for the first time. Consider taking a training course before using your new handgun on your own. Another good option for you would be our H&H Daily Range Specials to try out a few of these handguns before buying one for yourself.


Consider how you’ll use your new firearm. A concealed carry firearm needs to be comfortable in your hands and have the safety features that help you feel confident carrying it. A competition handgun needs accuracy and rate of fire to keep you shooting straight and excelling in any competitive event.

  1. Smith & Wesson 41 Rimfire M41

Favored by many competitive shooters, the Smith & Wesson 41 Rimfire M41 boasts precision sights, an ergonomic grip, and overall construction that you should expect from a leading firearm manufacturer.


The adjustable trigger stop rear target sights keep you shooting straight, while the seven-inch barrel and 22 long rifle caliber makes this rimfire pistol a great option in terms of stopping power. Your entire M41 weighs 44.8 ounces and has a 10-round capacity.

  1. Glock 43

Pick up the compact Glock 43 to see why it’s a favorite first handgun for personal defense. The barrel is only 3.41 inches long, and the total handgun only weighs 1.25 pounds. Along with the chambered round, the six-round capacity is more than enough for any emergency personal defense situation.


The compact frame of the Glock 43 comes with a few comfortable features as well. An ambidextrous grip, beaver trail design, and affordable 9mm Luger ammunition make it a reliable firearm to have by your side.

  1. Springfield XD Mod 2

Carry a striker-fired pistol to avoid embarrassing or dangerous snags while removing your concealed carry firearm. The Springfield XD Mod 2 is another first-time favorite that comes from a reputable manufacturer. It’s heavier than the Glock 43 but has a full-sized grip for better control as you aim.


An innovative grip pattern and trigger safety add a protective element to this handgun. If you’re concerned with dropping your firearm in a high-stakes situation or being concerned about accidental discharge, this is a great option.

  1. Sig Sauer P320

Another striker-fired option, the Sig Sauer P320 uses 9mm ammunition and boasts an impressive amount of customization to tailor your concealed weapon to fit your grip and your carrying case. This handgun was chosen by the U.S. Army for their choice sidearm, so it’s worth considering as your sidearm in a self-defense situation.


The XCompact option is the most popular in terms of self-defense, but competitive shooters may want to check out other alternatives. The M17, full-size, and X5 Legion are all impressive options with their own pros and cons.

  1. Ruger LCR9

One of the rare revolver options to make our best beginner pistol list, the Ruger LCR9 is a portable powerhouse with plenty of features to fall in love with. Not only is the entire handgun just 4.5 inches long, but it also has a double-action-only trigger for added safety.


Be wary of this snub-nosed revolver; these compact firearms can pack a punch. The LCR9 comes with perceived recoil reduction technology, but it will still give you a good kick. It may not be a good option for target shooting, but it’s portable enough for most concealed carry situations.

  1. Beretta PX4

Take aim with the Beretta PX4 Storm. This dependable firearm has a three-dot sight system and an interchangeable backstrap. Together, these make it a great solution for beginners.


Compare single- and double-action alternatives in the PX4 series to find the one that fits your budget and your firearm goals. An automatic firing pin block completes the safety package of this handy handgun.

  1. Taylors and Company .45 Colt

Another popular revolver for your first handgun is the Taylors and Company .45 Colt. A blade front sight, exposed hammer, and walnut grip adds to this revolver’s classic Western look. The .45 caliber ammunition packs a punch, making it a fun handgun to shoot at a range.


While this firearm may not have the compact frame or safety features of most concealed carry options, it has a beautiful look and iconic feel that makes it a great option to consider.

  1. Smith & Wesson 686+

When you add an extra round to your revolver and add a four-inch barrel, you’ve got the Smith & Wesson 686+. This dynamic revolver balances versatile ammunition capabilities, compact features, and additional round capacity for unexpected situations.


Chamber either .38 Special or .375 ammunition for incredible stopping power. The reduced recoil makes it comfortable to fire despite the compact frame. All these features are packed in a reliable Smith & Wesson design for an uncompromising revolver.

  1. Kahr CW9

Avoid jamming and other inconvenient situations with the Kahr CW9. This remarkably simple handgun has few moving parts and doesn’t require unusual ammunition or adjusting. Pick up 9mm ammunition and load it in this tiny handgun for a lightweight alternative for shooters-in-training.


Since this handgun clocks in under one pound and has few moving parts, it may not be the ideal option for shooting at a range. A short barrel sacrifices long-range accuracy in favor of a portable frame.


  1. Glock G19X G5

Finally, the Glock G19X G5 is perhaps the most versatile on the list. While not as accurate or compact as some other handguns, this crossover firearm boasts many of the benefits of both compact and full-size pistols.


Grab onto the rising grooves of the handle and load a 17-round magazine to find out you can enjoy a full day at a shooting range or confidence with a concealed carry weapon. The G19X G5 comes with all the reliable manufacturing precision you’ve come to expect from Glock, so you don’t have to worry about manufacturing errors when you need to use your handgun.

Leroy Ussery, Owner of H&H Shooting Sports, shows a handgun to a guest on the sales floor.

Shop for the Best First Handgun at H&H Shooting Sports

At H&H Shooting Sports, we have a wide range of popular handguns, ammunition, and accessories for first-time shooters. Whether you’re looking to stay safe with a concealed carry weapon or you’re preparing for an outing to your local shooting range, shop for handguns today. Discuss your handgun needs with our team to see how we can help you find the best firearm for you. H&H Shooting Sports is Oklahoma’s Headquarters for Guns & Gear.