“Any way you look at it, the RP9 is a big pistol. The slide measures almost 1.2 inches wide. Those looking for a dedicated concealed-carry gun might find it a tad on the bulky side. However, for shooters who like to compete in combat-style shooting matches, the RP9 holds a lot of ammo, is soft shooting and has as good a trigger as you’ll find on any polymer-framed pistol. These features, combined with its modular grip, make it an ideal first handgun or home-defense pistol for almost everyone. And it should go without saying that the RP9 fills the police duty role ideally. After all, like the rest of the human race, cops come in all shapes and sizes.” -Richard Mann, “Combat Handguns” November/December 2017
“Judging the success of the APX is something that will happen years from now. As of today, the gun appears to be a serious contender. Why? Its efficient design, modular format and performance-driven features. After the Beretta Tactical Summit 2.0, I am left wondering less about the success of the Beretta APX. It seems a given. I’m more interested in what Beretta will be unveiling in the future. Don’t get me wrong—the APX seems to be an impressive pistol. But the APX is just the tip of the iceberg. What lies underneath is likely to be even more impressive.” -Paul Carlson, “Combat Handguns” July/August 2017
“S&W has just introduced the M&P Shield M2.0, and fortunately, it retains all of the features that made the original gun such a success and adds a few more. The M2.0 lineup also includes a new Shield that possesses an integral Crimson Trace laser, not unlike the S&W Bodyguard 380. Designated the M&P Shield M2.0 CT, the new addition is destined to become a favorite among the concealed-carry crowd.” -Mike Detty, “Combat Handguns” January/February 2018
“The VP9 Tactical is a well-made pistol with features that separate it from the plethora of polymer-framed pistols available from a standpoint of ergonomics and ease of shooting. In fact, this pistol makes many other designs seem out of date by comparison. For optimal use with the AAC Ti-RANT suppressor, this system only needs a taller set of sights.” -Andy Massamilian, “Combat Handguns” March 2017
“In the end, the Honor Guard felt great and fit my hands well, and I’m a rather picky pistol shooter. It also performed very well considering its price. This gun has a lot of features, and after you put a few rounds downrange with this new compact 9mm, I’m sure you’ll be satisfied, too.” -Jay Langston, “Combat Handguns” September/October 2017
“My evaluation sample of the FN 509 came with three different backstraps, and they can be interchanged by simply pushing out the retaining pin, sliding the backstrap off the frame, installing a different one and reinstalling the pin. The sides of the grip frame feature sharp pyramid-style checkering to provide a rock-solid grip even when wet. Above the pyramidal checkering is a texture similar to skate tape, while the front- and backstraps have what FN calls “Dragon Scales.” These three different styles of texturing should provide an excellent grip even when used with gloves.” -Mike Detty, “Combat Handguns” November/December 2017
“Ruger’s new American Compact Pro is very likely the most solidly built polymer-framed handgun on today’s market. From its glass-filled nylon grip frame to its stainless steel chassis and slide, it’s very clear that this is one pistol that’s made for a lifetime of shooting under all conditions. But the American Compact Pro isn’t just rugged—it’s also versatile. If you’re right- or left-handed you’ll be able to easily operate this pistol. Need a light or a laser? Just attach it to the integral Picatinny rail on the underside of the dust cover. Long or short fingers? No problem. Three interchangeable backstraps allow you to adjust the trigger reach to fit a wide variety of hand sizes. Want new sights? Just drift out the factory Novak sights and install whatever you desire. Add to this the fact that the test sample sent to me is chambered in widely available, mild-kicking 9mm, and the American Compact Pro comes very close to being an all-around defensive pistol for everyone—civilians and professionals alike.” -Dr. Martin D. Topper, “Combat Handguns” May/June 2017
“To measure the M&P45 Threaded Barrel Kit’s inherent accuracy, I used the standard, non-threaded 4.5-inch barrel and a rest to fire three 230-grain FMJ loads from Black Hills, Remington and Winchester. I also ran the pistol with the threaded 5.18-inch barrel and an Advanced Armament Corporation Ti-RANT 45S suppressor. I tested the pistol’s reliability using several brands of ammo, including those with hollow-point bullets, and there were no stoppages or malfunctions with any of the loads, with or without the sound suppressor.” -Andy Massimilian, “Combat Handguns” May/June 2017
“The standard 18-round magazines now include extended baseplates so they can hold 20 rounds. Despite this breathtaking magazine capacity, the frame geometry remains lithe and svelte. There are two interchangeable backstraps that ultimately determine the position of your finger on the trigger. The small version accommodates petite shooters. The larger version better serves folks like me with long monkey fingers. The magazine release is reversible at the user level and also sports the niftiest screw-in extensions. The gun comes with a little plastic toolbox that includes two spacers that, together, offer three different profiles for the magazine release. If you cannot customize the TP9SFx to your particular anatomy, you are either not trying or not human. The slide is extended, as is the barrel, and there are cocking serrations at the front and rear. There are lightening cuts on the top and bottom of the slide, though the barrel is not ported. The front sight sports a fiber-optic insert, and both green and red rods are included. The rear sight is a professional Warren Tactical component without dots or ancillary bling.” -Will Dabbs, MD, “Combat Handguns” July/August 2017
We here at Personal Defense World are all about striker-fired pistols. But with so many options available in today’s marketplace, it can be difficult to settle on the “best one.” Fear not, we’ve got all the intel you need to pick the best striker-fired pistols for you or to gift to that special straight shooter in your life. Where did we get that intel, you ask? Why, the pages of “Combat Handguns,” naturally. So we’ve made our list and checked it twice. We’ve also pulled quotes from some of our favorite contributors discussing these guns and what makes them special. Without further ado and just in time for the holidays, here—in our humble opinion—are the 10 best striker-fired pistols to grace the pages of “Combat Handguns” magazine in 2017.
Editor’s Note: The original version of this post erroneously included the Walther Creed. The Creed is not a striker-fired pistol and thusly has been removed from the list.
For more information about the striker-fired pistols featured in the gallery above, please visit the following sites.
Smith & Wesson (M&P M2.0)
Heckler & Koch
Smith & Wesson (M&P 45 Threaded Barrel Kit)
A Kentucky man was shot and killed after he violated a protective order and...
by Personal Defense World / Dec 21, 2017