5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]


Whether you are a fan of striker-fired guns or not, they are what’s hot, what’s hip, and they are here to stay.

But what has all that popularity gotten us? Well, a lot of black polymer pistols that look really similar.

CZ P10C and a box of 9mm

There is a dizzying amount of striker-fired pistols on the market today, and it can be tough to figure out what sets them apart from the competition and, more importantly, which one might be right for you.

With that in mind, we filmed a video and compiled a list of our favorite striker-fired pistols (in no particular order) and why we think they rock.

Keep reading to see what we recommend!


Best Striker Fired Handguns

But first…if you aren’t familiar with the differences between striker-fired and hammer-fired pistols, we have you covered with our complete breakdown here!

Now, onto our faves!

1. Sig Sauer P365 X-Macro

The X-Macro is Sig’s latest evolution of their ultra-popular micro-compact P365, and we have to say…it delivers.

Glock 19 Gen 5, Stock
The X-Macro packs a ton of features in a small package.

Even though it is only 1.1 inches wide and 5.2 inches tall, the X-Macro has a mind-boggling capacity of 17 rounds of 9mm.

No other manufacturer has managed to stuff this many rounds in a gun this size.

Features include an optics-ready slide that lets you keep the rear sight when a red dot is installed, X-Ray night sights, a full 1913 accessory rail, extended beavertail, and an integrated compensator.

HK VP9 Left Side
The integrated compensator makes follow-up shots a breeze.

Additionally, Sig was able to retain the full frame, slide, and fire control unit compatibility with previous versions of the P365.

Overall, the solid ergonomics, a good trigger, and the compensator make the X-Macro far easier to shoot than you might expect, making it an excellent choice for those wanting to maximize capacity without getting a full-size pistol.

Don’t forget to check out our review of the P365 X-Macro in the video below or read up on the deets in our full review!

2. CZ P-10C

Sometimes guns punch above their weight class, and we definitely feel that way about the CZ P-10C.

It may look like another Glock 19-type clone, but in the end, you are getting more for your money.

HK VP9 Trigger
While it may look run-of-the-mill, the CZ P-10C feels far from it.

For starters, users will find a surprisingly nice striker-fired trigger on the P-10C. Secondly, CZ worked their ergonomic magic to produce a gun that avoids that blocky 2×4 feeling of some other polymer pistols.

See also  Tree Seed Pods Identification Guide: 75 Species (Full Chart)

Aggressive grip texturing and slide serrations, a deep beavertail, and mild palm swells help this pistol feel like it ”locks in” to your hand.

Walther PDPs
The P-10C shoots flat and fast, even in its stock configuration.

Metal sights are also a nice upgrade over much of the competition, and optics-ready versions are also available. Metal 15-round magazines are also standard.

The result? A super flat shooting, comfortable pistol with great features that comes in under $500.

Want to know more? Head on over to see our full review of the CZ P-10C!

3. Glock 19

You knew it was coming. We knew it was coming. What list isn’t complete without a Glock 19?

Walther PDP Grip with Pinky Extension
The one and only Glock 19, in the flesh.

Many designs have come and gone, but the Glock 19 has remained and is widely considered the gold standard of striker-fired pistols.

Why is that? One word — reliability.

With decades of military and law enforcement use under its belt, the Glock 19 is the most time-tested handgun on this list, in addition to being the most popular handgun in the world (with the biggest aftermarket).

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
Glock’s widespread usage means you can get all the aftermarket bells and whistles you can dream of.

Its 15+1 capacity and 4-inch barrel have become the industry standard size for compact pistols.

The trigger isn’t the best and is pretty spongy by today’s standards, and the ergonomics are a bit blocky for our taste. However, these guns still point well, shoot well, and their simplicity and ease of use can’t be understated.

Those who put a premium on reliability, flexibility, and simplicity will be hard-pressed to find a gun that does those better.

Don’t forget to take a peek at our 3,500-round review of the Gen 5 Glock 19!

4. HK VP9

I know it sounds like heresy, but HK’s best gun just might be their cheapest one — the VP9.

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
The VP9 came later to the game than many of its contemporaries, but it came to play.

Why is that, you say? Well, they finally made a handgun to compete for civilian sales rather than trying to lock down military and agency contracts.

Taking aim at other striker-fired guns on the market, the VP9 set out to do a lot of things better, and it did.

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
The trigger is excellent, and the trigger guard offers generous room for those who shoot with gloves.

For starters, the VP9 has one of the better striker-fired triggers on the market. It is relatively crisp, with a predictable break and a fairly short reset.

See also  DIY Jerk Rig to Add Motion to Duck Decoy Spreads

Old models used 15-round magazines, while newer models have a 17-round capacity.

Where this gun truly shines is ergonomics. Not only are the backstraps interchangeable, but the side panels are too. This allows left or right-handed users to adjust the palm swell to fit them perfectly.

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
Good ergonomics means a good grip, and a good grip means better shooting.

Standard VP9s sport an ambidextrous paddle magazine release. It can take some getting used to, but it is quick and intuitive after the switch is made. For those that prefer a traditional button release, HK also produces a VP9-B variant.

Additionally, you get good slide serrations, as well as rear cocking wings that make racking the slide a breeze. It is capped off with a sizeable ambi slide release, making this one of the most lefty-friendly guns out there.

These guns are accurate, comfortable, and still deliver the famed quality and reliability that HK is known for.

Wondering if this is the gun for you? Take a look at the video review below or read up on it in our full review of the VP9!

5. Walther PDP

Last but definitely not least is the Walther PDP, and boy, does it have us in a lather. To be honest, we love these guns, but for a good reason.

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
The PDP comes in various configurations, and we love them all.

Walther’s Performance Duty Trigger has a little bit of take-up to a defined well, then a very clean break right at around 4-4.5 pounds, and a very short reset.

This is one of the best striker-fired triggers on the market, only matched by guns like the Canik Rival (a Walther clone).

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
Sean Curtis letting the camera know how much he loves his PDP.

All PDPs come with optics-ready slides, but the downside is that you have to submit a request to Walther to have them mail you the adapter plate for your specific red dot.

As usual, Walther implemented excellent ergonomics in the form of good grip texture and chunky Super Terrain slide serrations.

Users with small to medium-sized hands will also appreciate the extended, easy-to-reach ambidextrous slide release.

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
While it lacks traditional finger grooves, there are raised portions on the grip that act as “suggestions” to help guide hand placement.

The PDP is also available in various barrel lengths and also with full-size (18+1 capacity) and compact (15+1 capacity) grip sizes.

Additionally, Walther has recently introduced the PDP-F, which features a reduced grip to trigger reach and an easier to rack slide.

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
You can see the flat back and reduced grip circumference of the PDP-F (front) compared to the standard PDP (rear).

Accuracy and reliability are hallmarks of all Walther duty guns; the PDP has that in spades.

See also  Red Oak vs. White Oak: Key Differences

Still not sold? Check out our 10,000-round review video of the PDP below and our written review!

Honorable Mentions

Narrowing it down to just five pistols was challenging; unfortunately, not everything could make the cut. With that in mind, we snuck in two pistols in the video that didn’t quite make our best of but that we still like.

Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Metal

Life is better with a bit of heavy metal, right?

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
It’s aggressive. It’s mean. And it’s fun to shoot.

Smith and Wesson took their venerable M&P and glammed it up with an all-metal frame and an improved trigger to create the M&P 2.0 Metal.

With good looks in tow, it also has a jaw-dropping performance to match. These guns are extremely accurate, fast shooting, and soft-recoiling.

They are a bit heavy for duty use for some and are on the slightly spendier side for a striker pistol, but they run.

You can see our video on the M&P 2.0 Metal below or take a look at our full written review!

Grand Power Q1S

The Grand Power Q1S is by far the strangest inclusion on the list, but hey, some of us are strange people.

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
Grand Power may not be at the forefront of most people’s thoughts when it comes to handguns, but they offer some great features at reasonable prices.

Much like the Beretta PX4, the Q1S features a rotating barrel design that helps reduce muzzle flip. With a smaller 3.6-inch barrel, the recoil reduction is both noticeable and welcome.

Additionally, the gun has a shockingly good 3.5-4lb trigger that breaks cleanly at 90 degrees.

Consider the fact that you get metal sights, fully ambidextrous controls, and three 12-round magazines for around $400, and you have a real sleeper on your hands.

Final Thoughts

Striker-fired pistols have improved so much in the last 15 years that it is hard to pick just five and keep the list manageable.

5 Best Striker-Fired Pistols [Hands-On+Video]
The good news is that striker-fired pistols are so popular there is definitely one out there for you.

If you didn’t see a specific gun here, be sure to check out our other articles, as we might just have what you are looking for.

What’s your favorite striker-fired handgun? Sound off in the comments below. Want to dive into the world of pistols even more? We got you. Check out our recommendations for the Best Beginner & Home Defense Pistols and Best Concealed Carry Guns.

Previous articleHow to Go Flying with Fishing Gear: The Complete Guide
Next articleHunting ammunition shortage eases, for now
Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>