Top Quality Handguns In 2022

he handgun market is hot right now. It’s one of the most competitive spaces in the gun industry and it’s driving both innovation and expansion. New handguns, as well as adaptations of current lines, are being unveiled alongside new models from companies who haven’t been players in the handgun market for decades.

The hottest arms race in the gun market is currently the compact, or more-specifically, the micro-compact 9mm category. Gun makers are squeezing more capacity than ever into tiny concealed-carry handguns and managing to make them more comfortable to shoot than many larger “compact” handguns in previous years.

We are certainly seeing manufacturers gravitate toward compact concealed-carry guns with maximized capacity, but there are some great full-sized guns being introduced, too. The resurgent popularity of the 10mm auto cartridge is still percolating, and we’re seeing several new models that are adapted from current lines. Here are some of the cool new handguns to look for in 2022.

Smith & Wesson CSX

The Smith & Wesson CSX features an alloy frame. Smith & Wesson

This handgun giant has been evolving their line of M&P pistols towards concealed-carry models like the M&P Shield Plus, but they went back to the drawing board altogether for the new CSX: a hammer-fired micro 9mm. Although it shares some similar lines and ergonomic characteristics with the M&P series, the frame is aluminum alloy and features a textured front strap and interchangeable polymer back straps to customize the fit. It also has front and rear cocking serrations with an extended tab on the back of the slide.

The CSX isn’t optic-ready, but its compact package is streamlined for concealment with metal white-dot front and rear sights. This new handgun sports ambidextrous controls including a thumb safety and elongated slide stop, as well as a reversible magazine release button. The flat-faced trigger also incorporates a trigger safety, and the 18-degree grip angle is optimal for many users’ natural point of aim.


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 12+1 rounds
  • Barrel: Stainless Steel, 3.1-inch, 1:10 Twist
  • Dimensions: 6.1 inches (L) x 4.6 inches (H) x 1.12 inches (W)
  • Weight: 19.5 ounces
  • Frame: Aluminum Alloy
  • Slide: Stainless Steel
  • Finish: Black Armornite
  • Grip: Interchangeable Polymer Back straps
  • Sights: Metal White Dot Front/Rear
  • Trigger: Single Action, Safety Bar
  • MSRP: $609

Springfield Armory XD-M Elite 3.8-inch Compact OSP 10mm W Hex Dragonfly

XDM 10mm
The XD-M Elite Compact OSP 10mm is a feature-packed compact 10mm auto. Springfield Armory

Released late in 2021, this variation of Springfield’s long-running XD-M series hits both the concealed-carry and backcountry defense markets. The new compact XD-M is chambered in 10mm auto, which continues to enjoy a boom in popularity. It presents a capable and more-flexible option for backcountry carry as well as a crossover to concealed carry. It brings some refreshing variety to the compact 10mm category—which pretty much consists of just the Glock G29.

The Compact OSP 10mm is virtually the same size and weight as the G29 and comes optics ready with ambidextrous slide stop and magazine catch controls. Springfield offers a variation of this pistol with their proprietary Hex Dragonfly red dot optic already installed. The pistol comes with a removable magwell, plus interchangeable backs traps for the best fit. With the magwell removed, you can use either the flared 11-round magazines or full-length 15-round magazines with grip sleeve.


  • Caliber: 10mm auto
  • Magazine Capacity: 11+1 (flush), 15+1 (extended)
  • Dimensions: 4.58 in. (H) x 6.75 in. (L) x 1.2 in. (W)
  • Weight: 30.6 ounces
  • Frame: Black Polymer
  • Slide: Forged Steel, Black Melonite finish, Optic-compatible
  • Barrel: 3.8 in. hammer-forged steel, Melonite finish, fully supported chamber
  • Sights: Fiber-optic front, White “U-Notch” rear
  • Optic: Hex Dragonfly Red Dot Reflex
  • Trigger: single-action, trigger bar safety
  • Safety: Grip Safety and trigger tab
  • Price: $837 with optic ($650 without)

Savage Stance MC9

Savage Stance
The Savage Stance with a 7-round magazine. Savage Arms

For the first time since 1920, Savage is back in the pistol market, diving right into the most competitive category: the micro 9mm. The Stance is an ultra-thin polymer-frame semi-automatic striker-fired 9mm with a 3.2-inch barrel. It’s less than an inch thick, but an abrasive stipple finish on the grip and interchangeable back straps should make this one a pleasure to shoot.

The pistol won’t turn heads with capacity, it included 2 magazines—one 7-round and one 8-round—and is designed for concealment. Edges on the frame and slide are beveled, as are the sights, to avoid snagging on clothing. Critical controls like the slide stop and magazine catch button are ambidextrous, and the Stance is available in several configurations, with varying combinations of color, sight style, manual safety (with/without), and some other accessories. The basic Stance pistol comes with a front orange-dot and white-dot U-notch rear sights.


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 8+1, 7+1 round magazines
  • Barrel: Stainless Steel, 3.2-inch, 1:10 Twist
  • Dimensions: 6.2 inches (L) x 4.6 inches (H) x 0.96 inches (W)
  • Weight: 22 ounces
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Slide: Stainless Steel
  • Finish: Black Nitride
  • Grip: Stippled texturing, Interchangeable Polymer Back Straps
  • Sights: Orange-Dot Front, White-Dot U-Notch Rear
  • Trigger: Single-Action
  • MSRP: $479

Kimber R7 Mako

A black handgun
The R7 Mako is refined, which is a pretty odd way to describe a plastic micro-compact nine. Kimber

Introduced in the fall of 2021, Kimber’s R7 Mako is a leap right into the micro-compact 9mm market. This polymer-framed pistol is a departure from the 1911-based designs that you’re used to seeing from Kimber, but it’s not done lightly. The pistol is designed with careful thought and observation, and it should be right at the front of the ever-growing pack of concealed-carry 9mm pistols. OL Shooting Editor John B. Snow got an early look at the Mako, and it has lots of potential.

The R7 Mako is ultra-compact, with 11-round and 13-round magazines. The Mako’s grip features a fine-but-aggressive texturing, and it comes optics ready—or with a Crimson Trace CTS-1500 red dot installed. It comes with co-witness-height tritium sights, and the slide is cut with a Glock dovetail pattern to allow use of a wide variety of aftermarket options. Slide stop and magazine catch buttons are ambidextrous, features that are becoming standard. The ejection port is on the side of the slide and closed on top. This is to protect the optic from powder residue, hot gas, and brass impact, and should help keep your optic cleaner.


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Magazine Capacity: 11+1 (flush), 13+1 (extended)
  • Dimensions: 4.3 in. (H) x 6.2 in. (L) x 1 in. (W)
  • Weight: 23 oz. (with included optic, empty extended magazine)
  • Frame: Glass-filled nylon grip and stainless steel central block
  • Slide: Stainless steel with FNC finish
  • Barrel: 3.37 inch with 1:10 twist
  • Sights: Tritium Pro Night Sights with orange front ring and dual white rear dots.
  • Trigger: Single-Action 5.0-6.75 pounds
  • MSRP: $799 (with optic); $599 (base model)

Ruger Birdshead Wrangler

ruger birdshead wrangler
The new Ruger Birdshead Wrangler features a curved birdshead grip and durable cerakote finish. Ruger

Ruger is well-known for its revolvers, and this year the company has introduced three new models to their Wrangler line, all featuring the “birdshead” pattern frames and grips. These single-action .22 long rifle revolvers are compact and unique, with the birdshead-style grip. They have 3.75-inch barrels and fit holsters made for Single-Six models of similar barrel length.

In keeping with the Ruger brand, the Birdshead Wrangler is meant to be a durable, reliable, and affordable revolver. The frames are aluminum alloy with a durable Cerakote finish, and grips are interchangeable with other Ruger birdshead-style grips. This six-shooter’s got the classic single-action look with a blade front sight and integral frame-notch rear sight.


  • Caliber: .22 long rifle
  • Capacity: 6rounds
  • Barrel: 3.75-inch cold-hammer forged
  • Length: 8.62 inches
  • Weight: 28 ounces
  • Frame: Aluminum alloy
  • Finish: Cerakote
  • Grip: Birdshead synthetic
  • Sights: non-adjustable, blade front, frame notch rear
  • Trigger: Single-Action
  • MSRP: $279

Springfield Armory SA-35

A silver handgun with a wood grip
The Springfield Armory P35 is a simple, clean, and effective pistol that’s tough to beat. Springfield Armory

The P35, or Browning Hi-Power, is one of the most well-known and widely distributed semi-automatic handgun models of the 20th century. Released in 1935, it found popularity in many military and law enforcement applications for decades. It’s been out of production from FN for several years now, but Springfield Armory is bringing it back with their SA-35, which has several updates to make the model even better.

The SA-35 features a matte-blued finish that’s suggests it’s there to work rather than look fancy. It features finely checkered and contoured wood grips and is a strikingly legitimate P35 on the surface. Springfield made a few changes to the classic design to bring it into line with what modern shooters want and expect. First, Springfield increased magazine capacity from 13 to 15 rounds. Second, the company re-designed the hammer profile to reduce the occurrence of the shooter’s hand getting pinched. Finally, engineers eliminated the magazine disconnect from the design. This allows the pistol to be fired without a magazine and the magazine to fall freely from the gun when the magazine catch button is pushed. More importantly, it greatly improves the trigger pull compared to the original P35 or Hi-Power.


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15+1
  • Action: Semi-auto, single-action
  • Dimensions: 7.8 inches (L) x 4.8 inches (H) x 1.32 inches (W)
  • Weight: 32 ounces
  • Frame: Forged carbon-steel, blued
  • Slide: Forged carbon-steel, blued
  • Barrel: 4.7-inch, cold hammer-forged, 1:10-inch twist
  • Grips: Checkered Walnut
  • Sights: White dot front, serrated U-notch rear (windage adjustable)
  • Single action, curved, 4 pounds, 10 ounces
  • MSRP: $699

Sig Sauer P320 AXG Equinox

Sig p320 AXG Equinox
The P320 AXG Equinox is a variant of the popular P320, but with a stainless steel frame and a few custom touches. Sig Sauer

The P320 has become a very popular handgun since its adoption—in M17 form—by the U.S. Army to replace the Beretta M9. A full-size polymer striker-fired 9mm pistol, it’s a platform made for versatility. Sig already has a variety of P320’s out there, but you might feel out of the loop if you prefer the fit and feel of steel-frame pistols—until now.

The P320 AXG Equinox is a new limited edition P320 that features the same P320 ergonomics and versatility that made it popular, but with a stainless-steel frame. If this pistol looks a little flashy, that’s because it’s meant to. But it still means business. It features a carry-length 3.9-inch barrel, two-tone polished slide, and nickel-plated controls. The slide comes optic-ready and the pistol features a flat-faced, skeletonized trigger.


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 17+1
  • Barrel: 3.9-inch black carbon steel
  • Dimensions: 7.4 inches (L) x 5.5 inches (H) x 1.3 inches (W)
  • Weight: 31.3 ounces
  • Frame: Stainless Steel, hard-coat annodized
  • Slide: Stainless Steel, two-tone Equinox finish
  • Grip: Carry AXG (Alloy X-Series Grip), black
  • Sights: X-Ray3 Day/Night sights
  • Trigger: Single-Action, flat-faced, skeletonized
  • MSRP: $1329.99

Mossberg MC2sc

Mossberg MC2sc
The MC2Sc is Mossberg’s double-stack micro-9mm that can hold up to 15 rounds. Mossberg

Mossberg’s polymer compact 9mm the MC2 has been well-received in the couple years it’s been around, but they have been quick to update it to keep up with the micro-compact 9mm market in a new double-stack version, the MC2sc. It’s still only 1.10 inches thick but boasts competitive capacities of 11+1 with the flush magazine and 14+1 with the extended magazine—both of which is it ships with.

The MC2sc has a glass-reinforced polymer frame with high tensile strength as well as chemical resistance. It features a stainless slide and barrel, and the slide is pre-cut and optic-ready, cut with a Shield RSMC footprint. It has an 18-degree grip with palm swell and a slightly over-sized trigger guard. The flat trigger has a trigger-blade safety and some models come with a reversible crossbolt safety. The slide stop isn’t reversible, but the magazine catch button is. The MC2sc features low-profile sights that are co-witnessable with micro red-dot optics.


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 11+1, 14+1
  • Barrel: 3.4 inches, stainless steel DLC finish
  • Dimensions: 6.25 inches (L) x 4.3 inches (H) x 1.1 inches (W)
  • Weight: 19.5 ounces
  • Frame: Glass-reinforced polymer
  • Slide: Stainless Steel, DLC finish
  • Grip: 18 degree, textured polymer
  • Sights: steel, low-profile white dot, optic-ready
  • Trigger: Flat-faced, trigger blade safety
  • MSRP: $556

Smith & Wesson M&P 10mm 2.0

MP 10mm
The M&P 10mm 2.0 provides an adaptable new platform for 10mm enthusiasts. Smith & Wesson

It’s not just micro-9mm pistols that are popular; the 10mm auto has seen steady growth in recent years as a backcountry defense option that many folks prefer to large revolvers. Smith and Wesson hasn’t produced a 10mm in a while, and it’s a welcome sight to see them bring it into their highly popular M&P 2.0 lineup. It’s a market largely dominated by the Glock G20, and this will give users another option with a different feel.

The M&P 10mm 2.0 is built around the M&P45 2.0 and is compatible with aftermarket accessories for that pistol. It features the same contours, interchangeable grip back straps, and feel that the rest of the highly popular M&P 2.0 line is known for. Its aggressive grip texture should help with the sharp-recoiling round.  It’s made in 4-inch and 4.6-inch-barrel models, but both are on a full-size frame that uses 15-round steel magazines. Models with manual safeties are available, but the standard features a flat-profile trigger with trigger-bar safety. The slide comes optics ready with various mounting plates and screws included to fit a variety of optics, and the pistol features steel white-dot sights that are tall enough to be co-witnessed through most optics. For versatility, the pistol features an ambidextrous slide stop and reversible magazine catch button.


  • Caliber: 10mm auto
  • Capacity: 15+1
  • Barrel: 4-inch, stainless steel, 1:10 5R
  • Dimensions: 7.2 inches (L) x 5.6 inches (H) x 1.3 inches (W)
  • Weight: 27.8 ounces
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Slide: Stainless steel
  • Finish: Black Armornite
  • Grip: Interchangeable back straps, abrasive texturing
  • Sights: Steel, white 3-dot, optic-height
  • Trigger: Single-Action, flat-faced, trigger bar safety
  • MSRP: $654

Colt Python 3-inch .357 Magnum

Colt Python 3 inch
The 3-inch version of the Colt Python is back. It has the classic look with some upgrades. Colt

If there ever was an iconic revolver, it’s the Colt Python. And after a long hiatus, Colt is bringing the 3-inch model of the Python back into production. On the surface, the new 3-inch Python is built to look like the original—with a semi-bright stainless-steel finish complimented by walnut grips. It looks and feels like the original, but with a slightly more-durable frame to make it even better at handling hot .357 Magnum loads.

This new handgun boasts a silky-smooth trigger pull and performance that anyone can appreciate. It features an interchangeable red ramp front sight, and a match-grade rear sight that’s adjustable for windage and elevation. Whether you’re using slower .38 Special ammunition or full-house .357 Magnum, you can easily zero the sights to meet your needs.


  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel: 3 inches long, 1:14 LH Twist, 6-groove
  • Dimensions: 8.5 inches (L) x 5.5 inches (H) x 1.55 inches (W)
  • Weight: 40 ounces
  • Frame: Stainless Steel
  • Finish: Semi-Bright
  • Grip: Walnut
  • Sights: Rear Adjustable (Windage and Elevation), Front Red Ramp (Interchangeable)
  • Trigger: Double/Single Action, 7 to 9.5 pound Trigger Weight
  • MSRP: $1499


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