If you are just starting to learn more about firearms, most people probably recommended you to own a pistol as a starting point. Pistols are easier to handle and great for beginners. To narrow down your choices, we compiled a list of the best pistols for beginners.

Pistols are convenient to use because they’re small and easy to carry around with you. For starters, you want your pistols to fit comfortably in your hands. If possible choose a “full size” pistol.

They’re much easier to shoot because of more weight to absorb the recoil. You also have a larger grip area and longer sight radius which are both helpful for a beginner.

Don’t forget to get some cleaning tools like gun cleaning oil. Most people use gun cleaning oil for maintenance and even before and after doing some shooting. It helps keep your pistol in good condition.

Glock 19

The Glock 19 has several modes and each is better than its predecessors. It’s the most used pistol among police agencies and military units. The generation 5 Glock 19 is among the best to get.

The Glock 19 gives you more control over your pistol while still allowing for easy concealment and use in all conditions. It also has a lanyard loop that is helpful for beginners. It won’t hit the ground ever.

The rising grooves on the handle also make it easy for beginners to maintain a steady grip. You get a 17-round magazine, giving you more shots in between reloads that’s really helpful for beginners.

Springfield XD-S Mod.2

The Springfield XD-S Mod.2 is a great pistol perfect for any skill level. It’s a striker-fired pistol so there’s no hammer making it unlikely to snag your belt when drawing it from a holster.

It provides a full grip for easier control. It has a compact barrel for easy concealment. You also have grip and trigger safeties so you will feel safe and secure when handling the gun.

This pistol has aggressive texturing that reduces the chances of slipping from your hands or from moving unintentionally. It features a 30% improved Grip Zone that is better than its previous model.

Ruger LCR 9

If you’re going for a beginner revolver, the Ruger LCR 9 is a great choice. It’s a great concealed carry pistol thanks to its small dimensions. Revolvers are great for beginners since all you have to do is point and shoot.

However, you have to be wary of the recoil. This gun can pack a recoil. The LCR 9 has reduced perceived recoil so it should be okay for beginners. However, it is still best you’re prepared for it just like any other gun.

Another safety feature great for beginners is its double-action-only (DAO) trigger. It requires a long pull so it has a lesser chance of accidentally discharging.

Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ

Smith & Wesson is a famous name in the firearms industry so it’s no surprise you see one in this list. The Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ has a rear grip with small cuts. It makes the gun easier to control which is helpful for beginners.

You can easily disassemble the pistol without the need to pull the trigger. Add that with the audible trigger reset makes it a great safety pistol for beginners.

The angle of the grip and white dot sights make aiming with this gun easy. This gun was made specifically for beginners who are starting to learn about guns.

Kahr CW9

The Kahr CW9 is ideal for training. It’s a striker-fired pistol so it’s easier to handle. This pistol is well known for rarely jamming so it’s a great option for beginners who don’t know what to do when their gun jams.

This pistol only weighs under 1 pound making it easier to carry. Its weight and design make it easy for concealment. It’s also a great starter gun if you want to involve yourself in competition pistol shooting.


Pistols are great options for first-time gun enthusiasts. They’re compact, easy to use, lightweight, and easy to carry. This list of pistols is among the best in this categories and they will serve you well as your beginner pistol.

About the author

James Forrester
Keep Guns Safe
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Founding staff member, avid shooter, hunter, reloader and all around gun geek with an obsession for perfection