best handgun for beginner

List of Best Handgun for Beginner & Home Defense

You may be asking yourself, what is the best handgun for a beginner or maybe you are wondering what is the best handgun for self defense. This article will cover some of the practical considerations when selecting a home defense handgun and will include some of our recommendations on what your best first gun should be.

best handgun for beginner

When it comes to purchasing a handgun for self-defense, it's important for first-time gun buyers to approach the decision with careful consideration. There are many types of handguns so before making any purchases, familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations regarding handgun ownership in your area, including obtaining any necessary licenses or permits and adhering to restrictions on magazine capacity and specific models.

When looking at types of handguns, one of the first considerations will be what is the caliber of the gun. The caliber of a handgun refers to the size of the bullet it uses, and common calibers for self-defense handguns include 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. When choosing a caliber, consider factors such as the availability and cost of ammunition, recoil, and stopping power. Choose a firearm that you can handle comfortably and accurately, taking into account grip size, weight, and trigger pull. Many first time shooters will find 9mm to be a great option but it is a good idea to try out different handguns at a shooting range to determine which one you prefer.

best home defense handgun
Photo courtesy of Sniper Country

A self-defense handgun must be reliable and function properly when needed, so consider purchasing from a reputable manufacturer and reading reviews from other users to gauge the reliability of a particular model. In addition, when searching for a home defense handgun, you will want to consider the magazine capacity. The capacity of a handgun refers to the number of rounds it can hold in the magazine, so consider your specific needs when choosing a capacity. If you plan to carry your handgun for personal defense, consider how easily it can be concealed, taking into account size, weight, and shape. It's important to receive proper training in the use of a handgun for self-defense, including instruction on safety, shooting technique, and legal considerations, so consider taking a beginner's firearms course and seeking additional training from a qualified instructor. Regular cleaning and maintenance is essential for the proper functioning of a handgun, so consider the ease of disassembly and cleaning when choosing a firearm, as well as the availability of replacement parts and accessories. By taking these steps, you can choose a handgun that will provide you with the protection you need in a self-defense situation.

home defense handgun

Here's a more detailed list of 8 handguns commonly recommended for beginner home defense, along with some of the notable features and common likes and dislikes:

Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm
  • Polymer frame, striker-fired
  • Ambidextrous controls, customizable grip
  • Accurate and reliable
  • Some users complain about the trigger pull
M&P M2.0 pistol best first gunM&P M2.0 pistol best first gun
Photos courtesy of Smith & Wesson
Glock 19
  • Polymer frame, striker-fired
  • Simple and durable design
  • Widely used by law enforcement and military
  • Some users dislike the feel of the grip or the placement of the controls

Glock 19 best handgun for beginner
Photo courtesy of GLOCK, Inc.

Sig Sauer P320
  • Polymer frame, striker-fired
  • Modular design, allows for easy conversion to different calibers and frame sizes
  • Smooth trigger and good accuracy
  • Some users report reliability issues, particularly with older models

Sig Sauer P320 home defense handgunPhoto courtesy of Sig Sauer

Ruger SR9
  • Polymer frame, striker-fired
  • Affordable, reliable and accurate
  • Good grip design and trigger
  • Some users report difficulty disassembling the firearm for cleaning

Ruger SR9 best first gunPhoto courtesy of CT Firearms Auction 

Taurus G2C 9mm
  • Affordable, polymer frame, striker-fired
  • Good accuracy and reliability for the price
  • Simple design with few external controls
  • Some users report quality control issues with some models

Taurus G2C 9mm best first gunPhoto courtesy of Palmetto State Armory 

Springfield Armory XD(M) 9mm
  • Polymer frame, striker-fired
  • Good accuracy and reliability
  • Ergonomic grip and smooth trigger
  • Some users report difficulty with disassembling the firearm for cleaning

Springfield Armory XD(M) 9mm best home defense handgunSpringfield Armory XD(M) 9mm best home defense handgunPhotos courtesy of Springfield Armory 

CZ P-10 C
  • Steel frame, striker-fired
  • Good accuracy and reliability
  • Good ergonomics and trigger
  • Some users report that the magazine release is difficult to use

CZ P-10 C best handgun for beginnerPhotos courtesy of CZ 

Beretta 92FS
  • Steel frame, double/single action
  • Widely used by military and law enforcement
  • Good accuracy and reliability
  • Some users report that the firearm is heavy for its size, and the trigger can be heavy for some beginners

Beretta 92FS home defense handgunPhoto courtesy of Beretta USA

It's important to note that choosing the best handgun for personal defense is a highly personal decision and should be based on individual factors such as comfort, shooting ability, and budget. Additionally, it's important to receive proper training and obtain a license where required before purchasing a handgun for personal defense. 

The table below shows comparison between handguns mentioned above as well as other handgun alternatives. 







Glock 19


23.65 oz.

7.36" L x 1.26" W x 4.99" H

15 rounds

$500 - $600

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP

19 oz.

6.5" L x 4.6" H x 0.95" W

7-8 rounds

$400 - $500

Sig Sauer P365


17.8 oz.

5.8" L x 4.3" H x 1.0" W

10-12 rounds

$500 - $600

Ruger LCP

.380 ACP

10.6 oz.

5.16" L x 3.71" H x 0.92" W

6 rounds

$300 - $400

Taurus G2C


22 oz.

7.2" L x 1.25" W x 4.9" H

12 rounds

$250 - $350

Colt Government

.45 ACP

30 oz.

7.5" L x 5.5" H x 1.3" W

7 rounds

$800 - $900

Beretta 92FS


33.3 oz.

8.5" L x 5.4" H x 1.5" W

15 rounds

$600 - $700

CZ 75


34 oz.

8.15" L x 5.4" H x 1.4" W

16 rounds

$500 - $600

Please note that the costs listed are estimates and may vary based on factors such as location, availability, and current market conditions. Additionally, these prices may not include additional costs such as taxes, fees, and the cost of accessories such as holsters and magazines. Also, the dimensions listed are approximate and may vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. The number of rounds listed assumes a standard factory magazine. It's important to check local laws and regulations regarding magazine capacity.