Top 5 Most Comfortable Pistols

Some pistols are just inherently more comfortable than others by nature of their design. In this list we explore five different semi-automatic handguns that are just plain comfortable to take to the range and blast away.

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Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • John

    While I appreciate the 1911 being included on the list, I think the Browning Hi-Power should replace it.

    • John

      Also, the Smith & Wesson M&P, while not being as sexy as a Luger, Hi Power, or something made out of steel, in my opinion feels better than most on your list.

      • Gary Kirk

        I really don’t like them, but they are comfortable once you figure out the correct grip

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      Why?

      • John

        I have owned and carried both the 1911, and the BHP, and although I have small/med hands, I (subjectively, of course) feel that the Browning Hi Power feels better in the hand.

        • A bearded being from beyond ti

          alright.

    • Martin M

      Love Hi-Powers, but the double stack mag tends to make it feel fat to many people.

      • Gary Kirk

        Love my Beretta, same general feelings towards them

        • Martin M

          I especially feel that about Beretta 92/M9s. I really like Hi-Powers, though.

  • Jim Jones

    Cz 75
    1911
    Browning Hi-Power
    Cz 83

    Not a complete list, but pretty close in my book.

    • I M Simpleton

      I got rid of all my 380, then picked up a cz83 from AIM, I love it! Kind of clunky looking and heavy, but feels great to shoot.

    • Just say’n

      +1 on the CZ82 / 83.

      Also really like how my M&P Shield fits my hand and points naturally.

  • Stan

    You tricked me by cutting to the Hi-Power! I have a FNH Hi-Power and love the feel

    • Harry’s Holsters

      The Hi power should have been on the list. I find it more ergonomic than the 1911.

  • thedonn007

    From your list I have only held the 1911. My favorite so far is the CZ-75, and more specifically the CZ-75 P-01.

  • Gary Kirk

    Holy Hell.. You’re gonna open the gates with this one.. All in all a very good list, I am with a lot of other people in that I’d have found a spot for the hi-power. But personally, I find my Beretta 96 quite comfortable. And also find myself prone to a bit of slide bite (not really slide bite, but a light rub across the top of my hand) with the 51 that can get annoying after a few.

    Not real familiar with a couple on the list but mine would probably look like

    1911
    Hi-power
    Sig 226 and equivalent others
    Beretta 96 (I know “too big”)
    And as much as I don’t like them.. The S&W M&P series

  • Mark K

    Love my HK P7’s comfortable handling. SIG 210 is very nice as well. Hi Power is my carry gun though.

    • Steve

      While the P7 feels great to me, I’ll admit it’s not for everyone. I will second the SIG P210, however!

      I’d also put the Makarov right up there with the Model 51. The only downside is the left-side retention loop.

      Last (serious) choice I’d throw out will be the Beretta single-stack Cheetah. I don’t particularly like .380, but the gun is probably the most comfortable pistol I’ve ever held.

      And for a less serious choice – a bulls-eye .22LR with wrap-around grips, custom-fitted. I personally had an IZH-35M, but Hämmerli, Pardini, Benelli, or even a S&W 41 or Ruger MkII/III with custom grips all fall into this category.

      • MiniBus

        Love my p7’s feel and like my 210’s. I like Beretta 84 double stack, haven’t tried the 85. So great minds think alike. Or at least we more or less think alike.

      • Bob

        I would argue that although the Makarov feels good in the hand, actually firing it is not comfortable for some people. I find I will get the joint at the base of my thumb beaten by the back of the frame (original Red Star grips), and can lose a bit of skin after a couple hundred rounds. I still like to shoot it and won’t let that stop me, but others have shot a mag through it and called it quits.

  • Don Ward

    I have nothing bad to say against this list. As always one can do things like transpose the Steyr for a Colt Woodsman.

  • kingghidorah

    Walther TT Olympia

    • LG

      Would have to give the nod to the Hammerli 106 Free Pistol over the Walther.

  • Dickie

    always gota include dumbass relics like the m1905. Really. Could replaced with something more people can relate to or have used. At least he didnt add that p7 he is obsessed with.

    • LG

      The Schwartzlose Model 1898 would have been a much better “classic” choice.

      • roguetechie

        I’d actually love to have a schwarzlosse 1898 clone using browning hi power magazines.

        • LG

          Just a repro would be great. A Remington 53 would also be great. As a teenager I got to handle one by it’s owner while being lectured on it’s mechanism. It was the only one outside the other prototype in the Remington Museum.

          • Gary Kirk

            Nice

          • roguetechie

            I am beyond jealous! A model 53 is my white whale. I had a very nice 51 in .380 but I stupidly believed Remington could manage to build a new version of the damn gun they built decades ago!

            If Remington was any sort of smart they’d have just done what colt did with 1903 clones and made new 51’s exactly to old spec.

            Especially since CNC surface grinding and etc equipment are available now they could have done really well!

            I mean for the love of god modern firearms manufacturing and the highly interchangeable parts we have now are because of John Pedersen!

            JMB might be the father of modern firearms, but john pedersen is the reason they’re so cheap and the parts so interchangeable!!

          • LG

            I believe that you answered your own question. Look at your Remington 51 from the inside. I do not believe that CNC machining could give one the fit on the original hand fit models. I do not believe that MIM and CNC can do it well enough. Even in the day look at items such as the Winchester Model 21. I do not think that Winchester ever really made a profit on it, but kept it in the catalogue out of pride. Really inspect the fitting of a good C96 Mauser or P08. One of the few pistol
            companies that still have such fit and finish is Korth. Look at an original “registered magnum” S&W and you will see quality. The new Smith wheel guns are a pale ghost compared to even their older pinned barrel and recessed cylinder versions. CNC should make recessed cylinder chambers easy, but do you see them currently. Part of the problem is too many people today accept poor craftsmanship and fabrication. And by the way, the Model 53 was BEAUTIFULLY fitted and machined.

          • Amplified Heat

            The fit & feel of the R51 would be a lot better if Remington actually polished their parts, as opposed to bead blasting them for a rough finish. They also use a fairly coarse blast, no less.

          • Amplified Heat

            “If Remington was any sort of smart they’d have just done what colt did with 1903 clones and made new 51’s exactly to old spec.”
            They’d be three grand like the 1903s, and have bolt breakage issues like the originals; boo. I’d settle for the new design, just double/triple the price so it can be quality made from well machined parts, and finished in high gloss blue & fancy grips.

          • roguetechie

            Honestly I’d bite the bullet and pay $3500 for a model 53. I’d have to sell a bunch of stuff, but I’d do it.

            And for a brand new 51 in 380 that would take modern ammo and that they were committed to making spares for is something I’d pay $2000 for…

            Why?

            Because my 51 was the best pistol I’ve ever owned! And to have a brand new one with really good modern alloys and coatings… I could justify the purchase to myself.

            I could even put aside the cash to buy a private stash of spares. TBH the original pistol is just that good, and even a new build original would still be “real” enough for me to feel that connection with the great men who swore by it and a tangible connection to an older generation I admire greatly.

            Sometimes guns are about a whole bunch more than steel, lead, and functionality.

          • Amplified Heat

            Step 1: buy Remington R51
            Step 2: make a 45acp barrel
            Step 3: mash out the dimples in the magazines & 45 will fit (it’s pretty obvious the end-game is to make a 45 version)

  • LG

    Hammerli 106 Free Pistol. Nothing feels quite like it.

  • MiniBus

    This video might have worked better as a collaboration between a few shooters of different hand sizes. Furthermore I do not see how any list of this type could leave off the Browning Hi Power, the world’s most comfortable double stack. Steyr M1905? Seriously? I have heard some of those 16th century wheellocks were delightful to handle as well.

    • ozzallos .

      And how about those lever action rifles, eh? EH?!

  • Wolfgar

    What, no Hi-Point lovers out there?,

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I love it!

    • Bob

      You know, call me weird, but handling Hi Points in gun shops actually feel good to me, at least the 9mm model, I think the C9. The weight, not so much, but the grip feels decent. Wonder how they feel shooting…

  • Openmindednotangry

    Not disagreeing with you on this list, buuuuuttt…..Hi power. Come on. It’s like buttah. Maybe CZ75?

  • jmf552

    I competed with the 1911 on a Navy team, so I probably have more rounds through that model than any other handgun by far and I still own one. But it would not make my top five list of most comfortable handguns. It has a nice balance to it, but the grip still feels like a 2×4. I am on the edge of having L to XL hands, BTW. My all time favorite comfortable handgun is the BHP. Nothing has ever come close for me.

    • iksnilol

      Remove the grips, wrap some tape around the grip area.

      Looks ghetto but should be thinner.

      • Bob

        I think I would invest in some thin rubber grips before going that far…

        • iksnilol

          You’re talking about “investing” to a guy who is trying to be economical.

  • danSon

    Really? the 1911 is comfortable? most are so checkered and sharp that it’s like gripping a cactus, the grip panels don’t blend well with the frame, and the 45acp is not comfortable to shoot.

    I’d say swap in the hi-power if you need to include a browning design, but if you have large hands it is too small. The M&P or the cz75 would be better choices.

    Or for a really comfortable gun to shoot, how about a smith 422 or a buckmark with the udx grips?

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I find the 1911 just a bit to thin. I agree the hi power should have been in the 1911s spot.

      • Gary Kirk

        Not necessarily in the 1911s spot, but definitely could’ve been on the list as well.. Check out my list.. “I” believe there should have been at least one Sig on there as well. But this was a personal idea piece.. And no one can fault Alex for his choices

        • Harry’s Holsters

          At the end of the day it’s all personal choice. I’d put the HK USP on the list. I doubt anyone else would. It fits my unique hand perfectly.

    • Bob

      Sounds to me like you have experience with tacticooled versions. I would not call my two 1911s “sharp”, though I do agree that my thinner rubber gripped one is more comfortable than the one I have with thick wood grips.

      And maybe it is because I bought a Colt .45 for my first handgun, but I am mystified by talk of .45 ACP having uncomfortable recoil. (I admit, I was surprised one time when I then bought a .22LR revolver, shot sixty or so rounds out of it and then switched back to my Colt. Pop pop pop… BOOM! Felt like I had a cannon in my hands for that first mag. ;D)

      • Seriously checkering is now “tacticool?” People need to stop using “tacticool” for anything they dislike, it makes the term worthless. “Tacticool” isn’t a catch all, it is meant for things or people that go over the top. Checkering a front strap because you want a better grip on the gun isn’t “tacticool.”

        Hell it was a common custom modification done to 1911s before tactical even entered the day to day shooting lexicon. And it was done to wood grips and stocks way before that. As a competition shooter my guns all have some sort of grip treatment from checkering to skate tape, and I wouldn’t consider a single of them tactical, particularly the ones that are bright colors.

        • iksnilol

          Nah, the tacticool versions of 1911s have really aggressive checkering. AKA cactus checkering. Normal grips have less aggresive checkering.

          • You haven’t handled many competitors guns then. I have a gun that is literally so aggressive that if you attempt to shoot it for more than 300 or so rounds a day you will be bleeding. When I am practicing with it I have to use silk surgical tape to cover a couple of hot spots, and pull them off for the match.

            Just because all you use your gun is for short sessions at the range in good weather, doesn’t mean that other people have the same requirements. I don’t have any choice on match conditions, I’ve shot matches when it was raining (in fact shot in the rain at a match two weeks ago), really cold, and when it was really hot that I was sweating so much that it caused my grip tape to come off the gun along with killing a cheap set of electronic ear pro.

          • iksnilol

            But that’s grip tape, which isn’t sharp grip itself but rather an attachment on the grips that are there already.

          • Actually that is glued on grit.

            And my 1911s have aggressive checkering for the exact same reason.

            Just because you don’t need something doesn’t mean that it isn’t proper on a gun in the right situation. And being proper for the right situation is the exact opposite of “tacticool.”

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, glued on grit is kinda an attachment. Wouldn’t you agree? I mean, you literally attach it on on to your grips.

            Also, 1911s with operator in the name, cactus grips and front serrations are usually tacticool. ‘Cause doublestacks are kinda a thing now… or have been for the past 100 years.

        • Bob

          Well, my apologies. If it helps, I was being casual when I said it, not saying it with a sneer. And I do understand the use for such heavy checkering. I do not hate the idea or consider it worthless. I simply don’t see that kind of checkering on most guns and the idea of it being something a mall ninja would want for tacticool reasons popped into my head.

    • There are so many variations of the 1911 that your critique can apply to some, but not most.

      You don’t like checkering there are brands that don’t checker, or do much gentler checkering profiles. Some brands and grips blend into each other better. And it is available in a wide variety of calibers, I personally don’t own a 45ACP 1911, mine is in 9mm (like most of the other guns I own).

    • Blue Centurion

      I’m with ya. There is no way in hell I would call a 1911 more comfortable than a High Power/CZ 75/HK P30 or VP series. 1911’s are not uncomfortable to begin with but you cant beat a grip with good contour.

  • GorMorris

    Is there a particular reason you normally refer to guns manufactured under the Nazi regime as “Third Reich”? It takes away quite a bit of the historical significance of the weapon when you use the propaganda term.

    • ostiariusalpha

      There were Nazis before and after the Third Reich, and not everyone in the German government at that time was a member of the National Socialists party.

      • Don Ward

        Pretty much this.

    • Amplified Heat

      All but the Remington are Nazi guns

  • Major Tom

    What’s a “hangun”?

    • Don Ward

      You see, when you eat a fiber rich diet, sometimes you get a hangun.

  • Holdfast_II

    I’d like to nominate the IWI Jericho in .45 as the most Uncomfortable handgun I’ve ever shot.

  • DW

    I was expecting lines like this:
    “The most comfortable pistol is in my pants that I CCW on a daily basis” ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
    would be better if they have James in the video too ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    • iksnilol

      You happy now?

  • greasyjohn

    The Colt SAA is underrated for ergonomics.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Alex didn’t specifically mention it, but he purposefully left revolvers off the list as a separate category.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Hi Power
    Hi Power
    Hi Power
    Hi Power
    Hi Power
    Hi Power
    Hi Power
    Hi Power
    Hi Power
    Hi Power
    Hi Power
    Hi Power

    I think you get the picture. I really like the Browning Hi Power! Haha

    • Mark Horning

      The hump at the top of the Hi Power grip hurts my hand, to the point where my fingers get numb after a few mags. Never had that issue with a 1911.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        No gun will fit everyone.

      • Gregory

        You do not need a death grip on it.

    • Cory C

      Okay, fine! I’ll go try out a Hi Power. Happy now?!?!

      But seriously, I’ve never shot one, and now I really want to.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        Definitely worth it!

      • Old Vet

        I recall talking to a Korean War vet many years ago and he ditched the .45 for a Hi Power because of the capacity. He recounted how he had held off several bad guys by letting them think he had shot his mag empty with 7 shots and when they popped up to come at him he would manage to get a couple more. He served many years in a sheriff’s department near where I was a city officer. RIP..

    • maodeedee

      Both the CZ-75 and the Sig 220 series grips were derived from the Browning Hi-power. I wanted a Hi-power for many years and finally got one from AIM surplus, and it was an Israeli police turn-in that I had re-parkerized. Now I’d like to get one in 40 caliber.

  • iksnilol

    Would be more comfortable if they had James in the video too.

  • Joseph Goins

    I don’t think I could argue with you on the selection. My only grievance with it is the fact that you typically emphasize older guns that haven’t been in production for decades. (In this case, the M1905, M51, and Luger definitely qualify as antique.)

  • ProLiberty82

    M&P series of pistols, they are probably some of the least exciting guns out there but they have hands down the least amount of recoil in their respective calibers compared to other pistols. Rent one at a range, that’s what I did by a random chance and was blown away at how soft shooting they where. Grips are 1911-ish and have changeable back/side inserts so should be comfortable for most.

  • atmar

    steyr m9a1

  • Siggy Stardust

    CZ 75 P-01 echoing thedonn007.

    • maodeedee

      The CZ-75 grip was derived from the Browning Hi-power. even the Sig 220 series is very similar.

  • Minuteman

    My vote would go to P220/226/227/229, 1911, 92F, M&P, PPQ M2 in perfectly random order.

  • mazkact

    Y’all gonna laugh. Years ago I went to Academy to buy a Taurus 1911. I spied a Taurus 24/7 OSS pistol in the case and asked the counter man to let me see it. When I took the OSS in my hand I said “where have you been all my life?” Until then I was a dedicated 1911 guy. Before that purchase I swore I would never own a polymer framed hand gun,still eating crow over that one . Don’t laugh too hard the OSS has been utterly reliable and recalls or class action be damned.I bought two more, another in 9mm and one more in 45 ACP. Everyone who tries one of my 24/7 longslide pistols says it is the best feeling grip for them. My Wife confiscated my first one after using it to qualify for Her handgun permit. By far and away the best feeling in the hand and best double action trigger I have ever felt in a semi pistol. My second favorite would be a CZ-75 as in the last few years I have branched out more and tried one that lead to more of the same.

    • Pedenzo

      No…..I’m not going to laugh…..I got my first 1911 in 1978, I shot my first 1911 in 1965…so I am kind of partial to them. However, like you, the first time I held a Taurus 24/7 I had a suspicion that my 1911’s were not going to be on my belt everyday. I have a .45 long slide beside my bed, and carry a PT-145 everywhere I go. Long before the “recall” I had taken the single action bits and pieces out of both my Taurus’s (Tauri?) making them double action only, just like Taurus did for the Kaliforniastan compliant models. Both of them have been dead nuts reliable, and are far more accurate than I am…….

    • The_Champ

      I haven’t had the chance to fire one, but I have fondled them in the store, and they do indeed feel very comfortable and natural in the hand

  • Joel

    CZ75 and P226 are far more comfortable than the M1911.

  • ozzallos .

    I expected to see a mauser on the list.
    ^__________^

  • supergun

    Sig P-226
    H&K VP40
    CZ SP-01 75
    Smith & Wesson M&P
    Desert Eagle 1911

  • Edeco

    Jericho 941. Early on I thought I disliked double stack grips. But, I really wanted to use military-capacity assault-clips, perfect comfort or not. After trying all kinds and seeing the results some width is good, wider patch to distribute recoil.

  • Cymond

    So many people on here are screaming ‘Hi Power’ and I tend to agree. I’ve only held one once, but was immediately stuck by the word “graceful”.

    Also, CZ-75.

    • maodeedee

      Also the CZ-75 grip is a copy of the Browning P-35 Hi-power.

  • Spencerhut

    1911
    Remington 51 – Original

    S&W M&P
    M40 Lahti
    CZ P-07/09

  • TLDW?

    1.) HK P30
    2.) Steyr M1905
    3.) Remington Model 51
    4.) 1911
    5.) Luger

  • codfilet

    You want comfortable? Get your little girly-man hands on a Colt Single Action Army.

  • Martin törefeldt

    Both Jeff Cooper and Massad Ayoob are/where of the opinion that the Browning Hi-power had one of the most well fitting grips, even fir those with small hands.
    And after handling after handling a number of different pistols with my size 8,5 hands i second their opinions.

    • raz-0

      We always seem to think of small hands when talking gun ergonomics. Probably because they are built for average male hands, and thus youth and women tend to run smaller in very large numbers.

      Most guns are sub-par ergonomically if you have very large hands. Especially if you have long fingers and don’t have super meaty palms. Oddly, perhaps the best feeling gun for me are the early square front strap paras, which are near universally despised for fit. I also never thought twice about operating the H&K USP mag release with my thumbs. So… Hi-powers don’t make my list of good fit, I also find the triggers to suck, so they are only so-so on the shooting feel too.

  • Sgt. Stedenko

    CZ 75D PCR with the rubber grips.
    Butter, baby

    • Xtorin O’hern

      i prefer the aluminum grips, feels like the gun is actually making a concerted effort on its own to stay in your hand

  • lbrty2112

    CZ75

    • maodeedee

      The CZ-75 grip is a copy of the Browning P-35 Hi-power.

      • lbrty2112

        yup.. and a mighty fine trigger pull too

  • Amplified Heat

    No SACM 35? Incredibly comfortable, if smallish, but very, very, very similar level of comfort as the Luger.
    Model 51, but not the R51? They’re practically identical, just scaled larger for the 9mm.
    I’m sure the Hi Power omission is subtle trolling

  • Bob

    Seen it. Heheh.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    Alex C.,

    I’ve pretty much decided I like about everything you put up.

  • Leigh Rich

    Canik TP9 series pistols are inexpensive, reliable, come with accessories and very comfortable to hold.

  • William Taylor

    Cz-75

    • maodeedee

      the CZ-75 grip is a copy of the Browning P-35 Hi-power.

  • rt66paul

    My CZ 24 is the most comfortable gun I have ever shot. I also like Mauser handguns that begat it. While the European mag release style has some getting used to, I really like these high quality handguns from my grandfather’s time. When you look at the workmanship that went into these, you might appreciate them, too. I do not think any company could make these and sell them for $1200 and still make money, they are that intricate – almost like a swiss watch.

  • AUTiger89

    SIG P228. It is the extension to my hand I didn’t know was missing.

    • maodeedee

      the rear of the sig 220 series grip is similar to the Browning Hi-power. That’s what makes if fit your hand so well.

  • maodeedee

    What? no Browning Hi-power? without the Browning Hi-power there would have been no CZ-75 which is probably nearly as comfortable as the Hi-power because it’s a copy of the same grip. I find the Hi-power to be MORE comfortable than the 1911 or 1911A1.