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Resources for Pistol Shooters


There are over 200 modern pistols. We've handpicked the best 25 for you. They offer an outstanding balance of performance, value, and aftermarket support.
An example .380 Pocket Pistol, the Ruger LCP II.

Pocket .380
Ideal for concealed carry with the widest set of outfits. Effective to 10 yards.
An example Pocket 9mm Pistol, the Sig p365.

Pocket 9mm
Fits almost as many outfits as a pocket .380. Effective to 25 yards, but has double the recoil.
An example Compact Pistol, the CZ p-10 C.

Compact 9mm
Most versatile pistol type. Good for concealed carry, but not as as easy to carry as a pocket pistol. Good for home defense, but doesn't perform as well as a full-size pistol. However, it can be upgraded to convert the sights, barrel, and magazine to match a full-size pistol.
An example Home Defense pistol, the CZ Shadow 2.

Home Defense 9mm Pistols
These have heavy frames, usually made of steel, to absorb recoil so you can fire accurate shots more quickly. They're the best for home defense or competition, but not recommended for carry long-term.
An example Bear Defense pistol, the EAA Witness Hunter 10mm.

Bear Defense 10mm Pistols
When loaded with the right ammo, these are ideal when hiking in bear country or other dangerous wilds. 10mm rounds are powerful enough to penetrate through to the vitals of even grizzly bears, and these pistols are made to tame the recoil that power brings.

Best Price Pistol Ammo

Our price engine gets you the best price for in-stock ammo, out of over 40 vendors. But out of many pistol calibers, we only promote the best 3:
.380 ACP Drawing

.380 ACP
.380 ACP is best for daily carry in pocket pistols under 1 lb. It has half the recoil of 9mm, but half the effective range.
9mm Luger Parabellum Drawing

9mm Luger / Parabellum
9mm is best for home defense and daily carry in pistols over 1 lb. It's often the cheapest and easiest to find.
10mm Auto Drawing

10mm Auto
10mm is best for defense against large, dangerous animals like bears. It packs the power to punch through their bones and hit vitals.


These tools guide you to what's right for you.

Use the FREE dry fire par timer to help you practice drills and boost your skills.

Dry Fire Timer
This FREE timer has everything you need to build your pistol skills with an unloaded pistol.
Take the Pistol Quiz to find the right category for you, and from there, the one pistol that best fits your needs.

Pistol Quiz
Not sure which pistol to buy? Take our quiz and get a top pick based on your needs. We'll check what you need a pistol for, how you'll carry it, and what you need most from a pistol.
Pistol Anatomy answers any questions you may have about a given pistol part.

Best Ammo Finder
Want to save money on practice ammo, or pick the best defensive ammo? Our ammo finder gets the right type of ammo for your needs, at the best price out of over 40 vendors.
Protect your hearing with the ear protection calculator.

Ear Protection Calculator
Did you know hearing loss is permanent? Find out how much ear protection you need based on where you shoot, how much you shoot, and how many people are shooting with you.
Protect your eyes with eye protection for shooting.

Best Eye Protection Selector
Did you know that most eye protection won't protect your eyes from a ricochet? If you wear prescription glasses, or want eye protection you can trust, use this and get what you need.

White Papers

We've gathered evidence to help you make the best decisions as a self-defender.
An officer about to shoot in a training exercise.

Police Shooting
What's the leading cause of unintentional discharges by police officers, and how might that apply to you? How does the accuracy of police in real gunfights compare with what the media would have you believe? How do police lose gunfights, and what that means for you as a civilian self-defender?
A masked burglar, armed with a pistol and invading a home.

Violent Crime
What's your lifetime risk of being targeted for violence, or worse? If you find yourself face to face with a violent criminal, what are the odds they've already hurt others before? Do most criminals change their ways after going to jail, or return to their criminal ways?
A man drawing a concealed pistol.

Self-defense Shootings
There's a lot of dogma about self defense for civilians, but what does the evidence say? How does using a gun compare with other options, like compliance, running away, or martial arts? How do real-world gunfights play out, and what does it mean for your own self-defense?
Protect your eyes with eye protection for shooting.

Bear Defense
Which protects better: Bear spray or a firearm? Are government recommendations based in fact, or misconception? How else can one stay safe in bear country?