Best American made Pistols
If you're looking for a .40 caliber pistol for home-defense, then you've come to the right place. We will discuss the top ten best .40 caliber pistols available, reviewing their features and customer ratings. I will also offer my own personal insight into each weapon’s performance. I will discuss MSRP value of the weapons (do remember that prices change daily) as well as round capacity and weight, as these are often key buying points for people searching for home-defense weapons. We have tested each of the firearms we recommend to provide you with the best and most accurate assessment.
Every gun purchase is very personal. Not every gun owner will agree with our evaluations and rankings. We do feel that our efforts will help you to find the best weapons. To make your own final assessment, take this list to the range and rent each of the recommended pistols to see which one has the best feel while shooting.
If you learned to shoot on a smaller caliber pistol, firing a higher caliber gun will feel different and may even seem overwhelming. I highly recommend that you find a gun range and test a model yourself before making a purchase. If you train enough with a specific caliber, you will get used to it and may even feel more relaxed when returning to a smaller caliber pistol. Training and mindset are the keys to successful shooting.
Be a Safe Gun Owner
Remember: You must abide by state and federal gun laws when purchasing and owning a weapon. Please educate yourself. Keep your ownership paperwork and identification up to date and immediately report any lost or stolen weapons to the police. Practice proper gun safety whenever carrying, cleaning, or firing your weapon at the gun range. Most accidental shootings are self-inflicted and are due to the owner assuming that a loaded chamber was empty. Check the weapon clear, engage the safety when not in use, and keep the weapon pointed away from you down-range.
Gun Safes Are a Necessity!
Gun safety is necessary for gun owners, especially those with small children. Once you own your safe, practice getting your weapon(s) out of your safe from time to time to ensure that you can do so in a timely manner.
However, the safety of your children is paramount. Having a safe should always be synonymous with having a gun. Children are just as intelligent and industrious as we were at their age. If they can get their hands on the gun and the key, they will. Buy a safe, keep your family safe, and pay heed to the following:
- For combination safes, use a combination that your children cannot figure out. (No familiar numbers or dates).
- Never open your safe when your children are present, unless it is an actual home invasion emergency.
- While the safe needs to be accessible to you, ensure that it cannot be removed and carried away from its location. This will help to minimize gun thefts, keeping your guns out of criminal hands.
- Educate your children about gun safety and apply strict punishment if you find them trying to gain access to your firearm(s). The most valuable gun safe on the planet is proper awareness and understanding of gun safety and the potential destruction caused by misuse.
When Walther announced the release of the Walther PPQ, this gun owner and many others thought it was a stunt to stimulate gun sales. The Walther PPK wasn’t selling as well and the company was falling behind on the latest and greatest firearm technologies. However, after firing a PPQ it’s easy to remember the PPK was so popular in its time: Walther makes great guns.
Retailing at around $729 or less in some areas, you'll find that the PPQ makes an excellent addition to your home-defense arsenal and an even better concealed carry option. The PPQ fires extremely smoothly, with an accuracy level that is bar-none. With its light-weight and ergonomic design, this gun feels like an extension of your arm. Like most Walther pistols, it is smaller than a lot of semi-automatics making it optimal for concealed carry. But don't let its size fool you. This .40 caliber pistol will fell the worst of threats at a moment's notice and have ammo to spare for five or six more. The quality of Walther speaks for itself, but I still recommend that you have some fun testing this pistol at the range before buying.
The Smith & Wesson M&P was a wonderful surprise during my shooting research. I had shot and re-shot the .45 version of the M&P. When I shot the .40 caliber version I found it extremely easy to use and shoot. Some of its attractive features:
- Zytel polymer frame.
- Stainless steel barrel/slide and structural, integrated variable grips.
- Steel ramp dovetail mount front.
- Novak Lo-Mount carry sights.
Like a lot of the newer pistol models, there is a regular and a compact model. While not every pistol's compact model is as easy to shoot as their big brother, this is not the case with the M&P.
A lot of M&P owners say that they prefer the compact model against the full-size for concealed carry and without the thumb-safety, but each gun owner has their own preferences. Plus, I believe the size of the carrier has something to due with how easy it is to conceal a weapon. All-in-all, the M&P is an excellent gun that is easy to shoot.
The USP (Universal Self-Loading Pistol) was originally designed by HK for the military and police. The HK Heckler and Koch USP is a SA/DA pistol with a corrosion-proof fiber reinforced polymer frame and a USP control lever. This feature, a combination safety and de-cocking lever, is frame-mounted for quick and easy access, unlike the slide-mounted safeties found on many semi-auto pistols. The pistol fires like a champ, processing hundreds and thousands of rounds with no issues. In fact, a lot of used USP models are old police-issued weapons exchanged for newer USP's, and they still only receive positive feedback from the new owners!
The USP also has features such as:
- Polygonal bore profile, allowing for increased muzzle velocity, easier cleaning, and extended barrel life.
- Over-size trigger guard, allowing the user to wear gloves.
- Patented lock-out safety device.
- Capacity to convert into nine different trigger firing modes.
- Universal mounting grooves for accessories.
The Beretta PX4 Storm is the latest pistol model released by Beretta. With Beretta's incredible craftsmanship behind it, this gun is almost a steal at around $500. The rotating barrel system removes a significant amount of recoil when you shoot, allowing for more accuracy. While usually this would be seen as a feature only beneficial to military and police, any individual educated in home defense will tell you that speed and accuracy will benefit a home owner during a home invasion situation.
The PX4 Storm also has one of the shortest trigger actions to date: SA/DA trigger system which switches over automatically after you have fired the first round in the clip. The integral Picatinny MIL-STD-1913 rail allows for rapid attachment of tactical devices and the exclusive BrunitonTM non-reflective black coating makes the weapon functional for any level of shooter. The PX4 comes in full-size, compact, and sub-compact with equally high performance across all sizes.
Fabrique Nationale is a weapon that most gun owners are familiar with, but they may assume that the price is too high.This pistol is not as expensive as you might think, with the famous FN quality. Plus, the FNX series are made in the USA. This is a great gun overall that I highly recommend taking for a test drive.