What Pistol Do Most Competition Shooters Use?


About 30% of American adults own a handgun.

For some, their firearm is simply a safety tool, no different from a fire extinguisher. After buying their gun, they hope to never find the need to fire a shot.

Competitive shooters however have a completely different mindset. Perfecting their craft, these gun owners bond with their weapons, relying on them to perform. Combining their skill with a well-designed weapon, a competition shooter can hit their target time and time again.

What pistol do most competition shooters use? Read on to learn about 5 pistol models that can almost guarantee a win!

Smith & Wesson M&p9 PC Ported

First, we recommend competition shooters try using a Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P9 Ported pistol. If you’ve never fired this model before, you’re in for a truly unique experience. The sturdy, yet comfortable design can handle as many rounds as you want.

Here are some more features you can enjoy:

  • No safety for thumb or magazine
  • Upgraded trigger
  • Enhanced slide stop

When you’re holding an M&P pistol you’ll notice that there’s that every detail is there to support you, the shooter. The frame uses a durable polymer. Strengthened by the stainless steel chassis, the M&P9 has a factory ported slide and barrel.

Along with competition shooting, M&P pistols also work great for home protection. Be careful however because the M&P9 model is capable of firing even with the magazine removed.

Bersa Thunder 9 Pro XT

When it comes to popularity, Bersa guns are at the top of the list. Bersa guns come from an Argentinian gun maker. While these guns aren’t the coolest looking, they are affordable and accurate.

Take for instance the Bersa Thunder 9 Pro XT, it’s the brand’s competition style pistol. Using a Browning/Petter action, and the trigger sits at a unique angle. The tactical index point of the trigger allows you to have plenty of room for a gloved finger, while still having space for a deep undercut.

If you’re competing with a bare hand, you’ll still be able to quickly manipulate the controls. The Pro XT has big, bulky controls, that don’t look aesthetically pleasing, but sure come in handy.

You’ll find that the controls, for the most part, are ambidextrous. For instance, the magazine can go on either side.

There’s also a safety on each side, along with an ambidextrous slide lock/release. Finally, the small front sight is bright and easy to spot. You’ll be able to make accurate shots in both slow and fast fire.

Ruger SR1911 Competition Pistol

The Custom Shop Ruger SR1911 Competition pistol has competition shooter Doug Koening’s name on both sides of the slide. Koening is one of the most famous competitive handgun shooters throughout history.

After Koening joined Ruger and opened a custom gun shop, Ruger asked if he’d design a special pistol. Together using Koening’s expertise and Rugers design team they came out with one of the best competition pistols on the market today.

Here are a few features the custom SR1911 sports:

  • 5-inch barrel
  • Stainless steel recoil spring guide rod
  • Undercut trigger guard
  • Extended & ambidextrous thumb safety
  • Flat-faced trigger

If you don’t want the custom version, you can get the average SR1911. The competition specs will be less advanced. However, the cost will be half or less than the custom version.

Grand Power XCalibur 9mm

Are you a fairly new competitive shooter? If yes, then the Grand Power XCaliburn 9mm is a solid first choice pistol. A Slovakian firearm company, Grand Power knows how to combine tactical features with competition must-haves.

For instance, the X-Calibur is completely ambidextrous. When you have to transition to your weak side, you can complete a 1 handed drill with ease. The pistol comes with slim and wide safety levers that are swappable for both sides.

If you’re a beginner, we suggest you try using the wide safety lever that comes with the X-Calibur model. You could also try doing a combination, using the slim lever on 1 side and the wide lever on the other. As far as sights go, you’ll be able to enjoy a fully adjustable rear and fiber optic front.

Aesthetically, the X-Calibur has a stealthy appeal. The slide has cool looking deep window cuts that expose the barrel.

Finally, our favorite feature for this competition pistol is that the barrel system uses a rotary locking features. The barrel rotates to unlock itself from the slide, instead of falling into the frame. The rotary locking barrel setup helps the pistol have less of a recoil.

Taurus PT1911 for Competition Shooters

The Taurus PT 1911 pistol uses a semi-automatic chamber and 9-round capabilities. The vented trigger is lighter than regular triggers. You’ll also be able to maintain accuracy using the Novak rear and front sights. Novak is famous for making highly efficient sights that both military personnel and competition shooters love.

The grip on the PT1911 can be a little awkward to get used to at first. To fire the gun properly, you’ll need to have an extra-strong grip.

If you’re not gripping hard enough the grip safety won’t let you move the trigger. However, once you’re gripping with enough pressure the grip safety deactivates and you can pull the trigger.

To fire the PT1911 you’ll have to pull the trigger for the first shot. The single-action/ double-action design means that after pulling the trigger again on the next shot the pistol will automatically fire a second shot.

Will you be storing your firearm in a house with minors? If so, the Taurus Security System is another great feature this firearm provides. There’s a special locking device that’s inside the firearm. If you don’t have the special key, discharging the firearm is impossible.

Hit Your Target

Now you know about the top pistols competition shooters are using. If you’ve never entered a competitive shooting event, why not give it a try? Go ahead and start searching for competitions near you. For more articles like this one, check out the rest of this site.