When you want to buy a pistol, you have a ton of options waiting for you. There are full size handguns, compacts and sub-compacts. You get to choose between a polymer frame or a metal frame. All of these different options have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Many of them are very popular, and the question remains, which one is the best for you?

As many people nowadays tend to gravitate towards polymer-framed pistols, you might also ask yourself why even care about a metal framed one. This is actually easy to answer. Metal is more durable. You buy one of those, and it will stay with you for a long, long time. Also, metal soaks up recoil quite nicely. Why? Because it has weight, and weight counteracts the initial push of the gun giving you much less felt recoil. This makes you more accurate and the shooting experience more pleasant.

Furthermore, metal framed pistols are more inherently accurate to begin with. The metal has much less flex when compared to polymer. This keeps the path of the bullet in a nice straight line. With this in mind, it is no wonder that after the hype around the polymer framed pistols, models with a metal frame become more and more popular again. If you are also convinced of the advantages of such a sturdy construction, we have here the best metal framed semi-auto pistols for you that are available on the market.

8. CZ 75 SP-01

Here comes the CZ 75 SP-01. This pistol is a legend. Being affordable, it can just take anything you throw at it. It has proven itself time and again being deployed all over the world in different conditions that are often enough as demanding as it can get.

This is a gun that is known for its durability and reliability. Carrying it, you can be sure that it will go bang whenever it is called on. The SP-01 is the preferred gun for many shooters in competition and often makes it to the top in USPSA Production division stages. This shows how accurate this gun is, and how far you can take it.


7. SIG Sauer P226

The SIG Sauer P226 has found its use with the military, including Navy Seals and Army Rangers. In this capacity, it has proven itself again and again being preferred also because of its metal-frame.

Being a full-size pistol, the P226 is still neither too heavy nor too bulky. With a barrel length of 4.4 inches, it can still be carried concealed, albeit with a little bit of an effort. Its biggest selling point is its reliability as this is also exactly what you want in a gun for self-defense. Its size helps with recoil management, and the gun is very accurate so that you can get your rounds on target even if the encounter is outside of the typical self-defense ranges.


6. Beretta 92FS

The Beretta 92FS is a very reliable and truly battle tested design. It has been in production since 1975, and it is in use with a wide range of police forces and militaries all around the world. This gun is known for being almost indestructible, staying durable and accurate even after years and years of heavy use and abuse.

The capacity is 15+1 rounds, and it comes with a double action single action trigger. The magazine release is reversible, and the gun features an ambidextrous safety and decocker. The frame is made from aluminum alloy, and the slide is made from forged carbon steel.

The cold hammer-forged barrel is chrome-lined, and you can adjust the sights for windage and elevation. The pistol ships in a hard case with two magazines and the typical extras, like a cleaning rod and a lock.


5. CZ Shadow 2

The CZ Shadow 2 is made for use in competitions. It should give shooters everything they want and need in order to get right to the top. This means, it comes packed with features for everyone who is into serious shooting. At the same time, it is also quite affordable making it great for you if you want to get started.

It features a high beavertail and an undercut trigger guard. Both are a great help in establishing a firm grip on the gun. This allows for great recoil control and accuracy. Even in heated situations, you get round after round right on target.

The magazine release is extended speeding up reloading quite nicely. Altogether, this is a great option for competitive shooting as well as home defense.


4. HK P7 Series

The HK P7 is a gun that is German-made with everything that comes with it. That includes the highest precision and best performance. Of course, this comes with its price, but you get a gun with a very low bore axis and very little muzzle flip. The barrel is fixed and the slide moves straight back. That means there is less movement in the barrel during shooting, and the pistol is extremely easy to control helping significantly with accuracy.

HK P7 Series

To help with concealed carry, the P7 is thin and lightweight. Still, it packs quite a punch when you need it to defend yourself. It is also great for target shooting and plinking. If you are looking for the best shooting experience, you might opt for the P7m8. It features a proprietary gas-delayed blowback system. It comes with a piston to delay the movement of the slide. This makes the bore axis even lower, and the whole shooting even smoother.

3. Springfield 1911 EMP

OK, to be honest, did you really think there would not be a 1911 on this list? Of course not. The 1911 design is just iconic, and it has to be on here. Just think about, being around for more than 111 years, it is still not only a viable self-defense tool, but actually going strong with its own fan base.

Now, also honestly spoken, the 1911 design as it is might be a tad too big to be carried concealed. So, Springfield came up with a solution presenting you the 1911 EMP.


As a true 1911, the EMP is of course a single stack handgun keeping it quite narrow what helps with concealing it. It is chambered in 9mm which also helps to keep its size down. Thanks to this round, it still packs quite a punch, and the weight helps absorb the recoil of this round. This makes it really comfortable to shoot. The experience is made even smoother thanks to a full-length guide rod and a dual-spring recoil system. With this gun, you will have no problem getting the rounds on target.

2. Browning Hi-Power

Designed by John Browning to compete with his other creation, the 1911, it is seen by many as a great improvement over the older design. Time has proven this right as it has been adopted by a wide range of militaries and police forces all over the world. The name Hi-Power stands for high fire power. Chambered in 9mm, it originally had a capacity of 13 rounds when 8 rounds were the standard.

Today, the original Browning Hi-Power is discontinued, but you can easily get high-quality clones of it, for example from Girsan and Springfield Armory. FN Herstal resumed the production of the Hi-Power in 2022, but it is an updated design. If you look for the original pistol, you need to go on the second-hand market. Otherwise, the clones will serve you well with an increased capacity of 15 rounds and nice extras, like rails, that some of them come with. If you want a comprehensive upgrade, the new FN version is your way to go. Whatever you choose, you get a well balanced single action all metal pistol with great accuracy that is very reliable and features a nice, crisp trigger.

Browning Hi-Power

1. Wilson Combat CQB Tactical LE

It is fair to describe the Wilson Combat CQB Tactical LE as the Ferrari of pistols. If you think that a gun with a price tag north of $3000 is not worth your attention, think again. If do not drive the smallest, cheapest car with the best mileage everyday to work, but the car that you like. The same idea applies here. This is a handgun if your taste is simple, and all you want is just the best and the best only.


The CQB Tactical LE is designed specifically for the requirements of Special Forces. It features a 5-inch match-grade bull barrel which is custom fitted, and you get the High-Ride Bullet Proof Beavertail safety as well as the extended magazine release. Also, it features an improved thumb safety which is ambidextrous. For self-defense, home-defense or competition, the Wilson Combat CQB Tactical LE just has you covered.

There you have it guys. If you are looking for a metal-framed pistol, these options are the right way to go. If you own or shot one of them, tell us about your experience in the comments.

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