Best .40 Caliber Pistols of 2021 – Reviewed

40 caliber pistols have been getting the attention of many gun owners recently, especially among shooters who are looking for more versatile calibers for their pistols. If you are looking for a pistol that can perform well on both the shooting range and for self defense purposes, you should look at some of the best 40 caliber pistols.

Although finding the best 40 cal pistol for you can be quite tough, it doesn’t have to be. The guide below will give you the information and advice you need to find the best 40 caliber handguns.

Factors to Consider When Looking for the Best .40 Caliber Pistol


A full sized 40 cal pistol would be perfect for self defense, particularly for home defense scenarios. This is because bigger 40 pistols will offer you a better grip and enough surface to distribute the force of the 40 cal’s recoil.

On the other hand, if you are using it for concealed carry purposes, you would want to look for smaller 40 cal pistols instead.


The construction of these 40 cal pistols will differ from one manufacturer to another. While many aren’t great in terms of durability, you should always look for 40 cal pistols that were truly built to last. Most importantly, you should always make sure that the 40 caliber pistol is constructed from sturdy materials so you won’t have to look for a replacement anytime soon.

Most 40 cal pistols come with a polymer frame while the slides are made with stainless steel. Whichever material you choose to go with, you should always make sure that the gun’s performance is not compromised.

Magazine Capacity

A magazine with a higher capacity is always great as you get to fire more rounds before you reload. Going for a 10 round capacity magazine can never go wrong as it will come in handy in situations where you don’t have any extra bullets with you.

That said, if you are looking for a more compact 40 pistol for concealed carry purposes, then a lower round capacity would suit you better due to its size.


The ideal 40 caliber pistol should always come with a comfortable grip for you to control the pistol with ease. If you want the best shooting position, a right grip angle would be great.


This should go without saying, but you should always go for a pistol that you can afford. You shouldn’t stretch yourself financially, particularly where there are many affordable and effective options available on the market (there are quite a few in this review!).

Top 8 40 caliber Pistols – Comprehensive Buying Guide

1. Glock 23 Gen 4 .40 S&W Pistol


  • Caliber: .40 S&W
  • System: Safe Action
  • Length: 7.28″
  • Height: 4.99″
  • Width: 1.18″
  • Barrel Length: 4.01″
  • Trigger Pull: 5.5 lbs
  • Weight (Unloaded/Loaded): 23.65 oz. / 31.06 oz.
  • Magazine Capacity: 13
  • Fixed Sights


When you see a Glock, you know it’s a well made gun. If you didn’t know, the company (Glock) has been manufacturing some of the best firearms on the market for nearly 40 years. They never fail to put a smile on shooters who are looking for reliable and durable firearms. For this case, the Glock 23 Gen 4 .40 S&W Pistol is no exception to Glock’s high standards.

Out of the box, the Glock 23 Gen 4 feels and looks incredible. This 40 caliber pistol comes with back strap contours that you can easily swap to suit your grip as you shoot. The pistol features an al black finish and has a tiny trigger that gives the 40 cal pistol all the safety it needs. Most shooters really liked the fact that Glock significantly improved the contour on the Glock 23 Gen 4 .40 S&W Pistol.

The 40 caliber pistol features a reversible magazine release that functions as it should. On the left side, you will notice a slide stop that is very well protected by a molded in ledge beneath it. Above the opening of the trigger, Glock inserted take down levers for engaging and blocking the rearward path of the pistol’s slide.

Furthermore, there is also an accessory rail near the trigger guard for shooters to mount any supported tactical accessories. The factory sights are a white ‘field goal’ rear sight that comes along with a white front sight dot.

In terms of the pistol’s safety system, the gun features a tactile loaded chamber indicator (in the form of a slight step positioned on the extractor). With this design, it can be easily felt with your right trigger finger.

You will like this product if:

You are looking for the best versatile 40 caliber pistol. Besides shooting extremely well, the Glock 23 Gen 4 .40 S&W Pistol also accepts the G22 mags so you won’t have to buy magazines specific to this pistol. Furthermore, while the Glock 23 is a good size for concealed carry, it’s also great for self defense and the shooting range.

You want great reliability. When it comes to making durable and reliable firearms, you can leave it to Glock to do the job for you. Due to their high standards, their products are used by law enforcement departments all over the glove and are one of the best when it comes to reliability and durability.

You might not like this product if:

You don’t like Glocks. While Glocks look outstanding and come with excellent performance and durability, some shooters still don’t really fancy them due to their overall design. If you are one of them, this might not be your best buy.

2. Sig Sauer P320 Nitron Full-Size


  • Series/Collection: P320 Nitron Full-Size.
  • Type: Semi-Automatic.
  • Action: Double Action
  • Capacity: 10.
  • Caliber/Gauge: 40 S&W.
  • Sight Radius: 6.6”.
  • Sight: SIGLITE Night.
  • Barrel Length: 4.7”.
  • Length: 8”.
  • Height: 5-1/2”.
  • Width: 1.3”.
  • Weight: 29.5 oz.
  • Trigger Type: Striker.
  • Grip Type: Modular Black Polymer.
  • Slide: Black Nitron Stainless Steel.
  • Finish: Stainless.
  • Material: Stainless Steel.
  • Size: Full-Size.


The Sig Sauer P320 Nitron is undoubtedly one of the most adaptable 40 caliber pistols you can find on the market. This 40 pistol comes with a stainless steel fire control unit (FCU). As such, you can swiftly remove and interchange between different calibers on this 40 pistol as you wish.

In terms of construction, the barrel measures 4.7 inches long while the pistol presents itself as an 8 inch firearm with a weight of 29.5 ounces. The magazine will be able to hold 10 rounds and as mentioned above, it’s the best of both worlds in terms of mag capacity.

The black slide on this 40 caliber pistol is made with Nitron Stainless steel to avoid any corrosion. Along with the pistol, you will be getting 2 steel magazines from Mec-Gar. If you want affordability and value, this is the best you’re going to get!

Low light? Not a problem at all. The Sig Sauer P320 Nitron comes with SIGLITE’s night sights as used in most SIGs. If you didn’t know, these are made of steel and consist of 3-dot tritium inserts. As such, you have no reason to not hit the bullseye even under low light environments.

This 40 caliber pistol features a triangular magazine release, a takedown lever, and an ambidextrous slide release. The 40 pistol’s magazine release is incredibly ergonomic and reversible. In relation to the pistol’s action trigger, it’s constructed of steel and not polymer. With this metal to metal contact, you can expect a consistent and smooth trigger pull.

Furthermore, this 40 cal pistol even comes with all the features you would want in a defense weapon for personal defense – standard night sights, tactical rail, oversized trigger guard, and cutouts beneath the gun’s frame.

You will like this product if:

You shoot often under low light conditions. The Sig Sauer P320 Nitron comes with SIGLITE’s night sights. These sights are made of steel and come with 3-dot tritium inserts. Even under low light environments, you have no more reasons to miss the bullseye.

You are looking for a self defense weapon. When even law enforcement agencies trust SIG to provide them with the best firearms for self defense situations, you know you can rely on this 40 caliber pistol to keep you safe. Even if you plan to use it as a concealed carry weapon, it’ll still turnout great.

You might not like this product if:

You want little to no recoil. While the recoil on this 40 pistol is manageable, the hammer does give a high box axis. This essentially increases the muzzle flip and felt recoil as you shoot the Sig Sauer P320 Nitron.

3. Walther Arms PPQ M2


  • Caliber: .40 S&W.
  • Action: Striker Fired.
  • Magazine Capacity: 11.
  • Barrel Length: 5”.
  • Frame Finish: Black.
  • Slide Finish: Black.
  • Caliber or Gauge: .40 S&W.
  • Pistol Optics Ready: No.
  • Pistol Night Sights: No.
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs with Empty Mag.
  • Grips: non-slip, cross-directional.
  • Magazines Included: two 11 round mags.
  • Safety: Two drop safeties and firing pin block.
  • Sights: 7.2″ radius Low profile three-dot polymer sights


The Walther Arms PPQ M2 is a 40 cal pistol that features a 5 inch Tenifer coated barrel and slide. If you are looking for something to increase the 40 cal’s muzzle velocity, this barrel would do just the job. Furthermore, the Walther PPQ M2’s barrel allows for a longer sight radius and hence, lining up your sights with perfect precision will be easy.

The Walther PPQ M2 comes with an ambidextrous slide stop, front, and rear slide serrations and an ambidextrous magazine release button. Besides that, it also features an ergonomic grip, a custom accessory rail, a checkered trigger guard, and a 5.6 inch trigger pull which makes the Walther PPQ M2 an extremely desirable for a 40 caliber handgun.

If you’ve owned a few guns from other gun manufacturers, you will love the ergonomics of the PPQ M2 as it’s one of the best among all pistols. In relation to construction, you can tell that this 40 pistol was truly built to last from its polymer frame as it will be able to resist any corrosion while being lightweight and durable.

Since the polymer material will be able to take almost any shape, it will allow you to adopt interchangeable backstraps and carved grips that would warrant a comfortable hand fit for your 40 cal pistol. Additionally, there is a Picatinny rail on the frame for you to mount any lasers and tactical lights with ease. Surely, you should be expecting this from one of the best 40 cal pistols on the market.

Unlike most 40 cal pistols that adopt the European style paddle magazine release, the PPQ M2 comes with an ambidextrous magazine release behind the trigger guard. While some may argue that this 40 cal pistol lacks a manual safety, there are 2 drop safeties and a firing pin block for enhanced safety during concealed carry.

You will like this product if:

You don’t want to shop for an aftermarket trigger system. The M2’s factory trigger is perhaps the best there is on the American market. Walther Arms calls it the ‘Quick Defense Trigger’. This trigger comes with a 5 pound pull with a 0.1 inch trigger reset and 0.4 inches of travel that will enable you to take accurate and quick follow up shots. It’s super easy to use.

You are left-handed. Most left-handed shooters suffer from the European style paddle magazine release as it was designed for right handed shooters. The PPQ M2 features an ambidextrous magazine release at the rear of the trigger guard. Left handed? No problem.

You might not like this product if:

You want the best safety system. While the PPQ M2 comes with 2 drop safeties and a firing block for enhanced safety for concealed carry purposes, some reviews mentioned that it lacks a manual safety.

4. Beretta 96a1 40 S&W Pistol


  • Caliber: .40 S&W
  • Action: Double Action/Single Action
  • Overall Length: 8.5″
  • Overall Height: 5.5″
  • Barrel Length: 4.9″
  • Sight Radius: 6.1″
  • Overall Width: 1.5″
  • Grip Width: 1.3″
  • Weight Unloaded: 34.4oz
  • Magazine Capacity: 12rds


If you are looking for the best 40 cal pistols for self and/or home defense purposes, you’d want to pay attention to the Beretta 96a1 40 S&W Pistols. This 40 caliber handgun comes with three 12 round magazines right out of the box that provides immense firepower.

If you are looking for something reliable, you will love the Beretta 96a1 as it is a reliable, safe, and accurate weapon that features a smooth mechanism and is extremely easy to disassemble. Beretta’s incorporation of the recoil buffer is able to reduce stress to the gun’s components and hence, increasing the durability of these 40 cal pistols.

The Beretta 96A1 is constructed with a cold hammer forged barrel that’s specifically machined to deliver extremely accurate shots. The 40 cal pistol’s barrel is enclosed in an open slide. Such designs are pretty common with the Beretta 90 series handguns and will significantly reduce the gun’s backward momentum, weight, elimite stove pipings, and to enhance the 40 cal pistol’s reliability.

The 96A1 is perhaps the best 40 cal pistol in terms of being designed to last thanks to its incorporation of a new recoil buffet that serves to significantly lower the stress between the moving parts of the handgun itself. Hence, you can expect an excellent lifespan from this 40 cal pistol.

Furthermore, there is also an integral Picatinny rail on the pistol frame for you to mount accessories i.e. optics and tactical lights as you like. This will come in handy for both self defense and the gun range.

You will like this product if:

You want a long service life. Out of the best 40 cal pistols featured on this article, the Beretta 96A1 definitely sits at the top when it comes with durability. As mentioned above, the pistol features a new recoil buffer that lowers the stress between moving parts and hence, will improve the lifespan of the pistol significantly.

You have a tight budget. Besides being durable and accurate, the Beretta 96a1 is also extremely affordable. If you have a tight budget, you can’t go wrong with purchasing this incredible 40 cal pistol. Besides that, the gun also has pretty great safety features.

You might not like this product if:

You have smaller hands. Some reviews have mentioned that the trigger travel length was a little too long for those who have smaller hands. That said, this shouldn’t pose as an issue for most shooters. Don’t confuse these reviews for a poorly made trigger system.

5. Springfield Armory XD .40 S&W Sub-Compact 3″ Pistol


  • Caliber: .40SW
  • Recoil System: Dual Spring with Full Length Guide Rod
  • Sights: Dovetail Front and Rear (Steel) 3-Dot
  • Weight: 26oz.
  • Height: 4.75″
  • Slide: Forged Steel, Melonite Finish
  • Barrel: 3″ Hammer Forged, Steel, Melonite / 1:16 Twist Rate
  • Length: 6.25″
  • Grip Width: 1.20″
  • Frame: Black Polymer


One of the best features about the Springfield Armory XD 40 sub compact pistol is its compactness with a shorter barrel. As such, you know this 40 cal pistol is probably the best for concealed carry purposes. Another outstanding feature of the Springfield Armory XD MOD 2 is its grip zone that features a textured front strap and a back strap on both sides of the pistol. As such, you will get to enjoy a comfortable grip on the pistol.

The Springfield Armory XD MOD 2 comes with a double stack magazine so you won’t have to reload as often and/or carry as many spare bullets with you whether on the range or not. Although the pistol comes with a double stack magazine, it will feel like a single stack magazine to the shooter when fired. This texture will help in limiting the pressure of the double stack and hence, making it a flexible choice for many users.

As mentioned, the Armory XD MOD2 comes with a double stack magazine, which means the bullets will be fitted into the magazine side by side. While it is in some way similar to the single stack magazine, it is a little broader. At 27.5 ounces (fully loaded), the Springfield Armory XD MOD 2 is probably the 1 of the best and lightest 40 cal pistols on the market.

In terms of accuracy, the XD MOD 2 will deliver incredible results thanks to its reduced muzzle rise. Besides that, the plain muzzle on this 40 cal pistol also features good ergonomics and will be able to produce immense power consistently. If you are looking for a pleasant and exciting shooting experience, you will love this 40 cal pistol.

You will like this product if:

You want great value. As you can see, this 40 cal pistol sits pretty high among the best 40 cal pistols on the market in terms of features and ergonomics. A number of you might think that this would result in extremely high prices. This is where you’re wrong because in this case, the pistol is available at a pretty affordable price so anyone can afford this amazing gun.

You want great accuracy. Thanks to the MOD2’s reduced muzzle rise, users can expect to achieve consistent accurate shots whether on the range or not. Besides that, the plain muzzle also comes with great ergonomics for the pistol to produce immense firepower.

You might not like this product if:

You shoot under low light conditions. Unfortunately, unlike some of the 40 cal pistols featured on this article, the MOD 2 doesn’t come with any night sights and hence, you may have to opt for aftermarket night sights if you often shoot under low light conditions.

6. S&W M&P40 M2.0 COMPACT


  • Caliber: .40 Smith & Wesson.
  • Action: Striker Fire.
  • Weight: 25.3 ounces.
  • Capacity: 13+1.
  • Overall Length: 7.3”.
  • Barrel Length: 4 inches.
  • Barrel Finish: Black; Armornite Finish.
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel.
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel.
  • Frame: Polymer.
  • Slide Finish: Black; Armornite Finish.
  • Rear Sight: Steel- White Two Dot.
  • Front Sight: Steel- White Dot.


Not long after a significant amount of users complained about the Smith Wesson M&P 2.0 predecessor’s trigger for being too ‘spongy’ and having excess ‘play’ and ‘grit’ in the trigger pull, Smith Wesson launched the improved M&P 40 M.20 to remedy these poor reviews.

The Smith Wesson M&P comes with a tighter and crisper squeeze along with a more audible reset in terms of the 40 cal pistol’s trigger. The Smith & Wesson M&P is now quicker, more accurate, and comes with excellent recoil mitigation.

One of the most notable features of the Smith and Wesson’s pistol is its improved grip texture that sits at an 18 degree angle. This will allow users to achieve a more natural grip on the gun. Besides being natural, users can also expect a secure grip when their hands get sweaty thanks to its rough and aggressive texture on the M&P 40 pistol.

Furthermore, this model also comes with interchangeable back straps like its predecessor. While the previous model only had 3 sizes of backstrap options (small, medium, and large), this model comes with a 4th insert as a medium large grip. These 4 backstraps feature a new aggressive texture and will allow you to change the grip sizes easily.

You only need to rotate the holding post on the base of the gun. After unlocking it, you may remove the grip insert and change it to your ideal size. Many reviews have also noted the new serrations on the front of the slide that allowed for smoother slide manipulation.

You will like this product if:

You want great versatility. An outstanding feature of the M&P 40 pistol is its magazine interchangeability. Unlike many other 40 cal pistols, you can use older magazines for this pistol and it will fit perfectly. Furthermore, even the holsters that were designed for this pistol’s predecessors would properly secure this upgraded model.

You want great grip texture. The grip texture on this pistol is excellent even among the best 40 cal pistols on the market. This is largely thanks to its tighter 18-degree angle that will allow you to achieve a natural and firm grip when handling and shooting this pistol.

You might not like this product if:

You want an anti-corrosive finish. Unlike some of the best 40 cal pistols, this pistol doesn’t come with an anti corrosive finish. If you often shoot under unfavourable conditions, this Smith and Wesson pistol might not be your best buy.

7. Sig Sauer P229 Nitron Compact


  • Type: Semi-Automatic
  • Series/Collection: P229 Nitron Compact
  • Action: Single/Double
  • Caliber/Gauge: 40 S&W
  • Capacity: 10
  • Sight: Siglite Night
  • Sight Radius: 5.7″
  • Slide: Black Nitron Stainless Steel
  • Grip Type: Black 1-Piece Ergonomic
  • Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Frame Finish: Hardcoat Anodized Black
  • Barrel Length: 3.9″
  • Overall Length: 7.1″
  • Weight: 34.4 oz
  • Overall Height: 5.4″
  • Overall Width: 1-1/2″
  • Frame Size: Compact


As the name suggests, the Sig P229 Nitron Compact is the most durable, accurate, and compact 40 pistol that you’ll probably find on the market among all the 40 pistols. This pistol is easy to use and comes with a 12 round magazine chambered in the .40 S&W caliber.

This pistol comes with practical features such as SIGLITE night sights which were specifically designed to offer exceptional target acquisition even under low light conditions. If you often shoot under these conditions, you will never miss your target with this pistol.

The Sig P229 features an integral accessory rail and a 1 piece ergonomic grip. In terms of barrel design,this gun comes with a 3.9 inch barrel that doesn’t compromise too much in terms of accuracy. The weight of this handgun is merely 34.4 oz and hence, it will be great for concealed carry purposes.

If you often shoot under unfavourable conditions, you are in luck as the Sig P229 is equipped with a hard coat anodized frame and its stainless steel slide is coated with Nitron that will effectively prevent corrosion and resist wear and tears.

In relation to the pistol’s safety system, it comes with 4 different internal mechanisms to ensure that the gun is as safe as possible. Sig calls it the 4 point safety system. The safeties include a de-cocker that allows you to lower the gun’s hammer safety. When de cocking, the hammer will come down but stay away from the firing pin. The safety notch also aids in keeping the hammer away from the firing pin.

You will like this product if:

You want fantastic safety features. Sig’s 4 point safety system has made its name for being 1 for offering some of the best safety features a gun could possibly have. Whether for competition or self defense, you won’t experience any accidental misfires from this pistol.

You shoot under low light conditions. Thanks to Sig’s incorporation of the SIGLITE night sights that were designed to offer exceptional target acquisition under low light conditions, you will never miss the bullseye again even under low light conditions.

You might not like this product if:

You are shopping on a very tight budget. While the Sig P229 comes with a wide range of amazing features, it doesn’t come cheap. If you have a very tight budget, this might be a little too much for you. That said, if you are willing to invest a little more for an upgrade, you will love this gun.

8. Beretta Apx Rdo 40 S&W Pistol


  • Type: Semi-Automatic, Striker Fire
  • Series/Collection: APX RDO
  • Action: Double
  • Caliber/Gauge: 40 S&W
  • Capacity: 15
  • Sight: 3-Dot
  • Slide: Black
  • Safety: Striker Deactivation Button, Firing Pin Block and Trigger
  • Grip Type: Black Interchangeable Backstrap
  • Barrel Material: Nitride Carbon Steel
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Frame Finish: Black
  • Barrel Length: 4-1/4″
  • Weight: 33.3 oz
  • Overall Height: 5.6″
  • Overall Width: 1-1/2″
  • Grip Width: 1.3″


The Beretta APX RDO features a removable, serialised chassis frame that allows you to modify it with replaceable grip frame housings. This gun will also be very easy to maintain and disassemble and necessary. If you are looking for a versatile 40 cal gun, the APX comes with 3 interchangeable back straps. As such, it will fit on any gun owner regardless of their hand size.

This gun also comes with full length slide serrations that allow for easy slide manipulations. The reversible magazine release button on this gun was specifically designed to accommodate both right and left handed uses so everyone can enjoy shooting the Beretta APX RDO. Besides that, the slide stop is also ambidextrous.

Additionally, the grip texturing offers enough friction without tearing up your hand. As such, you can have a comfortable and strong grip on this gun even with sweaty palms. The trigger guard here accommodates a 6 lbs trigger that offers an audible reset.

One of the most notable features of this gun is perhaps Beretta’s incorporation of a striker deactivator that will allow shooters to slide it down without having to pull the trigger. Furthermore, the wide magazine baseplate on the APX RDO will provide smooth manipulation.

As the Beretta APX RDO is a striker fired weapon, all the pulls will be exact. The trigger itself features a safety leaf that you must depress in order for the trigger to move. The trigger’s face is wide and flat and takes approximately an 8th of an inch and an additional 8th and an inch of pressure to break.

You will like this product if:

You want incredible adaptability. This gun comes with a modular design that boasts a removable fire control chassis and hence, it meets the MHS contract requirements. In other words, you may move the ‘pistol’ part to the different sizes of polymer frames and hence, the same pistol can become more compact or larger in size.

You want something that’s easy to shoot. Striker fired 40 pistols are pretty rare on the market and you’re in luck with the Beretta APX RDO as all of its trigger pulls are exact. Unlike some 40 pistols, this one will be extremely easy and fun to shoot with.

You might not like this product if:

You want fantastic durability. While the gun itself is fine in terms of durability, some reviews mentioned that coating didn’t hold up as much as expected. If you don’t mind re-coating the pistol, you will love the Beretta APX RDO.

Leave a Comment