Cocked and Locked sells pistols from most manufacturers and is not limited to the models shown below. However, we recommend these pistols because they are proven safe, reliable, simple to operate, and accurate and have been thoroughly tested and used by law-enforcement agencies and the military. When compared to rifles and shotguns, semi-automatic pistols are generally more susceptible to malfunctions. If you are using a pistol for personal defense, malfunctions must be minimized.

Always hold a pistol in your hand to ensure comfort before purchasing! If you are trying to decide between two pistols, comfort is a great tie-breaker.

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Glock’s G19 Gen4.

Glock 19
Glock pistols are used by police departments nationwide and numerous military units. Click here and scroll down to “Users” for a comprehensive list. You will not find a more simple design anywhere.  Simply point a Glock and pull the trigger. No external safeties or additional buttons to worry about, but the design is inherently safe and proven.

The Glock 19 is arguably the most-used Glock in the world. Chambered in 9mm with a 15+1 capacity, it is concealable and a great choice for home defense.  I own a Gen3 Glock 19 and would recommend it to anyone. Personally, I like the feel of the Gen3 Glock over the Gen4 due to the texture. However, the Gen4 uses a different recoil spring than earlier designs that reduces felt recoil, and that may be important to you. The G19 is my top recommendation for first-time pistol buyers. The G19’s big brother is the original Glock 17 with a capacity of 17+1. It’s not as concealable but is great for larger hands.

Gen3 9mm and .40S&W Glock: $499
Gen4 9mm and .40S&W Glock: $529
Gen3 .45ACP and 10mm: $535
Gen4 .45ACP and 10mm: $565

If you buy a Glock from Cocked and Locked, work in law enforcement, or are active or retired military, we will drift your Glock’s rear sight for free if it’s shooting to the right or left. If you didn’t buy from us but need your rear sight moved, we’ll do it for $15 and let you shoot your pistol before leaving to ensure zero. Who else in Charleston does that?

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The Sig P226.

Sig Sauer P226/P229
The full-size Sig P226 is my favorite all-metal 9mm pistol. It’s used by Navy SEALs and won the U.S. Military torture test in the 1980s. I especially like its DA/SA function and all-metal construction. Some prefer the DA-only function of Glocks and their polymer construction. In the end, it’s a personal choice. The P226’s smaller cousin, the P229, is used by the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Coast Guard. Its barrel is 1/2″ shorter than the P226 but retains 15+1 capacity while being more concealable.

Sig P226: $795
Sig P229: $795


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Kimber’s Tactical Custom II.  A higher-end M1911A1 that comes stock with features traditionally found only on custom 1911s like a lowered ejection port, match trigger, and extended beavertail grip safety.

We don’t go by Cocked and Locked for nothing! The grand-daddy of combat pistols is the M1911A1 in .45ACP.

You will find more variants of the M1911A1 than any other firearm. Nothing else is even close. Since the patent ran out years ago, almost every manufacturer makes their own version. For a higher-end product, I recommend Kimber which specializes in 1911-style pistols. Something like the Kimber Tactical Custom II ($1,249) is a great choice with night sights and match-grade trigger. You also can’t go wrong with the Remington R1 Enhanced ($799) which has gotten rave reviews or Sig’s 1911 ($859). Capacity is 7+1 or 8+1 depending on magazine design.

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Remington R1 Enhanced.  Best 1911 bang for the buck.


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Walther PPQ M2

Walther PPQ M2
The Walther PPQ M2 has a rich lineage from previous Walther models, namely the P99. This pistol is available in 9mm and .40 S&W and may have the best factory trigger of any polymer framed, striker-fired pistol. The newer, more expensive H&K VP9 is almost a replica of the Walther PPQ which is an incredible compliment to the Walther, however, the M2 variant of the PPQ offers a traditional push-button magazine release versus the quirky H&K mag release located on the trigger guard. Another bonus is an adjustable rear sight for windage. The 9mm version has 15+1 capacity.

Walther PPQ M2: $585

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See Walther PPQ description.

H&K VP9: $629

Sig Sauer P320

Sig Sauer P320
The Sig Sauer P320 became the official sidearm of the U.S. Army in 2017.  It’s ambidextrous, modular design allows grip sizes to be changed out from full-size to carry to compact to ultra-compact while using the same internals.  You can even change calibers between 9mm, .357SIG, and .40S&W by purchasing an appropriate barrel.  Read more here.  Price varies based on size.