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My Top 5 Underrated Handguns

The world of handguns in ruled by brands like Glock, Sig, and to a slightly lesser extent S&W and Ruger. These companies produce well known and very reliable guns. They are well respected for their reliability, their accuracy, and yadda yadda. They are the quarterback or the Prom queen. Everyone knows them and in case of guns like Glock or the 1911 frame you can even build one starting with an 80 percent lower frame and hardly use any Glock parts. However, some guns aren’t known so well, they are guns that are criminally underrated and underappreciated. I’ve gathered five of my favorite underrated guns.

5. CZ 2075 RAMI

I love CZ guns and I love all metal guns, and I love DA/SA guns so the traditional line up of CZ pistols has me smitten. One of my favorites is the CZ 2075 RAMI, a subcompact design that combines the best features of CZ guns into a subcompact package.

Photo Courtesy of CZ

It’s a soft shooting gun that fills the hand. It’s heavy for a subcompact design but it absolutely eats recoil. It can accept standard CZ 75 magazines and comes with a flush mount 14 rounder with grip extension. It’s super comfortable shoot, and one of my favorite underrated handguns of all time.

4. Walther PPS

The Walther PPS was my carry gun for years and I always thought it was a criminally underrated handgun. The Walther PPS was one of the first true single stack, polymer frame, 9mm concealed carry guns. This little guy does so much more than most single stack 9s.

Photo Courtesy of Walther

First off, the rear backstraps are interchangeable, which is still a rarity with single stack 9s. The gun has three different capacity magazines that each change the size of the grip. The gun was very customizable grip wise for such a small design. It has also had a great trigger, an ambi mag release, and is pleasant to shoot.

3. Steyr A1

Most people know Steyr from either their high-end bolt guns, or the always awesome Steyr AUG. Very few have ever paid attention to the Steyr handguns and thats a real shame. The A1 series is a polymer frame, semi-automatic handgun available in either 9mm or 40 S&W. The A1 series is comprised of several different models with varying grip and barrel lengths.

Photo Courtesy of Steyr

This includes the C-A1 which was a Glock 19X before the Glock 19X was every thought of. These guns sported awesome trapezoid sights that are very quick to get on target and intuitive to use. The guns were ergonomic powerhouses that were comfortable to hold and shoot. It’s a real shame they never caught on.

2. HK P30

The only love the P30 ever got was from the first John Wick film before quickly replaced by a Glock in John Wick 2. Compared to other HKs the P30 is very underrated. Guns like the USP, the P7, and of course the VP9 are way more popular than the P30. The VP9 is essentially a P30 with a striker, but don’t tell the internet that.

Photo Courtesy of HK

This gun rings my bell because it is a modern polymer handgun with a DA/SA design, a trigger guard magazine release and it comes in a variety of configuration with or without the safety. It’s also available in subcompact and long sizes. The P30 is a very fun gun to shoot, and one that is accurate, precise, and serves as a lesson in handgun ergonomics.

1. Magnum Research MR9

The Magnum Research MR9 is what seems to be Walther second attempt at launching the P99 with an American firearms company. The previous was the SW99. The MR9 is a striker fired gun with a DA/SA design. The gun has a decocker on the top of the slide and an anti-stress trigger. The AS trigger is a single action trigger with the DA length of pull. It’s odd but it works.

Photo Courtesy of Magnum Research

The trigger is absolutely fantastic and the gun looks amazing. Why does it make the list when the P99 is underrated? Well, the P99 is hard to find and compared to the MR9 it’s expensive. You can easily find an MR9 and it’ll be under 400 bucks. The MR9 uses a stainless slide and comes in a 4 and 4.5 inch barreled model. The 4.5-inch model is exclusive to the MR9 as far as I can tell.

Underrated Handguns Rule

In a market of striker fired Glock wannabes it’s hard to find a gun that strives to be both modern and a little different. When the majority of the market wants either a 1911 or a Glock copy its wise to take the time to appreciate underrated handguns.

About the Author /

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. Today, Travis serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.


  • Ashley Miller

    September 11, 2020

    Thanks for pointing out some unsung heros in the gun world. I learned a few things

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