9 Best Smith & Wesson Pistols – Jan 2023

Smith & Wesson Performance Center 1911 for sale - a great custom 45 ACP 1911

Smith & Wesson has been going strong since 1852 and it’s inevitable that it sells some of the best handguns, pistols and revolvers on the market today.

But what are the best S&W handguns?

Here are our top picks.

9 Best Smith & Wesson Pistols – Jan 2023

1. Smith & Wesson M&P9 Metal

  • Price: $899.99
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel length: 4.25 inch
  • Length: 7.2 inch
  • Weight: 1.87lb
  • Capacity: 17+1 rounds

The Smith & Wesson M&P9 Metal 2.0 is the next generation service pistol at a great price.

Now the metal can be a launchpad for a striker fired competition pistol. Or it can simply be a stronger, sexier compact pistol. We can see a lot of Law Enforcement Officers going for this gun, especially if the discount is good enough, as well as the general public.

It is an all metal handgun with a Tungsten Cerakote finish on the slide and frame. Contrasting grip texture and palmswells that help tailor this compact pistol to your hand combine with a flared magwell to give it a race gun look when you’re shooting targets.

Of course you can order the full length Competitor version with the integral compensator in the slide and match grade barrel for recoil free target shooting with this single action target shooter.

The red dot ready compact 9mm is the one we would go for, as it is a concealed carry as well, at a push.

And the Smith & Wesson M&P Series always had stunning and brave slide serrations.

The full length scallops look like the work of a custom gunsmith and there’s an RMR plate up top so you can fit red dot sights.


S&W 629 revolver. The classic 44 Magnum revolver you need to own.

2. Smith & Wesson Model 629

  • Price: $1,065.99
  • Caliber: 44 Magnum
  • Barrel: 4
  • Weight: 2.59lb
  • Capacity: 6

The S&W 629 has turned into a whole model line now, and some of the modern day Performance Center wheelguns will blow your mind. But the S&W Model 629 is the original, almost.

This is the same basic recipe that the Model 29 and its precursor, Smith & Wesson’s first 44 Magnum revolver, in 1956.

Production methods are much better these days and the 6 in the name indicates the switch to stainless steel. So the guns are much stronger now, but essentially this is the old school six shot revolver that we all know and love.

You can get a shorter barrel, or a longer barrel, but this is the meat and potatoes S&W 44 Magnum.

If you want something a little wilder, have a look at the Performance Center pistols for sale here:


S&W M&P Shield Plus. A fantastic concealed carry pistol with a high capacity magazine

3. S&W M&P Shield Plus

  • Price: $399.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel length: 3.1 inch
  • Length: 6.1 inch
  • Weight: 1.26lb
  • Capacity: 10+1 rounds

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus has evolved into one of the best subcompact 9mm pistols for concealed carry, and you can still find gun deals for the single stack version if you want deep concealment for even less money.

Now this second gen handgun has a much better trigger, slide serrations and the fatter grip with the double stack mag transformed this M&P Shield 9mm carry pistol from an also ran into a real contender.

With a fatter grip, the subcompact Smith & Wesson M&P Shield can go head to head with the likes of the Sig P365 and Glock 43x. In many people’s eyes, it’s the best gun and you can order one with a manual safety.

It isn’t the most spectacular handgun here, but it is the best seller and great carry pistols.

Performance Center Versions and a Single Stack

Again you can spend a little more and get the match grade PC version of the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield. Or spend less and get a Basic M&P9 Shield. The standard Shield has less ammo and the trigger pull is not as sweet, but you could save big money.


9 Best Smith & Wesson Pistols – Jan 2023

4. Smith & Wesson SW1911 Scandium

  • Price: $1,540.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel length: 5 inch
  • Length: 7.95 inch
  • Weight: 1.85lb
  • Capacity: 8+1 rounds

Lightweight material science has slashed the weight of a modern 45 ACP 1911 and turned the Scandium frame pistol into a potential everyday carry.

This is one of the best 1911 45 ACP pistols under $2000.

You can go for a slightly more expensive PC handgun, too, with a ported slide, a rail gun or other performance features for home defense or concealed carry gun use.

Of course you can order a Commander size 4 inch barrel, too.

All of them are handfitted by in-house engineers and are reliable, accurate and easy to shoot single action 1911s. You get the beavertail grip safety and thumb safety, together with checkering that borders on sharp.

See the full line here:


Smith & Wesson 340 PD. The best 357 Magnum concealed carry pistol

5. Smith and Wesson Model 340 PD

  • Price: $1,114.99
  • Barrel: 1.875 inch
  • Total: 6.3 inch
  • Weight: 0.74lb
  • Capacity: 5

The lightest 357 Magnum revolver in the world is a double action concealed carry revolver that slips into your waistband until you need to point and squirt.

Now this best selling revolver really can trace its lineage back to the J Frame 38 Special revolvers of the 1950s. They became the Model 40 Airlite and finally this 0.74lb wheelgun with a Scandium alloy frame.

The enclosed hammer means this is strictly a double action trigger and a defensive pistol. It’s also a 357 Magnum revolver with a barrel less than 2 inches. So recoil is a real thing here.


S&W M&P 2.0 Full Size

6. Smith and Wesson M&P9 Full Size

  • Price: $499.99
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel: 5 inches long
  • Length: 8.3 inch
  • Weight: 1.7lb
  • Capacity: 17+1

The full size Smith & Wesson 9mm M&P 2.0 is an absolute workhorse for home defense offering high magazine capacity, a simple grip that a lot of people would take any day over the famous Glock grip angle.

Law Enforcement and lots of military carry these 9mm handguns as service weapons in some form or another. The metal version is sexier, but the polymer pistol is still the volume seller in the Smith and Wesson M&P series.

It’s a great beginner handgun too, with an external safety. Merely firing a few shots at the range has been enough to convert some former Glock lovers on the spot.

“It just fits better…”

You hear that a lot.

A beveled slide, rear cocking serrations and a rail for a light or laser underrneath make these fantastic 9mm pistols for defensive duties. Optics ready versions cost a little more, but might be worth it for the added accuracy and ease of use.

It all depends on if you carry this gun, or keep it stored for ‘special occasions’. An extended high capacity magazine, Tritium sights and other parts & accessories are easy to come by, of course.


Smith Wesson SW22 Victory For Sale

7. SW22 Victory

  • Price: $421.99
  • Caliber: 22LR
  • Barrel: 5.5 inches
  • Length: 6 inch
  • Weight: 2.3lb
  • Capacity: 10+1

The Smith and Wesson SW22 Victory is a favorite with recreational target shooters. If you’re exclusive, shooting targets and nothing else, you can get seriously deep into this range shooting rabbit hole.

The Smith & Wesson Performance Center SW22 with the carbon-fiber barrel is wild. But the standard 22LR pistol with the 5.5 inch barrel is an institution at gun ranges around the United States.

Low recoil plinking with a single action semi-automatic pistol is a lot of fun and can be addictive.


S&W CSX is a hammer fired subcompact pistol with a lot of 1911 features, and some from your favorite carry pistols. it's a hybrid pistol, a new breed.

8. Smith & Wesson CSX

  • Price: $529.99
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel: 3.1 inches
  • Length: 6 inch
  • Weight: 1.2lb
  • Capacity: 10+1

If you want a hammer fired S&W 9mm micro-compact pistol, well do we have something for you.

The Smith & Wesson CSX is arguably the best marriage of compact 1911 and micro-compact 9mm striker fired we have seen.

It isn’t perfect. There are pros & cons and the heavy trigger and other oddities aren’t to everybody’s liking.

We certainly don’t think it’s even close to a spiritual successor to the Chief’s Special revolver that gave it the name. It’s just different.

But this S&W 9mm is a quasi 1911 concealed carry gun that is just 6 inches long. And it is different, cheaper than a full on Colt Defender or Kimber Ultra Carry, and lighter too.


S&W M&P15 Sport pistol on sale now.

9. S&W M&P Sport

  • Price: $899.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 7.5 inches
  • Length: 25 inch
  • Weight: 5.5lb
  • Capacity: 20+1

The Smith & Wesson AR pistol is a cost effective firearm that has been built to a price point.

Like the M&P15 Sport rifle, it does everything well and nothing spectacularly.

That’s the point of this entry level AR pistol under $1000.

Best Place to Buy a Gun

We did this pretty advanced post about the best gun stores and they’re pretty much the best places to buy Smith & Wessons, with a few caveats.

1. Palmetto State Armory

The folks at Palmetto State Armory just keep getting better. The home brand guns and the best AR-15 upgrades & accessory store sits side by side with one of the biggest gun stores on the internet.

Palmetto State Armory are not so big on revolvers, but you can get a massive amount of semi-automatic pistols, shotguns, rifles and more.

Ammo is a big deal at Palmetto State Armory too. You can buy bulk ammo deals for your S&W 9mm, or your 45 ACP.

In short, Palmetto State Armory is pretty great, for all your firearms needs. Palmetto State Armory also offers handpicked daily gun deals and exclusive coupon codes.

2. Primary Arms

Primary Arms is another specialist supplier that offers more handpicked daily gun deals and exclusive coupon codes.

You’ll find some cheap AR-15 deals on Primary Arms, and parts & accessories. Important stuff…

Shop Primary Arms now.


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