The Best .45 ACP Pistols for YOUR Needs

Best 45 ACP Pistols

When it comes to maximizing stopping power, many serious gun owners opt for the .45 ACP (.45 Auto) caliber for their self-defense and concealed carry needs. In this guide, we'll explain the pros and cons of this common pistol caliber and give you our picks for the best .45 ACP Pistols.

For those of you looking for 1911s, the gun that made this caliber what it is today, you actually won't find any here. That's because we've devoted an entire article to our choices for the best 1911 pistols, so check that out if that's what you're looking for.

Unlike most of our articles, we assume those looking for .45 ACP pistols are more likely to be sure about what they're looking for, so we're jumping straight into our choices for the best options.

The Best .45 ACP Pistols

We'll cover the pros and cons of all our picks below, but here's our quick list of the best .45 pistols:

Full Size & Larger "Compacts"

  • FNX-45 Tactical
  • FNX-45
  • HK45 Tactical
  • HK45 Compact Tactical
  • HK45 Compact
  • SIG Sauer P220
  • Beretta PX4 Storm
  • Glock 21

Compacts Ideal for Concealed Carry

  • Kahr CW45
  • Glock 30S
  • Glock 36
  • Springfield XD(S) .45
  • Springfield XD(M) .45 Compact

You can compare each of these pistols by clicking on the expandable table below.

Compare All the Best 45 ACP Pistols

PistolLength/(Barrel Length)HeightWidthWeightMag CapacityThreaded BarrelTypePrice
FNX-45 Tactical FDE

FNX-45 Tactical FDE

(or in Black)

8.6 in / (5.3 in)6.5 in1.58 in33.3 oz15 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,149
FNX-45

FNX-45

7.4 in / (4.5 in)6.3 in1.58 in33.2 oz15 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$704.99
Kahr CW45

Kahr CW45

6.32 in / (3.64 in)4.8 in1.02 in19.7 oz6 Rd.Striker$333.99
Glock 21

Glock 21

8.07 in / (4.61 in)5.51 in1.34 in26.1 oz13 Rd.Striker$545.99
Glock 30

Glock 30S

6.97 in / (3.78 in)4.8 in1.38 in20.28 oz10/13/9 Rd.Striker$549.99
Glock 36

Glock 36

6.97 in / (3.78 in)4.72 in1.18 in19.93 oz6 Rd.Striker$549.99
Springfield XD-M .45 Compact

Springfield XD(M) Compact

6.9 in / (3.8 in)4.75 in1.26 in27 oz9/13 Rd.Striker$657.99
Springfield XDS .45

Springfield XD(S) .45

6.5 in / (3.3 in)4.66 in.975 in21.5 oz5/6 Rd.Striker$499.99
HK45 Tactical

HK45 Tactical

8.5in / (5.2 in)5.91 in1.54 in31.2 oz10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,269.99
HK45 Compact Tactical

HK45 Compact Tactical

7.91 in / (4.57 in)5.51 in1.14 in29.12 oz8/10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,249.99
HK45 Compact

HK45 Compact

7.24 in / (3.94 in)5.51 in1.54 in28.48 oz8/10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,079.99
SIG Sauer P220

SIG Sauer P220

7.7 in / (4.4 in)5.5 in1.5 in30.4 oz8 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$929.99
Beretta PX4 Storm Full Size 45 ACP

Beretta Px4 Storm

7.68 in / (4.1 in)5.51 in1.42 in28.2 oz10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$619.99
FNX-45 Tactical FDE

$1149.99 at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of publishing

FN FNX-45 Tactical

We're getting this started with one of the most expensive pistols on our list. But if you can afford it, the FNX-45 Tactical is well worth the money. It's available in "Flat Dark Earth" (pictured left) and Black finishes. As the name suggests, it comes from the factory with a (cold hammer-forged) threaded barrel, allowing for suppressors and other accessories to be attached.

Another tactical... or "tacticool" (depending on how you plan to use it) feature of this pistol is that it includes two mounting bases, allowing you to easily mount a variety of red dot sights. These can be mounted without needing to remove the night sights that come on the gun, allowing for co-witnessing. Speaking of the sights, they're raised high enough to allow them to easily be used with most suppressors attached.

The FNX-45 Tactical comes with three 15 round magazines, meaning it has the largest capacity of any of the handguns on our list. However, this is to be expected, as it's also the largest firearm on our list. Generally speaking, the FNX-45 Tactical is better suited for competitive shooting, target shooting, home defense, use as a combat pistol, as a car gun, or as a SHTF sidearm... as opposed to being a concealed carry firearm.

This Double Action/Single Action pistol has a pretty great trigger. The only slight issue is the longer than necessary reset, which may slow you down a bit. The trigger pull is listed at 8.8-12.1 lb (DA) and 3.96-5.06 lb (SA).

The FNX-45 controls are completely ambidextrous, including the safety/decocker, slide stop, and mag release.

Overall, I've found the FNX-45 Tactical incredibly easy to shoot accurately, which i believe is primarily a result of its relatively heavy weight, low bore axis, and natural grip angle.

Now to get Tacticool...

Vortex Venom

Vortex Venom

As for red dots, the Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.25 MOA would be my preference, though it is pricey. Maybe you don't want to spend another $500+ after shelling out over $1k for the gun itself. For around half the price, you can get a Vortex Venom 3 MOA. Honestly, I've had no issues with any Vortex products; so don't feel bad about going cheaper here if necessary. Both options can easily be mounted to the FNX-45 Tactical.

Now to take advantage of the threaded barrel and the subsonic nature of .45 ACP. The Osprey by SilencerCo is a great suppressor, advertising a 131.3 DB average at the muzzle.

Unfortunately I don't (yet!) have this set up myself, but here's a picture from Reddit user "Kookilla":

FNX-45 Tactical W Osprey Suppresor by SilencerCo

Finally, how about a laser or light? Or why not get something that does both? The Streamlight TLR-2 is a great light/laser combo.

For those of you not interested in suppressors or red dots, you may want to opt for the regular FNX-45. It offers nearly everything else that's to love about it's Tactical counterpart, but at a much more affordable price. It comes with three 10 round magazines, but can also be used with the FNX 15 round magazines.

PistolLength/(Barrel Length)HeightWidthWeightMag CapacityThreaded BarrelTypePrice
FNX-45 Tactical FDE

FNX-45 Tactical FDE

(or in Black)

8.6 in / (5.3 in)6.5 in1.58 in33.3 oz15 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,149
FNX-45

FNX-45

7.4 in / (4.5 in)6.3 in1.58 in33.2 oz10/15 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$704.99
Kahr CW45

$333.99 at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of publishing

Kahr CW45

Now for something completely opposite to our first pick, the Kahr CW45. This pistol is the cheapest .45 ACP pistol you can find for concealed carry, without giving up reliability. It's essentially the cheaper version of Kahr's P45, priced at roughly half the cost. It's also one of the smallest guns on our list, making it easy to conceal.

Naturally, corners get cut when trying to make a firearm this cheap, but Kahr makes these cuts in all the smart places. Some of them are literally more basic slide cuts and cheaper machining practices. Other noteworthy downgrades from the P45 include lack of polygonal barrel, no dovetail sights, and you only get 1 magazine (6 round) with your purchase.

As said above, quality seems to be no issue, despite the cheap price tag. Generally speaking, Kahr makes great firearms. If you search for whether or not it's worth paying more for the P45 vs the CW45, you'll find countless forum threads with CW45 owners saying to go with the cheaper CW45.

Though I don't own a CW45, I have been able to shoot one on a couple of occasions. The trigger is incredibly smooth, though for my personal preference I could complain about the curvature of the trigger and its travel distance. That said, it's pretty fantastic, especially when you remember what you paid for the gun.

The one upgrade I would make would be adding these Trijicon Night Sights. I always opt for night sights on any pistol I plan to use for self-defense and the CW45's factory sights leave a bit to be desired anyway.

... And as for concealed carry holsters, I'd take a look at this.

PistolLength/(Barrel Length)HeightWidthWeightMag CapacityThreaded BarrelTypePrice
Kahr CW45

Kahr CW45

6.32 in / (3.64 in)4.8 in1.02 in19.7 oz6 Rd.Striker$333.99
Glock 21

$549.99 at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of publishing

Glock 21, 30S, and 36

Nearly all best pistol lists we do include Glocks, and our list of the best .45 pistols is no different. I'm even beginning to resent writing about Glock pistols, because the rationale for including them is always the same.

Glocks are the most well-trusted manufacturer of semi automatic pistol and are arguably the most reliable. If you know someone who carries a pistol in .45 ACP, chances are it's a Glock 21, 30, or 36.

With Glocks being as popular as they are, they also have the most available aftermarket parts, allowing you to fully customize one to your needs.

Choosing between Glock's .45 ACP offerings comes down to what you plan on using it for and the size you want it to be.

In the table below, you can compare the size and capacity of these options. The Glock 21 is their full size (standard) .45 ACP pistol, whereas the Glock 30 is their double stack subcompact and the Glock 36 is their single stack subcompact. The one note I'd add is that if planning to get a Glock 30, I'd recommend the 30s version, as it has a slimmer slide and shorter frame for easier concealed carrying.

PistolLength/(Barrel Length)HeightWidthWeightMag CapacityThreaded BarrelTypePrice
Glock 21

Glock 21

8.07 in / (4.61 in)5.51 in1.34 in26.1 oz13 Rd.Striker$545.99
Glock 30

Glock 30S

6.97 in / (3.78 in)4.8 in1.38 in20.28 oz10/13/9 Rd.Striker$549.99
Glock 36

Glock 36

6.97 in / (3.78 in)4.72 in1.18 in19.93 oz6 Rd.Striker$549.99

As is always the case for all pistols without stock night sights, I'd recommend a Trijicon set of tritium night sights.
Trijicon Ngiht Sights for Walther PPS

Springfield XDS .45

$499.99 at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of publishing

Springfield XD-S .45 and Springfield XD-M .45 Compact

Springfield XD series pistols, including the XD-S and XD-M are other very popular choices for concealed carry.

The most unique feature of these pistols is their grip safety, requiring a firm grip around the pistol to fire. Opinions on the grip safety vary. Some view it as just another part of the gun that could potentially fail, while many others feel it greatly reduces the likelihood of accidental discharges. Both arguments have merit, but I've personally shot thousands of rounds out of various XD series pistols with no issues resulting from the grip safety.

For me, the biggest determining factor of opting for an XD pistol over a Glock is the grip angle.

In addition to having a grip safety, XD pistols share the same grip angle as 1911s, which I find to be incredibly intuitive for quick aiming. Glocks, on the other hand, have a more extreme angle—which takes some getting used to.

As for concealed carrying, Springfield has also made slightly smaller overall pistols in the XD-S and XD-M compact. The narrower width in particular allows them to be concealed more comfortably.

While not as popular as Glocks, these pistols are still very popular, meaning they still have a tremendous amount of aftermarket support.

PistolLength/(Barrel Length)HeightWidthWeightMag CapacityThreaded BarrelTypePrice
Springfield XD-M .45 Compact

Springfield XD(M) Compact

6.9 in / (3.8 in)4.75 in1.26 in27 oz9/13 Rd.Striker$657.99
Springfield XDS .45

Springfield XD(S) .45

6.5 in / (3.3 in)4.66 in.975 in21.5 oz5/6 Rd.Striker$499.99
HK45 Tactical

$1269.99 at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of publishing

HK45 Tactical

Heckler & Koch's HK45 Tactical is the closest competitor to the FNX-45 Tactical. Both come from the factory with threaded barrels, so they are suppressor ready.

As you'd expect from any Heckler & Koch firearm, the HK45 series pistols are incredibly well crafted. My biggest gripe when shooting this pistol is its fairly long and heavy DA trigger pull. With that said, the HK45 makes up for this with it's solid SA trigger pull.

With so much (justified) hype surrounding this gun, I want to focus on the reasons why I'd personally choose other options over an HK45 Tactical or HK45.

For starters, the HK45 Tactical and HK45 Compact Tactical are the most expensive pistols on our list, currently priced a bit higher than even the FNX-45 Tactical. Even the (non-threaded barrel) regular HK45 Comapct is priced over $1,000.

At around the same size and weight as the FNX-45 Tactical, the HK45 Tactical holds 5 less rounds. Considering many of you are likely looking for a larger .45 ACP suppressed pistol to use for home defense, there's no reason not to opt for the additional 5 rounds in my opinion.

Speaking of the size, it's very unlikely you plan to use the full size HK45 Tactical for concealed carry. Even the compact versions (HK45 Compact and HK45 Compact Tactical) are still on the larger side. They are also far more expensive and hold less rounds than many of the other pistols on this list geared towards concealed carry.

In general, these options are just too impractical for my tastes when compared to other manufacturers' offerings.

PistolLength/(Barrel Length)HeightWidthWeightMag CapacityThreaded BarrelTypePrice
FNX-45 Tactical FDE

FNX-45 Tactical FDE

(or in Black)

8.6 in / (5.3 in)6.5 in1.58 in33.3 oz15 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,149
HK45 Tactical

HK45 Tactical

8.5in / (5.2 in)5.91 in1.54 in31.2 oz10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,269.99
HK45 Compact Tactical

HK45 Compact Tactical

7.91 in / (4.57 in)5.51 in1.14 in29.12 oz8/10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,249.99
HK45 Compact

HK45 Compact

7.24 in / (3.94 in)5.51 in1.54 in28.48 oz8/10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,079.99
SIG Sauer P220

$929.99 at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of publishing

SIG Sauer P220

The SIG Sauer P220 is famous for being an incredibly accurate pistol right out of the box, stemming back to its initial release in 1976. Like the FNX-45 and HK45, it's a double action/single action hammer fired pistol. Unfortunately though, for those wanting to equip a silencer, there's no P220 option from the factory with a threaded barrel.

Though I haven't been able to measure it, I'm confident in stating the P220 has a lighter trigger pull than the FNX-45, particularly when firing DA. All things considered, I find the P220 to be incredibly easy to shoot.

SIG's P220 comes from the factory with SIGLITE night sights, making this a great feature for home defense or combat pistol purposes.

The major downsides to this pistol are its price and magazine capacity. With no extended magazine option, the 8 round capacity is worse than even the HK45 at a similar size.

This pains me to say as a huge fan of SIGs, but again, I find myself opting for a FNX-45 or FNX-45 Tactical at around the same price range. If not getting the FNX, you might as well just get a 1911, as the P220 is about as close as you can get without actually getting a 1911 anyway.

PistolLength/(Barrel Length)HeightWidthWeightMag CapacityThreaded BarrelTypePrice
SIG Sauer P220

SIG Sauer P220

7.7 in / (4.4 in)5.5 in1.5 in30.4 oz8 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$929.99
Beretta PX4 Storm Full Size 45 ACP

$619.99 at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of publishing

Beretta Px4 Storm

Last on our list is the Beretta Px4 Storm. At the cheapest price of our hammer fired pistol picks, it's seriously worth considering the Px4 Storm. I'm lucky enough to have a close friend who owns one, so I've been able to put a decent number of rounds through it without owning one personally.

I absolutely love the look of this handgun (and most Berettas in general). I'm also a fan of the Px4 Storm's trigger, which is competitive in terms of pull weight and quite smooth in both DA and SA, though DA travel distance feels quite long.

I've always found the Px4 Storm to be incredibly easy to shoot and change between targets with. I wasn't entirely sure why that was, until doing further research.

The Px4 Storm has a rotary barrel, meaning the barrel rotates after each shot. This helps dissipate recoil away from your hand and reduce muzzle jump. In my opinion, its effect is rather noticeable compared to other .45 ACP pistols at similar sizes/weights.

If looking for a hammer fired handgun for range shooting and home defense, while not breaking the bank, I think the Beretta Px4 Storm is the best pistol for these purposes.

PistolLength/(Barrel Length)HeightWidthWeightMag CapacityThreaded BarrelTypePrice
Beretta PX4 Storm Full Size 45 ACP

Beretta Px4 Storm

7.68 in / (4.1 in)5.51 in1.42 in28.2 oz10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$619.99

Conclusion

In summary, if you're looking for a suppressor-ready .45 ACP, the FNX-45 Tactical is our choice for the best .45 ACP pistol. It's great for home defense and the range.

The Beretta Px4 Storm is a great value for those looking to save on a hammer fired .45 ACP pistol.

For those looking for a concealed carry handgun, you can never go wrong with a Glock or Springfield XD series pistol. With that said, those on a budget can choose the Kahr CW45, without any significant sacrifices in performance.

PistolLength/(Barrel Length)HeightWidthWeightMag CapacityThreaded BarrelTypePrice
FNX-45 Tactical FDE

FNX-45 Tactical FDE

(or in Black)

8.6 in / (5.3 in)6.5 in1.58 in33.3 oz15 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,149
FNX-45

FNX-45

7.4 in / (4.5 in)6.3 in1.58 in33.2 oz15 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$704.99
Kahr CW45

Kahr CW45

6.32 in / (3.64 in)4.8 in1.02 in19.7 oz6 Rd.Striker$333.99
Glock 21

Glock 21

8.07 in / (4.61 in)5.51 in1.34 in26.1 oz13 Rd.Striker$545.99
Glock 30

Glock 30S

6.97 in / (3.78 in)4.8 in1.38 in20.28 oz10/13/9 Rd.Striker$549.99
Glock 36

Glock 36

6.97 in / (3.78 in)4.72 in1.18 in19.93 oz6 Rd.Striker$549.99
Springfield XD-M .45 Compact

Springfield XD(M) Compact

6.9 in / (3.8 in)4.75 in1.26 in27 oz9/13 Rd.Striker$657.99
Springfield XDS .45

Springfield XD(S) .45

6.5 in / (3.3 in)4.66 in.975 in21.5 oz5/6 Rd.Striker$499.99
HK45 Tactical

HK45 Tactical

8.5in / (5.2 in)5.91 in1.54 in31.2 oz10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,269.99
HK45 Compact Tactical

HK45 Compact Tactical

7.91 in / (4.57 in)5.51 in1.14 in29.12 oz8/10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,249.99
HK45 Compact

HK45 Compact

7.24 in / (3.94 in)5.51 in1.54 in28.48 oz8/10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$1,079.99
SIG Sauer P220

SIG Sauer P220

7.7 in / (4.4 in)5.5 in1.5 in30.4 oz8 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$929.99
Beretta PX4 Storm Full Size 45 ACP

Beretta Px4 Storm

7.68 in / (4.1 in)5.51 in1.42 in28.2 oz10 Rd.DA/SA Hammer Fired$619.99

Conclusion

Hopefully you found this guide helpful!

Be sure to check out our guide to the best .45 ACP ammo to use in your new pistol!

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