The newer Tactical Pistols are typically built on the classic service pistol platform. Service pistols have been the mainstay of the semi-automatic handgun world since governments began issuing pistols to their military units over 100 years ago. These guns are typically large and are mass produced with an emphasis on being able to endure lots of harsh treatment. That being the case most service pistols are “accurate enough” but not exactly the tools of precision marksmen.

Over time, elite military units as well as police S.W.A.T. teams clamoring for better guns which could maintain the rugged nature of a typical service pistol but achieve the accuracy of finely honed guns used in heated competition shooting matches. Thus the Tactical Pistol was born.

These guns often closely resemble their baseline service variants but usually come from the factory with match grade barrels and other fittings as well as a host of upgrades that elite tactical response units typically find useful. These include such things as integrated rail systems, extended barrels threaded for silencers, laser targeting systems, enhanced grip surfaces, and upgraded night sights to name a few.

USP Tactical

H&K USP Tactical and Silencer

The additional accuracy and reliability that is achieved by custom tuning a gun at the factory does not come without a price and these guns are often more expensive than their baseline counterparts.

Some manufacturers make it difficult to determine whether one of their products is a true “Tactical” gun or really a standard target pistol with an extended barrel which is only stamped as a tactical gun. In order to err on the side side of those of you who are searching for info on a particular tactical pistol, we'll include any full size guns here which are labeled “Tactical” from the factory as well as those which are marketed as tactical guns in mainstream gun publications.

We'll also toss in semi-automatic variants of some submachine guns which have forward grips removed and are thus designed to be fired with one hand.

Below you'll find the newest Tactical Pistol review sets. A link at the bottom of the page will take you to a complete list of all of these guns organized alphabetically.