5 Best Target Pistols for Competition Shooting


share on

January 16, 2023

Competitive shooting is a wildly popular and exciting league of sports that you have probably heard of but maybe not seen too much of. It’s no small game, either. In fact, dozens of countries are represented in the Olympics by the very best athletes when it comes to competitive shooting.

Yes, it’s a vastly-popular and fastly-growing sport – but what do you need if you want to be the best competitive pistol shooter on the block?

Competitive shooting is exactly what it sounds like: participating in shooting activities such as speed shooting and target shooting against other people. All of the events include the use of firearms, such as a rifle or handgun, as well as a variety of targets.

What’s amazing about competitive shooting is that you can start with the worst shot in the world and improve with time, just like any other competitive sport! So get out there and practice with the greatest instead of hiding in the shooting range!

One of the most effective ways to enhance your shooting skills is to compete. Imagine spending an afternoon shooting targets over and again with people of various skill levels — from novice to expert — who share your passion.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the professional or competition shooters – yes, they’re incredible, but there’s always place for a newcomer, as they’ll tell you.

Best Target Pistols for Competition Shooting

Walther PPQ

walther ppq

The Walther PPQ is a semi-automatic handgun that strikes a good compromise between price and performance.

The PPQ, like all of the other pistols on this list, is a full-size semi-auto with a large shot capacity and quick fire and reloading speeds.

Most of the engineering features of this handgun are similar to those of Walther’s P99QA version, which was first produced in 2000. The PPW, in contrast to the P99QA, has a completely cocked striker rather than a partially cocked striker. This enables users to take multiple images in a row more quickly and easily. It also has less recoil.

Its small size is ideal for one of our concealing end table alternatives.

The PPQ resembles a Glock in terms of design. It has an enlarged ambidextrous slide release mechanism that allows it to be used by both right and left-handed shooters. Furthermore, the frame incorporates a Picatinny rail on the bottom, which makes it simple to install lasers for target practice. In addition, the five-pound trigger provides a good break and a quick reset.

Professional shooters feel that a lighter trigger weight will result in a more accurate shot. Keep in mind, however, that the lesser the trigger weight, the greater the chance of an accidental discharge. Although a five-pound trigger may appear to be “too heavy,” it allows users to practice safety considerably more effectively than pistols with lighter triggers.

The PPQ’s trigger pull, on the other hand, is lighter and crisper than most Glock variants.

The Walther PPQ is also available in four different caliber variations, which is a nice feature. The most popular caliber is 9mm, but it’s also available in .22 LR, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. We strongly advise newbies to go with the 9mm option.

Sig Sauer P320

sig sauer p320

A classic Sig Sauer pistol worth mentioning is the P320. Although it is not as pricey as the Sig Sauer P210 Target, it is just as reliable. It’s frequently compared to the Glock 19, partly because the US government chose the P320 over the Glock 19 to replace the outdated M9 service handgun, sparking heated controversy about whether model is superior.

The Sig Sauer P320 is known for having one of the best striker pistol triggers, with a smooth draw, short reset, and crisp break. It has the potential to outshoot most shooters on the range if utilized correctly.

The Sig Sauer P320’s only flaw is that it has a wide, highly curved trigger that many people aren’t used to. Controlling it will be difficult for novices. The trigger is also extremely hefty. It may take some time to properly learn the P320, but once you do, you’ll be astounded by its incredible precision.

The P320’s build quality is in the middle of the pack. It isn’t as tough as the P210 Target, but the difference in quality has little bearing on the pistol’s overall accuracy and dependability.

In general, the P320 offers a lot of bang for your dollars. It’s a terrific pistol that will thoroughly train a newbie, and it’s reasonably priced.

Glock 17

glock 17

The Glock 17 is among the most popular pistols in the United States. Its high level of dependability, longevity, and pinpoint precision contribute to its widespread popularity.

The Glock 17, dubbed the “grandfather” of all Glock handguns, is now in its 5th generation. As a result, it has long been a favorite of both novices and professionals.

This handgun is more widely employed by law enforcement and military groups than by competition shooters. It has a no-nonsense, straight-forward, professional design that isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Even after years of usage, the gun finish does not scratch, fade, or corrode. It also has an ergonomic shape that helps consumers to grip it securely.

One of the best features of this pistol is how easy it is to manage, especially in rapid-fire mode. The Glock 17 is equipped with a red dot sight that lets you to see your target more clearly when shooting. It also makes switching between targets at a high rate considerably easy. 

The Glock 17’s customization features allow owners to tailor their handguns to their preferences. If you want, you can even make it into a rifle.

CZ USA Shadow

cz usa shadow

The CZ USA Shadow is a competition-ready pistol with remarkable precision, professional-grade construction, and notable ergonomics.

In terms of design, the USA Shadow is the best. Its splendor will take your breath away with just one glance.

My personal preference is the black and blue checkered aluminum grip, but it’s also available in stealth grey. Both handguns are finished in a corrosion-resistant black nitride finish and have an additional poly coat layer to reinforce the outside coating.

If you’re seeking for a one-of-a-kind pistol, we can assist you.

The USA Shadow is a big gun, second only to the CZ 75 Tactical Sport on this list in terms of weight. It weighs 46.5 oz, which may prevent newcomers from purchasing it. The dust cover, however, accounts for the majority of the extra weight, thus it may be replaced if necessary.

Fiber optic sights for easier target aim help this pistol attain its near-perfect accuracy rate. The USA Shadow is unquestionably one of the best competition pistols available, thanks to its high beavertail, three beveled 17-round magazines, and extra polymer recoil spring buffers.

Smith & Wesson Mod 41

smith & wesson mod 41

Smith and Wesson is a name that we’ve all heard of at some point. After all, it has a long history, dating back to 1856, making it one of the country’s oldest firearm and ammunition producers.

Because of its beautiful design, ease of use, and dependability, the Smith & Wesson Mod 41 is one of the company’s most popular models.

The wood slash metal fit and finish is simply stunning, and it gives you the impression that you’re holding something special. A Mod 41 is a good choice if you want a pistol that will pique the curiosity of other range goers.

Aside from its appearance, the Mod 41’s performance is also impressive. It’s a 22 caliber target LR pistol that functions similarly to a 1911 handgun. Many people who have used a Mod 41 have said that it “instinctively became an extension” of their hand, which speaks volumes about its handling and ergonomic grip.

The Mod 41 has a lot of characteristics with high-end semi-auto target pistols. It sports a 5.5-inch carbon steel barrel and a sharp 2.7-pound trigger pull, which makes target shooting look like a breeze. It also only weights 41 oz. Although it isn’t the lightest handgun in the world, it is “just right”—not too heavy, but not too light.

It’s no wonder that Mod 41 has an exceptionally precise shot because it’s mostly utilized for target shooting and competitions. The trigger stop is also adjustable, allowing you to tailor it to your preferences.

A pleasant feature is the quick detach barrel, which makes disassembly and reassembly as simple as one-two-three.

What Makes A Good Competition Pistol?

Let’s take a quick look at why pistols are “good” before we get into the “what.” With thousands of different handgun models on the market, it’s tempting to assume that if you’re a competent marksman, you can use any of them. It won’t take long for you to learn that in competitive shooting, the weapon you choose is just as crucial as your own ability.

You can’t be on the range with a badly manufactured firearm that doesn’t reliably feed ammunition if you’re thinking about dabbling in competitive shooting. The most obvious requirement for a competition pistol is dependability. A gun jam is the last thing you want to happen in the middle of a competition.

You’ll also note that many of the pistols we recommend for gun competitions have barrels between 4-5 inches in length. Shorter barrels produce less recoil, which has a direct effect on accuracy. Gun grips and sights are also two crucial components that many newcomers to competition shooting ignore.

It’s not as simple as pulling a weapon from your gun safe to choose a competition pistol. When it comes to selecting a solid competition pistol, there are numerous factors to consider.

Every product is hand selected by our editors. We may receive commissions on purchases from a link.

Be On The List

Get the invoqe newsletter for similar stories delivered straight to your inbox.