Best Handguns for Training New Shooters | USCCA

First introduced in 1884, the .22 LR cartridge excels as a beginner’s first handgun. Four factors contribute to its serving newbies well: low cost, non-existent recoil, low noise and inherent accuracy. Although not the case today, for many years rifles and handguns chambered in .22 LR were used as military and police understudy training arms. Using .22 LR arms was a great way for those new to firearms to gradually become accomplished marksmen.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I’ve replied similar to this in a few other posts.
But, the Browning 1911/22 is fantastic for all the reasons above.
It is a smaller framed 1911 so it’s very plateable for new shooters.

Has all the safety features of a 1911 as well.

Revolver wise, the Ruger LCR22. 8 shot cylinder and fits in the hand very nicely.

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I have a Walter COLT GOV. 1911 IN .22LR. And it has all of the same features as my Rock Island Armory 1911 in .45acp. And it is very easy to shoot. And I use it for Bulls Eye competition.

I train EVERY new hand gunner with super accurate and easy to shoot all steel Ruger Mark I pistols and then if they decide to go to modern striker fired guns I use Glock 44s. It works great for teaching marksmanship since it takes away the issue of recoil. Then I can swiftly move them through different guns and platforms while making sure they see how the fundamentals apply to all of them.


Love my Glock 44 and have thousands and thousands of rds through it. I still thoroughly enjoy my S&W M&P .22 pistol as well.

I have one of the new S&W M&P AR pistols on order and am super excited to get hands on it and do some testing.

I own the 16" M&P .22 AR and it is probably the most reliable. 22 rifle I have ever owned or tested. I have trained multiple students and family members on all the above rimfires and couldn’t think of anything more fun and unintimidating for a new shooter, just my opinion.

I appreciate the well written article. Although I taught my 3 kids (and wife) on a Ruger MarkIV, your choice of pistols are better. Looking forward to the rest of the New Shooters series.

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