Recommendations wanted. "Heavy" pistols (aka non-polymer/plastic)

Asking for a friend. No, really :wink:

This is a first gun purchase, will be a handgun for a variety of reasons, and will likely only be used for HD and not CCW. However, if it is small/light enough to eventually be used as a CCW that is a bonus. The person has shot typical polymer pistols like a Glock 19, Sig P320, Beretta APX, etc and not really liked them. In particular they don’t like the Glock grip angle. They have shot pistols like the FNX Tactical, heavy revolvers and really liked them. They find the extra weight helps them shoot better insofar as being more accurate, more comfortable, and faster follow-ups.

I don’t have a lot of knowledge or experience around heavier all-metal (or mostly metal) framed pistols. Pretty much Sig P226, Beretta 92fs, and maybe 1911s and that’s all I can think of.

If not for cost, the FNX Tactical .45ACP would probably already be decided on (polymer frame, but still very heavy), but that’s right on the edge of the budget (really, its over budget), and we need all the room we can get for ammo, mags, and other accessories.


  • MUST be reliable out of the box. This person is not a tinkerer, wont sand or polish triggers, and doesn’t have the experience to diagnose why something doesn’t work, and I can’t always be at the range with the person
  • DA/SA or striker fired is :+1: DAO is :-1:
  • Budget < $1,000, less is better
  • Must be common with lots of aftermarket support for holsters, mags, sights, accessories, etc
  • Caliber doesn’t matter much, but 9mm or .45ACP is preferred
  • Preferably holds 10+ rounds

So I’m looking for specific model recommendations, and ideally something we can do some preliminary research on Youtube to narrow down a list of choices that we can then hopefully be able to rent on the range. The range nearby has a pretty good selection of firearms to rent (whether we can purchase remains to be seen…).

I see two, already mentioned:

  • SIG P 226/229
  • Beretta 92

Both reliable, ready out of the box, no tweaking needed.
If you can find them used at gun store, you can save the money without jeopardizing quality.


Plus one to Jerzy’s comment. The P226/229/220 all fit the bill, though new they are at the top of your price list, $999 to $1199 if you don’t go for the more expensive models. Extremely reliable out of the box. simple to use once you get in the habit of the drop hammer lever and will last forever. My 226 is as reliable and ready to go as it was the day I got it in 1990.


Any steel chassis 1911, price range = Kimber, Springfield, Ruger, etc.
you may want to consider the Jericho 941 manufacturing by IWI, Harrisburg, PA. I know we don’t like PA anymore, just saying!


I have a Taurus PT 1911 AR in .45 ACP w/light rail. It’s a solid gun and with the light rail it makes a passable club. The trigger is very good out of the box and with a feed ramp and chamber polish it eats any hollow point.

I have since changed the grips to Brownells Cocobolo wood and added an adjustable rear sight.

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How about a CZ Rami. All metal gun, Da/Sa you can get one with a safety, or a decocker. It is a subcompact, and can be carried. The frame is an alloy, so it wouldn’t be as heavy as an Officers model, but may absorb enough recoil.


DA/SA pistol: CZ 75, Beretta M9 or 92,
Revolver: Ruger GP 100.

No experience with CZ, but seems popular. Owned M9. Excellent firearm. Currently, own GP100. Recommended.


I’m sorry to be one who says something negative …but CZ cannot fit @Harvey’s requirements.
CZ 75 would be ok, if “No tweaking” requested.
CZ 2075 RAMI is not reliable as expected.
I’ve been a huge fan of CZ for over 1 year but found better handguns on the market.

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CZ-P01 would fit. All of my other suggestions you already have.

To save money, I would suggest the used market. Most of these larger guns are not shot a lot, yet can be had for a decent price. Well, maybe 8 months ago…


@Jerzy please PM me about your experience with the Rami?

Sig P226 and P229 are good all metal firearms.

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1911 Springfield 9 mm 0r 45 with a variety of styles. Range officer, fully loaded, your choice. They have been reliable for 109 years! Go to a range and rent some and try them out to see what you are comfortable with.


I think Sig is making a P320 with a tungsten infused polymer grip module. Much more rigid and heavier for stability.

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My advice is to look at the Generation III “Baby Desert Eagle” from Kahr/Magnum Research - these are relatively new, re-designed, and are made by BUL Armory in Israel, with better fit and finish than the Gen II. They come with match barrels and better polymer grips. The polymer frame is 28 oz. - the all-steel frame is 38 oz. - CZ styling all the way. MSRP is $691 - FYI - Kurt


It’s polymer, but the Sig 2022 fits the rest of the boxes.
Beretta 92
1911 or 2011(Double stack 1911)
Last but not least GP100 or Ruger Redhawk in 357. GP is 6/7 shots. Redhawk is 8. No, not 10 shots, but, the weight makes them excellent shooters even with hot .357 mag.


PM sent

@Virgil_H… actually you can have P320 with alu frame now. Just a little heavier than polymer one, but what people say - it controls recoil better.

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How about a used S&W 5906 or 6906?

Downside to looking for non-mainstream pistols is that accessories, parts, holsters, etc. can add money or time (like waiting 4 months for a custom made holster that you may or may not like), as well as issues with older firearms and warranty service.

The Sig 229 Compact is Glock 19’ish sized and is 10 oz heavier (Sig 229 M11-A1); although I notice the higher bore axis when firing compared to other pistols:

You could also just take one of the polymer pistols he is OK with and add a flashlight. This might give him the weight he likes, while adding extra functionality.

IMO, you can save a lot of money if you take an industry standard firearm and adapt the body to it, rather than the other way around.

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Thanks everyone for the many replies!

I’ve pulled out most of the models mentioned to do some additional research.

I somehow figured there were a bunch of heavy (and/or) metal framed pistols that I just wasn’t aware of, but it doesn’t sound like there is actually that many. Is it because of the price point? Buying used is definitely acceptable.

You can choose from the less expensive but quality 1911s from RIA (I have their full-size and compact) or spend more for offerings by Ruger (SR1911), Springfield Armory (I’m saving up for EMP in 9mm).

Also, have you considered CZ handguns?

All within your price range.

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