At the top of my list is Glock’s 19X, which is visually attractive and comes with all of the right bells and whistles to make it an exceptional offering from Glock. The company has improved the grip texture, added a “real” lanyard loop, extended the slide stop lever, forgot all about the external safety and included the Glock marksman barrel. I had the opportunity to run through a couple of magazines on Range Day and fell in love with the pistol.
Number 2 on my list is SIG SAUER’s new P365. This is the pistol the industry sees as the Glock 43 slayer. The P365 embodies SIG commitment to excellence in a package that’s chambered in 9 mm with a 10 +1 capacity. SIG’s micro-compact offering has front and rear slide serrations, excellent grip and a very nice trigger. The P365 will give Glock 43 a run for its money, no question about it.
Third on my list and a close tie with SIG’s P365 is Walther’s PPS M2. This pistol is classic Walther! Extraordinary ergonomics everything from the grip to the front and rear slide serrations scream Walther Arms. The trigger is easily the best out of the box trigger of any pistol on the market. I particularly liked the oversized rear sight which makes it easier to perform a charging operation should one hand be disabled. Metal sights, extended magazine release and 3 magazine options are just icing on this cake. In live fire, the PPS M2 is comfortable and controllable and its excellent trigger makes it a joy to shoot.
Fourth, is Beretta’s APX. Grasping a Beretta APX is like putting on a tailor made suit, everything fits just right, even its aggressive slide serrations are extremely well implemented and make slide manipulations very smooth. I could have done without the somewhat aggressive finger grooves but that was more than compensated for by Beretta’s decision to serialize the trigger group and not the frame. Their choice makes it possible to change frame sizes and colors along with opening the doors to caliber changes using the same serialized trigger group. I’ve heard complaints about APX’s striker deactivator and the take down procedure which are quite candidly petty. The mechanism is designed to prevent disassembly of the pistol if the striker is still loaded (under spring pressure) thus eliminating the possibility of releasing the striker on a potentially loaded chamber. The APX is chambered in 9mm and offers a 17+1 capacity. Beretta is also making the APX in a .40S&W with a 15+1 capacity. The APX is a superb full size offering suitable for both LE and military application.
The number five spot goes to Heckler & Koch’s VP9 Tactical. This version is identical to the rest of the VP line with the only difference being the threaded polygonal bore profile minus the traditional o-ring. The trigger is excellent and typical of the VP series. Again, the finger grooves did not float my boat but that was compensated for by the inclusion of the rear cocking supports. When operating the VP with a glove hand the cocking supports come in very handy. All controls are fully ambidextrous . The VP9 Tactical is available in 15+1 9mm and 13+1 .40S&W configurations. An excellent pistol in all respects.