5 Handguns Every Firearms Instructor Should Master

The SIG P226 DA/SA requires dedicated effort to master.
The SIG P226 DA/SA requires dedicated effort to master.
Student of the Gun
Student of the Gun

Biloxi, Mississippi (AmmolandEvery gun guy and girl has their favorite firearms. Some preferences are based upon sentiment, such as the .22 rifle your grandpa used to teach your how to shoot.

Military veterans with either fall in love with the guns they carried or take with them a deep seated hatred. Don’t believe me? Have a conversation with a Vietnam vet who was first issued an M14 and then had to turn it in for a new M16.

Regardless of your personal leanings, if you have taken the steps to become a firearms instructor, it is time to set your bias aside. There are tens of thousands of part-time or occasional firearms instructors in the United States. The natural tendency of humans is to gravitate toward areas that make them comfortable and shun areas that do not.

If your local gun guru has a collection of M1911 pistols, quite often that is not only the gun with which they will demonstrate but also the one they will promote to their students. That is all well and good, but not every student is going to like or want an M1911. Additionally, some people seeking instruction may be restricted by their agency or department in their choice of handgun.

Double Action Revolver
Double Action Revolver: Though rare as duty guns, the DA revolver is still carried as a CCW piece.
Glock G17 Semi Auto Handgun
Glock G17 Semi Auto Handgun: Why? Because it is a “Glock”, train with any and every Glock as everyone is gonna try them, most will love them.
The M1911 Pistol in .45-ACP
The M1911 Pistol in .45-ACP: If you have to ask, you might want to rethink your career choice.
M9 Beretta Handgun
M9 Beretta Handgun: Love it or hate it, every firearms instructor needs to understand the M9 Beretta.

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Luther the Fiend

A curious absence of Beretta PX4 Storm ? A truly design and engineering marvel!

Beretta PX4 Storm Pistol

Bobthe builder

A firearms instructor should not be particularly concerned with the individual firearm the student chooses. The goal should be to teach fundamentals of SHOOTING and SAFETY, general firearms usage, etc. No instructor can be proficient with every type of firearm. Ammo goes here, bullets come out here, keep your damn finger off the trigger.

The Irishman

I have always loved both my M1911A1 and my Sig 226. I prefer the Springfield XD over the Glock for the safety features and it feels better when gripped.

Not a real fan of the Beretta, shot them as that is what was issued and revolvers are my Pop’s forte.

Springfield XDs 3.3 in 45 ACP

Leo Smith

I wouldn’t trade my Sig P239 or Walther PPQ for any of those on the list.

Walther PPQ M2 .40 S&W Pistol

Paul McM

Quote: “The SIG P226 DA/SA requires dedicated effort to master.” Interesting statement. The Sig 226 has one of the best grip designs ever. It is far more ergonomically correct than the Glock 17. As a result, the P226 (like other “P family” Sigs) points properly for most people (unlike the Glock). I have trained many novices. EVERY single trainee shot better, with more control, with a Sig P226 vs. my various Glocks. The Sig’s DA trigger for first shot just isn’t that big a deal. And guess what — you can just pull the hammer back if you want the… Read more »


Having ‘grown up’ with the P226 and M92F, handling and attaining proficiency with ‘modern’ striker-fired SA handguns has been an interesting ride. While I enjoy both my G34 and M&Ps (9, 9 CORE, and Shield), they still feel odd after 30+ years (and I don’t want to think of how many thousands of rounds) of SA/DA handgun training. I write that as your note on the P226 about ‘effort to master’. I suppose that might be the case today. All of the younger guys that I meet with regularly at the range certain do not like shooting my Sigs or… Read more »