Top 5 Guns From 2023

  • Jack Collins

A few weeks ago, my friends Andrew Poplin and Joey Upper talked about their top five guns from 2023 in their podcast The Gun Rack. Afterwards, Andrew talked to me about the episode and brought up the idea of me writing a post about it. I thought it was a great idea, since I love giving unsolicited firearms advice on the internet.

Jack Collins’ Top 5 Guns of 2023

Last year saw some well-established trends in the firearms industry continue to grow. One was modularity: 2023 saw more companies launching “Lego” pistols that allow for endless customization. The other big continuing trend was tiny concealed carry guns — probably one of the most popular types of gun out there today.

Glock 19X or 45


My Peanut Butter Cup Edition Frankenglock.


In the same way that Joey mentioned a gun that was new to him in 2023, I’m going to kick this list off with one of the only guns I actually purchased last year: the Glock 19X/45. While I was once a pretty big fan of the standard 19, once I got my hands on the extended grip of the 19X/45, I was hooked.

I’m a musician, and I have pretty big piano hands. As I shot my Glock 19, I found myself longing for a bigger frame. On a whim, I picked up a 19X frame on Gunbroker and combined it with my standard 19 slide.

I found that this new Frankenglock was much more comfortable to shoot than the standard 19 was for me. The only downside is that the longer grip makes it a little harder to conceal.

Springfield Echelon

While Springfield already had established a line of striker-fired handguns in the XD, they hadn’t yet moved into the ultra-modular pistol game. That was almost entirely dominated by Sig Sauer, with Glock sort of doing its own take on “modularity.”

Last year, Springfield changed that when it released the Echelon. Like the P320 series, the Echelon features a removable fire control group, which Springfield has dubbed its “Central Operating Group.” This allows a shooter to swap out different sized grips and slides to completely change the size of the gun.

Springfield isn’t just copying Sig’s homework with the Echelon, though. The gun has a few features that differentiate it from the rest of the pack. For example, while most of the modular offerings were polymer guns, the Echelon is a steel-framed beast.

The pistol also comes truly optic-ready. You can directly mount more than 30 optics directly to the slide without needing an adapter plate (unlike Sig and Glock’s offerings). All in all, this is a pretty great handgun.

Sig Sauer XMACRO Comp

Joey is a big fan of his Sig Sauer XMACRO, and for good reason. He highlighted how he can hit targets out to 20 yards with it, which is an impressive feat with a subcompact handgun. Although Sig released the XMACRO late in 2022, they improved on its design in 2023.

Sig upgraded the XMACRO even more last year by offering a new compensated version. With a compensator integrated into the slide, the gun ports out expanding gas from powder ignition upwards from the barrel. This means the XMACRO Comp makes it easy to stay on target as you pop off follow-up shots.

Combined with Sig’s naturally-great triggers, you’re looking at a gun that’s frighteningly accurate for its size, even at longer ranges.

FN Reflex

FN has one of the most diverse firearms lineups in the world. But until 2023, they’d never really offered a subcompact pistol designed explicitly for concealed carry.

That changed when FN dropped the Reflex, their new micro-compact pistol. However, FN didn’t just copy existing trends in the firearms industry with the Reflex. Unlike other popular micro-compacts like the P365, the Reflex isn’t striker-fired. Instead, it operates with an internal hammer.

As a result, the Reflex’s trigger is much smoother than other guns in its class. It can also match the P365’s high capacity, giving a shooter 15 rounds per magazine. Definitely a gun to keep an eye on if you’re looking for a concealed-carry gun.

Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol

Although it already seems like it’s been around forever, the Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol actually made its debut at SHOT Show in 2023. If you’ve ever wanted a Beretta 1301 but didn’t want to break the bank, this shotgun is for you.

This semi-auto shotgun is perfect for home defense. It’s got enlarged controls for easy operation under pressure. Its stubby 19.1-inch barrel length makes it easy to maneuver inside. And its semi-automatic action means you can spew a ton of lead in a short amount of time.

It also has a 7-slot Picatinny rail and three different MLOK mounting points. That means it’s easy to slap a microdot and flashlight on this baby and start blasting.

While the MSRP on these things clocks in just north of a grand, you can easily find them for less than that. I’ve seen them going for as low as $800, which is a great deal for this firearm.

Learn More About Today’s Top Guns at SDI

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