Left Handed Handguns To Look For
Trying to find left-handed pistols can be a real pain. In the old days, the best you could do was to buy a revolver, because there was only one button to worry about and operation was at least the same in either hand.
Today, there's a lot more in terms of choice.
Today's left-handed shooter will find precious few pistols made specifically for left-handed shooters, but CAN find a good number of guns with ambidextrous controls that makes left-handed operation easy. In some cases, you may have to swap the magazine release button...and others will not.
But what are some of the best to look for? Here are 7 top left-handed handguns that should be on your radar.
Beretta APX Centurion
The Beretta APX Centurion is Beretta's answer to the Glock 19, a compact striker-fired pistol from their APX platform. The APX, as many are aware, were Beretta's bid for the next service pistol for the US military, but lost out to the Sig P320 platform. However, the APX is one of the best handguns that people ignore...and they shouldn't.
The APX is a born shooter, with great ergonomics with swappable backstraps and a natural high, tight grip. You'll need to swap the magazine release, but the ambi slide release make it a solid choice of left-handed pistol. It also has one of the better striker triggers out there, and combined with the excellent overall feel and build quality...it is not one to miss.
If the Centurion seems a little on the big side, that's okay: there are single-stack (APX Carry) models and a variant with a shorter grip - the APX Compact - available too.
Nearly any Glock can be readily used with either hand. Because there is no manual safety, it's just a question of getting used to triggering the the slide release and magazine release with either hand. This is something that can be figured out easily – ergo plenty of lefties have stuck with the Glock 19 as a go-to concealed carry pistol.
Named for the ancient fortress, the IWI Masada pistol is IWI's entry into the polymer-frame, striker-fired pistol format. While they might be known for their DA/SA pistols and long guns, the Massada is their sleeper as it's staggeringly good.
Outstanding ergonomics making for an easy high, tight shooting grip. A very good trigger press. And actually ambidextrous magazine and slide releases, so it's ready to run left-handed right out of the box. Except the takedown lever, but that's sort of par for the course.
The real pity is that this gun, like many other excellent pistols, is easily shadowed by the bigger name brands in the business. You really shouldn't overlook this handgun.
Some people say the Walther PPQ is the best of the poly-striker pistols. While it may be a stretch to say that any one gun or any one ANYTHING is the best, it would be fair to say that the air is pretty thin where it lives. Few other pistols on the market match it for ergonomics, for the unbelievably good trigger, and for how well it shoots. It also has ambidextrous features.
The PPQ has Walther's U-shaped takedown tab, which has to be pulled down to field strip the gun, instead of a right-hand lever. There's a left-side slide release, and the magazine release button can be switched to the left side for true left-handed operation.
One of the best pistols overall is also one of the best left-handed handguns as well.
Most hammer-fired DA/SA pistols have right-hand only controls, but the CZ P07 adds a little left-hand functionality. The CZ P07 has CZ's Omega trigger system, in that the user can use either a decocking lever or install a manual safety instead for cocked and locked carry like a 1911.
The magazine release is also swappable, so the only thing you'd have to train around is the slide release/takedown pin. However, if you wanted a hammer-fired pistol instead of a poly-framed striker gun, this is one of the few that can be operated as a left-handed pistol.
It's also a thoroughly modern DA pistol, with a smooth DA pull, crisp single-action press, accessory rail, polymer frame for easier packing and swappable backstraps for the perfect fit. It's actually one of CZ's best pistols. It's almost the same dimensions as a Glock 19, so it's also a fantastic concealed carry gun.
Heckler & Koch VP9
This has become a fan favorite amongst southpaws. In terms of ergonomics, the HK VP9 absolutely destroys the competition. It's a striker-fire pistol with ambidextrous controls (magazine release, slide release) that has some very unique design features that set it apart from many of the other striker-fire pistols out there.
Honor Defense Subcompact
The Honor Defense Subcompact, at first glance, looks like a knock-off M&P Shield. Once you actually handle one, you'll notice that it is a similar pistol in terms of shape, size and function...except that more attention is clearly being paid to the details.
The fitment is a little tighter. It has swappable backstraps. The slide serrations actually go over the full slide for a better grip, at the front and back. The front sight has a red insert and is more visible. The trigger is a bit stiffer, with a 7-lb pull, but you don't really notice it as the travel is smoother; it's crisper and cleaner as a result and the almost-flat blade is very easy to manipulate. The texturing is actually quite nice and grippy.
The best part? It's fully ambidextrous. Magazine releases and slide releases on both sides. The takedown lever is only the left side, but that's kinda par for the course. If you choose the model with thumb safety, those are ambidextrous too.
We don't know why this gun doesn't get more love.
Beretta PX4 Storm Compact
The Beretta PX4 Storm takes Beretta's classic operating system - hammer-fired DA/SA system with slide-mounted decocker or decocking safety - and updates it for modern sensibilities.
Accessory rail for a light/laser? Check. Polymer frame for easier toting? Check. Swappable magazine releases? Check. They also add a rotating barrel, which helps dispel gas more efficiently and reduces recoil, and equip the pistol with one of the better double-action triggers on the market. For fans of old-school operating systems, it's frankly one of the best guns to buy.
It uses Glock-style takedown tabs, so field-stripping can be done without switching hands if you're left-hand dominant, and - as mentioned - you can also swap magazine releases. As with Berettas, the decocker/safety can be operated with either hand. You'll have to learn to run the slide release with the index finger rather than the thumb, but it's a small price to pay for such an excellent pistol.
Are these the only options available for those in the market for left-handed pistols? Absolutely not. Left-handed shooters have a number of pistols and revolvers at their disposal. Increasingly, manufacturers are designing their next gen pistols to be modular so that left-handed shooters have an easier time accessing them.
The best way to test if a left-handed concealed carry pistol is right for you is to test drive it at the range. This will give you a very good feel for how the pistol operates within your hands – not just how it looks in the display case.
And just remember – All Alien Gear Holsters are available with a left hand option. Simple select left handed or right handed preference at checkout and we'll customize your concealed carry holster for you.
In addition we also provide a lifetime change-out for the high-retention holster shells. Just because you switch up your choice in pistol doesn't mean you can't carry in your Alien Gear Cloak Tuck.
Finding A Left Handed Holster
Just because being left-handed may deprive you of a few choices of things doesn't mean there aren't a good number of left handed holsters out there. Plenty of left-handed carry rigs are available to the southpaw, including IWB and OWB holsters, in either leather or modern materials. Check out these left-handed holsters by Alien Gear.
About The Author
James England (@count_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan for L-3 Communications. He presently lives in New Hampshire where he advocates for veterans issues through the Veterans of Foreign Wars.