The 8 Best 45 ACP Pistols That Are Not 1911’s

From 1911 up until the 1980’s, the M1911 handgun served as an official firearm for the United States military(And a back to back WW winner!). It’s a great gun, and it’s definitely one that’s hard to beat, but it seems like any 45 acp pistol falls into the ever-present 1911 category. Are there good pistols outside this category? In fact, there are.

Here’s the best 45 acp pistols which are not 1911s.


This option really is one of the best non-1911 45 ACP pistols available. It’s been reviewed widely and our top 8 best pistols of this caliber wouldn’t be a complete list without it, which is why it’s number 1.

The pistol available today is based off of the one introduced in 2007 for military service purposes, and its design and construction flawlessly work together to provide durability, power, safety, and control.

For more great options like this, check out our guide to the best 10mm pistols and handguns.

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Caliber: .45 Automatic Colt Pistol

Sight Radius: 6.4 in

Magazine: 10 or 15 rounds (depending)

Weight: 33.2 oz (unloaded)

Height: 6.3 in

Width: 1.58 in

Overall Length: 7.4 in

Barrel Length: 4.5 in


  • Standard 3-Dot Sights
  • Night Sights Available
  • Serrated Trigger Guard
  • Ambidextrous Design and Safety Lever


This specific pistol comes very highly reviewed, especially for customization, overall quality, and reliability.

Generally, the conclusion is always the same: the FNX-45 is an excellent gun which might look a little big, but is easy-to-use with a lower kick profile than some other .45 options on this list. It’s great quality and can be purchased in a decent price range.


Ruger P90 .45Ruger P90 .45

The Ruger P90 .45 is another pistol that definitely has to be included on this (and any other) best-of list. However, the most important thing to note right off the bat is that Ruger has actually stopped making the P-series models, including the P90 45-caliber and the follow-up, “advanced version” P345.

While this is some sad news, as these are excellent pistols made by one of the largest gun manufacturers in the nation, these can still be found other places, such as GunBroker or BudsGunShop. It’s hard to find a place where these discontinued pistols aren’t well-reviewed, so while we don’t know why Ruger stopped making these, we do know they made them well.

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Caliber: 45 Automatic Colt Pistol

Sight Radius: 5.705 in

Magazine: 8 rounds

Weight: 34 oz (unloaded)

Height: 6.3

Width: 1.53 in

Overall Length: 7.75 in

Barrel Length: 4.5 in


  • Fixed 3-Dot Sight
  • Highly Reviewed
  • Stainless Finish
  • Discontinued
  • Few Malfunctions (if ever)
  • Great for Defense


The Ruger P-90’s fame has outlived its production period. Some gun-lovers are still lamenting its disappearance from Ruger’s line on forums across the internet. In a way, the Ruger P90 might’ve been killed off by the popularity of 1911s (Ruger P90s didn’t accept 1911 magazines).

Overall, reviews and memories of the Ruger P90 are positive. It’s a decently-priced discontinued gun you can find on the used market. While some consider it an “ugly” gun, many others think it is perfectly reliable and trusty, and it’s great for concealed carry.


GLOCK 21 Gen4GLOCK 21 Gen4

This pistol provides accuracy and high power in one sleek design. For high performance and accuracy in either training or carrying this bad boy, using Federal HST 230 grain, standard-pressure ammunition is a fantastic option, although trying out this pistol with some other ammo options is best so you can find which works best for your preferences.

Here are some of the top .22 pistols on the market. Check them out.

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Caliber: .45 Automatic Colt Pistol

Sight Radius: 6.77 in

Magazine: 13 rounds

Weight: 29.28 oz (unloaded)

Height: 6.3

Width: 1.34 in

Overall Length: 8.07 in

Barrel Length: 4.61 in


  • Customizable Grip (for hand sizes)
  • Reversible Magazine Catch (for left and rights handers)
  • Safe Action System
  • Increased System Lifetime
  • Highly Reviewed

Walther PPQ .45 ACPWalther PPQ .45 ACP

This is actually the pistol used by German Police forces and other law enforcements throughout the world. It comes with a lot of power and durability, and it’s great for ambidexterity as well. If you’re on the hunt for a high-quality .45 ACP, this can meet all of your expectations.

Take a moment to check out our selection of the best 9mm handguns and pistols.

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Caliber: .45 Automatic Colt Pistol

Sight Radius: 6.5 in

Magazine: 12 rounds

Weight: 28 oz (unloaded)

Height: 5.8 in

Width: 1.3 in

Overall Length: 7.4 in

Barrel Length: 4.25 in


  • 3-Auto Safety
  • Non-Slip Grip
  • Tenifer ™ Coating
  • Unique Trigger Feel Aids Security
  • Widely Used in Policing


This was Walther’s first crack at a .45 ACP, and they really nailed it. This product comes with interchangeable backstraps (small and big) and three-dot sights.


CZ 97 BCZ 97 B

CZ makes some fantastic guns, but they outdid themselves with their 97 B .45 ACP. It’s essentially a larger, perfected version of the CZ 75 pistol. CZ married America’s immensely popular .45 ACP design to Czechoslovakia’s most widely-used and also frequently-copied pistol, creating a classic. This pistol has been building in popularity since they released it in the 1990s.

This quick-classic option has been built by one of the world’s most globally-recognized firearm creators, CZ. It is in a great price range and is pretty easy to come across.

You may also be interested in some of the top-rated AR-15 pistols from our list. Check them out.

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Caliber: .45 Automatic Colt Pistol

Sight Radius: 4.6 in

Magazine: 10 rounds

Weight: 41.3 oz (unloaded)

Height: 5.9 in

Width: 1.4 in

Overall Length: 8.3 in

Barrel Length: 4.65 in


  • First .45 ACP Produced by Czech Armory
  • Firing Pin Block Safety
  • Magazine Brake
  • Aluminum Scales on Grip for All Hands
  • Loaded Chamber Indicator


Even those who are typically fans of the 1911 45 ACPs will find that the CZ 97 B is a fantastic pistol with an absorbent design for follow-up shots and plenty of great reviews trailing along behind it. Despite its more recent entrance on the .45 ACP stage, this one is a keeper.


Hi Point 45Hi Point 45

Yes, most people laugh at hi points. But if you’re really low on cash, there’s nothign wrong with going for one of these!

One thing to know about Hi Point is that they are 100% American-made guns, including the popular .45 option. Another thing to note about this particular pistol is that upon first impressions, many gun enthusiasts agree that is is particularly “ugly” and heavy.

However, even those who initially think they’re not going to be fans of it have to admit that it’s a pretty great gun. For one thing, it absorbs a lot of the impact of firing due to its larger, bulkier metal frame, and for another, it doesn’t need cleaned as frequently as smaller pistols.

For more quality options, be sure to browse our list of the best-selling airsoft pistols.

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Caliber: .45

Sight Radius: 10 in

Magazine: 9 rounds (standard)

Weight: 35 oz (unloaded)

Height: 6.3

Width: 1.24 in

Overall Length: 7.75 in

Barrel Length: 4.5 in


  • Full-Adjustable Rear Sight
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Trigger Lock (from original seller)
  • Extra Rear Peep Sight
  • Easy-Grip Finish


This gun is a little on the heavier and slightly uglier side, but its reliability is difficult to match for .45s.


Sig Sauer P220Sig Sauer P220

This is another well-loved, highly-reviewed classic for those who would like to experience one of the .45 pistols that ushered in the era of handguns and quality. It was released in the 1970s and quickly became known for being extremely accurate and functionable right out of the box.

Again, this is one pistol which simply couldn’t be loft off of this list of the best .45 ACP pistols which don’t fall under the 1911 category.

Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to high-quality air pistols, as well.

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Caliber: .45 Automatic Colt Pistol

Sight Radius: 6.82 in

Magazine: 6+1 Rounds (optional extended mags available)

Weight: 30.4 oz (unloaded)

Height: 5.5 in

Width: 1.5 in

Overall Length: 7.7 in

Barrel Length: 4.4 in


  • Durable Build
  • Classic Design
  • Sleek Finish
  • One-Piece Ergonomic Grip
  • SIGLite Night Sights


A lot of other designs similar to the Sig Sauer P220 exist today by following after this original’s footsteps, which is no surprise when you read through some positive reviews and see just how durable and well-loved this classic is in the gun-loving communities around the world.


HK45 Tactical .45 ACPHK45 Tactical .45 ACP

This pistol was developed for the U.S. military but has become a favorite for many who are looking for the next best .45 ACP pistol available today. While it is one of the more beefy options listed here, it comes as a polished, finished product which is reliable and well-made.

For more great firearms, be sure to browse our list of the most popular concealed carry revolvers.

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Caliber: .45 Automatic Colt Pistol

Sight Radius: 6.63 in

Magazine: 10 rounds

Weight: 31.2 oz (unloaded)

Height: 5.91 in

Width: About 1 in

Overall Length: 8.50 in

Barrel Length: 5.20 in


  • Fiber-Reinforced Polymer
  • Easy-Hit Mag Release
  • Large Trigger Guard
  • Durable Design
  • Great Grip
  • Recoil Reduction


This is a no-nonsense pistol. It’s not exactly built for concealed carrying, although you might be able to pull that off if you carry a large bag around regularly. For the main part, pistol-lovers agree that the army made a small mistake letting this well-polished gun get into the hands of gun enthusiasts, because it became popular instantaneously.


Why Choose 45 ACP Pistols

When we’re talking about “.45 ACP Pistols”, here’s what we mean: 45-caliber Automatic Colt One-Hand Firearm…. Which sounds pretty complex, but it’s not. However, it is smart.

Choosing a 45 ACP Pistol is a great option for those who have began branching into one-handed firearms and discovered a love of pistols in general.

Here are some signs one of these pistols is right for you:

You are interested in pistols.

Pistols are wonderful guns. Being able to stabilize one hand with another while shooting is a feature which helps many new to the world of firearms decide that this option will probably help their practice and their transition into defensive weapons.

If you’re interested in getting into pistols and their many features, there’s an excellent guide made by Glock which delves into the different types of pistols, their parts, and some general tips which are useful when you’re first starting out.

You’re looking into getting a concealed carry permit.

Applying for a concealed carry license is something that needs to be done specifically for your state and which can be either a fairly simple or a headache-inducing process, depending on where you live and how popular the idea of “guns” is with your state.

Some states, such as Alaska, Idaho, and Wyoming, don’t actually require concealed carry permits and allow anyone to arm themselves in self defense.

Whether you’re applying for a concealed carry permit or not, you can plan on a pistol being your best friend, and more specifically ones which are .45 ACP. These will be easy to load, easy to fire(if you can grip it well), and easy to conceal for safety and quick defense, should it be needed.

You want customizable, awesome-looking guns.

Let’s face it, shooting a pistol looks pretty cool. It’s a lot of power packed in one fist, and you can stabilize it with the other arm as needed to create wicked accuracy and an epic pose. Not to mention, you can do a lot to customize most pistols’ grip and overall design. You can even get a colored pistol, if you’re into that sort of thing.

General Directions to Clean Any 45 ACP Pistol

Every gun is different, but all guns get dirty. Generally speaking, there are some steps you can follow when it’s time to clean your gun that can serve as a quick-refer guide anytime. Before cleaning any pistol (or any gun), make sure it is unloaded and that you’re in a space you’re not afraid of getting a little dirty or which can be cleaned up easily when you’re done.

As you’re cleaning, make sure you’re using cleaning utensils (barrel brush, rags, Q-tips, etc) which are either meant specifically for guns or which you can dispose of afterwards. Use a solvent (like this excellent option) or a cleaning solution which is meant to preserve metal and fight rust. You can also use warm, soapy water for some areas.

Use the proper thin lubricating oil which your manufacturer recommends or which you know works. You can purchase gun-specific cleaning kits like this one online or at any outdoorsmen-oriented store near you.

  1. Remove the Magazine. Carefully remove the magazine from its slot. Set the magazine down on a rag or workbench and check to make sure the weapon is cleared.
  1. Examine the Chamber. Unlock the slide from the frame and push it forward until it slides off the front of the pistol.
  1. Smaller Nooks and Crannies. Remove the spring from where it is located by the barrel of the firearm, and carefully remove this as it will be pressed down and might spring out. Once this is out, slide the barrel out of the frame.
  1. Cleaning the Areas. Clean the slide (you may need to brush this out well, as there can be residue and dirt built-up in semi-automatic gun slides), the spring, the frame, and the magazine and its slot with the cleaning solution you’ve chosen. You could rub some light oil over these very sparingly to help with reassembly.
  1. Brush the Barrel. Before you clean the barrel of the pistol, you need to take the .45-specific brush from your cleaning kit and use it to briefly brush the barrel’s inside thoroughly. This keeps old residue which may be lingering there from mixing with the cleaning solution and hardening into a chunk of grime which may damage your firearm’s abilities.
  1. Clean the Barrel. Once the powdery carbon residue has been roughly brushed out of the barrel, take some cleaning solution on one of the provided dowels and push-rods which should be in your gun-cleaning kit. Use this to scrub (push through several times) the inside of the barrel 3 or 4 times and then repeat this with a dry towel to remove the wetness.
  1. Lubricate Your Firearm. Use the lubricant you decided on which is best for your pistol and use it to lubricate your gun, especially the hammer and the slide. Don’t go too heavy on the lubricant, but don’t be skimpy with it either.
  1. Reassemble the Pistol. By reverse-following the instructions above, or by using the ones provided by your pistol’s manufacturer, reassemble your firearm and pack it away carefully.

Remember to keep guns in a safe place accessible to you but guarded enough that no one will get their hands on them who shouldn’t. Also, clean your guns after each use as a good practice.

Buying Guide

There are obviously many deciding factors that go into which gun you should purchase next. If you’re just getting into the firearms hobby or you’re looking at getting a concealed carrier permit for a simple pistol you can use in self defense, here are some things to keep in mind.


This seems pretty self-explanatory at first, but it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good product for what you’re paying. If you find an incredible deal for a ridiculously cheap pistol and some freebies thrown in, it’s a good idea to take a closer look and make sure there are no malfunctions or dangerous issues with the firearm.

It’s also important to note that many guns last a very long time, but they can only have so many rounds blasted out of them before they start to work less. If you’re an avid pistol shooter, you may want to pay a little extra for one of the more durable designs listed above, and if your primary focus is self-defense, pay for quality and simplicity (and a smaller size).

Ease of Cleaning

Some pistols have many more grooves and fancy nicks in them than others. While these may seem enticing, note that the inside of a pistol may be more or less difficult to clean out due to these smaller factors.

If cleaning guns is not your favorite pastime, and if you’re not sure exactly how to take care of a higher-end pistol with these features, it’s a good idea to go for a smoother, more sleek finish and an inside that will be simpler to clean. Get a good cleaning kit and good lubricant.


If you’re a petite woman, you probably want something known for its accuracy and smaller frame, but also designed to help with the recoil. If you’re accustomed to the kicks that come with guns, and you’re pretty well-versed with shooting, feel free to go for a larger size.

If you’re getting a .45 ACP for concealed carry, a smaller design would be more suitable.


Will you go out shooting for fun on the weekends with your best friends? Maybe you’re planning on using it only a few times in the foreseeable future. Or perhaps you plan on practicing with it periodically to make sure you can pull it out in an emergency with zero hesitation and with plenty of confidence.

Pick a pistol which suits how often it will be used. If you plan on using it frequently for practice, use high-quality ammunition and clean it well. If you’re not looking at shooting it throughout the entire year, make sure it’s cleaned well before it is stored every time.


Make sure you know where you’ll be storing this 45-caliber pistol, and make sure it’s in a safe place. While we all know leaving guns in areas kids might reach is a bad idea, it’s also not advisable to have these out in the open. Guns are valuable and the last thing you want is to get a firearm taken from you.

Also, make sure you have easy-to-reach storage for pistols in case of emergency. Have ammunition nearby just in case, as well, but don’t let it get in the way.


Not every .45 ACP pistol out there falls under the 1911 category, and a lot of them falling outside of it are durable, high-quality, and well-recommended products. If you’re considering getting into self-defense or shooting as a hobby, it’s a good idea to look at all of your options, whether they’re 1911s or not.

In general, non-1911 designs tend to cost a little less in the pistol market, and you can find great deals and access them in the same locations. Pistols are convenient, easy-to-conceal firearms which are perfect for self-defense. Take care of your firearms, and they’ll take care of you.