The average weight of the six most popular handguns in America comes out to 1.5 pounds (.7kg) loaded and 1.1 pounds (.5kg) unloaded as a point of reference.

However, there are many factors that contribute the weight of a gun such as construction materials, frame size, caliber, and ammunition capacity just to name a few.

Many new shooters are often surprised by how heavy a handgun is. The reality is that you don’t want a gun that is too light or too heavy, and the goal for most shooters is to shoot accurately with utmost control.

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Six Most Common Handguns in The United States

The below table lists the six most common handguns sold in the United States with their loaded and unloaded weights.

Handgun Unloaded (pounds) Loaded (Pounds)
Ruger LCP .72 .92
Glock 19 1.3 1.7
M&P Shield 1.2 1.6
Sig Saur P938 1.1 1.4
Glock 43 1 1.3
Springfield XD-S 1.4 1.8

Ruger LCP

Ruger LCP is .9lbs loaded and is chambered in 380 ACP.

Glock 19

Glock 19 is 1.7lbs loaded chambered in 9mm.

M&P Shield

M&P Shield is 1.6lbs loaded chambered in 9mm.

Sig Saur P938

Sig Saur P938 weighs 1.4lbs loaded chambered in 9mm.

Glock 43

Glock 43 weighs 1.3lbs loaded chambered in 9mm.

Springfield XD-S

Springfield XD-S weighs 1.8lbs loaded chambered in 9mm.


Here is a Taurus 9mm revolver that weighs 1.5lbs loaded.

Is a lighter Gun Better or Worse?

In very general terms, a heavier gun will experience less recoil than a lighter gun of the same caliber. This often translates into more control of the gun and its recoil, making it easier to shoot accurately.

When selecting a handgun with a consideration to weight, there are four different categories of weight to consider:

Reciprocating weight – How much does the slide and other moving parts of the gun weigh?Overall weight distribution of the gun – Is the gun muzzle heavy (falls forward), neutral, or heavy in your hand?Swing weight – How long is the gun and how much weight is out in front of the gun?Total weight – How heavy the entire guns weighs

You can bias one or more of these categories in order to match how your gun handles and responds to your shooting style as well as your ability to control recoil.

How Well Will You Handle Gun Recoil?

Things to consider are:

Your body size – Physics state that a larger mass will not accelerate as quickly as a lighter mass given the same force. It makes sense that someone with bigger hands and arms will control recoil better than someone with a smaller frame.

How comfortable you are with guns – The more timid and nervous you are around guns will greatly come into play here. It is common for inexperienced shooter to be nervous and handle the gun differently than an experienced shooter.

How frequently you shoot – If you only shoot a handful of times a year, it’s not a realistic expectation to be an accurate and comfortable shooter. Your mental state will come into play when it comes to handling recoil.


In general, the better you are able to control recoil the lighter your gun should be. A lighter gun will have more perceived recoil but will swing and position from target to target more quickly. Select a gun that is too light weight and you will have trouble controlling the gun and your accuracy will suffer.

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The best way to select the correct handgun for you is to go to a range that allows rentals and shoot as many guns as you can. As always be safe and have fun.