Whether you’re looking for a full-size handgun to take to a competition or one for everyday carry, there are many makes and models to choose from for every shooter.

From classic 1911-style pistols to reliable wheelgun designs, these four selections show off some of the newest engineering and design features on the market.

Read on to see what’s new!

Ruger GP100 Match Champion

In 2014, Ruger introduced a special version of its double-action GP100 .357 Magnum revolver called the Match Champion. Unlike the standard GP100, it had a half-lug ejector rod shroud, a slab-sided barrel, Hogue walnut target grips and a fixed Novak rear sight combined with a fiber-optic front sight. Like previous GP100 revolvers, this edition is fashioned from stainless steel with a satin finish. A new variation of the six-shot GP100 Match Champion is now being produced. It has all the essential features of its older sibling, but the Novak rear sight, mounted in a dovetail on the topstrap, has been replaced by a standard Ruger-designed fully adjustable rear sight. To me, this sight will add versatility to this revolver, allowing the shooter to sight-in the revolver in for specific .357 Magnum or .38 Special loads. (

EAA Witness Elite 1911 Polymer

To say there is a plethora of 1911 pistols on the market is an understatement, but for a truly unique 1911 there’s European American Armory (EAA). The company’s Witness Elite 1911 Polymer model from Tanfoglio, as the name implies, has a polymer frame that decreases the weight of this full-sized, 5-inch-barreled 1911 from 38 ounces to 32 ounces. Better yet, the lightweight frame is the same size as found on any other steel or alloy-framed 1911. Steel action inserts are embedded in the frame and it has polymer grip panels, a flat mainspring housing, plus an extended beavertail grip safety. Other features include a Commander-style hammer, an ambidextrous safety, an accessory rail, fixed sights and a non-reflective matte black finish. (; 321-639-4842)

Bersa Thunder 9 Pro XT

I’ve had a lot of experience over the years with the Argentine-made Bersa pistols, and I can tell you that they are quality products that are both accurate and reliable. For 2015, Bersa is introducing the Thunder 9 Pro XT. Like the other pistols in the Thunder Pro series, the 9mm XT is a traditional double-action/single-action pistol with an exposed hammer and ambidextrous safety, slide and magazine releases. The blue steel slide rides on a satin-finished, high-strength aluminum alloy receiver. Conceived as a sport shooter’s handgun, it has a longer than usual 4.96-inch barrel and a fully adjustable rear sight, along with a fiber-optic front sight. The dust cover of the frame has no accessory rail, but is serrated just above the forward end of the triggerguard to provide a resting place for the trigger finger. The checkered polymer grip and grip frame are ergonomically designed for comfort and to provide control during rapid-fire shooting. (; 732-493-0333)

Smith & Wesson M&P 40 Performance Center Ported

A multi-role pistol that could function in many environments, the M&P 40 Performance Center Ported is, as the name implies, a ported barrel/slide pistol chambered in .40 S&W. The ports help tame recoil and reduce muzzle flip for rapid-fire controllability and quick sight acquisition between shots. The dot-type rear sight and front sight blade both ride high on the slide so that they can co-witness with an optical reflex sight. This pistol is means competition-optics ready and will fit several such sights. Other features include an adjustable trigger stop, three interchangeable enhanced palmswell grip sizes, plus an enhanced trigger with a Performance Center sear. This is a striker-fired pistol with no manual safety, but it does have internal safety systems to prevent an accidental discharge. The stainless steel slide has a durable satin black, corrosion-resistant finish and the frame is polymer. The dust cover features an integral accessory rail. (; 800-331-0852)

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