The Best Polymer Frame DA/SA Pistols

Handguns evolve, and evolutional trends establish themselves through market forces. That’s a fancy way of saying that the current handgun market is a bit boring. Sure, you can go the Beretta 92FS route or the CZ 75, but have you ever wanted something a bit more modern but also a little more interesting? Well, that’s where the world of polymer frame DA/SA guns comes into play.

Why a Polymer Frame

Polymer frames are great for a number of reasons. They often make handguns much cheaper. Metal frames are labor and material-intensive. Polymer frames can actually flex under recoil for better control and improved recoil mitigation. We’ve done our tests to show the difference between metal and polymer frames in the recoil department.

If you choose a polymer frame, your gun will likely be lighter and typically come with a rail. There is a reason why even the famed 2011s use a little polymer in their designs. It works, and it’s more than just a passing fad.


I still love the old-school double-action/single-action design. It is comforting to be able to choose between a double-action trigger pull and a single action. With double action, a shot will always be intended. I feel slightly more comfortable holstering in an appendix position with a double-action trigger. At the same time, swapping to a single action gives me a lighter, smoother trigger pull. I love the DA/SA system and will continue to do so, but I don’t want to sacrifice my polymer frames.

The Best DA/SA Guns with Polymer Frames

CZ P09

One of my personal favorite firearms of all time is the CZ-75, so it’s not a big surprise that I’m affectionate to the CZ P09. The P09 series, and by extension, the P07, are the evolution of the CZ 75 series of firearms. These institute the same DA/SA action coupled with the slide riding inside the frame design. The big difference is that they have a polymer frame.

CZ P09
The CZ P09 takes the CZ &5 and makes the frame polymer.

This hammer-fired weapon comes with the Omega trigger system, which is simplified from the original CZ design. The CZ P09 allows the user to swap between a safety for locked and cocked carry and a decocker. This can be done by the end-user with ease and allows for an excellent degree of customization.

The P09 has a very aggressive rail with plenty of room for lights. I really wish CZ would provide an optics-ready version, but maybe my slide just needs to go to Cajun Gun Works for a custom optics cut. The P09 series maintains the impressive ergonomics of the CZ 75 firearms, with a great beavertail and thin, svelte grip. They are a joy to shoot with exceptionally low muzzle rise and recoil.

Walther P99

The most underrated handgun of the modern era is the Walther P99. The vast majority of DA/SA guns are hammer-fired, but the Walther P99 uses a striker-fired system.

walther p99
If it’s good enough for Bond, it’s good enough for me.

The double-action trigger is a true double-action design that both cocks and releases the striker. Subsequent shots are also a true single-action design. Most striker-fired guns use a partially cocked striker and are technically double actions. The P99’s ultra-smooth and light single-action trigger is something entirely different.

Walther also provided a decocker mechanism and an anti-stress trigger that’s best defined as a single-action trigger with two stages. The P99 is a blast to shoot, and it’s quite accurate out of the box. The P99 is not just a Bond gun, it’s my all-time favorite DA/SA handgun. Sadly, it’s nearing the end of its life. Walther is doing a final run of the P99s known as the Final Edition, and it’s fantastic. If you want a P99, it’s time to pick one up.

Beretta PX4 Storm

Beretta didn’t get much attention for the PX4 Storm, and that’s an absolute shame. Beretta’s successor to the Beretta 92FS kept some of the best features of the 92FS, including the trigger system. The PX4 keeps the DA/SA design of the 92FS, as well as the combination of decocker and safety. However, the decocker/safety can be swapped for a decocker-only model.

PX4 Special Duty
The PX4 series is seriously underrated.

One of the neat features of the PX4 Storm is the rotating barrel. The barrel rotates to dissipate recoil. It can’t reduce the recoil, but it can help make it more manageable and feel a little less snappy. It’s a small reduction, but one worth the squeeze. The gun comes in both 9mm and .40 S&W and in various sizes. That said, the subcompact lacks the rotating barrel and recoil reduction.

The PX4 Storm is a modern option that can be a reliable carry pistol or duty gun. The Px4 Storm is surprisingly modular from the factory. It has different backstraps, magazine releases, and safety levers of various sizes.

Sig Sauer SP2022

The SP2022 is the most famous budget Sig pistol. The P226, P229, and the various other models of the Sig P-series are metal-framed and expensive. The SP2022 offers a polymer frame with the standard Sig Sauer DA/SA trigger design. The SP2022 series are compact weapons roughly the same size as the Glock 19 and extremely affordable. In the past, the gun has come in numerous calibers, but it currently seems to be isolated to 9mm for new production guns.

SIG SP2022 on white
The SP2022 delivers an affordable Sig Sauer series pistol with a polymer frame but the same acclaimed DA/SA action.

Sig’s DA/SA trigger translates well to the polymer pistol. It might be a hair less smooth than the standard Sig Sauer, but it’s still fairly impressive for such a budget-friendly gun. The SP2022 has been in production for two decades now, so they’ve gotten it right. The SP2022 has seen adoption from numerous armed forces, mostly those looking for a budget-friendly but duty-capable firearm.

The SP2022 comes with a rail but, sadly, doesn’t have an optics option. It is an affordable option and one of the easiest to find on this list. For older models, it also goes by the name SIG Pro, so keep an eye out, and you can get a great bargain.


The last and most expensive option is the HK USP. I mean, come on, it’s the gun from Rainbow 6. The HK USP is a service pistol elgend. It replaced the famed P7 and descended from the Mk 23 Offensive Handgun trials. Things like the recoil-reducing recoil guide rod and extremely reliable design were implemented to create the Universal Service Pistol.

The HK USP is rock solid and one of the most durable guns out there.

The USP is one of the most overengineered pistols on the market. Just looking at one reveals that the Germans at HK designed a gun that could effectively last forever. HK has a ton of different variations of the action, including a double-action-only option, various decockers, and safety lever configurations. We also get compact and competition models.

The HK USP is ridiculously expensive for a not-very-up-to-date gun, and so are the magazines. It isn’t optics-ready, and the rail is some HK-proprietary bullcrap. The USP series are still tough to beat and some of the most reliable, long-lasting pistols on the market.

DA/SA Forever

The Glock-style striker-fired handgun trigger mechanism is like a zombie. It’s slowly taking over. Companies that made their name on hammer-fired guns are moving to the partially cocked striker-fired options. CZ, FN, and HK moved away from the DA/SA action, or at least partially moved away from the DA/SA gun. Luckily, some of us holdouts are more than willing to try our best to keep the DA/SA polymer frame world alive. Do you have a favorite polymer frame, DA/SA gun?

Let us know below.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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