Navy SEALs Sidearm: 5 Pistols Used By Frogmen

Navy SEALs have several different sidearms in their arsenal.

These include classics like the Sig Sauer P226 and Heckler & Koch HK45C along with new additions like the Glock 19.

Frogmen depend on these pistols for backup fire along with other purposes.

Discover more about 5 Navy SEAL sidearms used by Frogmen.

Related ArticleNavy SEAL Weapons And Gear

5 Navy SEALs Sidearms

How many different Navy SEAL sidearms exist?

Frogmen have several different options when preparing an arsenal for a mission.

Navy SEAL sidearms provide a backup in the event the primary weapon fails or breaks during combat.

For this reason, backup weapons like Navy SEAL sidearms are essential to any military operation.

These weapons provide emergency, close-range fire support from 25 – 50 meters.

Today, the most common Navy SEAL sidearms include:

  1. Glock 19
  2. Sig Sauer P226
  3. Heckler & Koch HK45C
  4. Heckler & Koch Mark 23
  5. Beretta M9 Handgun

In the past, the arsenal of Navy SEAL weapons and gear has changed with the needs of warfare along with advancements in firearms.

Learn more about each Navy SEAL sidearm currently used by Frogmen:

#1. Glock 19

the glock 19 is now the primary sidearm used by navy seals

  • Caliber: 9mm x 19mm (Semiautomatic)
  • Range: 35 – 45 meters
  • Magazine / Rounds: Varies (6 – 33 Rounds)

Recently, the Glock 19 became the primary sidearm of U.S. Navy SEALs.

The decision was made in 2016 to substitute the Sig Sauer P226 (more information, below) with the Glock 19.

Naval Special Warfare Command believed that adding the Glock 19 to its inventory would make SEALs even more deadly.

The semiautomatic pistol is a more compact and sleek variant of the full-size Glock 17.

It makes a substantial difference when Navy SEAL operatives are in combat where every ounce of weight matters.

For this reason, some Navy SEALs prefer the Glock 19 because of its minimal weight and safety features.


The Glock 19 features a polymer-framed design and weighs less than 24 ounces with an empty magazine.

The magazine capacity of the Glock 19 varies with several different options for loading and customizing the weapon.

Additionally, the pistol offers the company’s trademark Safe Action System which provides 3 different safeties (2 internal, 1 external).

The combination of trigger safety, firing-pin safety, and drop safety prevents accidental discharges.

Furthermore, the absence of an external hammer prevents the sidearm from getting snagged when drawing or holstering the weapon.


The 9mm x 19mm caliber semi-automatic pistol is reliable from 35 – 45 meters.

Moreover, the Glock 19 produces a short recoil due to the tilting barrel and striker-fired design of the sidearm.

Some experts consider the striker-fired design more reliable compared to the single-action / double-action of the Sig Sauer P226.

More importantly, the Glock 19 also withstands salt-water corrosion better than the P226 and functions reliably underwater.

Of course, this is tremendously important for Navy SEALs who also prefer a handgun that is easy to keep clean and maintain.

Glocks are notorious for being low maintenance and quick to clean when operatives are out in the field.

Today, these firearms are also highly customizable with a variety of upgrades ranging from slides to optics to improved grips.

And, it appears other elite military and law enforcement groups have taken notice.

The Glock 19 is also used by the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (FBI HRT) along with MARSOC Raiders.

#2. Sig Sauer P226

the sig sauer p226 used to be the primary Navy SEAL sidearm

  • Caliber: 9mm x 19mm (Semiautomatic)
  • Range: 50 Meters
  • Magazine / Rounds: 15 Rounds (Detachable)

The Sig Sauer P226 was the sidearm of choice for Navy SEALs for decades.

However, it has recently been phased out by the Glock 19 for a few different reasons.

Nonetheless, the P226 remains a legendary sidearm with a terrific reputation among special forces and law enforcement agencies throughout the world.

The U.S. Navy SEALs first adopted the firearm (also referred to as the MK25) into their arsenal in the 1980s.

It was designated to replace the Beretta M9 (more details, below) which proved unreliable when firing underwater.


The chrome-lined barrel and chamber along with the stainless steel side make the weapon very durable and reliable.

Originally, the TACOPS version was available in a few different calibers including the popular 9mm version.

The semi-automatic handgun featured a single-action / double-action design with 15 – 20 rounds of capacity.

It’s renowned for being ultra-reliable with almost zero reported failures out in the field.


The hammer-fired design is different from the Glock 19 and offers advantages as well as disadvantages.

When the Sig P226 is loaded in double-action the trigger pull is much heavier (doubling as a safety switch) whereas the single-action is for rapid fire.

In fact, Sig Sauer reports that the Reset Trigger is 60% faster to reset compared to similar Navy SEAL firearms.

Indeed, when determining whether operatives prefer the Sig Sauer P226 or Glock 19 it usually comes down to personal preference.

The Sig P226 / Mark 25 is easy to lock onto targets thanks to its front and rear sights.

Navy SEAL operatives also have the ability to customize the P226 with several add-ons including an integrated rail for lights and lasers.

The minimal recoil of the handgun is comparable to the Glock 19 and rivals its performance in many regards.

As a result, many consider it a shame that the Sig Sauer P226 was replaced as the standard-issue sidearm of Navy SEALs.

Related ArticleNavy SEALs Gear: List Of 17 Things SEALs Use

#3. Heckler & Koch HK45C

hk 45c navy seals pistol

  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Range: 50 Meters
  • Magazine / Rounds: 8 – 10 Rounds (Detachable)

Navy SEALs have other sidearms in their arsenal for a variety of reasons.

It may depend on personal preference or the specifics of a military operation that requires a certain weapon.

Nevertheless, the Glock 19 and Sig Sauer P226 remain the 2 primary sidearms of Navy SEALs.

However, that is not to suggest that the Heckler & Koch HK45C doesn’t play a role in Navy SEAL operations.


The .45 ACP caliber pistol rivals the Sig P226 and Glock 19 in many regards.

It features a comparable firing distance (50 meters) along with a compact design and reliable performance.

The HK45C has become a popular choice for certain operatives, such as Navy SEAL Team 6 (DEVGRU).

These operatives prefer the HK45C because of its lightweight while still being one of the most accurate handguns available.


The HK45C sidearm provides front and rear sights (like the Mark 25) along with an extended threaded barrel that supports gun suppressors.

Navy SEALs are also known to equip the firearm with infrared laser sights and other accessories on the rails.

It’s very light and ergonomic with interchangeable backstrap inserts, slide serrations, and finger grooves.

Nonetheless, the magazine capacity (8 or 10 rounds) is slightly smaller comparable to other pistols on the list.

Heckler & Koch initially designed the HK45 (also known as the Mark 24 Mod 0 Combat Pistol) as a potential replacement for the 9mm Beretta M9.

And, while the Glock 19 became the standard-issue sidearm of Navy SEALs, it continues to exist in its arsenal.

It also remains a popular choice for concealed carry due to the decocking level that functions similarly to the Sig Sauer P226.

#4. Navy SEAL Mark 23 SOCOM Sidearm

the mk23 sidearm

  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Range: 50 Meters
  • Magazine / Rounds: 12 Rounds (Detachable)

The Heckler & Koch Mark 23 SOCOM is another sidearm that has been used by Navy SEALs.

The semi-automatic .45 caliber weapon is designed exclusively to serve as an offensive pistol.

While handguns are generally classified as “defensive weapons” the Mark 23 is designed to unleash complete and utter destruction.

The USSOCOM version of the MK23 sidearm usually is paired with a laser aiming module (LAM) and suppressor.

It’s heavily regarded for being reliable with precise accuracy up to 50 meters.

Furthermore, Heckler & Koch report that the pistol has a service life of 30,000 rounds contributing to its outstanding reliability.

The Mark 23 handgun provides an oversized trigger guard which is ideal for SOF operatives wearing heavy gloves.

The short recoil of the pistol is comparable to the Glock 19 and Sig Sauer P226 along with a 12-round detachable magazine.

#5. M9 Beretta

m9 beretta sidearm for navy seals

  • Caliber: 9mm x 19mm
  • Range: 50 Meters
  • Magazine / Rounds: Varies (10 – 35 Rounds)

The Beretta M9 pistol is a common sidearm equipped in the United States Army, Navy, and Marine Corps.

In the past, the M9 Beretta also was used by U.S. Navy Sea, Air, and Land Teams (SEALs).

The M9 / 92FS was touted as a modern, safer, and easier-to-use handgun compared to .45 caliber versions.

More importantly, the ammunition / magazine capacity was twice that of previous models.

However, in the mid-1980s, Navy SEALs began to move away from the M9 pistol due to a few mechanical failures.

It was reported that a SEAL firing the weapon was injured when a rear portion of the handgun slide broke off.

Thus, SOF operatives (who cannot risk the chance of failure in the field) started to move toward a new sidearm.

The result was the Sig Sauer P226 which was considered more reliable and durable compared to the Beretta M9.

Today, the Beretta M9 handgun remains a popular choice for concealed carry yet is no longer utilized by Navy SEALs.


What sidearms exist in the arsenal of a U.S. Navy SEAL?

Navy SEALs rely on extremely durable handguns like the Glock 19, Sig Sauer P226, and HK45C.

These pistols have replaced previous firearms used by Navy SEALs, including the Beretta M9 / 92FS.

Today, Navy SEAL sidearms continue to provide backup fire and support in the event the primary weapon is no longer accessible.

Navy SEAL Pistol

Navy SEAL Pistol

4.7 out of 5 (78 Ratings)

Navy SEAL sidearms provide backup protection and firing support if the primary weapon is no longer accessible. Learn about the handguns.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I have personally vetted. Learn more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *