M.D. Creekmore’s Top Five Handguns for Preppers

I love writing firearms related articles like this, because these types of articles always brings readers out of their silence because everyone who knows anything about guns (and some that don’t) has an opinion about what “the best guns” are and they will argue and defend their beliefs relentlessly, so we get plenty of comments and ideas that will, hopefully help others make the best choices when purchasing firearms for self-defense and survival.

But, before we go farther I’d like to point out that even though this article is titled “Top 5 Handguns for Preppers”  I’m not saying that you need all five handguns. No, of the five handguns listed here a combination of three is all that you really need…

For example, the  Glock Model 19, Glock Model 43, and Browning Buckmark or the maybe the Smith and Wesson MP 9 Pro, Smith and Wesson MP .22, and the Glock Model 43. With either combination of three handguns you have a full-sized (or mid-sized as with the Glock 19) handgun, a smaller handgun for deep concealed carry that uses the same caliber ammo as your main handgun and a .22 for practice and small game hunting…  if you’re a good enough shot.

Okay, with that out-of-the-way let’s get started with my top five handguns for preppers.

1. Glock Model 19

Top five handguns for preppers glock 19The Glock model 19 is one of my all time favorite handguns and is a top choice for preppers. The Glock 19 is really a mid-sized handgun but with the magazine capacity of a full-sized handgun, offering a full 15 round magazine capacity plus one in the chamber.

When I carry my Glock 19 I do so with a full 15 rounds in the magazine plus a round in the chamber for a total of sixteen rounds. I also keep an extra 32 round Glock factory magazine in my truck and another in the nightstand beside my bed… just in case. The Glock 19 is my top choice for preppers or anyone looking for a mid to full-sized handgun and it has my top recommendation as a prepper handgun.

Recommend Accessories for the Glock 19

2. Glock Model 43

Top five handguns for preppers Glock 43When Glock came out with their model 42 in .380 I quickly bought the first one that I saw at my local sporting goods store (watch video of me shooting it here)  and carried it concealed every time that I left my house and was happy enough with it, but as soon as Glock came out with the Model 43 in 9 millimeter, I quickly traded up.

If I remember correctly, I traded the used Glock .380 and gave $100 “to boot” before taking home my new Glock model 43.

The Glock Model 43 is my number one choice for a concealed carry gun. It’s nearly identical in size to a snub nose revolver but thinner, holds size rounds of 9mm in the magazine plus a round in the chamber, and is also easier to shoot and reload under stress than the aforementioned snub nose revolver.

The Glock 43 is the ideal size and weight for consistent concealed carry now and post collapse where carrying a full-sized handgun would be impractical. Remember… the number one rule of a gun fight is to have a gun and this is a gun that you can have on you at all times.

Recommend Accessories for the Glock 43

3. Browning Buckmark

Top five handguns for preppers browning buckmarkIn the past when asked what my top choice for a .22 caliber handgun for preppers was I’d have said a Ruger Mark III standard model with a 6 inch barrel, and while this is still a great choice, however, after owning a Browning Buckmark for over six years, it has now earned my top rating for a .22 caliber handgun for preppers.

I’ve used mine to put a good number of squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs and even a few pheasants in the pot. And I carried it nearly everyday when I ran a trap-line and used it to dispatch of trapped raccoons, fox and coyote.  In my opinion the Browning Buckmark is the best .22 semi-auto handgun available.

As with all .22’s it’s best to buy several brands and weights of ammo and test it in your chosen firearm to see what works the best, because .22’s can be picky when it comes to different brands of ammo. With that being said, I’ve shot at least ten different types, weights and brands of .22 ammo in my Browning Buckmark and its all worked well, however my chosen .22 ammo (for both my handguns and rifles) is the CCI Mini Mag.

The CCI Mini Mag is an excellent round for hunting and to use on a trap line, however because the hollow points are so destructive on small game and destroy a lot of the usable meat I use the solid round nose version when hunting game and on the trap line.

Recommend Accessories for the Browning Buckmark

4. Smith and Wesson MP .22

Top five handguns for preppers smith and wesson .22The Smith and Wesson MP .22 is another .22 caliber handgun that gets my top rating and is a close second to the Browning Buckmark. One major plus is that it’s lighter in weight than the Buckmark making it easier and less tiring to carry on a trap line (or anywhere else) where you can be gone all day checking your traps.

It’s also easier to find quality holsters because holsters for its big brother the Smith and Wesson MP 9 will work in most cases and if you have a Smith and Wesson MP 9 Pro series as recommended below then most holsters are interchangeable between the two and using the .22 version makes cheap (cheaper) practice when running drills or just plinking at empty soda cans.

5. Smith and Wesson MP 9 Pro Series

Top five handguns for preppers smith and wesson mp9I have to admit that it would be a very difficult choice if I were forced to choose between the Glock 19 and the Smith and Wesson MP9 Pro series. While I love the Glock 19, the Smith and Wesson fits my hands better that any other handgun that I’ve held and shot. The grip design is wonderful and is a big help in control and quick and accurate follow-up shots.

I’ve owned the Smith and Wesson MP9 Pro series for over a year and have shot lots of cheap ammo and even some reloads and every time that I’ve pulled the trigger it’s fired with no stoppages of any kind. And I can shoot it more accurately than any other center-fire handgun that I currently own or have owned in the past including the Glock 19.

If you’re a prepper who has small hands (or big hands) and are looking for a full-sized handgun then the Smith and Wesson MP9 Pro series definitely worth taking a hard look at. You won’t be disappointed.

Recommended Accessories for the Smith and Wesson MP9


Tips to avoid getting ripped off or making bad choices when buying your first handgun

A few days spent doing research will help you avoid making mistakes. Know what guns to avoid and shotgun, handgun,  rifle action types before you shopping. Learn about the different calibers and types of cartridges that are available.

Get a copy of “The Shooter’s Bible“, “Boston’s Gun Bible” and Guns 101.  Avoid most of the “this is the best survival gun” type stuff posted on forums and the web, most of the information is dated, wrong and of little use.

Know what you want before you go shopping

Never walk into a gun shop without an idea of what you want, if you don’t have any idea what you want, you need to do more research until you do. Some sales people can be pushy and you don’t want to be pushed into buying something you don’t want or need because some over zealous sales clerk needed a commission from your purchase.

What do you want it for

Before you can be sure of what you want, you have to know what you want it for. If your intention is concealed carry then your needs would be different than if you wanted a firearm for hunting or foraging. For example one of the best and most devastating close range weapons is the 12 gauge shotgun when properly loaded, but you would be at a distinct disadvantage if hunting on flat open terrain or needed concealment.

You can’t do it all

There is no one do everything firearm, so stop looking. If you want to cover all the bases, you’ll need a minimum of three different guns. A handgun, shotgun and center fire rifle, and even with that three gun battery there are some gaping holes about what you can do.  Of course if you know you could not shoot someone in self-defense then guns for foraging may be all you will need.

Price doesn’t always mean quality

With firearms price doesn’t always mean quality. Granted, some of the best firearms available are costly,  but that doesn’t mean that they are the only quality choices available. For example, I would feel just as protected and well armed with a Smith and Wesson model 10 or Makarov as I would if armed with a custom 1911 or HK45. The key is diligent research before you buy (and skill with what you have).

Fit, feel, recoil and other considerations

Whatever firearm you buy, it should fit your body and grip. A gun that fits your body will be easier for you to use and more accurate than if you have to force your body to conform to the size and shape of the weapon. The gun should be an extension of your body and it should feel natural when held in a shooting position.

This can not be determined by anyone but you – you have to  hold the weapon, point it and aim it to determine how well it fits your body. Guns and Ammo posted a great article that can be read here titled “The Right Fit” that everyone should read. The article is about handguns but many of the principles can be applied to long guns as well.

Take a class

Get training. Most areas offer hunter safety courses that are free to anyone wanting to take part. If you live in a state that issues handgun carry permits, sign up to take the required classes, most are great for learning basic care and safety rules. The NRA offers a number of low-cost training opportunities that you should look into.

Special considerations for women when buying a handgun

No doubt a few women know just as much about guns as I do. But on the one the other hand most women (and a lot of men) tend to become rather unsure or even frightened when coming into contact with anything even resembling a firearm, and when faced with the prospect of choosing a handgun for self-defense they become lost within the maze of choices available.

For those with no experience with firearms, training becomes a necessity. Spending a week at Front Sight would be great but realistically out of reach for most. Most areas offer hunter safety courses that are free to anyone wanting to participate. If you live in a state that issues handgun carry permits, sign up to take the required classes, they are great for learning basic care and safety procedures.

If your husband, boyfriend, father, mother or someone else that you know has proficiency in this area this can be an excellent source of information, just be certain that the one doing the teaching knows more than the one doing the learning. You would be surprised at the number of people claiming to be an expert in this area that know little or nothing of what they are talking about.

There are two books that I recommend for those new to handguns and shooting. “The Concealed Handgun Manual: How to Choose, Carry, and Shoot a Gun in Self Defense” and “Tactical Pistol Shooting“. Both books get my highest recommendation and lay a good foundation for beginning shooters.

Fit And Feel
How does the gun feel in your hand? Are you able to obtain a proper grip? Can you reach the trigger without twisting your hand and wrist to compensate for reach? Your index finger should extend at least ½ inch past the trigger when holding a shooting stance with the finger held straight along the side of the weapon. In this case size does matter.

Revolver or Semi-Auto
The debate over Revolver vs Semi-Auto has been going on for years, for the most part this has been a complete waste of time and effort. Both are effective and safe in competent hands, the important thing is to become proficient with whichever you choose.

Bring enough gun
As the saying goes; bring enough gun. If the intended use is self-defense choose at least a .38 special for revolvers and a .380 for semi-autos. Some of you will be temped to get a .22lr or .25 auto, don’t do it. The .22lr is great for training, plinking and small game hunting but is not the best choice for defense. The .25 auto is worthless for just about everything. Yes; both can and will kill, just don’t bet your life on either to stop an attacker before he can kill you.

Weight and Size
If the primary intention is concealed carry, size and weight should be taken into consideration. Personally I prefer a two-inch .38 special “snubbie” revolver with concealed hammer for concealed carry. In the home where space and weight are of no consideration I prefer a four or six-inch barrel for revolvers or a full size semi-auto pistol.

Just because you are a woman doesn’t mean you need a man for protection, with training and the proper tools you can defend yourself. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Well there you have it – my top five handguns for preppers and tips for buying your first handgun now over to you – what are YOUR top five handguns? Why?

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Bossman, love the choices. I will have to ship a caniktp9sa to you 🙂 you will drop the m&p quick – combines comfort plus accuracy and extreme reliability.

    My primary is and has been for easily 15 years, a glock 19 🙂

    Lastly. I have found the m&p22 / walther p22 (already threaded)/ and ruger sr22 are pretty much identical in shooting and reliability 🙂

    Love the buckmark. Personally got a great deal on a high standard duramatic 101 m – sooo however. If it were not for that. I would have the buckmark in the bag 🙂

    • We went from the Walther to the Ruger SR 22 due only to the comfort of the grip; it’s just a little bigger and fits both of us a little better. Now I have a threaded 3.5 and a 4.5.

      Still, everybody goes back to shooting my Buckmark. I bought it used in the late 90’s. It was ugly looking. After a good cleaning, it was gorgeous! And they shot all the burrs off the trigger so it has the smoothest trigger here!

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        JP- yes, it is a sweet shooter 🙂

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          Aren’t all those 5 guns name brand guns?

          Recently I’ve been told that brand name things are not worth the price. MD it would be better for you to buy RG’s Sportarms, and all other off brands that sell for a low price.

          At least that seem’s to be the mindset here.

          Glock, S&W Walther, Beretta, Ruger and any other name brand is only selling a name and not quality that is above the low priced guns.

          • Chuck, to answer your opening question: Yes. They are.

            Your following point is somewhat valid. Most, the thickness of one’s wallet will also be a determining factor, especially those ‘low priced’ weapons. As you mention RG, there is also Hi-Point, and going up in quality, the Taurus and Kel-Tec, among the many. Too, one should consider factory repair policies, aka “warranty repairs”.

            But for pure out-and-out tough, you can’t beat a Ruger or Thompson Center– some reloading manuals specifically state “loads for use in Ruger and TC only”. Now that’s “tough”. As for S&W and Colt, Browning and Glock, plus a few others, there’s a reason military and especially SpecOps choose a particular weapon, and cost does not necessarily enter the picture. Not because they do pay exorbitant prices (a $200 hammer and $100 toilet seat!), but because the quality and toughness is there.

            In conclusion, I don’t agree with any of MDs choices, but each is a quality firearm well worth the entry fee, far and above those lower cost firearms.

            • JSW,

              You mean that you don’t agree with any of my choices FOR YOU, correct?

              • Chuck Findlay says:

                MD all 5 are good guns, while I have favorite guns, all the guns I have are good guns as I suspect all your guns are.

                As long as quality and reliability are part of the makeup it it really comes down to what ones you like.

                I notice a big debate with Glock’s, some hate them (really hate them) and some love them. I have no strong opinion on them other then to note that they are well made and work in any condition a person wishes to expose them to.

                Gun debate threads do always seem to bring on the debate and push peoples buttons.


                My “brand name things are not worth the price.” was a bit of sarcasm about quality as it relates to a water filter that was in a thread below.

                • Jesse Mathewson says:

                  Chuck, I was clear…in most things. Additionally, I have no problem switching “brands” if proven wrong. I am confused, why are you so obviously upset with me?

                  (Remember. Read everything in context, it helps)

                  • Jesse Mathewson says:

                    You continue to post pointless arguments without actually reading what you are responding to, clearly I have upset you or you just dont like me. Either way, let me know. I would love to be able to apologize and change if possible the things I guess I did to you-

                    • Chuck Findlay says:

                      As far as problems it’s not worth pointing out specifics, and I’m sure MD would not want the dragged out debate. Let’s just call it a dislike for lack of morals.

                      And I’m sure I’m not the only one that sees them; if he were still here Prep-Doc could point out a few of them. But the lacks of morals are what drove him away from this site.

                      It seems I’m the only one that is much bothered by the lack of morals and is willing to voice a dislike of them.

                    • Jesse Mathewson says:

                      Chuck, lack of morals?

                      Just because someone doesnt hold to your morality does not make them without or less than (eg., lack of) I am disappointed that you would believe something so shallow. PD disagreed with an approach he was unwilling to see alternatives to, if you disagree simply do not respond, however, never accuse me of being without morality. I guarantee one thing, if you are casting that stone, likely, as the “priest/etc.,” you may need to look first at yourself.

                      I am the only one here (between you and I) who has the dignity, and self awareness to take a step forward and ask what it is I may have done.

                      Sadly. If your morality requires this behavior, I want none of it.

              • Right, MD– I’ve already made my choices and will stick with them through thick and thin no matter what others say about how crazy I am.

                Love ya, though, despite our differences.

            • Chuck Findlay says:

              Your following point is somewhat valid. Most, the thickness of one’s wallet will also be a determining factor,

              This is somewhat true, but when I was 20-years old I had little money and even back then I wanted quality things that worked and would last. I saved a lot and bought a few new guns. But I also bought used guns at a substantial savings. I bought a used Beretta (I now have 3 Beretta’s and they all are great guns) that at the time was beyond my price as a new gun. But being a member of 2 gun clubs at the time lots of used guns were always for sale and a Beretta came up for sale. I saved over $150.00 on it. I still have it today (35+ years later) and it still works well.

              PS: Guys at gun clubs always have used (or rather hardly used) guns for sale as they get the bug for a new gun and sell the ones they have to pay for it. Gun clubs are a good place to look for quality guns at good prices.

          • Chuck:

            Brand name, for the most part, will have a certain quality and feel, making shopping a little easier. With my DW “needing” a new 9mm, we are starting with feel on the gun and point-ability, things you can compare at the store. Shootability is something else.

            For maintenance, I love Glocks. For grip comfort, I like the S&W M&P 1.0 (2.0 is too aggressive for me). It seems that the new Ruger American fits her well, although I have a SR9.

            I also take accessories, like holsters and magazines, into account too. Factory Glock mags can generally be had for $20, $25 for S&W, new Ruger’s (SR9 and American) run $40.

            As far as brand name goes, I won’t count on a HiPoint. I have a friend who has bought and sold many, pistols and rifles. He says they have a great warranty and work well. I find them uncomfortable. I also don’t like the “fact” that so many people I’ve met know that they have a “great warranty”; that means they have broken. In a SHTF situation, I want to be able to count on my weapon, not it’s warranty.

            I’m sure there was a bit of sarcasm in your comment, I personally took no offense. But you do bring up a point for many people.

          • FL Prepper says:

            Oh I don’t know Chuck. When articles like these are written the author or commentators all seem to think the best weapons to own are the actual ones they actually own and think everybody else should own them too. There are dozens or brands and hundreds of pistol types to choose from.

            The best pistols are the ones that fit well in your hand. The Beretta PX4 has variable backstraps to fit different hand sizes. Does Glock have that. NO. How about the number of rounds a pistol can handle in a magazine. The Beretta Px4 Subcompact with a short 3.5″ Barrel has a 20+1 round magazine with an extender grip like a regular full size pistol. Sure all Glocks have the long 30 round magazines, but they stack one on top of the other and creates a 10″+ inch long Grip handle. Try getting that in your waist band. I also bought the smaller 9 mm Beretta NANO again 7+1 and is a great carry weapon.

            The best thing to do is find a range that rents pistols and go try them out. I believe the min carry caliber is 9mm using 124gr Hollow point +P. .22’s may be good for small game and plinking, but not as a main carry pistol. Oh the debate on this I can already hear. Also get a good Kydex moulded in the belt type holster that the gun will fit tight but nicely slip out in a seconds notice with east and ready to fire. Stay away from leather holsters, your sweat will wet the leather and then stink like a Coyote’s tail end.

            Your pistol when easily drawn, shold have a fast safety or trigger safety, like a Glock, But keep your fingers off the trigger. I see too may Glock users not chamber a round in fear it will fire accidently of shoot your foot off when drawing it. The Beretta Px4 has a quick thumb safety and decocker, even though it is a double action. Practice at a range, shooting when decocked and firing 2 to 3 shots to see the difference in trigger pull for the first to the 2ns shot already cocked.

            This is all for good debate, but leave it to the individual owner to see what weapon fits and shoots better for him or her. Yes my sister carries a Glock 9mm and I recommended that for her. I’m different and have bigger hands than a one size fits all Glock. Just my humble opinion. The best Pistol is the one that shoots when you need it to, and hits the target most of the time. And the Guns greatest enemies are the Government and Rust.

          • Chuck,
            Although I’m sure you’re just making a point here, the Hi-Point Firearms Company located right here in Ohio makes some rather nice guns. Like many companies, their early stuff was clunky junk; but, in the past few years they have produced some nice, accurate and reliable handguns and rifles. One friend has one of their original 9mm semi autos that looks like it was carved from an old engine block and a newer version made with polymers and they are both relatively accurate guns.
            Another has their 9mm carbine and it also works rather well, so once again it comes down to purchasing what you can afford, fits your circumstances, and one you will practice with enough to be proficient.

  2. Jesse,

    I’ve owned a lot of different handguns but I’ve never owned a Canik TP9SA – read reviews and it looks like a good choice.

    Have you tried the Ameriglo Glock Ghost Ring Site? It’s awesome.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Ive tried a few different variations my favorite is dawson precision black rear red fiber optic front, gives me quick acquisition and accuracy for slower longer shots- – I do like the ghost ring set up – very easy to acquire target

  3. I can’t shoot a G19, my hand is wrong for it. But I have a G17 and a G34/35 w/a 357 SiG barrel. I just recently got a M&P 1.0 in 9mm and am breaking it in. I do like the grip better than the Glock (again issues with my hand).

    DW is looking at a striker-fired 9mm. She currently likes her Berretta, but the double action is getting old. After time spent handling guns at the last show, it looks like the Ruger American will get the nod.

    I also will not be without a 1911 in 45 ACP or a .357 wheelgun to go with my traveling rifle. And I got at S&W 69 (5 shot, L-frame, 44 Magnum) for the woods and 4-wheeling. Specials only – I just don’t like the recoil of a 44 Magnum handgun.

  4. Kevin Kratch says:

    I like revolvers, especially .357 mag. I also like semi-autos. I have several Glocks in .40 — although if I were starting over with the Glocks, they would now be 9mm. My current favorite is my Beretta 92FS. I really like the DA/SA. I feel much more secure with that first long, deliberate pull, then the short, easy followup SA shots.

  5. Zulu 3-6 says:

    Yeah, we all have our preferences. My main gun is a SigSauer P228 9mm. I’ve had it since 1991 I am very happy with it. Reliable as heck, but expensive as heck. I got mine brand new in the box for $50 (my union covered the rest). It’s been a tack driver for me.

    My main concealed carry gun right now is a Walther PPK/S in .380. I needed to change out the recoil spring on it as it was not ejecting reliably, and seems to working fine now.

    My third gun is a S&W Model 66, .357 magnum. Nice gun, shoots well and accurately.

    I used to have other handguns over the years, but sold them. I sold two to my ex-wife for her concealed carry purposes.

    I’m not fond of Glocks partially for their triggers (especially if a New York trigger hasn’t been installed). Too many negligent discharges with Glocks with the lightweight triggers. I’ve seen a lot of failures to extract, or to feed, especially with inexperienced shooters or weak-wristed people. That said Glocks are fun to shoot for me.

    • I’m right there with you, Zulu.

      I prefer my Sig P320 Carry as well as my H&K VP9. Also have a 1911 and an older S&W MP9. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the MP9 but of these 4 this would be my “throw away gun” if it every came down to it.

      I’ve never been a fan of the trigger on Glocks either. I respect the name, the durability, etc…but it just ain’t for me.

  6. anonymous says:

    No revolvers huh ? Well, I feel different, at least one .357 Magnum should be in the list for large critter protection. But okay – personal self defense is very important.

    My own highly desirables are a Glock 21, Ruger Blackhawk in .45 or .357 and a compact 9mm. I just purchased a Taurus Millenium Pro G2 PT111 9mm compact and am very impressed with it. Loading the NIB magazines are a bear (at least mine are) but it feeds well and has great shooting characteristics. Fully adjustable sights (windage – elevation), making it much easier to zero various ammunitions.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Anonymous- from experience and statistics – modern 9×19 sd ammunition (saami specs) runs same pressures and very similar ballistically to the .357- however, shoot what you are comfortable with.

      (Ive taken 400+ lb hogs with one shot drops with the glock 19 🙂

    • The .22 Ruger revolver looks good – but pricey. Can you recommend a decent but cheaper revolver?

  7. Jesse Mathewson says:

    As for triggers, for between $20 and $100 you can make the glock trigger better than even a 1911 trigger 🙂

    Inexpensive route is a 3.5lb connector/ matched with a grey new york generally between $20-30 total and it works, very well 🙂

  8. Interesting. Kinda like talking politics and religion when you talk about guns. I’d consider the SIG P320 Full-Size. Why? Because I believe it’s always smart to go with any weapon adopted by the military, including caliber. If times really were to go to a SHTF condition there will always be spare parts and ammo available.

    Cannibalism rules when it comes to keeping any equipment running.

    • FL Prepper says:

      You know living in FL, it is hard to carry a full size .45 carry pistol with out it showing. Being already in the mid 90 degs in April, we wear shorts and T-shirts and have to try and hide this under a T-shirt like in the small of the back in the belt, still is testing the laws for impression or exposure for concealed carry. You guys wearing coats and still snow on the ground in the Rockies until June is a different story. Sure you could probably hide a full dual set of .44’s 10 inch barrel cannons in a double shoulder holster. Not happening here in FL. so this is another consideration for concealed carry and what type of pistol to own.

      • FL Prepper,
        I have one word for you “Thunderwear”! Look it up. I have one and even got my dad one. I could conceal carry in a bathing suit.

  9. mfitzy111 says:

    ah- just what ever works best for your hand is personally the best choice…
    I went with a SIG P226 in 9mm, why? because carpal tunnel let up using Turmeric pills so I sold the FN 5.7. ..I went with SIG because I found that my hand likes it best as far as ergonomics goes! (nothing bad to say about Glock except I found that it’s specs are so tight reloads would jam it, it might have been early in my reloading career and could have been all me
    ..but they would be with in spec of a case gauge, yet choke my friends glock. (hum that sounds wrong reading it out loud) not saying I dislike them..they are good pistols, some people swear by them, I’ll choose my Sig over them every time.

    I liked the Ruger SR22 found one new on sale for like $320 -good plinker 22 with a little rail under it.

    MP9 and Sheilds from Smith look nice. I am surprised the Springfield XD wasn’t on the list…since everyone who preps seems to love that gun too. (and I don’t own one either.)…

    Like I said it’s all personal whatever fits your hand best to the do the job. 😀

  10. I don’t like Glock’s so I don’t own one. I don’t like AR’s so I don’t own one. In fact I don’t own any of those weapons because I tried them and didn’t like them. I think that that you are entitled to your opinion , but I disagree so I won’t be buying any of them. I don’t like 9MM so I don’t shoot it. (same same .40) I have been shooting for north of 53 years (since I was 5) and I am perfectly fine with my revolvers and 1911. They do everything I want done and have for longer than our combined ages.——- To miss quote “we were solders once …and young.” If It ever comes a day when I need one of those things there will be plenty of them laying on the ground” Except for the AR15. I wouldn’t pick one up off the ground if it came with steak and beer. I’d carry a 1903 Springfield to war before I’d ever carry anything Stoner designed. (or anything derived from anything Stoner ever did) .AR’s ( ALL OF THEM) suck. You happy with Range Barbbie Tupperware ? COOL! I disagree and I don’t want any thanks.

    • Ray,

      Wow, that was a whole lot of nothing.

      • Wow, that was a whole lot of nothing.

        True; but everyone is entitled to their own perception of reality. I’m surprised he would want an ’03 Springfield since we still have access to muzzleloaders.
        As for Gene Stoners designs, considering he was an aerospace engineer and was the first to bring lightweight materials like aluminum and polymers into the firearms arena back in the mid 1950’s prior to our experts birth, I think they are still a rather proven design, even though not as old as Browning designs. If however, you would rather carry a heavy, wood and steel single shot bold action rifle into battle, then perhaps you can take point and show us all how it’s done.
        Politics, religion, and firearms, what can we say LOL.

        • If however, you would rather carry a heavy, wood and steel single shot bold action rifle into battle

          You mean like the prepper army with all the Mosins, or would they be the artillery section…lol.

    • Whole lot of operators will disagree on the ar platform and as far as .45 round … You pretty much only find it in American. Nothing wrong with that, just noting it, as lots on military units using Glocks and Sigs today

  11. A great selection needless to say. I want to stir the pot a little. I have Ruger .45 that makes a great home protection weapon, Taurus .380 for CC and a nice 9 shot Revelation .22. I also have a high-point .45 and 9mm that I like to keep close by. I can hear it now….Don’t shout too loud!!!! …Honestly, I can fire 50 out of 50 with either gun and I have one advantage, when I run out of ammo, I’ve got a great club, lol. If you are on a very limited budget, give them a look. I have no problem with either.

    • Grouch,
      In the early days Taurus running the old Beretta plant, and Hi-point located here in Ohio made some rather shoddy questionable firearms; but, I suspect that would be the same for early Hondas or Fords; however, over time with continuous improvements, both companies make some very fine, inexpensive and reliable firearms.
      I think too many people get their egos tied up in things, and if someone uses a different thing (firearm, car, computer, etc) then they have to doubt if they made an incorrect choice. I personally use what works for me and I am not really concerned or bothered with what others may think about my choices. We should all do the same.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        OP, yep

      • OP,
        You and I have had this conversation on the phone before. If it fits your hand and you can hit the “center of the blur” then that is the right firearm for “you”.

        I really love reading debates like this and seeing all of the folks who are so emotionally wedded to the guns they are talking about. Personally, I’m in a different camp. I have some really inexpensive firearms I got when I was still eating Top Ramen out of necessity that I’ve dumped in the sand, dirt, mud and still fire every time I pull the trigger.

        Bottom line… if it works and works for you, that’s the proper firearm for you. Period.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          OP and Sirius, couldnt agree more…btw, didnt get the “mail” S- resend?

          jesse dot mathewson at hotmail dot com

  12. Steve E Johnson says:

    One thing you may not know an may or may not make a difference is the MP22 pistol is actually made by Carl Walther in Germany. The MP22 Compact pistol on the other hand is made in the US at Smith and Wesson’s plant. I own and like both, but the compact is in my opinion a better made pistol. And since, they have two manufacturers, the mags won’t interchange.

  13. I am 50 and I have my snub-nosed 38 special that I carry. I love this handgun and I am a pretty good shot with it. I love the way it is a revolver, even though I can only hold 5 rounds, and still it is a little heavy carrying around. Maybe, I am so in love with this gun and feel so comfortable with it because it was the first gun I ever purchased for my self. I’ve now had this revolver for nearly 4 years. This is also the handgun I used to go through my CCW class. As much as I love this handgun, I am ready to purchase another one to conceal and carry. One that is safe to carry (since I am around my grandbabies that I often hold and carry around), lighter weight, more rounds and better stopping power at a farther distance. I am having trouble deciding. Any suggestions on which one of these top five would be best for me?

    • Edith, I have the same question. I am quite a bit older (73) and if the world was not in such a mess, probably would not even be thinking of a fire arm. However, I too have a snub nosed 38 special. I wanted something that was safe enough that if I dropped it accidentally, I would not shoot the dog or myself in the leg. Plus I had to be strong enough to fire it. Arthritis and carpel tunnel syndrome together makes for considerably less strength. I am not apt to be carrying this, since I am not strong enough to keep someone from taking it from me, and bugging out is not a possibility for me and my walker. I want it for home protection if/when the SHIF. I would like something not as heavy, but easy for me to handle. Any thoughts from you young gun experts?

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        IDPam, for purely defensive options without needing to rack the slide, a beretta tomcat in .32 acp (use ball ammunition) works well if you cannot rack a slide- as it has a pop up barrel and is quite reliable. Recoil is less than a .38 special and ballistics while not amazing are enough that many european nations and john browning (who invented the cartridge) use and or used it. (Accuracy being most important)

        (See post where I described racking slide using newtonian physics in your favor )

        Is also an option

        • Edith & IDPam,
          I think Jesse made a good pick. There are several things I can teach to help rack the slide; but, they all require a bit of hand and arm strength. A small J-Frame style revolver is still rather safe to carry; but, unless you learn to cock the trigger (using the thumb on the non gripping hand) and fire it single action, then that may also represent a problem, and the carry guns of this type like my S&W 640 stainless, typically have a shrouded or internal hammer, typically making them DAO ) Double Action Only) so you can’t cock the hammer.
          In the end, you need to find a range that has a lot of guns to rent and try out, since only you really know what fits your hand, how much recoil you can manage, and how well you can function the controls. I know this isn’t much help; but, firearms like most tools have a complex selection process that only the eventual owner can really evaluate.
          If you think you would not be able to carry comfortably and safely, then I would recommend you look for some other non-lethal options like a good quality pepper spray, again getting some practice with it before carrying.
          I’ve been a practicing martial artist for more than 50 years, and have been shooting in one form or another for nearly 60 years, and quite honestly, if I had waited until my current age to start, I’m not sure what I would do.

      • IDPam – With my health problems I know I’ll be using a walker eventually. Now I’m envisioning a walker with a holster or 2 attached. 🙂

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          I want that walker too! 🙂

          • Bonnie & Jesse,
            I’m thinking more of a very sturdy walker with easy lock wheels for stability to absorb the recoil from the turret mounted SA shotgun that in a close in defensive situation makes a pretty good defensive tool. I’ve been told by more than a few old vets, that a handgun is the tool you use to fight your way to a rifle, and I suspect a shotgun therefore sits somewhere in between.

      • t Bwhntr61 says:


        Excellent list. All of these pistols are top notch choices. Again I agree use what you are comfortable with and what you have on you is better than nothing ( ” first rule of a gun fight is, have a gun ” ).

        I have a Modified Colt series 70 1911-.45acp. Used it when I shot combat matches.
        Taurus PT92 stainless, very nice it is my bedside weapon with a rail light attached.
        S&W M&P 9mm stainless, also very nice. It is my car gun under the seat.
        KelTec PF-9, small and very reliable. Keep it in my bow stand set up backpack when I am in the woods setting up new tree stand spots.
        Taurus Curve in .380. This is an excellent pocket gun, but sensitive to ammo type. Needs hi perf ammo to function reliable. But integrated laser and light are pretty slick.
        Remington R51 9mm- Now I admit I bought this because it looked cool and felt very good .in the hand, pointed extremely well. Had some issues with overly strong mag springs but is sorted out now.
        Ruger SR .45- This is an outstanding handgun ( IMHO). 11 Rd’s of good old .45ACP. Fits my hand well, and the price was right. Reliable as all get out.
        Taurus Tracker in .44mag- Stainless, 4 inch barrel, ported, a beast with full power loads. But fun nonetheless.
        Ruger MK 111 in .22LR. Works well but as you said try different ammo types. I have had failures to cycle properly with certain ammos. Stainless is nice in Northern WI with wet climates and snow. Strictly a plinking gun, or dispatch of red squirrel and mice. Also shot 2 Quill pigs with it.
        SigSauer 220 in 10mm- This I bought because my nephew was hot on 10mm for Alaskan bear defense, and I became interested in this caliber. Since I reload and had .40S&W dies it was an easy sell, although the price of this Sig was astronomical. Bought at Cabelas at 0% for 12 months. Otherwise never would have considered. It is very cool. Not saying it is a good survival caliber or practical round, but pretty powerful for a semi auto handgun.

        Get what you like, my stuff is just what I have innhandguns, I ain’t married to any of it in terms of this is only what a person should have. It’s what I have. I am getting a Glock soon, just to round things out.

        Prep on people. God bless.

    • TPSnodgrass says:

      Nope, you have to and should find what fits YOU, best. That way, you will be happy with it. A quality snub nosed .38 Special with Buffalo Bore .38 specials in it, is NOTHING to sneer at, it works very well in the personal and home defense roles.
      Oh, get yourself some five shot speed loaders or speed strips by Bianchi or Tuff Strips for faster reloading. Just google those two names.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Edith, honestly the glock19 – my wife and 8 year old daughter can shoot and manipulate them well- my two cents

      • Glock 19? I will check into it. Thank you Jesse!

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Remember, push and pull, many people hold the firearm and rack/pull the slide…keeping barrel in a safe (away from people or objects you dont want to shoot ) push the frame with a high grip, pull the slide at the same time, I have not met anyone (unless paralyzed) who cannot rack the slide this way- and yes, for a couple years I used my 4-7 year old daughter to prove it works to others. 🙂

          • Jesse,
            I teach this all of the time. Instead of pulling with your weak hand, pushing with the strong hand can often do the job. Also, if there is an external hammer, cock the hammer and you relieve about 30% of the spring tension, making the task even easier.

          • Good advice. I have problems pulling it back because I don’t have much strength.

            • Jesse Mathewson says:

              Terra, doing it that way means your body weight does the work, not your arms and or wrists, it makes it infinitely easier, though obviously you would not want to lose use of a limb, speaking of, check a wonderful you tube video of a gentleman shooting with no arms reloading, racking slide etc., with just his feet, and accurately

              Man without arms shoots with feet

              Should get it for you

              • Jesse–just to be clear….you push with the left hand holding the gun while you pull the slide with the right hand?

                • Terra,

                  just to be clear….you push with the left hand holding the gun while you pull the slide with the right hand?

                  First of all we don’t talk left and right hand; but, strong and weak hand, since I don’t know if you are left or right handed or if you’re including eye dominance.
                  Assuming you shoot right handed, and are having trouble pulling back the slide with your left (weak) hand, you do the following.
                  If the firearm has a hammer, first cockt the hammer to relieve up to 35% of the spring tension.
                  Then, holding the slide in your left hand and perhaps bracing it with your body or a table, grip the firearm with your right (strong hand and push. The weak hand just holds the slide and firearm in place, while the strong hand and arm does the work by pushing.
                  While you do all of this, please pay attention and keep the muzzle of the firearm in a safe direction.

                  • Jesse Mathewson says:

                    ^^ what OP said is correct exactly 🙂

                    • Jesse Mathewson says:

                      And always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot- (or as I have taught and my dad and probably his before him)

                      “Keep your booger hooker off the bang switch until you want the target gone”

                      Safety first!

                    • Jesse,

                      “Keep your booger hooker off the bang switch until you want the target gone”

                      LOL, I hadn’t heard that one.
                      As for the finger on the trigger that’s one of the first rules, and in fact we always teach indexing the finger along the frame until you need it on the trigger. The real problem is that some engineer spent a bunch of time making sure that you could put that same finger on the trigger comfortably at the same time we teach not to do it.

                    • Jesse Mathewson says:

                      OP. When working with people, I work on them keeping the trigger finger up on the side, crooked or straight but up on the side always until ready to send it – my daughter didnt fire a shot (or have ammo) till she could carry her rifle or handgun without sweeping, trigger fingering and or playing…:)

                  • Jesse,

                    I work on them keeping the trigger finger up on the side

                    Yep, that’s what we’ve always called indexing.
                    And of course, the very first thing you do with a new shooter is to determine eye dominance.
                    I started training my DW to shoot at age 5 and she is cross dominant, right handed and left eye, so I taught her to shoot left handed. To this day (she’s now 26) she picks up a long gun or bow and shoots it left handed. That’s an easy thing to do with a five year old; but, not so much with someone older and already set in their ways.

                    • Jesse Mathewson says:

                      OP, definitely – I use triangle method, and with my family who shoots- daughter and self are not cross but do work aggressively with both, and from both sides. Wife does a bit as well.

                      (Took my larger babies out a couple weekends back, was shooting 620, 910 and 1120 from weak side. Plus with the LaserLyte trainer and dry firing we work handgun from both as a contest in addition to!)

                      So yes, round about way, agreed!

                  • OP–You are the BEST! Thanks for the explanation. I’ve recovered from my broken wrist, so I need to do this at my next shooting day.

                    • I had problems way before my injury. Not enough strength in my hands/arms.

                    • Terra,

                      so I need to do this at my next shooting day.

                      I hope you enjoy yourself and things go much better for you.
                      I don’t think of shooting days, since around here if I want to shoot I simply step out back.

    • Edith, you may be looking for a non-existent solution to a problem you don’t have.

      You are now carrying a 5-shot revolver that you shoot well, so can obviously handle it. If you are looking for ‘more stopping power at longer distance’, you may want to look at your perceived needs. Statistically speaking, well up to 90% of self-defense gunfights are within 20 feet, which is four or five steps for most people. Not much need for ‘longer distance there. More stopping power? Again, this comes to the realm of being an accurate shooter, both slow-fire and ‘at self-defense speed’. Lots of people talk about stopping power and how a .45 is better than a 9mm, but realistically, the difference is moot. A .38 will stop as quickly as a .45 or a 9mm– it boils down to shot placement. And I don’t care what happens in movies. (Some are going to bring up the Moros problem as being reason the military went to .45, but they’ve totally over-looked the real caliber reason for the switch: it was a .38 Colt, which is not a .38 Special.)

      To give you an example of what you may be seeking, I’ll use my little brother (68 years old and 140 pounds, if it matters). His choice for a carry piece is the Sig .380 (a 9mm ShortKurz). He loves it and we shoot together a lot. There is stopping power plenty with that round, if you hit the target (he does). The drawback with his Sig is that small as it is, it’s a difficult gun to control for second round hits. Compared to my .357/38 snubbie, it’s a real pain to control. But that’s him, and me. For others, there may be no problem.

      In conclusion, don’t underrate your current weapon, but do check out a couple .380s, which may be the only carry caliber with lighter weight than your .38 snubbie, or an ultra-light 9mm, which may create control problems. Too, when looking at semi-autos, consider your age and the upcoming wrist/grip/arm problems in your future.

  14. tommy2rs says:

    Only one of those makes my list, the Browning Buckmark. I’ve got the Camper and it outshoots my original Service Ace .22 conversion for the 1911, which I used to win a lot of money with.

    • JSW & Edith,

      up to 90% of self-defense gunfights are within 20 feet, which is four or five steps for most people

      The statistics we have used are in the range of 1-7 yards and from people I’ve trained over the years, the harder shots are the ones close in at 1-2 yards. If you practice at one yard and at 20 yards or perhaps up to 30 feet, and can accurately place rounds to center mass, then you are probably OK.
      We use a technique called BSA (Balance of Speed and Accuracy), starting out accurately and slowly, and increasing your speed until the accuracy starts to fall off. Then back up the speed a bit and keep trying. For realistic scenarios you also need to get that speed up as far as possible and eventually drawing from a holster and getting off some shots as quickly as you can. Shooting paper one shot at a time is good practice; but, not very practical practice for real self defense scenarios.
      With an empty gun, you should practice retrieving your gun from concealment, firing two or three quick shots (dry fire) and replacing the gun back into concealment. When you can do this with your eyes closed or in the dark, you are then ready to try it with live fire on an appropriate range.
      If you really ever have to deploy your gun for defense, it will most often be something unexpected, and that practice using muscle memory and training your OODA loop becomes critical, since under stress a lot of our fine motor skills disappear.

      • “…the harder shots are the ones close in at 1-2 yards…”

        Which is why we learn point shooting before we learn to use ‘sighted’ shooting for self defense purposes. Or, IMO we should learn PS first, but that’s probably just me.

        • JSW,

          Or, IMO we should learn PS first, but that’s probably just me.

          When I teach we start with the basics including sight control; but, on the range we get everyone to do a very simple point of aim drill and then snap fire from low ready. With a little practice in what is generally not enough time on the range, we introduce people to the PS concept and quite often see the serious folks continue to practice. With my vision problems, point shooting is all I can really do for defense.

  15. Mechanic says:

    Personally I see handguns in 2 flavors. Requiring concealment and not requiring concealment.

    Protecting me and mine ( night stand) or backup to a long gun where concealment doesn’t matter I prefer a full size service weapon. I find the longer barrel and heavier weight easier to shoot well.

    Possibly more important a handgun you can conceal. Advantages here are obvious. IMO more difficult to shoot well.

    Too many factors that are personal to recommend a “best” in either category. Personally I’ve had success with beretta 92, Springfield XDS, Smith and Wesson M&P Shield. Fit my hands well, mine have proven reliable.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Well said Mechanic-

    • BullDogBeau says:

      Agree with you mechanic. As far as your choices of guns.. agree with all but the beretta 92. I find it a bit heavy compared to most 9mm. 92 imo is still better than glock. I always hear how reliable they are but of all the weapons friends, family and myself shoot the glock have the most malfunctions.

  16. Hello
    I think the recommended firearms were all excellent choices. I have Ruger Mark III 22’s primarily because it was very easy to find them with threaded muzzles.
    Another handgun I would like to give “honorable mention” to is the venerable Berretta PX4 full size Storm. It’s a pretty unique SA/DA decocker pistol with a rotating (rather than tilting) chrome-lined barrel. It also has the grip-to-barrel dimension about as low as it can go short of a Chiappa. It’s astonishingly accurate and natural pointing.
    I have them in 9mm, .40 and .45 and they are all as accurate and more reliable than my $$$$ 1911’s.

  17. C Bonnett says:

    I have the M&P 9 Full size and Shield for carry, and the M&P22lr Compact. Recommend all three. Great shooters. Make sure you buy the 22 auto loads for the M&P22lr. Doesn’t like the cheap stuff. The CCI the Mini-mags work really well.

    I compliment them with a Ruger 10-22, Beretta CX4 9mm carbine, 20 gauge slug and a Mossberg 308.

    Don’t forget the ammo.

    Lots and lots of ammo.

    • C Bonnett s,

      I have the M&P 9 Full size and Shield for carry

      My oldest boy has the Shield and I find the grip to be too skinny and hard to grip; but, then again, different strokes and if both you and he like it, then it’s the right one for both of you.

  18. Just Brad says:

    I’m a Glock guy, have carried a G19 for years at work since we transitioned from wheelguns, gave up my S&W 686 for duty use. I also have the 26(my off duty gun) with a 15 round mag and I carry a (17+2 ) 19 round mag as a spare. My G17 is my nightstand gun with a streamlight light(300 lumens) with a 19 round mag and one chambered for 20… I figure stick with what I know and I’m comfortable with…they aren’t tack drivers but combat accurate and very reliable. I also purchased a simunition slide/barrelforvtge 17 to train with buddies. Pain is a powerful motivator! It all comes down to what you are good with….. and to make some of you cringe….I have no 1911’s!

  19. TPSnodgrass says:

    There are SOOOOO many quality handguns out there now, I get dizzy looking at them all. I graduated from the police academy in December of 1977 as a young rookie. We had our choice of three .357 magnum revolvers OR, when off probation, we could qualify with a 1911 pistol, maybe. Smith and Wesson, Colt or Ruger revolvers in.357 magnum are what we all went to work with, I never felt outgunned with my S&W four inch model 19 on duty and my 2 1/2 inch round butt K frame snubby in .357 for off duty(still have it too). A few years later we “transitioned” to the model 5900 series of Smith and Wesson 9mm pistols. We finally got our Glocks in the late 1980’s, I got my first Glock 19 begrudgingly and am glad I did. I now have three, and my EDC is my G-26 with a G19 mag and grip adapter on the mag, fits MY hand perfectly.
    Use and carry what FITS you, and it will serve you well, MY Buckmark is used almost exclusively by my wife as HER range/plinking pistol. Bought it for a song, added several extra mags and we’ve never looked back.
    If I was starting out looking for an EDC now, I’d be hosed from the plethora of choices available. Of course, my BHP is a favorite too.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      There are SOOOOO many quality handguns out there now, I get dizzy looking at them all.

      So many guns, to pick from and not enough money to get them all.

      Honestly I got more then I need, but that doesn’t mean a new one doesn’t catch my eye every so often.

      Right now I’m trying to talk my brother out of a 30-round 22 Mag pistol he bought. Supposedly only law enforcement can buy it.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Chuck, if your talking about the keltec 22mag handgun, unless you live in commifornia or another yank state similar. It is perfectly legal to own as is the only other high cap .22mag handgun the grendel which hasnt been in production for well over two decades now.

  20. Well, I’m going to jump in, just ’cause. My top five are simple, and for once, I think everyone will agree: All five guns are guns that go “BANG” each and every time. That’s it. Your guns, your choice.
    Even if they load from the front. Beyond that, whatever floats your boat and gets the job done.

    • axelsteve says:

      A good article about shooting iron. My son left me a smith 9mm when he left for the army.Hate the trigger but that is curable with some stoning or aftermarket trigger. He also left me a ar. No recoil on that thing however it is loud. I agree completly about the buckmark ,it is truly a great gun. I have now experience with the smith and very little with glocks. They will all go bang and that is what counts.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Steve, “even if they load from the front” hahaha, whenever at a class (which I always state, no gun, ammo, religion or politics to be discussed “argued” about in class) someone breaks the rules – I will almost always say. Well, my flintlock…:) and everyone laughs and thats it!

      • Dave from San Antonio says:

        Very good response. You are right…talking firearms/ammo and which is “best” is like talking religion and politics. Feathers tend to get ruffled real quick. For me and mine…we have firearms that fit our hands well and that the recoil is something we can manage well. No names as that is talking “religion and politics”, but all calibers are between .380 and .40…except for a 1911 in .22tcm…which “will” put a hurt on a perp.(and if close enough…will BBQ at the same time) Again, no name, but only one place makes the .22tcm. Also, very easy to control.

      • axelsteve says:

        I will carry a flintlock once I can get a hi cap model.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          I believe two were made, one was carried in combat back in the 1700s Russia I think, may have country wrong – 🙂

        • axelsteve,

          I will carry a flintlock once I can get a hi cap model.

          I never saw one in flint; but, percussion cap models called drillings would have two barrels, and for their time they were high cap. You just need to aim better, LOL.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Good point, they were percussion mostly, i cannot remember the name and will need to resort to google perhaps for the rifles I was thinking of.

            (Get a pepper box!)

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            The Nock gun – used by Britain for a short time…whew thought my memory was gone, so used google 🙁

            Lol – but thats the one, saw one in person, whew, a beast it would be

            • Jesse,
              The Nock gun eh?
              Hadn’t heard of it by that name; but, Google shows me something I have seen in a museum somewhere. The drilling is a multi barreled firearm and I guess technically my savage model 24’s fit the definition. Somehow I think carrying, loading, and firing a 7 barrel muzzleloader would be, well… challenging.

  21. What are your thoughts on the S&W SD9VE in comparison to the Glock 43 or the S&W M&P Pro

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Larry, honestly, if you need to save some bucks are not looking at competing and need a solid SD handgun, get the caniktp9sa – best of both worlds. Or, get the glock 19, honestly it has the best record of any handgun ever- (not to mention, the FBI is switching to them now )

  22. amrwhiskey34 says:

    I have one not mentioned by anyone. I love my EAA witness/CZ-75 clone. It points well and has a low bore axis, giving me less muzzle flip than any 9mm I’ve ever handled.
    It is a double stack and a little thick for my small hands. but I can hit anything I point at. A lot of fun at the range.

  23. Gordon Rottman says:

    It is obvious to most that firearms should be selected based on, besides reliability, robustness, ease of operation, etc, the caliber as well, and not just the terminal effects of bullets. Avoid less commonly available cartridges. For handguns 9mm, .45, and .22 LR are probably the most common with .40 S&W close. Of course .357 Mag is one of the most common revolver calibers and .38 Spl can be chambered in .357 revolvers. Even if you don’t have a .38 a few boxes of ammo are useful since .38 s are so common and they can be used for trading stock. Too, consider what local law enforcement use.


  25. I’ve fired a lot of different hand guns over the years. Some usually the bigger caliber I end up on my ass. For a few years I carried a .357 revolver. It was heavy but I being confident in firing the gun made me feel better. The hubby bought me a Sig Sauer P290 380. A much lighter pistol, semi automatic which scares me a little. Fired a 45 and was holding it wrong and took off the skin on top of my hand. So now getting use to my Sig. It will take me a while to get use to handling it but with practice comes muscle memory.

  26. We all know what I’m going to say, but I’ll repeat myself at the risk of being redundant.

    Guns, rifle and handgun, are like cars: we drive what we like, what we can afford, and what suits our personality. Sometimes we even buy a car we didn’t think we’d like, but end up liking it, or vice-versus.

    When I think of firearms for ‘prepping’, EOWAIKI, ‘surviving anywhere’, eventualities, I think of two weapons (other than a bow and arrow) that I want with me. A rifle and a pistol that shoot the same round. Were I to consider going full-retard (as opposed to just half as I am), and actually believe I’ll be going after zombies and third world machete carrying retards, then perhaps a semi-auto combination would be better choices. Like an M-16 style rifle and Glock/Baretta/XD/etc pistol. But since I don’t see me doing that, my requirements are a .357/.38 (not a .38, but a .357 in which I shoot .38s) rifle and revolver, though I’d surely love a Coonan .357 (1911 style).

    As it is, however, being similar to some who’ve already commented, my age handicaps are becoming serious enough that I will be retiring my XD and S&W semis very soon and go back to a .357 revolver. And it will be a Ruger, as my others are. Well, there is also a Dan Wesson in my collection, and once upon a time a Colt, but those are other stories.

    YMMV with attitude and perceived needs.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I love my 357 Mag Dan Wesson, I have a 2-inch (brutal to shoot), 4-inch, 6-inch and a 12-inch barrel for it.

      I agree a handgun / rifle combo that uses the same round is a good choice. I have a Marlin 357 Mag rifle to go with my 357 Mag handguns. Hard to go wrong with a good set of combo guns…

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      JSW, I tend to view the typical human as a “zombie” especially after watching how they act every black friday…;)

    • JSW,

      A rifle and a pistol that shoot the same round.

      I have some of the same age related issues and agree, and thus my Ruger P89DC/P95PR and CZ Scorpion EVO 3 Carbine, all in 9mm. I can hit what I point at with any of them and the carbine is enough of a rifle for some amount of distant defense, especially since my AR’s, M1A, and Remington 700P were getting too heavy to manage well in the field and shoot way past my vision, even with a scope.

  27. Richard Chambers says:


    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Richard, (caps is fun yes?)

      Personally, the best firearm is a 20mm vulcan on a bicycle cart…:)

      • Hey Jesse, how about that 30mm cannon from the Warthog? IMO, either one would definitely be hard to carry concealed! And the weight of the ammo surpasses my ability for carry! 🙂

    • Richard,
      You either meant to be yelling or else your caps lock is stuck, and if you’re going to yell, you might also check your SPELLing.

  28. IMHO besides the Ruger 22 I would suggest more revolvers as they won’t jam as you can get a revolver in cals. from .22 to large calibers such as .44 .45lc .50 and even larger cals. get speed loaders for your 6 gun but at least it wont jam as well as black powder rifles and pistols I had a black powder rifle and pistol and the were very accurate just my humble opinion

    • nanner,
      Never had any of the handguns I mention “jam” (besides a couple of miss-fires with the .22s due to the ammo). Round for round the Glocks will be working after the revolvers are broken and needing repairs.


      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        This is absolutely correct, I assisted with and completed several torture tests myself. Because I only carried J frames and true blue 1911s till 98′

        I was proven wrong.

        I will carry and use things that are proven to be best or better- and are cost effective-

        (Brand centric is defined as centered on one brand alone, it does not mean one cannot appreciate and or use one brand over another)

      • MD,

        Round for round the Glocks will be working after the revolvers are broken and needing repairs.

        Not sure where you get this stat, since I have fired revolvers more than 60 years old that still work and the Glocks were only introduced in the 1980’s. We still have a long wait to see how true this statement might be.

    • Egads, Nanner! A black powder that doesn’t jam? Must be the first ever for a BP revolver. Even with Pyrodex mine jam up after two cylinders.

      For what it’s worth, after 50 years shooting revolvers and semi-autos, I have to harken back to earlier posts about ‘quality’ firearms and pretty much ‘getting what you pay for’ comments. In competitions, I’ve had revolvers jam due to improper neck tension on the bullet ad I’ve had semis ‘jam’ due to limp wristing or a double feed. All are due to shooter error, so don’t hold that against the weapon.

      As for .22s, if you don’t have a .22 that has jammed a couple dozen times, you’ve haven’t shot it much.

      Guns, like cars and toasters, are machines and therefore, fallible. No way around it, so we shouldn’t hold that short-coming against the poor thing. Glocks, XDs, S&W, Ruger… any brand of modern striker fired handgun, will last a long, long time with no problems. One reason for that is they’re tested to such rigorous standards now that even the God of autos, the original Colt .45, could not have passed the tests.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        JSW, I have found with well built, open or semi open bolt design .22lr and cleaning every 200-300 rounds plus eley/eley primed or cci –

        Yep, you will get a misfeed, double feed, and ocassional misfire with .22lr- (misfires can be reduced to less than a percent with eley or eley primed or cci ammunition)

        Regardless, .22lr in fact all rimfire ammunition is by design dirtier than most but not all centerfire ammunitions.

  29. So what I’m seeing here from all the comments on this thread is… whatever gun you can handle with ease, hit your target, and conceal and carry is a good gun. I have been so confused because people I have talked to in person, have said that I should get something better than my 38 snub nosed. I haven’t seen a problem with my gun. I love it, I have no problem shooting it. I do wish it was a hair lighter and maybe held a few more rounds but if it has the stopping power as good as most handhelds, then I’m not going to worry. Thank you everyone!

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Edith, if you are comfortable with and accurate with your handgun…I wouldnt change, my suggestion was based on your original question.

      Additionally, I have seen numerous people shoot 100 yard shots with snubbys 😉 and am aware of one person who shot over 500 yards upside down with one.
      (Miculek revolver shot/youtube)

      Yes, he really did it 🙂

      The reality is simple if your firearm works 99% of the time (eg is reliable) and the ammunition selected is good solid preforming ammunition and you are accurate and comfortable with it…good!

    • Edith,

      I do wish it was a hair lighter and maybe held a few more rounds

      Smith and Wesson makes a J-Frame Airweight® revolver that is significantly less weight; but, it still only holds 5 rounds. Additionally, the lighter firearm will exhibit a bit more recoil because of its smaller mass. For additional capacity, get a few speed loaders and practice, practice, practice.

  30. Glock 19 x 4
    Smith 442 for carry x2
    Mossberg 500 in 20ga x2
    AR-15’sx 4

  31. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Folks, all,

    I dont like ruger, s&w for multiple reasons, chief being their support of anti second amendment legislation, regardless reasons.

    However, this being said, the sw shield and the ruger sr22 and lc series have stellar reports..

    Here is an amazing deal if you need to add to or start your prepping /firearms approach…

    Palmetto State Armory builds very solid firearms.


    Enjoy 🙂

  32. I agree.EDITH darn caps I feel very safe with mine.

  33. Personally I’m not a fan of striker fired hand guns. So I will not have a Glock, for a prepper though it has to get high marks simply because it’s ubiquitous. They’re everywhere. My own choices were made back in the 70’s so some of what made my list are no longer available. A High Standard Model GB 4.5″ barrel and 7″ barrel. The Buckmark is a close as you can get in a current production. Next is a .357 revolver to go with the levergun. Back then I went with a Rossi to get stainless. They’ve changed hands a fee times since but then the quality was there. A Puma model 92 and a 971VRC 4″ the long gun revolver same ammo is so logical, it has to make any top ten list. The next is a .22 WMR NAA revolver with a LaserLyte and a .22LR cylinder goes back to common ammo in your stash and the hand gun long gun commonality. Now I’m going say a gun that most won’t think of at first but the 1857 Remington New Army is a proven gun of long pedigree made by many in modern steel sold by numerous dealers. Available in 5″, 7″, and 12″ barrels spare cylinders in black powder configuration cheap and plentiful. What gets this gun on my prepper list is the .45 ACP and .45 LC conversion cylinders A gun that can run off of three different ammo streams is handy .443 round ball, .45ACP and .45 Long Colt are all rounds that will founder a horse so knock down power is assured. The last on my list is a Howdah double barreled 20 gauge pistol with a buck and ball load. With a 209 shotgun primer conversion it gets reliable ignition with literally stopping power to handle a tiger. Black powder isn’t for everyone but those that understand it and can mill their own never need worry about ammo shortages.

  34. MD,
    Although I like Glocks and have fired various versions, one needs to be extra careful when carrying one, since they have some of if not the most AD’s (Accidental Discharges) of all the handgun incidents I know of. They have no safety and often I hear people tell me that the safety is built in to the little trigger detent that must be engaged prior to firing, and this is the reason IMHO for all of the AD’s. I know of several incidents where someone holstered their firearm without paying attengin and realizing that some object, from a piece of leather on their rig or a twig, has gotten into the trigger guard, and when they seated the firearm, or discharged, sometimes with no damage; but, other times into the owners thigh or foot.
    I personally prefer a semi auto that has full controls including a hammer, safety, and perhaps a decocker. I carry either my Bersa .380 or one of two Ruger in 9mm, the P89DC or the P95PR; but do on occasion carry a small S&W J Frame revolver. In all cases I carry one or more loaded magazines or a speed loader in my EDC.
    I like and have several Ruger Mark II; but, do agree with you about the Browning Buckmark, all of which seem to be a tack driver out of the box.
    I also own and like my M&P .22; but, for running trap lines I used to carry a Ruger Single Six that will fire both .22RF and .22 WMR with its interchangeable cylinders.
    Basically IMHO after shooting for nearly 50 years and training folks for more that 25, the best handgun is one that you can afford which includes ammunition with which to practice, one that you can comfortably carry and shoot, and finally one that you are comfortable enough to carry and use with enough regularity to become proficient.
    My problem with the S&W M&P Pro but especially the M&P Shield is that the grip is too skinny for my hand to be comfortable; but, once again, the best gun for anyone is one that fits their hand, budget, and lifestyle, also keeping in mind that like any tool, a single gun will not likely be usable for all tasks, so plan to have more than one.

    • OP–good to know about the Glocks accidental firings. That scares me to death. I carry a Sig 380.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Terra and OP, there are no such thing as accidental firings, there are incidents that in every case can be prevented, lb for lb, my first hand knowledge shows only that those who tend to blame a mechanical device for something often have not looked at the hand that was in or should have been in control of that device.

        (You tube man shoots self in leg) or (dea agent shoots self while teaching class) etc.,

        (1911 and Glock) neither the guns fault both a direct result of the handlers stupidity)

        Just again my two cents.

        • Jesse,
          I guess I agree and the AD should probably have been UD (Unintended Discharge) or ND (Negligent Discharge) and is always the fault of the person handling the gun; but, in the case of the Glock, much care needs to be taken because of the trigger detent safety.

          (You tube man shoots self in leg) or (dea agent shoots self while teaching class), etc.

          I hadn’t seen the YouTube; but, the DEA agent is classic, at least in part because the guy was an arrogant A Hole.
          I do know of two incidents locally with Glocks that occurred due to a piece of leather from the rig getting into the trigger guard.
          My point here, especially for the new shooters was to be aware and very careful and even though that first safety rule deals with muzzle control, sometimes when reholstering you point it at your own body part out of necessity, so be very careful.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            OP, definitely agree, tis why I definitely suggest utilizing kydex/leather or straight kydex, (outside of the holster mold handguns can get 🙂 (minor surface rust) not that glocks are more prone, buttt…

            Always always always clear your return with one hand etc., its training and awareness really, I have had 3-4 SDs (stupid discharges) never anyone hurt, because always had pointed in safe direction, however I can honestly say, always they ocurred as a direct result of my negligent behavior.

            One with a .22lr cricket – thought I had unloaded at range, didnt check, and with these you must squeeze trigger to discharge so you can release bolt (older one)
            One with mossberg 500, again, cleared tube, obviously forgot chamber…durp durp
            One with a 1911, ^^^ negligent on my part
            One with glock-

            And in all I cannot blame the gun, it was my fault every time.

            Additionally have carried the g19 raw (no holster) and or with triggee holsters etc., depending on current wear and or need, I even stick it in my pocket regularly, but again, I pat check and hand check pocket before storing. Long years of carrying, habits formed well, still doesnt absolve my ignorance in the above mentioned SDs,

            I used to say, you can always tell who practices well, as they will also have SD stories. Because all humans get lazy at some point always in things we do a lot of. 🙂

            • Jesse,
              I’ve only ever had one SD many years ago.
              I had been shooting down by our creek with the two boys and we had completed for the day. We collected our gear and I grabbed the Ruger MK2. As we started up the path back to the house I pointed the gun off to the side and down at the dirt to pull the trigger and release the firing pin spring tension when I heard one of the two loudest sounds you ever hear, BANG!!!
              What I mean by loud is something you’ve probably heard before, since the two loudest sounds you’ll ever hear when using a gun are:
              1. Bang when you expected Click
              2. Click when you expected Bang.
              No harm done because of rule number one and muzzle direction; but, still a surprise I remember after these many years.

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                OP, absolutely, they are loudest sounds 🙂 and again, absolutely as long as you are keeping safety rules (I always say there is an easy two to remember – following only one of the two will always ensure you and others live)

                All guns are always loaded…always! (But being human we like to think we know…)

                So the two rules are these,

                Never put your finger on the trigger unless you are pointed downrange (general term OP understands) eg., in a safe non dangerous direction.
                Never point the barrel|muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy. (Simple and direct)

                If you SD #1 but are following number 2 everyone lives, and same for reverse.

                Ive seen lists 15 or 20 long, nra list is 5 or 6 parts. (All good) Having worked with many elderly, disabled and very young persons I had to make it so simple …well you understand.

                And form your habits around always press checking before holstering, always dropping mag and opening bolt before cleaning, etc.,

                • Jesse,
                  NRA has three main rules and a final corollary.
                  1. Always: Point the muzzle in a safe direction
                  2. Always: Keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to shoot
                  3. Always: Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot
                  And the additional:
                  Always: Know your target and what’s beyond.
                  The last one is for a miss or a through & through, since I’ve know of cases where a single shot took 2 deer or a deer and a truck door, etc.
                  The most important word in all of these rules is of course, the first.
                  When I shot IPSC 20+ years ago, #1 was, don’t point the muzzle at anything you do not wish to destroy.

                  • And yea, #1 does take a little bit of explanation, since the range or in your living room, kitchen, etc. it has a quite different meaning, which we give as:
                    If the gun were to accidentally discharge, the direction that would cause the least harm to living things or property.
                    It means that the user needs to think about his situation, i.e., Situational Awareness that we should all use all of the time.

  35. JP in MT says:

    I just had a thought….Glock needs a G44, a 22 LR caliber in the smaller size!

  36. I’m always late to post. Just too much going on outside away from this computer for me to keep up.
    Good article and I like the list of handguns.
    I wish I had a Browning Buckmark, but my Ruger mk-II will have to do, even if the field stripping manual reads like a physics book.
    Glock is such a good working firearm and I’ve added a few to my safe.
    My DW can shoot, field-strip & clean her own Glock-19 (Gen-4) and I’m happy shooting my old Glock-19 (Gen-2) any day of the week.
    She also has a 3-inch barrel Ruger SP-101 & speed loader handy while I’m at work, even if she’s playing in her Foo-Foo flower beds outside.
    More than once I’ve went outside at night to check on our garage, shed and metal building with a Glock-21 & laser/light attached to the rail.
    I work in a very high risk business for shootings and robbery.
    My little Glock-27 goes everyday with me and a full G-22 mag is my reload. and that’s if I don’t pull out the 18-in barrel Mossberg-500 HD shotgun stoked with OO-buckshot first.

    Gosh, I look at most of my firearms as tools.

  37. Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

    Well MD , I certainly agree with the Buckmark but do not own one . The other 4 I would not own . I still shout from the roof tops on behalf of the COLT .38 SUPER USING COR BON HIGH VELOCITY HOLLOW POINTS . Same knock down power of a .45 yet almost no kick to it . Great for small framed folks like myself . The Army tortured me having to shoot the . 45 and qualify . Yet it was the Colt .38 Super that so many officers had and used . Always the officers getting the good stuff . …………. WAAAAAY ABOVE is a women who wanted a recommend on a small revolver . I can think of a few in .38 Special on the Guns Int. site or the other one . No real kick , ammo is cheaper unless hollow point . 4 inch nice conceal or 6 inch barrel . Both have stood the test of time but are not cool now . Therefore a great bargain . The 1911 model in . 38 Super is my recommendation . The Kimber brand is ok ( built to exact Colt specs ) but the safety on the grip is just one more thing to break down the road . Older Colt’s without the cockamaimy extra safety crap are the way to go . A bit pricey at times but better .

  38. Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

    …….. PS ……… if money is a concern ……. having just one handgun in the same caliber as network members makes more sense than having 2 or 3 different pistol sizes that others do not have . For many of us in this network my go to is . 357 and it works just fine in both pistols and the rifle .

  39. Jesse, I have to give you credit for a controversial topic! Few things provoke more discussion or argument than this one! We all have our favorite choices among all categories of weapons. I agree with the points you make, but doubt if I will exchange my Ruger Mark II for the Buckmark. It has been a friend for over 50 years. The first time I fired it, I was on a beach road in the middle of the Aleutian Islands. I selected a duck from a little raft on the Arctic Ocean, pulled down on it and killed it. 30 yard shot and the swells were running about 3 – 4 feet. I agree with you that the important thing is to have weapons you like, are comfortable with and are effective for the purpose.

  40. Patriot Farmer says:

    Love the list MD. All the guns you list are very good, reliable and I have no problem with any of them since I have owned or shot every one of them (except the M&P 22). I would have added a 357 S&W 686 but that is just my preference.

  41. my four sons says:

    While I can not argue with any choices you listed, I love the glock 19 it is also my first choice for a medium sized pistol. I actually use a Heritage single six with 22 and 22mag cylinders for my primary .22 caliber I like the fact that .22 dispatches all the fauna you want and the Magnums are better defensive round. I personally think a Government Model .45 is an awesome addition to any Pistol set Durable, accurate and hits like a sledge hammer. Also a revolver in 4-6 inch that shoots 38/357 just for ammo flexability. Of course these are just my opinions I think the best 3 pistols in your prepper arsenal are whatever 3 pistols you can afford to put in it!

  42. oldhomesteader says:

    my thoughts based on experience ,,,,,first off I have taken hits three times first time 9mm point blank in butt out sholder,second time 765×39 in leg,,third time 357 point blank in chest /second chance level2 ,.. The first 2 DID NOT take me out of the fight ,,number 3 damm near killed me even with the vest,,,,that said ….I carry a 1911 or a ruger LC9 pro or a model 19 s-w. or KAHR. CW45 ,, I don’t believe the crock that a glock always works ,, I have packed since my days in the SEALs 1963. -1969 – contractor 1969-1976- USMS 1977-1983. Makes me smile to see and hear the opinion of folks that haven’t been there ,,, just saying,,

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Oldhomesteader, ball ammo hits different this I know, been shot myself though never active duty. Isnt fun regardless, 🙂

  43. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Hey folks, if you like M&P handguns…here is a great deal!


    I try to keep track of good pricing and buy low- 🙂

  44. Hummingbird says:

    This is a great topic and discussion.
    My Glock 19 is my new favorite. I got the gen 4 so the mag release could be moved to the right side. I also got the modified slide stop because it’s easier for me to hit. The trigicon sights are nice too. I don’t have really strong hands and the Glock is easier to field strip than some of the Rugers. I still like to shoot the Rugers though, P95 and P89DC. They take the same magazine and that’s a plus for me.

    • Hummingbird,

      I still like to shoot the Rugers though, P95 and P89DC. They take the same magazine and that’s a plus for me.

      I have the P89DC and the P95PR and also like the magazine interchangeability; but, I’m having a bit of trouble finding a decent holster to carry either of them. I prefer a paddle holster and was wondering if you have any suggestions.

      • Hummingbird says:

        I haven’t looked for holsters for them yet, but will eventually. DH was right handed, so the holsters here are for same. At this point in time I put them in the “Ruger” bag and head for the back pasture pistol range I set up. Will post if I come across a holster that works for me.

  45. For me:
    Taurus 9-shot snubbie in .22lr
    Rossi 4″ barrel .38 special
    Rossi .357 magnum snubbie
    Charter Arms 6 shot .22 wmr snubbie
    Beretta .380 PICO

    Love the wheel gun.

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