Which Handgun Manufacturer is Best?

Reader Discussion Time.

What is the best handgun for self-defense?

OK – before we start World War III with this discussion, let me set a few ground rules.

1. Be constructive – while simple responses of ‘Glock is best’ or ‘I like Smith &Wesson’ might be easy – tell us WHY you like a particular manufacturer and handgun.

2. Respect each other’s opinions – there’s no right or wrong answer here – different attributes of the different manufacturers and handguns will appeal to different people. Argue your case strongly if you like – but let others hold their own opinions also and keep it civil.

3. Give examples – tell us more about the handgun you’re talking about if you’d like. The more information and the more specific it is – the more we’ll all learn.

Feel free to have fun with this discussion – I’m sure it’ll cause some debate. My hope is that through it that those on hunt for a new handgun will learn a thing or two and go into their purchase more informed.

So which handgun and manufacturer do you like best?

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. I carry a Glock 23 in .357 Sig. With a simple barrel swap, I can go back to the original .40 S & W. I have several other handguns but this seems to be the best combination of size, reliability and firepower for me. I don’t believe there is one ‘ best’ but that it depends on a variety of factors. I read where the Texas and Virginia state police have been using the .357 SIG round for a while and are impressed with its stopping power, particularly against attacking pit bulls. Confidence in your weapon is a fundamental principle of self defense.

    • How do you like the 357 sig round. Do you have problems getting it

    • what barrel did you use for the 357 Sig

      • Lone Wolf sold me the dasan for about $100. Drop in and go. I love the round because it presents no logistical issues. Same mags, holster, etc. Seems to hit steel plate with a bit more oomph than the .40, which is a great round. When the SHTF, I know it’ll be hard to come by so I’d resume carrying my SIG 226 in 9mm. Logistics, logistics, logistics.

    • Is the 357 sig that funny looking bottle necked round?

    • I carried a Sig 226 and 239 at work and off duty for years. I still have the 239 and love it and the .357 Sig round. I like your choice of a Glock 23 and the barrel swap concept. Lone Wolf makes a drop in 9mm barrel that works well in the 23 also. Now that I am retired I carry a 9mm Glock 26. I love this gun it is a smaller gun but in my estimation handles much like a full size handgun. All the Glocks I’ve carried have performed well and are the gun I would pick to start someone out on shooting.

  2. I’ve always been a Ruger man. They always go bang, even with the nastiest of ammo. Also the price is key for me, I can always pick a Ruger SR up for $75 – $125 cheaper than the others I would put on the list in the polymer world; Smith, Glock, Springfield, Sig. I know that most of those hand guns are slightly more accurate, but with all intensive purposes for myself their more than adequate. I can only afford to put 50-75 down range every three week ends, that being with hand guns.

  3. Jay in Kansas says:

    I absolutely have to go with Glock. They aren’t pretty, and you’re never going to win a beauty contest with them, but they are fighting weapons. Used, abused, dropped, run over, buried, doesn’t matter. These are a warriors tools. Nothing in my experience has been more reliable. Plus, they are highly customizable. Spend a lot of time out in evenings or night? Tritium sites. Aim not what it used to be? a Laser grip. You name it, they have it for Glock. From extended slide releases to magazine extensions. Speaking of magazine extension, have you seen the 33 round magazine for the 17/19 model? Yeah, me too. Beyond it all though, honestly, I love Glock because the first time I picked one up, it just felt perfect in my hand. That’s the most important thing (to me).

    • I love my Glocks, I have a 17 and a 22. I have 9 33rnd. Mags for it and a mag pouch that holds 8 mags. I call it an assault pack. Lol

  4. Thomas The Tinker says:

    😉 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Just sitting up there in the hills MD, I bet you can actually hear the rumble of the conversation this stirs up. I loves it! This deserves a big fire ring, munchees.. ribs.. chili and a full beer cooler…………

    “Ruglock” IMHO…. these Manufacturers produce the most functional.. ugly.. beasty.. robust.. non-sexy.. drop in the gravel.. soak in the mud.. working handcannons.

    So much for emotional opinion.

    I base my opinion only on a few decades of use and many a thou$and in ‘research’ expense.

    I can only respect and enjoy the fit and finish of a Browning, Berretta, Waffen F. Mauser, FN, Colt autos (other than 1911s). These are surgical grade weapons. Meaning if .. you .. do not fit the hardware it will slice the back of your hand or ‘dimple’ your thumb or first index figure without regard for the way human blood pits it’s finely blued finish. I own all of em but the FN I gave … a distant relative … My self defense autos are all ‘Glock’. Ugly, basic, no buttons or levers other than slide stop/release and mag release. Cleaning….. I don’t… but once a season. Finish… I have bled on mine…. no bluing… no pitting… Gunsmithing with simple tools and widgets and youtube re-runs.

    I .. fit .. Glock autos. I have evolved to a Glock 42 … yepper a 380 mod. 42 … as a daily carry. I’m a larger fella and my hands completely wrap a mod. 42. It is completely controllable in my paws.

    Own(ed).. carried.. trained with some.. Colt, S&W, Ruger-gar ( I never keep the second vowel straight), a German model that I don’t know how to spell, Italian, ‘South American’, Russian, British revolvers… did I say I love wheel guns?

    I .. fit .. Ruger. I keep an SP101 as a working gun and have evolved to an LCR for self defense carry.

    I will always be a ‘wheel gun’ fan. IMHO.. the wheel gun will fail you the least… if ever. An auto .. will .. fail to feed, eject, fire no matter the cost or quality.

    IMHO… Glock Autos … Ruger Wheelguns.

    • I am with you. I learned to shoot handguns with a revolver. Not as many rounds as an semiauto loader but if a person is good with his/her gun and hits vitals first time you don’t need 15 rounds. Not to say semiauto handguns do not have their place. Just like revolvers. Own several along with several semi autos too

      • give me a smith any day. I had a 617 with a 8.25 barrel with target sights and trigger. I would love to have a smith 357 mag. I would also like a 1911 maybe a springfield model.
        That is a family tradition thing my grandpa carried a 45 in ww1,probably a 1911 I can`t say for sure. It was a 45 for sure though.

    • Jay in Kansas says:

      Mind if I pull up a chair to your fire pit here? I got me a 12 pack of Yeungling my sister brought me from back east. Don’t mind if I do
      Funny as this may seem, sitting in the console of my truck right now is a tiger P95. It’s big, heavy and ugly, and it’s the only Ruger I’ve ever owned. Her name is Samantha. Samantha don’t feel too good in my hand, and I don’t care much for her sites. But I have her in the truck. Not my carry weapon (that’s the G19), but I AM confident she will go bang if I pull the trigger. And if the truck ever gets broken into, well, I ain’t gonna shed too many tears over ole Samantha skipping town on me. I got prettier ladies around the house, but there always seems to be a place for the Samantha’s in the world…..

    • I couldn’t agree more TT. I own / carry a Glock 23 – .40 S&W and own several other models. I also enjoy my Ruger GP100 in .357 Mag. Both very reliable and accurate. Love them.

    • TPSnodgrass says:

      You had me at munches, ribs, Cheetos et al.

  5. I think first you need to separate autos from revolvers. I a revolver I take Rugar hands down over everything else. I live in the mountains and running into bears while out hiking is a distinct possibility. I carry a Ruger Blackhawk in 45 colt and load it with 320 grain Bear Loads that would blow most other guns apart. For the auto I have never felt that a glock “which will be the favorite” fit my hand right.In 9mm I love my Browning high power. In 45acp Its my Smith M&P and in 380 I would have to go with the Walters PPKs

    • Jay in Kansas says:

      Poor man
      Good call on your last section. Much as I love Glock, I’m not the “If you don’t like Glock, you’re an idiot” crowd. If it doesn’t feel right in your hand, it may as well be a lead pencil. Everyone’s different. Personally, I’ve never found a revolver I cared for enough to buy or trade for…

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Poorman… I love my Browniee. I is my first ‘non-issued’ auto. I suppose I never carried it cause I can’t bare the thought of a scratch or holster ware. It is.. the high Queen of my safe. In 45acp .. it is my ‘Bowie Tactical’ customdowadiddy Mod. 21 … Glock. Dw and I retired our PK380 due to the mag release and the Euro-safety…. she… wants a lil-SigSaur… it fits her well, though she likes the ‘fit’ of the G42, the ‘springs’ are a lil to robust for her. When the ‘after market’ has a rear slide plate extension… we’ll both be happy.

    • poorman
      A buddy of mine had a ruger 480 for bear repellent.

    • Poorman
      My best friend growing up has 2 browning hi powers. They were his dads and the have consecutive serial numbers. They were made in the early 60`s and they are works of art compared to how some guns are made these days.

  6. I have owned two Ruger automatics pistols a 9mm and a .22LR, both had problems. Barrel link pin came partially out during firing making disassembly a real pain. The .22 had a rear site that repeatedly would loosen up and slide.

    I highly recommend (steel) Ruger revolver’s on the other hand. Never had a problem with them, they are built very robust and are accurate. I currently own two of different flavor’s.

    Kel-Tec I have never had a problem with their products either but have heard of some. Never seen any first hand.

    1911’s, the standard by which all auto’s are compared. Great gun’s! The only bad I have to say about them is the weight. This is why I no longer own any but carry Glock. Glocks are reliable and accurate.

    S&W, I like these too! I do not own any at this time. Ruger’s, IMO, are better built, stronger, but heavier.

    I do recommend new shooters to shoot as many different types as they can, a gun range that rents, or a companion whose pistols you have fired or like. Does it fit? Feel good? Sight’s line up easy for you? Recoil manageable? Do you shoot A better than B? Ease of concealment? Don’t buy because the guy at a counter has a sale to make for as much of your money as he can get. IMO, it is better to rent and pay for ammo at a range than to buy a handgun and decide it isn’t the one for you later. Been there, done that. Bought a different gun later on.

    Automatic/ Glock
    Revolver/ Ruger

    I’m a shooter, hunter and ex infantry and have shot many,many different types of arms over the years, this is what works for me.

    • Patrick

      I have a Kel-TEC PF-9 that does nothing but function with any type of 9mm load I have ever put thru it. Including my hand loads. Very light and slim profile. I slip it into a pocket easily.

      But I also have a Ruger SR45, great price works really well. Like the slide safety and 11 total rds of .45ACP. Carry that on my dog walks every AM. Also have S&W M&P in 9mm, Walther P99AS in 9mm, S&W M&P Compact in .40SW, Taurus 709 Slim 9mm, Taurus Tracker in .44 mag and finally a modified Colt series 70 .45 auto. All of them are very nice, hard to pick a favorite. Don’t have a Glock, but I think in the next year I will pick one up, probably in .40SW.

      One thing I would point out, just make sure whatever you carry that it functions with the load you have in it. The M&P and Walther had several FTF and FTE when I first had them. Took about 50 rounds to smooth them out, and a thorough cleaning.

  7. i don’t like glock, but they are the best on the basis that they are tops in reliability and reactive to customers’ needs. the models 43 and 42 are prime examples. working with a gunsmith you find out who has quality control and who lacks it.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      My now retired gunsmith and I once stood at his showcase and discussed all this… and he said something to the tune of. “… when you open your safe, you pet and wipe down the Brownies and the Smiths and lay em back down… but when you want a tool … you take out the Glock..”

      • TPSnodgrass says:

        OK, I’ll take the plunge. I started out in law enforcement and the USAF Security Police and were issued S&W model 15 four inch revolvers. When I graduated my police academy in 1976, my agency gave me a choice of purchasing either Smith &Wesson, Ruger, or a Colt in .357 magnum only. I went with a fr inch model 19 and never felt under gunned. We transitioned to S&W model 59 autos in 1978. And while I liked those, I never felt under gunned with the ammo we carried. So, now, eons later, I grudgingly came to the Glock party late. My daily carry is my trusty Glock 26, with Glock mags and grip adapters on each mag. Works extremely well for me and conceals very well. No one has ever tumbled to me carrying any handgun of any size yet.
        I love my Browning BHP, my Springfield 1911 .45 pistols, and covet my wife’s Beretta 84F .380, which is as cute as she still is.
        There are FAR too many firearms out there now for me to have a favorite, I simply adore them all.(the one exception being Taurus revolvers, I personally have had extremely bad fortune with the two I owned, and will not go back. ) So, I enjoy reading all the comments, good for all of us for having such great taste!!

        • Tape

          Curious as to which Taurus revolver gave you grief? I have a Tracker, 4 inch in .44 mag and it has handled some might hefty hand loads and never given me one hint of issue.

      • A guy who owned the lgs said if it has teeth and claws I recommend a 45 auto or bigger. I always agreed with that.

  8. I really like CZs. My first one was a CZ75 in the late 80s. Similar in feel to a 1911, extremely reliable (put 1000s of rounds through that gun before I had a mis-feed). Deadly accurate and industructable. Carried by police and military all over Europe for good reason. Have a CZ P07 Duty in 9mm now that is my primary carry. Just feels right. Biggest downside as already mentioned is lack of accessories.

  9. I carry a Sig P238. Great size for my small hands and easy for me to clean. Never had it misfire on me. I will admit, I prefer shooting my husband’s Desert Eagle 1911. Perfect trigger pull. Just saying.

  10. I have bought A LOT of handguns over the years.

    I like the Glock for it’s simplicity and reliability, but the grip is a bit too big; so I use the full size but not the compacts. Accessories, including 22 LR conversion kits, are plentiful,

    My DW loves the Berretta 92, even though she has small hands.

    I like a Ruger for EDC; a SR9C (9mm) or an LCP (380); reliable and less expensive (except for the magazines!).

    In 45 ACP I really like a 1911 Kimber, especially the newer round-butt version. It fits me like a well broken in leather glove and is extremely reliable and accurate.

    In a revolver I’m partial to S&W. Their 327 TRR-8 handles my “rifle loads” (180 gr) with little to no “excessive” recoil, making it a great companion for my 16″ Trapper rifle. The Model 69 is on my list, a 44 Magnum I’ll shoot with 44 Specials; the L frame 5 shot just feels good and I shoot it rapidly and well – good for the woods up here.

    In 22 LR my preference is the Browning Buckmark. 1/8″ Allen wrench takes the barrel off for cleaning, something the Browning needs every 3-5000 rounds. Personally I have never experienced a miss fire or failure to feed and I’ve used a lot of different ammunition, including some that have jammed other 22’s. Magazines can be had for under $20 and it has been around for years in various formats so holsters are readily available.

    All of the guns that I can have had their sights changed to Tru-Glo Tritium Fiber Optic (TFO). IMO the best day/night sights on the market.

    Don’t forget to include the price of gear in your selection. Factory Glock and Beretta magazines can be had for under $20, regularly or commonly on sale. Although I like the smaller grip diameter of the Ruger in 9mm/40 and 45 ACP the price of magazines at $35 each keeps them down my list due to cost. I tend to shoot revolvers better than semi-autos but reloading them quickly takes more time to learn correctly than most people are willing to put in (although my TRR-8 can also use full-moon clip, facilitating a much quicker reload).

    It’s important to buy a gun you like to shoot. If it’s fun, you’ll use it more and be better with it. Muscle memory is what we will all need if it comes time to defend yourself and/or others with it.

  11. Patriot Farmer says:

    Wow this post should elicit a great degree of disagreement on what is the best, but he is my two cents. I’ve owned Sigs and sold them. They are too touchy with ammo and tend to jam. I owned Glocks and always felt the guns frame was not durable. I’ve owned Ruger revolvers and literally hated the triggers. I’ve owned and sold at least 20 different revolvers and pistols over the years and the ones I’ve settled on are the Smith&Wesson 686, Colt 1911 Night Defender, Ruger MkII 22 and the Ruger LC9. The Smith and the Colt have superb triggers and are very accurate. The MKII is accurate and always shoots no matter how bad I treat it. The LC9 is light compact, easy to carry and is easy to shoot.

  12. I’ve been leaning to Springfield XD series. The M series and S single stack 9mm have been reliable and accurate for me. Recoil and muzzle lift are minimum. The 45 version had too much muzzle lift for my taste. I chose this cause since wife is a lefty, these have both left & right mag release. I like the glocks and S&W’s, they shoot very well. My Colt 1911 officers acp fits nice in my hand and for a 45 has very manageable recoil and muzzle lift. For revolvers I would like to try a Rhino .357. They fire off the bottom cylinder so the recoil is more inline with your grip. Says to be better for muzzle flip, but will see when I get one.

  13. I read the question/discussion topic and thought, WOW….I think about this subject at least once a week. First off let me say I have small hands for a male and my trigger finger will not allow me to easily pull the trigger on big guns. I have a Glock 19 and it shoots very well, I have had various .38 5 shot revolvers, (Charter and Taurus seem to have the best trigger pull), and that is my usual carry. I have a Ruger Security 6 .357 with a 4 inch barrel my wife bought me in 1979 that s the most accurate pistol I have ever shot. I have owned and shot many brands in my life….BUT if the world ever does go to hell, I will pick my Colt 1911 over any other. Yes I know there are those who will strongly condemn my choice but here is the facts. The .45 cal. has proven to be a winner at stopping bad things that go bump in the night. It is so very reliable….. In 40 years with shooting 3-500 rounds minimum every year…I have never had a single failure….NOT ONE !!! But the real reason is it fits my hand perfectly and I TRUST it. Besides if worse came to worst…..I can beat you to death with it!
    Last word…….I do not care what gun or caliber you choose as long as you can shoot it well, hit what you aim at and TRUST your weapon to go bang everytime.

  14. For a “best” SHTF gun, I depend on a revolver. I have several in different calibers, but probably the “go to” gun is either a .357 or a .44 mag – which can shoot .44 special.
    I like semi-autos but they are less reliable overall than a good double action revolver.
    As far as manufacturer, Ruger gets my vote. I toured the factory in Arizona a few years ago an noticed how small the service area was for revolvers. I was told “they just don’t come back very often”. I’ve been shooting Ruger revolvers for a few decades and have never experienced a problem. Just what you want when you’re on your own!

    • Hey Jim, 357 or 44 are good calibers, definitely a man stopper. You can also shoot 38 out of the 357 that gives you 4 calibers.. My wife loves her 357 but it is a German make, never heard of it till I met her. She also has a 38 and I have it loaded with the first 2 rnds. being 000 buck, that is 2 pellets of 000 buck a great defensive end. at close range.

  15. Here’s another Gary with a glock 19 and I kove it and shoot quite well with it. However, I’ve never owned another main handgun to compare so I guess thst’s my thing. I like the one I own and can use.

    We also have a rem. 870 20g, ruger lcr p38 and a buckmark 22. They are my favorites too.

  16. I have 2 opinions on this one for every day carry a Glock 17 or 22. If in the woods SW 629 stainless. Reasons for that is obvious, the 44mag can take large game up to a black bear but would not want to run into a grizzly. For SHTF , I would choose either the g17 or g22. You can have different caliber conversion that are easy for Glocks. 9mm ,22cal, 40cal,357sig all on the g22. While the g17 is in my bugout bag due to it has one of the most popular calibers the 9mm as well as high capacity mags, standard 17 rnds. And 33rnds.

  17. Barton Ford says:

    I go back and forth on this question depending of the situation and the criteria someone sets (“if you could only have one gun…”). If you want reliability at a reasonable price, I go with Glock and Ruger. I have handguns from other manufactures, but what I’m shooting now most often are my Glock 17 and 26 with my Ruger SP101 close at hand.

    • Good choice, the g 17 is a great weapon I have shot 1/2 inch groups at 30 yards. Is the sp101 in 9mm too?

  18. WOW, talk about lobbing a skunk through the door. This question to use up all of your available space on the server. For most every person I have ever talked to, which gun is a personal thing. Which shoots best, fits best, feels best. Most of my police friends carry Glocks and love them. I never could get used to the feel. Now, from my point of view/experience. I am basically a wheel gunner, although I do have a Colt Officers Model 45 that I carried for awhile and like. I carried a S&W Model 15 38 special for most of my 9 years in the Air Force. I carried a S&W Model 19 357 mag for 10 years in police and security. When I graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in 1983, you had to use a 6 shot revolver. No autos allowed. For most of my next 23 years as a defense contractor, I carried a S&W Model 19 with a S&W model 36 as backup, although I did carry the Colt for awhile. I currently carry a S&W model 60 and my wife carried my old model 36. While I have owned and briefly carried other guns, these revolvers have been my mainstay. I have never had a S&W revolver fail me. I can’t say that about any auto I have ever owned or carried. The other big thing I like is no matter where in this country or any place else in the world I have traveled, I have been able to find 38 special ammo of some sort. Today, I carry 357 mags in my model 60, but all of my spare ammo is 38 special +P so I can share with my wife if need be. My suggestion is to try a lot and find the one that feels like an extension of your body. Then, shoot the hell out of it until you know it like your own hands. I can pick up my S&W straight out of a sound sleep and it is automatically positioned at the ready. Good luck.

  19. It depends on the handgun. Single actions – Ruger. These are what I hunt with.

    Double action revolvers – Old Smith and Wesson’s, N-frames in particular. (heavy emphasis on old, the new ones aren’t as smooth)

    Semi-autos – my personal 1911a1 is the best for me, but I’ve been shooting it since I was 6. I don’t like plastic or striker fired. I want an exposed hammer and I want all steel. Lol..and I could care less what the herd likes or what’s popular. But just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean I’m not familiar with, can’t use or fix anything that comes to hand.

  20. Owl Creek Observer says:

    My carry gun most of the time is the Ruger LC9. It’s small and light enough to comfortably carry and would be enough to handle any situation I’d be likely to encounter.
    But my favorite, and the one I keep in my nightstand, is my old Glock model 30 in .45 caliber. No muss, no fuss, easy to clean, fits my hand like a glove and if I ever have to reach for it as I’m coming out of a sound sleep, I don’t have to think about anything but pulling the trigger.

  21. I like the one I have in my hand at the time I need it because, that’s the one I have at the time….
    I carry an M&P .40 for work, (which is the only .40 I have), but carried both a 1911 and an M9 for 26 years combined, but actually shoot best with a Glock, which I don’t own. But if I only had one handgun, I would have to go to a .357 / 38spl of which I own 4 plus a couple more plain’ol 38spl’s

  22. I have been a 1911 fan for years since before I was in the service. My Pops was a Jarhead during Korea and I am a Viet-Nam era vet. I’ve had Remington Rand 45 ACP to Federal Ordinance and now a Springfield Ultra Compact, my fav…
    However, I bought a Springfield XD in .40 cal, now my favorite to shoot, Glock style trigger, Sig rail and very accurate, easy to shoot, easy to field strip and clean…can’t be beat for me…like it better than my son in laws Glock 23…Just sayin’…
    For a wheel gun, I would like to aquire a S&W or Ruger in 357 Mag for hunting perps with a 7″ barrel..

  23. Higherview says:

    When it comes to current production semi-autos you can’t go wrong with a Glock, Springfield, Kahr, Smith and Wesson, EAA, Kel-Tec and current Ruger. Obviously there are others – some good / some not so good, I just said you can’t go wrong with these. With wheel guns you can’t go wrong with Ruger, Smith and Wesson, Taurus and current Charter Arms.

  24. Hmmmm, ford, chevy, Maybe Junky old Dodge.

    • W X NW:

      So what do you drive?

      That was the question, or rather what do you choose to shoot and why. The intended purpose, I believe, was to help others make their choices.

      • I have never felt the need for a hand gun, Don’t really know why, for home defense for yrs I just kept my old 30 30 Winchester loaded and behind the front door. I do realize thou we are starting to live in a very different world, lots of people my age 66 are starting to attend cc class, maybe I will someday but what I do is try to be aware of my surroundings and yes there have been times I’ve told dw let’s get out of here.

      • I am a dodge man my other screen name is snhemi.

    • Hey, easy on the dodge, I have a 4×4 and the back seat is cool. You can put a rifle in the folding seat. Unlike the old gun racks nobody knows its there. I also have a Chevy!!!

  25. I believe the best pistol is any quality version of the 1911! Tried and true and virtually indestructible. With that said I feel the best brand is Glock I carry a Glock 17 and it is acurate reliable and easy to carry. My wife shoots it even better than I do. Hi capacity and Gen 3 on up has the accessories rail. Simple point and click I could teach my 9 year old how to safly and accurate fire this weapon.

    • Hvaczach, you had better teach that 9 year old how to shoot sooner rather then later.

      I take a different approach then seemingly everyone else.
      I have used several hand guns in the past, really liked the Glock. However, Not having a lot of money to spend on weapons and wanting to keep my ammo as standardized as possible were two factors I took into consideration when time came to buy a hand gun. I’d rather have a $300 gun and $1000 in ammo then vice a versa.
      I bought a S&W Sigma in 40 cal. Inexpensive, simple, dependable, and out of the box shoots a little high and a little left. So I adjust to it. While I have never shot a nice, close, 3 inch group, I can and have made 5 out of 5 head shots at 30 yards. My wife bought another Sigma and it also shot a little high and a little left. We are not interested in competition shooting, just self defense, and that $300 gun will do the job.
      Due to physical limitations, the wife has a problem with the slide mechanism on a semi auto. She can do it, but it’s slow and awkward. So we sold her 40 cal and got her a S&W 38 revolver for her everyday carry. My everyday carry is a Taurus (in 40 S&W of course) . The sights are much more accurate on this one.
      My bottom line is this. I want guns that go bang when I pull the trigger. I want guns that’s easy to maintain and feed. I want to keep things simple and logistically clean. You don’t need a 3 inch group to stop a bad guy.

      • Ron you’d “rather have a $300 gun and $1000 in ammo then vice a versa.” This is real wisdom, not only from a practice standpoint, but we should have all learned something by now about availability, you never know when the ammo you presently hold is the ammo you will have for an indefinite period of time – due to any number and variety of factors. Even if a person plans on doubling up or expanding the arsenal, there is wisdom in getting your basic needs covered and then expanding the ammo supply before expanding the armory.

        • Agree that’s why I really try and standardize as much as possible 9mm, 223, 3006. with that being said I am considering adding some off list calibers just because I won’t buy a rifle that is not equipped with iron sights to me that is stupid, and why rifle companies went that way I won’t ever understand. So with that said if often will limit my options when purchasing hunting rifles for my boys, and 30-30 may come into the fold!

      • I also have a couple taurus 9mm pt111’s 1 is my wifes EDC and when I don’t carry the glock I carry the other. My 9 yr old is very proficiant with his 22 rifle and a 22 mag revolver we have let him him shoot but I don’t want to scare him off big pistols by exposing him too early. Small hands make semi-autos alot to hold on too. But Taurus builds a nice pistol for the money without argument from me, other than the bluing isn’t as durable they shoot and shoot.

  26. Seems like the majority here is choosing Glock!!!

    Am I wrong???

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      12 Glock
      2 SigSaur
      2 Rugar
      1 CZ
      1 XD
      1 Browning
      1 Walther
      3 1911s
      Wheel guns….
      1 S&W
      8 Rugars rugers…?
      the rest did not call a favorite or gave a laundry list of favorites.

      So far………..

    • not me. I have not warmed up to synthetic guns yet. It is fine if you do. Hi cap magazines are not a selling point for me since I live in Komradfornia. Don`t ask why I won`t move from such a largely
      suck a$$ state. It is a wonderful state except the politics.

      • riverrider says:

        axel, me either on synthetics but the question wasn’t favorite or best gun, but best manufacturer. that’s why i say glock, even though i don’t really like them. i do own a g17, got it on a deal too good to pass up. but i don’t carry it nor shoot it often. glock does however put out a good product and morph that product to fit the needs and wants of the consumers and stand behind them. just my thinking anyway. merry Christmas!!!

  27. No love for Berettas? My favorite is my Beretta 92fs. Through thousands of rounds only 1 malfunction, just needed some lube. Ya the safety rides high but it just shoots like a dream, I have actually gotten good groups at 50yards. Carry pistol is a S&W shield, just fits snugly in the hand and hides well. I have tried the Glock Kool-aid but just feels like a brick in the hand. To each their own

  28. Thomas The Tinker says:

    1 Beretta
    add another S&W wheele

  29. Thomas The Tinker says:

    MD….. this has been…… oddly civil.. for a ‘best pick’ thang…

  30. I’ve never had the luxury of choice. My handguns were given to me by my father and I have practiced with them until I know them like they are a part of me. I know what ammo runs through them well and what doesn’t. I know how the triggers pull, how the sights line up, and how to take them apart and clean them like they are my baby.

    To me, the best handguns are the ones I own to defend my family: Springfield 1911, S&W .40, and Uberti .357 mag. I’ve shot some sweet guns, but they aren’t mine, so they are worthless to me.

  31. I bought a Ruger Redhawk stainless 44mag. years ago. That thing would not shoot even a 12 inch group at 25 yards, tried all kinds of ammo, all sandbagged nicely on a bench etc.. So I sent it back to Ruger with a letter explaining the problem. They returned it back with a note that said it was – within specs. Never was happy with the trigger, tried after market spring kit, even brought it to a smith for a “trigger job”.

    Meanwhile they came out with the Redhawk hunter model that is machined for and came with scope rings, so I traded it for a new hunter, this one was not the stainless version.

    Put a scope on it and was quit pleased.

  32. Sean O'Rourke says:

    This has been a very “civil” discussion. Shows you how much we value everyone opinion on this board.
    My fav is a SW 686p with a 4in barrel. Handles great and love being able to cycle 357 and 38 thru her.
    Always been a softie for a great wheel gun..

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      We once had this discussion regarding the ever favorite question of “You only take one”…. seems most reverted to a wheel gun… love my autos.. train a lot… But I’d walk away with my sP101…… and my Marlin pardner carbine.

  33. The best part of your query was when you wrote, “…there’s no right or wrong answer here.” There just isn’t. There is no “best”.

    I own and conceal carry guns from Taurus, Charter Arms, Ruger, Glock, Kimber, and others. Some are wheel guns, some are semi-autos.

    I have no one “best”. I like them all, at different times. That is why I own them all.

  34. Hey all, I’ve been a reader for the last few months and this is my first comment!
    I’m an M&P fan myself, I have the m&p40 and mp40 pro core ported model
    I have shot a few glocks here and there and I have to say I’ll take my MP40 any day. Out of the 5000 or so rounds I’ve had through it I’ve only had one stove pipe. And it fits my hands well unlike the glock.
    I also prefer the stock sights over the glock sights I’ve seen.
    I also like the 40sw over my 9 and 45 only because it does everything I want, still affordable and has a 15+1 capacity.

  35. I left out my reproduction cap and ball revolvers as there are better choices for self defense. While I enjoy both the Colt’s open top versions, I have alot of good to say about the Remington pattern. The .44 can be loaded to original standard .45 acp velocities and could be no slouch in self defense, as I mentioned there are better modern choices. The .36 calibers can be loade to match .38 S&W (not special) with a conical bullet.
    They both will leave a “squishy mark”. I think the primary reason besides ignition/loading that has them truly outdated is advances in medicine. The bullet was likely septic before it made a wound, probing/sounding with an insturment that could be septic didn’t help much either and I have heard that infection killed as many if not more than the bullet’s did.

    Mostly they are viewed as a novelty , but if that’s all I had, or could afford, I would exercise great care in loading, and seal both chamber mouth’s and percussion caps with bee’s wax. Carrying extra preloaded cylinders would speed up reloading as would paper cartridges, however those are somewhat fragile in my experience.

  36. Just my personal opinion based on experience; Ruger – revolvers, Colt – semi-autos and revolvers, Beretta – small carry semi, PPK & PPKS .380 and Mossberg rifle and Winchester 1897 riot gun.

  37. My EDC is CZ P-07 Gen 2, this pistol for me is simply great,
    I have fired hundreds of rounds including mixed mags and it just runs. It comes with ambidextrous dockers and has the option of converting to single action if one desires with the parts supplied in the case. The guns is rounded off with no sharp edges and has excellent three dot metal sights. CZ sells night sights separately if you want them. The omega trigger system is great and has a very positive short reset. Overall I’ve been very pleased and it has s street price of around 540.00

  38. Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

    Older Colts before stupid extra safety built into the grip . And the best caliber is ……….. . 38 Super with Cor Bon High Velocity Hollow Point Ammo . This gives the knock down power of a .45 – in the 875 grain area – up to 30 yards minus the kick , repeat , minus the kick of the .45 . The .45 was standard issue to officers but since not all officers were as big as John Wayne so they started issuing the . 38 super in the 1911 model .

    2nd plug for COLT ……. .357 PYTHON with the 8 inch barrel

    When it comes to more moving parts , more nonsense , then the more that can go wrong with a thing will go wrong . Keep it simple stupid .

    • Colt Python is one of my absolute favs Crazy Joe. None of mine are any newer than 1978.

      • Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

        have owned and shot alot of .357′ s but never owned the Python ……. hopefully when I grow up … Merry Xmas !

  39. Dave in Georgia says:

    Love the 1911 platform both colt and kimber. I EDC a glock 23. Never thought I would own and plastic POS, but I’m a fan and trust my family’s life with one. I hate to have a favorite son …but. I pull my kimber out of the safe and tell him that I still love him the most.

  40. I think we have 2 winners due to 2 different categories.

    1 Glock

    Wheel guns
    1 Ruger

  41. I believe the first question is what type pistol can you shoot the best, revolver or semi? Next question is, what caliber can you shoot well? Me personally, I can shoot a revolver better than semi, but both types I can shoot well. To me, I would pick the Glock 19 as my go to weapon. Only because I could carry more ammo on my person.

  42. I’ve used and carried many a sidearm in the past 48 years I’ve always like the grip on the 1911 but the weight was too much so I went to the opposite end with a KT PF9 but the was too light for fast followup shots. In between the two I carried a S&W 39 which was a great gun but the long trigger pull sucked. I finally got serious and decided to do research and found the Walther PPS for EDC. I’m a lefty so the paddle mag release is quick in either hand. I’ve found that modern 9mm ammo with Lehigh bullets has excellent penetration. With old eyes I’ve switched sights to the excellent XS BigDots which make for quick shots. My EDC holster is a Garrett OWB which is slim, solid, and conceals well. This really works for me.

  43. To ThreePersons says:

    Revolvers always work in the dark.

  44. Newbies should be confused thoroughly by now. I choose many firearms based on the caliber the military is presently using. At present it means 9mm for a handgun. I have the Beretta 92FS because of that. However, my go to pistol is a 1911 that was customized by Clark Guns, located near Shreveport. In a SHTF condition, think about the availability of parts and ammo from military resources.

  45. Alphadog241 says:

    I am torn between my lifelong love of Glock and my new infatuation with the S&W M&P series. If I could only choose one, “go to battle” gun, it would definitely be the Glock. Simple, reliable, accurate, durable, rugged… not sure of any others that fit that description. They are not great for concealment, and yes they are ugly in some peoples eyes, but the Glock fits my needs. Its like buying a vehicle. Do you need an efficient commuter that’s great on gas, or do I need a high performance 0-100 in 3 seconds sports car, or do I need a reliable 4×4 that can climb over anything on the trail. So ask yourself “what do YOU need?”.

  46. Like many, I own many, and have shot many more. It’s best to match you weapon for the job at hand. But, if I had to go out the door with one handgun, it would be my Glock 30 sf. With 4 regular mags of 10 rounds each, I am prepared, this is a 45 ACP by the way. With 4
    Glock 21 mags with grip spacers, your at 52 rds. I’ve placed a beaver tail on mine from Mcgills. So, you can go from very conceald, to full size combat pistol. With a safari land thumb release holster, it is as fine a setup as I could hope to use. Glocks are not for everyone, but, they are unmatched in rugged, accurate, and dependability category’s. The Glock 30 I have found to be as accurate as, the Glock 21. That would be my onetime out the door, forever to use, bar none pistol. By the way, I’ve only been into Glocks for about 5 years, I would rather tote a light weight 1911 Commander, or full size 1911, maybe even a big bore revolver. But for onetime and forever, I have no reservations about the Glock.

    Keep the faith
    Stand as a Patriot,
    Support our Oathkeepers

  47. I do not feel it is the manufacturer as much as the individual weapon you have used and now trusted because of its accuracy, reliability, carry and concealment, ability to handle and manipulate in different situations. Everyone’s size, strength, experience, training, and level of power will dictate the most appropriate weapon for the situational application of lethal force. My two choices over the years are: revolver – the S&W1917 in .45 ACP and semi-automatic pistol – the Glock model 21 in .45 ACP. The 230 gr. FMJ/hardball has proven to be an effective “neutralizer” without being a “magnum” or possessing some “exotic” bullet configuration.

  48. Have really enjoyed reading the comments. I am 27 years in law enforcement in Australia, still current and as such will only comment on what i know. We use a Glock model 22 (not sure if you have it in the states, it fires .40 s&w calibre ) having transitioned in 1996 from the s&w model 10 revolver on coroners advice after two of my colleagues were murdered (outgunned) due to reloading/ammunition limitations (for one of my mates at least). Glock for me. NSW cops need something as basic/reliable with stopping power that is as easy to shoot as possible due to the fact that a lot of em dont like shooting ( another issue i know) . Stay safe mates.

  49. This comment is for advice, not to share my opinion. I hope that is alright!

    I am a 22 year old female. I’m a student at college and live alone 4 hours from home. My drive home is through a quite a few rough areas in Georgia and I frequently make a 500 mile (one way) trip to see my boyfriend where he is stationed in NC. I travel through some rough areas on that trip as well. I’m very careful about where I choose to stop and take my American bulldog, Diesel, with me on every trip. (He’s big enough to probably scare some people off) I don’t always feel safe when I’m on the road and would like to have a last-resort means of protection because, besides my dog, I have no way to defend myself. I’ve been around rifles and shotguns all my life, but have little experience when it comes to handguns. I can load and shoot my boyfriend’s .40 S&W quickly and efficiently without any help, but that’s all the experience I have with a pistol.

    Would anyone mind sharing some suggestions about what I should buy?
    (My biggest concern is the likelihood of a pistol misfiring. I know that is usually the result of the carelessness of the handler, but I didn’t know if that can occur from a mechanical problem or malfunction in the firearm.)

    • 2-14-16
      gbyrd, I’ve worked with a lot of people – men and women – helping them to choose their first (and maybe only) hand gun. Reading carefully what you have written I would say that you would be happiest with the weapon that will offer protection, portability and confidence – with least possibility of misfire or mishap. While it is true a 9mm pistol will be generally easier to control than your boyfriend’s .40 S&W, it won’t be any less complicated or any less likely to offer opportunities for mistakes to occur. There is not only the possibility of negligent discharge (NG), but also people have forgotten to take the safety off before firing (if it has a manual safety). Also one must always charge a pistol after the magazine is firmly seated or it also will not be useful when it is most needed. Unloading a pistol also can be a challenge for some people. Any of these issues can be overcome with training & practice. However, none of these issues are even serious considerations when choosing a revolver. It is easy to check to see that a revolver is loaded, just swing out the cylinder and confirm the chambers are filled with unfired ammunition. Handy revolvers generally hold 5 or 6 rounds of ammunition, but there are good revolvers that hold up to 10 rounds. A good self defense round is anything from the .38 Special and up. If you choose a .357 Magnum you can also shoot .38 Specials out of the same gun for practice with less recoil and less expense. The .357 Magnum with 125gr HP (Hollow Points) still has the best record in one-shot stops of an actual threat for any self-defense handgun caliber. It has a record of one stop shots of as high as 96% according to Evan Marshall’s data, depending upon brand of ammo. You can also shoot .38 Special +P (Plus pressure = added power) if you desire to or if you find the .357 Magnum offers a bit more recoil than you can shoot accurately. Ruger, Charter Arms, Taurus, Smith & Wesson and others offer quality, handy revolvers that should suit your need. The Taurus Judge, once scorned as a serious self defense weapon is no longer scoffed at, but imitated by other manufacturers. The “Public Defender” Model is available with a polymer frame that is handy and light weight and packs the choice of .45 Colt and .410 shot shells. Since it has become so popular there are .410 shells designed specifically for self defense use though a Judge or a S&W Governor revolver. Folks that I know who have purchased a Judge seem to love them and report having lots of fun with them. If I hear back from some one who is not a “gun person” that they are having fun with their handgun (I.E. they are shooting it and hitting what they are aiming at) I know they have made a good choice. It seems everyone I know who shots a Judge loves them. I concur with JT that a laser can be an advantage in a lot of ways. They are available for any of the handguns I have mentioned here. But most importantly for you is to get a hand gun that you are confident with, not afraid you might have a ND with and that you are comfortable carrying and shooting. If you go with a pistol, practice and be proficient and you should never have a problem. But you owe it to yourself to at least try some of the revolver options available as carry guns as it may give you more peace of mind and confidence.

  50. gbyrd:

    A 9mm is cheaper to practice with and has a smoother recoil than a 40 if you prefer an pistol. But whether it is a revolver or pistol one thing I recommend that women get is a laser on their gun.

    Punks watch way too much TV. When you put the red (or green) dot on their chest then they watch it go down and stop on their zipper, they don’t care if it is a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle or a single shot derringer in 22 Short, they just don’t want it to go off!

    Otherwise, I would recommend that you, and your boyfriend, get some professional training. Ask them. Find what fits and you are comfortable with. If it is you will shoot it more, then better.

  51. Whichever sharp stick gets a better sharp stick,.. is the best!… When used right, it only needs to fire once, maybe twice…just saying.

  52. I’d really like to know..who’s running this web sight? Because there’s alot of personal “intel” being divulged here. Just saying, and it’s like the “educated idiot” intelligence. Not even the dumb/hard stuff! ….Just saying,

  53. “Commenting policy”,.. Statement? I’m sure you’re glad. I’m so, very sure.

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!