When I was a young hunter of 12 or so, my Grandfather taught me that if I used Remington .22 LR in my rifle, it would function properly. The Remington Golden Bullet was my choice. I learned that even if you had a cheap self-loader, good quality ammunition worked well. Today, Remington enjoys an excellent reputation for reliability with a far greater range of loads than ever.
Handguns are reactive instruments. They are carried on the person to answer a threat. They may be kept at home ready to address a threat in the home. If we have warning, then we are most often better advised to deploy a rifle or shotgun.
Smith and Wesson introduced the most successful revolver of all time in 1899. The Military and Police or .38 Hand Ejector was manufactured in the millions and once armed three-quarters of the police in America. Becoming the Model Ten in 1957, the K frame revolver is the ideal size for daily carry and a well-balanced handgun.
Some may say the market is crowded; others applaud the wide choice in handguns. I am among the latter. The more abundant the choices, the more likely we are to find the handgun that suits us well. Perhaps the most popular carry gun in America is the compact single stack 9mm Luger pistol.
The buying public is voting for revolvers and buying them in great numbers. Fueling the new trend, Ruger offers a seven-shot version of its popular GP100. Ruger offers longer barrel versions, but the 2.5-inch version is, in the author’s opinion, among the finest combat revolvers ever manufactured. There are many who appreciate tradition, and others, who simply trust revolvers. There are many good points considering revolvers.
The Ruger 10/22 is the .22 everyone wants, everyone keeps, and everyone can afford! Along with the Colt 1911 handgun, the Remington 700, and Browning A5 shotgun,
In military and LE circles, a PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) is a compact, select fire weapon that falls somewhere in-between a submachine gun and an assault rifle. In civil terms it means a semi-automatic vision, more than likely with a pistol with a brace. It means a SIG Sauer MPX-PSB.
What do you get when you take some of the finest firearm engineers in the industry and ask them to design the smallest AR-based close combat weapon imaginable? Stipulations include that the gun needs to be piston-driven for the ultimate in reliability and ruggedness, modular for maximized flexibility, and chambered in .300 BLK so it will run a sound suppressor well. The culmination of that ballistic quest is the SIG MCX Rattler. This thing just drips cool.
The Bulldog Classic is Charter Arms’ iconic revolver that was first manufactured in 1973. It looks old school with the tapered 3-inch barrel, exposed ejector rod, and checkered walnut grips. What I like about this revolver is its compact size and .44 Special caliber.
A new offering from Glock is a pretty exciting pistol. The pistol isn’t just a black 19X, rather, it is a new take on the Glock line. It is configured in a similar manner to the Glock 19X but differs in important particulars.
Purchasing an AR-15 rifle was far simpler when the only choice was Colt. Later, we had Armalite and a few others. Today, I cannot count the makers. Some are genuine manufacturers and others are small operators putting together rifles from outsourced parts. As long as the parts are high quality, that is fine. There is a lot of talent in the business. Diamondback’s DB15 exemplifies such talent.
The Beretta APX is Beretta’s entry into the polymer-frame striker-fired field, and they added a modular design for good measure. The APX is going against stiff competition. While Beretta has brand loyalty, the piece must stand on its own merit.
A few years ago, Ruger introduced a well made and nicely finished Government Model 1911 .45 ACP. The SR1911 has earned a reputation as an excellent value for its modest price. But Ruger did not stop there.
Ruger’s first departure from steel and aluminum construction was the Mark IV 22/45 Lite pistol. This is a polymer frame .22 caliber handgun meant to conform closely to 1911 .45 dimensions in order for the pistol to provide a good training understudy for the 1911-type handgun. It has done so, but also offers an excellent platform for anyone desiring a .22 caliber self-loading handgun as his or her only pistol. The original had molded in grip panels. The present version features removable grip panels. This is a considerable improvement for those who wish to upgrade or customize their pistol. I find the issued grips quite useful.
When it comes to handguns, everyone has a favorite. There are a few I respect for service grade reliability. I give a picayune nod to the big bore revolver, but the 1911 is a handgun that fits my world view. On more than one occasion, the 1911 has adjudicated an argument in my favor. On a personal level, the 1911 has defended me against adversaries with a ferocious enmity toward me, for no other reason than I was attempting to put and end to an illustrious criminal rampage. Those who have vigor and proficiency at arms will find the 1911 is a great fighting handgun.
Over the years, I have seen many people struggle with the handgun. Some older folks, and others with limited hand strength, have a difficult time with the revolver. While revolvers are simple enough to handle, the long double-action trigger press challenges some shooters. The Smith and Wesson M&P .380 pistol is the answer they have been looking for.
Beretta introduced a handgun a few years ago that was not revolutionary—instead it was evolutionary. The PX4 Storm married the proven Beretta double-action trigger and de-cocking safety to a polymer frame. Those preferring a double-action first-shot pistol had a relatively inexpensive alternative to the Beretta 92, and those wishing a durable and reliable polymer frame handgun had a counterpoint to the Glock. The primary advantage of the pistol is accuracy.