The Top 9 Pistol Reviews as Novmber 3, 2012

We’ve reviewed dozens of pistols over the years, and a handful have really piqued the community’s interest. Check out our top 9 most-read reviews of self-defense pistols.


The FN Herstal Five-seveN has been called a “cop-killer” in the media repeatedly. The LAPD Deputy Chief Michel Moore even said the pistol is used to kill “large lions, tigers and bears.” In “Factual and Honest Review of the FN Herstal Five-seveN 5.7x28mm Pistol,” the author describes how the 5.7x28mm cartridge is nothing of the sort and defends this lightweight, minimal recoiling pistol.


As soon as Cheaper Than Dirt! received its first shipment of the much-anticipated Ruger LC9, we took it out of the box for a quick first-impression review. Right away, we noticed the Ruger’s smooth and consistent trigger pull. But is the Ruger LC9 9mm too safe? Draw your own conclusions after reading, “Review of the Ruger LC9: Is it TOO Safe?

3. Ergonomics. Controls. Value. These three features are why the author recommends the GLOCK 19 Gen 4 for a daily-concealed carry gun. After defending the GLOCK 19 for its size, grip and simple controls, the author concludes with the one most important feature of all that makes the GLOCK 19 Gen 4 perfect for an everyday carry gun. Read “GLOCK 19 Gen 4: Gun Review,” to find out what that one benefit is.
 4. Small, pocket pistols in .380 ACP are one of the hottest tickets on the market. Request and inquiries for these highly concealable guns hasn’t slowed down. With so many to choose from, where do you start? A basic compare and contrast of 10 popular models of subcompact .380s is a good of a place as any. In “Pocket .380 Pistols,” the Walther PPK, PPK/S, Bersa Thunder, Taurus 738 TCP, Kel-Tec P-3AT, Ruger LCP, SIG P238, Colt Mustang, Kahr P380 and the S&W Bodyguard are compared.
 5. For many, the .380 ACP just isn’t enough gun and the gun industry quickly responded by producing plenty of choices in small 9mm semiautos. Designed almost strictly for concealed carry, these pocket nines share many similar features. However, every single one of them differs slightly. In “Choosing a Tiny 9mm Pocket Pistol,” we highlight what we consider the best features of the Kel-Tec PF-9, Kahr CM9, Beretta Nano, Ruger LC9, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, Walther PPS and the Kimber Solo.
 6. When Smith & Wesson first announced the M&P Shield, we asked, “Has Smith & Wesson developed a game changer or will the M&P Shield be just another pocket gun?” Silly, us. If only we had know that nearly three years later, the M&P Shield would remain one of the most requested and searched-after guns. Read, “Smith & Wesson Announces the M&P Shield” for the original 2012 announcement.
 7. In 1998, SIG Sauer joined the few gun manufacturers at the time making polymer-framed semiautomatics with its introduction of the SIG Pro. Innovative for its time, the SIG Pro has developed throughout the years. “SIG Pro SP2022: The Worst Kept SIG Secret” follows the SIG Pro’s history from inception to current models.
 8. Can you find a reliable and accurate pistol for $400 and under? You sure can. In “Budget Pistols: Inexpensive Entry Level Semiautomatic Handguns,” CTD Blogger describes some of our favorite, affordable pistols from Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Kel-Tec, Taurus and CZ.

What perfect timing! In 2011, the 1911 celebrated its 100th year in production. Joining many firearm manufacturers in producing special commemorative editions of the 1911, Ruger announced its release of it’s rendition of the famous John Moses Browning design. Read about the changes Ruger made to the classic design in its first 1911, the SR1911 in “The Ruger SR1911.”

Which article is your favorite? Tell us in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (9)

  1. i carry a glock 19 on my left hip, 2 mags in the left pocket. wallet, keys, phone, knife in right pocket. and a kel tech 380 on my ankle holster, 2 mags in my back pocket. i also have a short weener.

  2. I carry a LCP 380. It fits in my front pocket easily. I have to wear dress pants. On the weekend I use my LC9 or my shield. The shield is no pocket gun. I am hoping in the cold weather I can wear my Colt 1911 under my jacket. Again LCP is MY favorite. Extra mag in my other pocket.

  3. I carry a Walther PK380. A slight upgrade from traditional Walther .380. I love it. Everyone will have their own opinion, but up against the best, it comes out on top. I wish it carried more rounds, but a well placed bullet from almost any caliber gun will slow down the bad guy. I agree with the other comment; the best weapon to carry is one that can be carried 100% of the time and can be concealed.

  4. It is nice carrying these small handguns. As for my self I find carrying my S&E .500 mag with a 3″ inch bbl and 440 grain round a good all around knock them down round. I also carry my Desert Eagle .50 5″ inch bbl. I use mix mags. I carry 300 & 350 grains rounds. They should slow down the bad guys.

  5. Bersa thunder. 40 best pistol for any budget. Bersa is getting an enormous following 5 stars on every website. My nickle thunder shoots like butter.

  6. Guess it isn’t in the top ten, but I’m interested in the Colt New Agent. I carry an Agent now, but would like to religate it to an ankle gun, and buy a .45acp. Since there is no option beyond concealed, I’d like the 3″ bbl, and no sights, and a cut-down magazine and grip frame would be great. Maybe some day soon, I can afford one.

  7. I carry a Keltec 380, with a crimson trace Laser, and Glassar rounds. With open carry recently passed locally, I intend to add a 1911 single action in a shoulder holster under a jacket. But never discount these pocket pistols. In a competent hand they can hit an 8″ target at 100 yards about 40% of the time. I do not recommend this, I practice at closer distances for realistic use, but they are capable if more distance is needed. The best gun to carry, is the one you will have with you 100% of the time, and these little 380’s are VERY easy to carry! Whatever you decide on, Practice, practice, and practice!

  8. Im surprized,yet im not that you left out the H&K .45 USP.
    I can tell you about “My GUNS”but thats not the point,you Left out for many of us the perfect duty”save My ASS”side arm!
    Yea it’s expensive,but the article said best not best on a budget.The gun talks volumes by it’s self,All I can say is it should have had a mention,and now it has.

  9. I can’t beleive that you left out the new Springfield Armory XDs shame shame shame ….Not that all the above are not worthy but I feel strongly that the new XDs is a step above for CC and much more.

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