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Choosing Best First Handgun For Your Needs

What is the best first handgun? That is a question a lot of folks looking for their first handgun will ask themselves. Picking a handgun for yourself for the first time can be a bit of a daunting task if you do not know what to look for. Should you get a revolver or semi-automatic? What caliber should you get? What are some of the better makes and models of handgun out there? There are a lot of stuff you  might not be sure about. So below, we cover some key points you should consider when choosing the best first handgun for you.

Choosing the best first handgun for your needs

Know what you want to do with it

Gun Range EtiquetteWhat you intend to use your gun for will be a massive factor in the type of handgun that you end up choosing. Do you want a handgun for home defence? Everyday carry? Target shooting down at the range? While you certainly can have a handgun that will be suitable to most of these tasks, some guns are more suited to a specific task than others. For example, if you want a handgun for everyday carry, you will probably want a gun that you can carry concealed, but that still has a large enough caliber for self-defence. If you want a gun for target shooting, a smaller caliber might be the best first handgun for you as it will be more forgiving while you learn to shoot at the range.

Another important question you need to ask yourself is if you even really need a handgun? Do you perhaps rather need a shotgun or rifle? Or maybe even some form of a non-lethal weapon?

Know what you want to spend, and stick to it

Handguns can vary greatly in price range, from reasonably affordable to extremely expensive. When you are down at your local gun-shop it can be very tempting to shell out a lot of money for a really nice handgun. However the best first handgun for you might not necessarily be the most expensive handgun out there. If you are buying your first handgun, it won’t make sense to go spending money on a customized 1911 with all the tactical bells and whistles possible. Going too cheap is not the answer either, as you get what you pay for. So when you decide to buy a gun, do your homework to see what a decent quality handgun would cost and shop in that price range. An option to consider in order to save money while still getting a good quality handgun is to look at second-hand handguns from reputable sellers. Like you would do with buying a used car, be sure to have a good look at any used gun you are considering buying to make sure it is still in good shape and have been looked after.

Test a few out and see what you like

nra basic pistol course

If you have never owned a gun before, chances are you haven’t fired many guns before. So before you commit and buy a gun, go and test fire some different guns to see what you like and what you feel comfortable with. This way you can get a feel for the right caliber, the size of the gun and just the over feel of the gun. The objective will be to find a handgun that you like and that you can fire with confidence. The easiest way is to find a gun range where you can rent a few different types of guns and go shooting.

Wrapping Up – Choosing the best first handgun

There are a lot of confusing things to consider when you are thinking of buying your first handgun, like caliber, price, accessories options, trigger options, stopping power, ergonomics, etc etc etc! Certainly too much! So determine what exactly you need the handgun for, what you want to spend and then go test fire some guns to see which is the best first handgun for you.

What Do you think – what is the best first handgun?

If you had to suggest a handgun for a first time handgun owner, which gun would you say is the best first handgun? Would you suggest a revolver or a semi-automatic? What caliber would you suggest they look at? If you have an opinion on what the best firt handgun is, please share your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

Best Concealed Carry 9mm – We Investigate 5 Great Contenders!

What is best concealed carry 9mm gun? Concealed carry is an option that a lot of gun carriers prefer. Folks who carry in public or want a back-up weapon, want a gun small enough that provides effective concealment. When it comes to smaller guns, there are a few calibers that can be considered. These include .22, .380 and 9mm.

The .22 is considered not powerful enough to be effective in a self defense situation, so is generally only used by folks for target shooting or small game hunting. The .380 caliber has historically been popular with folks who want a smaller caliber.

However a lot of folks want a bigger caliber for self-defense andd prefer the 9mm caliber to .380 as it would have more stopping power. Thanks to modern new designs in the 9mm gun market, we have seen some nice guns come out that are small and light enough for effective concealed carry.



Below we look at five 9mm options that are excellent guns, which could be argued to be contenders to be called the best concealed carry 9mm gun. To specifically choose one gun as the best concealed carry 9mm is of course not truly possible, as each person would have their own unique requirements when choosing the best concealed carry 9mm for their needs.

These requirements might include a mix of price, build quality, reliability, after market products and design/looks. So we picked five 9mm guns that we really like and think are good for concealed carry.

Of course we realise there are other great 9mm guns that are not on our list, so if you have a 9mm in mind that you believe should be on a list of the best concealed carry 9mm guns, please share with us your thoughts in the comments section below.

GunWeight (oz)Length (In)
Glock 26226.41
Beretta Nano19.85.6
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield196.1
Kahr PM9196.1
Ruger LC917.26

*The prices listed are at the time of the writing of this article and are subject to change without notice.

Glock 26Glock 26

 

Specifications:

Weight -21.71 oz
Length – 6.41 in
Width – 1.18in
Height – 4.17 in
Barrel Length – 1.26 in
Magazine Capacity – 10

MSRP – $500*

Glock has two pistols that could be argued to be the best concealed carry 9mm pistol, namely the Glock 26 and the Glock 27. These are Glock’s “subcompact” variations. The 26 and the 27 are sometimes even referred to as the “Baby Glocks”, as they are so small compared to the other models in the Glock product range.

A nice feature of the Baby Glock is the fact that it can accept factory magazines from  other Glock variants, such as the Glock 17, Glock 18, and Glock 19.

The Baby Glock is bigger and heavier than any of the other 9mm options on our list. This of course is not ideal when considering concealed carry, however if you have bigger hands and prefer a gun with a bigger magazine capacity, then the Baby Glock might just be the best concealed carry 9mm for your personal requirements.

At a MSRP of approximately $500, the Baby Glock is not the most expensive compact 9mm, but it is not the cheapest either! Only the Kahr PM9 is more expensive on our list of 9mm compact guns.

You can check out a practical review of the Glock 26 Gen 4 in the video below:

Beretta Nano

berettaNANO9mm

Specifications:

Weight -19.8 oz
Length – 5.63 in
Width – 0.9in
Height – 4.17 in
Barrel Length – 3 in
Magazine Capacity – 6

MSRP – $400*

If you like stylish and sleek, you will know Beretta. The oldest existing weapons manufacturer in the world (they have been around since the 16th century!!) is known for making beautiful guns. You probably know it best for the Beretta M9, which has been the US Military’s sidearm of choice since 1985.

Beretta has produced the Nano for the small concealed carry 9mm market. The Nano is a striker-fired, semi-automatic micro pistol.

The frame is made from technopolymer, while the slide is a Pronox finished slide. As the pistol is designed specifically with concealed carry in mind, it has no external safety lever, nor does it have an external slide lock or release. This all helps the Nano to not have a print and helps to prevent the pistol from snagging on any clothing if it has to be drawn quickly.

Compared to the Baby Glock, the Nano is a much smaller gun with a smaller ammo capacity. However this makes it much more suited to concealed carry with its sleek profile. It has a MSRP of $400, which makes it one of the most affordable guns on our list. Include the fact that this gun is specifically designed for concealed carry, it will be tough to beat.

For a closer look at the Beretta Nano, check out this video:

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

Smith Wesson MP Shield

Specifications:

Weight -19 oz
Length – 6.1 in
Width – 0.95 in
Height – 4.6 in
Barrel Length – 3.1 in
Magazine Capacity – 7/8

MSRP – $450*

The M&P in the name stands for (Military and Police),which indicates the target markets, however it is widely available on the civilian market. In 2012 the M&P Shield was launched by Smith and Wesson. You can get it in 9mm as well as .40 S&W calibers.

The Shield is a polymer-framed pistol (as most of these guns seem to be) sub-compact pistol with a single stack magazine.

The Shield is not a lot different from the M&P Compact, however the Shields is thinner than the Compact. An improvement the Shield makes from the other pistols in the M&P line is an improved trigger with positive reset.

With its thin profile, the Shield is perfect for comfortable concealed carry, and is a good option for both men and women. Like a lot of the polymer guns, it is probably not going to win any beauty contests, but if you want a really thin gun, this might just be the best concealed carry 9mm pistol option for your needs.

Want to see more? Check out this video:

Kahr PM9kahr pm9

 

Specifications:

Weight -19 oz
Length – 6.1 in
Width – 0.95 in
Height – 4.6 in
Barrel Length – 3.1 in
Magazine Capacity – 7/8

MSRP – $810*

The gun manufacturers really seem to like have letters in the gun name. The Kahr PM series is no different. The “PM” stands for Polymer Micro, which tells you it is a small gun made from Polymers.

The PM is a short recoil operated, double action only (DAO)hammerless, striker-fired semi-automatic pistol.

If you want an American made pistol, then this might be the best concealed carry 9mm pistol for your preference, as Kahr Arms is an American small arms manufacturer. An interesting thing about Kahr Arms is that it was founded by Justin Moon, who is the son of Sun Myung Moon. Sun Myung Moon is know as the founder of the Unification Church.

The PM9 is aimed at the civilian market, but is also a popular choice as a backup weapon for law-enforcement forces. You will typically find the pistol in a matte black polymer frame, with a stainless-steel slide.

If you are considering getting yourself a PM9, you should know that PM pistols usually require a ‘breaking-in’ period. Kahr Arms recommend that you initially fire at least 200 rounds to break the pistol in.

HICKOK45 does another review video, which you can check out below:

Ruger LC9s

Ruger LC9 holster

Specifications:

Weight -17.2 oz
Length – 6 in
Width – 0.90 in
Height – 4.5 in
Barrel Length – 3.12 in
Magazine Capacity – 7

MSRP – $479*

So once again, the pistol model name gives us some indication on what the pistol is. The “LC9” in the name stands for “Lightweight Compact 9mm”.

The LC9 was introduced in 2011, with the LC9s being the striker-fired version of the model. It is a double action only (DAO), locked breech, recoil operated semi-automatic pistol.

As expected, it has a polymer frame with a slide that is made from blued alloy steel. Interestingly, in 2011 the LC9 was awarded the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence’s Handgun of the Year.

The LC9 is not smaller or lighter than any of the other guns listed on our list of best concealed carry 9mm guns, however it is one of the cheapest with a MSRP of approximately $479. With the Beretta Nano being cheaper and the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield only a little more expensive, some folks might be tempted to rather buy one of those two options.

If price is a big factor in deciding which gun is the best concealed carry 9mm for you, then you could also consider the Kel-Tec PF-9. Some folks might argue that the Kel-Tec should be on the list rather than the Ruger LC9 due to the Kel-Tec being lighter and having no external safety or magazine disconnect. The Ruger however wins in terms of quality of construction, strength and a crisper trigger pull.

If you want to see more about the LC9s, have a look at this video below.

What Do You Think – What Is The Best Concealed Carry 9mm?

We only listed five guns in our list of guns that we believe could be contenders to be called the best concealed carry 9mm. However there are many more guns out there that could be argued to be the best concealed carry 9mm.

For example we do not have any Sig or Springfield on here, which there probably should be! So what do you think, which 9mm would you say is the best concealed carry 9mm and why? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Best 1911 Pistol – Is There Such A Pistol?

What is the best 1911 pistol? Well, I want to know too! The thing is, there are a lot of 1911 variants out there. The simple reason for that is that the 1911 is such an iconic gun!

The 1911 started life in the late 1890s when the US military was looking for a new firearm that was self-loading. The legendary John Browning designed a handgun for the Colt Manufacturing Company, which tested in trials and subsequently formally adopted by the US Army in 1911. That is actually why the gun us known as the 1911….as it was the year it was adopted by the US Army and given the designation of M1911. The gun was later also adopted by the US Navy and US Marine Corp in 1913.

Since then, the M1911 was the US Military handgun of choice. The M1911 served during numerous wars, which included WW1, WW2, Korean War and the Vietnam War. It was even used by some units during Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. It was only in 1985 that the M1911 was replaced by the Beretta M9. I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty impressive service record!

The Top Contenders For Best 1911 Pistol

Now that we had our brief, but interesting history lesson about the 1911, we can look into which pistols are the best 1911 pistols!

Wilson Combat

Many folks will tell you that the best 1911 pistols are made by Wilson Combat…but you are going to have to pay a lot of money as they are definitely not cheap weapons!

Wilson Combat manufactures custom pistols from their location in Berryville, Arkansas. They actually specialize in the manufacturing and customization of  M1911A1s.

Wilson Combat started life as “Wilson’s Gun Shop” in 1977, when Bill Wilson started his gunsmith business at the back of his family’s jewellery store. They went on to buy  “Scattergun Technologies” in 2000 to start marketing shotguns under Wilson Combat Scattergun Technologies. Wilson’s handguns have a quality guarantee of 1 in (25 mm) groups at 25 yd (23 m).

If you want to buy a gun from Wilson Combat, the first choice will probably be the Bill Wilson Carry. It is a pistol for which Bill Wilson dictated the specifications himself, with the idea that it should be a good gun for concealed carry.

The pistol is based on the Wilson Combat CQB Compact with some custom upgrades. The upgrades include a slide that has has carry cuts to narrow the muzzle. The frame of the pistol also has the round butt modification, which makes for a more more comfortable carry and a minimized print. The slide stop post has been recessed and the hole chamfered to allow you to be able to use the Crimson Trace laser grips

You can see a practical review of the Wilson Combat CQB in the video below:

Rock Island Armory 1911 Series Pistols

The Rock Island Armory (RIA) 1911 series of pistols are recoil operated semi-automatic, single-action pistols. The RIA pistols are a manufactured in the Philippines and distributed in the US market by Armscor from Pahrump, Nevada.

The RIA pistols are usually more geared toward budget prices in the 1911 market. So if you want an entry level 1911, the RIA might be the best 1911 pistol choice for you. They are of course not all just cheap entry level guns, with the RIA Tactical, Compact, and Match models offering extra semi-custom high end features.

For example, the RIA Compact has a hammer that is skeletonized and a beavertail grip safety. The RIA Tactical offers a hammer and trigger that is target-grade as well as enhanced contrast combat sights and an ambidextrous safety.

HICKOK45 does another great review of the RIA 1911 Tactical in the video below:

Les Baer 1911 Pistols

Les Baer 1911 pistols are manufactured by Les Baer Custom Inc in Hillsdale, Illinois. The company was started by gunsmith Les Baer, Sr. in 1991.

Interestingly, Les Baer and Smith & Wesson are the only manufacturers that are authorized to to use and display Clint Smith’s Thunder Ranch logo. Les Baer offers a product line of pistols and rifles that makes use of that name. Clint Smith himself said that the reason that he gave Les Baer permission to use the name and logo due to Les Baer guns’ outstanding accuracy and reliability.

Les Baer pistols come with a guarantee of at least 3″ accuracy at 50 yards. Many models are available at an extra cost with a guarantee of 1.5″ at the same distance.

If you want the best 1911 pistol for self defense, the Ultimate Tactical Carry 5″ Model might be the solution. It is a .45 ACP caliber gun that feature a 5-inch National Match Barrel with Stainless Match Bushing and a Baer National Match Steel Frame. Some other features that you might like include Deluxe Slim Line Grips, dovetail front sight and LBC Deluxe Fixed Combat rear sight, Baer Aluminum Match Trigger, rounded for tactical use, Beveled Mag Well, 30 LPI Frontstrap, 20 LPI MSH, and a blued finish.

Check out a video review of the Les Baer UTC below:

What Do You Think – What Is The Best 1911 Pistol?

What do you think the is best 1911 pistol? There are many variants of the 1911 that it is difficult to point to one pistol as being the best 1911 pistol. What are your thougts on 1911 pistols like the Kimber, Smith & Wesson and Colt Rail Gun options? If you have any thoughts on the subject, please share it in the comments section below!

What Is The Best Handgun For Home Defense?

What is the best handgun for home defense? It is an unfortunate reality that serious crime is increasing in many areas and it can affect any of us. If you wake up in the middle of the night with an intruder in your house, you will want to defend yourself with the best weapon possible. You do not know if the intruder is armed, dangerous and violent. If you find yourself in such a dangerous situation, you will want to know that the weapon by your side is both reliable and effective in defending your and your loved ones from an attacker.

When Choosing the Best Handgun for Home Defense

Choosing the best handgun for home defense is not as easy as just walking into your local gun shop and picking the first handgun. There are some key considerations you should keep in mind when you look for the best handgun for home defense that will fit your needs and level of experience/gun proficiency.

Rifle/Shotgun vs a Handgun

Before we dive into what the best handgun for home defense is, let us just think about the pros and cons of using a rifle or shotgun for home defense. Is a handgun the best gun for home defense?shotgun

Shotguns are excellent home defense weapons. Due to the extended sight radius and the way you hold a shotgun when shooting it, it makes it very easy to aim. However, as you need to use both hands to hold the gun when in a shooting posture, it will makes things like opening doors or even turning on lights difficult. And if you do not have agun mounted flashlight attached to your shotgun, you won’t be able to hold a flashlight while you are busy looking for the bad guy in your house. Additionally, a shotgun can be a tactical hindrance if you need to move around in confined spaces where the long barrel could get in the way when you need to react quickly.

Shotguns do not shoot precise shots, especially if you are using 00 buckshot. This means that a stray pellet that did not hit your intended target can hit an innocent bystander or at the least cause damage to your home. On the other hand rifles (like let’s say the AR-15 platform) have much more precise shots, but then there is the over-penetration issue where a bullet can go right through your target and still hit someone else. Or it might even go through a wall or window and hit one of your neighbours.

Rifles have the same challenges that shotguns will have in terms of having a free hand and being manoeuvrable inside a small space. It does have the advantage of having a higher ammunition capacity, higher penetration ability and more precise shots.

A handgun has the advantages of being precise (as long as the shooter of course knows what he/she is doing), being small enough to manoeuvre easily in small spaces without being a hindrance and  freeing up one of your hands if you need it. It does not have the same penetration ability and ammunition capacity as a rifle, but when you are in a self-defense situation in your home you should not need the added penetration ability or ammunition capacity that a rifle offers.

Pistol vs Revolver

When you talk about what the best handgun for home defense might be, a lot of people automatically start thinking of pistols. After all, revolvers are considered old technology while pistols are made from space age materials! It is certainly true that pistols have some advantages over revolvers, but revolves do have some qualities that make them good home defense weapons. Pistols are semi-automatic, have more ammunition capacity than revolvers and are easier to aim thanks to lighter trigger pull (a lighter trigger pull means you are less likely to move off target as you fire the weapon…resulting in deadlier accuracy). Of course you can also add additional features to a pistol for home defense, such as a tactical flashlight or lazer, which could give you a tactical advantage over the bad guy in your house.

While pistols provide a better aim, they do have more moving parts that can go wrong. Think about it, if you are in a deadly situation where some scum bag is in your house and your pistol suddenly jams…!! That jammed round can cost you precious time and give the bad guy the attacking advantage. It is a lot more difficult to remove a jammed cartridge from a pistol under stress than it is with a revolver. If you have a revolver, all you need to do is pull the trigger again to rotate the cylinder so a new round is aligned with the barrel.

On the other side, revolvers are much more difficult to reload than a pistol. Combined with the lower ammunition capacity, that can make things dicey of you get into a shootout.

So looking at the above, there are some pros and cons to each choice. If you are an inexperienced gun handler that might not be able to handle a handgun proficiently under stress, then a revolver is a reliable and easy to use weapon. However if you are proficient with your pistol and want the safety of having the extra ammunition capacity as well as the ability to add tactical accessories, then a pistol is the best handgun for home defense.

Caliber and Ammunition

We talked in our article what is the most accurate handgun about how a lot of people assume that the larger the caliber the better! While a .45 caliber will scare the pants off of most intruders, it is also often less accurate than a smaller caliber like 9mm. We would much rather hit the scum bag that is breaking in with a 9mm than miss with a .45. There are of course a lot of people who will prefer to have a large caliber, however just be aware that a large caliber will not always get the job done as you would hope. As we also mentioned above, a larger caliber could also cause unintentional damage to others due to the increased penetration power. You also need to be physically big enough and strong enough to handle a .45 caliber handgun effectively. If you are smaller and have smaller hands, a large caliber handgun can be more of a disadvantage and danger to you than an advantage.

In terms of ammo, hollow point ammo is probably the way to go. It is designed to expand on impact, which means it is less likely to go through the bad guy and hit someone or something else behind them unintentionally. A hollow point bullet of course also creates a much larger wound then ball ammo. If you do use hollow point ammo, just be sure to know what the laws and regulations are in your state for such ammo. You can see more on gun and ammo laws here.

What do you think – what is the best handgun for home defense

We hope none of you ever have to use your handgun for home defense. But if you do, we hope you have the best handgun available! What do you think is the best handgun for home defense? If you think there are other and better handguns out there specifically for home defense, please share it in our comments section below.

The Experts Choose Their Best Pocket Pistol

Here are Smoking Barrel USA we have been looking a lot at what is the best of a certain category. Recent examples include what is the best 45 pistol, what is the best 22 LR pistol, etc. Today we want to figure out what is the best pocket pistol.

A lot of folks will opt to carry a compact or sub-compact pistol for concealed carry. If you want to carry concealed but do not necessarily want to carry a gun on a holster on your person, a pocket pistol is a good option. Pocket pistol are small enough to be carried in a pocket, a bag or briefcase without being too heavy or showing off much of a print.

Looking around, we noticed there are a lot of opinions out there about what the best pocket pistol is. A LOT! But no one seems to agree on one single pistol as being the best pocket pistol hands down…so we decided to list the top picks.

PistolWeight (oz)Overrall length
Kahr PM9145.42
Springfield Armory XD-S21.56.3
Ruger LC9s17.26
Colt Mustang XSP12.55.5
Beretta Pico11.55.1

Kahr PM9/CM9

kahr pm9The Kahr PM9 and CM9 are technically two pistols…but in reality the CM9 is just a cheaper version of the PM9. Richard L Johnson from BearingArms.com feels that the Kahr PM9/CM9 is the best pocket pistol as they offer exceptional reliability and accuracy with a smooth trigger and good sights.

In case you were wondering, the PM in Kahr PM9 stands for (Polymer Micro). So as you would imagine, the weapon is made from Polymer. However, it is not entirely made from Polymer, as the slide is made from stainless-steel. The slide rides on steel inserts within the Polymer frame. What this does is to help to prevent the wear which would otherwise be inherent with metal slide to plastic frame contact.

The PM series from Kahr are striker-fired, double action only, short recoil operated semi-automatic pistols.

Kahr designed this weapon as a concealed carry weapon, aimed at the civilian market. Of course it is also a good option for law-enforcement forces as a backup weapon. Kahr guns are typically know for having consistent and smooth trigger pulls. Folks will also like the large and easy to see sights in various configurations. As this gun is designed for concealed carry it does not have manual safety level, which helps to reduce any print.

There are apparently some criticisms of the Kahr though. All the pistols in the Kahr PM series require a “break-in” period with at least 200 rounds having to be fired as part of the break-in process. Other known PM series deficiencies include excessive trigger travel.

Springfield Armory XD-S

Springfield XD-STom McHale over at OutDoorHub.com believes the Springfield Armory XD-S is the best pocket pistol. Tom had this to say about the pistol: “It’s a great-shooting pistol, and it’s large enough to get a positive grip yet small enough to easily conceal.

If you want a small gun that really packs a punch, then the XD-S might be the best pocket pistol for you! This is because where a lot of other pocket pistol options usually come in smaller calibers, such as .380 caliber, the XD-S is available in 9mm and .45 ACP caliber.

The XD-S is the smaller and trimmed down version of the Springfield XD series. In case you were wondering, the “XD” in the name stands for extreme duty.

As with the Kahr, this is a Polymer framde pistol. It is Springfield’s first Single Stack pistol.

As Tom rightly points out in his article, the XD-S is a consistently flat pistol, which makes it great for concealment.

We have to point out that Springfield announced a recall of the XD-S in August 2013 in order to upgrade the pistol with new components to eliminate the “possibility of a potentially dangerous condition“. In their recall statement (which you can read here) they say that they determined that under exceptional circumstances some XD-S pistols (specifically the 3.3 XD-S) “could experience an unintended discharge”

If you want a small pistol that still packs a punch, the XD-S is a serious contender (especially in a .45 ACP caliber). We would recommend buying one new though so you know you have one which does not have the design flaw that the older second-hand XD-S pistols might have.

Ruger LC9s

ruger lc9sNext on our list of the best pocket pistol options is the Ruger LC9s, which Paul Scarlata from Tactical-Life.com believes is the best pocket pistol.

Kind of like iPhones, the LC9s is an improved version on the LC9. However, in this case the “s” indicates that this pistol has a striker-fired design.

While the Kahr and Springfield are made from Polymer, the Ruger frame is made from Fiber-filled Nylon. The slide is made from hardened steel with a blued finish. The inserts inside the frame are made from hardened alloy, which provides additional strength and includes rails that the slide reciprocates on.

The LC9s shares a lot of similarities with the other LC9 models, however its striker-fired trigger mechanism boasts a shorter and lighter pull that breaks around 5.5-pounds. Another feature of the LCP9s is the trigger safety on the face of the trigger which must be engaged to fire the pistol.

One thing that is not ideal about the LC9s is the manual safety leaver. This is not the best for concealed carry, as it will introduce a bit of a print.

Colt Mustang XSP

Colt XSP MustangIf you ask Dennis Adler from PersonalDefenseWorld.com which pistol does he think the is the best pocket pistol, he will tell you that it is the Colt Mustang XSP.

The Colt Mustang is a lightweight, single action pistol that is chambered for the .380 ACP cartridge. The Mustung started out as the Colt Mustang Pocketlite, which was manufactured between 1983 and 1996.

However, in 2011 the Mustang was reintroduced as the Mustang XSP, which has an updated Polymer frame. Apparently the XSP is sort of a carry-over from Colt’s XSE series of pistols and they changed the “E” to “P” to reflect the polymer grip frame.

As mentioned, the XSP is made from a polymer frame, while the slide and barrel are machined out of solid stainless steel bar stock, then given a blackened finish. The XSP is a single action pistol with a single stage trigger and single stack magazine.

When Nick Leghorn reviewed the XSP for TheTruthAboutGuns.com, he determined that the trigger pull of the XSP is really good…but the accuracy of the pistol was not to his liking (in fact, he described it as terrible!). This is due to the small sights on the XSP and the short grip.

Beretta Pico

Beretta PicoThe Beretta Pico gets Nicholas O from OffTheGridNews.com‘s vote for the best pocket pistol. And it is easy to see why…

This is another .380 ACP caliber pistol which is specifically designed with the civilian self-defence market in mind. The Pico is a Double Action Only (DAO) pistol. In terms of construction, its frame is made of polymer while the slide is made mostly from stainless steel.

As one of the slimmer pocket pistols around, the Pico is designed to be “snag-free” ensuring smooth and fast extraction from a holster. The pistol measures a very slim width of 0.725 inches!

What sets the Beretta apart form other pistols is its modular design (which seems to be the way new pistols are being designed). This allows you to change out certain parts and experiment with other grip frame modifications. Unlike most small DAOs, the Pico is fired by a conventional hammer instead of a striker, has restrike capability and does not have a magazine-disconnect safety. The Pico’s DAO system does not store any energy until the trigger is pulled, eliminating the potential of accidental discharge if the pistol is dropped.

The Pico is designed to pleasant to handle and quick to recover on target. This is achieved through the Pico’s barrel tilt of 1.4 degrees when fired. Apparently this increases feeding reliability for cartridges coming from the magazine into the chamber.

What Do You Think – What Is The Best Pocket Pistol?

The pistols listed above are the top picks from around the web. The pistols were not picked using any form of scientific method, rather the guys who picked them thought they were the best pocket pistols due to their own experiences and tastes. So there is not really one overall best pocket pistol, but we would love to hear what you think on the subject? If you have any thoughts on what you think the best pocket pistol is, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

What Is The Most Accurate Handgun? We investigate

What is the most accurate handgun? Before we get into the thick of things, let us just all acknowledge that how accurate a gun shoots depends on the shooter. It can be the most amazing handgun, most accurate handgun ever, but if the shooter cannot aim straight there is only so much a handgun can do.






Right, so let us now get to the good stuff…what is the most accurate handgun?!

Caliber – Does Size Matter?

What caliber is the most accurate handgun likely to be? In terms of handguns, caliber refers to the diameter of the bore and the size of ammo that it requires. While you may think that larger caliber handguns are the best handgun options by default because they’re the more powerful guns, however there have been studies done by the FBI about which caliber is the most effective. A common assumption is that the large caliber has a lot more stopping power than the smaller calibres, however according to the FBI study this is not true: “There is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto.”. But we are looking at accuracy…not stopping power.

Smaller calibres are more accurate than larger calibres. Less power means less recoil. Less recoil means less recovery time after a shot, which means you can be consistently more accurate in successive shots than you can with a larger caliber firearm. So let’s look at some small calibers noted for its accuracy…

.22 LR

22LRThe .22 long rifle rimfire (5.6×15R – metric designation) cartridge is a long established variety of ammunition, and in terms of units sold is still by far the most common in the world today. The .22 long rifle and related cartridges (.22 short, .22 long and .22 Extra Long) use a heeled bullet, which means that the bullet is the same diameter as the case, and has a narrower “heel” portion that fits in the case. Low cost, minimal recoil, and relatively low noise make .22 LR an ideal cartridge for recreational shooting, initial firearms training, small-game hunting and pest control. Used by Boy Scouts for the rifle shooting merit badge, the .22 LR is popular among novice shooters and experts alike. The .22 LR is effective to 150 yards (140 m), though practical range tends to be less. After 150 yards, the ballistics of the round are such that it will be difficult to compensate for the large “drop”. The relatively short effective range, low report, and light recoil has made it a favorite for use as a target-practice cartridge. The accuracy of the cartridge is good, but not exceptional; various cartridges are capable of the same or better accuracy.

.38 Special

38 SpecialThe .38 Smith & Wesson Special (commonly .38 Special, .38 Spl, or .38 Spc, pronounced “thirty-eight special”) is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson. It is most commonly used in revolvers, although some semi-automatic pistols and carbines also use this round. The .38 Special was the standard service cartridge of most police departments in the United States from the 1920s to the early 1990s. Noted for its accuracy and manageable recoil, the .38 Special remains the most popular revolver cartridge in the world more than a century after its introduction. It is used for target shooting, formal target competition, personal defense, and for hunting small game.

Due to its black powder heritage, the .38 Special is a low pressure cartridge, one of the lowest in common use today at 17,000 PSI. By modern standards, the .38 Special fires a medium-sized bullet at rather low speeds.

9mm

9mmThe 9×19mm Parabellum (abbreviated 9mm, 9mmP, 9×19mm or 9×19) cartridge was designed by Georg Luger and introduced in 1902 by the German weapons manufacturer Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) for their Luger semi-automatic pistol. For this reason, it is designated as the 9mm Luger / 9mm Luger +P by the SAAMI and the 9 mm Luger by the C.I.P. (differentiating it from the 9mm Makarov and 9mm Browning cartridges). Under STANAG 4090, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries.

The round was originally designed to be lethal to 50 m, but the bullet travels and is lethal at longer ranges. The 9 mm cartridge combines a flat trajectory with moderate recoil. As mentioned above, the FBI study recommended the 9mm cartridge for effective shooting.

Most Accurate Handgun Options

Now that we have looked at the caliber the most accurate handgun is likely to use, we can look at some handguns that are contenders to be called the most accurate handgun.

If you want out and out accuracy, you probably will not beat a .22 caliber handgun. However, for everyday carry and self defense they won’t be an option to the majority of gun users. So for the purpose of this article, we are going to instead look at “regular” handguns that users would be able to use as a everyday carry gun. If you are interested in a .22 caliber handgun though, check out our article on what the best .22LR pistol is.

SIG P210

sig p210The SIG P210 is handgun that seems to be talked about in hushed voices and evokes giddy excitement from grown men. It is really expensive and made in small quantities…but the experts agree that this is an amazingly accurate weapon!

The SIG P210 (Swiss Army designation Pistole 49) is a locked breech semi-automatic pistol. It is of all-steel construction chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum and 7.65×21mm Parabellum. The SIG’s slide rides inside the frame rails, rather than outside as in the traditional Browning pattern. It mimics the frame-to-receiver interface of the Luger pistol, allowing for a very tight fit between the slide, barrel, and frame without compromising reliability. The upshot of all this tightness is that by eliminating the slop in the fit, the pistol is highly accurate as there is very limited movement between the parts that could affect the bullet’s flight. In short, you get a pistol design that can be manufactured in moderate quantities, but with the tightness of fit usually reserved for hand-finished guns. The manufacturers are so serious about the accuracy of this gun that the design specs calls for every P210 to be capable of putting five rounds into a 2 inch circle at 50 yards before leaving the factory. As with some of SIGs higher end pistols, a test fire target is included in the box to show that you are getting a seriously accurate handgun.

Jim Barrett from TheTruthAboutGuns.com had this to say about their experience with the P210: “All that I can say is, wow. I’ve never shot a gun this accurate and using it is a great leveler when shooting against people with more ability. The P210 consistently puts the bullet where you aim it. If you can overcome your own shooting shortcomings, this gun will not let you down.”

CZ 75

cz 75The ČZ 75 is a pistol made by Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod (CZUB) in the Czech Republic that has both semi-automatic and selective fire variants. First introduced in 1975, it is one of the original “wonder nines” featuring a staggered-column magazine, all-steel construction, and a hammer forged barrel. It is widely distributed throughout the world. It is the most common handgun in the Czech Republic.

The CZ 75 is a short recoil operated, locked breech pistol. It uses the Browning linkless cam locking system similar to that used in the Browning Hi-Power pistol, where the barrel and slide are locked together on firing, using locking lugs milled into the barrel mating with recesses in the roof of the slide. An enclosed cam track integral with the barrel is actuated by the slide release lever’s transverse pin. After the first few millimetres of the recoil stroke, the barrel is cammed downwards at the rear, enabling the slide to continue the recoil stroke and eject the spent cartridge. Similar to the SIG P210 the slide rides inside the frame rails to provide a tight slide-to-frame fit and a very efficient barrel lock-up, both of which contribute to its accuracy.

Not only is it super accurate, but it seems to be really reliable too. CZUB claims that its factory shooter Martin Kameníček had shot 150,000 rounds through the CZ 75 TS Czechmate version of gun in 5 years, in which time he only needed to change the barrel once in order to maintain precision.

Browning Hi-Power

Bowning HPThe Browning Hi Power is a single-action, semi-automatic handgun available in 9mm and .40 S&W calibers. It is based on a design by American firearms inventor John Browning, and completed by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium. The Hi-Power is one of the most widely used military pistols in history, having been used by the armed forces of over 50 countries.

The Hi-Power, like many other Browning designs, operates on the short-recoil principle, where the barrel and slide initially recoil together until the barrel is unlocked from the slide by a cam arrangement.

ChuckHawks.com has this to say about the Browning Hi-Power: “This is an exceedingly accurate 9mm pistol, perhaps the most accurate we have subjected to a full Guns and Shooting Online Review.”

Colt Python

Colt PythonThe Colt Python is a .357 Magnum caliber revolver formerly manufactured by Colt’s Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut. It is sometimes referred to as a “Combat Magnum”. It was built on Colt’s large I-frame. We say “was”, because unfortunately this amazing revolver has been discontinued in 2005 altogether (between 1999 and 2005 the Colt Custom Gun Shop continued making a limited number of Pythons on special order).

Like all Colt revolvers, the cylinder rotates into the frame for an extremely tight lock-up. The Python barrel has a ventilated rib on top and a full length underlug. Inside, Python barrels are bored with a very slight, full length, taper toward the muzzle for superior accuracy.

ChuckHawks.com has this to say about the gun: “The accuracy of the Python revolver is legendary. I have owned Pythons with 4 inch, 6 inch, and 8 inch barrels, and all have been, literally, more accurate than I can shoot.”





What Do You Think – What Is The Most Accurate Handgun?

Interestingly, the guns we listed above are all rather old designs. How do modern handguns compare to these guns? If you have a thought or opinion on which handgun is the most accurate handgun or how modern handgun compare to older models, please share your thoughts on the topic of the most accurate handgun in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Best .45 Pistol – We Look At 5 Great Options

What is the best .45 pistol? The .45 ACP (11.43×23mm) (Automatic Colt Pistol), also known as the .45 Auto by C.I.P. or 45 Auto by SAAMI, is a cartridge designed by John Browning in 1904, for use in his prototype Colt semi-automatic .45 pistol and eventually the M1911 pistol adopted by the United States Army in 1911.






Recently the US Army decided to replace the Cold-War era M9 9mm pistol with a more powerful handgun that also meets the needs of the other services. A key requirement the Army had was that the new calibre has to be durable, long lasting and does not wear handguns down prematurely. Apparently the Army was not keen on the 9mm ball ammunition and so instead decided to go with .45 ACP as their default calibre for handguns. However, there are many great .45 calibre handgun options out there…so which one is the best .45 pistol?

See als0 – How Does Shooting Affect Your Hearing? How To Avoid Permanent Hearing Loss

Detonics MTX/STX system

Detonics MTXBob Owens from Bearingarms.com believes the best .45 pistol for the Army is the Detonics MTX/STX system from Detonics Defense Technologies. The gun is designed to be modular ,offering easy customizing to fit different hands as well as different missions. The product page for the MTX series of pistols says that these pistols are designed with ergonomics in mind, with the grip providing the best possible feel. The MTX barrel length comes in 3 available configurations, namely

  • Full-size: 4.24″
  • Hybrid: 3.5″
  • Government: 5″ (available on custom order)

In Bob’s article, he really liked the grip of this pistol. The pistol uses double-stack STI 2011 magazines, with the grip angled so that it results in a lower bore axis and much lower felt recoil. Bob goes on to say: “Shots fired from an MTX in .45 ACP  feel more akin to shooting a soft 9mm, and the pistol comes back on target faster for follow up shots.”. Interestingly this gun uses an internal striker instead of a visible external hammer. One thing that stands in the way of this pistol though is Detonics’ production capacity. Detonics is a small company based in Milstadt, Illinois and currently does not seem to have the capacity to manufacture on a scale comparable to some of the big names in the industry. So it will be interesting to see what happens to this pistol and whether it will be selected by the Army as their new handgun. If you want a gun that is a bit unique and modern, then the Detonics MTX could be the best .45 pistol for your needs. It is a little pricey though, with a MSRP of $1,500 stated on Detonics’ website. The Glock 21 was retailing at $547 on GlockStore.com at the time of the writing of this article

Smith & Wesson Performance Center 1911

Smith & Wesson Performance Center 1911The Smith & Wesson Performance Center 1911 made it to #2 on Handgunsmag.com’s 2013 list of best handguns. It is certainly eye-catching and looks the part! It is a single action pistol that has a capacity of 8 rounds, with a 5″ barrel. The frame and slide are made from Stainless Steel, while the grip is made from G10 custom wood. Features of this pistol include adjustable rear sight, dovetail-fitted front, lowered ejection port and external extractor. Besides these features, it also has some small things that give it that “cool factor”, such as the S&W Performance Center logo laser-engraved on the slide and something called lightning cuts, which is also on the slide. Apparently these cuts are not for cooling (as one would assume) but rather to make the slide a little lighter…but also to make it look good! While this pistol looks great, it might not be as practical as some other pistols out there. Handgunsmag.com points out that the grip of the pistol is maybe a bit too textured, which results in the pistol shredding your clothes if you wear it concealed/close against your body. Also, it is a big heavy gun that weighs in at 40.5 oz and measuring an overall length of 8.7″. As a comparison, the Detonics MTX (full size model) above weighs 27 oz and measures in at 7.95″. If you want a good looking weapon to take to the gun range, this is possibly the best .45 pistol for you. However if you are looking for a convenient gun to carry, there are better options out there.

Heckler & Koch HK45

Heckler Koch HK45What would a list of the best .45 pistol options be without some German made handguns?! The Heckler & Koch HK45 (Heckler & Koch, .45 ACP) is a semi-automatic pistol designed by the German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch. The HK45 was designed to meet requirements set forth in the U.S. Military Joint Combat Pistol program which had the purpose of arming the U.S. Military with a .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol instead of the 9mm M9 pistol.

It uses an HK proprietary O-ring barrel for precise barrel-to-slide lockup and optimal accuracy. HK45 barrels are made using the famous HK cold-hammer forging process for superior performance and increased life-span of the firearm. It has some user-inspired enhancements, including changeable grip panels (backstraps), a Picatinny MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail, better ergonomics, and more ambidextrous controls.

If you want a light, well made gun from a reputable manufacture HK 45 could be the best .45 pistol for you.

Glock 21

Glock 21This pistol is a polymer-framed, short recoil operated, locked breech semi-automatic pistol designed and produced by Glock Ges.m.b.H., located in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria.

Glock pistols chambered for the .45 ACP calibre feature octagonal polygonal rifling rather than the hexagonal shaped bores used for models in most other chamberings. Octagonal rifling provides a better gas seal in relatively large diameter rifled bores, since an octagon resembles a circle more closely than a hexagon.

Despite being called a “plastic” gun, the Glock is made from sturdy materials. The frame, magazine body, and several other components are made from a high-strength nylon-based polymer called Polymer 2, invented by Gaston Glock. The polymer is specifically designed to provide increased durability and is more resilient than carbon steel and most steel alloys. It is also resistant to shock, caustic liquids, and temperature extremes where traditional steel/alloy frames would warp and become brittle.

If you want an affordable and well know handgun, then the Glock 21 might be the best .45 pistol for your needs.

Beretta Px4 Storm

Beretta Px4 StormItalians are known for making beautiful things, and the Beretta Px4 Storm is no exception. The Beretta Px4 Storm is a semi-automatic pistol manufactured by Beretta of Italy. The Px4 uses the same short-recoil, rotating barrel action as the Beretta 8000 models and uses the same trigger and safety system as the M9/92/96 series.

The Px4 Storm features light-weight polymer construction with steel inserts, a modular trigger group, fully enclosing slide, Picatinny rail, and changeable backstrap options for the grip. The Px4 Storm uses a proprietary Beretta design with an innovative locked breech with a rotating barrel system. This design is supposed to minimize recoil from each firing, thus increasing the shooter’s overall accuracy and producing more accurate shooting during rapid-fire situations.

Px4 Storm SDIf you want to get a “tacti-cool” looking handgun, the Px4 Storm SD (Special Duty) might be the best .45 pistol for you. The Special Duty versions has a desert tan frame color, PVD coated magazines and internal firing control assembly, double recoil spring, specially roll marked slide and a longer barrel to facilitate the use of a suppressor.

If you want a beautiful handgun that is trusted by law enforcement and military units across the globe, then the Beretta Px4 Storm is the best .45 pistol for your needs.

If you decide to get yourself a Beretta Px4 Storm, be sure to check out our article that looks at 5 Beretta Px4 Storm holsters.

.45 Comparison

GunWeight (oz)Overrall length (In)
Detonics MTX277.95
Smith & Wesson Performance Center 191140.58.70
Heckler & Koch HK45278
Glock 2129.848.22
Beretta Px4 Storm28.27.68

The Detonics MTX is an innovative gun that will offer the Army what it wants in terms of modularity. It also looks pretty cool! However for the average Joe in the street it is just too expensive. Hopefully if the Army does decide to adopt it as their standard handgun, mass production of the gun will result in prices coming down.

The Smith & Wesson Performance Center 1911 is a nice gun…but practically cannot compete with the other .45 pistols on our list. It is too big and heavy.

For us, that leaves the HK 45, Glock 21 and the Beretta Px4 Storm to duke it out for our choice of best .45 pistol. All three are made from Polymers, all three have great safety features, all three are well made and respected across the globe. So for us the difference between the three is looks (and of course what is good looking to one person might not be to another). The Beretta Px4 Storm is a beautiful handgun. If we had to choose a .45 pistol today…we would quite probably end up getting the Beretta Px4 Storm (although both the HK 45 and Glock 21 would be very appealing!).

Other .45 ACP Options

Needless to say there are more than just the 5 options we discussed above. Below are only a few other .45 handguns that might be considered among the best .45 pistol options.

Taurus 24/7 .45 ACP OSS

This pistol was originally designed and built as a .45 ACP to exceed all requirements originally set forth in 2005 by the U.S. Special Operations Command for an intended procurement of a new military .45 ACP service pistol. However it appears that this pistol was discontinued, and as such cannot be a contender for the best .45 pistol. Some users also complained about problems they had with their pistols, which you can read here.

SIG Sauer P220

The SIG Sauer P220 is a semi-automatic pistol made by SIG Sauer and is manufactured in Eckernförde, Germany. It uses the Browning linkless cam short recoil action of self-loading with a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger mechanism.

Springfield XD(M) 45

The Springfield Armory XDM (X-Treme Duty, the M is for the match grade barrel and match grade trigger) is a semi-automatic pistol that is polymer-framed and striker-fired. Manufactured in the city of Karlovac, Croatia by HS Produkt (formerly I.M. Metal), the Springfield Armory XDM is the marketing name for the weapon, which is licensed and sold in the US by Springfield Armory, Inc. Like most of the handguns on our list of the best .45 pistol options, it is made from a Polymer frame. Total length comes in at 7″ and it weighs 27 oz.





What do you think – What is the best .45 pistol?

Listing the best of something always tends to get some debate going…sometimes people even get quite passionate about it! But we would love to hear what you think the best .45 pistol is. If you have an opinion on the topic of what the best .45 pistol is, please share it in the comments section below.

Choosing The Best pistol Safe – We List 5 Top Safes

CHOOSING THE BEST PISTOL SAFE

Purchasing a pistol safe is often treated as a mindless decision, with very little consideration being given to the multitudinous variables that impact the value and effectiveness of the safe.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to buying the best pistol safe for you, and when careful consideration is given to the importance of choosing the best pistol safe, and numerous functions that the safe must be capable of, it becomes obvious that this decision should be treated with a higher level of importance being focused on buying the best pistol safe possible. We have a guide on some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best pistol safe for your needs, which you can read here.

Taking the time to analytically examine the best pistol safe options that are available, is the first step in ensuring that you don't waste money on a safe that lacks the functionality, security and size that is ideal for the use that it is intended for. There has been a rise in the popularity and sale of handgun safes or pistol lock boxes in recent years.

A significant influence on this rise in popularity as far as pistol safes are concerned is the increase in accidental deaths involving young children who gained access to a parent's handgun.

The rise in handgun theft is another issue that is driving the popularity of small gun safes. In order to effectively meet the needs associated with a gun safe, it is important to gather as much information as possible so that you can be confident that you are purchasing the best pistol safe for the manner in which it will be used. Following is a systematic breakdown of the top 5 best pistol safe options available.

GunVault NV200 Nano Vault

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First up on the best pistol safe list is the GunVault NV200. For those individuals who are familiar with the GunVault line of pistol safes, you will immediately recognize the NV200 as being a slightly larger version of the NV100, with measurements of 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.75 inches. The increased size provides the capacity to accommodate larger weapons, including an additional magazine. This safe has the capacity to fit a number of full-sized guns, such as the Glock 26 and 30, as well as the Ruger LCP and P345.

Key Lock System

The NV200 has a number of features that qualify it for its designation as a top 5 best pistol safe; however, one of the most important features is the fact that it has a key lock system, which means it has the security necessary to prevent unauthorized access, while providing quick and easy access to the weapon when needed. As long as the keys are kept in a safe yet accessible place, the primary functions of the safe, accessibility and security, will remain optimally functional.

Foamed Interior

For the person who prefers to keep their handgun in pristine condition, minus the scratches and scuffs that are a natural part of wear and tear, the foam interior of this pistol safe is ideal for protecting the gun from scratches, and other accidental damage. The manner in which the gun safe is able to protect the items that are placed in it are a significant part of what will determine whether the safe qualifies to make a best pistol safe list or not.

Mobility

The portability of this gun safe is another great feature that adds to its popularity and earns it its spot on the best pistol safe list. When transporting your gun, many states require the weapon be locked away, and the NV200 provides the capability to comply with these types laws, while still providing the quick accessibility that is extremely important to the person who is looking for the ability to protect themselves in unexpected hostile situations.

The NV200 is sleek enough to slide underneath the driver's seat, and it will also easily fit into your drawer or cupboard. This is the ideal safe for the person who is looking for something that they can easily be tucked away and access when needed.

Durability

It would seem that durability would be synonymous with the term "gun safe;" however, this is not necessarily so; however, any gun that would be considered the best pistol safe would need to possess a high level of durability. There are some pistol safes that lack durability, meaning that they are really not that safe. Fortunately, the NV200 is a quality safe that possesses an exceptional amount of durability. The sleek designed of the safe requires for a higher-gauge of steel; however, the 18-gauge steel case is made from a high-quality steel that has proven to be exceptionally rugged and durable.

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • Ideal for mobility and travel
  • Reasonably priced
  • Added security cable to attach it to fixed objects, preventing someone from simply walking off with it
  • Great for concealing in the smallest of places

Cons

  • The smell of the internal foam, which is actually a rust-proofing agent, can be pretty strong. However, the foam can be washed out if the smell is too unbearable
  • You sacrifice capacity and gauge size to accommodate the sleek and concealable design

SentrySafe PP1K Portable Pistol Safe

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One of the primary functions of a gun safe that is worthy of making the best pistol safe list is portability, and the PP1K does not lack in portability in the slightest. Another important element of a good pistol safe is accessibility and this safe has this feature as well. Sentry has long been a well-respected safe manufacturer, being recognized for their high level of quality and their commitment to detail. The commitment to quality and detail can be seen in the intuitive design of this safe. This safe definitely has to be considered as one a safe that is qualified to be called the best pistol safe.

Key Lock

The locking mechanisms on a gun safe is extremely important to its overall functionality. When it comes to a full-sized home safe, it may be appropriate, or even necessary, to have multiple locking mechanisms on the safe in order to provide optimum security; however, it would not be wise to have multiple mechanisms on a safe that requires quick accessibility. This safe has a key lock, which means that the safety mechanism is in place, while accessibility is maximized. The safe has the spatial capacity to hold two full-sized handguns, or it will hold one gun and two magazines.

Security

One of the primary concerns about any type of gun safe is whether it is tamper resistant. If a safe can be easily pried open, it has no true value. The PP1 is highly pry resistant, meaning that you can feel confident with the fact that your children, or a burglar will not be able to pry their way into the safe.

Security Tether Cable

Portable gun safes are often stolen, with the intent being to break into the safe when there is more time. This is why the PP1 comes with a metal cable that can be affixed to an immovable object, preventing someone from walking away with the safe.

Foam Protection

The inside of this pistol safe is lined with high-density protective foam. This foam will help to guard against scratches and scuffs, as well as other types of damage.

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • Highly portable, can be used in and outside of the vehicle
  • The door and door hinges are designed to be pry-resistant
  • The interior of the safe is lined with high-density compression foam
  • Passes government rating for safety

Cons

  • No keyless entry, which means that if the key is lost, the safe becomes inaccessible and useless.
  • Sleek design limits space

Stack-On GCB-900 Steel Pistol Safe

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Although the GCB-900 is lacking in the area of portability, it earns high stars when it comes to storage capacity and multi-functionality. This size of this safe bars it from being used as portable safe or as a car safe; however, it is ideal for storing multiple guns, ammo, magazines and other personal valuable that you may want to protect. At a price that is considerably under $100, the price is definitely right, leaving the concern about quality. This safe definitely proves that you don't have to spend an exorbitant amount of money. So, what makes this safe worthy of being best pistol safe leader? The answer to this question is found by understanding that the designation of best pistol safe is highly relative. It depends on what you are looking for in a safe. In other words, a safe can be highly portable and have a great deal of accessibility, but if storage capacity and security are your primary concerns, the aforementioned feature will not possess a high value rating; however, a safe that has room for multiple guns, ammo and valuable will possess a high value rating. When it comes to high storage capacity, the GCB-900 is the best pistol safe.

High-Security Locking Mechanism

Due to the fact that this safe is meant to be more of a stationary mechanism of gun safety, it does not necessarily require the speedy access of a car gun safe. This safe uses a fully lockable key coded double bitted lock. The door is also steel framed.

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • Ideal for holding multiple pistols, supplies, ammo and personal valuables
  • High-security locking mechanism to protect from tampering and prying
  • Two removable shelves and padded bottom, allow for adjustments to accommodate storage needs
  • Pre-drilled holes allow for the safe to be permanently mounted to floor, wall or ceiling

Cons

  • Lacks the mobility of smaller pistol safes

BARSKA Top Opening Biometric Finger Print Opening Safes

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This safe is ideal for the tech lover. The biometric access mechanism is becoming increasingly popular for locking mechanisms on homes, computers and even vehicles. The does require that the batteries that render this locking modality functional be regularly changed.

The biometric component is one of the reasons that this safe is considered to be a top 5 best pistol safe. There are a number of other features that make this pistol safe popular among gun owners. Another awesome feature is the fact that this pistol safe is the perfect mix of portability and storage capacity, allowing you to fit your gun and clips in easily, while still being able to grab it and go. This safe fits perfectly in a desk drawer or dresser drawer. With dimensions being 14.75 by 11.25 by five inches, this safe provides the space without consuming a lot of space.

Durability

Another element of this safe that qualifies it to be considered on the best pistol list safe is the fact that it is immensely durable, not only being made of high quality steel, but the construction of the safe ensures that it can stand the text of time. Even the door is made of high-quality steel, meaning that the safe is extremely pry-proof.

Functionality

This small safe has an immensely high functionality ratio. It can be used as a portable safe that will allow you to transport your pistol and valuables safely and legally with great ease, and it can also be permanently affixed to walls or floors to restrict the movement and the risk of the safe being stolen.

Damage Protection

An important element of a safe that can be designated as the best pistol safe is the capacity to protect the gun from scratches and damage. If you are a person that desires to protect the gun from scratches, which can negatively impact the aesthetic appeal of the gun, then this safe is definitely one you should consider. The bottom of the safe is fitted with a soft, protective foam, that not only protects the gun from scratches, but it also protects it from damage that may impact its ability to perform.

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • High level of portability
  • Sufficient storage capacity
  • Can be mounted almost anywhere
  • Fast access through a biometric locking system
  • Convenient Top opening access

Cons

  • Not fire proof
  • Not waterproof

When comes to a safe that embodies all of the elements of a handgun safe, the BARSKA top opening biometric safe is the best pistol safe.

Hornady Security Rapid Gun Safe

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When it comes to rapid access with gun safes, the Hornady Rapid Safe is considered by many gun experts to be the future of rapid access gun storage, and although rapid access is the primary feature of this safe, the first thing that jumps out is the fact that it is well-constructed. The safe weighs nearly 16 pounds, and it is constructed of 16-gauge steel with a ¼ inch dual locking lug system. To add to the security functionality of this safe, it can be affixed to an immovable object with a 1,500 pound rated cable.

Hands-free Access

A part of the rapid access component is the fact that the safe can be accessed using the hands-free Radio Frequency Identification technology. There are three primary modalities through which the system can be operated, and they are:

  • Bracelet
  • Keycard
  • Key fob

The door immediately pops open when one of the aforementioned devices are swiped passed it.

Additionally, the safe can also be accessed by using a personally programmed code that can be keyed in on the keypad. Finally, the safe has a fail-safe that will allow you to open it with a key, ensuring that failed technology will not lock you out of your safe.

When the safe's "unlock" sequence is triggered, the door pops open from the top, and the gun is presented — handle first — for quick access.

Power can be supplied to the safe continuously, using a 110-volt AC power adapter, or the battery backup will allow you to use the safe at home or while on the go.

This safe is slightly pricier than the other safes on this list, but the value is in the convenience and functionality of the safe.

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • Rapid access
  • Multiple modes of entry
  • High portability
  • Quality construction and durability
  • Padded pistol holder to protect the gun

Cons

  • A little pricy at slightly over $200.00; however, the functionality and durability provide the value that justifies the price

Which Safe Would We Choose?

The best pistol safe comes in more than one size of function, and each of these safes offer a unique benefit that is need-specific. For the person who is looking for maximum portability and concealability, the NV200 is the best safe for that. The PP1k is great for a person portability with slightly more storage space.

The GCB 900 does not have the portability of the other safes, but it provides the ultimate in-home safety and functionality. The BARSKA biometric safe is probably the most functional of all, having storage capacity and ease of access capabilities that is competitive with the others. Finally, the Hornady Rapid Gun Safe is the most high tech, and it probably has the quickest access out of all of the safes.

Personally, I would choose the BARSKA Biometric Safe because it is the perfect combination of storage capacity, functionality and ease of access. Its affordability is what eliminates the Hornady safe. However, either of these safes can easily be named the best pistol safe on the market.

What do you think - what is the best pistol safe?

Everyone has different needs, and this is true when it comes to pistol safes. That also means that people will have other opinions on what they think the best pistol safe is. If you have some thoughts on the topic, please share what you think the best pistol safe is in the comments section below.

Looking For The Best 380 Pistol – We Investigate 5 Options

Considering 380 pistols were derided at first, these pistols are now becoming extremely popular. Originally, handguns chambered in .380 ACP caused concern due to their lack of power when compared to their full-sized counterparts using larger cartridges.

See Also: How Does Shooting Affect Your Hearing? How To Avoid Permanent Hearing Loss

Since the introduction of 380 pistols, ammunition technology has come on in leaps and bounds, with smaller cartridges now delivering a much greater expansion and energy towards a target. As power becomes less of an issue, and the positive attributes of having a pistol that is lighter and smaller, not to mention more concealable (considering most US states prohibit carrying guns ‘on show’), then it is easy to see why 380 pistols are gaining serious popularity. Here we look at the best 380 pistols available on the market today.


5 of the best 380 pistol options available

The Sig Sauer P238

Sig Sauer P238Sig Sauer have become one of the most well-known firearms manufacturers in the US. Sig Sauer have a knack of creating pistols that appeal to the widest market possible, and the Sig Sauer P238 is no different. It is very stylish and compact, and comes is many different textures and finishes (everything from gloss to rosewood grips), to appeal to as many different people as possible. It is designed as a self-defence pistol for short range, and is single action only (SAO). It weighs around 15 ounces, making it heavy enough so you have good grip control, but light enough to conceal easily (although it is the heaviest pistol on our list). With casual users in mind, Sig Sauer have also made sure that recoil and trigger pull is extremely smooth, making this pistol the best 380 pistol when it comes to fun shooting on the range. The one major flaw we found with the Sig Sauer P238 is the safety. The frame mounted thumb safety does not feel very natural, and new users could find it difficult to using the slide mounted safety when in a situation full of pressure and emotions. A fantastic gun for self-defence, but make sure you practice with it on the range first.

The Glock 42

Glock 42These double action only (DAO) pistols have had a tumultuous journey on their way to becoming a firm fixture in many people’s best 380 pistol lists. Originally, they were not taken seriously at all, due to their reliability concerns and ‘flimsy’ plastic frames. On paper, the Glock 42 seems like the most unimpressive 380 pistol on our list. This pistol weighs around 14 ounces and is very narrow, making it seem like a gun for dwarves. However, get out onto the range, and you’ll find the thinner dimensions feel much more natural when handling, whilst grip is very firm. It is also one of the smoothest 380 pistols to operate, with the lowest recoil force of all 380 pistols. Even new users will be able to accurately fire shots from around 15 yards. The best 380 pistol for reduced felt recoil.


Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380This is another 380 pistol that has come a long way since launch. Originally viewed as a ‘woman’s toy’, this double action only (DAO) pistol has garnered a large following due to its ease of use (recoil force is very good, as is gun grip), steel body parts (making this pistol feel quite substantial, although it does add to its weight at just under 13 ounces), and its unique selling point, the aiming laser. The laser is built into the frame and is activated by 2 soft buttons on either side of the grip, very well located to be pushed easily using your index fingers. What’s more, you can alternate between constant and pulsating modes, and the laser automatically shuts off after 5 minutes of use. The laser can also be easily removed for servicing, or for cleaning. When on the range, you’ll find that this laser works brilliantly, even in bright midday sun, and additionally, the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 has some of the largest front sights we’ve seen on a 380 pistol. All this creates a weapon that is the best 380 pistol when it comes to accuracy – even beginners will do very well.

Kahr P380

Kahr P380Kahr have built up a solid reputation for having some of the best pistols around when it comes to solid, study construction, and the P380 is no different. This is a double action only (DAO) pistol made from stainless steel and black polymer. Even when fully loaded, it weighs less than 10 ounces, making it one of the lightest P380 pistols on the market, and one of the most easiest to conceal. If you are looking for the best 380 pistol when it comes reliability and quality, then the Kahr P380 is your best bet. Accuracy is also not compromised in any way. The DAO trigger is smooth, which helps you to keep your sights aligned as you fire. We found it hard to fault this 380 pistol, with the only call to attention being to remember when reassembling the gun (after you have disassembled for cleaning) that the spring system and position of the slide stop has to be perfect. Otherwise the Kahr P380 may malfunction. One of the best 380 pistols on the market today.

Ruger LCP

Ruger LCPQuite possibly the most popular 380 pistol in the US market at present, the double action only (DAO) pistol is also the lightest pistol on our best 380 pistol list, weighing in at a tiny 9.4 ounces (due to its glass filled nylon frame). Not only that, Ruger have made sure it is possibly the most concealable 380 pistol on the market; even the hammer doesn’t protrude (an issue with most other 380 pistols) When you first handle the Ruger LCP, you’re likely to think that it’s a toy gun. Don’t let’s its tiny dimensions and weight fool you. Trigger pull is very smooth, and the magazine can be reloaded and fired within seconds. Accuracy is also very good. The only small issue we had was that this pistol is so small, some users with larger hands may find that their pinky finger is not able to fit onto the hand grip, leaving it dangling. This may cause some issues with accuracy. The best 380 pistol, if concealability is your number one priority.

What do you think – what is the best 380 pistol?

The are going to be a lot of opinions on what is the best 380 pistol! Do you think there is a 380 pistol that is better than the pistols listed above? If you do, please feel free to share your thoughts on what you think the best 380 pistol is in the comments section below.

What Is The Best 22LR Pistol?

Many people disregard the 22 lr cartridge (lr stands for Long Rifle), calling it ineffective and pointless, as the small bullets may not stop an assailant advancing on you, and that 22 lr pistols can only be used for training (and even then, in a limited capacity). However, due to the soaring ammunition prices in the last few years, 22 lr pistols are seeing a resurgence in popularity. Yes, the bullets are small, and most people do prefer to use a different caliber pistol as their main self-defence weapon. But all gun users need to practice. And practicing with larger caliber bullets, such as .45 S&W, .40 ACP or 9mm, will not only blow holes in your practice targets, but also in your wallet!






Buying a 22 lr caliber pistol is better than having no pistol at all when it comes to self-defence, and 22 lr pistols tend to be the most keenly priced on the market. Also, most gun users will have a larger caliber pistol as their main self-defence pistol, and they will add a 22 lr pistol to their gun collection as a cost effective way to be able to have regular training sessions at the range without seeing their bank account drained of funds. Roughly speaking, you can buy around 250 rounds of good quality 22 lr ammunition for the same price of around 50 rounds of larger caliber ammunition. That equates to around five times the amount of live fire practice, which all helps when you are developing your skills as a shooter. Think about it; even the light-weight 22 bullet is far more deadly in the hands of a skilled shooter, than a 9mm in the hands of a novice. Far too many people are buying pistols built for large caliber bullets, but then not spending anywhere near enough time on the range practicing their shooting skills because of the cost of bullets.

If you are new to training with guns, an added bonus of 22 lr pistols are the low levels of noise and recoil. This stops new shooters from developing bad habits early on, such as flinching – bad habits are much more difficult to get rid of later, than being nipped in the bud right at the beginning.

Five 22 lr Pistol Options

So you’ve decided to buy yourself a 22lr pistol. But what is the best 22lr pistol? Here’s our top 5 22lr pistols. We’ll look at several aspects to help you make your mind up, such as quality of build, performance, design, handling, and of course, cost.

Beretta Neos

Beretta NeosThis is our cheapest 22lr pistol on our list, but don’t let that put you off, as this has beaten about ten other more expensive 22lr pistols. It costs a mere $280, with a standard 10 round magazine capacity. It weighs either 32 or 36 ounces, and a barrel length of 4.5 or 6 inches, depending on the model, so therefore, one of our larger and heavier pistols. This is a solidly built 22lr pistol, with a good finish, good accuracy, good reliability, and a good trigger. Field stripping is reasonable, although takes practice. The main drawback is a skinny grip with a strange grip angle. The design is rather ‘different’ looking, almost ‘futuristic’, which might buy it some fans, but the skinny grips and grip angle definitely puts us off a little. What others say about it “If I bought a U22, I would buy it just for the novelty of using it a few times but the gun would primarily remain a pistol. It is a .22 terrific for plinking and accuracy with styling to keep the younger generation interested.” – Brett Solomon on thetruthaboutguns.com “A quick glance at the NEOS is enough to conjure images of Buck Rogers (or whatever is the modern super equivalent would be for you younger tykes). The futuristic design is for more than looks. The NEOS features a high grip angle and when you consider your stance and form—shoulders rolled forward and extended toward the target—you can easily understand how the NEOS becomes part of that natural extension.” – Dave Dolbee on cheaperthandirt.com

Ruger SR22

Ruger SR22One of our smaller pistols on our list, this 22lr pistol is only 17.5 ounces in weight, with a tiny 3.5 inch barrel. This does mean that those with larger hands should avoid it as you will find it difficult to operate. It’s also very keenly priced at $340 and has the standard 10 round magazine capacity. Despite its price, however, this is a solidly built pistol, with a good finish (polymer frame with an aircraft aluminium slide). It also boasts decent accuracy, is reliable, has good sights, and field stripping is simple. It operates in single and double action mode, and, in single action, has a decent trigger. However, the double action trigger is heavy. Despite the drawbacks, though, this is definitely one of our favourites.

Smith & Wesson M&P22

Smith & Wesson M&P22Weighing around 24 ounces with a barrel length of 4.1 inches, this is a small to medium sized 22lr pistol with a magazine capacity of 10 or 12 rounds. It’s also reasonably priced at $380. Ergonomic fit is great, as is the finish (metal frame with a polymer grip, and an aluminium aerospace alloy slide). It also boasts ambidextrous safety, field stripping is simple, and works with most 22 bullets. This is easily one of the best 22lr pistols on our list, what with the higher magazine capacity, look and feel – Smith & Wesson seem to agree, as they back this pistol with a lifetime warranty.

Ruger Mark III & 22/45

Ruger MarkThese are the original and classic 22lr pistols, and still retain their gold standard when it comes to durability and reliability. These pistols are priced between $325 and $400, with many models below $350. There are people out there using their granddads pistol, and they are as accurate and reliable as they were decades ago. Magazine capacity is the standard 10 rounds, with quite a long barrel length of 4-6 inches (depending on model). They also weigh more than modern pistols (at around 37 ounces for the heaviest models). Still, they have great balance and fit ergonomically into your hands. Some users more used to modern pistols may find the styling dated, or even ugly, but that’s a matter of personal choice. The main issue, however, is that these pistols are a nightmare to field strip. Therefore, this is not one of the best 22lr pistols, but we’re still in awe of the fact that, even to this day, it blows many of the other much more modern 22lr pistols out of the water.

Browning Buckmark

Browning BuckmarkOne of our heavier and larger 22lr pistols, this comes in at a weight of 34 ounces, with a barrel length of 5.5 inches. It has the standard 10 round magazine capacity, and costs anything from $350 to $400. This guns is built like a tank! Although not as old as the Ruger Mark III & 22/45, these have been around for a while, and they have a great track record when it comes to reliability, durability and accuracy. They have solid triggers, with good ergonomics and balance. Field stripping is simple, although you do need tools. Style-wise, these pistols do look dated, but many like the old-style rugged look. They work with nearly all types of 22 ammunition, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better combination when it comes to performance and cost. One of the best 22lr pistols you will find out there.





Our Pick For The Best 22lr Pistol

So, what is the best 22lr pistol? For absolute reliability, durability, and the ability to work with even the cheapest of 22 ammunition, our winner is the Browning Buckmark. It is on the larger side, as well as being heavier than most other 22lr pistols, but as these guns are likely to be used on the range, rather than for concealed, self-defence reasons, these disadvantages can be overlooked. If you want something more modern, and have smallish hands, look no further than the Ruger SR22. Very keenly priced, and yet this pistol does not feel ‘cheap’ in any way, and it’s also a doddle to field strip. Just use it mainly in single action mode. For larger hands wanting something more modern, get yourself the Smith & Wesson M&P22. Great build and durability, easy to field strip, availability of a 12 round magazine capacity, and still keenly priced – what more do you want?

What Do You Think – What Is The Best 22lr Pistol?

Different folks will have different opinions on what the best 22lr pistol is, and most likely there are a bunch of pistols out there that we did not mention on our list that perhaps could/should be. So please let us know what you think the best 22lr pistol is by leaving a comment in the comments section below.