Top 10 Best Handguns of All Time

Think about what you value in a handgun. Is it the sleek design and ease of use that catches your eye? Or are you more about the technical specs, like caliber, magazine capacity, and safety features? Perhaps you're drawn to the stories and history behind iconic models, each with its own legend. Whatever your criteria, it's time to weigh in on what you believe stands out in the world of handguns.

Remember, this isn't just about picking the best handgun in a generic sense. It's about what resonates with you, what fits your hand like it was made for it, and what you can rely on when it matters most. Whether you're a seasoned shooter, a collector, or someone curious about what makes these firearms stand out, your opinion matters.
The Top Ten
1 Desert Eagle

I just bought one and cannot believe the accuracy. It's a better gun than I am as a shooter. A little heavy, but that helps with the recoil and rapid-fire capability. I highly recommend this gun.

The Desert Eagle is .50 caliber! This will blow a hole in your head. The army uses this handgun as a special sidearm when they run out of bullets for their primary weapon.

Really accurate for a big gun. It has less recoil than you might think but demands a strong grip. It's both attractive and intimidating in appearance.

2 FN Five-seveN

The trigger takes a bit of getting used to. The gun itself is expensive and hard to find in stock, but it's well worth the price. Quick acquisition of targets, coupled with low recoil, makes second and third shots easy and accurate.

I'm not a competition shooter by any means, but this pistol makes shots at 50 yards that are amazing. My 11-year-old son picked it up for the first time, and his first three shots scored on a 6-inch target at 15 yards. Ammo is much easier and cheaper to find than it has been. Too bad it's too large for me to comfortably conceal.

3 Colt M1911

Wow! I'm surprised this gem is not in the top ten. I won't even touch on the history of the firearm. The 1911 was one of the first handguns I fired regularly as a teenager.

I spent time in the Army, both enlisted and as an officer, from 1990 to 2005. I've fired a lot of different weapons. For me, it comes down to comfort and an almost unexplainable connection with a weapon. In a handgun, I prefer a single-stack grip in a large caliber.

In most situations, you might only get a couple of shots off. Comfort and accuracy are everything. The 1911 has always been a comfortable, extremely accurate weapon with a round that is fantastic on soft targets (not hard). In comparison, I couldn't stand my M9 Beretta. I would take a 1911 with an extra magazine any day. To each his or her own.

4 357 Magnum

I bought a .357 Magnum Dan Wesson with 4 interchangeable barrels in the late '80s, and it's still in perfect condition. It's a great gun - powerful and very accurate. Every .357 Magnum looks very respectable.

The Taurus Tracker series are excellent revolvers. The fact that they can dispense 7 instead of 6 rounds downrange means they go to 11.

5 Smith & Wesson 500

This gun is the most powerful handgun on Earth. With its gigantic bullet size and extremely fast hammer collision (and extremely large recoil), the force of the handgun is sufficient to push a man back by about a foot, also making it loud enough to hurt your eardrums. This makes the gun quite heavy (5.125 lbs/about 2.325 kg while loaded), and it has only 5 rounds at a time (due to the large bullet size).

Despite this, a single bullet can travel 1975 ft/s (602 m/s) and have a muzzle energy equal to 3,030 foot-pounds force (4.1 kJ). This is sufficient to successfully kill an elephant. It should be #1.

6 Kahr CW9

The Kahr P9 has way more ammo and is a better gun, but the CW9 is also a good gun.

7 SIG Sauer P226

There is no comparison to this gun! From the Tac-Ops threaded barrel to the engraved stainless X5, there is no other pistol that I would use to protect me or my family. I would rather save up and spend the money on a quality pistol than just settle for something average.

Would you rather trust something that could possibly jam or misfire just to save a little money, or would you rather carry a gun that has won countless awards and has been carried by the Navy SEALs for years?

The Mustang to Porsche comparison is not very accurate. A Mustang is common and relatively inexpensive, but easy to maintain and fairly reliable. On the other hand, the Porsche is expensive and very fussy, prone to mechanical failure after relatively few miles.

I would liken it more to a Camry (Glock) and an Acura (Sig). Both are common enough. The Camry is a little less fussy, but the Acura is just about as easy to maintain and live with. Both will get you from point A to point B, but in varying levels of comfort, handling, and style. That being said, I do like the Sig better just for style points and heft. The Glock is just as reliable, just not as cool.

8 9mm Beretta

This gun is a tack driver. Its action is smooth as silk, and a malfunction is the last thing on my mind because it just doesn't happen - that means never. I own an M9A3 and an M96A1 that Wilson Combat upgraded with $1,400 worth of work. That's my preference, though. Out of the box, the Beretta will not fail you, period. I can shoot the balls off a squirrel at 35 yards with either of my guns.

If you're considering one, get it. The grip feels like this pistol was custom-made for you, regardless of your hand size. The action is smooth as glass, and the rounds are pointed directly to the chamber when they're in the magazine, so you won't experience failure to feed when you're shooting hollow points. It's a complete work of art.

9 Glock 17

The Glock 17 is similar to the Glock 19 but slightly larger. It's a popular law enforcement weapon worldwide, and for good reason. It's a 9mm (yes, it's considered a weaker caliber, but it has less recoil, and if you're using hollow points, you can still pack a punch) and holds 17 rounds in a magazine (18 if a bullet is chambered). It is accurate and reliable.

What makes it better than the Desert Eagle, you might ask? Well, with the Desert Eagle (.50 AE version), you need to aim below your target because of recoil. Additionally, the Desert Eagle doesn't have nearly as good ammo capacity. And how is it better than the Colt M1911, you might ask? The M1911 is reliable, but its ammo capacity is too low to always get the job done. The Glock 17 is accurate, reliable, and can do damage if using the correct cartridge. Enough said.

10 Heckler & Koch Mark 23

All H&K USP pistols are amazing. They go through more rounds without needing any service than any other handgun produced. They were also innovators of the polymer frame handguns that Glock often gets mistakenly credited for, mainly due to affordability or lack thereof. The ergonomics are also superior to most handguns, aside from the 1911s.

Sig designers must hate slide-stops, as is evident by the placement and size. The reversal of the decocker and slide-stop location is also difficult to adjust to. Polygonal rifling on the USP barrels provides enhanced accuracy and barrel life.

The Contenders
11 CZ 75

I've had a 1911 in my family since I was a child and still do (Springfield SS). It has always been my go-to. However, my CZ 75 (1992 Pre-B) is better to shoot, at least as reliable, and much more wear-resistant.

Sights and trigger jobs can be done to suit, but all those other top-heavy, awkward actions get spanked by the inside slide.

Without a doubt, the CZ 75 is the best DA/SA double-stacked 9mm on the market. I carry a 75 Compact every day and have fired 2000+ rounds without a single failure or hiccup. Every Sig I've had needed replacement parts, especially recoil springs, around the 1500-2000 round mark. Every Glock I've owned has had a horrible trigger.

Between my CZ 75B, SP-01, and 75 Compact, I've fired nearly 5000 rounds without a hitch. Next on my list is the NATO-testing-approved P-01!

12 Springfield 1911

A 1911 is like a Glock but for men! If you buy a polymer gun, read the specs carefully to make sure the polymer is dishwasher-safe.

I guess it depends on how you perceive best. Best for what? Historically, the 1911 would win this contest. Contrary to a previous post, Colt did not introduce the 1911. The 1911 is a product of John Moses Browning, God rest his soul (a moment of silence, please). Colt was just the first and most popular to capitalize on it. Indeed, the USMC switched back to the .45 Colt in 2012. If the United States Marine Corps chose it, then it must be hard-core. Semper Fi!

I only have one Springfield Armory TRP SS.

13 Ruger SP101

Great revolver. It fits very well in my big hand. I've tried hundreds of handguns in my life, and for me, this is the best revolver.

Utterly reliable and built like a tank.

14 Walther PPK

This is really accurate at short distances (obviously) and is a very discreet handgun (pretty small). However, it's not meant for killing rhinos. It's for self-defense. In most reasonable cases, you don't want to kill your aggressor.

I know there are comments that say it only holds 6-7 rounds. What I would tell them is, "Well, kid, how many rounds do you need to hit your target?"

15 Spec Ops 45. Calibre Pistol

The 1911 set the standard for what a handgun should be. It's simple, durable, reliable, and dependable. Its iconic design remains one of the most copied of all time.

16 Heckler & Koch USP

You get what you pay for. It's tough and will not disappoint you. I replaced the rear sight with a ghost ring - personal preference. No other modifications were made. It works right out of the box.

It is way more accurate than the 92 or any 1911. The P-226 is also great, but the USP .45 has way more power.

Ultra-reliable, tough, and man-sized. My home defense handgun of choice.

17 Colt Single Action Army

Is the Desert Eagle really #1? Is that a joke? This must be the result of the "Call of Duty" generation. The Colt Single Action Army was revolutionary for its time, being a cartridge revolver. It remained popular and in widespread use long after its introduction.

The Single Action Army: the gun that won the West. It has that title for a reason. It fires a powerful round and gets a lot of negative votes for being single action. However, single action can be better than semi-auto in some ways.

The Colt Single Action Army, when shooting a .357, 158-grain hollow-point cartridge, can stop any threat and is the best defensive handgun ever made.

18 Taurus Raging Bull

All I have to say is, "Have you seen this gun?" It was a pistol before pistols were pistols! That's how awesome and totally BA this gun is!

Fantastic weapon right out of the box. Extremely accurate, and the power of this pistol is amazing!

19 Springfield XDM

After 37 years in law enforcement, I've worked hundreds of shootings. I would say it all depends on what you can accurately fire, easily carry, and/or conceal. Just about all these pistols are good.

However, the .45 ACP has the best track record of all the pistol rounds. Before you say it's too big, let me mention that my sisters, who are very small in size, and my wife have no problem with it and enjoy shooting it. Oh, and they are very good with my XDM.

Plus, while I was in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers there were actually begging the D.O.D. for .45s. The 1911 is a great pistol. I carried one during Vietnam. My father carried one in WWII, and it saved his life in Europe several times. However, its design is out of date when compared to an out-of-the-box, sweet-shooting, very accurate, large-mag-capacity pistol like the Springfield XDM.

20 FNX-45

I'm a lefty and own the FNX9, but I feel the FNX45 incorporates the awesome, fully ambidextrous features of this line of firearms. It also carries the FNX40 and FNX9 in power and accuracy.

The lightweight and comfortable feel of the gun is outstanding. Its .45 ACP round, pinpoint accuracy, and 15-round magazine are sure to put down anyone.

I have one with an RMR and suppressor. Always wins the coolest gun challenge at the range. 15 rounds of .45 ACP and deadly accurate. Never had but one failure to feed when new. Runs flawlessly.

21 Mini Uzi

Powerful machine pistol that fires a lot of bullets at once. Its small size makes it convenient to carry, and the rate of fire makes it a dangerous weapon.

This isn't technically a pistol. It's more like a submachine gun. This is because it's automatic, sort of like the Glock 18. Nonetheless, this weapon was used by Afghan drug dealers.

Small, automatic, and with an awesome rate of fire. Light and accurate, this should be fourth.

22 FNX-40

The FNX 40 is very nice - a great gun at a good price and reliable. But there's no way I would put it at number one.

Love it for the price, comfort, and accuracy.

Better than almost every gun on this list. Very reliable and accurate. Great gun for the price.

23 Browning Hi-Power

First high-capacity magazine and feels great in the hand. Also slimmer than most "wonder nines," but rock solid with mild felt recoil. Built by the GOAT, John M. Browning, with Saive putting the icing on the cake.

24 SIG Sauer P220

Best pistol for home defense, in my opinion.

Great gun. Too bad the US didn't come up with it.

25 Steyr M1912
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