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Top 10 Handguns in American Rifleman

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by fingolfen, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. fingolfen

    fingolfen Oregon Member

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    I just got my September 2009 issue of American Rifleman, and they’ve done another Top 10 list. If you remember last year around this time AR published their Top 10 infantry rifles and Top 10 hunting rifles. I only reviewed the Top 10 infantry rifle list on the blog last year, as that’s where my expertise lies. However the list wasn’t without controversy with many accusing it of being to American-focused. This time around, they’re picking their “Top 10 Handguns of All Time.” So how’d they do this time??? Again I think the list is a little too American and focuses on “firsts” rather than “bests.”

    My take:

  2. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    THANKS for the posting. I just looked at your site and think they did a nice job this year. I only own a couple of their choices, but at least I have some that make the list. Some I may never own, but believe they were objective and fair.
  3. fingolfen

    fingolfen Oregon Member

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    You bet. I do think the list was fairly objective, but I still think they need to tighten up their definitions on a "top 10" - they seem to try to make it all things when it should really be more focused. Some of those I'd put on a "Top 10 most significant handgun" list - but not a general "top 10" list. When I make a list that's a general top 10, it can't just be a first, I look at durability, ergonomics, accuracy, etc. as well. The Broomhandle Mauser was clearly just a "first" as they spend half of the write-up pointing out its shortcomings.
  4. tattoo

    tattoo NorthWest Active Member

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    Bravo. 1911s rock my world. Ammo price sucks, but the gun is still on the top of MY list. :thumbup:
  5. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    Yeah I was reading that this morning. Sad to see my personal favorites were missing. :( No CZ-75, no sig p226. Hi-power was on there though, huzzah.

    Also personally I found the sig p232 superior to the walther ppk but maybe that's just me.
  6. fingolfen

    fingolfen Oregon Member

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    Yeah - 0 qualms about #1 on the list. I've got a Springfield M1911A1 G.I. model. If I could only have one pistol, it would be that pistol.
  7. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I was reading this last night thinking that the order was a little off, but they did say the best and most significant handguns, then ask if they made the right choices. I would move the Hi Power up a notch or two, and maybe the Colt SA Army also..Great read and history lesson.
  8. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    The Ruger Blackhawk and Ruger Mark I are conspicuous in their absences. The broomhandle and the Volcanic are not even in my top 15, much less the top ten. The S&W number one and the Colt SAA need to switch spots (as much as it pains me to put a Colt ahead of a S&W). The Sig 226 would barely miss out on my top ten, but the Beretta 92 would come in on the lower half of the list, as it, along with the Glock helped un-holster revolvers out of the police officers gear. The browning Hi-Power would also move up the list a bit.
  9. CEF1959

    CEF1959 Willamette Valley, Oregon New Member

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    Good thread, fingolfen. I've been enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work.

    I think to play the "Top 10 Game" fairly, you have to bump one off the list for every one you want to include.
    So here goes

    I agree with Mtn. Bear that the Broomhandle and Volcanic should go. I also would delete the S&W Model 1. Important historically, but if you want to play that game, you'd have to go back a lot further to the original handguns.

    Not including the Luger P08 is a big mistake. Agree with MB that the Ruger Blackhawk should be on the list.

    But what about "The Derringer." Almost more of a category than a firearm, but how can it not make a list like this?

    And if the list can include categories like "S&W Hand Ejector Revolvers" it should replace the Glock 17 with the category of Glock Polymer Frame Pistols. Love 'em or hate 'em. They revolutionized semi-auto handgun design. I'd also revise the descriptions of the two S&W revolvers on the list.

    I'm not worried about the over-representation of American designs. There are good foreign designs not on my list, but they weren't important new developments or the basis for significant new guns like those on the list have been.

    So here's my revised list (in no particular order)

    Colt SAA
    Walther PPK
    Browning Hi-Power
    S&W Magnum Revolvers
    S&W Snubnose Revolvers
    Luger P08
    Glock polymer frame pistols
    Ruger Blackhawk
    The Derringer
  10. Andy

    Andy Aurora, OR Active Member

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    I second that. The P232 is much better than the PPK, imho.
  11. GED

    GED North Idaho Active Member

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    Agree-based on shooting experience(am more accurate with the p230)and how the gun feels in my hand esp. if used with Hogue grips which tend to absorb some of the recoil.

    But the PPK has much history behind it-apart from its connection with that well known fictional British spy-and its groundbreaking design(owing much to its predecessor the PP) spawned a lot of imitators-like the *Sig P230/232.

    *(There's a great comparison report between the P232 and PPK done by PlayboyPenguin here: