Top Ten (10) Pistols of All Time

Pistols have been an omnipresent piece of military, law enforcement, home defense and target shooting since their inception due to their portability, accuracy and durability. Competition is high within the top pistol manufacturers as improvements continue to increase their many varied uses. We have compiled the top ten pistols based on their overall sales numbers, popularity, functionality, and use. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.
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Pistols have been an omnipresent piece of military, law enforcement, home defense and target shooting since their inception due to their portability, accuracy and durability. Competition is high within the top pistol manufacturers as improvements continue to increase their many varied uses. We have compiled the top ten pistols based on their overall sales numbers, popularity, functionality, and use. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

10. Heckler and Koch USP

HK USP

The Heckler & Koch USP is manufactured in Germany and is known as a Universal Self Loading pistol. The firearm is s a semi automatic pistol with a mechanically locked breech and utilizes the short recoil mode of operation. It fires the popular 9X19mm Parabellum cartridge. The pistol has been in operation since 1992.

9. SIG P250

SIG 250

The SIG P250 pistol is of mixed German and American origin. It was originally made by JP Sauer and Son and Sig Sauer Exeter. The pistol is a semi automatic pistol. The action of the pistol is based on recoil operation. It comes equipped with a 17 round magazine abd has iron sights with a 147 mm base.

8. Beretta 92

Beretta 92

The Beretta 92 is of Italian origin and was an extremely popular gun in the military and law enforcement communities. It also fires the popular 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge. The pistol has been in production since 1975 and continues its service in the Italian, French and US military.

7. S&W Model 41

S&W Model 41

The S&W Model 41 .22LR pistol became legendary among competitive target shooters, . Extremely reliable, precisely accurate, and possessing a unique trigger, the S&W Model 41 dominated NRA Outdoor Pistol competition consistently until the manufacturing costs of the required hand-fitting severely reduced production. Those that own the pistol today cherish them.

6. Sringfield XD

Springfield XD

With its extremely lightweight, polymer frame, the XD pistol is highly useful as both a civilian defense and reliable law enforcement handgun. The Springfield XD features an ambidextrous magazine release buttons, designed in order to magazine springs free of the pistol, making a much speedier reload that is remarkably easier. Unlike other polymer pistols, the Springfield XD can only be fired when both the trigger safety and grip safety are firmly depressed, making it a premier choice for personal use and home defense.

5. Glock G17

Glock 17

The light weight polymer-framed Glock 17 was controversial upon its introduction. But history validates it and the similarities with other manufacturers became apparent. As the first successful polymer-framed handgun, the Glock 17 initiated a sea change within the gun industry, and today every top major handgun maker has a polymer-frame model. And, they are exceedingly popular.

4. CZ 75

CZ 75

The CZ 75 was introduced in 1975 and was the most innovative handgun design within the previous 40 years. The pistol was the first successful pistol offering user option of cocked & locked SA, or DA/SA carry. The CZ 75 is in widespread use throughout the world, and is also a favorite of many current competitive shooters.

3. Browning Hi-Power

Browning Hi-Power

The P-35 High Power was John Browning's last handgun design. The handgun was wildly successful and some experts consider it his best. Still in production, and in use with LE and Military agencies in many countries, the Browning Hi-Power was the first staggered magazine high capacity handgun – a revolutionary design breakthrough that spawned many other successful designs.

2. Walther P-38

Walther P38

First adopted by the German military, the durable Walther P-38 was an acceptable performer. It's most useful feature,however, is that it was the first successful and fully operational DA/SA operating action. The pistol was a pioneering design breakthrough that became a permanent feature of many other successful handguns, including our current military issue M-9.

1. Colt 911A1 .45 ACP

Colt 1911

The first fully successful military semi-auto handgun, the Colt 1911 served the as the standard United States sidearm through four major wars and countless police actions in numerous countries. As popular today as ever, the Colt 1911 is still carried by many law enforcement personnel and countless civilians worldwide. The most customized handgun ever, it's a mainstay for competition shooters and collectors.

24 Comments

4 years 3 weeks ago, 4:57 PM

Larry Wagner

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Nice post, Well thought out, well put together.
I have owned &/or fired everything here with the exception of the HK USP & the P-38. That being said, I agree with the numbered rating. Yea 1911.

Any day above dirt is a good day!!! My New Motto: Where Do I Sign? (Oh yes I would)
4 years 3 weeks ago, 5:02 PM

Shakleford

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I've owned 6 & 5

And my dad has 2, which will be mine one day! I Plan on getting 8 & 1 soon!

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4 years 3 weeks ago, 5:07 PM

Vaquero

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For some reason

I want # 7.
I wouldn't turn any of them down!
I've been a good boy this year!!!! hint hint.

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4 years 3 weeks ago, 5:16 PM

Larry Wagner

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Howdy Vaq & Shak

Vaq,those 41's are possessed!!! the slugs just go to the 10 X. & that trigger, at least for me is what made me start specializing in trigger / action jobs. to this day, those triggers are tops as far as I am concerned.

Any day above dirt is a good day!!! My New Motto: Where Do I Sign? (Oh yes I would)
4 years 2 weeks ago, 8:06 AM

nobile157

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I agree foe 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 8.

I Add: Luger, Mauser c 96 and Desert Eagle.

Never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
4 years 2 weeks ago, 12:49 PM

jlbrown1993

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I like number 6. I currently have an XD(M) .40 but it's too light. Can't resell it either. I originally thought that it would be a good item to resell but the market seems to be flooded with them.

4 years 2 weeks ago, 1:18 PM

HampsterW

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everybody and their dog has an XD in some form or another for sale on gunbroker.........Welcome to Gunslot!

Change you can truly believe in comes from the barrel of a gun---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ron Paul 2012----Vote the bastards out!---------------------------------
4 years 2 weeks ago, 7:47 PM

traderjac

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I like # 1, I have witnessed what it will do to a human torso on several occasions..AWESOME>

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4 years 1 week ago, 2:40 PM

mattitude

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XD Owner

I own a 1st-gen XD .45 and the gun has been extremely reliable and as accurate as can be (the only limiting factor is me).

I have shot 1911s extensively and they are truly great pistols. Anyone have a suggestion for an entry 1911? (meaning sub $1k price)?

I have also fired the CS 97, the big bore version of the 75. I've actually never fired a pistol in any other caliber than .45.

"...one is allowed to resist against the unjust aggressor to one's life [...] even 'til the aggressor’s death. In fact, this act is aimed at preserving one’s life and to make the aggressor powerless. Thus, it is a good act" - Thomas Aquinas
4 years 1 week ago, 12:51 PM

Rio Grande Vall...

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1911

Check out the Tarus line, I think that will do for sub 1K 1911

Average Citizen
4 years 1 week ago, 12:06 AM

nobile157

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Try Taurus 1911 or Kimber

Never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
4 years 1 week ago, 10:12 AM

mattitude

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1911 $

Is $800 about what I can expect to pay for a good entry-level 1911?

"...one is allowed to resist against the unjust aggressor to one's life [...] even 'til the aggressor’s death. In fact, this act is aimed at preserving one’s life and to make the aggressor powerless. Thus, it is a good act" - Thomas Aquinas
4 years 1 week ago, 10:21 AM

Reaper308

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mattitude

It depends on what you want on it. I tried to buy a mil spec springfield and upgrade it myself, and ended up paying a lot more than if I would have just bought one from the factory already loaded. A lot of guys around here seem to like Taurus, but I'm not a fan. I suggest Kimber, Springfield, Colt. You'll be able to find a good 1911 around $800-1000. I suggest you get an upgraded trigger (non mil spec model)

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
4 years 1 week ago, 10:49 AM

mattitude

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Kimber

I've heard good things about Kimber, and in fact fired a Custom II a few years ago and liked it but that was before I was really comfortable with pistol shooting.

I just didn't know if a gun like Kimber's basic Custom II would need a lot of work to really make it a reliable/smooth gun. Regarding the trigger, it says it is a Match Grade trigger and not mil-spec. And at about $800 that is something I could afford after a couple of months of saving.

"...one is allowed to resist against the unjust aggressor to one's life [...] even 'til the aggressor’s death. In fact, this act is aimed at preserving one’s life and to make the aggressor powerless. Thus, it is a good act" - Thomas Aquinas
4 years 1 week ago, 11:13 AM

Reaper308

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custom II

yeah, it comes with a pretty decent trigger (somewhere in the 4-5lb. range). You can do a little work to it if you want, but it will be fine for most purposes. The standard custom II doesn't have a rail, but hey, its a 1911. Search around online, you can find them as low as $715-720 or so. They are pretty good pistols. As far as reliability, most 1911's need a few hundred round break in period where they will experience FTF's and FTE's. After 400-500 rounds, it should shoot flawless.

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
4 years 1 week ago, 11:33 AM

CharlesW

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a Colt Gold Cup Match there is none better.

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4 years 1 week ago, 12:36 PM

Doomguard

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Good post!

Although I would call this the top 10 Automatic pistols of the 20th Century. If you're going to go top 10 all time, you're going to have to include some revolvers, matchlocks, and flintlocks in the list.

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state. -Thomas Jefferson
4 years 1 week ago, 1:20 PM

dove218

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does anyone have this gun?
if so how is to reload?

i know i am a better shot then you , let me prove it- <----Its From A Really Old Movie Line that i cant remember for the life of me
4 years 1 week ago, 11:27 AM

nobile157

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Walther P38

dove218 wrote:
does anyone have this gun?
if so how is to reload?

German service pistol at WWII, 9mm, double action, 8 shots.

Never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
4 years 1 week ago, 10:42 PM

BluedSteelCharisma

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I feel like the Beretta 92 is out of place, but i dont exactly know where else i would put it

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4 years 3 days ago, 10:19 AM

BtheKid1881

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Good selection

Couldn't disagree with any of them. The XD is a nice gun and good for carry. The Colt 1911 is by far the best pistol of all time. You can't argue that with it having 100 years behind it.

4 years 2 days ago, 9:24 PM

jpflora

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1911

I have a RIA 1911, really enjoy my time at the range with it.

3 years 49 weeks ago, 1:32 PM

KS101010

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Great article! I own several of them and by the time Im done I intend to have several more!

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