The holidays may seem way off, but they’re coming up quite fast. That means it is time to start looking for that perfect gift for those on your list. Unfortunately, some people are harder to buy for than others. Gun folks can be some of the hardest. Opinions on what makes a good handgun vary greatly among shooters. However, any gun is better than no gun, and some cross into the almost universally liked zone. So, we’ve compiled a Handgun Gift Guide of 10 handguns that pretty much any gun person would love to own. And even if the chosen handgun is not the “perfect” gift, the receiver can pop it right up on GunBroker.com.
Everyone knows Walther as James Bond’s preferred pistol, particularly the PPK. However, the company also produces firearms designed more around American shooters. The Walther PDP comes in a variety of models to fit almost every need, from full-size pistols for operators down to compact versions for CCW holders. Walther designed the PDP to be its most modular pistol ever. The PDP comes in two frame sizes and three slide lengths. What’s even better is that any slide can fit on any frame. So, users can completely customize these pistols to suit their specific needs. Of course, each model comes with many of the same features desired by shooters. These include SuperTerrain Serrations for positive engagement during manipulations and a Performance Duty Texture on the grip to be non-abrasive but functional in all manners of weather conditions. It even features a new Performance Duty Trigger and ergonomics designed around the use of red-dot optics. These provide fast acquisition and engagement of targets. The PDP even comes with an integral rail for mounting lights or lasers. Whether looking for a pistol for home-defense, concealed carry or an additional 9mm in the safe, the Walther PDP handles the job.
It wasn’t that long ago when the Beretta 92 was the standard-issue sidearm of the U.S. military. It’s not anymore, but that doesn’t change that the military designation (M9) of this pistol served for more than 30 years in the hands of soldiers; it is still the preferred sidearm for several law enforcement agencies and foreign militaries. This 9mm is tough, accurate and reliable. It is also extremely easy to break down for cleaning or maintenance. Even better, it comes in enough versions to allow users to choose some specific features, such as Hogue grips, integral rail and optics ready. Beretta even produces a scaled-down compact. Any pistol Martin Riggs chooses has to be good.
Most folks think 10/22 when Ruger comes up. However, Ruger also produces rifles, shotguns and even handguns, including one named for the great people of this country — the Ruger American. With three models and two chamberings, this striker-fired pistol has a lot going for it. To start, Ruger built a one-piece, stainless-steel chassis. On it, Ruger included integral frame rails and the fire control housing, and put a modular, wrap-around grip to adjust for palm swell and trigger reach. it comes with Novak LoMount Carry sights for fast target acquisition and a pre-tensioned striker system to provide a lighter trigger pull. Finally, the American comes with ambidextrous controls, so shooters of either hand can run it like it is simply an extension of the arm.
It’s sometimes hard to believe that a pistol designed more than 100 years ago continues to be popular, but that shows the genius of John Browning. In fact, the 1911 is still one of the most purchased and used handguns in America. And Kimber makes some of the best. The Pro Carry II (Two-Tone) pairs a matte-black, brush-polished carbon slide with an aluminum frame that features rosewood grips in three sizes (3-, 4- and 5-inch barrel). It also comes with a full-length guide rod, along with the standard beavertail grip and manual safeties. The Kimber Pro Carry II is Browning’s famous pistol with all the upgrades that makes the 1911 America’s favorite. And folks can pick one up in either .45 ACP or 9mm for around a grand.
When the Sig Sauer P365 came out, a whole lot of folks took notice. This small, semi-auto pistol came out with excellent ergonomics for a micro-compact; the gun just fits hands better than most. However, the reason shooters took notice was the round count. The P365 came with a 10 plus one capacity in a very small gun. Later, Sig introduced a version that is just little bit bigger that had a little higher capacity, along with a few update features. The P365XL comes with a two flush-it magazines that holds 12 rounds of 9mm (15 round magazines are available). It also comes standard with a flat-profile trigger, Xray3 Day/Night sights and a plate assembly that allows direct mounting of the Sig Sauer RomeoZero or RMSc reflex optics. There are even a manual safety versions for both the P365 and XL models.
Some folks look at Glock like an old Ford truck. It “ain’t” pretty, but that workhorse gets the job done. The Glock 19 goes bang each, and every, time someone pulls the trigger. This is probably why so many police departments prefer these pistols. Of course, Glocks are not pretty; they are dark and boxy, with a rough feel on the grip. However, those same attributes really make these pistols shine in real-world situations, which is the whole point of handguns. Functionality, not looks, is what matters in a situation. And this gun functions regardless of conditions. Those looking for extreme reliability in a carry gun should consider the Glock 19.
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Racking a pistol can be difficult, particularly for those with limited hand strength. So, Smith & Wesson developed the M&P Shield EZ. Available in both .380 ACP and 9mm, the Shield EZ provides a self-defense option for those who need a pistol that is a little easier to manipulate. In fact, the slide on the Shield EZ is so easy to rack that it catches most folks by surprise. It also contains numerous safety features, including a grip safety and round indicator, along with an optional manual safety. Even better, the manual safety does not lock the slide, so, the Shield EZ can be loaded or unloaded with the safety lever engaged. All this makes the EZ an excellent beginner self-defense pistol. Those who only wants a single gun should consider the Shield EZ.
Named after a military formation developed during the battle of Leuctra in Greece during the 4th Century, and is still used today, the Springfield Echelon represents a new approach to modern pistol design. Springfield built a Central Operation Group as the heart of the Echelon. This serialized piece is completely self-contained and can be easily swapped between grip modules. While this 9mm pistol comes with two sight options, both designed for combat, it also features a Variable Interface System that allows users to mount more than 30 different optics. Other features include an oversize trigger guard, textured indexing points, adaptive grip texture and ambidextrous controls. It even comes with three grip sizes, as well as three backstrap sizes, all of which makes the Echelon fit anyone’s hand. Finishing it with a 17- and a 20-round magazine, the Springfield Echelon makes one hell of a duty handgun.
One of the most popular calibers is the .22 LR. Shooters love this light and inexpensive round for small game, plinking and training. The .22 LR is also the best round for introducing newcomers to the joys of shooting. As such, everyone needs a .22, and one of the best is the Browning Buck Mark. Since 1985, the Buck Mark has thrilled shooters with its comfortable grip and accuracy. Most also like the many models of this blowback semi-auto. In fact, Browning offers 41 different versions in the Buck Mark, from wood to rubber grips and bull barrels to suppressor ready. Browning even produces railed models for attaching optics. Those looking for a .22 LR should absolutely consider the Browning Buck Mark.
While most shooters prefer semi-auto, there are some who really like revolvers, particularly for self-defense. Taurus produces a line of revolvers that completely fit this bill in the 856. What’s even better is that this revolver holds six rounds of .38 Spl. +P ammo instead of the five held by many competitors’ guns. One extra round might not seem like much, but it can make a difference in a self-defense situation. Even better, shooters can choose between 2- and 3-inch barrels, along with numerous other features. These include concealed hammer, included laser, Hogue grips and even several finishes. Taurus even produces these affordable revolvers in optics ready models for those looking for the fastest way to get on target.
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