Best One Handgun To Own – What If You Had to Pick Just One?

By Doug Gilmer
What if you could only have one pistol? What would the be best one handgun to own?

The Ruger GP100 is arguably the strongest, 357 Magnum, double-action revolver made today. And I think it is the best one handgun to own .
The Ruger GP100 is arguably the strongest, 357 Magnum, double-action revolver made today. And I think it is the best one handgun to own . (Photo from Ruger)
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- What if you had to choose to live with only one handgun?

This handgun would have to fill the roles of self-defense and hunting. Obviously, this is a very personal choice and is dependent upon a number of conditions which will be discussed below.

I am also not out to start a “handgun selection war” with the readers. However, if by choice, financial reasons, or because of political and legal and decisions you or I were ever forced to choose just one handgun it begs thoughtful discussion. Here are my thoughts for just one handgun.

My pick for the best one handgun to own would be a Ruger GP-100 in 357 Magnum.

The GP-100 is a built like a tank, will last forever if well maintained, can stand up to a steady diet of hot loads and has a good action. They handle well and are generally accurate if the shooter does his or her part. The 357 is a logical choice as it can fire everything from mild 38 Special wadcutters to heavy 180-grain hard cast loads. It can effectively handle small game, big game (within reasonable limitations), and self-defense from both two and four-legged creatures. While it’s a large handgun, with a four-inch barrel and a good holster, the GP-100 is still concealable. There is no task in my part of the U.S. the 357 cannot handle if I do my part shooting it.

Best One Handgun To Own 2nd Choice: Smith & Wesson 627 Revolver

The Smith & Wesson 627 offers an eight round capacity in its large, N-frame. (Photo from S&W)

A close runner up to the Ruger GP-100 is the S&W 627. I’ve always liked S&W revolvers and carried one on duty for years. Also available as the 686+ with a seven round cylinder, the L-frame Smith is a formidable handgun. If ammo capacity is your primary concern, the S&W 627 holds eight rounds of 357 Magnum in its larger, N-size frame.

While the GP-100 may be slightly stronger, any of the aforementioned revolvers would likely outperform and outlive the shooter. If ammo capacity is not a concern and concealability is, a five-shot, 4” barreled Ruger SP101 may be the route to go.

Best One Handgun To Own 3rd Choice: Ruger Redhawk

If I lived somewhere where big toothy creatures roamed I might opt for something a bit different. Perhaps a Ruger Redhawk in 45 Colt/45acp, a Ruger Redhawk in 44 Magnum/44 Special, or maybe my L-frame S&W Model 69, five-shot 44 Magnum/44 Special.

One’s environment has as much to do with handgun selections as any other factor. One has to consider where his or her travels will take them and what threats they are most likely to face. If big bears are a regular threat then I want my handgun to be chambered in a round beginning with “4” and able to fire hard, deep penetrating bullets weighing 200 grains or more at 1000fps or more.

CCI Shotshells in 44 Magnum/Special and especially those in 45 Colt are impressive performers and work well on small game at short range. The revolver is definitely versatile.

The Smith & Wesson 69 is a five-shot 44 Magnum built on an L-frame. Its cylinder will handle long 300+ grain bullets with ease and its easy to carry. (Photo by Doug Gilmer)
The Smith & Wesson 69 is a five-shot 44 Magnum built on an L-frame. Its cylinder will handle long 300+ grain bullets with ease and its easy to carry. (Photo by Doug Gilmer)

Best One Handgun To Own 2nd Choice: Single-Action Comments

I am not disparaging single-action fans. I own several and love to shoot and hunt with them. I also understand the limitations of a single-action in defensive scenarios and the inability to rapidly reload them. With that said, if it works for you, great. My single-action caliber selections would likely remain the same as mentioned previously with my double-action revolver choices. From a versatility standpoint, a Ruger Blackhawk chambered in 357 Magnum can also be ordered with a 9mm cylinder meaning one gun can shoot 357 Magnum, 38 Special, and 9mm. This level of versatility is hard to beat.

By the same token, a semi-automatic handgun is a great choice for defensive shooting and even for hunting. My various Glock 10mms see time in the field each year and I love my Glock 17 and Glock 26 for defensive work.

While 9mm ammo is plentiful it is not an effective big game hunting round. Sure, it’s been used to take deer and one well-known outdoor writer recently used one to stop a bear attack in Alaska. but it’s not the best for this type of field work. There are better choices.

The 10mm Ammunition is an effective fight stopper and hunting round but ammunition can be hard to find off the shelf at times and practically speaking, you are limited to shooting 10mm, unlike revolvers which can often fire at least two different cartridges without modification. I have a strong affinity for the 10mm and while it can do so much, if forced to pick just one handgun, I believe I’d default to the revolver.

Shotshells work best from a revolver and add a new level of versatility.
Shotshells work best from a revolver and add a new level of versatility.

Have you ever considered your “one handgun choice”? There are no wrong or rights; only you can make the call on what you believe would best suit your needs. Thankfully, we are not limited to owning only one handgun (at least for now) but this is still a good exercise to consider should for some reason scaling back becomes a necessity.

Agree? Disagree? What would be your one handgun choice?

 

About Doug Gilmer:

Doug Gilmer is a law enforcement and military veteran with over 25 years of experience and assignments operating throughout the United States and around the world in a variety of investigative, protective, tactical and direct action roles. He is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fly-fishing, hunting with a handgun, backcountry adventures, and volunteering with various outdoor themed wounded warrior events. He has been a frequent contributor to outdoor media for for several years with numerous articles and photos published in a number of media channels. He is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association as well as a former board member and executive officer.

  • 179 thoughts on “Best One Handgun To Own – What If You Had to Pick Just One?

    1. I did have to pick one. I picked the springfield XDM 3.8 compact .45 It can go full size and 12+1 with the mag extender. Go conceaed with a 9+ 1 mag. Has a match barrel and beefy innards so I don’t worry about shooting critical duty or some other +p or super if I feel like it. Positive load and striker indicators were a nice plus. Can go 460 rowland and you can spit 22s out of it with an adapters. Yeah the 22 adapter kinds sucks but… My only regrets are no thumb safety (though I like the grip and trigger safeties) and it doesn’t have the sweeeeet action of a hammer fired .45. I did a lot of research though and that was a choice, not a mistake. I’m into this pistol for the duration. It’s a little big for some conceals, and a little ugly for some tastes, but I’ll get over it.

    2. I guess my other stuff was erased. About Florida I used to live in Alabama as a child and we used to go to Florida on spring break. You floridians are lucky to have the prettiest beaches in the world! So black bears in the swamps. Wow! I believe it. I loved that camera hunting thing you mentioned that’s so true

      1. The “hand protector” is called a “Beaver-tail” Don’t ask me why…I did not name it. I guess t is because it is wide and flat maybe??? I have a .380 that I sometimes carry..it slide bites too. BUT it is accurate for my needs and I have gotten to ignoring it (when shooting on “the range”), as one must do in moments of need….and carry on to get the job done…. I cannot imagine dropping a firearm for such……train and practice as you will…if you want to live through such a situation…..you do what you have to do….Perhaps one day we might meet on a range somewhere………. 🙂
        I would say your Florida comments survived LOL

        As for the .338…I do not have the range to shoot one. Depending on the area one lives and what dangerous critters as long as one can handle the caliber and shoot it consistently…..I have a .460 Weatherby Mag I love the rifle and fun to shoot….but far too expensive to shoot much…It is heavy and has a muzzle brake. A good stance, proper balance, lean into it, and hold tight and no felt recoils or sore muscles….. Florida is still there. LOL

    3. Slide bite sucks I went and bought a kimber supermatch Bc they have the hand protector built in. Just as you say a must have. And I can only shoot my original 1911 my rock island a couple times before looking for leather gloves. Like I said before you make excellent points.

    4. Chloe, The GP100 has a different type frame up set…it is pretty easy to disassemble……not sure about parts breaking in them. I personally have not heard or seen 1 ever need any repair…..of course that means nothing.
      It is a heavy frame and seems to like it will stand up to a lot of abuse…..Only WEAKEK POINT I can see would be the adjustable sites…MIGHT be subject to POSSIBLE damage,,,

      I have field stripped and put a 1911 .45 ACP back together blind folded…..I have learned how to disassemble the slide and replace the firing pin and spring and extractor and other parts. I was going to add a Beavertail because it has started giving me “Slide Bite”. But the ones I saw had to be fitted and I don’t have proper files/tools to fit it. Other than that, like most other parts, it can be dropped in…

      1. Oh yes we have big cats! Mountain lions so say the least. The gp 100 is the same size of my smith and Wesson 686 that blew up at the range on my hand as my husband who shot it first clumsy bastard with a 357 mag load trying to sight a tasco pro point laser scope and dropped the damn thing. It looked like he threw it a big pussy. We had to stop the firing line to retrieve it at it landed on the other side of the table. We did as do a pre check to make sure chamber was clear and that the cyclender rotated for dble action and that from inspection nothing like dirt or dust was cleaned. In fact we didn’t fire it afterward and went home and cleaned it. So itnsat ib a gun safe for five years and was never touched. It was a brand new gun and had only been fired that one time and the pussy dropped it. Well it was pulled out of and the story was told to a new friend of my ex husband and we took the gun out cleaned it and inspected it again took it to range and I wa the first to shoot it. It seemed like the chamber and barrel was in alignment by my make eyes and it did rotate without a problem. The friend spun the cylinder and slung it into place several times making sure the motion was fluid and a feeler gauge showed it was level. Level but not aligned and when I pulled the trigger Kaboom shrapnel hits my hand. This is why big frame or little frame aluminum steel or tungsten if it’s a revolver I recommend it being looked at by a gunsmith Bc they need to be calibrated by tools. It wasn’t long before the police and military switched to semi autos Bc malfunction of alignment happens more often then said. Yes this also happens in semi auto if the action has play. However the probability of it is less likely Ina semi auto then a revolver. Yes revolvers break less frequently however when they do it requires the work of a gunsmith not the ave joe. Even with a strong body frame if that frame is a hair out of alignment it will send shrapnel damage your way and cost money to have repaired both you with hospital bills and the gun repair as it’s a revolver and would now need to be sent to gunsmith for repair. I agree revolvers do tend to be less likely to fail however when they fail the repair is usually to a point making the gun unsafe to use and basically becomes a paper weight or a throwing hammering tool until sent off for repair unless you yourself are a gunsmith or a shade tree gunsmith and have all the tools then I’m not referring to you. I’m saying the average joe depending on a revolver yes less likely the revolver will malfunction but when it does it will be to a point that it can’t be simply resolved by the ave joe. Like most joes can’t change a spring or hammer in a revolver like they can on a semi aurto. The work is to a higher skill level on a revolver. Yes isn’t it amazing how dirt the de gets. And detail in cleaning after every time you shoot it. You are 100 percent accurate In describing the tedious upkeep of the de. And yes I see we are going to be really good friends on this website: we both have the same points and it’s pretty awesome the same taste in firearms. Birds of a feather flock together and I appreciate having you as a new friend. You have interesting points and this site will benefit from you being a member. Proud to call you my friend. Chloe

        1. Sorry I realized I wasn’t clear when my husband first shot the sw 686 it was a brand new gun just bought and he put a scope on it. We go to range and he shoots it one time and drops it. We clean it and then put it in safe for five years. Now divorced me and a friend get it out I tell the story of pussy dropping it and we decided to clean it and take it to range- to get rid of the bad vibe the gun had- so we clean it make sure it’s aligned cylinder and barrel and that the dble action works and the trigger seems fine and barrel was clean and clear of dust and powder So I go to shoot it and it blows up on me. Not my husband who dropped of five years earlier. I believe him dropping it made it a hair out of alignment. He shot it dropped it cleansed and then I five years later clean inspected it shoot it and kaboom. Sorry I wanted to say this to clear confusion I may of created as I realized I had many typos. I’m sorry so add this to this story okay?! Read more: https://www.ammoland.com/2016/11/best-one-handgun-to-own/#ixzz4f7Eofu5D
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          Oh yes we have big cats! Mountain lions so say the least. The gp 100 is the same size of my smith and Wesson 686 that blew up at the range on my hand as my husband who shot it first clumsy bastard with a 357 mag load trying to sight a tasco pro point laser scope and dropped the damn thing. It looked like he threw it a big pussy. We had to stop the firing line to retrieve it at it landed on the other side of the table. We did as do a pre check to make sure chamber was clear and that the cyclender rotated for dble action and that from inspection nothing like dirt or dust was cleaned. In fact we didn’t fire it afterward and went home and cleaned it. So itnsat ib a gun safe for five years and was never touched. It was a brand new gun and had only been fired that one time and the pussy dropped it. Well it was pulled out of and the story was told to a new friend of my ex husband and we took the gun out cleaned it and inspected it again took it to range and I wa the first to shoot it. It seemed like the chamber and barrel was in alignment by my make eyes and it did rotate without a problem. The friend spun the cylinder and slung it into place several times making sure the motion was fluid and a feeler gauge showed it was level. Level but not aligned and when I pulled the trigger Kaboom shrapnel hits my hand. This is why big frame or little frame aluminum steel or tungsten if it’s a revolver I recommend it being looked at by a gunsmith Bc they need to be calibrated by tools. It wasn’t long before the police and military switched to semi autos Bc malfunction of alignment happens more often then said. Yes this also happens in semi auto if the action has play. However the probability of it is less likely Ina semi auto then a revolver. Yes revolvers break less frequently however when they do it requires the work of a gunsmith not the ave joe. Even with a strong body frame if that frame is a hair out of alignment it will send shrapnel damage your way and cost money to have repaired both you with hospital bills and the gun repair as it’s a revolver and would now need to be sent to gunsmith for repair. I agree revolvers do tend to be less likely to fail however when they fail the repair is usually to a point making the gun unsafe to use and basically becomes a paper weight or a throwing hammering tool until sent off for repair unless you yourself are a gunsmith or a shade tree gunsmith and have all the tools then I’m not referring to you. I’m saying the average joe depending on a revolver yes less likely the revolver will malfunction but when it does it will be to a point that it can’t be simply resolved by the ave joe. Like most joes can’t change a spring or hammer in a revolver like they can on a semi aurto. The work is to a higher skill level on a revolver. Yes isn’t it amazing how dirt the de gets. And detail in cleaning after every time you shoot it. You are 100 percent accurate In describing the tedious upkeep of the de. And yes I see we are going to be really good friends on this website: we both have the same points and it’s pretty awesome the same taste in firearms. Birds of a feather flock together and I appreciate having you as a new friend. You have interesting points and this site will benefit from you being a member. Proud

          1. Thank you for your kind comments. I piddle around here and there and do what I can. I am not even close to being a gunsmith. I agree on meeting a new friend. Always welcome. As for the incident with your former Hubby/Ex…..I am sure you said it best LOL. Not much I can say about that situation. I am most glad to share my knowledge (such as it is) with anyone that may or will find it of help or useful. Most glad to be here. I will help anyone I can, IF I cannot, I will admit is something beyond my capability. I am sure there are many in here that have more knowledge skills than I do. and will offer such help when asked. I am looking forward to future conversations on other topics. I wish you all the best of good things and how do I say this….better good luck in shooting than you have had in the past……(So to speak….)

    5. Another question to all those who recommend a revolver? If we are in a case where we only have one gun and we are to be the only source to repair it. Wouldn’t that put a lot you out as 99 percent of revolver work is done by gunsmith not the average joe. As a semi auto is simple and I hate to say it can be put together by a blind man.

    6. How does everyone feel about picking a fold up ar style bolt action free floating long barrel. In a 338. It does disassemble as a precision rifle would. It does have a pistol grip and can easily be switched to just pistol grip with a simple click and yank of the buttstock and it’s a folder that comes apart anyways. Look at a rpr. rifle for example. One could easily say this could be all in one firearm.? Any thoughts? Or a hunting pistol in a easy to find cartridge? Basically the same thing except the rpr is advanced and accurate to 1,600 yards if I can hit target and kill accurate at distance it doesn’t matter what your carrying all that matters is that the target can hide and have more patience then I

    7. ONE HANDGUN AND ONE ONLY…..Granted the Glocks and etc., can have other caliber kits….The 1911 has .22LR kits . Even the Desert Eagle has kits (Or did) for .357 Mag,.41 Mag, .44 Mag. Then there is the .50 DE. The Desert Eagles can be quite finicky at times and they require or DID after about 150 rounds or so. I had one .357 SS with a 4 digit serial number… Accurate and could take head shots at 100 meters easily and get two rounds off before a revolver could. Was very heavy to carry….I loved “Big Bird” but hit a hard time and sold it to a friend.
      Again have A LOT of magazines. Magazines can go bad, or lost. ANY handgun that has the capability of firing more than one caliber is a PLUS no matter how one looks at it. Having the option that offers more calibers to shoot comes in handy for obvious reasons.
      Those firing A LOT of +P+ ammo in .45 ACP 1911s regularly best have spare barrels IN MY OPINION and keep an eye out for wear and tear…..also the springs to shoot lighter lads/regular loads. Just a thought…
      About the Judge and the .410 shot shells,000 Buck, or slugs for hunting purposes the range is going to be very limited…

      I do not understand why the .38 Super never caught on…..Ballistic wise it leaves the 9mm NATO far behind.
      The 10mm Mag is the ballistic The .41 never really caught on either and it shots flatter than the .44 Mag. Hand loaders can make it exceed the .44 Mag if they so choose……

      As noted there is no RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWER…ONE Handgun…..IF one can have a handgun that is able to be converted to one or more calibers…..GREAT!!!

      That being said IF it is a Glock….and your dog chews the up the mag well area your screwed!!! Something that will NEVER happen to a metal 1911. YES IT HAS HAPPENED….so something to think about……and REMEMBER all of the magazines you must have on hand…..make sure they all work…..I have seen new out of the package fail. You won’t know until you try them all…..and you will need a LOT of them

      1. Yosemite-Not a lot of barrels just higher quality like match barrels yes. And the quality of gun like a kimber supermatch 2 can shoot +p all day long

        1. I only said SOME EXTRA BARRELS….NOT A LOT of them…. also extra springs for regular or lighter loads. One handgun to last for many years…I recommend other spare parts as well. Small do not take up much space and are very easy to replace in 1911s…..
          I DID say A LOT of EXTRA magazines for any semi auto AND CALIBER , AND MAKE SURE that all of them work and release properly. I have several fail right out of the package….I forget the make at the moment been quite a few years ago. Better to find out on the range than when a SHTF moment hits/occurs. What ever works for you/the individual is what matters…..No Right or Wrong….In general a 1911 is pretty easy to self fix with very little effort and time…. Just having the parts on hand to replace them with…Revolvers in general have more moving parts than a semi-auto and be a bit more involved to fix….Whatever firearm one chooses PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, AND PRACTICE SOME MORE!!! YOUR LIFE and Loved ones , and perhaps others will be on the online….

          1. Actually you said best to have some extra barrels. You misquoted yourself sport. Read your original paragraph you actually said best to have so extra barrels. That’s why I replied not just extra or a lot or barrels but high grade barrels like march barrels.

            1. Also from the beginning I didn’t mean to be offensive as I did take the time to read your comment and respond to it with agreeing that you do need to have a steady stream of parts coming in order to keep that one firearm in working order and your made a brilliant point about the multi chamber guns like glock 20 and 21 are basically the same specs to you can use interchangeable parts if your also replacing the recoil spring to a proper tension and also exchanging the firing pin/parts to proper parts will save on jam and misfire issue. So I don’t know if you felt I was disagreeing with you- no I wasn’t however I was just implying that the barrels need to be high quality not just replacement barrels per say. You agree yes? And before you get all hot headed be sure to read what you write before defending yourself. As we all have eyes and can see what you written just fine.

            2. I did didn’t. OOPS!! My bad. I also made some other errors….like with the Desert Eagle…I meant to say it needed to be thoroughly cleaned about every 150 rounds among others.

            3. GRRRR I am answering these backwards and I can’t go back and edit…..No worries all is well. Over the years I have known a friend or two that have burnt out barrels on rifles from “hot loads”. I could have used your eyes last night to proof read my statement……LOL
              I have no reason to get hot headed. I do have a reason to keep my cat away from me when I am typing and derails my train of thought and my fingers as well.
              The main issue I have with going with semi-autos ..are the magazines…..even with being able to change out the calibers……one would still need numerous magazines over the years. I am a 1911 .45 guy USUALLY…. but in this case I have to go with the GP100……BTW and FYI Ruger is now making the GP100 in .44 Special NOT .44 Mag if anyone is interested.
              All is well (I HOPE)
              No real serious dangerous 4 legged critter in the area I live….just mainly the legged….so the GP100 .357 should serve long and well for my needs and purposes.

          2. I live in bear country in north west part of the USA. I don’t ever support the harm of innocent animals however if a bear is charging at you at thirty miles a hour and you have three seconds to react before he’s on top of you ripping into your skull while your alive. The sound as your skull pops from the pressure of his jaws and the wet feeling coming from everywhere and the cold that hits you is crazy. Trying to operate a firearm and be accurate at this time is almost a Hail Mary. As we think we know how we would react. Most people freeze in fear. I own a de. Brushed chrome 44.mag and 50 barrel and magazines for both. It’s hard to find the ammo where I live and people are confused about ownership of the barrel here. They are legal to own in Cali just not the 50 cal rifle. Do you own one? They recoil isn’t as bad as people make them out to be. I swear the 44 de is similar to a 45 1911. When in bear country I pack a 2 full size glock ten, and a fold up bolt action ar style precision rifle in 338. The de is too damn heavy to carry for miles in the mountains of northern Cali. and please don’t go wondering around with guns in the woods of Cali unless with approval and hunting/ license. And I don’t camp or hunt at all anymore. Many years ago I hunted but not now or any time in the future as I’m old now.

            1. I have to say I have been posting on this blog about this subject for almost a year now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post go for so long…. I was one of the original posters that started the whole argument over the subject of revolver or semi auto. Before that it was just what handgun, the whole cylinder alignment kaboom issue was my first post. Lol. My second post was about how caliber didn’t really matter as you can kill a deer or elephant or rhino with or a gator witha clean shot through the eye socket. Accuracy and dependablity over size and mechanism.

            2. We so have some Black bears in the area of the Swamp (Okeefenokee Swamp National Park). I have not actually seen one. They had one go through a small town one late evening that rambled on about it’s business and did not act aggressive or harm anyone or any thing. Years ago there use be Southern panthers/cougars / Florida Panthers, that have been hunted to almost extinction. Like you I do not believe in killing unless it is a threat or I am hungry and need food….I used to hunt a lot but after I got out of the USAF…..I (unless I need/want venison) I prefer to hunt with a camera. IF you have not tried it, give it a try and you will out hunting with a camera is lot harder.

              On your DE do you have any issues with cleaning??? My .357 had to be thoroughly cleaned including the gas system about 150 rounds…..I agree it is too heavy to carry all day and be practical.

              Do you have cougars there??? I see various attacks occurring from time to time in Northern California…….Recently a woman had a cougar take a dog from her house while she was sleeping…..She left the door open because it was hot. Dog barking woke her and the small dog went to her and the other dog was taken by the cougar. As Humans develop and move into the cougars territory. It is not the cougars fault.
              I live in the boonies on a river……We have snakes Venomous and non venomous varieties and alligators. We also have feral hogs….but normally they stay away from people.

              Again Chloe I meant no insult or harm. I hope it is and remains peaceful between us. IF you want or need whatever caliber ammo…Give Steven a try at Red River Reloading https://redriverreloading.com/ he has reasonable prices on NEW ammo, magazines, reloading equipment and supplies, and a lot of other items/camping gear/supplies. He is staring to sale firearms now….Give them a look over and let me know what you think…. All the best of good be with you and yours.

          3. What do you think about the f-n 5-7. I just picked one up new in two tone? It was a deal of the century so I purchased it. I was curious with you being in the Armed Forces if your familiar with it or ever seen it used in combat? Btw Thank You for your -Chloe Service!

            1. Hi ya and THANK YOU!!! I would do it all over again, IF I could!!! The FN5.7 came out long after I got out in 85. That being said I have a friend that has two of them and keeps teasing me about trading and some cash for one of them. He brought them down and A LOT of ammo and let me handle it and shoot it. I fell in love with it even it’s bulk but it was light and accurate. RECOIL???? WHAT RECOIL??? LMAO…..Something most people don’t think about is WHY the round was developed. It was originally developed “more or less” for close in self defense/offense…from vehicles and such as body guards…..OR AT LEAST is what I was taught about the rounds History. The FN-P90 or just P-90 was a “carbine”/rifle P-90. It had a magazine that mounted on top. for an FYI. The velocity has been lowered and the original round would defeat body armor….because of that that ammo was restricted to/for military and Law Enforcement. Would I use it for self defense???…Does the pope wear a funny hat??? I would not hesitate to use it against 2 legged BAD GUYS…..And YES I am want one. All it is taking is for me and him to agree on a deal…. Some people have mentioned in the past about “the controls” being an issue…..but someone always finds something to bitch about. NOW all of that being said…ammo becomes an issue…….Calibers such as the 9mm NATO, .357Mag/.38 Special, .45 ACP….are in general available all over the place. About parts… the 1911 .45 ACP pistol is/was in general, easy to find and NOW it seems the Glocks have more or less become more popular and readily available….HERE is an FYI for you on Rifles…the 5.56 NATO is loaded to a higher chamber pressure than the .223 Rem. Safely use .223 in 5.56 NATO BUT NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. This was news to me after interchanging both ways and never had a problem or signs of excessive pressure. I do not do so any more. The .308 Winchester is the opposite with 7.62 NATO…… The .308 Win has higher chamber pressure than the 7.62 NATO…so it is perfectly safe to use the 7.62 NATO in a .308 Win. Another thought is to own firearms in military calibers….IF the SHTF one will be able to find ammo….and no doubt firearms. Just a something to consider…….

      2. We have coyotes here that take away pets like cats and dogs. Even dig Dogs like a yellow lab are targeted. Even in the city like San Francisco my friends dog was roped in by a coyote acting like he wanted to play and ropes the lab close and then was attacked by a pack and the dog was killed and drug backnto din and became dinner for the coyotes. I’m a a actual southern girl born in Alabama. We used to spend our spring break on the Florida beaches. I bet y’all hated us. Sorry, but you Floridias have the prettiest beaches in the world.

        1. I live in Georgia on the coast, not to far from Florida. We have coyotes here. I hear them from time to time but never see them. Fla does have pretty and beautiful beaches……THAT being said do a search on Cumberland Island National Park/Seashore in Georgia. Beautiful does not begin to describe it….Granted Sanibel and other places along the Gulf Coast (I call the panhandle LA…….Lower Alabama, so NO I didn’t hate y’all LOL)) have their attraction……Cumberland is a very special , pristine, and unique place and not many like them left around….Look it up and let me know what you think .

    8. If I had one pistol to fight my way through flesh eating zombies it would be an 1878 Remington New Model Army in the .45 Long Colt conversion, with the loading door and extractor off the right side of the barrel. Good out to 100 yards every time.

      1. I have a 1873 s.a.a. Colt in 45 colt. And it is not my first choice at all. A good gun yes but not the best gun to only have.

    9. My Colt combat commander in .45 ACP, loaded with +P+ 230 gr black talon hollow points, took me safely out of an armed confrontation with 3 armed felons, the first one dropped to a frontal heart / spine shot that took two vertebrae out of his back, the other spun around to a chest shot through his pectoral muscle and the follow up shot broke his back just below his neck,and the other got a very close head shot from the back of the neck through to the forehead,, a bit iof disinfectant involved, but 4 shots, 3 fucks, and me OK, was sufficient, …..The coroner’s report stated” 1.1 kg thoracic cavity vacated and two vertebra removed” good enough for me. I’ll rely on my .45 , never let me down yet.
      Use the right ammo for the right animal chaps!…

      1. 97bravo20, it’s obvious you have never fired a firearm in self defense , neither have you or yours, I worry for you with your sig sauer, you must get the biggest caliber gun, and a friend with a big gun and stand against those that will come with violence, and don’t rely on a nine mil, get something bigger,

      2. I agree with you! I was the very first to defend the semi auto 45 on this site and I believe my Kimber 45 supermatch2 with Barnes tac ammo is not only very accurate it’s the most accurate 1911 on the market look it up . And also the rounds I use are hotter then my ten mm and darn near comparable to my 44. Mag. I also have revolvers that have become out of alignment with the barrel and the 357 round shot shrapnel and it hurt. No it wasn’t plugged barrel. Yes it had been dropped. And yes the cycle was clean so it didn’t seem off but crap it hurt. It was a old smith a Wesson. I had it repaired and sold it. I have other revolvers and love them. But if I had a choice of one and one only it would be a easily reparable, easy ammo to locate and accurate.

      3. @Gavin, I am just curious…how did you explain that “…very close head shot from the back of the neck through to the forehead.” If it was war, then no problem, but it sounds civilian.

    10. I think the comments here have gone off thread. I’m guilty if this as much as the next guy. The original question was not what is your EDC, favorite pistol, what manufacturer has your loyalty, can shoot 10mm and .40, or any of the other trends appering here.
      The question was, “What if you HAD to choose only one pistol? What is the best one to own?
      I think the question is appropriate. In a imperfect world is there one pistol that could meet as many of the demands we put on our handguns? What are those demands? To me it is the following:
      1. It has to be reliable and reliable And really reliable.
      2. It has to be easily repairable by me.
      3. It has to be reasonably priced. We can’t all own Dan Wesson, Les Bauer etc.
      4. It has to be accurate.
      5. It has to accept all ammo you throw in it. No finicky ammo divas.
      6. It has to be a caliber that has reasonable stopping power and is available everywhere. Sorry 10mm fans.
      7. It should be convertable to other calibers such as .22lr, 9mm .40 and .45 (the most common rounds)
      8. Your wife, kid and you (if hurt) should be able to fire it accurately one handed. In my opinion this makes .45 and possibly .40 a no go.
      9. It has to have a high capacity. 10 rounds (due to some state laws) or preferably higher.
      10. It has to be reliable, really really reliable. Yes I said it twice.
      That said I should mention that I am a Sig Sauer fan. However if I had to choose one pistol as I mentioned before, it would be a Glock 23 with aftermarket barrels in .40 and 9mm and possibly a .22lr conversion. The mags would have Pierce +2 floor plates. The Glock is reliable beyond any expectation. 9mm and .40 ammo is everywhere. Glocks can be repaired with spit and chewing gum. A 8 year old can fire it on target in 9mm. The best way I can defend my point of view is like this:
      My EDC is a Sig 228 with HTC ammo. My BOB has a Glock 23 with 5 .40 mags all with Pierce +2 plates and a spare Lone Wolf 9mm Barrel. My Wife’s EDC is a Glock 19. Her BOB has a Glock 23 chambered in 9mm and 5 9mm 19 mags with Pierce +2 plates and the original .40 barrel. Thus we can shoot 9mm from three guns and .40 from 2 and we are using the two most common rounds. If .40 is not available we can (in 10 seconds) switch to 9mm. Her 19 mags also work in our 23s.

      So my answer was a Glock 23 with a spare 9mm barrel. Or if you prefer a Glock 23 chambered in 9mm with a spare .40 barrel.

      It’s just one mans opinion but this gives us all 10 of the points listed above, maximum flexibility and how I chose to view this “One Pistol” mental exercise.

      “Any man willing to give up his freedom for safety deserves neither.” Thomas Jefferson

      1. 97Bravo, great post and well developed position. While I’m a big fan of the .357 round I have to say that you make a solid argument for your choice of the Glock 23.

    11. My choice would have to be the S&W 686 4″, carried it for over 20 yrs as my service weapon in the SF Bay area, it NEVER failed the test

    12. You may want to try and find a S&W 610. 10mm but it will also shoot .40S&W. Sadly they’re pricey today and can be hard to find at times. Do wish S&W would make them again or Ruger would step up and make a 10mm revolver.

    13. I notice one manufacturer not mentioned that did go under but came back. Can’t speak for the new ones but the old Dan Wesson revolvers where unbeatable IMHO. I owned the 44 mag and it was reliable, accurate, and barrels where interchangeable.

      1. I agree George, I still have my vented heavy 44 hunter pack, it’s the most accurate handgun I own, Dan Wesson is Quality hands down, got mine in 1984…

    14. I’ve been carrying my Kimber K6S 357 magnum on a DeSantis Speed Holster as a back up to my Sig P225 A-1 , which I wear IWB, Appendix style, but the question to what one revolver I would choose, that’s a hard one, I guess it would be worn daily, so it would either be my Kimber K6S, or my Talo S&W 686 Plus 3″ barrel, either of these two can be EDC, They are both very strong, reliable and dean on accurate…all my other revolvers are great also, but too large for daily carry …

    15. This is a tough one. I own a Ruger American pistol Compact in 9mm that I absolutely love. But if I had to choose just one handgun I’m not sure if I’d go with my Kimber 1911 .45 ACP 5″ or my GP100 .357 with the 4″. I’m much more confident with my 1911 but that could be the hundreds of rounds more I’ve put through that, than the .357. Yeah, for one good, all around handgun, I agree the GP100 .357 would be an excellent choice.

    16. I would have a gunsmith shorten the barrel of my Ruger Super Redhawk ..454 to 5″. 45 Colt for self defense and magnum ammo for hunting. 300 grn XTP’s for most hunting and 325 hard cast Elmer Keith for dangerous game.

    17. Glock 40 is a 10mm that will fire 40S&W, but it is not good for the extractor. Can use 10mm magazine for the 40S&W rounds. Can easily convert to 9mm, 357Sig, 40S&W, 45acp, by changing barrel, recoil springs, & magazines. Stormlake sells a 10mm/45acp conversion so that the slide does not have to be replaced because of different breechface dimensions. Magazine capacity is 13+1 for the 45acp(+2 if add basepad extensions) & 16+ rounds for the others. Threaded barrels are available and barrels can be found for around $125. The Glock 40 has a 6″ barrel and a 9″ barrel(non-Glock) is available. Keep in mind that Glock barrels require the use of jacketed bullets because of rifling. It is best to buy a barrel that will shoot lead bullets. There are options to add a stock[this will make it a SBR(short barrel rifle) and you will need special permit], sight options, convert to a carbine. So, for less that $1k, you can buy the pistol in 10mm, 40S&W barrel, & 9mm barrel, plus have money left over for ammo or accessories. Do not confuse 10mm “lite” ammo with full power loads. 10mm “lite” ammo is like 38 special is to 357 magnum or 44 special to 44 magnum. A few companies that sell full power loads are: doubletap, underwood, & buffalo bore. Check out the ballistics and you will see the difference. One, last thing, Glocks require less maintenance & less lubrication.

    18. My favorite is the Colt Single Action Army in 44WCF or 38WCF or 45LC. It worked well for the Cavalry and the Westerners. And they have only 5 moving parts.
      \(corrected)

    19. My favorite is the Colt Single Action Army in 44WCF or 38 WCF or 45LC. It worked well for Cavalry and the Westerners. And they have only 5 moving arts.

    20. Sorry. It’s a lame question.. To me it’s like asking me “If you had only one grandchild who would it be?” In fact, I’ll go beyond lame: It’s stupid and insulting.

      1. With all due respect, it is not a stupid question. For me, I’m looking to buy my first gun, and have been thinking about the GP100. Since I don’t have multiple guns, and may never have many, choosing a good one is important to me. The answers given have been very valuable.

    21. I carried a colt 1911 for 12 months in the jungle. I never cleaned it. Used a shaving brush to clean the slide and mags. Little oil and dust it off. Cleaned the barrel by shooting. It never misfired or jammed. It saved my life and can put a man on the ground no matter where you hit him. 9 rounds one in the chamber. Easier to load and faster to get off rounds then a revolver. Today I have 1911 Trophy Match Kimber. It’s my favorite , but I’d trade it for match Colt.

    22. Ruger 7″ barrel 454casul / 45lc. From bear to whitetail. You can even hunt rabbits with shotshells. As for defense not much more is needed lol. I’ve got the double action. I do like the GP 100 357. Shot my only whitetail with a handgun with one. Put three in her chest and she still ran 40 yards. Hollow points.

    23. I guess I’m a little different in this matter, I believe that if I could only have one gun, I would first find out what my Ammo situation is and what would seem likely to be available in the future. that would be my one and only, and with that one gun, I would be proactive in finding other guns and ammo.

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