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.

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Dan Moore
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Dan Moore

Good philosophical exercise. I am coming from an economical standpoint. Let’s say I have a limited budget and am saving my pennies. My needs are simple – something I can defend home with and yet go deer/hog hunting with legally. I am not including SHTF scenario. So I save my pennies and my first choice is the Ruger GP100 with 6″ barrel in .357 Magnum. That is what I did. My second choice is similar only I would be hunting smaller game and have a single action Heritage revolver with 6″ barrel with.22/.22M cylinders (which was my first revolver I… Read more »

Trainman
Guest
Trainman

Owned a S&W 686 and Ruger GP100.
I’d say that they are of comparable quality and versatility, but the S&W fits my hand better.
Therefore I shoot it more accurately.
The S&W has a small edge when it comes to quality.
Therefore,,, the Ruger got sold and the Smith is my constant companion.

Bob
Guest
Bob

I too have a GP100/6″BBL bought over 30 years ago which I love BUT, I really love my S&W Mdl 29/4″Nickel. Slightly heavy but I like the weight when using for grizzly protection while hunting. Load it hot & heavy and not worry.

JBlanc197
Guest
JBlanc197

I have engaged in this mental exercise often and I always come back to the same old standby, a Colt Govt. Model series 70 in .45 cal (as it should be for all time). My head says “choose the SIG P226 in .40 cal with the 9mm kit”, but my heart says otherwise. I received the new Colt 1911 in 1978 in exchange for substantial services. It would not shoot worth a damn as it came out of the box. Poor in just about every category. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a propensity to jam with varied… Read more »

William Russell
Guest
William Russell

I would have to go with the M-47 Medusa. It shoots .380, 9mm, .38LC, .38 S&W, .38 Special, .357 Magnum with no special equipment or modifications

Lynn Pridgen
Guest
Lynn Pridgen

I prefer my M&P .45! Low kick and plenty of stopping power. Doesn’t bruise your hand on recoil. A touch heavy but that’s what makes it shoot so well.

TENWOLVES
Guest
TENWOLVES

I think your choices are good, I do find my Smith & Wesson 686’s out perform my Ruger’s, and a new gun to consider is my new Kimber K6S, revolver, 6 rounds of 357 in a beautiful small package, this gun is perfection, I feel lucky in that I have everything I need…

Yosemite
Guest
Yosemite

Kudos for Old1811 for mentioning magazines. without working magazines one is at best a single shot pistol…unless one has a semi auto with a magazine safety….then…well. From what I understood of the question was this….. A person does not a thousand or more dollars to spend on one or more firearms. The money is tight and there is only enough for one firearm. Not The Zombie apocalypse….or the end of the firearm and handgun market. I bought a KGP100 with 4inch “heavy barrel” back in the late 80s early 90s. It is Tank or maybe an A-10 in toughness and… Read more »

Mike o
Guest
Mike o

I prefer the Smith six ten in ten mm. Hard to find ammo and the six ten, for now is no longer produced. I’d goe with the Ruger in three fifty seven. A good all around caliber and a revolver , inheritly more reliable than a semi, that a can handle a variety of loads.

JACK WILLIAMS
Guest
JACK WILLIAMS

Let’s remember that a revolver is a semi. A revolver rotates the next round automatically. You must pull the trigger each time for either one to fire.

Yosemite
Guest
Yosemite

Jack Williams….Actually…..There are pistols and there are revolvers….or there used to be a difference at one time. Two different critters….

robert rayner
Guest
robert rayner

I agree on ruger gp 100

Wild Bill
Guest
Wild Bill

I believe that there are two questions presented: “What if you could only have one pistol? What would the be best one handgun to own?” Addressing the first: If one could only have one pistol, then things have gone horribly wrong, and I would find a way to access more than one pistol. Addressing the second question: What would be the best pistol to own? I suppose that it would be the pistol that would solve the most issues for your circumstances (e.g. reliability, accuracy, concealability, affordability, durability, and holds a lot of ammunition, etc.). But why would these question… Read more »

D. Howard
Guest
D. Howard

If I want to be practical, of the guns I own the one I would keep if I could only have one would be the Glock 17. But part of me would want to stick with my S&W Model 19. I bit lighter than the author’s choice, but still with the versatility of a 4 inch double action 357mag revolver.

Vanns40
Guest
Vanns40

“Best one handgun…….”. The author doesn’t say if this is and end of civilization scenario or just “you can only own one gun” type. If it’s an end end of civilization deal then any revolver is a poor choice unless you are a skilled gunsmith and can rebuild them and have the parts to do so. In that situation a semi-auto wins hands down and, in particular, Glock wins without question. Whether you’re a fan or not is irrelevant. They are, arguably, the easiest to rebuild with replacement parts readily available. on the other hand, if the author is simply… Read more »

Vanns40
Guest
Vanns40

Pardon the horrible grammar on this one I knocked it out quickly

Old 1811
Guest
Old 1811

If it’s an end-of-the-world scenario, you’d better have a bunch of magazines. In a shoot-and-move situation you may lose or have to abandon your empty magazines, and sooner or later you’ll run out and be stuck with a single-shot pistol. I’m talking, of course, about a very-long-term scenario.
There really isn’t a good solution.

Chloe Dog
Guest
Chloe Dog

1) safety check and look for debris in cylinder and in barrel? Yes and cylinder locked back into gun like normal. The gun even rotated the cylinder as being dble shot. 2) used factory 357.ammo 3) year was 1988 and was repaired in 1989 and sold in 1990’s. 4) gunsmith said I needed new cylinder with new parts Like new extractor with new spring and new parts that hold the cylinder in place and I paid to have old cylinder knocked out and a new cylinder put in and aligned to barrel. I believe they re thread the barrel too.… Read more »

Charon
Guest
Charon

Good review of the situation all around. Thanks!

Chloedog
Guest
Chloedog

Yes we did a safety check and only a moron wouldn’t. Everything was on time and not clogged. The cylinder went back into the frame housing fine. We were shooting factory Ammo 357. Magnum the year was 1988. How it was dropped was husband bought new in 1988 at flea market near christmans. He also bought a tasco pro point laser scope to sight in. That’s what we were doing at the range sighting in his new laser scope. His first shot, he aims, shoots and embarasingly drops the gun. I being smaller and nimble reach under the table to… Read more »

Old 1811
Guest
Old 1811

Thank you for responding. In other words, the gun didn’t explode. It shaved lead. It sounds like it was out of time and the hammer fell before the cylinder locked. The way to check for that is this: With the gun empty, put your hand against the cylinder to create some drag on it, then pull the trigger. If the hammer falls before the cylinder locks up (and you’ll know it), the gun is out of time and needs to go to a gunsmith. (In other words, it’s not in good repair.) If you don’t put any drag on the… Read more »

ChloeDog
Guest
ChloeDog

I would pick my kimber supermatch II 1911 with +p ammo. For one it’s more accurate and a man stopper. You don’t need a big gun to kill or hunt. You can kill a deer with a 22 if your a good shot
and hit the eye..When using a revolver if the cylinder is off a hair from lining up with the barrel the gun basically explodes ripping your hand up. I suggest a kimber supermatch 2 45acp or dan Wesson 10mm in 1911.

Chloedog
Guest
Chloedog

Something else to consider is why did the military and police force switch from revolver to semi-autos? Bc the revolver cylinder is easy to knock out of sync with the barrel making it a dangerous weapon and not dependable. In battle or war when running around if you bump your gun just a hair it can now be dangerous to shoot . In the old west they complained about this problem too. If you had a revolver for competition it was usually kept in a padded case or fur lined zip up pouch. And if you own a revolver you… Read more »

Old 1811
Guest
Old 1811

Um, no. First of all, a revolver won’t blow up if the cylinder is misaligned by “a hair.” If the parts are worn enough to put the revolver “out of time,” what it will do is “shave lead,” which is when the edge of the bullet hits the forcing cone and peels lead and part of the jacket off the bullet; those slivers are blown sideways by the gas leak between the cylinder face and the forcing cone. It can break skin if you’re standing beside the revolver, and it affects accuracy, but it won’t blow the gun up. And… Read more »

Chloedog
Guest
Chloedog

Actually I have had it happen on a new smith a Wesson k frame 357.magnum and it hurt like hell.. and yes I was wearing gloves. My husband shot it at the range and dropped it once, then after he dropped I shot it and it blew up on me sending back shrapnel. It happens, trust someone who it happened too.

Old 1811
Guest
Old 1811

I’m intrigued now, and I have some questions: 1. Why did your husband drop it? Did it recoil out of his hand from a barrel obstruction? Does your husband normally drop thousand-dollar precision instruments? 2. You say, “then after he dropped it I shot it . . .) When you (or he) picked it up, did you check it for damage, like a sprung crane or an obstructed or bulged barrel? If you dropped a Glock, a 1911, or even a hair dryer or a cell phone, would you immediately use it without making a five-second damage check? 3. You… Read more »

ChloeDog
Guest
ChloeDog

Why did he drop it? Well clumsy I guess. This was back in 1988 he had a tasco pro point laser scope he was sighting in and he dropped it while shooting factory Ammo 357. Magnum round. My husband was embarrassed as it was a mistake. I picked it up and did a safety check and and no nothing was lodged in the barrel. It was just dropped from about four 1/2 feet high unto the concrete. So I pick it up, wiped it off. Did a safety check and looked at the barrel and cyclender to inspect the damage.… Read more »

Rokflyer
Guest
Rokflyer

You said one handgun. A handgun is not used for rifle duty. And, again nimrods, there is no one for all gun. A handgun is used primarily for self defense. My pick . A 1911 colt 45 ACP, in full GI size. Like I have right now. My favorite. My new Colt competition series. It is a hammer, no doubt capable of any handgun task. Or a Glock 30 or 21. I don’t even ponder this argument, ever. I have two fine S&W 357 Magnums I love. They do the job of a 10 mm better. The ballistics prove it… Read more »

Naturalist
Guest
Naturalist

If I am not mistaken Marlin also made a lever action in .41 Magnum.

Naturalist
Guest
Naturalist

Wrong reply got posted. There are a couple manufacturers that make a 2 Carbines that will accept either a 45ACP frame or a Glock frame with the trigger assemblies that turn the handgun into a long gun.

Naturalist
Guest
Naturalist

The handgun i would choose would be a Redhawk in .41 Magnum. It is balistically superior to the .44 Magnum and shoots flatter. The .41 Magnum can use a shorter case made by Starline for a .41 Special. The .41 Magnum also has more power than the .357 and is closer to the .44 Magnum. the .41 Magnum is a True .410 the .44 Magnum is .429 . The only other Gun I would consider woud be a EAA Witness Compact in 10mm. The EAA Witness is a Larger Frame Italian made CZ Clone. One has the ability to change… Read more »

Pete
Guest
Pete

The 41 Mag has it all. I hope that it gains more support.

Randy
Guest
Randy

I have the Ruger Blackhawk in 357 and 41 Mag, also have the 41 Mag lever gun. The only advantage
I see in the 357 is the ability to shoot 38. I think Henry has started making a 41 Mag Lever Gun.

Naturalist
Guest
Naturalist

If I am not mistaken Marlin also made a lever action in .41 Magnum.

steve
Guest
steve

right on ,you you must be as smart as I am..I have several guns, but if I had to only have one,thats it…S&W of course..But I really love my 1911 colt ,can I keep that just for old times sake???

Mark
Guest
Mark

Glock 17, because that’s what I carry and I don’t want to give up that 18 round capacity. Your mileage may vary.

Robert Carter
Guest
Robert Carter

Good choice. With the 33rd mag you really get a mileage boost

The Very Deplorable VonZorch
Guest
The Very Deplorable VonZorch

Mine would be a genuine antique. The Mauser c96, an older one with the 5.5″ barrel. The .30 Mauser was a powerful cartridge delivering a quite respectable 402 foot pounds of muzzle energy. Also the wooden holster can be clipped to the grip to form a shoulder stock when hunting.

KUETSA
Guest
KUETSA

Well, call me a conspiracy theorist, but here goes. So, after Sandy Hook, the toughest gun laws in the history of our country were passed attempting to limit NON-LAW-ENFORCEMENT citizens to 7 rounds max in a magazine, and all of a sudden the appearance of the WONDERFUL “SINGLE STACK NINES” with LOW MAGAZINE CAPACITY explode on the market, and are all of a sudden PROMOTED by “EXPERT” journalists as THE NEW GREATEST SELF DEFENSE FIREARMS. Now if we were to have one gun – it would be a six gun. Obama – Clinton – Bloomberg – Cuomo – and “The… Read more »

Bruce
Guest
Bruce

Ok, Good to know I’m not the only one in the room who was wondering about why are we giving our capacity away for this exercise. I will keep my 17+1 roundsof 147 grain Hollow Points in my 5″ M&P Pro Series with an 800 lumen Streamlight TLR-HL under the barrel. Blind is Blind even in broad daylight with that thing. Yes, I have a stockpile of ammo & batteries already. It’s my wish list and I don’t live in Bear Country. But even then, I think a bear can’t catch what he can’t see. All of which assumes I… Read more »

Larry Brickey
Guest
Larry Brickey

For home it is a Taurus Magnum Judge. Since it also shoots 45 LC it is a pretty good choice.

Old 1811
Guest
Old 1811

I agree with the author’s choice of a 4-inch GP-100 (or L-frame) revolver. Neither a 9mm nor a .45 ACP will reliably stop anything on four legs that’s dangerous or a decent-sized meal. That’s why most states that allow handgun hunting for deer specify .357 and up. While I love the K-frame .357s (13, 65, 19, and 66), they won’t hold up to full-house Magnum loads. The old Treasury load (aka the Q-load), a .38 Special +P+, was developed specifically because the Secret Service’s 19s and 66s were getting beaten to death by full-house Magnums. If I lived in bear… Read more »

TSgt B
Guest
TSgt B

The .45 Colt is MORE than “powerful enough” in a quality gun such as a Ruger Blackhawk. With some commercial loads, and many handloads, one can get more power out of a .45 Colt than a .44 Mag, and well within safe pressure limits. I’ve been shooting .45 Colt for 40 years, and handloading it for just about as long.

Bob Wilson
Guest
Bob Wilson

And being an IDPA shooter, I thought it said which one-hand gun would you own, as in 1 hand shooting. Hahaha. Would be a semi auto probably in 45.

Robert Carter
Guest
Robert Carter

Why is my post not showing?

The Mechanic
Guest
The Mechanic

Cause congress let o b ama give away the internet. so we get censored. Just saying……

Robert Carter
Guest
Robert Carter

You might be right.

Jim Farmer
Guest
Jim Farmer

I laud this question and of course will give my own answer. No doubt about it. I would keep what I already own: my 4″ Smith and Wesson Model 66 “stainless” (K-Frame) .357 Combat Magnum revolver of 1980 vintage. These S&W Model 66’s were formerly good enough for the San Diego, California Sheriff’s Department, not to mention numerous other law enforcement agencies from the past. My second choice would be my 1979 vintage S&W Model 19. As most gun people already know the Model 66 is the stainless version of the Model 19. For self defense/house protection/concealed carry, the outdoors,… Read more »

Wayne Clark
Guest
Wayne Clark

I like the way you think. My 66 4″ is ’72 & in 99 1/2% condition (just because it’s been shot, not abused). Gold Dot 158gr. JHP for the .357 loads & anywhere from 127-138 gr. JHP, wadcutters, semi-wadcutters & JFP in .38 special re-loads. I’m probably going to go soley with the +p on .38 EDC & yes, I’m going to carry it. I’m not a collector, don’t plan on selling it & love the weight of it. A shoulder rig may be in the future (not sure yet) to help w/concealability but for now, a Fobus paddle holster… Read more »

ken
Guest
ken

1st choice a 44 special, 2nd choice would be a .357 caliber as it shoots .38s also, had bad experiences with the cranes bending on the .327 with use other wise it is a fine gun, 3rd choice would be a cowboy style ..44P,
1st choice Auto loader would be Sig .40. second choice 1911a1 style, 3rd .22 browning or Rugar, CCI ammo works well,
a chest shot on people is really deadly as it can penetrate but can’t escape so it bounces inside the rib cage once penetrated

willford
Guest
willford

H&K 45c, RUGER New Vaquero 45 COLT Stainless 3 1/2″(custom), Colt PYTHON 6″(custom shop), COLT Govt, RUGER SP 101 will do in Pinch? CHOOSE 1, can’t. Maybe which ever one I GRAB at the time? TOUGH choice!

Anibal J Matias
Guest
Anibal J Matias

Semi auto is my #1 choice. Got a 9mm in 124 gr jhp for home defense and planning for a .40 concealment with a backup 44 magnum revolver. Always go for the powerful one you can handle. Never know what you are going to encounter. God bless and stay safe and be prepared.

John
Guest
John

This is a pro gun site, right?

I’ve got 70+ handguns and I’d bet many of you have at least that many.

Pick just one? Absurd!

Why do we even entertain the thought of ‘just one handgun’?

Viscount
Guest
Viscount

Think of it as a philosophical exercise.

DirtyHarry44
Guest
DirtyHarry44

Oh, I don’t know… maybe a post-apocalyptic scenario where the gun manufacturers no longer exist. You come across a stash of rusted up guns and hope at least one functions, which one would you wish it to be? Hard to actually put your finger on “why” but IF for some reason you only had one choice, which one would it be? Personally, I think mine would be a revolver in .38/.357 magnum configuration.

Charon
Guest
Charon

Love that S&W 686. Simple, strong, S/S and reliable.

Troy Dodson III
Guest
Troy Dodson III

Yep, it’s a do all, hand gun.

Wayne Clark
Guest
Wayne Clark

My choice for revolver is my S&W m66 K frame. Although I wouldn’t shoot a steady diet of .357, I would feed it with +p .38 specials, all day, every day. The .357 is an option for EDC ammo because I don’t think I’ll be in any sustained gun fire anytime soon. Good to have choices.
For an auto, my choice is my Beretta PX4 Storm 40. If I had to choose one, I’d go revolver. Thank God I don’t.

Troy Dodson
Guest
Troy Dodson

Yep , I own one , it is a do it all hand gun.

Viscount
Guest
Viscount

A .45 cal 1911 with a 6″ barrel and correspondingly heavier slide. Accurate, powerful and the extra mass handles the recoil.

If I can only have one I’ll sacrifice on ease of concealed carry.

mike
Guest
mike

I would have to agree with author’s selection here, but, and I say but, have had a S&W 627 N frame .357 mag for about 25yrs, and belches whatever I put down it’s bore. It is a 6 inch barrel, so concealability is an issue, but hey, when craps deep, concealability be damned. Effectiveness is my preference, and I know with this revolver in my hand, I’m going to get that. I carried as back up when hunting and have never waivered knowing this gun is on my hip. Well made revolver.

Bill Nixon
Guest
Bill Nixon

I have to agree that the GP100 would be a hard choice to beat if I could only have one. I own the 3in. version, took a little while to find it, but I find it much easier to carry, and conceal if necessary. For all the reasons listed above, ammo, versatility and practicality it would be my “go to” in a apoplectic scenario. I only own two wheel guns and the other is a 22/22mag, also a good choice.

Don Prather
Guest
Don Prather

That Smith 686+ can also shoot the 38 Specials. It’s +1 chamber above the Blackhawk is, well, +1.

Ricochet
Guest
Ricochet

The Blackhawk and S&W 686 are both six-shooters. I don’t recommend the 9mm extra cylinder for the Blackhawk .357 unless you find just the right ammo. Some 9mm ammo just doesn’t easily seat all the way and you can fire only one round before the cylinder jams and won’t rotate for the next shot. You have to remove the cylinder to clear it, and you might as well just rely on the .357 ammo anyway. My double-action is a Ruger Security-Six in stainless with target grips and 6″ barrel. I love shooting it. If I were to pick only one… Read more »

John Hauserman
Guest
John Hauserman

How is this for GUN PORN I have a SS Ruger Redhawk 7 1/2″ BBL. .357 and a SS Coonan Mod. B 1911 5″ BBL. .357.

Robert Carter
Guest
Robert Carter

I didn’t know Redhawk came in 357. As a matter of fact I’m sure it doesn’t.

Clark Kent
Guest
Clark Kent

It did in the past.

Chris Brown
Guest
Chris Brown

They were made look at a Blue Book on firearms before making assumptions. Desert Eagles were also made in .357 magnum at one time also.

Dan Richard
Guest
Dan Richard

Chris, I’m pretty sure you’re right. in fact, wasn’t the original desert eagle a .357? I seem to remember that was the first caliber…yep here is the World Guns page on it -http://modernfirearms.net/handguns/hg/isr/desert-eagle-e.html

Viscount
Guest
Viscount

I think at the end of this Presidential election cycle, you should avoid the term “Gun Porn,” and also lose the all caps.

Cheers

Bill Smithem
Guest
Bill Smithem

#1 Definitely the GP100. For a concealable, LCR in .327 Federal.

Whiskey For My Men Beer For My Horses
Guest
Whiskey For My Men Beer For My Horses

Jorge you disrespect most Americans when you post your foreign language on an American English website. Read this from Teddy Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt’s ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907. “In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and… Read more »

Lysander Spooner
Guest
Lysander Spooner

Get bent, xenophobe.
You think this website can only be seen in ‘Merica?
Way to encourage people who might be struggling to keep their rights in other places in the world.
Learn to use Google translate.

Jim Nolan
Guest
Jim Nolan

I get damn tired of those immigrants that are here in America, and refuse to assimilate, and speak English. I also resent people like you Liberal idiots.

robert dean penny
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robert dean penny

if you follow that, I believe all language spoken in American should be Indian ,Cherokee , Sioux , ect. PIG

sickofbs
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sickofbs

Where is this America that the indian,cherokee and sioux set up? where is it?

Larry Brickey
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Larry Brickey

Destroyed by the illegal Europeans.

bob
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bob

Absolutely right Whiskey……I hate the arrogance of foreigners……illegals!

97bravo20
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97bravo20

Whiskey, Can you think of a place where everyone born there is automatically a U.S. citizen, yet they have no voting representation in the house or the senate? Where the official language is Spanish but they can still be drafted into the armed services? Where they can fight for their “country” yet they are forbidden to vote in presidential elections? Where they pay equal Federal disability tax but don’t receive equal benefits? They can die for their CIC (Commander in Chief) but they have no right to elect them? Where SBR’s do not require a BATF stamp or any authorization?… Read more »

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@97 Bravo 20, Puerto Ricans are nationals of the U.S. not citizens. Borequa is a possession of the U.S. not a state or territory. That is why they can not vote.

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@ Whiskey, Yes, I have visited several. They are American Samoa, the Marianas chain, Swains Island, Kwajalien atoll and Guam are all in the same situation.
Oh, and we do not die for the CIC. We serve to protect and defend the Constitution of the U.S. and each other. Sometimes that is costly.

97Bravo20
Guest
97Bravo20

Wild Bill, You are of course correct. I was making a point about having a CIC but no right to vote for them. Whiskey, if Puerto Ricans are “nationals” not citizens then their passports are misprinted. If you are basing that view on slack of representation then the residents of D.C. are also nationals. At least PR has non voting representation. here is a copy of the text on DCvotingrights.com: “D.C. residents have no representation in the United States Senate. The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1961, entitles the District to three electoral votes in the… Read more »

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

But …Whiskey, El Senior Jorge is in Argentina. So he is not an immigrant, and TR’s statement does not apply!

JorgeNorberto Pedace
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JorgeNorberto Pedace

EN MI OPINIÓN LA MEJOR ARMA DE FUEGO PARA EL HOGAR,ES AQUELLA A LA CUAL SE LA MANEJE CON
LA MAYOR PRÁCTICA Y EFECTIVIDAD.TENIENDO EN CUENTA QUE TODAS ELLAS VOMITAN FUEGO Y PER
FORAN,LO QUE SE DEBE LOGRAR ES TENER LA SUFICIENTE PRÁCTICA COMO PARA PONER LA BALA EN
EL LUGAR DONDE DEBE OCASIONAR DAÑO Y PARAR AL SUJETO.

Viscount
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Viscount

Point taken.

Lysander Spooner
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Lysander Spooner

Exactly –
“Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it!” – Clint Smith
“An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.” – Clint Smith
Buy what you can afford to practice with. The best gun is the one you’re best at using. Hopefully that’s the one you’ll have if you can only have one.

David Telliho
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David Telliho

Best handgun for me is my old 22 revolver,I grew up with. A friend asked me why I carry the 22. ” Because I know where it shoots, and I can hit what I want,were ever I want. ” I`ve drawn and fired that gun countless thousands of times over 60 + yr.. My comfort zone.

Coopergirl
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Coopergirl

Jorge
Creo que tiene razon. Desde un Estadounidense.

Gary
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Gary

My S&W 686-3 is as solid a revolver as any although not very concealable with its 6″ barrel. So it is relegated to the bio safe for home defense. My Sig M11-A1 is my EDC choice.

Robert Hartwig
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Robert Hartwig

They make the 686 in a 2.5 inch barrel and I used to carry it concealed all of the time.Until I found that My Springfield Armory XD 40 and S&W MP 40 were just as reliable and much easier to carry. I carry the MP more often because it is lighter and more ergonomic in my hand. I shoot much more accurately with it then the XD. I just wish the MP had a grip safety like the XD.The XD is Safer to return to a concealed holster. To replace the MP I use my index finger BEHIND the trigger… Read more »

rich
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rich

The Judge in 45 long colt also 410 shotgun rounds you have a hunter and self defense hard to beat that combo.

Dale
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Dale

Rich is right. The Judge will do it all for hunting and self defense.

Robert Hartwig
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Robert Hartwig

I worked in a gun store for over 20 years.Based on the number and problems getting warranty work done I would never trust a Taurus. I had to send one gun back so many times they finally replaced it at the owners insistence. 90 % worked just fine but the 10 % has me worried. Stick with Ruger and SW

Robert Carter
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Robert Carter

My choice would be my Glock 20 10mm loaded with hot Underwood 200 grain Hornady XTP bullets. If 10mm ammo becomes hard to find, you can always use 40 cal. I practice with 40 cal because it’s cheaper than 10mm. If in bear country, you can also load Underwood 220 gr. hard cast. Hard to beat the versatility of a Glock.

Clark Kent
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Clark Kent

Don’t fire lead bullets in a Glock unless you have replaced the factory barrel.

Naturalist
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Naturalist

Since when can you shoot .40 S&W in a 10mm? The .40 is a good 1/6″+ shorterr than a 10MM it will not extract or function properly unless you have a caliber conversion kit. It is not like a revolver.

Kent
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Kent

It actually works. The extractor holds the round in place and of course the diameter is the same so it lines up. I wondered that myself so I tried several full loaded mags of 40 practice ammo in my Glock 20 and it fired and cycled without a problem plus was accurate. That’s with the 10mm barrel and recoil spring

Martin
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Martin

So you have the cartridge headspace on the extractor claw? I have no reason to doubt that it works if you say so, but it still gives me the same itches as the guys who shoot 308 win ammo in a 30-06 chamber. The brass looks kinda funny afterwards, but it does go bang 😀

What does the 10 mm – 40 sw brass and primers look like? Signs of low pressure? Does it cycle? Can you reload it? Sorry about all the questions, but you just saved my Friday afternoon! 😉

Robert Carter
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Robert Carter

Will send you an article on the whole thing when i get to my desktop. Otherwise just do a google search on the issue.

Robert Carter
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Robert Carter

I have my Glock loaded with 40 s&w right now, and I said I practice with 40 cal. I did nt say what I think, I said what I know. Seems you’re calling me a liar. May I suggest you find a knowledgeable gun person and ask. The Glock 20, 29, and 40 will fire 40cal with no problem. I do it all the time.

Virgil Ferguson.
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Virgil Ferguson.

I guess this guy knows something about 10 mm glock that I don’t know. However, I do the trick with the mod 23 . I ordered a 9mm barrel and it works better and more accurate than the original .40 cal. I tend to agree with Doug . I bought a .357 mag SP101 to carry —-don’t work for me. The radius between trigger guard and the grip is too small for my arthritis hand. Gave it to my wife. Bought GP-100 . with 4.2″ barrel. Heavy ! Also have Ruger 77/.357. Makes it easy when it comes time to… Read more »

Lawrence Steele
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Lawrence Steele

We are so lucky to have choices. Mine? Glock 20 and 29.
10mm loads can pretty much mimic the 40 loads and 45 loads, but then run up to 200 grain solids in bear country.. Have always opted for 44 mag, but due to weight (factor when packing in rough terrain all day) I have made peace with the Glock 20. High capacity of massive energy plus reliability plus weight factor. Also love my Glock 17.
We live in a great country

Tyler Cruse
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Tyler Cruse

While I can agree with the logic behind the author’s selection, I would not make that choice. On the maintenance side, glocks have few parts, all are simple to install requiring not more than a “nail” to be used as a punch. Parts are cheap enough to have a supply on hand. So. my choice would be some model Glock. 10mm is certainly a great caliber, how ever in these parts you can not go to Walmart and find 10mm on the shelf (or 357 mag). Here you will find 9mm, .45ACP, and 40 S&W on the shelf. Also, the… Read more »

Fred Burley
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Fred Burley

Glock 19 is my first choice. Concealed carry is a Glock 43 and next is a Glock 41. but like they say about glocks, you either love them or you hate them……………guess which side I am on.

97Bravo20
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97Bravo20

I agree simplicity is the name of the game when choosing a single pistol. My EDC is a Sig 228 but it’s finicky about some ammo. However, since a single handgun has to work under less than ideal conditions with any ammo I’m with you Fred regarding Glock. Except I would opt for a Glock 23 with a spare 9mm lone wolf barrel and mags with Pierce +2 bases. The above set up offers reliability, stopping power, versatility, high capacity and the two most common calibers. Back it up with a case of HST’s in both calibers, a reloading set… Read more »

Lloyd
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Lloyd

I am in total agreement with Doug, the GP 100 is hard to overlook. I like the older ones better with the wood inlay grips, can anyone tell me if the grips are interchangeable ? I purchased my first GP 100 about 30 years ago with a 6 inch barrel but later traded it for the 4 incher to better conceal it, it never been a disappointment to me and still runs just fine.

tribesnake
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tribesnake

yes the grips are changeable, although I do not believe all of them are exactly interchangeable, I believe that there is a slight fit difference in the grips for earlier guns, and the older grips do not immediately appear to fit new guns properly, but a little adjustment can make that problem go away fast.

Tommy
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Tommy

I have a six inch GP100 I ought in 1987, and a four inch I bought a year ago. The old inlay grips and the new Hogue grips interchange with no problems. In fact, I had a professional trigger job done on my old GP100, and I can swap the grip frames back and forth with no problem whatsoever.

John
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John

Isn’t the S&W 627 and N-frame? If I’m reading the article correctly, it says it’s an L-frame.

don comfort
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don comfort

No you misread the article. The 627 is an “8” shot “N” frame, the “686+ is a “7” shot “L” frame.

Philip
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Philip

I would agree 100% with you. While I like my semi’s, if I only had one it would be a revolver. Like you said, last forever, not much to break and if you are ever in a situation where you can not clean it, it will keep on firing!

wake-up-america
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wake-up-america

IF I had to pick just 1 it would be a semi-auto for sure!

Mark
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Mark

I 100% agree.

Wayne
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Wayne

Agreed…yet I’d keep my S&W 29 as well

Pete
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Pete

Ruger frames tend to be slightly irregular. I had to custom fit a set of composite ivory grips on a Redhawk years ago (the factory grips were too small on a .44 magnum). One side took more fitting than the other.

D. L. "Gil" Gilstrap
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D. L. "Gil" Gilstrap

I agree the Ruger GP100 is outstanding.. I own one.. But out of all the handguns I own, it would have to be the ONLY gun my wife ever bought me. A Colt Python with 6in.barrel. Shoots like dream. Ammo for this everywhere… Sentimental value wins out in this one. Luckily it is a phenomenal weapon..

James K.
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James K.

I had a Python with a 6 inch barrel and was the most accurate pistol I ever shot. I gave it up though because I had gotten it from a brother who was a little strapped for cash and I had told him I would let him have it back when he got healed. Several years later… man I did not want to give that gun up. I also purchased the GP100 about a year ago with a 6 inch barrel and I do like it, just need to shoot it more. However, if right now I had to leave… Read more »

Dan Richard
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Dan Richard

James, I have always been a fan of the Colt Python, but have never owned one. I had a Ruger Security Six that I sold a friend I was in the Navy with, so i could buy a Redhawk. He told me after I sold it to him that I would regret it forever, and was he right. There’s my gun-regret story.

B. J. Lee
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B. J. Lee

QMakes me cry! I bought a six inch python in 1970 for $170. It became an extension of my right hand on the CHP till we went to the 4006 S&W. Sadly I sold it to purchase a 4013 to carry to court
for $500 in the 1980’s. One of several weapon mistakes I made in life.

Matt Cuddy
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Matt Cuddy

My five screw Model 28 Highway Patrolman in 4 inch barrel length is my choice. I’ve had too many supposedly excellent semi-autos stove pipe on me, or fail to chamber a round. A modern revolver is the best for me.

Matt Cuddy
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Matt Cuddy

HEY, THAT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE…WAIT A MINUTE…

JACK WILLIAMS
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JACK WILLIAMS

I too have a S&W 28, great gun. Yes it would be a 1-gun option mainly because if you are being attacked by wacked out libs you can always use it as a different weapon like a hammer and hit one or as a hammer to drive in the tent spikes.
It will out live us all.