These Are the Best Handguns Ever Made

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links; this means Outdoor Methods may earn a commission if you click on and make a purchase through these links at no cost to you.

You walk into a gun store, and a clerk shows you a wide array of firearms on the shelf.  There are so many pistols in front of you that you do not know what to do. What do you choose?  You tell the clerk that you are looking for one of the best handguns ever made.  

Find the best handgun that suits your needs. For instance, you can use an S&W 500 if you intend to go big-game hunting. If you need self-protection, consider a semi-automatic pistol.  Or perhaps you like classic firearms and prefer a trusty six-shooter for self-defense.

However, some pistols have distinct advantages over others. For example, there is the heaviness of an S&W 500 versus the lightness of a P226. Let us now look at what many consider the best pistols in history and the capabilities of each one.  Remember to keep reading if you wish to find the right weapon for you.

Pro Tip: Before buying a gun, learn about its accuracy, reliability, and safety.

A Timeless Classic

If you're a fan of westerns, you already saw the Colt Single Action Army 1873 in action. Samuel Walker and Samuel Colt (glad they did not call it the Samuel) created this revolver together in 1847. Experts considered it the most powerful handgun on the market at the time.

Today, the following gun manufacturers make the modern replicas:

•    Ruger

•    Uberti

•    Parting Shots

But this was not a weapon made for quick unholstering. It weighed over four pounds, and for ammo, it carried six .454 round bullets with black powder in its chambers.

Over time, manufacturers made the pistol lighter and easier to holster. The firearm became a popular choice in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy. Colt later revamped the gun with a stronger frame and an efficient centerfire cartridge to remain competitive.

It also fired a .45 bullet and became the iconic pistol we know today. The gun was so popular that the government incorporated it as an official weapon. Officials ordered roughly 8,000 Colts in 1873.

It later became a prime choice among civilian populations. The gun could compete with modern variations in the early 20th century.   A statement to its mastery.

One of the Best Handguns Ever Made

Evolving from .45 pistols, the M11911 incorporated 20th-century technology. Some experts consider it the best handgun ever made. Two armament advancements took center stage in the early 20th century: self-loading and smokeless powder.

Before its introduction in 1911, the military was looking for a modernized pistol.

Firearms designer John Browning introduced a Colt pistol that was a single-action, semi-automatic pistol with a magazine feed. It also had a standard grip that surpassed other tested models.

It was also superior to the traditional revolver models, which only carried five or six shots total. As a result, the Army adopted the pistol in 1911.

Soldiers tested it during a Mexican conflict in 1916, and the military used it again during World War One.

 After the WWI, gunsmiths improved it with such features as an arched mainspring housing and an elongated safety grip.

The firearm also became a favorite weapon for American soldiers during World War II.

The Wonders of German Engineering

Another firearm that rivaled the popularity of the M11911 during World War Two was the German-based Walther P-38. The pistol debuted in Germany during the 1930s.

Designer Carl Walther received a contract from the government to create a new pistol for the police. After numerous variations and tests, officials accepted the gun in 1938.

The industry manufactured it on a mass scale during World War Two for the Nazis. It had a single-column capability and an eight-round magazine.

It also worked in harsh weather conditions, such as mud or heavy rain.

This pistol was the first to have a hammer that could remain in the easing position with a bullet in the chamber. It also differed from the M1911 in several ways. For instance, it had a wedge-based block that interlocked the barrel and slide.

The gun was so popular during the war that the market could not keep up with demand. 

The Law Enforcement Choice

The Germans also created the SIG Sauer P226 for the U.S. Army. German and Swiss makers came together and formed one of the best handguns on the market in the 1980s. It's also a favorite choice among police and military worldwide.

The gun has high power and stellar precision.

It evolved from the P210, a gun that experts believe was one of the best handguns on the market.

The P226 is most notable for its decocker that eases the hammer and prevents discharge. Users can also cock the hammer back for a short trigger pull.

Or users can cock the hammer down to achieve a longer pull.

The gun is ideal for those who want a manual safety function and a shorter pistol. If you're looking for a shorter sidearm, you cannot go wrong with the P226. If you want something lighter, go with the Glock 17.

Depending on your preference, the Sig P226 comes in single-action or double-action form.

 The gun also comes in four different calibers:

•    .357 Sig

•    .40 S&W

•    9mm

With that, the P226 is not the best choice if you're in the market for a large-caliber handgun.

The Hand Cannon

If you're in search of a powerful gun, look no further than the Smith & Wesson .50 Cal.

The gun is so powerful that you can turn it into a small sniper rifle with the right scope. By no means is this a gun you can carry at your side.

The gun produces 2600 ft-lbs. of power that could rival any rifle.

The bullets are so large that S&W had to create an X-frame to hold the rounds.

Though bulky, you can attach other accessories, such as a bipod. It's a large weapon, but it also has one of the most comfortable grips on the market.  

Check out our article on handgun calibers to learn about some of the most common pistol calibers.

The Closure

Manufacturers have improved the world's greatest guns with better ergonomics and enhanced firepower. Regardless of the best handguns ever made, you mustn't forget about safety rules and proper holstering.  Additionally, a gun is almost useless if you cannot holster it properly. To find the best holsters for your gun, visit our page today to see the best types of holsters on the market.

Leave a Comment: