Most accurate handgun?


July 15, 2006, 04:45 PM
Just a quick query. Ive shot plenty of handguns in my life and some stick out more than others. But Ive been wondering what is the most accurate, non-rimfire handgun. Ive shot some Kimber 45's which are amazingly accurate even for a mediocre shooter like myself. Then Ive shot some older guns which no matter how well I think Im shooting, makes the target look like I shot it with buckshot.

Now, I know ammunition has alot to do with it as well. And I know that out-of-the box guns can be suped up into race guns etc and made even more accurate. But just as a general all around question. Whats the most accurate handgun?

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Jim Watson
July 15, 2006, 04:55 PM
NRA once said the most accurate handgun they ever shot for a Dope Bag report was the Freedom Arms .22 lr, even more so than a single shot Free Pistol.

July 15, 2006, 05:00 PM
The one you shoot best?

Just a thought, but is there a 'most accurate handgun'?

July 15, 2006, 05:07 PM
The sig 210 is supposed to be extremely inherently accurate, with excellent sites so the user can actually tap into that accuracy

of course while it is a production gun, it is heavily hand fitted etc, and is basically as expensive as a S&W performance center handgun, or the bottom level of tricked out 1911s

July 15, 2006, 05:35 PM
TC Encore. .308 worked for me; apparently, a more "accurate" caliber will do even better.

July 15, 2006, 05:37 PM
Insofar as handguns in handgun calibers, the S&W 945 is the most accurate I've ever come across.

July 15, 2006, 05:46 PM

July 15, 2006, 05:52 PM
You probably need to qualify it a little more

Flat out "hit the littlest stuff at long ranges".....T/C Contender/Encore or Remington XP hands down. There is no common auto or revolver that's gonna be in the running

Common type pistol. Probably a super tricked out 1911 45 acp since that's what the bullseye shooter use.

July 15, 2006, 05:58 PM
That's kinda like asking what's the most accurate golf club. Different tools for different applications. Use the one that suits the task at hand. If you're hunting, a scoped handgun like a TC, if you're shooting bullseye, a tricked out 1911, if you're shooting steel plates, a race gun, etc. Is a putter more accurate than an iron or a wood?

Jim March
July 15, 2006, 06:03 PM
In revolvers, a Freedom Arms of almost any type will be unGodly accurate.

FA revolver cylinders are made with a "line boring" process. The cylinder is mounted in the gun and a drill jig is screwed into the part of the frame where the barrel will go later. So each cylinder bore drilling is done "specific for that gun" - that frame and cylinder are forever a matched set. FA will supply more cylinders later but only if you ship your frame back to them; if you want a multi-caliber gun (357/38spl/9mm triple cylinders have been done fr'instance) it's much cheaper to order it that way from the get-go.

Gunblast tested an FA mid-frame ('97 frame) .22 and got better than MOA out of it - genuine sub-1" groups at 100yds. Bigger-bore specimens grouping almost that well are common.

Understand that this isn't a "target shooting only" gun. The '97 series has a transfer bar safety similar to a Ruger or whatever, while the bigger '83 series has a hammer block safety. These guns are safe for field carry or even CCW if you're so inclined.

The bolt-action handguns like the XP100 or Striker are the only things that can keep up, or the single-shots, but those aren't anywhere near as "packable" as the SA wheelguns of Freedom Arms.

I really doubt anything so "streetable" is as accurate.

July 15, 2006, 06:41 PM
The most accurate single shot handgun I have ever shot was a Remington XP-100 in 6mmBR with a 7x Burris scope. 3 shots into 3/8" at 100 yards with handloads.

The most accurate semi-auto I have ever shot was a Smith & Wesson Model 52 chambered for the flush seated .38 Wadcutter. 10 shots into 1 1/4" at 50 yards with factory Winchester ammunition.

The most accurate revolver I have ever shot was a Freedom Arms Premier Grade .454 Casull with 4x Leupold scope. 3 shots into 1" at 100 yards. I stopped shooting after that because I did not want to spoil the group with the other two shots :).

The sad part is that none of those guns belong to me :).

Just my .02,

July 15, 2006, 06:55 PM
Revo: My FA Premier Grade .454 Casull Seen Here ( It too has a 4X Leupold EER scope. I have on a few occasions shot 5 shots into 1.5 -2.0 inches, using reloads, but all conditions must be right and I have to be having an "on day".

Semi: My worked/tuned/overhauled/ Colt Gold Cup .45 ACP. After 5000 rounds it still shoots 185gr Nosler JHP into 3/4" inch at 25 yards (from a sandbag of course:D ) My S&W Model 52 holds a close second (seen here (

Single Shot: My 10" bull barreled Thomson/Center Arms in .223. It has a Leupold 2.5 - 8 EER scope and I can consitantly put 5 shots into 3/4 of an inch (from 100 yards)

just one question
July 15, 2006, 08:04 PM
I'd guess one of the bolt action huntin' hand guns, or one of the various single shots out there.

This is interesting....I am going to go do a little research.

July 15, 2006, 09:28 PM
+1 on the XP100

41 magnum fan
July 15, 2006, 09:37 PM
My most accurate handguns are N frame S&W revolvers.

July 15, 2006, 09:39 PM
TC Contender is just spooky accurate. You disallowed rimfires in your question, but a common 10" .22LR put 3 in the same hole at 25yds for me one time. Not a cloverleaf, mind you. I thought I had somehow missed a 2x2 target backer with two of the shots until I went and looked at the "exit wound". You could barely tell that there were 3 bullets that had gone thru the cardboard target backer. This with a 2x Bushnell Phantom scope and Remington standard velocity ammo, off sandbags. The trigger on my 1st gen Contender could be adjusted to an incredible pull/letoff. Don't know if the most current versions will allow that.

Will Learn
July 15, 2006, 09:42 PM
Are Sig 210s still available?

July 15, 2006, 10:41 PM
I saw pictures of a (modified) ruger mkII make groups like my anschutz at 50 yds. It was set up like bench rifle though. Keep in mind, .22 LR might be the most researched cartridge to improve it's accuracy, it remains an inherrently inaccurate round because of it's design. This is coming from a 3p and prone smallbore shooter too...

July 15, 2006, 11:41 PM
Real handguns in actual pistol calibers...

Pardini HP New
Pardini GT 45
S&W 52-2
Custom-built 1911 for shooting Bullseye competitions

July 16, 2006, 01:53 AM
Most accurate I have shot are:

S&W 41 in 22LR
S&W Performance Center 952
S&W 6" K-frames

July 16, 2006, 02:43 AM
One of the most accurate i've seen recently is a buddy's factory Savage Striker 22-250. We were getting .5-.75 with all the factory bullets we shot from it, and when we tried the old 60 JLK, it went .35 for a 4 shot gp. This with a 4-12X Bushnell Banner. We put a 6-24X Burris Signature on it after that to see how far out we can go on a pr. dog soon.

July 16, 2006, 07:29 AM
Freedom Arms is probably the most accurate, but for .45 autos here's what Wilson Combat says....

"Yes, Wilson Combat rifles and pistols have accuracy guarantees. Depending on the model of pistol the guarantee is 1 inch or 1.5 inches at 25 yards. Rifles feature a 1 MOA guarantee at 100 yards or 1.5 MOA guarantee at 100 yards, depending on the model. You can see which firearm models feature what guarantee by viewing the product web pages.

Please Note: The accuracy guarantee is valid only with the ammunition and stipulations listed below:

1 inch or 1.5 inch accuracy guarantees are based on the pistol's ability to place 5 consecutive shots (center to center) into the guaranteed group size from a distance of 25 yards when fired from a Ransom machine rest by at least one of the following ammunition types:

Federal Classic 45D 230 gr. JHP
Federal Hydra-Shok 230 gr. JHP
Hornady 200gr. XTP
Black Hills 230 gr. XTP
Winchester SXT 230 gr. JHP


6.4 gr. VihtaVuori N320, Nosler 185gr JHP
6.3 gr. VihtaVuori N320, Hornady 200 gr. XTP"

July 16, 2006, 10:08 AM
Out of the box------CZ97B try it you'll lke it!

July 16, 2006, 11:06 AM
The most accurate I have shot was my Contender with the 14" .223 match barrel and 7x scope, a sub MOA handgun when fired from it's harris bi-pod, I could never hold it steady enough with some sort of help.

July 16, 2006, 11:34 AM
A few years back in the benchrest community, there was a move to promote benchrest handgun matches. What happened were more like short rifles, but they were legally handguns. So those legally win...

Off the shelf, the Remington XP100. Again, tho, that is a rifle action registered as a handgun.

For a repeater type thing, well, sometimes you might get lucky, but 99% is on the shooter.

July 16, 2006, 04:42 PM
All else being equal, any handgun with a fixed barrel is going to be inherently more accurate. On the same note, an autoloader with a fixed barrel should be more accurate than a revolver, since revolvers almost invariably deform the bullet to some extent as it enters the forcing cone. These can be fine points with quality guns, but still factor in. In my personal experience, the most accurate centerfire handgun I've ever shot (excluding single shots) is the Desert Eagle; fixed, poly rifled barrel and optics mount directly to the barrel.

July 16, 2006, 05:01 PM
From my modest collection of guns I would say, my Walther P22, Ruger Super RedHawk & S&W 686-1. My GLOCK 21 is a work in progress at this time. :)

July 16, 2006, 05:27 PM
My 6.5-284 XP-100.
If I am correct Remington came out with xp-100 as handgun first before they came out with the 600 series rifles.

Hunting revolver--My FA field grade 454 Casual

Semi's a tricked 10mm 1911

July 16, 2006, 05:32 PM
In RF, I got a Hi Standard Supermatic Citation with interchangeable 5" & 7.25" barrels = Works fer ME!

Centerfire? = Based on my modest saved target collection, I'd have to give honors to an old S&W Mod10 HB shooting .38spl wadcutters.:cool: :D

That's all you get from me!:evil:

July 16, 2006, 05:36 PM
Walther P88

July 16, 2006, 06:10 PM
Hi Standard Supermatic Citation = I would really like to have one. :cool: I have heard "ALL THINGS GOOD' when the conversation turns to a Hi Standard Supermatic Citation. :) There is no doubt it would be a good one. If I were to get a chance to purchase, :what: what would be the price range?? :scrutiny:

July 17, 2006, 08:34 PM
Not to get too far off topic, I have a HS Supermatic Citation Model 106 Military and it is ok....Not as accurate as my Ruger Mark III Competition Slab Sides with a fixed 2x Leupold. Now that is super-super accurate. With Winchester T22 ammo, it shoots in the .4s from 25 yards:Seen Here (

I paid $400.00 for mine from a retired LEO in my home town. He claims his wife purchased it for him back in the mid 60's and he fired one box of ammo through it. He even gave me the brick of Remington ammo (minus 50 rounds) in a box that said Merry Christmas on it.

I took it apart and it was just like it rolled off the factory floor. Sharp corners, clean, no wear on the breach face......etc....

I am told they go for about 5-8 bills

July 17, 2006, 08:47 PM
MY most accurate hands down, no contest, is my TC Contender. I'm sure the XPs and other bolt action hand rifles are as good or better. I get 1.5 moa out of my .30-30 barrel with 2x scope. That's 1.5" groups at 100 yards. Top that with your Kimber...:p Freedom Arms, by all accounts I've heard, is unbelievably accurate, probably the most accurate revolver extant. My Ruger Blackhawks are good 'nuf for gov'ment work, though. I get 3-4 moa groups out of my .357 with 180 grain handloads using iron sights at 100 yards. That's pretty danged useful accuracy for an outdoorsman.:D Unlike my Contender, it is easy to carry in a belt holster.

July 21, 2006, 10:05 AM
It is interesting that few people said what level of accuracy they have been able to achieve out of their most accuracte handgun. Come on people, what size groups are you getting? I especially interested in the group sizes for the FAs since my Ruger 454 is pretty bad. The best I have been able to do is 4" at 25 yards.

Plain Old Bill
July 21, 2006, 10:08 AM
Dan Wesson revolvers- maybe it's the tension placed on both ends of the barrel. My 44 mag is amazing. There's a reason they are the standard for silhouette matches. :)

Master Blaster
July 21, 2006, 10:22 AM
That would be a Morini free pistol used in olympic competition with the correct ammo it will put 10 consecutive shots in the same hole, match after match.

Regular guns??

The other day I purchased a lightly used S&W 17-6 with a 1x burris handgun scope.

I was able to shoot three consecutive cylinderfulls, thats 18 shots into the x ring of a B21 target at 25 yards single action with the trigger guard rested on a sandbag. Its now my most accurate pistol.

July 21, 2006, 11:14 AM
due to the slide rails and barrel fit, with a tiny bit of custom work will run with the wilson combat's of the 1911 world. to bad it got beat out by a 226...

July 21, 2006, 02:02 PM
I've shot a Les Baer .45 that was extremely accurate.:cool:

July 21, 2006, 02:57 PM
For me, in my hands, my BHP, USP 45 and my Colt XSE have been extremely accurate....I have shot other guns that were easier to shoot accurately but they were all customs.

Bob R
July 21, 2006, 03:18 PM
In my stable of guns, my 10mm is by far the most accurate. It has been worked over by Ted Yost and sports a Schuemann Ultimatch AET barrel.

As Ted said when he test fired the gun, this thing shoots like a rifle.


July 22, 2006, 01:29 PM
The most accurate gun I own and is my Dan Wesson Dave Pruitt 45 ACP. I own many guns including Kimber 45 but my dan Wesson is by far the most accurate. Any distance it shoots to where I want my rounds to go and with very tight groups. Very Tight pistol.

July 23, 2006, 09:35 AM
Browning BDA in 38 super
Sig 210
Hk P9S, 9 or 45
Hk mk23 or Match

I have good and bad days with all my pistols, but these are the most consistant.

Master Blaster
July 24, 2006, 08:38 AM
Regardless of how custom it is or how much it costs, A fixed barrel fixed sights(adjustible sights but fixed in relation to the barrel) .22lr pistol is going to beat any Centerfire semi-auto for accuracy and consistency at handgun ranges 50 meters or less. This has been proven in competition millions of times.

.22lr is an inherrently accurate round, match grade .22lr is extremely accurate ammunition. Even a Ruger MKII with a good barrel is goint to outshoot a SIG p210 from a ransom rest.. In the hands of a competition shooter .22lr is going to be more accurate than any center fire caliber.

If you buy a good .22 like a S&W model 41, a benelli, or a Russian IZH, for under $1000, it will outshoot a Les Baer, or a SIG p210 or X5 right out of the box.

July 24, 2006, 10:18 AM
true, but to keep it interesting, lets pretend you want a handgun for something other than accurately shooting tin cans.

July 24, 2006, 12:54 PM
The two that come to mind first are:
Fredom Arms model 97 .357
H&K USP 9mm Elite 9mm (6")
Both shoot under 1-1/2" from a good rest at 25 yards. Maybe even tighter if I could see better.
I ended up selling the USP (ergonomics).

Master Blaster
July 24, 2006, 01:26 PM
lets pretend you want a handgun for something other than accurately shooting tin cans.

Like what????

Olympic competition, NRA Bullseye???

For self defense, I find a Glock or a S&W lightweight snubby to be best.

July 24, 2006, 02:33 PM
I apologize there Blaster, tin cans and pieces of paper

Master Blaster
July 24, 2006, 04:09 PM
Thats better, I mostly shoot at pieces of paper myself.

The range master says no metal targets.

July 25, 2006, 11:31 AM
i had a s&w 686 4" that could shoot groups you could cover with a quarter at 25 yards when i leaned over the hood of my truck. prolly could have done alot better with a respectable rest. had to sell it years ago to pay the rent. the stupid mistakes we make in our youth...

my 10" t/c contender 44 mag barrel will make groups you can cover with a quarter at 50 yards off the hood of my truck (iron sights)

my 14" t/c contender 223 barrel will make groups you could cover with a quarter at 100 yards off the hood of my truck (fixed 2x scope). i find the 44 mag much more fun to shoot so this barrel doesnt get much range time any more. i dont know if i can shoot it this well anymore.


July 25, 2006, 01:03 PM
Anything in My hand! :evil:


July 25, 2006, 01:24 PM
Regardless of how custom it is or how much it costs, A fixed barrel fixed sights(adjustible sights but fixed in relation to the barrel) .22lr pistol is going to beat any Centerfire semi-auto for accuracy and consistency at handgun ranges 50 meters or less. This has been proven in competition millions of times.

Yes, but the original question deliberately omitted rimfire pistols. That said, I've seen some amazing things done with centerfire pistols. At an indoor bullseye match, I watched a High Master ranked competitor shoot, with a .45, two timed-fire five shot strings, with all ten shots within the ten ring.

In other words, in twenty seconds, shooting with one hand from a standing position, he put five shots into a group no bigger than three inches, and then did it again in the very next string.

Now, he was kind enough to let me shoot this pistol at a different competition when mine went down due to some faulty ammo. I shot some exceptional groups, probably around 85/100 points. So the pistol is obviously capable of shooting with an exceptional degree of accuracy. I, on the other hand, did not shoot up to the potential accuracy of that pistol.

July 25, 2006, 06:30 PM
I think all of my handguns are more accurate than I am anymore; I have in the realm of 40 - 50 now..! (Crap; now I'm depressed..!)(LOL..!) :what: :) :rolleyes:

CSA 357
July 25, 2006, 06:50 PM
i have owned and shot many hand guns, i had a colt gold cup that was the best shooter i ever put my hands on, i say had, i lost it in a house fire,*csa*:(

July 27, 2006, 07:59 PM
#1 tc contender 22 one hole groups at 25 yards.
#2 tc contender 357 max clover leaf at 100 yards.
22 wears a 2.5 power bushnell phantom ant the maxi has never had glass put on it. Ive spent the last 10 years trying to talk dad out of them he always says no but you can borrow them when ever you want. I think he is tring to get me to come home more cuz he aint there much and has never fired either one.

one shot one kill

Master Blaster
July 28, 2006, 08:31 AM
Besides .22lr pistols, the 1911 is the most accurate pistol.

Its the center fire pistol for serious competition, bullseye and action pistol sports.

No other design even comes close.

July 30, 2006, 12:44 AM
Besides .22lr pistols, the 1911 is the most accurate pistol.

Its the center fire pistol for serious competition, bullseye and action pistol sports.

No other design even comes close


That's a pretty obtuse statement.

There are many platforms capable of better accuracy, they simply sacrifice in other areas (weight, size, capacity, etc.).

A Desert Eagle or Wildey will outshoot a 1911 every time. Why? Sights (or scope) mounts to a fixed barrel. They will also outshoot most revolvers, since there is not deformation from entering the forcing cone.

Find me a 1911 that will produce consistent 3", 100 yard 5-shot groups. The Desert Eagle will. My best was 2-9/16", with the average hovering between 2-7/8" and 3-1/4" from a sandbagged rest. The .50 is topped with a Weaver 1.5-4x 24mm scope.

July 30, 2006, 04:58 AM
sort of a hard question to answer, but of the guns that I own (outside of my MkII) my most accurate pistol is one of my Taurus PT-99's. It really came as a surprise to me that the gun, which I bought used and which had been fairly beat up, is as accurate as it is. I have another PT-99 that is pretty accurate in its own right, but I just consistently shoot that old, beat up 99 better than any of my other pistols.

I don't know if that really answers the question or not, but thats just been my expereince.

July 31, 2006, 06:42 PM
I'll go with the TC Contender as well. My 7mm TCU (14" barrel) was capable of some remarkable accuracy. Just another great gun I sold for a new P.O.S. that was forgotten about 20 years ago.:banghead:

August 1, 2006, 10:51 AM
Just speaking from my own personal experience with guns I have owned/own.
For top accuracy that would be my TC Super14 in .223. My new one I have only owned for 2 weeks now. The very first group at 100 was sub MOA. I have only fired it 50 times so far. My old TC Super 14 in .223 fired some amazing groups for me.

For a real handgun caliber my 10" TC in 357 Magnum has been my most accurate handgun.

Ok - for a conventional repeating centerfire handgun my Smith 686 and 629 Classic - about 1.25" for 6 shots at 50 yards with scope and rest.

March 3, 2007, 11:44 AM
My Steve Woods, Custom Bullseye, Series 70 Colt .45.

HK P9S .45 Target

March 3, 2007, 11:49 AM
In my personal experience . . . toss-up between TC Contender and Remington XP100. With the tool in the hands of a Master, if memory serves me correctly, seems like just about any handgun my Dad was operating.

March 3, 2007, 06:08 PM
I hope this doesn't start a flame war, but . . .

Okay, the Contenders and Encores are obviously going to be the most accurate.

I think Revolvers are generally going to be more accurate than semi autos. It's like comparing semi auto vs bolt/block action rifles.

As far as semi autos go I'd put my money on CZs and high-end custom 1911s for being the most accurate. CZs (75s, sp01, p01 ect) will beat up most 1911s for accuracy except for the Les Baers, Wilson Combats, Ed Browns ect. Not many companies willingly pack their guns with targets from the factory proving their accuracy. The gun shop I work at I make it a point to look at those targets with the CZs, most seem to be grouping in that 2.5" area, but it's not uncommon to see 2-1.5". Not bad for a $400 gun.

March 3, 2007, 09:38 PM
One of the best combinations of accuracy and value I can think of in a center fire handgun is the S&W Model 10 shooting 148 grain wadcutters. Despite the rise in demand lately, I've seen a few examples in my area selling from $200 - $250.

I met a guy at the local range that claimed he could get tighter groups at 25 yds with a Model 10 that he paid $100 for (didn't say how long ago, not recently I assume) than he could with his $1200 Kimber :neener: .

March 3, 2007, 11:05 PM
That he claims conistantly will put a whole cylinder into an inch at 100 yards. The monster is scoped and has a longer barrel than most, but that's pretty darned good.

March 4, 2007, 10:20 AM
There are ways to accuraize almost any handgun if you want to spend enough time and money on the project. Machinists and gun builders are just like everyone else, some days they are really on, somedays not so much. Outside of just pure QC, there are designs and processes that really enhance innate accuracy. The TC Contender and Encore single barrels is such a design when well executed. The Dan Wesson tensioned barrel system is another. These two designs allow for oustanding accuracy in production guns. They are the 2 most accurate handguns I have owned over the 35+ years I have owned and shot firearms. Most Dan Wessons and Contenders I have owned are capable of sub MOA groups. I have never owned a Freedom Arms gun because of the price. I consider them a custom gun and their price reflects that, but from all accounts they are deadly accurate. It seems that this is as much or more a perfection of process rather than design. Any really good custom gun maker can take nearly any design and make it match grade, it is just some designs would require an almost total rebuild, while others are much more inherently accurate designs.

just my 2 pennies


March 6, 2007, 02:02 PM
I'm most accurate with my Dan Wesson Pointman Dave Pruitt 1911. Very tight pistol with a nice trigger. I tend to do well with CZ pistols also.

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