a list of general manufacturers, hi-end manufacturers not included.
in alphabetical order. :)
September 19, 2007, 03:48 PM
Welcome to the forum Katty. The truth of the matter is that there is not a "best" pistol out there. As you will find out the longer you are in this - everyone has their own opinions as to what is the "best" - and the "best" generally tends to change as people go through mood changes.
If you are asking the question because you are just starting to shop around, the best thing for you to do is to go to a gun store and hold every single handgun that they have. Go to a rental range and shoot as many different handguns as you can. Take your time, and shop around for at least a month or two of renting and shooting different handguns. Spend many many hours reading through all of the posts on this forum - do searches through the archives about the various pistol types you are interested in. If interested in HKs - go to hkpro.com and read what they are saying there. If interested in SIGs - go to sigforum.com and read what they are saying there. If interested in Glocks - go to glocktalk.com and read what they are saying there. Same goes for every other manufacturer and forums. Then make an educated purchase based on your own personal opinions and based on your own personal experience of renting and shooting.
I cannot repeat this enough times - your personal experience and whether you enjoyed or disliked a handgun when renting and shooting it is the only thing that matters. If everyone on this board told you to buy the G19 or P-01(which many of us would and will), and you base your opinions on that alone - you are making a mistake because it might turn out that you hate this or that about either pistol. Only YOU can choose which handgun is "best" for YOU. What is "best" for me might be "horrible" for you. this is why you see a handgun market that is so wonderfully diverse.
I have and like the G19, P226, and P2000. I want the P-01. My P226 is my favorite. The G19 is probably the most useful in terms of carry etc.
I hope that helps!
September 19, 2007, 03:51 PM
Ask yourself this: Is there really a "best" of anything? Is there a best car, one pair of shoes, pizza, etc... There may be a "better" but this is based on your individual needs.
Everything is relative in regards to cost. There is also a personal factor based on your level of experience with firearms that is very important as well.
My suggetion is that you spend some time here and read the postings, then go to a gunrange and rent several pistols to determine what feels best for yourself.
September 19, 2007, 04:04 PM
Thanks all for the welcome! I have now a Glock 27 and like it. I have been around other guns and have shot many. I do see in the newer pistols things that do look and feel really cheaply made. Some of the metal guns do have a better feel to me but some are ok and some are really nice. Internally and externally I am wanting a quality piece. As a femal I don't have a huge hand and the Glock 27 fits and is even a bit short in the handle as with most everyone. I know all about the Glock but don't feel it's the best quality out there by far. Great gun though. I've looked at the Kimber, Baer etc. and am not really impressed greatly with the newer guns. I do however like the older Colt pistols for some reason.
I'll keep looking! Thanks very much!
September 19, 2007, 04:13 PM
SemiAuto - Sig - ultra reliable, more accurate than many, easy to maintain
Revolver - slight advantage to S&W - very reliable - very accurate
September 19, 2007, 05:33 PM
Plenty of good serviceable pistols on the market, but if you want something of really top quality and fine workmanship, it will take a large check to a custom gunsmith or boutique manufacturer. If Les Baer did not enthuse you, send a very large check.
September 19, 2007, 05:41 PM
For me the answer is simple and clear. Sig P series.
AS others have stated, there are a number of quality gun manufactures. Also suggested to you was the idea of renting them at a range and seeing what you like. I support that 100%
September 19, 2007, 05:50 PM
Factory guns? HK.
Custom guns? Any good 1911 smith will turn out a pistol of unmatchable quality. You will never get a polymer auto or any other autopistol to feel as smooth and solid as a perfectly-made 1911.
September 20, 2007, 02:54 PM
I am a member of several gun forums and all you will get from posts like these is opinions and you know what they say about opinions!! I agree the older guns like a Colt Python would be near the top of my list as well as an older 686, I have the 686 and can dream about the Python, modern guns would range from the Sig, Beretta,HK, Glocks etc...
Pick your poison.
September 20, 2007, 09:55 PM
As much as I don't want to admit this as a revolver guy. My uncle and I have not managed to jam his Glock 17 yet. The new M&P from Smith and Wesson looks promising, but I have yet to personally fire one.
For the ultimate in high end...one word...Korth.
September 21, 2007, 06:48 AM
yesit'sloaded, plus one on Korth (http://www.korthusa.com/start_en.htm). Sig 210 also comes to mind.
September 21, 2007, 08:55 AM
SIG P210... tho it's not one you'd say is sold every day, you can find them on Gunbroker (5 or 6) for somewhere around $3K+/-.
Maybe a Python... also, not sold everyday (or mfg at all) but available for about half the cost of the P210.
In that strata of price point you also enter the world of Wilson, Baer, Brown, Rock River, etc, in way of semi-autos... Bowen, Freedom Arms etc in way of wheelguns.
Out of the above, just for grins and snickers, I'd vote for a Freedom Arms 97 in .45 Colt (5.5" Octagonal barrel thank you very much) and I'd be one happy camper. (Note to self: hammer over empty chamber! Doh!)
September 21, 2007, 09:12 AM
Welcome Katty,,,, Look at, touch, and feel the H&K USPc in a .40cal.
excellent stopping power in a small pkg. but not as small as baby glocks..
My wife is petite and never shot mine but likes the way it feels in her hand.
As for the quality...H&K, need i say any more :D
September 21, 2007, 09:34 AM
Welcome Katty. The Best gun is the one that you like and shoot best. That will vary with different people. Only you can find that Best gun. As time goes on the Best gun can change. Welcome to the world of Guns and Shooting. :D
September 21, 2007, 10:17 AM
3. SiG P210
All are basically handmade German/Swiss and priced accordingly.
SiG 210 is 9mm Parabellum only and has been all but discontinued.
The Korth is custom made and available as a 9mm Parabellum or 9X21 IMI for people who live in countries that caliber restrict.
They offer caliber upgrades to .40 S&W and .45 acp as an accessory option.
The Korriphalia can be had in any medium or large bore semi auto pistol cartridge up to 10mm Norma.
All three are excellent, require about six months minimum to receive after placing the order, and are ungodly expensive.
September 21, 2007, 10:31 AM
Over in photography forums people will twist themselves into absolute knots over that last 1/10 of a LUX of light gathering and so forth between the top 5 high end lenses.
I've noticed a similar situation with firearms. The top "dawgs" (listed above, I won't repeat) probably all shoot better than most people can manage and (barring some freak lemon or whatever) will give solid service for life (or several lifetimes) if maintained properly.
September 21, 2007, 10:38 AM
September 21, 2007, 11:05 AM
Nothing made today can even come close to the quality of the old hand-fitted and finished S&W's, Colt's, Brownings, and Walthers.
September 21, 2007, 11:13 AM
But really it's like asking a bunch of SCCA drivers who makes the best Sports Car. I'm a Porsche guy myself, but my son will argue BMW 'till pigs fly.
September 21, 2007, 11:31 AM
Well I gave three pistols that aren't exactly made every day and Katty did say "made everyday."
I was going to +1 the Jennings but they aren't made anymore at all.:eek:
I guess I will have to offer the, oh god here it comes,,,,,,,,,,,
I think you mean 'Korriphila'. While interesting and 'arty' I wouldn't call them the 'best'. Korth are very well made and fitted, and the SIG P210 is a favorite of mine, representing the heighth of 1930 technology and design.
Another I'll add here is the Pardini, formerly inported by Nygard precision. The PC9 and PC45 are examples of superb fit and finish, as well as fantastic accuracy
September 21, 2007, 02:08 PM
Anyone familiar with Webley revolvers? I have a Webley & Son MKIII and it's as good now as it ever was. The workmanship is fabulous, it functions perfectly and it's very easy to shoot accurately, whether with the sights or while just pointing. It's a great gun.
September 21, 2007, 02:16 PM
I do however like the older Colt pistols for some reason.
Good choice, among others, of course. :)
September 21, 2007, 02:37 PM
For the ultimate in high end...one word...Korth
I didn't see anyone mention them yet, so don't forget about the Manurhin revolvers, either: MR-73, M-96 or MR-88. I've never fondled one myself, but they look great and are supposed to be of fantastic quality and accuracy and brutally strong to boot.
September 21, 2007, 04:36 PM
I'd say every model from Switzerland/Germany/Austria are qualitative.
Best IMO is old Sig P210
Second Sphinx (http://www.sphinx-systems.ch/en/3000std_std.html)
Third ASAI (http://www.asai-ag.ch/)
SiG 210 is 9mm Parabellum only and has been all but discontinued.
It's false! P 210 are available in cal. 7.65 Luger too.
September 21, 2007, 06:11 PM
Stands alone? Well, I won't narrow it down that far. For off the self, mass-produced high quality, I like Sigarms pistols with metal, not polymer frames. For factory-produced but high-end, hand-fitted quality, US Firearms and Les Baer. The Seecamp pistols are hand-built pistols of custom quality. This is based on personal experience. FWIW, I had bad luck with all three of my Kimbers, and one Glock G22 was far less than perfectly reliable, while another G22 was fine, as were my G29 and G27.
September 21, 2007, 06:14 PM
SIG, hands down.
September 21, 2007, 06:38 PM
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, "Quality is as Quality Does". My G19 has never missed a beat in +10,000 rounds, but I didn't list it among my previous answers to the question.
But to answer Mr. The Law (above)...
HK, hands up.
September 21, 2007, 07:00 PM
There may be better out there. But the nicest I've personally been exposed to, are Pythons and just about anything by Freedom Arms.
September 21, 2007, 07:55 PM
The most accurate pistol ever made and I've never heard of one jamming....TC Contender...:D
September 21, 2007, 09:47 PM
I think that HK, Sig, Glock, Beretta, and any other big name manufacturer are good. It depends on exactly what your looking for. Usually it is the shooter and not the gun that has problems.
For me HK is the best fit.
September 23, 2007, 01:05 AM
Too many variables to consider to make an answer shorter than a book. In my experience, some of the best guns are
S&W wheelguns pf all steel
Ruger also makes good wheelguns-more durable, not as finely finished/tuned
Sig Sauer for out of box service pistol reliabiliy/accuracy
Kimber Custom Shop .45s-good value in good 1911s
That ought to get ya started
September 23, 2007, 01:28 AM
Best "quality" pistol?
Is that along the lines of best "quality" automobile?
You'll get everything from Ford F-150 to Chevy Corvette to Benz AMG S66 to Bentley Azure.
How 'bout the best "quality" pizza? I'm a Papa John's fiend myself.
September 23, 2007, 06:20 AM
"Jennings?" I hope you're joking?
*shrugs* My personal has been STI. No, it's not a common make of 1911, but it's been the best that I've fired. I've also been happier with S&W revolvers than with some other brands.
Not to say that either of these is "better" than the others, but they're the best I've used.
That having been said, there's a floor for acceptable quality. I generally stay above it for things that I'm betting my life on. My carry piece is a Springfield XD45. It's well above my minimum floor for quality.
September 23, 2007, 07:02 AM
S&W 52 series...38 Master
all are still available as used guns...
The Sigs and Smiths are known for their quality, machining, accuracy and reliability...
The Browning Hi Power for design and reliability...
I know diddly about Revolvers...
September 24, 2007, 12:23 PM
Isn't it interesting that when someone asks for "the best", that there's a remarkable consistancy about the answers? If we limited our responses to readily-available production handguns...we've all come very close to general agreement.
Is that supposed to happen around here?!?
September 28, 2007, 03:47 PM
Unfortunately, no Consumer Reports for pistols. Quality is a lot perception. Think of a quality car - Mercedes Benz comes to mind. However, according to Consumer Reports, it is the worst.
Mercedes always over engineered their vehicles, developing a reputation as the very best. Then Chrysler bought Mercedes Benz and imposed it's culture of corner cutting & penny pinching upon them.
As for the best handgun, a very subjective topic, my vote would go to the BHP,
Service record : just about every country except Russia has fielded it.
Reliability: excellent even in desert conditions, the hajis love it too.
Eurgonomics: excellent, arguably one of the hardest elements of design, to make it just "feel right" & "point naturally".
Esthetics: come on just look at it.
Quality: F.N. has never skimped on the BHP.
Accuracy: Possibly not the most accurate service pistol out there, accurate enough for its mission though.
I have to admit, I lament the current trends in modern pistol design, most offerings look like the result of feeding a dog some black LEGO bricks and waiting for nature to take its course.
September 28, 2007, 03:55 PM
Ask yourself this: Is there really a "best" of anything? Is there a best car, one pair of shoes, pizza, etc...
I have the best wife and kids... :p
Woot - I have 100 posts! I'm a senior member! woohoo! I'm going to go have a senior moment now.
September 28, 2007, 04:31 PM
My best semi-auto is a Custom Shop 1911 Smith.
My best revolver is a Model 97 Freedom Arms.
And seeing as how I'm not saying what other pistols I have (if I even have any others) there's no one who can dispute the above mentioned pistols are my best pistols. How's that for an answer?:D
Welcome to the forum Katty. I'm just kidding around with you. As others have already said, what the "best" is to one person might not be the "best" to someone else. Unless of course you're talking about pickup trucks. In that case Fords are best, period.:neener:
September 28, 2007, 06:03 PM
Bladezero: Actually, it was Daimler-Benz who bought Chrysler for IIRC $34 billion. They just sold 81% interest in Chrysler to Cerebus Investment Holdings as Chrysler LLC for $7 billion. Which when you think about it, is typical for the Chrysler product owning experience, just with more zeros at the end. You buy a Chrysler for $34,000, own it a few years, realize that it wasn't worth your time to own it because of all the problems, and unload it on someone for $7000 just to get rid of it.
When you get down to it, Mercedes' problems are also a result of people with expectations that are way too high to begin with when owning cars that include the cutting edge of technology, when the inevitable problems arise, M-B owners expect perfection and when they getl ess than that they complain.
People expect cheap cars like Hyundais to be problematic and when they find they don't have as many problems as they expected they give good reviews.
Oh yeah, to answer the OP: Sig/Sauer pistols are abot the best out there, especially out of the box. Why should you be required to spend double the price of a CPO Sig 220 and then spend another grand on uprades, accurizing and reliability tweaks to get a gun that at best is no better than, and a lot more finicky than, a CPO Sig P220?
September 28, 2007, 06:35 PM
Goes bang everytime and built like a tank, gotta be Ruger wheelies and Glock Autos he is looking for if modern, but nothin beats old school.
September 28, 2007, 06:46 PM
Thanks for correcting me Evan, Merc build quality definately took a nose dive during this period though, it seems more than coincidental.
A lot of the current problems with vehicles even premium ones, stem from the amount of eletronic gadjets being incorporated.
Personally I'd love a stripped down Porsche 911, 80's Carrera variant, coupe, no 4WD, no traction control, no power windows, not even a stereo. My only concession to modern driver aids would be ABS.
Motorcycles, cafe racers, are my true passion though.
Anyway back to guns.
September 30, 2007, 03:26 AM
The 'best'? The best can be many things to many people. The nice thing about firearms is there are so many different ones to meet the needs of many different shooters. In my experience, HKs are tough to beat! :D
October 2, 2007, 07:31 PM
HK & SIG thats about all that are 100% all of the time IMO
October 2, 2007, 09:47 PM
1st place goes to Mr. Larry Seecamp for his fine little LWS series .32/.380's
2nd place (tie) goes to the older Smith & Wesson and Colt Revolvers
3rd place goes to SIG-SAUER/SIGARMS for their excellent P-series classics
October 2, 2007, 10:20 PM
My personal vote for a self-loading pistol:
ITM (aka Solothurn aka Sphinx) CZ-75 patterned pistols. All the design refinements of the CZ-75 with the legendary quality and precision of the Swiss. My AT-84 is one of my most prized handguns and I got it used cheaper than most of my CZs.
My personal vote for a revolver:
Dan Wesson. Their innovative user changeable tension barrels make them extremely versatile and accurate, particularly during long strings of fire when other long-barreled guns would start to string due to the heat. Fit and finish on the Dan Wesson line of revolvers is typically excellent. I prefer my Dan Wesson model 15 over the S&W Performance Center 646 I owned. The S&W was very finicky and didn't like being dirty at all. The Dan Wesson has never given me a single lick of trouble.