Greatest 9mm Ever


May 20, 2008, 04:14 PM
With too much time on my hands I was wondering about what would be the criteria to establish what is greatest 9mm ever produced. Here is my criteria and I would like to hear responses from the peanut gallery.

1) Length of service and production

2) Military and LEA adoption

3) Commercial units sold

Based on those three, what are the contenders?

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May 20, 2008, 04:16 PM
well browning high power
glock 17
beratta 92
sig sauer

May 20, 2008, 04:17 PM

May 20, 2008, 04:23 PM
High Power. What else?

May 20, 2008, 04:38 PM
Sig P226

May 20, 2008, 04:40 PM
I think for most people (non-gunnies), the Beretta 92 is instantly what comes to mind when thinking "9mm". Credit Hollywood for that.

Although, in that same vein, the Glock 17 is catching up fast (or already has maybe?).

I'm a history buff as well as a gunnie. So I say the Walther P38 followed closely by the Luger.


May 20, 2008, 04:45 PM
My favorite 9mm is definitely the Hi-Power.

May 20, 2008, 04:46 PM
The greatest 9mm of all time is the HK P7 series.

May 20, 2008, 04:52 PM
Although, in that same vein, the Glock 17 is catching up fast (or already has maybe?).

I dont think that the G17 will ever be as recognizable/popular as the 92.

Im not talking smack on the Glock, thats just what I think.

May 20, 2008, 04:54 PM
The P7 doesn't even begin to meet any of the three criteria set forth in the first post.

Lets not forget the S&W 39/59 series guns.
39 = First DA 9mm made in the U.S.
39 = First commercial DA 9mm.
39 = First alloy frame commercial DA 9mm.
39 = First 9mm adopted by a U.S. police agency.
59 = Basis of the "Hush Puppy" used in Vietnam.
59 = Started the 9mm high-cap DA "Wonder-Gun" war that is still going strong.
39/59 = About a gazillion sold to police, military, and civilians between 1953 & 2007? when they were finally discontinued.


May 20, 2008, 04:59 PM
ur right rc, and if my mind servesme well I think the state of Illinois were the first to issue the model 39 Smith..

Just pretty hard to not go with the G17, IMO

May 20, 2008, 05:00 PM
I don't care, the P7 rocks!

It does fit in all three categories just not as big of numbers as others.

May 20, 2008, 05:06 PM
Well, using that set of rules, "just not as big of numbers", we have to include the Star's & Astra's too! :D


May 20, 2008, 05:10 PM
Lugers, P38's and BHP's I feel are the guns that "made" the caliber. Of those, the Browning HiPower would be my choice as a timeless classic in the same vein as a 1911 is to .45 ACP.

May 20, 2008, 05:39 PM
In terms of production, wouldn't the BHP and CZ75 eclipse all other contenders?

Add longevity, and the BHP has no equal (1935).

May 20, 2008, 05:40 PM
If the U.S. military had the Glock 17 for over 15-20 years, it'd be the most widely known 9mm. Even more than today, with many police agencies carrying Glocks.

I had someone tell me (when my nickname was Glock-29-10mm on another forum) that "Glock only comes in 9mm." I laughed... and hard! But it showed even the most clueless of facts have at least heard of Glocks. :D

For military service: Glock > Beretta... by far. :D

May 20, 2008, 05:40 PM
Long lived major military service 9mm, massively produced.

Browning HP 1935-Present
Luger 1900-1945
Sig 210 1937-1965
Walther P.38 1939-1945, 1957-1993
Swiss Sig P220 (9mm) 1974-Present
Sig 226 1984-Present
Beretta 92FS 1984-Present

May 20, 2008, 05:50 PM
Does anyone know commercial sales numbers? I assumed that the G17 has outsold the Beretta commercially.

May 20, 2008, 05:57 PM
I disagree as to your criteria for what is the "greatest". After all, the "best" might have just been made a year ago or not adopted by the military or LE due to cost factors.

Still, while not my personal favorite I too have to say that based on your criteria the Browning High Power has to be number one.

Manufactured for a long time and often copied. Lots of military and LE (albeit Euro) use.

May 20, 2008, 05:59 PM
The Walther P38 and its variants -- the P1, P4, and P5 -- would have to be a top consideration. Tens upon tens of thousands of these models were produced during and after the war and remain in use to this day.

another okie
May 20, 2008, 06:05 PM
Using your criteria, BHP, Beretta 92 and Glock 17. However, that leaves out the Sig 210, which not many of us have handled, but is a very, very, very nice gun, accurate to long range, reliable, and with a great trigger, and was a military / police issue.

May 20, 2008, 06:21 PM
I guess I was trying to limit the scope of the question to objective criteria. Everyone has their favorite, but I wanted to remove that from the equation.

May 20, 2008, 08:56 PM
Sig P210

May 20, 2008, 08:59 PM
Browning Hi-Power. Second to none.

May 20, 2008, 09:05 PM
As I listed above, by military service, the Browning HP would, by your definition, be king. # produced, the P210 I listed would be smallest, with only a few hundred thousand. The rest on my list have/are produced in the millions.

May 20, 2008, 09:07 PM
sig 210

Mad Magyar
May 20, 2008, 09:34 PM
Another vote for the Browning P-35..

May 20, 2008, 09:47 PM
add 1mm to it!

May 20, 2008, 09:50 PM
BHP. No doubt

May 20, 2008, 10:11 PM
HP, with the P38 in second.

May 20, 2008, 10:19 PM
Well, CZ75 because I have one. But I still want to play with a Sig P210

May 20, 2008, 10:19 PM
Glock 17

May 20, 2008, 10:35 PM
Hipower and P38/P1.

May 21, 2008, 12:05 AM
i would say that that would have to be a glock either 17 or 19, they sell countless models every year, and they are issued to everyone under the sun. and carried by pros and ccw holders all over the place.

Beetle Bailey
May 21, 2008, 12:35 AM
Well, are we just talking about the United States, or does the rest of the world count?

If the whole world counts, then add me to the long list that says BHP.

May 21, 2008, 01:01 AM

May 21, 2008, 01:56 AM

My vote in this order:

Smith 39/59

May 21, 2008, 06:19 AM
Hk P7

May 21, 2008, 06:46 AM
I would start with the high-power, but I think the Glock is catching up. And I would disagree with the poster above who said the Beretta 92/M9 is more recognizable than the Glock. The Glock is still the bull in the LEO arena (losing market share to others, but still in the lead).
And a bit off your reasoning, but hollywood has done a hell of a job using Glocks in movies. Some of its been BS, but it makes it a more recognizable symbol every time you see it in US Marshalls, Die-Hard 2 (yes I know there was an M9 there too), Walking Tall, not to mention a whole bunch more that I can't even think of right now.

May 21, 2008, 06:56 AM

May 21, 2008, 08:26 AM
Out of the 9mms I have shot (Glock 19, CZ75, Ruger P89, and Beretta 92FS), I like the G19 the most. However, I did shoot slightly better with the CZ75, which was interesting because it wasn't even my gun.

May 21, 2008, 08:42 AM
Browning P35.

May 21, 2008, 08:54 AM
In order and allowing clone guns and variations to be included.
1. FN High Power
2. Walther P38-P1
3. Beretta 92
4. CZ-75
5. Glock G17

May 21, 2008, 09:20 AM
1) Length of service and production

2) Military and LEA adoption

3) Commercial units sold

To date, and just using those criteria instead of personal favorites, the Hi Power is the only one that I can think of that fits.

It has been continuously in service and production since 1935.

Numerous militaries and law enforcement agencies have adopted it and for long periods of time.

There are literally millions upon millions that have been sold across the world and there are clones/copies as well as the liscenced versions that have been produced in huge numbers.

What else comes close?

May 21, 2008, 09:49 AM
P-35. Nothing else compares.

May 21, 2008, 10:06 AM
I immediately thought BHP, but I have never fired one...

Ala Dan
May 21, 2008, 11:07 AM
Introduced in 1989, adopted briefly by several federal agencies
including U.S. Park Service, U.S. Bureau Of Printing & Engraving,
the ATF, U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Services, U.S. Secret
Service, and some major police departments/ sheriffs departments
across the land~! ;) :D

After reading the post by Headless on the next page, and as
I have stated here many times over the greatest 9m/m love in my
life has been the wonderful single-stack model 39-2 from S&W.
It had a loyal following as a police issued duty sidearm, by the
Illinois State Police during the late 1960's. My very dear THR
friend ISP 2605 can enlighten all of us with his own
story of how well this fine firearm performed in a very large
metropolitan police department.

Also, worthy of note is the fact that the model 39-2 (9m/m)
from S&W was also deployed in Viet-Nam after its introduction
in a silenced version, to silence enemy guard dogs. IMHO, the
the S&W model 39-2 died an untimely death; as it gave way to
the high capacity S&W model 59.

May 21, 2008, 11:19 AM
The BHP wins hands down based on the OP criteria.

I love the P228 and would put it next in line on my list but it has never been deployed in the same numbers as the BHP.

May 21, 2008, 11:41 AM
Some gun experts say the very best 9mmNATO pistol has been the CZ-75. Others say the great Walther model P-88.

While others in the gun press/target shooters claim the well made SIG P-210 pistol is the very best.

I'd say for the high price and quality, the SIG sauer P-210 would be the top 9mm pistol in the world.

RS :cool:

May 21, 2008, 12:16 PM
You can make a good argument for the Walther P88 as being the finest 9mm handgun ever produced (it's a true engineering marvel; if you ever get the chance, buy one -- or at least shoot one), but I don't think it fits the criteria established in the original post. The P38 and its offspring is still the way to go here.

May 21, 2008, 12:59 PM
I'd go with the S&W 39/59 series.

May 21, 2008, 01:13 PM
1) Length of service and production

2) Military and LEA adoption

3) Commercial units sold

Definitely the Browning Hi Power, based on these criteria.

May 21, 2008, 09:00 PM
The Glock 17 is the AK-47 of the pistol world.
When it comes to overall reliability,dependability, ease of maintenance ,rust resistance, accuracy, etc.,etc., nothing is as good.
They might not be pretty but they just plain work.

May 21, 2008, 09:18 PM
On the criteria listed:

Browning Hi Power

Only the Walther P38 and versions comes close

May 21, 2008, 09:24 PM
The Glock Model 17!

Nothing, to my knowledge, has proved to be more reliable. This platform has even proven itself in full auto, as in the G17's wild cousin--the G18!

My personal G17 has over 11,000 rounds without one hiccup.


May 21, 2008, 10:30 PM
G 17 protects my family with unmatched reliability, and 147gr Winchester Rangers.

May 21, 2008, 11:14 PM
Close 2nd would be the M9/92FS

May 22, 2008, 01:36 AM
BHP, Beretta 92FS and the Glock 17 are the big winners here. (South Africa and Brazil produce 92FS clones.)

Runners up are the p226 and the CZ-75.

May 23, 2008, 08:54 PM
Brownig HiPower! No question! No competition!

May 23, 2008, 10:29 PM
I gotta vote Walther P38, 100s of thousands produced, double action, loaded chamber indicator. Slim enough single stack design. The one I have that Dad brought back from the fatherland in WWII still goes bang on demand.


May 23, 2008, 11:15 PM
"I Want to Believe!"

Well, they used the Smith 659 on the X-Files and look how long Scully and Mulder were around! (The truth is, they both knew something you other guys don't, namely that the first Model 59 was "developed" in Roswell.)

May 23, 2008, 11:20 PM
Certainly the P38/P1.

May 23, 2008, 11:21 PM
Greatest 9mm Ever:


May 24, 2008, 12:08 AM
Away ye blasphemer dwave! ;)

May 24, 2008, 01:19 AM
Perhaps Dwave was being profound. Perhaps he meant that there were so many GREAT 9mms, that none was the best. He could've meant that. Maybe.

May 24, 2008, 01:36 AM
Awfully hard to argue against the Hi-Power or the M9. I mean, there are others that qualify, but between what these two offer, I can't really think of another pistol that would really qualify as "greatest"....

Coolest? Thats a whole different ball of wax, and for me the answer would have to be a Broomhandle chambered in 9mm. Broomhandles are quirky, and are obsolete by a hundred years, but they are still one of the coolese handguns to come down the pike.

May 24, 2008, 02:00 AM
Does the Makarov count? Its not the greatest but it was in service on the other side all through the Cold War. I am sure they cranked out a whole lot of those things. I have no idea how many, but Russia, East Germany, Bulgaria, and China all made them. I dont know if you would say law enforcement adopted them but they were in use by Red's police, military, and government officers. So my question is, does the 9mm Mak round qualify as 9mm? Or is this strictly 9mm parabellum?

May 24, 2008, 03:23 AM
I own more than 9mms than most people and my vote goes to the Glock 17/19. I have never had a stoppage with a Glock and my G17 is among the more accurate 9mms I have shot. Regards, Richard:)

May 24, 2008, 03:50 AM
Based on your criteria...
The Browning High Power is the king of all 9x19mm pistols.

May 24, 2008, 03:54 AM
I thought we were talking about the magnitude of a specific 9mm firearm in question, not the most accurate nor the best functioning. Simply, a handgun that was made for a long period of time with many units in circulation throughout the world that have also been adopted by law enforcement and government officers. Nevertheless, I still think my answer of Makarov is a very good candidate but it wouldn’t be my first choice in a handgun. For me, if I was going to get another 9mm, it would be a Browning Hi-Power. But deciding the best is subjective if you are speaking which one works the best for you concerning accuracy and usability. So anyway, what is the best? I still don’t know... Which is the most circulated 9mm out there? I honestly don’t know enough history on the 9mm variants. When I think of generic 9mm, Luger always comes to my mind… Does anyone know the most circulated 9mm handgun?

May 24, 2008, 11:02 PM
Does anyone know the most circulated 9mm handgun?
The Hi Power. By far.
Last time I looked up numbers FN had produced close to 8 MILLION of them.
If you add in clones/copies and liscensed manufacture the number gets bigger. The majority of countries that adopted it still use it. Some are moving to other design now that their fifty year old HPs are wearing out.

On the criteria listed from the OP:
Once again the Hi Power.

May 24, 2008, 11:32 PM
think about this:

the walther p38 was the first 9x19mml military handgun with double action trigger

the browning hi-power is the grandfather of almost all modern 9mike-mike handguns. no matter how you look at it. first produced in 1935, still being made and used today. when it was first produced, the hi-power was the future of handguns, the cutting edge technology so to speak...

the browning HP double stack magazine is used by almost all modern handguns, as is its tilting barrel action design.

May 25, 2008, 08:23 AM
Glock 17(L) :D

May 25, 2008, 10:43 AM
I'm a CZ 75 P-01 man when it comes to 9mm's but the Hi Power, G17, Sig, Baretta 92, are all great handguns.

May 25, 2008, 11:30 AM
I have equal love for my PT 92 and my CZ 75. My M&P 9mm Compact and it's full size version will work it's way up to the top. Being a USAR officer, I have carried the M9 for a long time but I always long for days of my 1911 GI .45.

May 25, 2008, 12:39 PM
1) Length of service and production

2) Military and LEA adoption

3) Commercial units sold

Those are not criteria I would use when rating "best". All 3 of those are as much a product of cost and marketing as favorable attributes.

I would base it on:

-Fit & Finish

In those departments, of the eight 9mm's I currently own and the dozens I've played with, the S&W 5906 wins, followed closely by the CZ-75 and quality clones thereof. I love my Beretta 92 FS, but it's simply not as Robust as the All-stainless S&W.

May 25, 2008, 12:57 PM
Glock 17 no question.

May 25, 2008, 01:07 PM
Slam Dunk! BHP!

May 25, 2008, 01:14 PM
I would think a series of pistols in 9mm would be considered.

The P08 was the first, and quite succesful 9mm. Then the Hi-power, which would surely be among the best and longest lasting 9mm service pistol. Still going strong.

A successor might be either the Beretta M9/92 series, or the Glock 17, however it would be hard to unseat the Hi-Power.

May 26, 2008, 11:26 PM
There are too many good guns for any one to be the Greatest, so the answer is None! :cool:

Away ye blasphemer dwave!
Perhaps Dwave was being profound. Perhaps he meant that there were so many GREAT 9mms, that none was the best. He could've meant that. Maybe.

Don't worry guys, 9mm is an awesome round, I have owned several, cheap (ammo) and effective. Course I'll admit, I sold my 9mm for a .45ACP! :D

May 26, 2008, 11:46 PM
to me the jmb hi power is the 9mm pistol by which all others are judged.

to me its almost as perfect as a 1911

May 27, 2008, 07:49 AM
I would guess the G17 but my favorite NINE is the original P08. :)

Georgia Gunner
May 27, 2008, 02:19 PM
The BHP.

May 27, 2008, 10:04 PM
The Hi Power, no question.

May 27, 2008, 10:14 PM
HP, then maybe the CZ75, P38, SW39/59, obligatory G17 reference, 92...

May 27, 2008, 10:15 PM
The Smith 659 and 5906 are both incredibly sexy pistols. I was able to take some photos this morning. When I see the prices that these guns can be had for, I think they must be the biggest secret in the 9mm world. All stainless construction, flawless reliability, beautiful finish, excellent fit, durable as a tank and as strong as a brick outhouse.

May 27, 2008, 11:08 PM
The F.B. Radom Vis P 35. I wish they were still made. Comfortable, reliable and startlingly accurate. Great? Yes. Common? Unfortunately not. If you get the chance to savor one don't pass it by.

May 27, 2008, 11:16 PM
I say Baretta first! This considerng service, compared to sheer numbers is one tough firearm!

I say the most accurate was a Model 39 Smith & Wesson hands down and they did have a military version of it (ASP39-2), but not in comparative numbers to the Baretta.

The rest where ever you want to put them!

The Baretta 92 fills the criteria and IMO includes machIVshooter"s criteria as well!

And I love my 92 FS also!

May 28, 2008, 10:08 AM
Sig baby, Sig in 226 all the way jack!!!!!!:cool:

Harley Quinn
May 28, 2008, 10:37 AM
The 9mm Parabellum has been around for 105 years or so.
Luger is the name of the round now and it was for that gun it was made.

BHP is the one for USA
P38 was for the Germans, along with the Luger
Glock has dominated the USA for some time
Beretta 92 (Std issue) is one that we use in our Military now.

Some history on the 9mm Parabellum

May 28, 2008, 10:43 AM
The BHP really must be the final answer here. I will admit that Glock brought the 9mm back into the lime light again...but still, who can really argue with the BHP as the greatest 9mm of all time?

May 28, 2008, 11:30 AM
I, personally, consider john Moses Browning a Higher Power.

Harley Quinn
May 28, 2008, 11:41 AM
The skinny on the Browning Hi-Power. "King of the nines"

FN is a heavy hitter.

Read it and investigate the blue highlights interesting story.


May 28, 2008, 09:21 PM
Nobody has mentioned the Korean DaeWoo DP51 9mm pistol, sometimes called a P6, I think. It never made it big commercially in the West, so few shooters have heard of it. I think it has been produced for twenty years or so, and it is or was the official military and police sidearm of many Southeast Asian nations. Every Korean soldier and policeman carried one, and I think in Indonesia too, with half a billion citizens. I have no figures, but surely the total production of this superb handgun must be huge........................elsullo

May 28, 2008, 09:25 PM
Smith 39-2
With a doubt...........

May 29, 2008, 09:52 AM
I'm not going to include any newer guns, because they haven't had enough time to justify their place on this list.

In no particular order:

Glock 17 and 19
Beretta 92 FS
Sig p226

May 29, 2008, 10:50 AM
So now we're just throwing opinions instead following of the OP's criteria? Granted that was answered pretty quick, so maybe it's opinion time.

Sounds like the BHP overwhelmingly wins the criteria race.

I personally am a Sig guy.

May 29, 2008, 11:05 AM
See why I said none?

May 29, 2008, 01:02 PM
Cz Pcr.

Harley Quinn
May 29, 2008, 02:22 PM
As of 2007, the MK1 version is currently in service with the Canadian Forces, supplemented by the Sig Sauer P226. The weapon is the standard sidearm of the Belgian Army, British Army, Indian Army, Australian Defence Force, Argentine Army, Irish Army, Luxembourgish Army, Israeli police, Singapore Special Operations Force and Venezuelan Army, among others. The Irish Army has begun replacing its Browning Pistols (known popularly as BAPs, or Browning Automatic Pistols) with the H&K USP automatic in 2007.

The BHP is still in service by numerous countries, hard to beat a good one. With it cocked and locked people really like that feature. It is antiquated but still a very fine pistol.


May 29, 2008, 02:59 PM
1) Length of service and production

2) Military and LEA adoption

3) Commercial units sold

Those are not criteria I would use when rating "best". All 3 of those are as much a product of cost and marketing as favorable attributes.

I would base it on:

-Fit & Finish

Then start your own thread using your criteria which are excellent BTW. Even using your criteria, I'd still choose the BHP followed closely by the CZ-75.

Harley Quinn
May 29, 2008, 03:26 PM
The CZ 75 was introduced in 1975, double and single action

The Browning Hi-Power was introduced in 1935, single action.

Look at the pictures in both links Hmmm Nice shooters both of them.

May 29, 2008, 10:25 PM
elsullo, I had one of those! Daewoo DP51 tri action trigger, neat I really liked that gun too! I think it shoud fall in there somewhere! I actually believe Israel Military carried those for a time.

But I still have to stay with baretta for my answer.

Good gun though, reminded me a lot of a Smith Model 39 and a 5906... A Crossover in todays terms not a minivan but not a sport utility either... Not a 39 and not a 5906 either!

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