WHat handgun has far exceeded your expectations?


September 14, 2003, 12:24 PM
Seeing the thread on dissapointing guns made me think about this. What handgun have you purchased/traded for that exceeded your expectations.

I have been pretty lucky this way (or maybe I just have low expectations).

Generally I have been really impressed with MY USP's (compact and tactical), they are much hyped, but the ones I own exceed my expectations. YMMV.

Most recently I am most impressed with a Springfield Champion (parkerized) that I picked up for $450. Decent trigger(about 6#...a bit heavy, but very crisp!) Good fit and finish and great accuracy. 1 1/2" - 2" at 25 yards. Not bad for a stock pistol.

What are some of your guns that exceeded expectations?

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September 14, 2003, 12:27 PM
I think the little S&W hammerless snubbies - Centennials - meet and exceed all my expectations. Just point and click! They are perfect for what they are designed for.

September 14, 2003, 12:45 PM
Ruger revolvers. Redhawk & SBH.

September 14, 2003, 01:20 PM
Ruger GP-100, very strong, produces top velocities, more accurate than the shooter.

September 14, 2003, 01:37 PM
I have three guns that far exceeded my expectations.

S&W 5906 9mm that I bought new back in the late 80's - fantastic trigger, ultra reliable and very accurate.

Sig 229 in .40S&W - unbelievable accuracy and ergonomics.

S&W 640 .357 Centennial - how I shoot this thing so well is beyond me.

Ala Dan
September 14, 2003, 01:46 PM
Any SIG-SAUER "Classic" P-series self-loader

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 14, 2003, 02:15 PM
A 6" pre 82 Model 19 that I bought bout 5 years ago.
Bout 180 out the door including tax and couple boxes good ammo.
It is user friendly.
Newbies shoot well with it.
I use it as a trainer.
It has won matches for me and for others.


El Tejon
September 14, 2003, 02:24 PM
The Crock. A great gun for the dough.

September 14, 2003, 02:39 PM

September 14, 2003, 02:41 PM
1st generation Glock 17.

Back in the 80s, this seriously ugly plastic import looking like a major POS appeared on the scene. Then I bought one. :)

September 14, 2003, 02:44 PM
The HK P7.

Five of them sit in the safe and I wear another CCW. 3 PSPs, 2 M8s and an M13.

I am also very impressed with the SIG classics. I usually like the P7, 1911 and S&W Centennial, but I have really come to like my SIG 229 and 239. The DA/SA transistion is a little tought to get over though.

September 14, 2003, 02:57 PM
FEG Hi-power

Best bang for the buck I ever spent.

Ky Larry
September 14, 2003, 03:09 PM
The CZ-75 B and BD's. IMHO, the best value in hand guns. They are rugged,accurate,and eat anything I feed them. You can pay a lot more for a pistol but you won't get a lot more gun. FWIW.

September 14, 2003, 03:26 PM
I think I mentioned this it the other thread, but I'll say it again: Makaorv

The Mak is simply AWSOME, and you can get one for $150. I wasn't exspecting much from such a cheap gun when I first bought it, but man was I wrong...

September 14, 2003, 03:30 PM
Ruger SRH .454

In reading 2 short reviews I figured my new SRH would be a fine 50 yard gun for deer but not for much over 60 yards due to accuracy. Well I was pleasently suprised when I visited the range and found it to be a tack driver. Will it ever be a FA? No, but the deer I've wacked with it will never know that :D

September 14, 2003, 03:38 PM
...after some trigger work...:D

September 14, 2003, 03:41 PM

September 14, 2003, 03:43 PM
FN Forty Nine.

September 14, 2003, 03:52 PM
Another vote for the XD. It's a great gun for the money, I now have two, the Subcompact 9 and the Duo Tone .40.

The Bersa Thunder 380 is also one of my best buy favorites. accurate, dependable and cheap.-Oneshot

September 14, 2003, 04:05 PM
Another vote for the Springfield XD-9. Good price, great ergonomics and pointability. Quite accurate. Reliable.

September 14, 2003, 04:36 PM
The Glock 30 (subcompact .45). It shot very accurately straight out of the box, and was reliable. Good gun for the money!

The Keltec P32, after smoothing down the feed ramp, cleaning, and oiling it. But then, it only cost my $199, so I'm not griping about it being a kit gun. Surprisingly accurate for a 2.5" barrel.

September 14, 2003, 04:47 PM
The Glock 30 (subcompact .45). It shot very accurately straight out of the box, and was reliable. Good gun for the money!

I would also say the Glock 30. The Glock I should have kept. :(

September 14, 2003, 05:06 PM
I only bought it because I was mandated a DAO or DAw/decocker by my security commision(NO cocked and locked). It fit in my holsters, used my supply of Wilson mags and ammo as my perferred Colt's. And of course, there was no difference in feel, nor any real change in manual of arms.
I have put 2500 rounds though it in the last year and a half, and have had only one problem attributed to me not changing the recoil spring.
A marine buddy and I just put 300 rounds through it and another 200 rounds through a rented Para P-14 LDA. He had never shot the LDA and now a Tac-Four is on his shopping list!
I have shot in mutiple quals with it and it is phenomenally accurate(shot nothing les than 94 % and two were 100)! I just received a new Milt Sparks VM2H that wears wonderfully and hides it very well. I carry it everyday, and off duty...well, I have to make a tough choice...my Para or my customized LW Officer's

September 14, 2003, 05:13 PM
I expected top notch guns when I got my HK's & thankfully, I haven't been disappointed. The guns I've been surprised w/ have been my revolvers; specifically my S&W mod 60 & 19. Like'em so much I wnat more!

September 14, 2003, 05:40 PM
CZ 75B
Ruger GP100 (KGP-141)
Smith 27-2
Colt 1911A1 (government issue, pre WWII)
Springfield full-size Armory Kote TRP (1911A1)
Sig P226 (.357 Sig and .40 S&W with Bar-Sto barrel)
Smith 625-9 .45 Colt Mountain Gun

September 14, 2003, 07:55 PM
for me, it has been my CZ75D PCR. I bought it because it was a good deal, $300 NIB. I can't recall liking a gun more than this little 9mm. What a sweet little semi auto.

September 14, 2003, 08:01 PM
SIG P220ST: Its got that SIG reliability but the thing is put together tight as a bank vault. This is a handgun that is going to be hard to kill. I have yet to shoot a .45 that was more pleasant to shoot or felt more solid and as smooth as the P220ST. And not that looks are all important but its handsome looks is a bonus. For the price you pay and the performance you get I think its a bargain. :D

Runner Ups:

SIG P226 9mm

Glock 27

H&K P7/M8

September 14, 2003, 08:05 PM
My 92G Elite II with carbon fiber grips.

September 14, 2003, 08:11 PM
1. Full Size Norinco .45ACP 1911A1

I spent $300 Canadian for it ( a bit under $200 US nowadays). It's ugly and the parkerizing is rubbing off but after some Chip McCormick sights it shoots straight and is very reliable. I was lucky and the trigger is about 3.5 lbs and crisp. I had a SA loaded but got rid of it and kept the Norinco.

2. 9mm Walther 9mm P99

Fit my hand better than anything else and allowed me to out shoot a more intrisically accurate custom 9mm I own costing 3X more. It has become my favorite pistol today. Easy to clean and change sights.

September 14, 2003, 08:56 PM
CZ 75B, without question. :)

September 14, 2003, 11:18 PM
Argentine FM Hi-Power. Not the prettiest gun I have, but it works like a champ and keeps the holes REAL close together! Did I mention it was REAL cheap too!

Neal Bloom
September 15, 2003, 12:03 AM
SIG P220.

September 15, 2003, 12:48 AM
"... far exceeded my expectations."

S&W 952 PC 9mm. Excellent trigger, find accuracy, fine overall fit and finish, and no failures to feed or extract.

SIG P239 .357SIG/.40S&W. Pleasant recoil, accurate and no failures.

Glock 30. Much more accurate than my expectation.

Glock 17. Also much more accurate than my expactations.
Dittos for the G26, G27, & G33.


September 15, 2003, 12:52 AM
I also vote for the SIG P220ST and the P226, and the P229, and, well you get the picture. The accuracy and quality, combined with great reliability equal almost ideal pistols. Berettas are also nice, but I expected that!:D

September 15, 2003, 01:27 AM
Makarov: Its deep blue finish, complete reliability, and accuracy were not expected. I thought it would be a good pistol, but never that it would surpass all of my more expensive pistols to become my best concealed carry gun. Eight years on I am still impressed by this firearm.

S&W Model 64: How completely dull and featureless could a handgun get? I had no enthusiasm for the 4" heavy barrel I was issued as a policeman, having derided revolvers out of ignorance for years. After a couple of thousand rounds I began to understand the 64 and eventually won trophies with it. Eventually I bought my own and regard it as among my most accurate and pleasurable to shoot firearms.

September 15, 2003, 02:06 AM
The biggest 'sleeper' I ever purchased was a Kahr P9. I had heard good things, but I never got my hands on any of them. One day, I happened to be at the store as it came in and bought it on the spot. I've never even had a glimmer of regret for that pistol.

Slim for CCW, easy on the recoil, smooth DAO trigger, and just an all around fantastic little gun.


September 15, 2003, 12:25 PM
Two pistols and a I must mention a rifle.

Ruger Redhawk in 44mag with a 5 1/2" bbl. Gun was purchased as a hunting sidearm and I didn't expect to shoot it a bunch, but it's incredibly accurate and feels so good in my hand (w/ Hogue wood stock). Trigger has smoothed up very nicely because of all the shooting time it gets. Love this one.

USP Expert in 45. This gun seems to have radar for the 10-ring, even when it feels like I yanked the shot, it usually hits where I wanted.

But the absolute biggest surprise for me is the CZ Scout rifle I bought for my 7-yr old son. This is a heckuva gun, outstanding quality, fit and finish, inexpensive and 1/2" groups with cheap ammo. I now understand why CZ pistols have such a loyal following.

September 15, 2003, 12:31 PM
Sig P239 357 Sig

Accurate, easy to handle, compact for CCW, slim grips, reliable, easy to field strip, one of the best pistols I have ever shot!

September 15, 2003, 01:38 PM
Another vote for the CZ-75B series! Amazing gun--the price just made the deal all the more sweet.

September 15, 2003, 03:26 PM
I've been surprised to read so many mentions of Heckler & Koch and SIG/Sauer pistols in this thread. They have such a high reputation that I wonder why they exceeded people's expectations. I'd like to hear why SIG 220 and USP owners anticipated only middling performance from their pistols prior to purchase.

September 15, 2003, 04:00 PM
I'd like to hear why SIG 220 and USP owners anticipated only middling performance from their pistols prior to purchase.

I can't speak for anyone else, but in my case the more something is Hyped the more suspicious I become. I don't trust advertising. I think that's why I was so suprised to find the USP's to be such a fine pistol.

September 15, 2003, 04:04 PM
My 4" 686+. I didn't expect to like a wheelgun. I'm starting to get a passionate affection for the concept, and this example, though.

September 15, 2003, 04:13 PM
I heard some P220s were picky on what they ate. After learning more about Sigs, I went and bought a 220ST. It'll cut the x ring out, feeds and works with ammo ranging from match semi wadcutter to duty loads.

The other one I can think of- the airlight Smiths. It'll beat ya up abit from the triggerguard, but at 25 yards they go where they should.

September 15, 2003, 04:52 PM
I didn't expect much from my first Kel-Tec P-11. Anybody who expects a lot for a 9mm lightweight subcompact with a 10+1 capacity that costs in the $200 range must be a bit daft, after all. It has far exceeded my expectations and still amazes me.

The P-32 I acquired later would probably have also exceeded my expectations if the P-11 had not spoiled my judgment about Kel-Tecs. I expected it to be an amazing little gun, and it is!

What's amazing about them is the "bang for the buck," and there are very few times when that cliche can be applied literally....

September 15, 2003, 05:07 PM
I have always had good luck with them and I have pretty high expectations as far as SIGs are concerned.

The two that really surprised me were......

The P7M8. I bought it because of the cool factor and unique manual of arms and after owning it truely believe it is one of the finest defensive handguns ever devised. I love this pistol. It truely has surprised me.

Ruger GP100 3inch small grips fixed sights. I have never shot a revolver better and I have shot and owned some Smith PC guns. My GP100 is spectacular. The trigger is a little rough on the return but if it is anything like our SP101 it will smooth out immensely with use. The SP101 has a wonderful double action trigger now. It is comfortable, extremely accurate and so over engineered I could probably launch a cruise missile out of it. :D


Jason Demond
September 15, 2003, 05:25 PM
The gun that exceeded my expectations, is a Taurus PT-111. When I bought this gun, I found it had a broken trigger. I sent it off to Taurus to be fixed, with a plan to trade it off when it came back. No one, and I mean no one, wanted it. So fearing I was stuck with a lemon, so I set out to destroy it. After 500 rounds of Gold Dot's, and 400 rounds of Mag-tech ammo, I have a great carry gun.

FWIW 900 rounds without a single jam, it will even feed an empty case.

September 15, 2003, 06:19 PM
I knew I'd like this S&W model 15 (from 1963) I bough earlier this year, but I didn't know it would become, and stay, my favorite handgun -- auto or revo.

for those who may not know, a model 15 is a six-shot .38 special da/sa revolver, with 4" barrel and adjustable rear sight. Before the days of model numbers at S&W, it was known as the K-38 Combat Masterpiece.

September 15, 2003, 06:30 PM
Bang for the buck:

CZ 75B 9mm
CZ 75B 40 S&W
Colt Defender .45 ACP (used)


September 15, 2003, 07:37 PM
my 3 rugers. a ss gp100,a ss comp slabside and a ss 44 mag redhawk.the redhawk surprised me the most,i can fire it double action and actually hit what im aiming at,recoil not bad at all,course the 7.5 inch barrel helps.the slabside is just a fun plinker.can shoot it all day long at empty boxes of cigarette packs setting on a wood block.hate fumbling with the redot on it though.i got the gp after wanting a rh in 357 and ss for a coons age.couldnt find one in a reasonable price so i got the gp brand new for just over 300 bucks.have already shot several groundhogs with it.im hooked on stainless steel.

September 15, 2003, 10:17 PM
My Glock 26 exceeded my expectations, as I had never shot one until I shot my own. Much more accurate than the PT-111 it replaced, and felt better in my hand.

My Kimber Ultra CDP II has amazed me more than all my other guns short of an SAR-48. On paper, it never fails to make me look like an expert. I sunk hundreds into a Colt Mark IV to get this kind of performance years ago. Now I carry it in the Kimber.

September 15, 2003, 10:19 PM
My SIGS, even though they were expected to be great, have exceeded even my highest expectations. I knew them to be fine pistols, but they are even better than that. They grow on you with every magazine load sent toward your target. In my personal experience, I also think most Berettas are in that same quality area. JMHO, and I hope that helps to answer your questions.

September 15, 2003, 10:53 PM
The HK USP45 Tactical. You have to go out of your way to miss the target with one of these. And the extra size and weight keep the weapon under control even with hot +P loads. And you can beat the crap out of it, not clean it, use cruddy ammo....and it is still a super reliable tack driver !

September 18, 2003, 10:54 AM
Beretta 96 Compact L.

I picked it up cheap secondhand, and didn't expect to enjoy shooting it so much. In my opinion it is just the right size compared to its bigger brothers. And something about the 96 design really tames the .40's recoil. It has been extremely reliable, digesting several hundred lead reloads per session without jamming. The only modifications I've made have been to add a lighter mainspring and to knock the sharp edges off the safety.

I'd buy another in a minute, just to have a matched pair.

September 18, 2003, 11:10 AM
Bersa model 23. I may never need to buy another 22lr handgun. (Ya, right!);)

September 18, 2003, 11:43 AM
I've been pleased by my Kel-Tec P32. It has been nearly 100% reliable (4 FTE's with one brand of ammo), adequately accurate, and super light. Only revolvers have been more reliable for me.


September 18, 2003, 01:18 PM
I know it sounds funny but I have to say the P7M8.

I originally bought it because I had suddenly had the money, wanted a 9mm and the wife loved it. Someone said to get the big purchase out of the way first and everything else will be easier to buy later on down the road... so I took the plunge.

Since then, I have found it fits me perfect and points very well. Easy to conceal, carries like a gem and shoots even better.

September 19, 2003, 02:59 AM
The CZ-75 B and BD's. IMHO, the best value in hand guns. They are rugged,accurate,and eat anything I feed them. You can pay a lot more for a pistol but you won't get a lot more gun. FWIW.

Exactly what I was thinking.
I would like to have an '83 and a '75SA to go along with my CZ-75BD.
And a Compact.

September 19, 2003, 03:59 AM
Well, my USP9, of course :D

Over 3,000 rounds, mostly lead and not one hiccup. :cool:

I hope my Stahl could also please me as well... ;)

September 19, 2003, 07:58 AM
HK P7M8, and Browning hi-power. Well worthy of the hype.

September 22, 2003, 09:23 PM
For me it was the P239, the accuracy and reliability are exceptional.

September 22, 2003, 10:38 PM
Springfield Omega 10mm, 6"
Bushmaster Blaster, Vietnam Era, 223, bullpup

September 22, 2003, 11:32 PM
A P-11, P-32, Grendel P12 and P-10, Rossi M88.

But the real surprice was my little Pheonix HP22. Bought it almost as a joke. Never failed and shot way better than I could with those sights. Should have never gotten rid of it.:(

Abominable No-Man
September 23, 2003, 12:02 AM
I might catch a few HEAT rounds for this, but.......

My S&W 5906. Bought it used for 250$. Feeds everything I stick in the mag, more accurate than I am. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Okay, it's a S&W and not considered very sexy compared to other pistols, but in spite of that, this is one helluva pistol. Before I went to Iraq, a friend of mine who is a hard-core Beretta aficionado and I went in on a case of 9mm and split it. Had to go to the local range and have a shoot-off. I took the 5906 and he took his 92.

I won.:D


September 24, 2003, 12:36 PM
I bought my HS2000 when they first came out so I wasn't sure if the
initial reports were just hype or not. It turned out to be a first class
pistol and the $269 price tag made it even sweeter.


C. H. Luke
September 24, 2003, 02:55 PM

Had it for years and still astounded with its accuracy and
speed to 1st. shot. Superb trigger and reset, perfect
pointability. Not to mention Superb German engineering!

September 24, 2003, 03:39 PM
In my opinion, a pre-owned Beretta Centurion 9mm I purchased recently.

So far, it is an OUTSTANDING firearm in EVERY WAY, for example:

1 -- Shooting Reliability

2 -- Value for the $$$

3 -- Came with 3 Pre-Ban Beretta Mags & Night Sights

:p :) :cool:

September 24, 2003, 06:40 PM
A beat up Mauser HSc (32 acp) that was given to me by my grandfather in 1986. He liberated it from the Luftwaffe in 1945. The old warrior was then used for forty years as a house gun and also accompanied grandpa for many years on his fishing and hunting expeditions. It shoots like a real champ. Amazing workmanship.

September 27, 2003, 09:51 PM
Glock 23 - One of the best shooting semi auto's I've ever owned.

Ruger Security Six - I got this gun back in the early to mid eigthies and will probably have it till I die. Rock solid and one accurate shooter.


September 27, 2003, 09:57 PM
I love the S&W 59 series. I have a pair of 59's that are just plain Sweeeet.

September 30, 2003, 01:51 PM
It's the Ruger P90 hands down, as a few other discerning folks here have found.

September 30, 2003, 04:57 PM
CZ-40 .... sub-2" groups at 25 yards with cheap-o CCI Blazer ammo.

(FYI: Basically a CZ-40 is sub $300 that was designed by Colt and dropped.)

Great value and a heck of a lot of gun.


Example: http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=12315398

Sean Smith
September 30, 2003, 05:54 PM

CZ-75B ranks right up there. Would have kicked butt for $600, but only cost $300 or so. Always worked and quite accurate too.

New-production Colt 01991 was great. 100% reliable. Quite accurate. Very good trigger out of the box.

Got a beat-up Danish military SIG P210 that was REALLY good. Looked pretty rough but still shot like a $2,000 bullseye gun.

September 30, 2003, 07:18 PM
Ruger P-95 , Bought it as something to abuse and not worry if it gets dirty , scratched , etc., very inexpensive compared to most pistols . It has never given me any trouble at all , I find it a lot fun to shoot and with good accuracy .

Greg L
September 30, 2003, 08:34 PM
I think the exceeded expectations tag is more a ratio of dollars spent/company reputation to what the pistols performance actually was.

I love my USP (rides on my hip most days) but I can't say that it exceeded my expectations. I knew when I bought it that it was going to be a phenominal pistol and it was. Same with the used S&W 686's I picked up. They are incredible pistols but I expected them to be.

The ones that I have been most pleasantly surprised with are my:

HS2000 (XD9 now)
Bulgarian Makarov

They are all very accurate and solidly built and will eat anything fed them. Certainly disproves the theory that it has to be expensive to be good. I think that I spent less than $500 for all three of them combined.


mr. e
September 30, 2003, 08:39 PM
CZ 75B. Good price, accurate, reliable, great ergonomics. Overall great package!

September 30, 2003, 09:04 PM
G30 has exceeded expectations.

Ruger GP100 3" shoots and carries so well, forget S&W!:)

October 1, 2003, 12:02 AM
Smith & Wesson(Made in America)Value Line 9mm 910s(stainless version of 910): It's the poor-man's 5906. Not one hiccup since the first mag and the trigger is incredible.

CZ 75B 9mm: poor-man's BHP.

S&W M/P .38 Special 4" pencil barrel: 47 years old and still reliable and accurate.:eek:

October 1, 2003, 12:34 PM
CZ-85 Combat 9mm
Colt Delta Elite 10mm

October 1, 2003, 01:23 PM
Glock 22 and 17. When the 17 came out I said I'd never own a plastic gun. Then I shot a friends Glock 23. It is a natural pointer for me. Easiest gun for me to shoot really well. I was shocked, waited about 6 months, then bought my own Glock 22. I couldn't be happier with a gun, ugly, not a piece of art, but they sure do work for me.

October 2, 2003, 08:57 AM
My 92FS. Bought in July of 1994 I have never had a FTE or FTF after I don't know how many thousands of rounds of all types. Used to be only open carry in MO, but now that we have CCW :D I will be looking for an IWB holster for it. I will always carry it open on my farm where we live. I field stripped it Tuesday night and took a good look at it and it doesn't show any wear at all. The outside has some holster wear but after 9 years you would expect some wear.

I will be picking up a couple of wheel guns for concealed carry but that old Beretta is numer one in my heart.:cool:

October 5, 2003, 07:41 AM
My Caspian all-custom 1911 far exceeded my (wildest) expectations. I wanted to dislike it.

(My now-sold Glock M20 far exceeded my personal disappointment level, no matter how much I changed it. Personal thing, I think.)

October 5, 2003, 03:36 PM
Makarov and Steyr GB

October 5, 2003, 07:21 PM
My 2" Model 15-3,cost me 200.00 OTD. Half of the blueing is plum colored but it's tight,at the range today i had no problems with 25 yard head shots firing S/A.My best groups with my reloads was 2" for 6 shots,3" for 12 shots at 25 yards,it's the most accurate handgun i own.

Texas Bob
October 5, 2003, 08:05 PM
Back in the late 80's I owned almost every "wondernine." One day at an indoor range the owner saw me putting a Glock, Sig, Beretta and a BHP through the paces when he asked why I didn't have a P7 in my range bag. I replied I had only read about them, not seen or shot one. He produced his own M8 and M13 for me to try and I looked at this "staple-gun" looking piece of blue steel and asked if I had heard right, "I have to squeese the front strap every time I want to shoot?" After he explanied the manuel of arms, I cut loose, and forever changed my handgun collection. Long gone are the ones I owned then to feed my P7 addiction. I only recomend them if they are "for you." Other than that the last time I was surprised was in 1969 when I found out how accurate my nib S&W mod 60 was.

October 6, 2003, 04:30 AM
Springfield full size 1911A1 Loaded!!

I grew weary of putting holes into the center of the target, so I amused myself by popping Campbell soup cans across the desert from about 12-15 yards.
I'm pleased with this pistol!!! :D

October 7, 2003, 01:11 PM
Ruger KP-90. Under $400 OTD when I bought it, eats eveything it is fed (except some brand from Miami, FL, but that is another thread). Even better shooter after I installed the Hogue wraparound grip.

October 7, 2003, 01:16 PM
HK USP. Love it.

My Springfield Loaded 5" is impressing me more and more, but I haven't had it long enough to be really sure....

- Gabe

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