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What is the best all-around handgun

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by The_woodsman, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Well-Known Member

    Lets say you have one handgun to do it all: all-time CCW, Home protection, and hunting critters as small as red squirrels and as large as deer 24 hours/7 days a week.

    Maybe one gun isn't the best choice for these multiple uses, but lets just say you only had to choose 1. What would it be?
  2. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    S&W .22 magnum revolver.

  3. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Well-Known Member

    What's the best all-around car? What's the best all around toothpaste? What's the best all around pen?

    What you will get is the best all-around opinions...eh?
  4. Wedge

    Wedge Well-Known Member

    Glock 17

    Subaru Legacy GT
    Colgate Total

    There is now no reason for any forums to exist on the matter of handguns, cars, toothpaste or pens.

    Every gun serves a purpose.

    Anything that is best all around usually is seriously deficient in all areas when compared to the best target/CCW/hunting/bowling pin/long range/plinking/etc. No such thing as a best overall...in anything. Ask 100 people...get 112 answers.
  5. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    That's like asking what the best overall vehicle is.

    If you're planning on BOTH elk hunting in Montana AND running a limo service in LA, you may have trouble finding a compromise vehicle which does either with any utility.

    As with anything else, criteria for a good handgun have to be reasonably specific.

    A good big game handgun is likely going to be a lousy CCW gun.
  6. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member

    The best car is the Subaru Forester.
  7. mpmarty

    mpmarty Well-Known Member

    Any good 10mm, even a Glock 20
  8. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Well-Known Member

    ANd the winner is...

    1911 5" Full Size in .45 ACP
    1 - Drop In .400 CorBon Bbl.
    2 - Advantage Arms .22 Lr Slide/Bbl/mag kit.
  9. sm

    sm member

    Medium Frame , 4" , six shot .357 Revolver.

    Actually 3" if one is going to give me one.
    I want OLDER and Blued S&W Model 19, but a 13, 65, 66, would do just fine in 3" or 4".

    Nor would I turn down a Colt...

    Nor even a Ruger Six series...
  10. easyg

    easyg Well-Known Member

  11. Silvanus

    Silvanus Well-Known Member

    4" .357 magnum revolver. Preferably a S&W Model 66 or 686. I would have chosen a Glock 17 if you hadn't mentioned hunting as well.
  12. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    S&W 1006. Perfect combat pistol. A bit large for CCW, but doable. Adequate for medium game. About as accurate as a production auto can be. 10mm loads can be anything from 135 gr. running ~300 ft/lbs. to 180 grainers at a blistering 1,400 FPS for nearly 800 ft/lbs.
  13. grimjaw

    grimjaw Well-Known Member

    When did 1400 FPS become "blistering"? ;)

    3"-4" .357 Magnum revolver.

  14. R127

    R127 Well-Known Member

    I agree there is no one best because there are so many variables but I understand the question and I can give you my answer.

    The .357 Magnum is in my opinion the most versatile pistol caliber. It's ok for hunting and it's great for self defense. You can shoot some very stout heavy loads through it, high velocity lighter loads for low recoil but effective self defense, .38's for cheap practice and a "plan B" in case the store doesn't have any magnum when you need it. Heck, there are less than lethal rubber bullet loads for this caliber. You can choose your own revolver and there's a lot of good ones to pick from but in general I think a 4" barrel on a compact frame is a good compromise.

    I like revolvers a lot and with practice you can get pretty quick at reloading them but they will never be quite as fast and easy as a good auto. For that reason I would say that next to the .357 you'd have to mention the 9x23 Winchester. The only downside to this 9x23 is it isn't very common yet and may never be. That would be a shame because it has tremendous potential. If you can find yourself a pistol chambered for it and load your own you'll get the best of both worlds... the power and versatility of the .357 Magnum with the capacity and quick reloads of an autoloader. With a spare barrel and maybe a modified magazine you could also shoot 9x19mm for a "plan B" or cheap practice similar to the .357/.38.

    An auto can fire multiple calibers and various load strengths but usually it will need a conversion kit consisting of at least a barrel and often a special mag and recoil spring. The revolver has the plug and play advantage in that regard. You could have a magnum in one chamber and a .38 in another and it will shoot them back to back with no complaints. Not even needing a magazine can also be a benefit in some circumstances. It's one less part to fail or go missing.

    I'd give honorable mention to the 10mm and the .357 Sig but I do think the 9x23 Winchester has them beat. The .357 Sig can't handle bullets as heavy because of case length and since it is wider it has reduced magazine capacity. The 10mm can handle heavy bullets for hunting easily but has the same reduced capacity do to wider case as the .357 Sig. On the plus side you should be able to swap out to .40cal with just a barrel change with either of them.

    The EAA Witness line owns multicaliber versatility and they make a .38 Super that can be converted to 9x23 Winchester. It's even available as a compact and there are .22lr conversions available. Maybe the best answer to this question is a Witness.
  15. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    When it was done with 180 grain pills out of a standard size autoloader.:D

    Even the time-honored and lauded .357 Magnum is hard pressed to duplicate that from a barrel shorter than 6".;) I got close, with 158 grainers at 1440 FPS for 727 ft/lbs. from a 4" revolver, but I managed to crack the forcing cone of a stainless Security Six trying to duplicate 10mm energy. (Not to mention that such loads often make for extraction via banging the ejector rod against a hard surface.)

    IMO, a cartridge that can generate more energy from a shorter and slimmer platform with a capacity of 1.5-2.5 times that of a revolver and not require brute force to be reloaded takes the cake.
  16. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member

    I'd have to say the .357 as well. Wide variety of loads, and when shooting red squirrels 24 hours a day, a lighter .38 special load might help cut down on the mess.
  17. glockman19

    glockman19 Well-Known Member

    +1 I agree. I'd have to choose a S&W or Ruger Revolver
  18. Gord

    Gord Well-Known Member

    Gonna go for a 1911 or CZ 75B, depending on your preference for .45ACP or 9mm. If the CZ, get a Kadet kit for the squirrels; if the 1911, get a .22 conversion kit and a carbine kit. The deer will require close distance and shot placement, but it should work.

    That was just off the top of my head, but now that I think about it, a 1911 with a .22 kit and a carbine kit is actually the most versatile handgun setup I can think of. Stock, you've got a time-honored CCW and home defense handgun. The .22 kit is great for practice, plinking or hunting small game, and the carbine kit gets you a little more velocity, a longer sight radius, and the steadiness of a shoulder stock for hunting.
  19. bruss01

    bruss01 Well-Known Member

    You're asking for a lot of compromises there. Some of the things that make a gun ideal for one of your intended uses, directly conflicts with qualities that would make it ideal for others. Some have said .357 because you can shoot mild .38's in it, but there won't be much meat left on a squirrel that gets taken out by a .38 special.

    My choice would be a CZ-75b with the Kadet .22 adapter kit. With a simple swap of the slide, you go from 9mm +P+ to .22 lr. That's about as versatile as you can get in a handgun platform. As for 24/7/365 carry, it's not ideal but it is doable. It's a little smaller and lighter than most 1911's, a plus during summer months when you're not inclined to wear a lot of heavy cover garments.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008

    HOME DEPOT GEORGE Well-Known Member

    Stainless Gp100 w/4" barrel. Versatile and will outlast nearly any handgun made.

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