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What is the best gun maker? And what is the best gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by timmerk, Oct 11, 2003.

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  1. timmerk

    timmerk Member

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    Hi,

    I'm a newbie as you can see, but out of these makers:

    Walther
    Sig
    Berrta
    Heckler Koch
    Colt
    Luger
    Ruger
    Smith and Wesson

    Who are the best makers out of that list? I'm I forgetting a maker? What are each maker's best guns? I'm looking into getting a .40 or .45. But then again, I'm a newbie who doesn't know anything. I don't want a revolver.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    If you are talking .40 or .45 auto, you need to add Kimber, Wilson, Springfield Armory, Inc., Auto Ordnance, Charles Daly, and a few others.

    Only a few Luger .45's are made, by custom shops, and they are very expensive, so rule that one out. (Only one or two original Lugers in .45 are known to exist; price if sold would be in six figures.) Rugers are rugged and reliable but bulky. Of the ones you list, my preference would be Colt for the basic 1911 type, Glock or SIG for a plain carry pistol.

    I will say that you will have to decide for yourself, and I think you need more experience before spending money. If 100 folks answer your question, you will get 200 opinions. There is no substitute for actually handling, and preferably firing, a number of pistols. You might be able to rent guns at a local range, or go to the range with a friend and try his guns. But in the end it is your money and your choice.

    P.S. Don't rule out revolvers on the basis of something someone else said or wrote. Try those also.

    Jim
     
  3. ChuckB

    ChuckB Member

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    Hi. Your question is way too broad. If you're a newbie, you need to handle and shoot a number of pistols, preferably with instruction included. Have you shot a handgun before? If not, you need to get a lot of practice with a smaller caliber, and professional instruction. Also: do you have a price limit? Will you use it as a CCW, or car/home protection? Competition? Sorry- I'm not trying to be hard on you; it's just that buying a pistol for the first time is both very personal, and a huge responsibility.

    Chuck
     
  4. Nick96

    Nick96 Member

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    If money is no object - probably SIG and Heckler & Koch would be at the top of the heap.

    In terms of solid value though, the Rugers and S&W's are good choices.

    The rest of them fit somewhere in the middle.
     
  5. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    Welcome to The High Road Tim.

    No definitave answers to your question...
    Or too many good answers.
    Don't cross off revolvers untill you can make an informed decision.

    Where are you ?
    How old are you ?
    And do you want to go try out an assortment ?

    Sam
     
  6. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    And what do you want to do with the gun (home protection, CCW, target, competition, etc.)?
     
  7. timmerk

    timmerk Member

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    I'm sorry for the broad question -

    i have never shot a handgun before. I do not want a revolver because I think I will use it for home protection and CCW.

    My price range it $1k and below.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Ditto what my friend C.R. Sam said!:D

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

    sm member

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    Welcome to the THR timmerk!

    "Revolvers for defence, semi auto for offence" - C. R. Sam
    I've been waiting for a chance to do that :p

    I don't mean to be anything but sincere, as we all are on THR when a newbie asks a question. We don't know your experience level with firearms. We at THR are heavy into "responsible firearms ownership". When I assisted in teaching, we strongly advised a student to NOT buy a gun until after the class was finished. We covered the 4 rules, had the students handle and learn the various platforms. Then at the range , we let students shoot various platforms ( ie, revolver, SA, DA/SA, DAO) in various calibers, all steel, alloy and steel, polymer.

    Many students did not end up with the first gun purchase being what they thought they would buy. Many people whom brought a gun, or worse bought one ahead of time, even more worse husband, BF, wife, daddy...had bought them what they thought the student needed...Couldn't shoot the gun. Didn't fit, too much recoil, couldn't reach controls.

    Advise to take a class, shoot before you buy. With a good used revolver the rest of the monies saved can buy lessons, ammo, good holster, belt. For the price of a semi mag, you have bought a box of ammo.

    Just thoughts, toward "responsible firearms ownership".
     
  10. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    :D
    For years I carried a .45 auto as a work gun.
    But, I nearly always also carried a revolver for if things got serious.

    Now I carry revolvers concealed.
    And have em handy for home defence.

    But, my primary home defence is a shotgun.

    My thinkin....autoloaders for offence and revolvers for defence.

    tis a personal thing.

    Sam

    (Edit...RE1973....we did it again. :) )
     
  11. sm

    sm member

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    Ok I got it backwards...same idea, back to the lessons huh Sam? :D

    :D edit, yeah Sam we did...

    timmerk...basically it works like this, If I post then Sam...and many others here at THR...forget my advice and listen to them...;)
     
  12. timmerk

    timmerk Member

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    Hmm, ok, I won't cross out revolvers then.

    How do I find out about classes? Do they let you try lots of guns out? How much do they cost approx?

    I live in AZ.


    Thanks!
     
  13. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    re1973 speaks rite too.
    Just tha so often lately we post at the same time, sayin the same thing.:)

    Tim.....you have PM comin in a sec.

    Sam
     
  14. cool45auto

    cool45auto Member

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    Welcome to THR!:D

    Beretta and it's 92FS
     
  15. timmerk

    timmerk Member

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    The 92FS Berrata looks too big.

    As for the Sig - do they have an English website to look at?

    Would this be the order, from best to least in gun maker's then?

    Heckler & Koch
    Sig
    Walther
    Berrta
    Ruger

    I know it's hard to generalize, but I'm talking in general terms, anyhow. Where would you place Smith and Wesson? Are their guns any good?

    Thanks!
     
  16. Ian11

    Ian11 Member

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    tim,


    The best way to go about it is trying as many as possible. But unfortunately that just isn't possible for most people. All the manufacturers you mentioned are top notch although there are certain models that are generally well regarded.

    Stick with the full size models for they "tend" to be more reliable, more accurate, and easier to shoot for most shooters. That means you'll enjoy shooting it more and you'll get more out of it. Colt M1991A1, Beretta 92FS, Glock 17, SIG P220/P226, and H&K USP are all "safe" bets. S&W autos are generally good but they are not as popular (at THR) for various reasons. I'd suggest a 9mm pistol (for many many reasons) Unless you have an immediate need for CCW stick with the full size models then go to more compact models. Out of these models get the gun that most appeals to you. That could be just the way it looks or the name. And make sure it fits your hand. Trust me, they are all well made and the little minutaies of each particular model (that we discuss in THR) isn't going to make much of a difference right now. Whats more important is the time and money you spend on practice, ammo, and of course SAFETY.


    Here's the American website for SIG Sauer:

    www.sigarms.com
     
  17. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 Member

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    Glad to see you're considering a revolver now. While I own both types, I'm a revolver shooter at heart. Don't rule them out simply because of capacity. Otherwise you'll depend on "spray and pray" rather than concentrating on shot placement.
    As far as classes go...look in your local yellow pages (under guns). Contact some local ranges/clubs. Somebody there will likely be able to help you. The costs are broad. I've taken classes that cost $40 up to $1000. All depends on who, where, what. If you've never fired a handgun before. I'd suggest buying a smaller caliber (.22) first to help build skills and confidence. Then you can purchase a more suitable defense model later. For this route, I'd suggest one of the Ruger MKII or 22/45 models. They're very affordable, dependable and just plain fun. Also, with a $1K budget, you'll still have plenty of $ left to buy any of the other brands you mention.
    What gun is better? All depends. Even your second list is too broad. All the big gun makers didn't get big by making junk. I'm not a avid fan of Walther, S&W, Beretta and some others but they still make quality models. Rugers are generally over built (strong), affordable, yet may lack the fancy details of others. Beretta, i think, is as popular as it is because of gov't contracts and people wanting to be like the military. If you go that route, look at Taurus. Same basic design with a frame mounted safety more affordable. Walther, I've never handled. I like the older modles but the new styles just don't appeal to me. Sig & HK...I own two HKs (USP & P7M8) and love 'em. Have never had a malfunction with either. The USP can be a bit large for some hands. I've also shot the Sig series a bit and have also never experienced any problems with any of them.
    Best of luck!
     
  18. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    It's really hard to say. What makes a gun or gunmaker "better"? Is an HK better than a SIG? You could argue for days about that: A USP feels cheaper than a 220ST feels cheaper than a P9S feels cheaper than...

    Beretta, Walther, SIG, S&W, and HK have all made some truly first-tier firearms over the last decade or so. They've also made more "budget-oriented" guns and have even turned out a few absolute dogs. Remember, the P7M8 and the VP70 come from the same gun maker, so do the Performance Center 945's and the Sigma .380's.
     
  19. New_comer

    New_comer Member

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    Hmmm...

    Know what? Go to a range and try out several. Whatever fits you, that's your gun. No matter what we say, it's really up to you.

    I chose HK's USP, but there are a lot of other equally great choices from the makers in your list. I wouldn't feel undergunned with a P226, 92FS, P99, P95, 4006, PT92, 686, or a GP100 in my hand. :cool:
     
  20. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    While you can't shoot everything there, you might consider going to a gun show where you can handle a wide assortment of handguns in one spot. You can then narrow your search to what feels good in your hand and has the features you want.
     
  21. ChuckB

    ChuckB Member

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    Timmerk- if you want to learn how to shoot, and to do it safely, you should contact the NRA. Try their website. An NRA safety course will let you handle many handguns, under trained supervision, and you will leave with the confidence and ability that you need.

    Chuck
     
  22. Zer000

    Zer000 Member

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  23. dairycreek

    dairycreek Member

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    Something else to think about!

    You have already received some excellent advice from some really knowledgeable people. Read what they have written, give it some serious thought and then make your choice.

    Let me give you something else to think about. Although you identify yourself as a "newbie" have you given any serious thought as to where your interest in guns might take you? Might you become a serious shooter; and ardent hobbyist, etc? If it looks like more than a passing interest then do some research (you have picked an excellent place to start) learn about and learn to use both pistols and revolvers. Above all else become a competent, safe gun handler/shooter. As I said, give it some thought. Good shooting;)
     
  24. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    Which religion is best...

    Which actor is best...

    Which book is best...

    Which car is best...

    With some exceptions, there's really no such thing as "the best manufacturer."

    It's too broad a question.

    A better question, one that might bring you more joy in the long run, is to take the advice you've gotten here and go out, rent some guns, and find out what is best for YOU.
     
  25. caz223

    caz223 Member

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    My 2 cents.
    Buy a .22 pistol/revolver.
    They're cheap to buy, cheap to shoot.
    Get a membership at a local range.
    Sign up for a basic pistol course, the NRA basic firearms in the home course is excellent.
    Shoot at least 100 rounds of .22 a week.
    Talk to people at the range, ask to handle/shoot what they have.
    Explain your situation, I'm sure that most of them will be more than happy to help you out with basic gun questions, and to at very least handle what they are shooting.

    Don't rule out anything until you have shot it, and find that it's not for you.

    Don't let other people tell you what gun you want.
    Don't let other people tell you what gun you need.


    The same advice applies to caliber selection, manual of arms, and practice techniques.
    Keep asking questions, keep shooting and handling other people's guns, and keep learning all you can.

    After a while, you'll be cranky, opinionated, and informed as to exactly which gun, caliber, etc. , and won't settle for anything less.
    Until then feel free to ask questions and learn from our mistakes, rather than to try to make them yourself.


    Welcome aboard!

    *Edit for grammar*
    Also, the search function and the archives are a very good source for info that has been discussed ad nauseam.
    Archives being the previous meeting place of most of the people you'll meet here, http://www.thefiringline.com/
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2003
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