Once you decide between semi-auto or revolver and finalize your caliber choice, your next question will be, “What brand of Handgun should I buy?!?” Fortunately today, there are a ton of great options. Assuming a working man’s budget, with a focus on value, and based on my own personal, hands-on experience plus extensive research:
- For semi-autos, I have significant hands-on experience with, and am partial to Beretta, Glock, and Sig Sauer. There are also many great offerings from Smith & Wesson’s M&P line, Springfield Armory, FNH USA , CZ USA, Heckler & Koch (pronounced ‘coke’) and Ruger. All reputable, qualified reviews, articles and videos I’ve researched on those have been very positive. Many of the brands I’ve presented here have an extensive pedigree including Military and/or Law Enforcement use – and that definitely says something. These are your ‘mainstream’ semi-auto gun manufactures and you generally can’t go wrong with a weapon that has been successfully tested and put into use by a major Military or Law Enforcement agency.
- When it comes to Double-Action revolvers, I recommend Smith & Wesson and Ruger. This is the stuff of endless Internet and gun forum debate. Saving you a ton of reading, the prevailing thoughts seem to be that Ruger firearms are over-built, but Smiths are The Cadillac of Guns, having better triggers which lend themselves to better accuracy. Honestly, you can’t go wrong either way.
- Taurus, what about Taurus?! Taurus International Manufacturing makes both semi-auto pistols and revolvers. I have no personal experience with Taurus beyond handling a few at my local gun store. Again hopefully saving you a ton of reading and research time, the bottom line seems to be that Taurus offers great value for your money. Fit, finish and attention to detail will not likely be on par with some of the other manufacturers I’ve mentioned above, but you’ll get a working, reliable gun for a very reasonable amount of money. If you are on a very tight budget, Taurus might be the way to go.
This is a bit like “Ford Vs. Chevy” or even “Blonds, Brunettes or Redheads” in that with so many good offerings from so many reputable manufacturers – and many made right here, in the U.S.A. which is something important to a lot of people these days. You almost can’t go wrong with an offering from the list I’ve recommended, so is really your call, and should be based on personal preferences. You’re the only one who must be happy with the decision. Check out different makes and models. Surf the Web. Visit your local gun. Try to get experience shooting your choices by finding a local range with a rental program or by going shooting with a friend. Pick the one you are most comfortable with, the one that feels best in your hand, and the one that best fits your budget.
While we plan to post some gun and gear reviews in the future, check out our links page for some excellent resources to help with your research.