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Thread: 5 most important handguns

  1. #1
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    5 most important handguns

    Im thinking:

    Colt Patterson: The first revovler, started the trend to better wheelguns. Got us from break opens to repeaters.

    Volcanic Repeater: Desighn was one of first repeating guns, legitamized cartridged ammo back when it was all about black powder, Smith and Weson met on this project and formed their partnership, invented the .22lr, the worlds most popular cartridge.

    Mauser c96-
    First successful semiautomatic, legitamized its role as a military weapon

    Walther p38:
    First successful da/sa military weapon, Led to more guns using this back in the day of SAO.

    1911:
    One of the most popular guns of all time, many features have been incorporated into other desighns, and it is popular in military, LE, and competition/ civilain use also. They are THE american gun.

    What do you think?

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    As much as I dislike them, Glock.

    It was the Glock that finally moved law enforcement from a revolver platform into the semi auto age. That movement caused the bulk of the civilian population to make the move to semi auto as well.

    Glock also introduced polymer handguns and the safe action trigger system to the average person which has led to the creation of a multitude of high quality polymer guns such as the M&P and FN FNP / FNX line.
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    I'm sure that you're aware that American Rifleman published a list of the Top 10 handguns a while back. They are in agreement with 3 of your choices: the Patterson (I think) was out of their time-frame, and they considered the earlier Walter PP rather than the P38.

    "Important" seems to specify widespread use, great influence on later design, or on history. I guess that's why the Luger P07 didn't make the list. Not sure why the Beretta 92 missed.

    Maybe the HK VP70, for starting the polymer-frame revolution? Or the FN Browning 1910--used to start WWI, so that's pretty important!

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    The beretta did nothing to advance firearm desighn, It has no new features, and Im also biased against it (literally fits me worse than a glock, if that is possible.) Its just a double stack p38 with a more conveinent magazine release.

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    The Glock had nothing new. HK already had to polymer guns VP70 and P9S/P45. Sauer used the trigger safety in the 1930s. Other companies had offered other autos also. Glock did have a nice package, very low cost and it was realiable.

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    Roth steyr had a pre cocked striker fired trigger in 1907

  7. #7
    S&W .357 Magnum revolver. It will be around longer than anything else.

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    The Glock had nothing new.
    It doesn't have to be new to be important. It did something no other semi auto did, caused American law enforcement and eventually most of the country to abandon the revolver as their primary self defense handgun.

    It also led to the creation of several generations of very reliable service firearms.

    While others may have done each of the individual things prior to Glock no one did it as successfully as they did.
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    I was going to write a whole post on how this is such a subjective question there's no way to even narrow it down. Everyone has such different tastes in pistols, and different ideas about what makes one important. Then I just decided to give you my list. These are the 5 most important pistols to me:

    1. Ruger New Model Blackhawk, .357, 7 1/2" barrel.; First pistol I ever fired.

    2. HK USP .40, Full size; First pistol I ever owned.

    3. RIA 1911 mil-spec; First pistol I ever stripped to the frame and rebuilt myself.

    4. Glock 30; First pistol I carried regularly

    5. Beretta M9; First pistol I carried in a war.

    You can present all the historical arguments you want, but none of it will be more important to me then those five.

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    What About...

    ...the S&W M&P revolver, one of the most widely used handguns ever made?

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    The Hand Cannon started it all.

    Michael

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    These choices are only this poster's opinionated choices

    regarding which 4 handguns I personally feel are

    best for the average shooting user to get first. SO, IMO:

    1)A 22LR auto with @7.5" barrel. Pick your favorite brand.

    2) A Colt or Springfield 1911A1.

    3) A CZ75 or Beretta 92FS.

    4)Either a Ruger or S&W in .357 or.44, whichever feels right for you.

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    Leaving the Glock off the list is kind of like leaving the Model T off of list of important cars. It was not the first, not the best etc.... but the whole package and priced right led to many imitators.

    The 92f/S? Leads to the question why? Other than to convince the US military to buy different guns for our allies it did nothing important I could see.

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    Shadowalker It doesn't have to be new to be important. It did something no other semi auto did, caused American law enforcement and eventually most of the country to abandon the revolver as their primary self defense handgun
    IDK I kinda thought a lot of PDs went to S&W semi autos before transitioning to GLOCKS
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    OK, I'll play.

    1) Paterson for reasons stated
    2) Colt SAA -- the long most popular variation on that theme
    3) S&W Hand-Ejector -- most popular of the DA revolver variants
    4) 1911 -- fustest with mostest of SA autos (but if we lived outside the US I'd be saying Browning Hi-Power
    5) This is where its hard -- Walther did the design first, but so many others have refined the DA/SA auto theme.... I'm inclined to go with Beretta as the most ubiquitous.
    Paul
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    One of the main innovations of the Glock was to reduce the number of parts (34 I think) and make the whole gun take down with a punch and (for one part) a flat screw-driver. They all "drop in." The 1911 I think by comparison has about 60 parts, and many must be fitted.

    One of the appeals of the Glock (to those that admit it has any appeal) is the "democratization" of the pistol's mechanics: you want to change the trigger or barrel or anything else, just do it. Never going to have the "wow" of a hand-fitted 1911...but never going to have the $3500 price tag you see for those, either. We always talk about Colt inventing the assembly line of interchangeable parts, but Glock seems to have accomplished making the lowly purchaser an active Glocksmith.

    ...........

    If we are using "important" to mean, in effect, which handguns "went viral," then I think that it's clear that S&W's first rimfire and magnum revolvers, the 1911, and the Glock fit that description. As Paul says, not sure where the DA semi award should go...maybe even the Sauer 38H, since it was resurrected as the P6.

    The current viral trend seems all about packing the most gun into the smallest package, whether that is AR-15-type pistols, 2-inch barreled S&W .500s, Bobergs, and shotgun-shell revolvers. I wonder what started all that: the lowly derringer? The "Fitz Special"?

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    Going WAY off topic, " ... most important handguns ..."

    "Important" v "popular". Since its inception the Glock line has SOLD ( NOT given away or sold to LEO / military, ie 1911-types ) approaching 7,000,000 guns, which is more that 1911-types for their century+ of production. I own 4 G's, and 5 1911 clones, so there! Argue quality v quantity all you want. Dao.

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    Arguing popularity as a gauge of importance has a few pitfalls. If Glock is "important" because of its popularity, then the Toyota Corolla is more "important" than any contemporary auto. I don't think so.

    Glock is popular because they engineered ways to make a gun out of plastic and cheap metal stampings and thus undercut the competition. A Toyota Corolla will go from A to Z reliably, but that doesn't mean it's better or more "important" than a Mercedes or a Mustang.
    The same holds true for the Glock - it's the Corolla of guns.

  19. #19
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    it's the Corolla of guns
    Well, for many car owners, it didn't matter if the car could get to 300 km/hr on the autobahn. It mattered that it was affordable, got decent gas mileage, didn't take much maintenance, and that it started every time you turned the key.

    Some important parallels with SD firearms there. Calling a handgun a Corolla is not such a big insult--especially as we already know they are both ugly, and that the Corolla became the "catch me if you can" industry standard! Didn't someone mention the Model T?

  20. #20
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    Some important parallels with SD firearms there. Calling a handgun a Corolla is not such a big insult--
    I didn't mean it as an insult, but as an honest description of its market niche.

    Most people are not gun people in the same way that most people are not car people. The Glock is a relatively inexpensive handgun that leaves little room for tweaking or customizing. It's perfect for a lot of people in the same way a Corolla is for a lot of people.

    If you see a guy knocking bowling pins down at a 100 meters, it's 100 to 1 he's not shooting a Glock. And if you see a collection of street racers, you can bet that no Toyota Corollas will be among them.

    Importance should (in my opinion) be based on performance or innovation, not on manufacturing costs.

  21. #21
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    The same holds true for the Glock - it's the Corolla of guns.
    As a non-Glockie, I kind of agree. 70 million Elvis fans can be wrong, if you don't really like Elvis...

    But now cars, that's my main meat -- you can certainly argue that the Model T is one of the most important cars of all time. But no one drives one to work anymore. And that design concept can't be successfully replicated today, too much difference in technology and concept.

    Not to stand on pride of authorship, but the Paterson is the only one of five I mentioned that isn't in common use today.

    The Glock has its virtues for many, and perhaps someday we'll recognize it as a breakthrough. I, personally, don't -- I just find em too damned ugly to like. And they don't do anything that impresses me more than other guns I like better.

    Yes, I'm just a hater. S&W's for everyone!
    Paul
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    .22 rf repeater should be considered in this lot, either revolver or semi-auto.
    in the county I reside the .22lr revolver has accounted for more deaths by gunshot than any firearm - also more attackers ran off either shot or un-shot with than any other.

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    So maybe we needed to differentiate: important historically or important

    from a "probably want to own it now" point of view?

    my selection of Beretta/CZ was from a 9mm DA personal ownership point of view, because I personally feel those two designs added dependability
    and increased mag capacity to the Browning Hi-power design, from which, obviously,
    they BOTH blatantly copied many features.

    Off topic:I know Glock is well-loved and popular, but I just couldn't put that
    really ugly bad boy in there. Maybe they should call them "BLOCKS"(I do)

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    If Glock is "important" because of its popularity, then the Toyota Corolla is more "important" than any contemporary auto.
    Actually that is a really good argument. In favor of the Glock.

    The reliable, affordable, economical Japanese probably car did more to improve the quality of US made vehicles than any other factor. People expected the Mercedes to be better.

  25. #25
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    To my mind, the Glock is just a revolver, without the cylinder. No manual safety, just like a revolver. DAO, like some hammerless models, and the Glock is hammerless. Yeah, I know, the Glock's trigger is not a real DAO trigger, but it's close enough.

    To my mind, I know some put the Handcannon on there, but really, you cannot fire it one handed, you HAVE to use both hands to fire that, so not really a true pistol to me.

    And I'd probably say the Borchardt before the Mauser C96. Yeah, the C96 was more commercially successful, but as Ian Hogg put it, in the A&E History of the Gun series, "You had to start somewhere, and it could have been a lot worse." Although, for innovation, I'd probably still put the C96 on the list. Along with the Colt Patterson, and in further thought, there's no way I can keep my list to just 5. Sorry.
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