5 most significant handguns

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by txpossum, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

    What would you consider the 5 most significant handguns designed and marketed in the past 100 years? And, more importantly, why?

    Now, the 100 year limit is troubling for me, because it knocks out what would be my top two choices if were increased the time limit only slightly -- the 1911 and the Smith and Wesson Model 10. Okay, I know technically that there were no Model 10's until the 50's, but re-naming an existing model doesn't count for this contest, as the Smith and Wesson M&P and earlier hand ejector models, which were essentially the same gun, were around since before the turn of the 20th century.

    Okay, my choices:

    (1) The Smith and Wesson "registered" .357 magnum, which later evolved into the Model 27. The first .357 magnum revolver -- need I say more?

    (2) The Browning Hi Power. I am not completely certain of this, but I believe it was the first high capacity 9 mm pistol. It is certainly the first one I'm aware of, and it set the standard for 9mm autos for years. Used by a wide variety of countries militaries for decades.

    (3) The Glock. Sigh, I hate to say this, but the Glock did, imo, change the firearms industry more than any other gun in the past 50 years.

    (4) Smith and Wesson .44 magnum, which later became the Model 29. Took handguns and handguns hunting to a whole new level.

    (5) Hmmm. I've used all the obvious ones I can think of now. I'm going to say the Ruger Mk I automatic. The first gun produced by Strum Ruger, sold tens of thousands, the standard, imo, which reasonably priced .22 autos are judged.

    Okay, what are your thoughts?
  2. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    Just 5? Tough sledding getting it down to 5.

    What's a couple years between friends? The 1911 deserves to be on any list of "most significant" handguns. You can't discuss the last 100 years worth of handguns without the 1911 intruding into the discussion repeatedly. How about we say "most significant of the 20th century?"
    I would also include the CZ 75 series pistols. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the sheer number of CZ clones and derivative designs out there must mean it's a heck of a pistol and certainly worthy of consideration. "Europe's 1911" is the term often bandied about.

  3. jjones45

    jjones45 New Member

    Well since you said past 100 years and the 1911 is at year 102 I would have to say the beretta m9/92fs deserves to be number 5. The number of military and law enforcement that has used this weapon speaks volumes. It did replace the awesome 1911 in the u.s.military you know. Dang gone it, why did I sell mine??? Maybe the luger deserves mention as well. Idk maybe 5 isn't enough, you should of said 10 lol
  4. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

    So effectively, we are talking about the top 5 handguns excluding the 1911 or Single Action Army.
  5. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

    Yeh 5 this is going to be tough, but here goes................

    1. The Colt Revolver

    2. The Colt Model 1911

    3. The Ruger, take your pick.

    4. The Glock, here again take your pick.

    5. The Magnum Research, again take your pick.

    I guess that will do !.............
  6. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    1. The very first blackpowder pistol no real model number as it was handmade. Pretty much changed everything

    2. Very first blackpowder revolver see above as to why.

    3. Colt single action army. Pretty much showed everyone how to do a cartridge revolver right.

    4. Webley revolver. Just ask the victims of english colonialism how game changing and historic that thing was

    5. Colt 1911. The symbol of american handgun excellence. Even with the adoption of the m9 its still in service with us military several decades later and showing no signs of going anywhere

    Might get somewhere around 378 before I would list glock since the only thing they revolutionized was how to market a schlock product....
  7. seancslaughter

    seancslaughter New Member

    Walther p38 #5

    S&w model 39 aka mk 22 mod 0 #4

    Browning high power #3

    Beretta m9 good concept with slide cut out to reduce jamming issues and effective round when not using NATO ball ammo #2

    Ar and ak pistols because anything that uses a loophole to thumb it's nose at stupid unconstitutional laws is great. #1
  8. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

    Historically speaking:

    The 'first' revolver, I am not sure who made the first one.

    Colt Peacemaker

    Colt 1911

    S&W modern DA (N, L, K, and J-frame)

    Glock (first poly gun)
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  9. kryptar19

    kryptar19 New Member

    Ditto you, except for no.5
    I choose the beretta M9
  10. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

    The 1911 has gone through a few minor design changes over the years, so it counts. (technically) :p

    1. 1911 - Over 100 years of reliability, and effectiveness. Still one of the most popular guns in history.

    2. HK VP70 - First polymer framed gun. Predates the GLOCK by 12 years.

    3. Ruger Mark I, II, III, and 22/45 - A very successful line of .22 pistols that are among the most popular today.

    4. Smith and Wesson Model 29 - Who doesn't like a big beautiful 44 magnum?

    5. Browning High Power - Used by militaries and police all over the world for decades.
  11. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

    A lot of good guns, but a lot made before 1913. And the issue is not what were the "best" guns, but the most significant guns.
  12. seancslaughter

    seancslaughter New Member

    I'll tell you why I think the ones I chose were significant. P38 was 1st da/SA to have a decocking lever and loaded chamber indicator and had a falling lock block barrel increasing accuracy because of inline travel of the barrel and slide.
    The s&w 39 basically the mk22 mod 0 version because of the included suppressor to prevent the slide from moving and reducing noise. My father told me this was one of the most valuable tools they had it silently took out many guards, dogs and guard geese which he said were the worst.
    Browning hi power first pistol with a stacked magazine and also designed by John browning who designed the 1911 and since the 1911 is over a hundred years his next best is here
    Beretta m9 I and many other service members carried this pistol in combat it is reliable and has been in service for decades.
    And ak and ar variant pistols just because thumbing your nose at the ATF saying yeah it's a pistol because it has no stock is supremely funny to me
  13. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    I can get behind these but even with the two year late fee the 1911 needs to be in there someplace. It had been a steady player and the most copied handgun ever I would believe. After all this time it's went through a few changes but not many considering the time of service.

    Another post had the CZ75. While I do believe it is a very important design the HP stands at the forefront of the higher capacity 9mm genre. So it's place has to be solid on that point alone.

    Glock brought us a reliable striker fired poly frame pistol. I still don't like them but there is no denial of it's impact.

    The Smith 44 mag revo made handgun hunting much more doable.

    357....? What can you say. It's still the most versatile handgun there is in my opinion. So any uses fo rsuch a great round.

    So that brings us to the MK series 22. T Here's been others but when most people think about a semi auto 22 they think a MK I,II,III Ruger. I remember the first one I seen. It made a huge impact on me. Btu I think I would bump it to have the 1911 in my list.
  14. grandpubba

    grandpubba Member

    I had to think about this for a little bit before replying, most guns are just a slight variant of a gun previously made, for example removing one of the safeties from a 1911 doesn't make it a non 1911, the design is the same.

    So my list is 5 guns that are significant in terms of, well. They changed everyday life.

    6.5mm cardamom 91/38
    Bushmaster x-15-e2s
    Glock 19, 9mm
    Walther p22
    Röhn rg 14

    Agree or disagree the use of those weapons have affected each one of us more so the just a slight change in design.
  15. bigjim

    bigjim New Member

    Most significant design.

    1.) While over 100 years old, all other revolvers are some form of copy of this design, would be the Colt Peacemaker.

    2.) The Mauser C96 otherwise known as the Broom Handle, first pistol with an integrated box magazine and semi-auto operation.

    3.) Pistole Parabellum 1908 otherwise known as the Luger 9 mm Parabellum.

    4.) John Brownings design for the Colt Pocket pistol in 32 & 380 ACP.

    5.) John Browning's design for the 1911.

    6.) The Browning High Power.

    7.) Walther PP/PPK

    8.) S&W 357 Magnum.

    9.) S&W 44 Magnum.

    10.) Beretta 92

    11.) Glock model 17 first polymer pistol.

    12.) Desert Eagle first and only gas operated pistol.

    13.) CZ 75 first really comfortable pistol grip pistol. (IMHO)

    14.) FNH Five-Seven

    15.) Kel-Tec PMR-30

    I am sure there are others that I missed that brought refinements and new options to existing designs.

    Stay safe and buy all that you can.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  16. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

    Lorcin 9mm

    Jennings .22

    Any Jimenez model

    Rhom .38 special

    Glock 40

  17. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    The first DA/SA semi auto from Walther
    Everyone refers to the link system (Be it an actual link or not) as the Browning link system (think 1911 and Hi-Power).
    Poly frame H&K
    Sig 210 with removable mechanism (Tokarev pistols use the same).
  18. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

    Bwahahahahaha!!!!! :D
  19. orangello

    orangello New Member

    I'm a fan of the one that was used to put Lincoln down, but it is outside the time limit. (RIP JWB)

    I'm not a fan of the very significant one used against Reagan and his infamous associate.
  20. McCakie

    McCakie New Member

    Pretty sure h&k had the first plastic pistol but I could be wrong hopefully somebody more knowledgeable can help us out