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Best Smith & Wesson Revolvers [2024]

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In this post, we’ll be discussing the best S&W revolvers for various applications. Smith & Wesson is one of the most respected gun manufacturers in America. Known for their top-notch revolvers, this long-standing company has endured the test of time – despite the trend favoring slick semi-automatics (like S&W’s very own modern M&P 2.0 series) that began in the 80s with the booming popularity of “wonder nines,” revolvers continue to hold their ground.

If you’re searching for the best handgun for women or a novice looking for the perfect concealed carry, you may have come across opinions like “revolvers are the worst” or “nothing beats a 9mm for self-defense.” But while revolvers do have certain limitations, such as lower capacity, slower reloading times, and reduced rate of fire, they are far from obsolete, and for many good reasons.

First, revolvers can be chambered for high-pressure cartridges yet remain compact enough for a pocket holster. Plus, revolvers have their own aesthetics and are super straightforward to use. They even created 9mm revolvers, with the Smith & Wesson 929 being a prime example!

Read: Revolvers: Everything You Need to Know

So, revolvers are not only fun and cool, they do their job. But what exactly makes S&W revolvers stand out among the crowd? The answer lies in their legacy. A brand with such a rich history can’t afford to produce subpar guns.

So, let’s begin our journey. But before we get to the part with the best Smith & Wesson revolvers of 2024, let’s first take a brief tour through the different frames of S&W revolvers.

Table of Contents

A Quick Guide to S&W Revolver Frame Types
Best Smith and Wesson Revolvers [2024 Guide]
Best S&W 38. Special J-Frame Revolvers for Concealed Carry (M 640 & M 442)
Best S&W .357 Mag Revolver for Home Defense: Model 686 Plus 4″ Barrel
Most Powerful S&W Revolver for Predator Defense: Smith & Wesson S&W500
Best S&W Revolvers: Notable Mentions

A Quick Guide to S&W Revolver Frame Types

Smith & Wesson has crafted an impressive array of revolvers over the years. The easiest way to distinguish between them is by the frame size. So here’s a breakdown of the modern S&W frame sizes:

J-frame (Small)

First introduced: Model 36 (1950)
Popular models: Bodyguard shrouded hammer revolver series (Model 638, Model 649, etc.), Centennial hammerless (Model 642, Model 640, Model 442, etc.), Chief’s Special standard hammer revolver series (Model 36, Model 637, Model 60, etc.)
Caliber: .38 S&W Spl, .38 Spl/.357 Mag, .22 LR, .22 Mag

Smith & Wesson J-frame revolvers are classic five-shot “snub nose” revolvers often used for carry due to their slim, lightweight design. Almost all S&W J-frames feature fixed sights. They come in various barrel lengths and are typically chambered in .38 Special.

K-frame (Medium)

sw-model-10-k-frame

First introduced: Model 10 (1899)
Popular models: Model 10, Model 19, Model 17, Model 617
Caliber: .38 Spl/.357 Mag, .22 LR, .22 Mag, .38 S&W Spl

The K-frame revolver, first introduced in 1899 as the Model 10, was developed to house a six-shot cylinder in .38 caliber. Iconic service revolvers for generations, these models typically sport 4-inch barrels. The medium frame size and design make it suitable for medium-sized and now even larger calibers like the .357 Magnum.

L-frame (Medium-Large)

sw-model-686-l-frame

First introduced: Model 686 (1980)
Popular models: Model 686, Model 586, Model 986 (9mm revolver)
Caliber: .357 Mag/.38 Spl, .44 Mag, 9mm

The L-frame, while dimensionally similar to the K-frame, has key areas of the steel frame beefed up for added durability, especially when shooting magnums. The cylinder is slightly larger in diameter, allowing for up to 7 shots in .38 Spl/.357 Magnum models.

N-frame (Large)

sw-model-29-dirty-harry-n-frame

First introduced:
– New Century (first .44 S&W Spl revolver, 1908)
– Model 1917 (first .45 ACP revolver, 1917)
– Model 27 (first .357 Mag revolver, 1935)
– Model 29 (first .44 Mag by S&W, 1955)
Popular models: Model 29, Model 629, Model 27, Model 327, Model 627
Caliber: .44 Mag, .357 Mag/.38 Spl, 10mm, 9mm, .45 Colt, .41 Mag

The N-frame revolver collection includes one of the most iconic revolvers of all time – Dirty Harry’s Model 29 in .44 Magnum. N-frame revolvers typically chamber .44 Magnum and .38 Special/.357 Magnum, and the N-frame cylinder holds 6 or 8 shots.

X-frame (Extra-Large)

sw500 x frame

First introduced: S&W500 (2003)
Popular models: S&W500, S&W460, S&W350
Caliber: .500 S&W Mag, .460 S&W Mag, .350 Legend

Introduced in 2003, a massive X-frame was designed to handle the new .500 S&W Magnum caliber, the most powerful production handgun in the world. The X-frame is strengthened and enlarged everywhere it needs to be to handle the ridiculously high pressures. The cylinder holds 5 rounds in the .460 and .500 S&W Magnums, but the new 350 Legend X-Frame holds 7 shots.

Governor (N-frame based snub-nose)

sw-governor

First introduced: 2011
Popular models: Governor
Caliber: .45 Colt/.410 bore, .45 ACP/.410 bore

Smith & Wesson’s Governor series is their take on the Taurus Judge. The models are capable of firing either .45 Colt and .410 shotshells or .45 ACP and .410 shotshells.

Now that we’ve broken down all the S&W revolver frames, let’s get to the main part – the best S&W revolvers.

Best Smith and Wesson Revolvers [2024 Guide]

Best S&W 38. Special J-Frame Revolvers for Concealed Carry

Generally, most hammerless and shrouded hammer revolvers in the Smith and Wesson J-frame collection are suitable for concealed carry. Their snag-free design, coupled with a short grip, a slim 5-round cylinder, and a short barrel, create an optimal EDC gun. However, when asked to pick the best concealed-carry revolvers, the S&W Model 640 and Model 642 undoubtedly rise to the top.

S&W Model 640

The S&W Model 640 has a hefty price tag but its numerous design advantages and ability to handle powerful rounds make it worth it for those seeking a compact, quality concealed carry revolver.
At first glance, you’ll notice the humpback frame that conceals the hammer. This design feature streamlines the gun, making it easier to draw from concealment without snagging.

The frame is all steel. Unloaded, the 640 weighs in at 22 ounces – it’s nearly twice the weight of some scandium-alloy framed counterparts. However, don’t be quick to dismiss it as a weakness. In fact, the heft of a J-frame revolver can be an advantage – Remember? The heavier the gun is, the more recoil force it absorbs. Besides, even when compared to revolvers similar in design, such as the all-steel Ruger SP101 with a concealed hammer and a 5-shot cylinder, which weighs 25 ounces, the Model 640 is a notch lighter and feels less bulky.

sw-m640

The sights on the 640 are OK, with the black blade front one and a fixed rear one. But there’s also an upgraded version of the 640 – S&W Model 640 Pro, with dovetail style drift-adjustable pistol sights, precisely, a three-dot Trijicon tritium night sight setup, something you’d find on a duty semi-auto.

One downside of the 640 Pro is its heavy trigger pull, which ranges between 12 and 15 pounds. Holding the sights still on a 1.5-pound gun while applying this level of pressure is quite a challenge. Fortunately, this can be mitigated with a J-frame spring kit, such as the J-Frame Duty/Carry Kit from Apex Tactical. It can reduce the trigger pull to a more manageable 9-10 lbs.

Also, while the 640 can handle magnum rounds, firing .357 Mag ammo can be quite challenging. This is true for all J-frame revolvers, particularly the lighter ones. So better stick with .38 +P for carry ammo. Plus, the .38 Spl ammo itself will add less weight to the gun than the magnum rounds.

All in all, regardless of some disadvantages associated with being all-steel and short-barrel, it’s definitely one of the best S&W .38 Special snub-nose revolvers.

S&W Model 640 – Specs

Caliber: .38 Spl +P / .357 Mag
Action: DAO
Capacity: 5
Weight: 22.4 oz
Overall length: 6.6 in
Barrel length: 2.13 in
Frame material: Steel

S&W Model 442

Now, let’s consider another top-rated S&W J-frame revolver – the Model 442 Airweight, another top-rated S&W J-frame revolver. Similar to the Smith 640, the Model 442 features an enclosed hammer for a perfectly snagless draw.
But what sets it apart from the 640 and makes it shine as a backup gun is the frame. It’s made from an aluminum alloy with a stainless steel cylinder, making this revolver significantly lighter than the 640, weighing only 14.4 ounces. Lighter guns like this are incredibly convenient for various carry methods, whether you’re carrying in a pocket, on your ankle, or through any method that’s not on your belt. (By the way, the aftermarket for S&W 442
holsters is huge.)

sw-m442

However, as with most things, there’s a trade-off. The lighter weight of the Model 442 makes it less controllable, meaning fast follow-up shots might be more challenging. On the bright side, holding the gun steady would be easier due to the reduced weight. As for recoil, regular .38 Spl loads probably won’t cause too much trouble, especially if you consider swapping the stock panel-style grip for a more controlling one, by Hogue, for instance. However, shooting +P defense ammo could present a bit of a challenge due to the increased recoil. If you plan on using +P ammo, get some practice at a shooting range.

Another downside is low capacity, only 5 rounds. While this might seem limiting, it’s essential to remember that in most self-defense situations, five rounds should be sufficient. After all, the goal of concealed carry is not to engage in prolonged gunfights but rather to create an opportunity for escape. Besides, if we compare it to another top-rated snub-nose carry revolver, the Ruger LCR .38 Special +P, you’ll see that it also holds 5 rounds. Most will agree that having 5 high-power rounds is better than having 8 shots of .22 LR, at least in a snub-nose revolver.

S&W Model 442 – Specs

Caliber: .38 Spl +P / .357 Mag
Action: DAO
Capacity: 5
Weight: 14.6 oz
Overall length: 6.31 in
Barrel length: 1.88 in
Frame material: Aluminum

Best S&W .357 Mag Revolver for Home Defense: Model 686 Plus 4″ Barrel

Now, when it comes to home defense, many of the restrictions that apply to a concealed carry revolver don’t apply. You’re free to choose any revolver that works for you without worrying about size. Although, we’d advise against going for a revolver with an excessively long barrel or chambered for an overpowered caliber due to potential overpenetration issues.

The Model 686, introduced in the 80s as a high-end variant of the Model 19 (a popular S&W K-frame revolver), quickly became popular among law enforcement officers, gun enthusiasts, and competitive shooters. And even today, it’s considered the best S&W L-frame revolver. It’s aesthetically pleasing and perfectly balanced, and its large, robust frame provides a sturdy platform for the .357 Magnum cartridge.

sw-686-plus-4

Unlike the regular 686, the S&W Model 686+ holds 7 rounds of .357 Magnum instead of 6. This model also features a 4.13-inch barrel and weighs 39.2 ounces. The barrel is beefed up to balance the gun and control muzzle flip, but it may take some time to get used to, especially for those who find handling a gun with added weight all in the front challenging during extended use. Overall, the gun’s bulk helps absorb recoil beautifully, allowing you to fire any .357 Magnum load fast and hard.

Unlike the mentioned S&W concealed carry revolvers, the 686+ has an exposed hammer, which means you can fire it in DA and SA modes. It’s a good idea to practice both. Moreover, the trigger pull is smooth, making it even easier to shoot .357 Magnum loads.

One of the great things about the S&W 686 Plus is that it doesn’t require any modifications. It’s ready to go right out of the box. The only potential change you might want to consider is replacing the adjustable rear sight.

To wrap up, the S&W Model 686 is an incredibly versatile .357 revolver. In skilled hands, this revolver can reliably hit targets at distances of 100 yards or more. Despite its weight, it’s still concealable. And while it doesn’t have a long barrel, it’s still more than capable of handling most predators.

S&W Model 686+ 4″ – Specs

Caliber: .357 Mag
Action: DA/SA
Capacity: 7
Weight: 39.2 oz
Overall length: 9,56 in
Barrel length: 4.13 in
Frame material: Steel

Most Powerful S&W Revolver for Predator Defense: Smith & Wesson S&W500

One of the great things about revolvers, as opposed to semi-automatic pistols, is their ability to handle incredibly high pressures when designed right. By the way, this is something earlier K-frame revolvers struggled with – they simply weren’t strong enough to handle the pressure of the .357 Magnum.

Enter the S&W 500 – the most powerful .500 caliber revolver ever made. This beast is chambered for the S&W .500 Magnum, which happens to be the most potent production handgun cartridge available, even more powerful than the .50 AE, a classic chambering for Magnum Research pistols. Sure, there’s the .500 Bushwhacker, but that’s only available for custom guns.

Read: The Magnum Research Desert Eagle Pistol Overview

So, the S&W 500 is massive and cool, but what can you do with a handgun that weighs between 3.5 to 5 pounds unloaded and chambers rounds with a pressure of 60,000 psi? (Especially considering that most handguns are rated for only 35,000 psi.)

sw500-7

Well, applications for this powerhouse could range from having a blast at the shooting range to defending against grizzly bears or hunting elk.

Smith and Wesson produces several models of the S&W 500 with various barrel lengths ranging from 3.5 to 10.5 inches. All of them hold five shots, and many allow for mounting optics, bipods, and slings, helping to make handling this monster a little easier. Additionally, the gun features a DA/SA trigger, meaning you can choose to shoot exclusively in SA to make things a bit simpler.

If you’re looking for a powerful handgun but don’t necessarily need something as monstrous as the S&W 500, consider the other two X-frame series – the S&W 460 in the 460 S&W Magnum big game hunting caliber and the S&W 350 in the .350 Legend hunting caliber, perfect for hunting medium-sized game.

S&W 350 – Specs

Caliber: .350 Legend
Action: DA/SA
Capacity: 7
Weight: 71.5 oz
Overall length: 13.5 in
Barrel length: 7.5 in
Frame material: Steel

Best S&W Revolvers: Honorable Mentions

Smith & Wesson Model 10 – perfectly balanced, classic S&W K-frame revolver in .38 Spl, one of the oldest S&W revolvers still in production.

Smith & Wesson M&P R8 – top-rated S&W tactical .357 revolver that you can accessorize with a flashlight and optics at the same time. It holds 8 rounds.

Smith & Wesson Model 29 – iconic Dirty Harry revolver in the .44 Magnum.

Smith & Wesson Governor – the Taurus Judge alternative capable of firing either .45 Colt and .410 shotshells or .45 ACP and .410 shotshells.

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38 – another great S&W concealed carry revolver chambered in .38 Spl +P alternative to the Ruger LCR.

Smith & Wesson Model 986 – the best S&W 9mm revolver with a 2.5″ barrel for concealed carry.

FAQs

What is the best Smith & Wesson revolver for home defense?

The S&W Model 686 is a popular choice for home defense due to its large and durable frame, and its capacity to hold seven rounds of .357 Magnum.

Which is the most popular Smith & Wesson revolver?

The Smith & Wesson Model 10 has been exceptionally popular due to its reliability, durability, and ease of use.

What is considered the most accurate Smith & Wesson revolver?

The accuracy of a revolver can vary depending on the shooter, but the S&W Model 29 has been praised for its accuracy.

What is the best S&W .38 Special revolver?

The S&W J Frames, particularly the Model 642, are often recommended as the best Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolvers.

Which is the best S&W revolver for concealed carry?

The .38 Special Smith and Wesson snub nose revolvers, due to their compact size, are excellent choices for concealed carry.

What is the best Smith & Wesson revolver ever made?

This is subjective and depends on individual preferences. However, the Smith & Wesson Model 29, famously associated with the “Dirty Harry” film series, has often been hailed as one of the best revolvers ever made by the company.

What is the S&W 500?

The S&W 500 is the most powerful .500 caliber revolver made by Smith & Wesson, chambered for the S&W .500 Magnum cartridge.

Source link: https://blog.gritrsports.com/best-smith-wesson-revolvers-2024/ by admin at blog.gritrsports.com

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Predator Hunting

The Evolution of the Beretta 9mm Pistols: 92, APX, PX4

Modern Variants of the 92FS and M9

Since the 92FS was introduced, Beretta has rolled out tons of different models. Some were specifically made for law enforcement, like the 92G for the French police, which skips the manual safety and uses a decocker lever instead. Even though the original 92G was discontinued, its slide design lives on in models like the M9A4.

Then there’s the 92D, a model that gets rid of both the safety and decocker lever, relying solely on a double-action trigger. In the ’90s, Beretta also introduced the 96 series chambered in .40 S&W to keep up with law enforcement trends.

Brigadier slide

In 1993, the Brigadier-style slide came out with reinforced locking lugs for added durability and a unique “hump” in the slide’s contour. Although the extended lifespan due to this design is up for debate, many users have noted it reduces recoil and muzzle rise. Because of this, the Brigadier slide is popular in 92 variants used in action pistol competitions.

Come early 2000s, Beretta introduced the 92 Vertec. This model was designed for law enforcement and shooters with smaller hands, featuring a slim backstrap and a shorter reach trigger. It also had an accessory rail, beveled magazine well, and interchangeable front sights. Plus, it ditched the traditional barrel protrusion by shortening the barrel to 4.7 inches but kept the slide the same length.

Beretta-92FS-vertec
Beretta 92 Vertec

Many modern 92 series variants blend features from both the Brigadier and Vertec models. Examples include the 92FS Brigadier, 92X, M9A3, and M9A4.

The Beretta 92X, introduced in 2019, standardizes the Vertec platform and adds the “Xtreme-S” trigger system, which cuts trigger reset by 40% and offers adjustability for pre-travel (in SAO models) and overtravel. Other highlights include a 3-slot Picatinny rail, a slimmer vertical grip, removable wrap-around grips to switch between Vertec-style and the classic M9 feel, fully removable high-visibility sights, and a universal slide allowing conversion from decocker-safety to decocker-only mode.

The series also includes the 92X Centurion (18 rd), 92X RDO Compact (15 rd) pistols, 92X Performance Carry Optic featuring an optic cut for USPSA competitors, and the lightweight 92X Performance Defensive for IDPA competitions.

New additions to the 92 family are the 92XI and 92GTS pistols. The 92XI is an SAO pistol with a 1911-style frame-mounted safety and comes in a base model, a Tactical model with a threaded barrel and DLC-coated trigger components, and a flashy Squalo edition. Meanwhile, the 92GTS is DA/SA with a twin sear and a decocker-only configuration.

Now, let’s get back to the M9. Around the mid-2000s, the US military requested some tweaks to the original design. Beretta responded with the M9A1, which borrowed features from the 92G-SD like a railed frame, standard 92 grip contour, beveled mag well, and textured grip while keeping the original M9 slide mostly the same.

beretta-m9a3-m9a4

Almost a decade later, Beretta rolled out the M9A3, featuring a replaceable front sight, a railed frame, and a Vertec-style backstrap with an aggressive grip texture. It also includes a wraparound rubber grip to replicate the feel of the standard M9A1 backstrap. The standout feature of the M9A3 is a redesigned slide that allows the gun to switch between FS and G configurations using a conversion kit, something that previously required an expensive and permanent modification by a gunsmith.

The latest iteration, the Beretta M9A4, boasts a red-dot optic compatible slide, dovetailed tritium night sights, an enhanced short-reset Xtreme Trigger System, 18-round sand-resistant magazines, and textured Vertec-style thin grips.

Source link: https://blog.gritrsports.com/beretta-9mm-pistols-92-apx-px4/ by Gritr Sports at blog.gritrsports.com

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Predator Hunting

Our Top Picks for Home Defense

Buckshot, particularly 00 buck, is widely recommended for its effectiveness in stopping a threat. However, the choice of ammunition can also depend on your living situation. For instance, individuals in apartment buildings or homes with thin walls might consider lighter loads or specific defense rounds designed to reduce the risk of over-penetration.

Source link: https://blog.gritrsports.com/best-home-defense-shotguns/ by Gritr Sports at blog.gritrsports.com

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Predator Hunting

Beginner’s Arsenal: Best Guns for Novice Shooters

Stepping into the world of firearms is no small decision. You’re not just picking out a tool; you’re selecting a companion for your safety, your sport, and in some cases, your survival. We’re here to break down for you what makes a solid beginner gun as well as recommend the best starter models.Here’s a quick summary:
  • 9mm pistols are the best for EDC, vehicle security, and home protection. The best starter pistols are Glock 17 or Sig P320.
  • An AR-15 rifle chambered for 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem cartridge, like the S&W M&P15 Sport III, is a great option for home protection and target shooting. Rifles are generally easier to shoot accurately and generate less felt recoil.
  • Ruger 10/22 chambered for the .22LR low-power rimfire cartridge is a great way to start your shooting journey if you want a rifle that is soft-kicking and quiet and has more classic ergonomics.
  • Shotguns in the Mossberg 500 or 590 series are great for beginner shotgun hunters or those looking for a home defense gun that doesn’t require good marksmanship.

Ideal Beginner Gun – What Should It Be?

Pistols: If you’ve found yourself here, chances are you’re on the fence about which type of firearm fits your future needs best. Handguns, especially semi-auto pistols, are prime picks for everyday carry and situations requiring agility, like home defense, vehicle defense, and close-quarter battle (CQB). That said, handguns do have their limitations. Their shorter barrels limit the effective range and make accurate aiming a tad more challenging due to the short sight radius. Additionally, handguns designed for more powerful rounds like .45 ACP, .357 Mag, and 10mm can be challenging to manage because of their recoil.

Rifles: Rifles offer a significant step up in power and accuracy, with effective ranges extending to 300-600 yards and beyond, thanks to longer barrels that help with bullet stabilization and building up pressure. They’re generally easier to shoot accurately and manageably. For home defense, rifles with barrels around 16-18 inches are spot on. And if you’re thinking about hunting or precision shooting, you need to go longer.

AR-pistols and short-barreled rifles (SBR) offer a middle ground, mixing the maneuverability of handguns with the power of rifles, though legal hurdles can complicate ownership.

Shotguns: They are kings of versatility, useful in a range of activities from home defense to hunting various types of game. Planning on hunting? Make sure you’ve got your shot pattern right, so you don’t ruin your game. As for home protection and target shooting, accuracy isn’t as critical with shotguns, making them a solid choice for beginners.

Best Guns for Beginner Gun Owners

At this point, you might now have a better grasp of what suits your needs best. Next up, we’re going to provide recommendations for the best starter guns ideal for beginner shooters.

Best Beginner Pistols: Glock 17 or Sig P320

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There’s always a heated debate between two camps over which brand is truly the best. However, it’s clear that both Glock and Sig Sauer produce pistols that are reliable, durable, and highly customizable.

The Glock 17 (or G17) and the Sig Sauer P320 are full-size pistols, each offering significant advantages for beginners. Full-size pistols are easier to control because the mass of the pistol absorbs a good bit of the recoil. They are easier to be accurate with thanks to longer slides, not to mention both models offer 17 rounds of capacity with a standard magazine. A longer barrel means more power and better accuracy over greater distances. Plus, both the G17 and the SIG P320 are chambered in 9mm Luger – the most balanced and versatile cartridge out there.

Curious about choosing the right beginner handgun? Check out our guide on Choosing the Best Defense Handgun for a Beginner. It dives deeper into pistol frame sizes and other essential factors.

Now, comparing the G17 to the P320, you’ll find each has unique advantages and trade-offs. Glocks are the workhorses of the pistol world – rugged, reliable, and with rather simplistic aesthetics, all at an affordable price range. They’re known to handle thousands of rounds without a hiccup and can take a good amount of abuse. Another advantage is the vast aftermarket for parts, upgrades, and customizations. Here’s an example. Glocks are known for their mediocre trigger feel out of the box. So when you get the basics down and figure out what you’d like to improve, there are plenty of aftermarket options available to you.

If the Glock’s aesthetic and ergonomics don’t appeal to you, the Sig P320 might be more to your liking. Right out of the box, it’s a solid full-size pistol with an appealing design and reliable performance. Like the Glock, the P320 boasts strong aftermarket support. Plus, it offers a modular design that lets you easily switch frame sizes to suit your preference.

Both the G17 and P320 are DAO (Double Action Only) pistols, meaning they have internal safeties and no external safeties to fuss with. This design choice means there’s nothing to forget to disengage in a tense moment or slow you down. Still, if you’re set on having a manual safety, Sig Sauer also provides the M17, a military version of the P320 with that feature.

Why We Love the Glock 17:

  • Reliability and Durability: Known for being able to handle thousands of rounds without any issues, making it a reliable choice for both beginners and seasoned shooters.
  • Simplicity and Affordability: With its no-frills design and affordable price range, it’s an accessible firearm for those new to shooting.
  • Customization Options: A vast aftermarket allows for numerous upgrades and customizations, catering to the user’s preferences over time.
  • No External Safety: DAO design with internal safeties simplifies use.

Why We Love the Sig Sauer P320:

  • Modular Design: Allows for easy transition between frame sizes, making it versatile for different hand sizes and shooting preferences.
  • Out-of-the-Box Performance: Delivers reliable performance and an appealing design, providing a solid starting point for any beginner.
  • Aftermarket Support: Like the Glock, enjoys strong aftermarket support for parts and customizations, enhancing its longevity and adaptability.
  • No External Safety: DAO design with internal safeties simplifies use.

Other Options:

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SIG P320 Starter Pack

sig-p320

SIG SAUER P320

Specifications:

p320-holster

P320 OWB Holster

Holosun 507K

9mm Cleaning Kit

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Best Beginner AR-15: Smith & Wesson M&P Sport III

When you’re starting out in the gun world, you’re probably looking for something that won’t break the bank but still has all the right stuff to get you going. That’s where the third-gen M&P15 Sport from Smith & Wesson shines. Priced comfortably under $1,000 — actually, you can grab one for around $650 to $700 — it’s a solid pick without feeling like you’re cutting corners.

Sure, there are other rifles like the PSA M4 Carbine from Palmetto State Armory that come in even cheaper, under $500. But the M&P15 Sport III has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. For starters, it’s got a mid-length gas system. This is key for a 16-inch barrel since it not only makes the rifle last longer but also gives you a smoother shooting experience. Plus, the 1:8 twist rate is versatile enough to handle loads as light as 55gr M193 bullets and as heavy as 90gr, making it great for experimenting with different types of ammo.

This AR-15 rifle also boasts a 15” free-floating M-LOK handguard, which means you can attach all sorts of accessories. Plus, it’s got a full-length pic rail on top for when you want to add optics — especially handy since it doesn’t come with iron sights. And with a 6-position collapsible stock, you can adjust it to just the right fit. Sure, you might find cheaper models out there, but the M&P15 Sport III’s blend of softer recoil, versatility, and must-have features like the M-LOK handguard and adjustable stock makes it an awesome choice for anyone just getting into shooting.

Why We Love the S&W M&P15 Sport III

  • Affordably Priced: At under $1,000, often between $650 to $700, it’s a high-value option for beginners.
  • Mid-Length Gas System: Enhances durability and provides a smoother shooting experience.
  • Versatile 1:8 Twist Rate: Suitable for a wide range of ammunition, from light 55gr M193 bullets to heavier 90gr rounds.
  • Other Features: 15” free-floating M-LOK handguard, full-length Picatinnyicatinny rail, 6-position collapsible stock.

Other Options:

  • PSA 16″ M4 Carbine
  • Aero Precision Aero AC-15M
  • IWI Zion-15

AR-15 Starter Pack

S&W M&P15 sport 3

S&W M&P15 Sport III

Specifications:

SIG SAUER ROMEO5XDR Gen II Red Dot Sight with Juliet 5

Red Dot Combo

MAGPUL AR/M4 PMAG 30 GEN M3 5.56x45 Magazine With Window

30rd Magazine

UTG AR15 Cleaning Kit

AR Cleaning Kit

Best Beginner .22 Rifle: Ruger 10/22

ruger-10-22

If you’re looking for a classic semi-auto rifle that’s perfect for beginners, the Ruger 10/22 is hard to beat. This rifle is a legend, making it an awesome choice for teaching both kids and adults the ropes of shooting sports. The Ruger 10/22 fires the .22LR round, which is super cheap and has almost no kick, plus it’s really quiet. However, keep in mind, that the .22LR is a low-power cartridge, and its effective range tops out at about 150 yards. While it might not be your go-to for self-defense, especially compared to rounds like the .223 Rem or 9mm, it’s still not something you’d want to be on the receiving end of.

With the .22LR, you’re all set to join rimfire competitions, go after small game, or just have fun plinking in the backyard. Ruger offers a bunch of different 10/22 models so you can find one that’s just right for you. Whether it’s the 10/22 Carbine with its classic looks and versatility, the 10/22 Target for hitting bulls-eyes, or the 10/22 Tactical for competition use, Ruger’s got you covered.

All in all, the Ruger 10/22 is a solid, well-balanced rifle that packs reliable performance and up-to-date features into a classic design.

Why We Love the Ruger 10/22

  • Perfect for Beginners: With minimal recoil (.22LR round) and a quiet operation, it’s an ideal firearm for teaching new shooters the basics.
  • Versatility in Use: Whether you’re interested in rimfire competitions, small game hunting, or backyard plinking, the 10/22 serves all purposes well.
  • Affordability of Ammunition: The cost-effectiveness of .22LR rounds means you can shoot more for less, perfect for extensive practice sessions without breaking the bank.
  • Variety of Models Available: Ruger offers multiple versions of the 10/22 to fit every shooter’s need, from the classic Carbine to the precision-focused Target model, and the competition-ready Tactical version.
  • Unmatched Durability and Performance: Known for its reliability and solid construction, the Ruger 10/22 ensures a long-lasting shooting experience with consistent performance.

Other Options:

Ruger 10/22 .22 LR Rifle Starter Pack

RUGER 10/22 Takedown 22 LR

RUGER 10/22 Takedown

Specifications:

PROMAG Ruger 10/22 22 LR 55rd drum mag

55rd Drum Mag

VORTEX Crossfire II 2-7x32mm rimfire scope

Rimfire Scope

universal gun cleaning kit

Cleaning Kit

Best Beginner Shotgun: Mossberg 500/590

mossberg-590-shockwave

Talking about shotguns and not bringing up the Mossberg 500 and the Remington 870 series is nearly impossible. They’re both standout choices for newbies and honestly, picking between them often boils down to which brand you vibe with more rather than a clear winner in performance. Lately, though, a lot of shooters are leaning towards the Mossberg, saying it’s more consistent in quality. Plus, Mossberg 500/590 shotguns sport a couple of user-friendly features like the more convenient location of the safety and slide release as well as a skeletonized always-up shell lifter that allows you to load shells and clear malfunctions easier.

The Mossberg 500 and 590 shotgun series are loved for their straightforward, pump-action design. It means they’re easy to use thanks to fewer moving parts, weigh less compared to semi-autos, and are pretty darn durable. Both series come decked out with features that make life easier, like ambidextrous safeties and anti-jam elevators.

When it comes down to what you’ll use it for, the Mossberg 500 is your go-to for hunting. It comes in a bunch of camo options plus wood and black synthetic stocks, and its lightweight build and longer barrel make aiming and control easier.

If you’re gearing up for home defense or tactical purposes, the Mossberg 590 is where it’s at. It’s decked out for customization, built to take whatever comes its way, and boasts a higher shell capacity. And if a compact, easy-to-maneuver shotgun for tight spots is what you need, the Mossberg 590 Shockwave is legendary. Though it might take some getting used to, it’s surprisingly manageable once you get the hang of it.

Why We Love the Mossberg 500 and 590 Series

  • Consistent Quality: Many shooters express a preference for Mossberg over other brands for its consistent quality across models.
  • User-Friendly Features: The conveniently located safety and slide release, coupled with a skeletonized always-up shell lifter, make the Mossberg series exceptionally easy to load and clear.
  • Pump-Action Design: This design ensures fewer moving parts, lighter weight, and remarkable durability in both the 500 and 590 series.
  • Versatility for Hunting and Tactical Use: The Mossberg 500 is ideal for hunting, available in various camo, wood, and black synthetic stocks. In contrast, the Mossberg 590 suits home defense or tactical scenarios, boasting customization options and a higher shell capacity.

Other Options:

Considering a shotgun for home protection? Read our guide on the Best Home Defense Shotguns.

Mossberg 590 Shockwave Starter Pack

MOSSBERG 590 Shockwave 12Ga 14.3in

MOSSBERG 590 Shockwave

Specifications:

Mossberg 590 light mount

Forend Light

Side Saddle, 9 Shell

Side Saddle

Shotgun Sling

Shotgun Sling

FAQs

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The fit of a gun is determined by how well your hand can grip it, your ability to reach the trigger comfortably, and how natural it feels when aiming. The right gun should feel like an extension of your hand; it shouldn’t feel too heavy or awkward.

Yes, it is highly recommended to take a firearm safety course, even if it’s not legally required in your area. These courses provide essential information about safe handling, storing, and operating firearms. They also often cover local gun laws, which is crucial knowledge for any gun owner.

The 9mm Luger is a popular choice due to its balance of recoil, size, and power. It’s manageable for most new shooters, widely available, and is used in a variety of handgun sizes. This caliber allows beginners to practice effectively without being overwhelmed by recoil. 5.56/.223 as well as .22LR are good rifle calibers.

It’s advisable to clean your gun after every use to ensure it operates correctly and safely. If you’re not using your gun frequently, a thorough cleaning and inspection every few months is recommended. Regular maintenance prevents the buildup of residues and corrosion, prolonging the life of your firearm.

Yes, you can purchase a gun online, for example, on gritrsports.com, but it must be shipped to a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder, usually a gun store, where you can pick it up. You’ll need to complete the necessary background checks and paperwork at the FFL, just as if you were buying a gun in a store.

This depends on your comfort level and the intended use of the firearm. Some people prefer the added precaution of the manual safety, especially if they are new to handling guns or if there are children in the home. Others prefer firearms without manual safeties for simpler operation.

Safe gun storage is essential for preventing accidents and unauthorized access. Options include gun safes, lockboxes, and safety locks that prevent the gun from being fired. It’s also advisable to store ammunition separately from the firearm.

The cost of a reliable beginner firearm varies widely, typically ranging from $400 to $800. While it might be tempting to go for a cheaper option, investing in a good-quality firearm from a reputable manufacturer ensures reliability, safety, and a better shooting experience.

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The fit of a gun is determined by how well your hand can grip it, your ability to reach the trigger comfortably, and how natural it feels when aiming. The right gun should feel like an extension of your hand; it shouldn’t feel too heavy or awkward.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”Is it necessary to take a firearms safety course?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”

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The 9mm Luger is a popular choice due to its balance of recoil, size, and power. It’s manageable for most new shooters, widely available, and is used in a variety of handgun sizes. This caliber allows beginners to practice effectively without being overwhelmed by recoil. 5.56/.223 as well as .22LR are good rifle calibers.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”How often should I clean my gun?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”

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The post Beginner’s Arsenal: Best Guns for Novice Shooters appeared first on Blog.GritrSports.com.

Source link: https://blog.gritrsports.com/best-gun-for-beginner/ by Maria Mamchits at blog.gritrsports.com

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