My Top 3 Interesting Handguns

I’ve a rather short list of handguns that are of interest to me, at the moment.  Perhaps the fascination will pass on these, but the Want Factor has been quite high all year so far.

1.  The Walther PPQ M2 5″.
The P99 I reviewed for Concealed Carry Magazine really impressed me, overall. But a couple things that irritated me to one degree or another on the P99 was removed or fixed in the PPQ.  Namely the mag release and the decocker button on the top of the slide.  The PPQ retains everything good about the P99, just cleaned up.  Like a Subaru WRX without the Spoiler and Hood Nostril.  Talking to some other guys about the PPQ, such as Jon Hodoway from Nighthawk Custom Training… it’s quietly becoming a favorite in the class of Polyframed Striker Fired pistols.

2.  The SIG M11-A1.
This is basically a reintroduction of the  very excellent SIG P228… Which is what SIG is now calling the 229… but the 229 has rails.  Don’t try to figure it out – it’s SIG and they just do things like that.  But it takes nothing away from the M11A1… Which is an excellent pistol and one that’s been on my mind more and more lately.  Slightly shorter than the full sized 226, the M11A1 comes home to that “Just Right” size for me.  For EDC work both Open or Concealed, this gun can get it done.  And has been getting it done under the 228 tag for a long time.  I had a 228 that I used as a backup gun for some time and it was quiet excellent.  I did have some problems with the trigger return spring, but that was an easy fix and it never troubled me again.  I miss that gun.  This is it’s resurrection.

3.  The Ruger Super Blackhawk, 4 5/8″, .44 Magnum.
Nothing quite says “You’re Doomed” like thumbcocking back the hammer on an accurate and powerful single action revolver.  I’m more fond of the western style revolvers than I am the more “modern” double action types.  There’s something about the classic heritage of the breed that is both fascinating and just… I don’t know how to say it… “The way it should be”.  Especially when dealing with full potency magnum loads.  The only thing I’d do to this gun would be to get a Gold Bead front sight put in.  That’s it.  The reason I picked this over the Vaquero… the sights… the magnum frame… and a grip that fits my hand better.  The Vaquero felt too small to me.  Nice, but too small.  That and with the Blackhawks I can really place my shots.  For me, that’s a requirement with a gun with only a few rounds in it.  The shorter barrel looks properly handsome as well.    If I was in a rural area again where Open Carry didn’t even cause folks to look twice – That’s what I’d be packing most of the time I think.  (Along with a Truck Gun in the same caliber… Such as a Rossi 92 20″)

7 thoughts on “My Top 3 Interesting Handguns”

  1. Long passed time to get the Superblackhawk out and send some full power Remingtons down range. Geoff Who notes stress relief is always welcome.

  2. I wonder if the rail was deleted from the M11A1 because the “lawyer allergy” some departments have developed toward lights and lasers on hand guns. Geoff Who has not experimented with the Laser enough.

    1. I think it more along the lines of the M11-A1 being more of a concealment gun and a rail isn’t needed… and to make a visible difference between it and the new version of the 229. Which is pretty much a 228.

  3. M11 is the US military designation for the issue P228. I’m not certain what changed to make this an A1 version or why they don’t just call it a P228.

    1. Because of MARKETING.
      You see, for reasons I can not begin to fathom… the P228 was never a commercial success in the US. It was discontinued due to a lack of sales, then after some time, brought back again, and then discontinued again. Because of flat sales.
      There’s the thing though – it was the better gun than the 229. Which is why the new 229 is really a 228 with a rail. And the M11A1 is just the new 228 again, without the rail. Because SIG figured out how to make the .40 cal work just fine in the 228… Remember the 229 was engineered specifically for the .40.
      The M11-A1 designation makes it a commercial winner because US Shooters have a hard-on for Military guns. And the A1 Designation means “New and Improved” in Mil-Speak.

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