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View Poll Results: What qualities matter the most in a handgun? Pick your top three.
Weight 17 10.69%
Concealment 14 8.81%
Caliber 42 26.42%
Ammunition Capacity 8 5.03%
Reliability 143 89.94%
Accuracy 80 50.31%
Durability 59 37.11%
Looks 8 5.03%
Other (please specify) 19 11.95%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 159. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 3, 2014, 10:33 PM   #1
ATN082268
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What qualities matter the most in a handgun?

What qualities matter the most in a handgun? Pick your top three.
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Old April 3, 2014, 10:48 PM   #2
Revolvernut
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Are we counting reliability? Because that would be a BIG number 1

Otherwise
1. Sights
2. Trigger
3. Grip
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Old April 3, 2014, 10:55 PM   #3
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1. Reliability
2. Ergonomics
3. Ease of Maintenance
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Old April 3, 2014, 11:42 PM   #4
chris in va
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I carry a gun I can shoot well. Those little mouse guns just don't cut it for me.
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Old April 4, 2014, 03:45 AM   #5
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I voted "other". For me is the safeties setup: I prefere DA/SA pistols with decocker-only and firing pin internal safety (HK P30/P2000, Walther P99 AS, SIG-Sauer P226/229/239/232, Beretta Px4 Storm G, CZ P-01/P-07 and so on).
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Old April 4, 2014, 07:39 AM   #6
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OTHER would be "FIT" as in how it fits my individual hand.
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Old April 4, 2014, 07:46 AM   #7
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So far I'm the only person who voted for "looks". That's right, I judge a gun based on the quality of its fit, finish, design, and condition. I look in the chamber. I look at the bore. I look at the metal surfaces (if its metal). I look at the slide to frame fit. I look for unwanted play. I look for signs of stress, abuse or misuse.

If I like the way a gun looks, then I will go on to the other things. If I don't like how it looks, for any reason, then I move on. Well, there has been one exception - when I bought my Glock 17, I had to wear dark glasses so as not to be turned away by its ugliness.
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Old April 4, 2014, 10:23 AM   #8
biohazard313
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1. reliability - if i cannot trust the gun to fire everytime i pull the trigger. i will not carry it

2. ergos - must fit my hand well

3. mag capacity - the more the better, yet still small enough to conceal or open carry
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Old April 4, 2014, 11:29 AM   #9
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It is very dependent on purpose of the handgun in question. Not everybody is CCW only oriented, some of us like a wide variety of shooting sports.
So where CCW weight and concealment are important for bullseye competition they go way down the list. Likewise hunting certain game may be very caliber dependent, where as plinking tin cans caliber means nada.
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Old April 4, 2014, 01:23 PM   #10
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Reliability, accuracy, and other (ergonomics).
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Old April 4, 2014, 01:55 PM   #11
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Without regard to purpose:
1. Accuracy
2. Reliability
3. Looks.

My Range pistol:
1. Accuracy
2. Ergonomics
3. Reliability

My CC Pistol:
1. Reliability
2. Concealment
3. Accuracy
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Old April 4, 2014, 02:10 PM   #12
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At first, I couldn't come up with an answer... because I use a number of different handguns for different "needs." However, in thinking about it more...

I can't really fall in love with a handgun that doesn't work at least "ALMOST" all the time. I wouldn't get rid of a fun gun if it had an occasional bobble, but I also couldn't fall in love with a gun that MALFs all the time. So I picked "reliability" as #1, however, different NEEDS also make for different levels of acceptance.

I picked "accuracy" as #2, because guns that won't print a decent group consistently are incredibly annoying and no fun in my world. Again, though, I will accept different levels of accuracy depending on the role of the handgun. My GSG 1911-22 is a fine example. I will never, EVER replicate the shooting I can do with my Ruger KMK-512 with the GSG 1911-22 in my hands. Can't do it. But I still have a rip of a time rolling empty 12ga hulls with the GSG. It puts a smile on my face, it's got a great spot in my world.

I picked "caliber" for #3, but honestly... my #3 choice could change every few minutes. I picked caliber because I'm truly not interested if brass or component bullet selection is going to cause me headaches, so it is a determining factor in gun shopping. Example: I love Smith & Wesson revolvers and a Model 53 is a neat footnote in history. If I found one for a good price... I'd probably still have no interest in buying it, even though I will stare at them for a good long while any time I see one. Why? Because dinking around with .22 Jet is on a very specific list of "crap I don't want to bother myself with."
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Old April 4, 2014, 02:11 PM   #13
Sevens
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Some good options in this poll. "looks" are a huge one for me, I have no problem admitting it! In fact, they drive my feelings far more than they probably do for a lot of gun owners. I can list many examples in my own, and how they hit me:
Coonan, Tanfoglio Elite Match, Springfield Loaded Stainless

I have each of these and I am deeply in love with all of them. The Coonan isn't like anything else in the world and for a dozen reasons, it hits all my happy switches. Sometimes when I can't sleep and I need to clear out crap from my head to fall asleep... I think about taking the firing line with my Coonan. (true story) However, the monolith frame is UGLY. I wanna chop it off.

My Tanfoglio was a purchase that made me look like a genius. Got almost 4,000 rounds through it and the pistol just blows me away. I also like the two-tone. But the tac-rail on it turns my stomach. And the gun will not photograph well, it looks even worse in any picture than it does in my hand. I want to give it to a Hollywood makeup artist for a weekend. As a shooter, my awesome life IMPROVES with each range trip!

Springer Loaded Stainless. Got a good deal on this and it's a fun gun to shoot. If I ever meet the man who put forward serrations on this gun, and/or his boss that rubber-stamped the idea, I'm going to kick two guys in the yamsack. They willfully made a fine pistol look like that rear-end of a charging rhino. I'm physically angry when I see the muzzle end of a fun handgun in my collection.

This is a fun topic.
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Old April 4, 2014, 03:26 PM   #14
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Sevens after reading your response and thinking I can agree for a large part that reliability and accuracy are 1 and 2 because I lose interest even real accurate guns if they don't run near 100%, likewise no matter how reliable it is it's gone if it's not at least somewhat accurate.
Ergonomics is probably gets the next most canadates eliminated, if it don't fit.
I'll also admit that looks plays a roll.
Another factor that has gotten me to spend a lot of $$$$ is historical place/ enginering achievement.
Military service and milestones in development are pleasing for me.
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My handguns are are for one purpose only, though...
The starter gun on the "Fat man's mad dash tactical retreat."
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Old April 4, 2014, 09:16 PM   #15
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Caliber

Accuracy

Other: Ergonomics

Not necessarily in that order. Concerning reliability. If it is not reliable, I will not own it so I did not check that box.
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Old April 5, 2014, 07:19 AM   #16
wayneinFL
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As others have said, it's difficult to answer, because we're looking for different attributes depending upon the purpose of the firearm. Hunting competition, carry, even different methods of carry often require different attributes.

That said, serviceability should be in the list as well. If I buy a handgun that will get dirty, I want to be able to detail strip it with minimal tools. Love my Glocks and 1911s for that reason.
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Old April 5, 2014, 10:36 AM   #17
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Accuracy (obviously)
if its not accurate enough, its no better than a rock. Maybe less so, depending on the rock.

Caliber and Other

I have a different set of priorities on what matters most in a handgun, one that varies with the intended use of the gun.

What is important to me (and in what order) is different for a .22 Sport pistol than it is for a CCW, or for a handgun I'm going to use to take 4 legged critters in the 200lb+ range...
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Old April 5, 2014, 10:49 AM   #18
lee n. field
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Quote:
What qualities matter the most in a handgun? Pick your top three.
"Point, Click, Bang."

it must be able to do these things when required, and not do them when not.

So, most important is:

Accuracy, Reliability, Safety.


Safety considered here as both human factors and mechanical soundness.
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Old April 5, 2014, 01:37 PM   #19
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1.

Last edited by Khromo; April 6, 2014 at 05:28 PM.
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Old April 5, 2014, 02:53 PM   #20
EvgeniBG
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Quote (Khromo):
1. Reliability. It has to work.
2. Caliber. The ammo has to be suited to the task.
3. Compatibility with the shooter. The shooter needs to be able to use the gun effectively. (End of quote).

My words and thoughts exactly! Nothing more to say!
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Old April 5, 2014, 08:52 PM   #21
2123
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Caliber (the one I'm looking for)

Reputation (a well-known manufacturer)

Overall size (physical)


When it comes to ergonomics, I adapt to the gun, the gun doesn't need to adapt to me. I learned all about that while serving in the military.

It's not the gun in hand that assures any measure of accuracy, but rather, the hand on the gun.

Last edited by 2123; April 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM.
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Old April 5, 2014, 09:06 PM   #22
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Accuracy and reliability were my top 2, I equate reliability with durability so that was out as my 3rd choice and then I struggled because after the first 2, it starts to depend upon the intended use. I ended up voting caliber, because sometimes a .380, .32...etc won't cut it, or they am be totally appropriate if the alternative is a rock or a sharp stick. Fit makes sense as others have mentioned, and a low bore axis makes for more rapid follow up shots, so that may be my "other."
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Old April 5, 2014, 11:18 PM   #23
wayneinFL
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Quote:
I equate reliability with durability
I don't. You can have a gun that only feeds ball and is unreliable with hollowpoints. That doesn't mean it won't last forever.
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Old April 6, 2014, 08:21 AM   #24
HKFan9
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none of the others really matter unless the gun is reliable.
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Old April 6, 2014, 12:04 PM   #25
uradaisyifudo
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wayneinFL, all I am saying is that if a gun breaks because it is not durable, it isn't very reliable either. I will agree that an unreliable gun could be very durable and last forever.
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