Heath's Top 4 Picks Saga: Part 1 - Semi-Auto Handguns

I will be starting a 5 part series of my top 4 favorites firearms in each modern gun category. For part 1 we will be focusing on the Semi-Automatic handgun, but first a brief history lesson. Probably the first most noticeable design came from a firearms designer by the name of Georg Luger. This of course is argued as to whether he invented the firearm or stole the design. The Luger is a legendary piece of firearms history with it's "toggle locked recoil operated" design the Luger was very ahead of it's time and because of it's complicated design the gun did not gain popularity until use by the German military. However contrary to popular belief the Luger was not carried by most German officers in WWII. By this time the Luger was out dated and was replace primarily by the Walther PPK and P38.In the United States however John Browning would change the world of handguns forever with his design of the Colt 1911 .45 ACP.

Coming in 4th would be the Beretta 92FS. This gun has seen a lot of action and is still used by our military today in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Beretta with it's open chamber design is a reliable handgun, being capable of countless rounds being ran through it without hiccups. The Beretta has probably one of the smoothest actions I have ever encountered in a semi-auto. Right out of the box you instantly feel the quality of the gun as you grip the steel.
Beretta 92FS

Third on my list would be the CZ-75. The CZ-75 surprisingly has not gained the popularity in the United States like the Beretta has. This is due to not knowing much about the CZ company I believe which I think could be quite a loss if you are looking for the perfect handgun which the CZ-75 is often referred to as. The CZ is battle tested and reliable. I like to think of it as the Ak-47 of handguns. It has been issued to more police and military throughout the world than any other handgun in existence, even over the Glock Pistol. The CZ-75 is based off the Browning Hi-Power design with it's smaller slide on the upper part of the gun. Out of all the guns I will mention in part 1 the CZ-75 is the least expensive, coming in somewhere around $500 to $600. The CZ is much of a pleasure to shoot.  The design almost feels as if it was custom molded to your hand right out of the box.

Second, would be the legendary Sig Saur P226. This gun is a favorite among the Navy Seals. The Sig has a rich history of protecting elite soldiers and law enforcement alike. The Secret Service and US Marshals are known to be very found of the gun. The Sig Saur is quickly dismissed by those who are not aware of the way the gun is made and the process in "breaking the gun in." Sigs use a special recoil spring that requires you to fire at least 250 rounds in order for it to start functioning perfectly. I like to compare it to a pair of high quality boots. Though they may be very uncomfortable the first few weeks on your feet, after breaking the boots in they will be a pair that will last you a lifetime and fit your feet unlike any other "new" boot. Same goes for the Sig Saur, I would ask that you not get discouraged with the gun if it jams right out of the box. Fire a few hundred round through the gun so that it may be broken in and it will last you a lifetime.
Sig Saur P226

Last, but not least, in the number 1 spot, I would like to present to you the Browning Hi-Power. Based off the 1911 design, also designed by John Browning, the Hi-power is a masterpiece of firearm ingenuity. It was John Browning's last design before his death in 1926. The Browning Hi-Power is possibly, in my opinion, the most pleasurable shooting handgun in existence. From the moment the first round exits the muzzle you feel the history of the Browning Arms Company run through your veins. As Browning states, it's simply "The Best There Is". The sheer accuracy and engineering of the gun is felt just from visually laying eyes on it's almost jeweled blue finish.
Browning Hi-Power

This concludes my picks of my top 4 favorite hand guns of all time.  Be sure to check back soon when I pick my top 4 Bolt Action Rifles.

Heath Ezell
Firearms Associate

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