Gun enthusiasts prefer using handguns for recreational shooting as they can be more convenient to handle. And while there are many firearm manufacturers worldwide, a few stand out because of their solid reputation for making quality handguns.
The rest of this article will discuss each manufacturer in detail and provide a table comparing the strengths and weaknesses of different handguns on this list. Let’s dive in!
Here are the 12 best quality handgun manufacturers:
Since 1982, Glock has been producing high-quality handguns known for their durability and reliability.
The company was founded in 1963 by Austrian native Gaston Glock who initially manufactured plastic door handles. Glock eventually moved on to making knife blades and finally started manufacturing handguns.
One of the reasons behind the Glock’s success is its simplicity. Most other handguns are highly-customizable with various attachments, but Glock handguns are built for easy handling.
For starters, the trigger mechanism of a Glock pistol doesn’t need to be cocked for you to fire. As long as the magazine is loaded and there’s at least one bullet in the chamber, pressing the trigger will fire the shot.
The G23 Gen4 9mm pistol is a popular handgun model made by Glock and is used by law enforcement agencies around the world. This particular firearm comes with two 13-round or 10-round magazines, making it great for an extended shooting session at the range or when hunting small game.
2. Smith and Wesson
Smith and Wesson was founded in Massachusetts back in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson, who were initially selling firearms to the government.
The company made its mark when revolvers were popular in the Old West, with guns like the Model 29, which is still used today for hunting and sports purposes.
Smith and Wesson have continued to innovate since their inception, developing various safety features, like a handgun-grip safety. In addition to handguns, S&W also manufactures bigger guns like rifles and shotguns that are used for sport or self-defense.
The M&P Shield 9mm pistol is one of their most popular models due to its lightweight design. Thanks to its build, you can take it with you on hikes without it weighing you down too much.
Additionally, the foolproof features on this model ensure that carrying the gun around doesn’t compromise your safety.
3. Sig Sauer
In 1853, a German watchmaker, Friedrich Peyer IM Hof, and a Swiss nobleman, Emmanuel Huot, founded the predecessor company to Sig Sauer. In 1916, their company began producing Luger handguns under license from Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken.
It wasn’t until 1985 that the company was split up, with one half going to Germany and the other moving to Switzerland.
The faction in Switzerland became known as Swiss Arms, while the part that moved to Germany went on to become Sig Sauer Inc., which makes high-quality guns for law-enforcement agencies across Europe.
The U.S. Navy SEALs are an example of an operational force that has used Sig Sauer firearms. In fact, the Navy Seals used the Sig Sauer P226 up until 2015, when they switched to the Glock 19.
This company was founded in 1949 by American firearms inventor William Batterman Ruger.
Since its inception, Ruger has made several notable contributions to the firearms industry. One such innovation is the first .22 LR pistol that operates via straight blowback rather than locking-breech operation.
This design makes it easier for shooters to use their handguns without worrying about complex mechanisms getting in the way of hunting or target practice.
SR1911 is one of Ruger’s more popular models and comes with an adjustable rear sight and Novak three-dot front sight. Additionally, the aluminum chassis makes this gun a lightweight option for those looking to carry a firearm without too much trouble.
Beretta was founded in Italy back in 1526 by Bartolomeo Beretta, who initially produced flintlocks for the hunting market. The Beretta company name has stuck ever since and is well-known today as one of the most reliable handguns on the market.
One popular model considered an immense success is the Beretta M92 used as a sidearm by the U.S. Military. In production since the 1980s, the M92 can hold up to seventeen rounds, which can be extended to thirty-five if necessary.
When purchased with a standard 15-round magazine, the Beretta M92 is a portable handgun with a shorter length and reduced weight. The design and specs give you a lightweight firearm with similar firepower to the other, more powerful handguns on this list.
Founded back in 1855 by Samuel Colt, this company has gained popularity over the years for providing handguns to various militaries worldwide.
The M1991 A1 is one of the newer models produced by Colt, and it can be easily distinguished from other handguns due to its bulkier size.
These features make it a popular option for those who wish to have a pistol that functions smoothly but doesn’t require extensive training to operate.
7. Springfield Armory
This company was founded back in 1777 as a musket manufacturer but eventually went on to supply rifles and pistols to the U.S. Armed Forces.
The company, now known as Springfield Armory Incorporated, has been renowned over the years for producing high-quality handguns at affordable prices.
As a result of their experience and innovative designs, Springfield Armory is a popular choice for those looking for advanced firearms with a lower price tag.
In addition, several law enforcement agencies across the U.S. have used Springfield Armory handguns for years. If you’re looking to add a solid handgun to your collection, this is a company you can trust.
One of their more reliable handguns is the Loaded Full-Size M1911, which features an ergonomic grip and ambidextrous thumb safety. Additionally, this gun has been designed to make it easy to use for shooters of all experience levels.
Kimber was started back in 1979 by two former executives who wanted to bring affordable, high-quality handguns to the civilian market. Today they have a wide range of choices for those looking to buy a reliable handgun from a company with an excellent reputation.
A popular handgun made by Kimber is the Ultra Carry II, featuring a lightweight aluminum construction and Novak three-dot sights.
This company sells its products at competitive prices without sacrificing quality, making them an excellent choice for those looking for reliable handguns at affordable prices.
9. Heckler and Koch
This German manufacturer was established back in 1949 as an exporter of firearms, and they’ve continued the tradition to this day. Heckler and Koch have specialized in the export of guns, vehicle parts, and anti-tank weapon systems over the years.
Their pistols are up to the Heckler and Koch standards and feature unique designs such as polygonal rifling and interchangeable grip panels so users can adjust them if needed.
This American manufacturer has been around since 1919 and was initially known as the Mossberg Rifle Company.
Thanks to their extensive experience in the industry, they’ve taken the time to refine their guns and turn them into what they are today — highly-reputable firearms that anyone can use.
Mossberg handguns come with ambidextrous thumb safeties and an ergonomic grip for superior handling, which is an advantage at both target practice and live-fire scenarios. Additionally, they help improve accuracy and handling due to their precision engineering.
Handguns produced by Mossberg include the 930 JM Pro Series and the M590, both of which feature an impressive design that’s both reliable and easy to use.
Remington has been around since the 1800s and is a company known worldwide for producing high-quality firearms (including shotguns and rifles). The company has had plenty of time in the industry to hone its craft, turning it into one of the most respected firearms manufacturers in the world.
If you’re looking for a handgun you want to trust with your life, Remington is the one.
Some popular models include the 1911 R1 Carry Commander and 870 Express Tactical Magpump. Both models are manufactured with superior materials and feature impressive design innovations that make them comfortable to use.
This Brazilian company was founded back in 1941 and has since grown to become a successful firearms manufacturer worldwide.
Taurus handguns have design features like polymer frames and rubber grips, making them comfortable for use and reliable no matter what situation you find yourself in.
Some of their more popular guns include the PT 24/7 Pro and Millennium G2, both manufactured using high-quality material in an ergonomic design for easy accessibility while shooting.
Choose Your Weapon Wisely
While this list is full of top-tier firearm manufacturers, the weapon of your choice will depend on the situation you’re in and your need for a handgun.
A handgun for hunting will differ significantly from one used for self-defense. To help you make the right choice, here’s a table comparing the strengths and weaknesses of the handguns manufactured by these companies. Assess your needs and select one accordingly.
|Handgun Manufacturer||Strengths||Weaknesses||Overall Quality Rating|
|Small, hard-to-press magazine releaseProne to limp wrist||9.5/10|
|Smith and Wesson||Reliable|
|Some triggers like the one on the M&P Shield feel heavy||9.0/10|
|Magazine rattles Holsters aren’t reliable||8.5/10|
Easy to use
|Some products, like the M9, are hard to concealExpensiveOpen slide lets in dirt and dust||8.0/10|
Easy to use
|Some models have an annoying muzzle flip|
|Gun parts that tend to break||8.0/10|
|Heckler and Koch||Reliable|
|Some models, such as the VP9, store fewer rounds than its competitors||8.0/10|
Easy to handle
Who Makes the Most Reliable Handgun?
Glock makes the most reliable handgun. Their handguns have a foolproof safety mechanism with a design that’s been proven to work over the years. Glock users rarely experience jams or misfires when using their firearm.
With a Glock, you can keep firing until your magazine is empty without worrying about it jamming up.
Who Makes the Most Affordable Quality Handgun?
Taurus makes the most affordable quality handgun. Inexpensive Taurus handguns include the PT111 G2 and PT92 models, which cost under $500, come with a high-quality build, and are extremely reliable.
Most notably, the PT92 shares a striking resemblance with the Beretta 92FS but is about half the price. These lower prices make Taurus handguns a more practical choice if you want a high-quality firearm but can’t afford one.
Who Makes the Handgun Most Often Used by the Military?
Sig Sauer makes the handgun most often used by the military. A few popular examples of firearms manufactured by Sig Sauer include the P226 and P320, both of which are used by armed forces worldwide.
The P226 handgun has a design that is simple to use and set up, while the P320 weapons system can be accessorized with aftermarket grips, lights, and other widgets. Overall, these handguns are an affordable choice for military personnel who need a solid firearm at an economical rate.
Pro Tip: Before buying a handgun, ensure you consider the following:
- Your budget
- The relevant state and federal laws
- The amount you plan to spend each year on gun accessories (such as ammunition, carrying case, and cleaning kits)
- The kind of accuracy you want out of your firearm
- The recoil action you’re comfortable with while firing
Additionally, if you’re looking for quality earmuffs to use during shooting practice, I’d recommend these Ear Muffs from Amazon. They’re light, compact, and provide adequate protection for your ears, making them a worthwhile investment.
For more, check out How To Choose the Best Gun To Buy (Based on Your Needs).
Hey, I’m Jim, and I’m the author of this website. I have been teaching people a wide variety of survivalism topics for over five years and have a lifetime of experience fishing, camping, general survivalism, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!