“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”- Charles Dickens
We’ve never lived in better times, ladies and gentlemen. In the four and one half decades I have been on this planet, I have witnessed the market for reliable handguns go through the proverbial roof. In that short amount of time, we went from a good crop of revolvers, and only a few select semi-automatic pistols, that were reliable for duty use, to the pile in the picture. And that pile leaves out a great number of designs that fit the bill.
I can remember as a kid that if you wanted a reliable defensive handgun, you picked up a Smith and Wesson K frame, or a Colt Trooper MKIII. There were a few semi-automatic designs, but most had to be worked over to be usable. The Smith M39, Browning P35, or a M1911 were about the only three that were in my world before the “wonder nine” boom. In gun magazines, I saw the P7, CZ variants, and a few other designs of the time.
The “wonder nine” boom brought us Glocks, SIG Sauer (early branding as the Browning BDA in the US), HK USP, and Berettas. So many choices. And in the last 10 years we’ve witnessed the HK P30, HK VP9, SIG P320, Smith M&P and more.
Today, we seem as a community to be almost obsessed with picking the “best” of the current litter. We seem to spend a lot of time hand wringing if purchasing this pistol will give us “brass to the face” or “barn door accuracy”. And through this hand wringing, we seem to lose it somewhere to the point that we forget that we do live in great times. There are more good reliable choices than ever. There is truly something for everyone.
Enjoy these times, gents. Get out and train. And God Bless America!