If you don’t already own any surplus handguns, you should. They are awesome pieces of history and, in many cases, good options for carry guns, too. You can choose to focus on a country, a caliber, an action type, or any number of other themes. And yes, “all of them” counts as a theme.
This could be an endless list, but here’s five to get you started:
Cue the “two world wars” fan boys here. Just kidding. Often hailed as John Moses Browning’s crowning achievement, the 1911 is a workhorse. There’s a reason that the Model 1911 pistol holds the record as the longest serving US sidearm, with a service record of 74 years. In fact, it’s still being used by special troops to this day. Prices are going up, so grab one now.
Another solid Browning design, though not completely his own, is the Hi-Power. Essentially an “improvement” on the 1911 by utilizing a double-stack magazine to hold 13 rounds of 9mm, this pistol has been copied by multiple companies and adopted by many countries throughout the world. “Name brand” ones aren’t getting any cheaper, but plenty of the officially-licensed ones are still very affordable.
.38 Special Revolver
This one’s a little amorphous, since there’s no exact make or model here, just an action type and caliber. However, common ones would be from Smith & Wesson and Colt. Both made a number of great revolvers in different models, frame sizes, and barrel lengths, that were used during both world wars and by police departments around the world for decades. Because of the tremendous variety in surplus .38 Special revolvers, you can find them at an affordable price point if you’re patient and diligent in your search.
Aside from the 1911, the Luger P08 might be the next most iconic pistol when someone thinks of surplus handguns. There’s a fair amount of collector variety available with this gun, and none of them are getting any cheaper. If you want one for your collection, I’d act sooner rather than later.
If you’re looking for a double-stack pistol that’s built to withstand anything you can throw at it, as is in use by multiple military and law enforcement agencies across the world, look no further than the Sig P226. It’s available in a handful of different calibers and a wide variety of sub variants, so there’s bound to be one to fit your needs. A lot of police department trade-ins are available on the market, and you can usually find one for a decent price.
Whichever surplus handgun you choose to buy first (or next), one thing’s for sure: if it’s one of the guns on this list, you can’t go wrong.
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