I get asked this question on a daily basis so I figured it would be good to compile a list to share with everybody else.
This one is tough for me and I probably don’t own my favorite. I do share with people that my conceal carry is a Beretta Nano. Not a super popular 8 rounder on the market today, but back then they were the leader in Anti-Snag design.
Of the ones I have shot and recommend, here’s the list –
- Glock 43 ($450)
- Springfield Hellcat ($528)
- Sig P365 ($499)
Should you be proficient shooting your CC? Yes. Should it be extremely comfortable putting a bunch of rounds down range? NO. There’s a lot of variables that go into all 3 and maybe I will post a separate review down the road.
Personally I don’t like any mass produced AR-15s in their stock format. If somebody wants a middle of the road AR and don’t plan on making upgrades to it, I tend to recommend Battle Arms Development Workhourse, Zev Technologies or Springfield Saints. Both are going to land around the $1,000-$1,100 mark.
On the higher end it comes down to Wilson Combat, Daniel Defense, and Geissele. There’s a few fringe manufactures out there with some additional options, but if somebody wants to drop between $1,500-$2,500, those are going to be my reccommendations.
My go to response for recommending AR-15s are either going to be, lets build one together. For about $800-$900, we can take a lesser expensive AR or build one completely from scratch that will typically be a better solution than the $1,000-$1,100 range options. It’s also unique to you, and you likely won’t be matching anybody else at the range. Here’s a build I just completed for a customer.
There were a few items he wanted to add that increased the typical cost, but this is an AR-15 Pistol in 5.56 with a 9.5″ barrel.
Remington 700 ABL with a Magpul Stock in .308 caliber. Most hunters in Texas are after Whitetail and a majority of those shots will be between 100-200yds. This rifle is extremely effective at that range, ammo is inexpensive and typically easy to find. Grab a box of 150gr soft points and hit the field.
For those looking to change it up a little or wanting to stretch out the distance without breaking the bank, my next go to is either the Savage 110 or Ruger American in 6.5 Creedmoor. Just make sure you pick up a box of 147gr Hornady ELD-X or 140gr S&B Soft Points. The 6.5 Creedmoor gets a bad rap for not bringing animals down. That’s typically due to hunters using Match ammo rather than Hunting ammo.
For those looking to take bigger game, add to their collection, or simply burn some Benjamin’s I am always going to lean towards Weatherby Mark V’s. Yes, there are some great, newer, manufactures out there. But, how many of those also created their own cartridges. Specifically the ones that go really fast – 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum and the 30-378 Weatherby Magnum. I am not saying these are the the best hunting rifles due to their speed, but once again you probably aren’t going to show up to hunting camp with the same setup as somebody else. Unless you hunt with me and some of my friends. For fun, ask the guy behind the gun counter if you can take a look at something in either of those cartridges on your next trip to a big box retailer.
Lets talk about Pistols, well the ones without hammers. They get their own section. I am just going to start throwing these out there in no particular order. You see, there are Glock guys and Anti-Glock guys. For the Glock guys its probably going to be the
- And my favorite G20
For the non Glock Guys, there’s lots of options out there.
- Sig P320
- Walther PDP
- FN 509
- H&K VP9
- Shadow Systems DR920
- Zev Technologies OZ9 Elite
I know, you could probably throw those last two into the Gucci Glock category
Pistols – Hammer-Fired
For this section, I am gonna leave the Double Action Only pistols out of it and focus on the 1911.
- Colt Government
- Sig STX
- Springfield Range Officer
Stepping it up to the next level
- Wilson Combat CQB
- Staccato XL or any of the older STI models.
- Colt Gold Cup
- Nighthawk Customs
- Les Baer
- Ed Brown
To be clear, I love 1911s and I love working on them. With that being said, I will likely never own any in the 2nd category unless it was a gift. Bring in a 70s or 80s Colt and I will be happy to take that off your hands any day.
In my opinion, theres really only 2 x 22s out there. Rifle wise its the Ruger 10/22 Takedown and for pistols the Mark IV. I know, theres a ton of other options out there. I own a Rossi because I made a bad decision and bought a case of 22 Magnums that wouldn’t sell and really wanted to know what they would be like to shoot. Every single person in America should own a 10/22 and a Mark IV. That is probably why they are so hard to find these days.