Are These 5 Guns Severely Overrated Or Perfect?

Beretta 92 - 9mm

Beretta 92 - 9mm

Beretta 92 – 9mm

The Beretta 92 is the standard sidearm for most conventional U.S. military forces.  Listed as the M9, it’s an extremely reliable Single Action/Double Action pistol with good magazine capacity and easy maintenance procedures. However, more and more law enforcement agencies are ditching it in favor of striker-fire Glocks and Sig Sauers.  What gives?

The Good:  Reliable.  Good magazine capacity.  Decent factory sights.

The Ugly:  The pistol’s default grips are mediocre.  It’s very barebones all around – but sturdy.

The Bad: Trigger pull is inconsistent between first shot and second due to its SA/DA nature.  This creates a lack of confidence for law enforcement and military – forcing them to either pull back the hammer or risk throwing their aim off.

Glock 19 - 9mm

Glock 19 – 9mm

The Glock 19 is the slightly shorter little brother to the original Glock 17.  This Austrian workhorse has become the quintessential striker-fire duty pistol for law enforcement and security.  Swift, accurate, and it can take a beating.  What’s not to love?

The Good:  The Glock 19 is highly customizeable.  There are a lot of Glock fans and there are a lot of companies who produce accessories and custom parts to turn each person’s Glock into a unique firearms experience.  Stock, it runs like a greyhound at the track.  So no assembly required.

*Yes, we’re aware this is the Glock 17 Gen 3 – not the Glock 19.  Same basic mechanics and definitely similar performance.  Worth a watch!

The Ugly:  It’s often critiqued for its less than visually appealing look.  Call it ugly or call it beautiful, it’s still an amazing firearm.

The Bad:  The only real critique a lot of shooters experience is the default grip – which can be ergonomically uncomfortable for some – and the polymer recoil spring rod.  The latter almost never comes up for the average user.

If you like the Glock 19, you’ll love the conceal carry G26 or G43.  Both are chambered in 9mm and the G26 accepts Glock 19 magazines.  The G43, however, is single stack and extremely slim.

Colt 1911 - .45 ACP

Colt 1911 – .45 ACP

The original Colt 1911 has been around since – you guessed it – 1911.  That let’s you know the difference between it being a passing fad and a legend.  Since it’s early days, it’s been improved upon, restructured, customized, and gotten all sorts of face lifts, tummy tucks, and cosmetic surgery.  It’s still relied upon as one of the most effect, hardcore handguns out on the market today.

The Good:  Because the 1911 has been out so long, there are literally hundreds of thousands of customizable parts available on the market.  Everything from match-grade barrels, springs, and triggers to intricately designed frames so beautiful you’ll want to take it out on a date – the 1911 has it all and still performs par none as stock.

The Ugly:  It’s an original single stack .45 ACP.  Since its inception, plenty of companies like Glock and FNH have improved on magazine capacity and various design elements that clearly out perform the 1911.

The Bad:  Because nearly any manufacturer is allowed to make their own version of the 1911, there are dozens of different brands out on the market.  Some good, some bad – they’re not all the same.

If you like the full-size 1911, a lot of companies – like Kimber – make short frame versions for concealed carry.

CZ-75B - 9mm

CZ-75B – 9mm

CZ USA continues a fantastic lineage of CZ handguns.  They’re intuitive to use, extremely reliable, and able to accurately and smoothly put rounds down range.

The Good: The CZ-75B is an extremely popular, often produced full-size pistol chambered in 9x19mm.  It’s a great choice for a duty pistol or just a full-size home defense gun.

The Bad:  Breakdown.  This is a harder pistol to break down for routine maintenance and the instruction manual that comes with the pistol (if you didn’t buy one used), isn’t very helpful.

The Ugly:  Production finish.  One of the biggest dings against CZ is that they charge full price for a product that’s mechanically sound but aesthetically ugly.  A lot of users have noticed that the finish wears off quickly and doesn’t hold up at all.  The mechanical pieces – however – will likely last a lifetime.

If you like the CZ-75B, check out the CZ P-07.  It’s a much more compact, easy to conceal version with all the same firing capability of the original.

Ruger SP101 Revolver - .357

Ruger SP101 Revolver – .357

The Ruger SP101 is synonymous with a full duty Magnum.  Possibly one of the most reliable, versatile revolvers out on the market – not much has come along to upset it from its well-earned top rankings.  Best of all, it is concealable – something most full-size pistols struggle with.

The Good: Nothing is more reliable than a revolver.  It’s SA/DA, which means you get to select how you want that first round to come out of the chamber.  The SP101 has a smooth frame which slides easily out of holster and back in.

The Ugly:  The revolver grips often need to be changed or upgraded if the shooter wants a more reliable, slip-resistant grip.

The Bad:  Sights on the SP101 are atrocious.  They’re streamlined for fast draw – not for aiming.  It will take some range time for the shooter to acclimate to its front sight post.

No Code Needed
J P Enterprises - Ar-15 Reduced Power Spring Kit

J P Enterprises – Ar-15 Reduced Power Spring Kit

Reduced-power springs provide a 3.5 pound trigger pull when used with J.P. triggers, and a pull of 4.5 to 5 pounds when used with standard trigger components.

No Code Needed

MCM Triggers – AR-15 Tactical BLK Trigger Single Stage 3.5lbs

This Brownells AR-15 Tactical Black Trigger features a flat trigger bow that enhances leverage and gives shooters more control over their trigger press.

$289.99 (Reg. $379.99)
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Smith & Wesson M&p Shield 9mm

Smith & Wesson M&p Shield 9mm

Smith & Wesson’s new M&P SHIELD™ is a slim, concealable, lightweight, striker-fired polymer pistol.  Available in 9mm, the new M&P SHIELD features a slim design combined with the proven and trusted features found in the M&P Pistol Series. From the pistol’s easily concealed one-inch profile to its optimized 18-degree grip angle, the M&P SHIELD offers professional-grade features that provide consumers with simple operation and reliable performance.

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Michael Jenkins is a writer and editor based in Wilmington, North Carolina. He is a lifelong reader, gardener, shooter, and musician. You can reach him at
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I have had the pleasure to own and shoot all of the handguns presented in the article. I cannot; however, place one above the other. A hand gun, pistol or revolver, is different to different people and one may carry any of them according to their personal preferences or carry situations. Currently, I EDC a 1911-based pistol. With that said, I have no qualms of carrying any of the firearms mentioned – and have.


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Ted Hatfield

Admittedly I’m biased because I’ve owned several over the last decade plus, and shot quite more, but I’d take a Springfield XD family pistol over a Glock or a Beretta any day, and so would quite a few of my active ‘tactical buddies’.

I’m just saying …


Agreed, Shoots great right out of the box and very easy to draw and hit a target at 20 feet first shot every time. JMO I think they are much better built and just as reliable as the ever too popular glock.


I hear you, and along with my Glock and our two Berettas, I own a nice XD .45. I’ve carried the XD a lot because I like the idea of the grip safety, but I’ve gone back to my Glock 21 because i”m more accurate with it. That’s not saying there’s anything wrong with my XD, simply that it’s often a matter of the individual shooter and what works best for him/her. My Glock just seems to fit me better.

Ted Hatfield

I fully understand what you’re saying (and it’s the main reason that I strongly push ‘trainees’ into trying out a variety of rental/range guns before making a purchase decision–buying a pistol is a very personal/unique decision and one ‘size’ does NOT fit all).

By virtue solely of 40+ years of rounds fired, I’m actually as or more accurate with a 1911 or an XD .45 than I am with a .40 or 9mm in ANY platform I’ve tried. Go figure, right?



Hey, some people are just .45 types and nothing else will do. 😉

Having said that, I have to confess that I am really pleased with my wife’s PPX 9mm. But i still prefer carrying a .45.


I’d say the first Beretta and Glock are over-rated, the other 3 not so much. The 1911 only if you are specifically speaking of the Colt version, as there are many excellent varieties of the 1911. Just as there are many varieties of the first two which are equally as good if not better in some respects; much of it depends on the individual shooter and on what constitutes best to you.

Albert Nygren

It is clear to me from what I have heard and what I have seen is that THE army SWITCHED FROM THE .45 CALIBER 9-11 TO THE berretta 9 MM BECAUSE WOMENS HANDS WERE SMALLER AND MORE SUITED FOR THE berretta AND THE REDUCED RECOIL OF THE 9 MM WAS MORE TOLLERABLE TO FEMALES. The Berretta 9 mm was the Politically correct gun for the Army to go with. I wonder how many of our Serviceman were killed by Political Correctness!


I would say the switch to 9mm was because that it the caliber that the rest of NATO was using at the time, They sacrificed the performance of the.45 for simplification of logistics. We pretty much bullied NATO into accepting the .223 for rifles. I guess the 9mm was a trade off, maybe? It is still a superb round for a submachine gun. I would not carry a 9mm handgun by choice, however.


The USA switched to 9mm because of standardized logistics with NATO. There weren’t that many women in potential combat roles back when the switch was made. The 1911 is a great gun (I carried a Kimber for almost 2 years of my 2 1/2 in Iraq. The other two I carried were a Browning Hi-Power or Glock 17), but it has a low ammo capacity and very often in a conflict zone you are not going to be taking one shot, it’s going to be a free for all where ammo capacity does matter.

Albert Nygren

Maybe, but why was the NATO round the 9 mm? Also the Berretta was chosen by the US after trials were done. After reading about all the special privileges given to women in the Special Forces, how can anyone say with assurance that that was not also done when the US chose the Berretta? The Berretta has a very narrow grip and easier for female hands to grip.


was the Military anticipating the eventuality of women in combat?


Wow, so off. The grip on the beretta is way way bigger than a single stack 1911. The logic is wrong for women to switch to the beretta.

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For years, I carried either a Ruger Security six, or a 1911. The first time I tried a Glock 21, I bought it, and it’s still the gun I carry nearly everyday. The next problem it gives me will be the first.


Sounds like you and I had very similar backgrounds in guns. My first handgun was a Security Six, and i now carry a 21 every day. Both great guns.


Great minds and all that. I put a Ghost Inc trigger on mine. Made a world of difference.If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


Agreed. I had a 4 pound trigger put in my 21, and I’m really happy with it.

Al Coultas

I like my SW shield and my FNS 9 mm both have been very reliable for me. I love my 357 Ruger Security Six but it is to big and heavy to use as my EDC.


I have no qualms using any of the aforementioned pistols. But a missed bad of the Glock is the trigger; it’s a little long and heavy and I have short-stroked it more than once, but both issues cured when using the right aftermarket connector. The bad of the 1911 is actually a good; one can shop until finding the right one.

John P

I have a Glock, a Beretta, Ruger security-six, and a Dan Wesson my favorite is the Dan Wesson. My carry is the Beretta, I also carry a Ruger P345. My opinion of the Glock is it a waste of money even after some changes, like a Strom Lake match grade stainless barrel. Although my favorite is the Dan Wesson it is too large to be my EDC.


Still love my HK-P30


I have experience with all of these, although just a little with the CZ in Iraq. All great guns. My wife swears by her Beretta, and i love my Glock. I had a 4 pound trigger installed and it is the most reliable and one of the most accurate handguns i own . . . and i own a lot.


I own the CZ, the Ruger and a 1911. I will not own the 92 (or an AR) because I lived with them for much of a 27 year career. I shot a Glock once, but it is an unsafe weapon. I would not carry my 1911 locked and cocked with the safety off or the Ruger with the hammer up. Anytime you load a round in the chamber of a Glock that is what you are doing. Glockfoot is a real thing and then you are lucky if all you shoot is your foot. How many NDs result in death because of the “sure safety” that isn’t?


I have never heard of any instance of an AD of a Glock in the holster. I have carried either a 1911 cocked and locked, or a Glock 21 with one in the chamber nearly every day for more than 20 years without a problem. I have also shot thousands of rounds through my 3 Glocks, and the next mechanical problem I have will be the first.

Albert Nygren

You can buy an expensive plug that is a safety and a trigger lock for the Glock. With this plug behind the trigger the trigger can not be pulled to the rear unless the safety block is pushed out first with the trigger finger.

Some Rabbit

Wait, why is it considered a plus for a revolver to be DA/SA but a negative for a semi-auto? At least the semi-auto switches to SA after the first shot. That first shot DA issue can be overcome with training. And when you got 15 rounds in the mag, you can afford to miss with the first shot for a flurry of accurate follow ups.

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Last edited 6 months ago by John Cornwell