Which manufacturer produces the best all around handgun?
The tendency is to go on a long diatribe about opinions and options and that all valid because frankly there is no way to really qualify a single handgun as the best of all! I have been fortunate enough to have handled fired operated and owned a vast variety of handguns over the years and many are excellent choices - ALL when they be the only choice. The first thing to understand about guns is the power they represent in life-and-death and for this reason the gun is one of the single greatest reasons for the transformation of civilization from rule by Monarchs with relatively small bands of roving killers highly trained in the use of edged weapons to one where every person has a voice. Unfortunately thanks to a long period of general peace for developed nations this truth has been forgotten by many amplified by the devious interests of government agenda. So perhaps we should establish some parameters for best. In today world it should probably inlcude Ease and speed of manufacture Precision of parts Assembly without fitting of any kind or minimal fitting Advance materials to reduce weight improve strength and longevity Ability to be user serviced in terms of parts replacement Capacity Safety Reliable function Speed of loading Caliber sufficient The list above rules out revolvers - ALL revolvers. Remember the question is what ONE handgun is best and revolvers can be it. Revolvers have advanced somewhat and even have polymer frames but this is more for cost-cutting rather than any material improvement since there are alloy frame revolvers that are still lighter than polymer. Revolvers demand some degree of fitting after some amount ofplex machining. Revolvers are still slower to load (unless your Jerry Miculek) must be unloaded and can be unable to fire simply due to a misstep in the process. Revolvers larger than small-framed tend to be too bulky for reasonable concealment without adding layers of clothing. While they have a reason for being revolvers simply can be best. Single-shots are also out. The reasons should be obvious. This leaves semiautomatic pistols. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING made before 198 is out. Why? Because though some designs before that were really good in their day that day is long past. Again many will claim some mythological property or legacy factor but when considering all criteria older designs are out. This doesn mean nobody can or should own one nor that they are very good or even very VERY good or even super-duper! But they simply cannot be best. This removes the Browning Hi-Power the Walther P38 and all other P series. It also tosses the vaunted and very wonderful reliable potent 1911. WHY? You question. Well look at the criteria. All these guns are either moreplex than needed by modern standards more involved to manufacture and DEMAND fitting during assembly or changing of most parts. Other than the Hi-Power they are also of limited capacity and heavy for caliber or power delivery. The Beretta M92 was obsolete before it was adopted by the Army. But it has some good points. DA function though the DA travel is LoooooNG and heavy. It holds a lot of bullets (at the price of a large grip) italic and can be quickly loaded. But it still in need of fitment during manufacture. It close but no cigar. With the introduction of the Glock the world of auto pistols changed forever. Those not alive when it happened have no concept of the remarkable design that was Glock and the speed with which it swept away all before it. This cannot be overstated nor undervalued. Glock didn invent so much new as he brought together many new ideas and melded them together with his own inventions. The Glock used a polymer frame with radically TINY rail pads that defied all previous ideas about slides and rails! This reduced slide travel friction to nearly nothing with virtually no potential for slide binding or galling due to excessive metal-to-metal movement with heat. Using a sturdy but skeletonized locking block Glock brought all the locking functions into the core. No s no ramps no bushings. The hardened steel block nestled in the polymer frame the barrel bottom lug moved up and down over super-slick angled surface as it moved fore an aft with no strain on a . The upper locking block snaps solidly into a large squared slide opening in the slide ejection port - simple yet super-strong and when the slide is retracted and the pistol unlocks it goes from tight topletely loose - again the perfect transition for an automatically cycling pistol. Compare to the 1911 with it fitted barrel lugs VIS take-down pin barrel bushingand when the slide is pulled it feels nice and tightsolidly fitted all the way backalso LESS reliable by design. Same for the Hi-Power Walther and even the Beretta. The Glock needs no barrel bushing and here again the slide nose is a simple flat of thick steel. A simple and cheap polymer ge rod with flat-wire captive spring that reduces the number of major parts when field stripping to TWOthen the RSA is removed and the barrel and that all that really EVER needed! The method of field stripping is equally innovativea simple slice of steel oriented transversely that snags a tiny lip on the barrel under-lug. Pull it down as the slide is slightly retracted and the run the entire top end off NOBODY did it more simply and nobody today is doing it more simply unless it a Glock clone. The trigger house is a cheap easily molded plastic part with a couple of hardened and tempered stamped steel flats in an ingenious manner. All the pins that hold everything in place are genuine PUSH pins meaning a hardened punch and hammer are NEVER needed! The only tool needed is a small punch or even hex wrench to push out the pins and retract the firing pin sleeve enough to remove the slide cover plate. With that the entire pistol can be reduced its constituent parts in less than two minutes and just as easily reassembled. When I read about Glock Armorers I have to wonder just WHAT they are needed for? I guess there will always be those so mechanically challenged that even spinning a toilet paper roll is confusing. Everything inside a Glock is the essence of simplicity of design. If form follows function italic is a paradigm of good engineering then Gaston Glock deserves the award for best hands down! No Glock parts are not machined but simply stamped or molded with the slide and barrel being the exception. The reason all the frame parts are so inexpensive is because well because they are inexpensive to make! The surface hardening and finish on a Glock is astoundingly durable! Back in the day gun surfaces were easily marred or dinged and blued finishes easily ruined. Not so with Glock! They can be tossed into a box with other metal tools and later retrieved with no marks on the metal! The polymer frame is durable and resists marking and nicks and unless deliberately destroyed will likely last as long as one made from steel or aluminum! Many will piss and moan - today italic about the safe-action design and many more will incorrectly claim it not really safe italic because of course they don actually understand how it works. As with any handgun with a trigger - including revolvers if you don pull the trigger the Glock will NEVER fire by itself even if hed against a wall! By making the striker partially cocked when cycling enough travel is retained to have the sear cruciform italic located above a solid ledge which prevents it from disengaging from the striker because it is physically blocked into engagement and cannot be jarred loose. The trigger is locked forward by the safety lever. The striker is locked back by both the sear and firing pin lock. Without parts breakage there is no mechanical way the gun can just fire by itself. The infamous Glock leg isn the result of any fault of the Glock design but of the dip shits who pull their gun and immediately mash the trigger as it clears the holster then act surprised the gun firedsurprised that THEY FIRED THE GUN is the correct statement. Almost any pistol if carried in a holster that encloses the trigger can be carried chambered safety off and ready for action - this includes designs of the 1911 that use some form of firing pin block believe it or not! (As an aside the 1911 with internal firing pin block cannot accidentally fire even if the sear is tripped by jarring and so will NEVER fire accidentally without the encouragement of a bumbling finger or other object pressing the trigger with purpose.) italic But Glock took his design to the limit by omitting all that did not need to be and as they say in the airplane design world What you leave out can break italic Nor can it cause you to start trying to pulling a trigger locked by a thumb safety wasting precious seconds before you get that safety off. A thumb-safety or carrying on an empty chamber is is the same level of mistake italic for a gun carried in harm way. The ONE major attribute of the revolver is the ability to pull and start yanking and Glock SAT design provides the same level of safety to the basic pistol. Negligent discharges are seldom the result of a faulty design or even parts failure but of a twitching human finger wiggling around and mashing away on the trigger even when the weapon is off-axis. The reason is because of the design of the human hand. The index finger is the primary finger and strongest part of the human grip. When drawing a pistol the natural tendency is to draw with the trigger finger which must be ovee by practicing with conscious focus on training the middle two fingers to be primary during the pull or draw. A good exercise for this is to carry a bag or briefcase using just the two middle fingers and leave the index finger out. This trains the mind and so-called muscle memory and so retains sensitivity in the index. There are other methods but the bottom line is one must make a conscious effort to teach the hand what it must do. So Glock blended a lot of existing tech with some new ideas and created a pistol that is to this day THE highest selling model. Glocks were adopted by police departments wholesale and private shooters alike. While the military and some police departments make much of second strike capability the fact is quality manufactured ammo SELDOM needs a second strike and the deficiencies of all the designs that provide for that possibility have more negatives than positives. As a personal loader Ive been crafting my own ammo for several decades and can attest that properly constructed ammo simply does not fail to fire with a frequency sufficient to choose a particular pistol topensate for it. So others are now making polymer framed pistols and striker fired pistols and even hybrid designs. Sig makes great pistols though all their alloy frame designs are obsolete - heavy DA triggers SA transitionplex design and manufacture plus fitting of strange-looking parts in unusual ways. A bore axis about 8 ft too high over the shooter hand. Much has been made of the Army adopting the latest gun of the month from Sig who seem to have been on a rampage to build polymer model after polymer model in search of the elusive government contract. It called modular because it uses an aluminum sub-frame that can be swapped into different size grips with longer barrels and slides but this makes is LESS perfect than Glock due to added cost and parts andplexity. The fact is the cost of the entire Glock polymer frame costs LESS than the parts and sub-frame of the new SIG! It actually CHEAPER to replace an entire Glock frame and put the parts in it than swap out apact Sig to a mid-size Sig but even worse all that is nothing but bullshit marketing hype because EVERYBODY who has ever been in the Army knows there will be just ONE size issuedthey Army has no need for a multitude of different frame sizes but it sure sounds good to the gun reporters! The fact that many agencies have chosen other designs that use long trigger strokes permanent DA systems in no way proves they are better only that politics as always rules politically motivated procurement. To see truth just look at the huge sales of Glock pistols to private citizensand there it is. I would almost say the SA XD is in the running but not really. It bulkier uses polymer rear rails a super-tall bore axis moreplex a more expensive to make take-down system. and requires a hammer to remove pins. It DOES have a very nice trigger but at the expense of NOT being as safe as the Glock design! That right girls! The XD FULLY cocks the striker upon cycling so the trigger is literally a tad of take-up italic away from letting off once the trigger safety lever is deactivated. Thenes the REAL reason for the grip safety - which is less so (safe) by definition. When cocked the rotating style sear release can be jarred out of engagement with the striker! the Grip safety is the band-aid to fix another design flaw. The grip safety blocks the sear from moving so it certainly seems pretty safe and in fact is IS pretty safe italic however like a 1911 grip safety a little wear and it may not fully prevent a jolt from tripping the sear. IF as so many owners like to do some clown-head decides to pin his grip safety then he has totally erased a safe sear! On the Glock this will never happen. There is no easy way to deactivate the built-in prevention of an unwanted sear trip. One would have to deliberately grind away material to do so and this would first require an understanding of what going on but more the system ispletely invisible and seamless with no perceived need to deactivate! As with the AR-15 pattern rifle there is a reason Glocks and Glock builds are proliferating in the market. Starting with a factory pistol all parts are drop in. During manufacture the pistol simply goes together with minimal if any fitting. Even starting with an 8% polymer frame which is certainly going to require more work to put together than a gun built in the factory the task is bone simple and still goes together with minimal fitting! A few years back before polymer aftermarket frames arrived I built a frame using folded sheet metal parts that I welded into a frame onto which I then installed all the parts for a Glock model 19. Even with a home-built welded up steel frame the Glock parts went on so cleanly and smoothly the gun worked perfectly! THAT my friends is a testament to design! Thenes caliber. The general best caliber is likely going to be 9mm because it adequate for the intended task of most pistols. However with Glock UNLIKE all those other polyframe pistol makers one has choices. There is the .4 caliber in all sorts of configurations the 357 Sig the .45 GAP and in the larger frame the .45 ACP and my favorite the 1mm! They are all built the same work the same and reliable the same! Glocks have huge capacity for sizesuch as 16 rounds in apact model 19 or 18 rounds in the model 17 or 16 rounds of 1mm in the G2! The magazine system is well-built well-thought-out and engineered and contributes to the pistols amazing functional reliability. Another caliber for the Glock is the .22 TCM for which it easy to convert a G17 or G19 with just a barrel and recoil spring. Also the G2 and G21 frame can be the foundation for conversion to the mighty .46 Rowland - full .44 magnum level performance in a lightpact high capacity handgun that has all the desired features of a best gun while shooting a cartridge powerful enough topete with a of gun that can even be on the list! Which is better? A Glock 21 in .46 Rowland with 14 shots each making 95 lb-ft of energy (133 lb-ft of KE) in a controllable fun to shoot package that can be reloaded in an instant because it empties itself while firing? OR a much heavier bulky 6-shot revolver that is slow to load must be emptied manually and in 4u233 barrels generally will NOT evene close to 95 lb-ft of energy despite delivering a vicious torquing recoil with blast. If Im facing a dangerous animal whether four-legged or two Ill take the Glock everyday. But since the .46R isn a factory caliber the 1mm is a nice consolation choice! With 16318 potential shots the 1mm can deliver an honest 7+ lb-ft of KE per shot. With a 22 grain hard cast it will deliver 112 lb-ft - 126 lb-ft of energy if one needs to put every round into the face of a charging anything. That nearly TWO POUNDS of hard hard-hitting deep-penetrating LEAD going downrange. That almost as much energy and weight delivery than the .46 Rowland! Drop in a 6u233 barrel or start with a Glock model 4 and energies are boosted close to 8 lb-ft for even more power delivery. Granted a single 1mm isn the equal of a single .44 magnum (maybe since 4u233 barrel .44 tend to deliver around 75 lb-ft) it makes up for it with THREE TIMES the number of shots plus the option to have another 18 and another 18 that can be loaded in seconds. The .44 magnum is simply outclassed. So that two versions of the Glock that are indeed caliber sufficient! And the big Glocks can handle HOTTER loads than their steel-frame counterparts! Even the Glock model 21 in .45 acp can be readily loaded with .45 SUPER which is roughly equal to the 1mm in terms of energy though it can throw 2553275 grain bullets. All that needed to go .45 Super is a recoil spring swap. And Glock didn get to where it is because some government procurement process graced it with contracts it got here by basically being THE BEST and THE PEOPLE have voted with their MONEY! You know the good old American capitalist way! Okay so I ended up going on a long diatribe!
How far or short would we be today in science and technology if wars never happened?
This a really good question I would add the space program to the question but that is just me. We would be a great deal farther behind. Especially Aviation and Space Flight. Many many things were invented or joined together to fulfill a role in the military. A good example is the GPS system. This wasdevelopedfor the USA funded by the USA etc. It overcame errors in land sea and air navigation instantly when released by President Reagan to the public. It revolutionized how First Responders arrive at the scene of incidents reducing both time and costs. However originally the public version only got you as close as 3 yards but not dead on like we have today. Of courses in the field of Trauma and Emergency Surgery the Military Hospitals excel and teach many young doctors move on to the civilian world and to Level One Trauma Centers to deal with civilian casualties. The military is a great proving ground for a lot of platforms. It also weeds out the products that don't live up to design standards. As a side note this is not always good. It is said that NAZI Germany advanced sciences like genetics by 5 to 75 years but they were performing their research on love human beings. They also advanced internal medicine and even made the first in cigarette smoking and cancer. But they were dissecting live Human Beings. A great amount of information was gained after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic weapons but look at the costs in lives. The birthplace our space program did not start in America it started in Germany. After the war we gave the rocket makers a free pass on war crimes if they woulde to America and build bigger better rockets. I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea.