More recently, on the well-known American Internet resource Guns To Carry, an article appeared with the title "The best pistols of 2018 of 9 mm caliber". The title of the collection is at least interesting, but given the sad experience of reading similar materials, the first question that pops up in my head is the question of whether this collection is real or just an advertisement. Fears are confirmed by the fact that most of the pistols are far from new. But let's not rush to conclusions, but let's try to get to know better those weapon models that were chosen as the best for the outgoing year.
The list consists of 6 pistols: Smith & Wesson M & P9 2.0, Springfield Armory XD (M), Glock 19, Heckler & Koch VP9, Sig Sauer P320, Ruger SR9c. It can be noted that the presence of Glock in such ratings, tops and lists is already becoming a kind of tradition, although to be objective, in terms of the totality of parameters and the price / quality ratio, other more advanced pistols have long appeared. Let's try to get to know at least superficially what was chosen as the best weapon of 2018
Pistol Smith & Wesson M & P9 2.0
Two letters in the name of the pistol - M and P stand for Military and Police, that is, the pistol was designed as a service weapon. Despite this, the combination of characteristics and well-thought-out ergonomics made the line of these pistols quite popular in the United States as a weapon for self-defense. For the first time these pistols with the designation M & P appeared in 2005. The designers of Smith & Wesson set themselves the task of creating a lightweight, compact, but at the same time convenient for carrying and using a pistol, and if we pay attention to the number of units sold pistols in different modifications and calibers, the designers coped with the task.
More recently, in 2016, the line of pistols was updated, as evidenced by the prefix in the name of the weapon 2.0. In addition to cosmetic changes, the weapon received a new reinforced frame, and the anti-corrosion coating on the bolt cover was changed. The pistol received 4 replaceable grip pads, instead of three in the previous version of the weapon, which made it possible to more accurately adjust the weapon to the size of the shooter's hand. In addition to this, changes were made to the trigger and sights.
At the moment, this weapon is recommended as a personal by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, in addition to this, the M&P series pistols are used as service weapons in 16 countries around the world, which allows us to conclude that the weapon really deserves attention, and is not on the list for advertising purposes.
Despite the fact that beauty is a subjective concept, one cannot but agree that a pistol has its own certain charm. Especially striking are the long grooves on the casing-bolt, making the weapon similar to the well-known Desert Eagle, which, although it is a very specific pistol, is quite recognizable and "untwisted". But this weapon does not win by beauty alone.
As mentioned above, the pistol has 4 interchangeable pads installed on the back of the handle, which allows you to adjust the weapon to the size of the owner's palm. Such an opportunity will be useful even when using a pistol in winter gloves. Many are not satisfied with the lack of a normal grip surface in the front of the bolt casing, and although nominally there is a notch, for those who are used to pulling the bolt casing by grasping the front of it, they will either have to change their habits or find another model of weapon. To say something about the weapons control bodies will be clearly superfluous, since they are all familiar, two-sided and in their places.
Much more questions are raised by the procedure for servicing the pistol, which, for good reason, should be described in the device of the weapon, but since it causes certain inconveniences to the owner, we will describe it here. The fact is that the disassembly begins quite familiarly, with removing the magazine and setting the shutter to the slide delay. The lever that fixes the barrel of the weapon turns and then miracles begin. Using a screwdriver or, as the manufacturer recommends, a replaceable grip pad, you need to get up through the window to eject spent cartridges and squeeze out the part, referred to as the sear deactivator. And only after that you can remove the shutter casing with the barrel. As far as I understand, if you do not perform this small procedure, then making an effort to remove the shutter cover can damage the trigger mechanism of the weapon. Why would a pistol have such a feature, which clearly does not add extra points to it when assessing, let us analyze it in the description of the weapon's device.
The feature of the pistol described above is explained by the presence of one of the automatic fuses, which does not allow firing when the magazine is removed. Increased safety when handling weapons is of course an absolute plus, but what to do when most people first break a thing, and then try to find in the instructions the moment in which they did something wrong?
In addition to an automatic safety device that excludes a shot when the magazine is removed, there are two more solutions to a similar problem in the design of the weapon. There is an automatic trigger fuse, which prevents a shot if it accidentally clings to foreign objects or clothing, as well as an automatic firing pin fuse. In addition, a separate weapon option is an offshoot of the M&P M2.0 pistol line, in which there is a standard safety switch located on the plastic frame of the weapon.
The trigger mechanism of the pistol is a striker with a pre-cocking of the striker when the trigger is pressed. It should be borne in mind that in the rare case of a misfire, pressing the trigger again will not lead to anything at all. That is, by pulling back the shutter casing, it will be necessary to remove the misfired ammunition from the weapon, well, in the case of a protracted shot, you can be pretty robust … get scared.
The pistol automation system is built according to a scheme with a short barrel stroke, the interaction of the bolt and the barrel of the weapon is carried out thanks to the figured tide under the breech of the barrel and the axis of the lever for fixing the barrel of the weapon. The barrel bore is locked when the tide enters the window for ejection of spent cartridges above the chamber.
As the owners of M & P M2.0 pistols note, the main advantage of this weapon is its ergonomics. Thanks to the low-set barrel and high grip on the handle, the recoil is felt more pleasant, and the pistol itself takes away less from the line of sight, which allows you to fire aiming at a higher rate. Often this pistol is compared to the Glock precisely in terms of the comfort of the recoil feeling and accuracy, but such comparisons are still not worth believing, since the owners of Glocks pull the blanket over themselves, and the owners of S&W claim that their pistol is more perfect. For the sake of fairness, it should be noted that the M&P M2.0 firing mechanism has a sharp dip during the trigger after the striker breaks down, which in theory should not have a positive effect on the accuracy of firing, but we are not talking about a sniper rifle now, but about pistol.
An important plus can be considered the relative safety of the weapon, even when carried with a cartridge in the chamber, which, in turn, leads to the fact that the weapon is always ready for use, and this is a clear plus, both for a service pistol and for a pistol for self-defense. Various versions of the pistol, including not only the choice of ammunition, but also the choice in terms of the size of the weapon, allow you to choose, within the same line, a small-sized pistol for concealed carry, and a full-fledged pistol for use as a service weapon.
The disadvantages include the nuances when disassembling the weapon, as well as the impossibility of re-pinning the primer in case of a misfire. And although both minuses relate to design features and are present in other models of modern pistols, you cannot close your eyes on them, as they are.
The presence of the M&P M2.0 pistol in the list of 6 best pistols of 2018 is fully justified, if only for the reason that this pistol was recognized both in the civilian market and in law enforcement agencies and armies of different countries, which, at least, indicates a reasonable ratio for the price and the quality of the product.
Springfield Armory XD pistol
The next pistol on the list is the Springfield Armory XD. And this pistol is far from a novelty on the market, but it does not cease to be very interesting from this. It is interesting primarily because, despite the American manufacturer, we have before us a weapon developed in Croatia, where it has the designation HS2000. As the name implies, this pistol appeared in 2000, and to be more precise, in 1999 it was adopted by the Croatian army, where before that there was, well, let's say not the most successful model of the pistol, but since 2001 this weapon began to be exported. First, the Springfield Armory arms company took over the export, and subsequently the production of the pistol in the United States, later, thanks to the efforts of this company, the weapon was slightly modernized, taking into account the wishes of specialists from the army and law enforcement agencies. In general, the appearance and distribution of this weapon can be considered either a small weapon miracle, or the thoughtful work of the Croatian designer Marko Vukovic, who took into account all the modern requirements for this class of weapons and was able to implement them by applying the latest developments and ideas from the weapons world.
This pistol has already proven itself well on the civilian market in the United States, has become widespread in the army and police of many countries, but, as always, nothing is perfect, and the design of this weapon also has its own nuances.
Despite the fact that the Springfield Armory XD pistol is given a high enough rating in terms of ergonomics, some questions all have a place to be. First of all, attention is drawn to the automatic safety key on the back of the weapon. For many, it seems absolutely inconvenient and even unnecessary, provided there is the same automatic safety lock on the trigger. The presence of a key on the back of the handle limited the possibility of adjusting the weapon to a specific size of the shooter's palm. Despite the fact that there are removable pads, they do not overlap the upper part of the handle, which means that its thickness remains unchanged. In principle, there are no more complaints about the ease of use of this pistol. But there are some nuances in the device of the weapon.
Unlike most modern pistols, the Springfield Armory XD trigger mechanism, although a striker, is without pre-cocking, only a single action. This results in an easier and smoother descent, as well as doubts about the safety of weapons with a cartridge in the chamber, although two automatic fuses should completely exclude an accidental shot. Conversely, you should pay attention to the impossibility of making an attempt to re-pin the primer in the event of a misfire. But this is an inherent feature of the vast majority of modern pistols, and when using high-quality ammunition that was stored in proper conditions, the problem ceases to be a problem.
The basis for the weapon was again an automation system with a short barrel stroke and locking by a tide above the chamber behind the window for ejection of spent cartridges. The weapon does not have any special nuances in the process of maintenance or use.
The main advantage of the design can be considered that it allows the use of all common types of ammunition, in addition, the line of Springfield Armory XD pistols includes weapons with a wide variety of dimensions, which allows you to cover all niches for the use of short-barreled weapons. Recently, even a version of a pistol with an elongated barrel and a thread at the muzzle has appeared, which allows the use of silent firing devices.
The disadvantages of weapons include a single-action trigger mechanism, but this is more a matter of developing skills in handling weapons with their own characteristics than a critical drawback. It can also be noted that the automatic safety key on the back of the handle is a relic of the past, but, in my opinion, there are never enough safety devices, and if they do not interfere with the use of weapons for their intended purpose, then they are in place.
Whether the Springfield Armory XD pistol should be considered a worthy example for 2018 is a moot point. On the one hand, the weapon is already well-proven and proven, but taking into account the fact that it is almost 20 years old to mention it in such a short top, it is more than strange. But this mention should not be considered as an undisguised advertisement either, the pistol is well-known and has already found its fans.
Pistol Heckler & Koch VP9
If you look at all modern pistols, you will not leave the feeling that the designers have forgotten that at least sometimes you need to use a creative approach in their work. In fact, all short-barreled weapons at this stage of development are of the same type and are not fundamentally different from each other. The only ones who work in full force are the designers, trying to make the same type of product at least a little more diverse, at least externally.
Not spared modern trends in the fashion of weapons and the German company Heckler & Koch. So, in 2014, the Heckler & Koch VP9 pistol was developed, and already in 2015 it went on sale. In order to avoid confusion with a Swiss pistol of the same name, the European version of the weapon was dubbed SFP9, and the differences were not only related to the name. In the American version of the weapon, a more weighty breech casing is installed, which makes it possible to use more powerful 9x19 cartridges in the pistol than the standard cartridges. This led to the fact that the American version of the pistol is not friendly with cheap ammunition and the cartridge case is not thrown out when fired, remaining in the chamber.
Another significant nuance in evaluating this pistol can be considered the fact that this is by no means a new development, but, in fact, the VP30 pistol, in which the trigger firing mechanism was replaced with a striker one. This is supported by the external similarity of the weapon, and the interchangeability of some parts. But let's consider this pistol in more detail.
As mentioned above, the pistol is, in fact, a modernization of the VP30, respectively, and their appearance is similar. As for ergonomics, the weapon receives only positive ratings. To adapt to the size of the shooter's palm, the pads on the back of the handle can be replaced. There is a large notch on the side surfaces of the bolt casing, which adds reliability in the grip, even if the shooter's weapon and hands are stained with dirt. In addition to the large notches at the back of the shutter casing, there are additionally two side stops, which, on the contrary, have a positive effect on the reliability of the grip when the hands are protected with thick gloves.
Separately, it should be noted the possibility of replacing sights, moreover, with sights from the manufacturer, which guarantees that they will fit. Recently, the company has even launched the production of collimator sights for the pistol. The rest of the weapon is quite ordinary - standard controls, an indicator of the presence of a cartridge in the chamber and an indicator of a cocked drummer. Which brings us to the description of the pistol device.
As is clear from the presence of the cocking indicator of the striker, the trigger mechanism of the pistol is without pre-cocking, namely single action. In this regard, the designers of the German company did not follow the lead of the weapon fashion. On the one hand, such a decision is not so critical and this feature of the weapon should simply be taken into account. On the other hand, a simpler trigger mechanism was supposed to reduce the cost of the weapon, but against the background of other modern pistols, Heckler & Koch VP9 cannot boast of a low price. In some cases, the cost of a German pistol is one and a half to two times higher than analogues, with the same characteristics and resource, which does not add to its popularity.
As it is not difficult to guess, the automatic pistol is built according to the same scheme with a short barrel stroke. Locking is carried out when the tide enters above the chamber into the window for ejection of spent cartridges. The movements of the breech end of the barrel occur due to the interaction of the figured cutout in the high tide under the chamber and the pin securing the barrel.
Another feature of the pistol is the polygonal rifled barrel.
The main advantage of the weapon is the availability of additional accessories from the manufacturer for it, as well as the interchangeability of individual parts with previous models of pistols. It will not be superfluous to mention the consistently high quality of the weapon.
The main disadvantage, all other things being equal, is the cost of the pistol. Such a feature as a single-action trigger mechanism is also often referred to as a weapon's drawbacks, but this is still a feature, not a drawback.
Summing up the above, we can conclude that the Heckler & Koch VP9 pistol is certainly an interesting weapon model that deserves attention. However, it does not stand out among others for its characteristics, but at the same time it costs much more. Plus, with cheap, weak cartridges, the weapon does not insert itself quite correctly, which does not add love to the pistol on the part of the consumer. In other words, this pistol is hardly the best one in existence in 2018. Perhaps he is the best among the latest developments of the company, but by no means on the scale of the entire arms market as a whole.
Pistol Sig Sauer P320
Of course, the top best pistols of 2018 could not do without a winner in the competition for a new weapon for the US Army. Obviously, if a pistol is recognized as good enough to be adopted, then it simply must be on such a list. However, it should be borne in mind that weapons are far from always selected according to their characteristics, a much more significant role is played by the price / quality ratio, as well as additional services for maintenance, repair and provision of spare parts. All this, to some extent, applies to the Sig Sauer P320 pistol, but this weapon shows more than good results, both in terms of reliability and accuracy of firing. The pistol turned out to be quite simple to maintain and easy to use, which ensured it not only victory in the competition for a new pistol for the US Army, but also an enviable success in the civilian market.
Speaking of the competition for a new pistol. Perhaps someone else has not noticed, but the list of weapons in the Top 6 from Guns To Carry is very similar to the list of participants in this very competition for a pistol for the US Army. So "ay-ay-ay", it turns out that someone cheated.
Regarding the ergonomics of the pistol, no one has any special complaints, and although the weapon seems too angular, and the desire to finish drawing the trigger is irresistible, this pistol lies in the hand as expected. At least in a medium sized hand. People with large palms will have to be content with what they have, or else put rubber pads on the handle to increase its volume, since the design of the weapon does not even provide for replaceable rear liners. Weapon controls are minimal, they consist of a slide delay button duplicated on both sides, a lever for disassembling the weapon and a trigger. Separately, it should be noted that the military modification is equipped with a fuse switch, which is located on the frame of the weapon and is also duplicated on both sides of the pistol.
Thanks to the adoption of this pistol by the US Army, a lot of additional devices have already been developed for it, ranging from banal small-sized flashlights mounted under the barrel of a weapon to a collimator sight mounted on a shutter casing. A silent firing device, as well as a version of the pistol with an elongated barrel and a thread at the muzzle cut is also present.
The key point on which the designers of the company focused was modularity. But in fact, this modularity turned out to be very curtailed. So in a full-size pistol and its compact version, the plastic frames are the same, the subcompact version of the weapon has already received a frame for a friend. Frankly speaking, there is no need to talk about any modularity in this case, the use of the same framework in different versions of weapons has long been an economically justified phenomenon and is not always talked about as something outstanding.
The basis for the Sig Sauer P320 pistol was the same automatic system with a short barrel stroke. The barrel bore is locked when the tide enters the window for ejection of spent cartridges above the chamber. The movement in the vertical plane of the breech part of the barrel is provided by the interaction of the figured cutout in the high tide under the chamber and the axis of the lever that locks the barrel of the weapon.
The firing mechanism of the pistol is a striker with a preliminary semi-cocking of the striker and its pre-cocking, when the trigger is pressed. Conversely, there is a feature of the inability to re-prick the capsule in the event of a misfire.
As it is not difficult to guess, the weapon is designed on the basis of constant readiness for use, that is, it implies the possibility of carrying a pistol with a cartridge in the chamber. To ensure the safety of handling weapons, several automatic fuses are introduced into the design of the pistol. So the drummer is protected from accidental disruption, the pistol cannot shoot without a magazine in the handle, in addition to this there is also an automatic trigger safety, but there are versions of the weapon without it.
To be objective, in terms of handling safety parameters, this pistol is inferior even to the first three weapon models considered in this article. On the other hand, the Sig Sauer P320 pistol attracts with its low price, with quite good combat characteristics and high reliability, which is an indisputable plus for a weapon.
The negative qualities of the pistol naturally suggest themselves, based on the above. The weapon option without a safety switch is clearly not safe enough if the cartridge is already in the chamber. Well, since the pistol is positioned as a weapon constantly ready for use, carrying it with a cartridge in the chamber is meant as a normal phenomenon.
If we are objective, and close our eyes to the fact that the Sig Sauer P320 pistol was adopted by the US army, then it can only be called the best with a very big stretch. Yes, the weapon is really good, but it requires special attention, more thorough than other modern pistols, which becomes obvious that even when compared with the samples that were described above. Yes, some of the nuances disappear in some versions of the pistol, but in others they are present. In particular, the presence of a fuse switch on the military version can already be considered some kind of recognition that the safety of automatic fuses is insufficient.
Should the addition of this pistol to the top be considered a publicity stunt? Obviously not, since it is difficult to come up with a better advertisement for the adoption of weapons into service, and this is what provided the mention of the Sig Sauer P320 in this and similar articles.
Ruger SR9c Pistol
The Ruger SR9c pistol stands out for the fact that this weapon is presented precisely in its compact version, and although there is a full-size version of this pistol, it has not found such high popularity as this small and convenient toddler for concealed carry. In this case, we can immediately go ahead to say that if we focus on consumer demand as an indicator of the popularity of a weapon, then this pistol deservedly takes its place in this list. Sufficiently compact and not having control elements protruding far beyond the weapon, this pistol turned out to be ideal for hidden carrying, but this was reflected in certain nuances of its operation.
Despite the fact that the pistol turned out to be very convenient for constant hidden carrying, at the same time it has sufficient dimensions for comfortable holding. However, not everything is smooth with the ergonomics of this weapon. The fact is that for the sake of comfortable wearing it was necessary to significantly reduce the size of the weapon controls, respectively, switching them became less convenient than we would like. So, in particular, the fuse switch has a very small size and although its shape tries to compensate for this drawback as much as possible, its location is as follows, it is very problematic to turn it off with one hand, unless it is done in advance, before the weapon is in the shooter's hand.
The shutter delay button, on the contrary, despite its compact size, is very convenient, but you can not talk about the trigger and the magazine eject button.
The sights are large enough to make aiming easier, but what is more surprising is the possibility of making corrections entirely, vertically with the help of a screw, and horizontally by displacement relative to the shutter casing.
In general, most people do not experience any discomfort when using this pistol. Nevertheless, the lack of the ability to adapt the weapon to the large hand of the shooter is an undeniable disadvantage. In addition, consumers often note as a disadvantage the small size of the safety clip, which makes the weapon difficult to use with thick gloves. However, it will be difficult to remove the pistol with thick gloves and the safety catch, so, regrettably, it should be noted that the Ruger SR9c is not a pistol for cold climates.
As it is not difficult to guess, the basis of the weapon was the same automation system with a short barrel stroke and locking the barrel bore by entering the tide above the chamber into the window to eject spent cartridges. The firing mechanism is striker, with a precock when the trigger is pulled. It is noteworthy that there is an indicator of the position of the drummer.
The safety of handling weapons is ensured not only by the fuse switch, but also by an automatic fuse, one of which can be clearly seen on the trigger. In addition, the pistol will not be able to fire a shot without a magazine inserted into the handle. Well, of course, there is an automatic fuse for the drummer, which blocks this very drummer until the trigger is completely squeezed. In other words, the weapon remains safe even with the fuse and the cartridge in the chamber turned off, since it is quite difficult to imagine a situation where everything will fail together.
The undeniable advantage of the Ruger SR9c pistol is its size and flat shape without protruding elements. The safety of the weapon is also important, provided by the presence of automatic fuses, which partially compensate for the not most convenient manual safety switch. Sights, usual for compact models of weapons, are also a clear plus of the pistol.
Perhaps the only significant drawbacks can be attributed to the procedure for disassembling the weapon, in which the pin holding the barrel will have to be completely removed. In my humble opinion, the fewer individual parts when fully disassembled, the better.
This pistol deserves a place on this list as one of the compact and at the same time convenient and safe. In this case, we can safely believe the opinion of consumers of the US civilian market, who have already managed to study this weapon and test it in a variety of conditions.
Summing up everything written above, you can see that the list of the best pistols of 2018, for some reason, does not consist of pistols presented in 2018 at all. This can be explained by the fact that the new items have not passed even the minimum test of time and it is too early to draw any definite conclusions. However, the presence of pistols with more than a decade of history also looks very strange. Although these weapons have undergone modifications, all the changes were more of a cosmetic nature and could not affect the combat characteristics of the pistols. Even despite the fact that at the moment a certain stagnation can be observed in the development of firearms, it is difficult to believe that not only has nothing changed in 10 years, but no solutions have been found that even increase the service life of individual units.
The attentive reader noticed that the Glock 19 pistol is on the top list, while the article does not describe this weapon. The explanation is very simple. All existing modifications of the Austrian pistol have already been repeatedly described on the resource in more than detail. In addition, the fastest, thanks to a lucky coincidence, the designer managed to create a pistol that other manufacturers are still equal to, mainly, of course, due to the fact that consumers want the Glock, but the Glock is already boring.
One way or another, but this top, in my opinion, is somewhat incorrect. And although it contains quite decent weapon models, there are a number of questions for some of these pistols.