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Handguns' Best Gun Reviews of 2013

Handguns' Best Gun Reviews of 2013

Our trigger fingers have been busy again this year to bring you exclusive gun reviews on an arsenal of firearms.

We've reviewed quite a collection of firearms since January, but a few select pieces stick out as some of our favorite reviews from the past 11 months.

Check out our picks for the best gun reviews of 2013, and be sure to read the full reviews of each.

Desert Eagle .50 Action Express

The Desert Eagle is foundationally different than most semiauto pistols — in myriad ways. It's gas operated rather than recoil operated. It has a rotating bolt that locks into the breech of the barrel when it goes into battery. The barrel itself is of fixed design, and it's a complex, machined arrangement with an optic rail.

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Glock G30S

The new G30S is chambered in .45 ACP, and it uses magazines compatible with the older G30 and the original G21. Magazine capacity for the 30S is 10 rounds, and the frame is relieved to handle the oversize base plate of the standard magazine. All the rest of the G30S is normal Glock. It has the same polymer sights, Gen 3 frame with light rail, safeties external and internal, all operating the same way. Internally, the ejector block is not the regular...

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Heckler & Koch HK45 Tactical

The flat-topped slide has forward cocking serrations, which I appreciate, and the three-dot night sights worked as advertised. The rear sight is a no-snag design that also has an overhang.

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Hi-Point C9

The grip was very comfortable, and with the weight of the slide soaking up the recoil, shooting it was a pleasant experience. The single-action trigger pull measured nine pounds, but I measured it five times because I just couldn't believe it was that heavy. For some reason it feels at least two pounds lighter.

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Nighthawk Falcon Commander

Expensive? Yes, the Nighthawk Falcon Commander costs as much as my first three cars combined, but you get what you pay for. In the case of the Falcon Commander, you get a hand made, custom pistol pretty enough to put in a display case and yet reliable and powerful enough to wear.

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Rock River Arms Poly 1911

Rock River sent me its latest engineering exercise, a polymer-framed 1911, and I have to tell you it has definite possibilities. For those who have Rock River ARs in their rifle racks, I have to remind you that before it was exclusively an AR maker, the firm made primo 'production-custom ' 1911s. But when the world went crazy for the AR, the company shelved the 1911 tools and got even busier. The new Rock River Arms Poly 1911 takes advantage of the company's pistol-building skills and adds the polymer-frame twist.

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Ruger LC380

If you use a thumb-high hold...

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Ruger SR45

At the range the Ruger was reliable and accurate. I had no jams, but the pistol was so tight that the slide hesitated for the first few rounds. After a brief break-in period, the recoil cycle smoothed out. Felt recoil was about equivalent to a 1911. While the SR45 weighs a mite less than a 1911, between the different grip shape and material, not to mention the rubber backstrap, it soaked up a little more recoil than a steel-frame gun would have.

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SCCY CPX-2

The CPX-2 has a polymer frame and superficially resembles a few other pistols.

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SIG Sauer 1911 Fastback Carry

The trigger guard is undercut to allow a high grip while the frontstrap boasts 30 lpi checkering for a nonslip purchase. The slide stop, magazine release and thumb safety are all moderately extended for positive manipulation, and the beavertail grip safety greatly improves recoil control. The long aluminum trigger can be adjusted for overtravel, and the skeletonized hammer provides a faster lock time.

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Smith & Wesson Model 647 Varminter

The newer version of Smith & Wesson's Model 647 is here.

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Smith & Wesson Performance Center 1911

The rear cocking serrations are the fish-scale pattern that S&W uses. They're aggressive, effective and distinctive — and, again, no...

Read the full review

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