Any experienced firearm users will let you know that you’ll never own just 1 gun. Whether you need something that fits better, has a different purpose, or shoots a different round, soon enough you’ll have a full-blown gun collection on your hands.
We’ve put together some absolute classics that anyone would be lucky to own or have owned. For those looking to expand their current arsenal, have a look through our list to find your next purchase.
Colt 1911 (1911)
This was the first ever truly successful mass-produced handgun and served as the standard U.S sidearm for over 7 decades. It fired the popular .45 ACP and a standard 7-round magazine. This is by far one of the most customized handguns in history and is still a heavily preferred handgun today.
Glock 17 (1982)
The Glock 17 was the first polymer-framed pistol to recognize true success as it rapidly spread to over 60% of the U.S law enforcement officers. This was the replacement for the previously mentioned Colt 1911 due to its lightweight, durability, and standard 17-round magazine.
The M-16 fired 5.56 NATO rounds with accuracy and reliability. With an effective firing range of 550m-800m, this rifle saw a lot of action in the Vietnam War. With over 8 million units sold globally, the M-16 is the most heavily produced 5.56mm caliber rifle in history. This rifle delivered many generations and variations, the most modern of which is the M4 Carbine used by many military units around the world.
Remington 700 (1962)
Chambering a variety of popular rounds, including the 7mm Remington Magnum, this was a rifle to be reckoned with. Designed with greater accuracy than the 721/722 series and for mass-production in mind, the Remington 700 ultimately achieved the best ‘out-of-the-box’ rifle of its time.
Mossberg 500 (1961)
Possibly the greatest pump-action shotgun in history, the Mossberg 500 has sold over 10 million units since its release in 1961. With interchangeable barrels, anodized aluminum receiver making it more lightweight, and single slide-bar, this design went unchanged for over 30 years.
Smith & Wesson Model 29 (1957)
The classic .44 magnum was unrivaled in its stopping power and fame as this handgun was quickly adopted by “Dirty Harry”. The model 29 was produced in varying barrel lengths all the way from 3-10 5/8″! It truly was a monster to carry around especially weighing up to 48.5 oz!
Of Israeli design, the Uzi was one of the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design that allowed the magazine to be housed inside of the pistol grip. Due to its short design, lightweight, and standard 10-round magazine (magazine variants increased up to 50 rounds), the Uzi was quickly adopted as a personal defense weapon. Close protection officers who could easily conceal the machine pistol that was capable of firing 600 rounds per minute commonly carried it.
The ultimate ‘bad guy’ gun, the AK-47 is commonly known for its incredible durability and reliability very quickly making it the most used assault rifle in the world. Due to its mainly wooden construction, the AK-47 weighed a mere 7.7 lbs making it extremely easy to handle. This rifle isn’t as well known for its accuracy, however, it does have an effective range of 350m. The AK-47 gave birth to many variations, many of which are still heavily used today.
Thompson Submachine Gun (1918)
Made infamous in the prohibition period, the Thompson submachine gun became very popular among bootleggers and law enforcement alike. This submachine gun also saw heavy use during WW2 and was favored for its fully automatic fire (600-725 RPM) and .45 ACP cartridge. Originally produced with a 20-round magazine, it wasn’t long until the more commonly noticed 50-round drum magazine appeared allowing shooters to unleash a hailstorm of bullets before having to reload. Despite being commonly pictured getting fired from the hip, the Thompson was actually a very accurate firearm.
Setting the standard for accurate bolt-action rifles the Springfield 1903 saw action in WW1, WW2, the Korean War, and even the earlier stages of the Vietnam War. This rifle was produced due to the failings of its predecessor at the Battle of San Juan Hill where 750 Spanish troops inflicted 1,400 U.S casualties in a matter of minutes. The 1903 proved to be so effective its variants are still used in service today.
This British rifle saw over 60 years of active military service for British forces and, by many, is considered one of the best bolt-action rifles ever made. This rifle is still used, most notably, by the Bangladeshi police force, making it the second longest serving military bolt-action rifles in history. Canadian Rangers also still use the rifle, however, this is expected to change soon. The Lee-Enfield came with a standard 10-round magazine that was loaded with 5-round charger strips, it also had an effective range of over 500m.
Browning Hi-Power (1935)
Being used by armed forces in over 50 different countries, the Browning Hi-Power is one of the heavily used pistols in history. This pistol served for 82 years, being discontinued in 2017. Being incredibly lightweight, weighing 2.2 lbs, and with a 13-15 round magazine, it’s easy to see how this pistol saw action in wars from WW2, through the Falklands War, and even recent service in the Middle-East.
Colt 1873 Single Action Army (1873)
More commonly known as the Peacemaker, the Colt 1873 was one of the most popular handguns on the Western Frontier in the U.S. With an incredible overall length of 13″ this gun was originally carried by cavalry units. This firearm was discontinued twice and brought back both times due to popular demand, Colt is still producing it today some 145 years later.
With many of the original variations of these firearms no longer in production, low digit serial numbered editions are extremely rare and valuable adding real value to any collection. Many of these weapons saw heavy military or law enforcement use and paved the way for future generations of these firearms to take place in our homes today.