Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Pistols and Handguns

If you could only have one Centerfire Handgun what would it be?

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phils70:
Ruger Redhawk in .44 mag. Mostly because I have an insane amount of appropriate powders, primers and brass for it. Not to mention buckets and buckets of wheel weights 

endurance:
I have and XD and an M&P Shield.  If I could have only one, I'd opt for the M&P for the simple reason that it's enough firepower for my purposes, but very comfortably and easily concealed.

soupbone:
What do you want to do with it? Hunt? Target? Self Defense? "Survival"? If the latter, I suggest the S&W Military and Police revolver in .357 Mag - Model 13, IIRC. Utterly simple, long lived and reliable with enough power to take almost any animal on the continent. Being a revolver, it has no magazine to loose or bugger up. Fixed sights mean there is nothing to get knocked out of alignment, and if the shooter does his part, can place shots accurately at any handgun distance. The K Frame Smith also has many accessories available from target hammers and triggers to natural wood or rubber oversized grips, which greatly increase shootability and recoil control.

Regarding self defense, the key element in any defensive firearm is reliability. Being strictly mechanical, a quality revolver such as the M-10 / 13 cannot help but be more reliable than any autoloader which is dependent on magazine condition, tightness of hold, spring condition, etc. I have seen some pretty beat up K frames in my shooting days, but I have never seen one which failed to function when needed. Power? Even the .38 Special in its mildest loading is nothing you'd want to stand in front of. In .357 Mag., if the bullet didn't get you, the report and muzzle flash will.  ;D

For hunting and target work, the M&P is limited by a 4" barrel - it may not be legal to hunt with in some states, and most target revolvers have at least 6" barrels. If this is an issue, look at the Combat Magnum (M-19) in a 6" barrel, but be prepared to deal with the disadvantages of adjustable sights.

Plus, it's hard to argue with success. This revolver has been in constant production in one form or another for almost 120 years. Despite what the experts  ::) say, no organization or agency will arm its people with a firearm that does not do its job. At least in the USA.

If I could have only one centerfire handgun, it would be an M-10/13.

machinisttx:
The M10 and it's named, pre 1955ish, predecessors were made with 2", 4" and 6" barrels. The M13 was made in at least 3" and 4" barrel lengths...and it wouldn't be surprising if a few slipped out with longer barrels. Also entirely possible to have a gunsmith fit a longer barrel.

Another option would be the Ruger Security Six/Speed Six/Service Six. IIRC, they were made in both blue and stainless.

Carl:
My first deer fell to a Ruger Speed Six ,round butt 357 magnum with fixed sights and TWO INCH BARREL.
And yes,you felt like the hair on your hands would burn off in the muzzle flash.

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