The handgun market remains one of the most innovative and expanding aspects of the firearms industry. Several things drive this—all of which contributes to the development of new handguns, accessories, training, and everything else that facilitates the use of pistols or revolvers. Along with improved designs, handguns are better made, more usable and more available than ever before.


With each passing month, responsible citizens realize it is up to them to provide for their own safety and protection. Under current economic conditions, many police departments continue to be under-funded and -equipped. They are doing a fantastic job of responding with these circumstances, but self-protection remains the responsibility of the citizen. As random shootings occur, the need to protect yourself and family becomes even clearer. The industry has answered with smaller and better firearms, more effective ammunition and usable accessories.

As more people act to protect their home against intrusion, handguns continue to be a solid choice. Their convenience, easy access and ease of safe storage make them practical for many. And their low cost in comparison to long guns or other systems put them in the hands of more citizens.

Competition & Recreation

More and more people are involving themselves in some sort of shooting competition. Organizations such as IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) and IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) provide divisions that emphasize self-protection. These organizations not only offer a means to test your skill, but also a great family environment. They also include divisions catering to those looking to compete at the highest levels. With this increased involvement, pistols and revolvers have evolved to accommodate the changing needs. From the full race 1911s to factory pistols, there is a handgun for you.

Given the sharp increase in the variety of handguns, the recreational shooter now has plenty of choices. Without regard to any practical use, handguns are just a ton of fun to shoot. Private ranges are seeing huge increases in recreational shooters simply having a good time with their handguns. Affordable choices are everywhere, with a substantial increase in the rimfire calibers. Whether for teaching your young child to shoot, or preparing for the Olympics, rimfire pistols are an excellent choice. Ammunition is available and inexpensive, while recoil is minimal, making control easy and fun. Whether plinking or practicing for target competitions, the recreational shooter has a world of opportunity.

Bottom Line

Take the time to look at all the offerings this year. Many are new, others are simply improvements and some are good old favorites. An annual is a great way to see in one place much of what is offered, prior to making a trip to the gun store.

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