Top 3 Military Guns on the Planet: Take any soldier from around the world, and he or she will have broad opinions about sidearms. Choosing the best one is subjective, and it depends on many factors. So be patient if your favorite is not mentioned in the following list, but perhaps we picked at least one of your preferred handguns.
Let’s take a look at three pistols that are the top choices of military personnel around the globe.
Top 3 Military Guns on the Planet: Colt M1911
Not as widespread in the U.S. military as it used to be, it still serves as the handgun of choice for many special operations personnel. The Colt M1911 was the official American pistol from 1911 to 1985 before giving way to the Beretta M9. Soldiers and marines preferred its powerful .45 ACP round that had ample stopping power.
The design of the Colt M1911 makes for easy shooting. The grip has a good angle for a comfortable press of the trigger with a reasonable amount of recoil. Since it weighs 39 ounces with a five-inch barrel, it’s relatively easy to conceal since the gun is not very thick. The magazine is seven-plus one rounds, and the effective range is 50 meters.
In 2014, the Marine Corps ordered 12,000 Close Quarter Battle Pistols (M45A1). The M45A1 is a 1911A1 variant made by Colt Defense with a Picatinny rail night sights and accessories. The pistols were given to U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC).
Top 3 Military Guns on the Planet: Glock 19
The Navy SEALs used the SIG Sauer P226 for decades but switched to the Glock 19 in 2015. Handguns made in a polymer such as the Glock 19 are less likely to corrode from sea water. The Glock also performs well in a wide range of temperatures. The Glock 19 weighs less than the P226. It comes in various-sized magazines including 17, 19, 24, 31, or 33-round capacities. The Glock is striker-fired instead of hammer-fired. The striker fire design yields a lighter, more comfortable and predictable trigger pull when compared to hammer-fired designs. This can sometimes result in more accuracy depending on the skill of the shooter.
The Glock 19 is also considered reliable in many combat situations with few jams and malfunctions. The Glock is easy to take apart and clean. Moreover, the Glock 19 can be customized and accessorized. Operators can replace the sights with fiber optic front and rear or with tritium for low-light shooting. Users can also change over to an extended slide release. The Glock 19 has nice gripping for the support hand.
Top 3 Military Guns on the Planet: Browning Hi-Power
The Browning Hi-Power is in use by militaries in Belgium, India, Indonesia, Australia, Argentina, and Luxembourg. The Mk 1 version is the Canadian Armed Forces pistol of choice for now because the Canadians have tried to replace it. But the Browning is not going away, even though it was first designed in the late 1920s.
Like the Glock 19, the Browning Hi-Power is simple to assemble and disassemble for easy maintenance. It’s a reliable nine-millimeter with a 13-round double-stack magazine. It has a light, single-action trigger and good balance with manageable recoil.
My choice is the Glock 19 for its ease of use, but the M1911 has the better stopping power. The Browning Hi-Power is getting long in the tooth, but if it was good enough for the Israelis during the famous Entebbe-raid, it should be good enough for many militaries.
Bonus Photo Essay: Top U.S. Military Rifles
Now serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, Ph.D., is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood.