Porsche Turbo (courtesy brinscars.com)

“We will expand our NATO business and the U.S. civilian business,” Heckler & Koch owner Andreas Heeschen told fortune.com. “We are the Porsche of weapons on that market.” Too bad Americans can’t buy the H&K equivalent of a Porsche Turbo: the fully-automatic MP5. Which brings us to our question: what other automotive analogies apply to firearms? Who’s the Toyota of firearms, and what’s their Prius? Who’s the Ford of firearms and what’s their F-150? Have at it, ladies and gentlemen!

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139 Responses to Question of the Day: If Heckler & Koch is the “Porsche of Guns” What About the Other Guys?

    • According to the guy in “Get Shortie”, the “Fiat of Guns” is a “WOP-9”. Pretty funny movie.

    • Kalashnikov are the Toyotas of the gun world, of course! reliable,low maintenance and commonly used by terrorists. No doubt that the the AK-47 would be compared to a Toyota Hilux.

    • Toyota = Glock
      Ford F150 = Ruger or Ruger 10/22 (best selling, most modified)
      Mercedes-Benz = Korth
      Nissan GTR = Tracking Point
      Lambo = Cobalt Kinetics
      Chrysler = Colt (mismanaged, a shadow of its glory days, questionable quality, semi-reliant on its past)
      Ferrari = Daniel Defense (Company named after its Obsessive Founder, committed to performance)
      Chevy = Smith and Wesson (has both low cost and high performance models for civs and gov)
      BMW = Sig Sauer

    • I would put hi point closer to hyundai. The people that buy them aren’t gun guys but think they got an amazing deal.

      • Hi Point would take being compared to Hyundai as a huge compliment, assuming they know anything about modern automobiles. Hi Point is probably more like Dodge. Cheap and will probably (maybe) get you where you need to go, but quality is bottom rung and everyone is going to look at your funny when you say you bought one.

        • Yeah I actually think Dodge is a better comparison. I was going to say Suzuki originally but there are way more hi points than suzuki cars.

        • As a Dodge driver, i think Dodge is more like S&W. Their best product is based on somebody else’s design. Charger=MB S class chassis. M&P/sigma=Glock

    • Say what you will about Hi Point, but I’ll carry one over a Keltec or Taurus, any day.

      My friend and I ran the piss out of his Hi Point and it did so without having one single malfunction. I cannot say the same for my experience with Keltec and Taurus.

      • Interesting. Out of curiosity, what model Hi Point and Taurus did you use? I’ve considered buying either one or the other as a backup/teach new people to shoot/because-I-can-‘merica gun, but I don’t have any experience with either (except my 995TS, which I think is decent).

        • @RockOnHellChild: Thanks for the info.

          @Swarf: Can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but I always thought the point of saying America, ‘Murica, or ‘merica was that it’s a free country, so say or do what you want. If my interpretation is correct, then either Murica or ‘merica is an “appropriate” spelling.

      • 2ND on the glock to hilux. Reliably gets done what needs done without putting on airs.

        I’d say the 1911 is akin to late 68-72 Corvette. It was ahead of it’s time in the day. Can be setup well to run fast and strong, and is still classic, but you also have to deal with a reliability of a carburetor on ocassion. Not the best milage though.

        Sig is VW in my book. Good reliability, slightly un American tendencies, but is perfectly reliable.

        Hk is more of a BMW feel to me…

      • I’d say Glocks are Camrys and Corollas. AK is HiLux. Sig is Mercedes. Smith and Wesson GM as far as diversity of product goes, although GM would die for the quality reputation Smith has. Ruger would be Ford, Smith’s Perennial challenger.

  1. Glock is the Honda Civic. 300,000 (rounds or miles) and barely halfway to failure.

    Note: I don’t own or much care for Glockenspiels. Actually only own hammer guns (and yes the TCP counts as such). But Glock is what it is no matter the hate.

  2. Walther is the Subaru of guns: Quirky but with amazing performance for the money… and getting killed in sales by every other company.

    I would actually say that Smith & Wesson is Ford. American built, middle of the road for quality and performance. They hold their own but never really innovate or push boundaries.

    Which means Colt is GM: Shafted the customer for 3 decades on price and quality in order to earn goverment sales, and when those dried up they had to take a bailout.

    • That comparison is pretty good.

      Now I feel like I need to go buy a Walther. Probably the PPQ/Outback – a gun/car that will do just about anything you ask of it and do it really well. It isn’t perfect at anything, but a great all-around performer.

    • That Smith & Wesson analogy to Ford is accurate. In conversations with gun-shopping friends, I often characterize an M&P semi-auto as a Ford Mustang (a least before 2015) – USA designed and made, average looks, relative affordability, good performance, good quality, widely available, and highly moddable. That’s why I like my M&P’s.

    • “I would actually say that Smith & Wesson is Ford. American built, middle of the road for quality and performance. They hold their own but never really innovate or push boundaries.”

      Comparing Smith and Wesson to Ford may be accurate for their semi-autos. However, I would strongly disagree with anyone calling current production S&W revolvers middle of the road. That would more accurately describe Taurus or maybe Ruger. If you are looking of a top of the line mass production (not hand made custom) DA revolver, Smith and Wesson is it.

      Furthermore, the Smith X-frame revolvers are basically the definition of pushing boundaries.

  3. Glock is the Honda Civic: good first guns, plenty of experienced people rely on them every day, and some people go nuts with aftermarket parts until they are unrecognizable.

  4. The Toyota of the gun world? I’d say Ruger and their new American pistol is the Prius. The SR series is the Camry and Corolla.

  5. Based on that Glock would be a Bobcat skid steer and Ruger would be whatever company makes airport luggage trolleys.

  6. Colt is the Ford of the gun world, and the LE6920 AR-15 is the F-150: old, classic, runs reliably, but nothing super exciting. Meanwhile their 1911 is the Mustang of the line, and the SAA is their GT.

    • See, I think the 1911 is the Super Duty, decades old design and a lot of re-used parts carried over generation with only cosmetic changes to the front clip and bed sides to tell roughly what generation it came from. Oh and not being particularly reliable (cough 6.0l powerjoke cough) with mythical reputation for being better than everything else that is just not substantiated by real world testing/results.

  7. Glock is definitely the Toyota, reliable, a little highly priced for a plain product.
    S&W is Ford or Chevy, the classic go to American brand.
    CZ is Mitsubishi, the sporty foreigner that you usually forget exists.
    Ruger is Kia, inexpensive but a good deal, and getting better and better as time goes by.
    Cabot is Lamborghini or Ferrari, beautiful, very highly priced and definitely one percenter terrirtory.
    Kimber is BMW, people who own them ascribe a lot more value then they are actually worth.
    FN is Volkswagon, usually not the first thing you think of when considering a purchase unless you already have one.
    Sig is Honda, or rather the Acura line of Honda, very reliable, very good value for money.

  8. Ruger is Ford
    S&W is Chevy
    Glock is Toyota
    Springfield is Honda
    Jeep is Kimber
    Keltec is Kia
    Kahr is Hyundai
    Walther is BMW
    Sig is Audi

    • Most accurate list so far.

      The Glock 17 is a Camry: boring, reliable, and ugly.

      But I’d say Taurus is Hyundai. They sell a ton, have a big range, but they aren’t quite as good. But… Good value for the money.

      • I was thinking the same thing about Taurus. Hit or miss reputation, but it seems the ones who like them really like them and haven’t had any issues. While I’m not a Hyundai fan, I do have a stainless steel Taurus 24/7 G2 9mm that has been very reliable through 800+ rounds, but it doesn’t have a very good trigger (sort of like the Hyundais don’t have good handling, when compared to say, a Mazda), so I bought a Springfield XD Mod 2 4″ instead.

      • Bingo…I remember in the early 90’s when Hyundai had the worst QC(I worked with a guy who’s mirror and door trim fell off within a week of Hy purchase). Now they are major players. I’m one of those “lucky” Taurus owners-4 that ran perfectly.And one was used. And I had a Keltec pf9 that was OK and a Sub2000 that was great. But I wouldn’t put keltec QC up to Taurus level.

  9. I have always said that Glock is the Toyota Hilux of pistols. Quite dated and not necessarily pretty to look at, but dead reliable, and beautiful for its rugged simplicity.

    Dare I say that I see the 1911 as the Ford Super Duty of the pistol world? Beautiful to look at, not necessarily reliable, and essentially the same thing as the original model with a new grill and nicer tail lights every few years to keep things fresh. Yeah, I’ll catch some hate for that, but Ford (and 1911) fanboys will have a hard time actually arguing with the facts of that analogy.

  10. If you mean owned almost exclusively by douchebags, expensive for no reason, requiring extensive and constant maintenance and repair and being impossible to get parts for unless you’re a mid-size country, then yeah. H&K is just like a Porsche or a really serious hangover. Expensive and bad for the head.

  11. I’m not sure calling yourself the Porsche of guns is a good thing., But whatever, here’s my analogy:

    Sarsilmaz is the Hyundai of guns: The uninformed look down their nose and think they’re junk but the smart buyers know it’s one of the best deals going.

    Remington is the GM of guns: The quality can be iffy but they sell a ton based on a reputation built decades ago.

    Taurus is the Chrysler (Fiat) of guns: Sometimes you get a good one but the quality is usually at the bottom of the barrel.

    Smith & Wesson is the Toyota of guns: Not great, nothing too flashy, but an honest value that you can count on.

  12. The Chiappa Rhino = The Pontiac Aztec

    Only because I could not think of a contemporary car that is more butt-ugly. Also, both Pontiac and the Rhino have “prominent noses” as signatures/

      • Ha! I forgot about those.

        Smart car (or Mini Cooper) = NAA revolver?

        Definitely a Smart roadster and not the fortwo coupe; the NAA is far more cute than those fugly driveable rollerskates

  13. First off I don’t know what they’ve been doing over there at Heckler and Koch. But they’ve been turning out some real turds lately. The g36 Was. By believe the Swedes Because they said at 300 yards you couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn with it after firing about 150 200 rounds through it. Problem is the receivers now that they’re using aren’t sheet metal anymore they’re plastic just like a Smith & Wesson 15-22 Which is in bed if you’re shooting 22 long rifle but when you start going to 5.56 NATO and bigger cartridges you start developing a hell of a lot more heat And when the receiver is heated up they started warping And then when they would cool down They would go somewhat back into shape but not quite. It’s not a Porsche the H&K its more like a VW

  14. Glock is for sure a Toyota Camry. No one looks twice at it, it does nothing cool, but you can put 400,000 miles on it. It is relatively quick easy and inexpensive to repair.

    Ak 47s are a skateboard. There is no way you are going to get it to jam (or have the transition go out).

    9mm is a car that runs of regular fuel. 10mm is diesel, probably better but more expensive and hard to find.

    AR-15 is a Honda civic, the customization possibilities are endless.

    Smart guns are the Prius. It doesn’t matter if it can look interesting or functions well. Anybody you show it to will give you crap. (And some Prius cars have short battery life so when you need it, it might not work).

    1911s are Jeep. Very American but not as practical or reliable as other options.

    Classic muscle cars are like mil surp rifles. You get it because you want an awesome collection, not because you want to get from point a to point b or have the best defensive tool.

  15. H&K is not the Porsche of the gun world. H&K is overpriced and doesn’t offer significant performance over that of a Glock or M&P (which you could call the Toyota and Honda of the gun world) to justify the additional 40% you’ll pay for the H&K logo. Maybe H&K wants people to think that and buy its products as a status symbol.

    H&K has had some real quality issues lately and its financial troubles have not gone unnoticed either. Then there’s the who legal drama associated with exporting guns to Mexico.

    • Porsche is overpriced crap that doesn’t offer significant performance over it’s rivals therefore the analogy is correct.

    • The Nylon 66 is one of the more reliable and handy guns of which I have ever owned. I gave it to my daughter. Fiero is a real insult.

      • Actually what’s really funny is they get a bad rap for the catching fire thing, but they were the first car with a five star crash test rating.

  16. Glock = Honda
    S&W M&P = Toyota
    Walther = Subaru
    Sig = BMW

    In most cases you should just get a Honda and it’s going to work and you’ll be happy, if you want a few more features on top of that get a Toyota, if you want something that’s good and also want to be more emotionally attached to it go with Subaru, if you want something with all the features of above but is a little more fun to drive go with BMW.

    -D

  17. Holland and Holland would definitely be the Rolls Royce of guns, hands down. 1%er pricetag, handmade in England by only the finest craftsmen using only the finest materials. They have a timeless beauty and are an object that most of us mere mortals can only hope to see up close a handful of times in life, and maybe never get to put hands on.

  18. I would also have to add that Taurus is the Kia of guns. They used to make garbage throw-away products, but now their products are of ever increasing quality and reliability. They still get scoffed at by some who are “too good to look at them,” but many others are quite impressed by how far they have come the last few years. Both also offer some of the best warranties in the business to back up the quality, and both give you a lot for your money when compared to more established brands.

    As far as models, the PT111 G2 is the Kia Optima, the one model that it seems everyone is checking out, and is the one that is most revised and most likely to impress a skeptic.

  19. My two cents. Glock 19 is definitely = to Toyota Corolla. Will get you there after a lot of miles with no frills. It just works.

  20. My DPMS is the chevy silverado of guns. It does what you need it to do, just not as well as a BCM, the F150 of guns.

  21. SKS – ’91 Chevy S10 manual 5spd pickup. Utilitarian and reliable, but with plenty of aftermarket plastic “upgrades”.

  22. I can see that the marketing people who work for the auto companies need to do some more work to define their brands for you folks.

    The brands within GM are not differentiated much in the above comments. That probably had a bit to do with their doing away with Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn.

    So, the market has the following tiers

    Some uber luxury vehicles (the elite drive these): Maybach, Rolls Royce, Aston Marton and other handmade types.

    High end luxury vehicles (you can drive these when you’ve made your pile but they don’t convey good breeding): Cadillac, Mercedes, Infiniti, Jaguar, BMW, Audi

    Luxury cars that might tempt the middle class to spend too much on their transportation: Lincoln, Volvo, BMW (3series), Lexus, Buick

    Trucks are of course the most common vehicle driven by millionaires according to studies. The most common truck driven by millionaires is the F-150.

    • 50 years ago in eastern KY there lived the largest concentration of millionaires in America. Nobody knew what a billionaire looked like then.

      Pickups was their transport. And not high end pickups either. Fords with standard tranny’s and column mounted shifters seemed to be their official vehicle.

      • I was amused by folks saying Ruger = anything made by a Japanese auto company. Ruger puts that made in America thing all over itself…Ruger American rimfire, Ruger American pistol, Ruger American hula hoop…you get the idea.

        Like the Japanese auto makers, who have huge design and production facilities in the US (Toyota’s Ann Arbor facility for example), The gun manufacturers from Germany (SIG for example) appear to have moved most of their ops to the US.

        • Biggest gun market in the world. Maybe biggest car market as well. Makes sense to set up production here.

  23. Andreas Heeschen is a salesman. I like the MP-5 and other HK guns, but not that impressed. Frankly, I would compare the MP-5 to a Honda Civic: Small, short, accurate, reliable, under-powered, and it makes a great hand-me-down gun. G-3…where do I start with my complaints: Accurate but maneuverable as a 4 foot long 2×4. My HK P30…accurate but I am never going to get the mag release….and again, Honda Civic.

  24. After reading some of these I wa t to change/expand my original list.

    Glock = Honda Civic, boring uninspired but will never die, good value to boot, plethora of aftermarket support can make them look really wild but still a Civic
    XDm = Toyota Corolla, a little prettier than the Civic and offers a few more bells and whistles, but basically still just a Civic yet inexplicably 20% more
    Walther PPQ = whoever likened this to a Subaru Impreza is dead on, super reliable, incredible value and loads of performance for the money, yet time and again people pass them over for inexplicable reasons
    Smith and Wesson M&P = Chevy Silverado, good value, dead reliable, gets bagged on by the other brands but when put to the test always comes out at or near the top, minor fit and finish issues just make it feel cheaper than the others
    H&K = BMW M series, good performance, but you pay a heavy premium for the badge on the trunk, and generally only pricks buy them
    Sig = whoever said Mercedes was spot on, with perhaps an analogy between Legion and AMG being appropriate as well
    1911 = Ford F series, decades old design with minor cosmetic upgrades to keep it fresh, dead sexy to look at, and when you get a good one they are really good, when you get a bad one… Well just ask anyone who owned a 6.0l powerstroke
    Revolvers (any of them) = that guy who has an old beater truck that he claims is better than anything new or currently on the market some are nicer than others

  25. HK doesnt nearly deserve to be Porsche. Stupid ergonomics, unnecessary complexity, ridiculous prices for what you get.
    Porsche was meant to be high performance, affordable. Like, Glocks.

    • And that sheet-metal-welded-heavy-ass-ergonomics-disaster-heavy-as-AR15-yet-shooting-9mm is comparable to 911 turbo? You gotta be kidding me

  26. HK=Porsche
    SIG & FN =Mercedes
    AK & Glock =F150
    AR15, S&W & Taurus REVOLVERS = Silverado
    10/22=Modern Kia/Hundai
    Keltec=moped
    Hipoint/Jennings/Lorcan=junk yard cars after being crushed, except that’s an insult to the crushed cars

  27. I knew a Porsche mechanic who went to school 3 times a year to learn their complicated systems back in the 70’s. Overpriced but sporty and fast cars. HK makes very tough reliable pistols more like my Toyota Tacoma TRD. Can’t get it stuck in the mud and runs circles around F-150’s (Glocks). Beretta not mentioned but also very reliable like an old beater Subaru….

  28. I’ve always said that Glocks are the Camrys of the gun world. They work great but you’re never going to run to tell all your gun friends about your new one.

    Colt is Chevrolet, duh. Needs a bailout of fresh cash every so often. :). I’m a Marine vet from the era when just about every military vehicle with wheels had some Chevy DNA in it, and so it is with Colt.

  29. I know I’ve come late to the party, but to me the Remington 700 is like a Harley Davidson.

    There are better out-of-the-box options but a full custom job is only an after-market catalog away (ie: Brownells).

    • But back on the original thread, is H&K like a Porsche?

      No. H&K can be likened to a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen at best and a Unimog truck at worst,

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