Range toys. Firearms that are oodles of fun to shoot, to force your friends to shoot, or just to show off, but aren’t particularly practical. Maybe you rent ’em, maybe you buy ’em, but you’ll certainly have fun with ’em. Here are our picks for the top three range toy handguns . . .
1) Desert Eagle
Oh yes, the “Deagle.” A-list star of more movies, video games, TV shows, ads, and photo shoots than the kombined Kardashians. Of course, looking impressive on film is arguably the best use of a Desert Eagle. It’s entirely impractical and its reliability record is well within reproach. In TTAG’s dictionary of gun terminology, you’d most assuredly find a Deagle photo under “range toy.”
2) .500 S&W Magnum Revolver
Are you craving a bigger boom than even the .50 AE Deagle provides? X gon’ give it to ya! Smith & Wesson’s X-Frame, that is. These comically large revolvers turn heads and snap wrists. They draw attention up and down the firing line and no shortage of “Hey, any chance you’d let me fire that thing?” inquiries from fellow shooters. And man do they explode all manner of fruits and vegetables!
Better yet, these wheel guns are extremely well-made and uber reliable. Yes, yes, the .500 S&W Mag has some practical use for brown bear and moose defense and big game handgun hunting, but precisely zero of the dozen or so .500 owners I’ve met had any intention of ever using theirs as anything but a range toy. Which is just fine. It’s perfect in that role.
If you haven’t shot one, you know you want to.
3) A Suppressed .22 Pistol
We like the guns, the guns that go boom. While that’s clearly borne out by the first two choices, it’s definitely not the only way to have fun, fun on the range (where the deer and the antelope abstain). At the opposite end of the ammo cost and ballistic bravado spectrum is the humble .22 Long Rifle. Toss a can on one and it’s as quiet as a staple gun, albeit more deadly to a church mouse.
Perhaps nothing satisfies the “range toy” designation quite like plinking without the need for hearing protection. Don’t confuse it for a BB gun, though, as there’s just no substitute for using gunpowder to send a 40 grain pill right on target at 1,000 fps. The cycling action, the gentle nudge of recoil, the blue puff of smoke — all the good stuff with [almost] none of the noise and at a fraction of the per-pew cost. Few things bring a smile to someone’s face like shooting a suppressed .22 pistol for the first time.
Maybe it’s a Walther, maybe a CZ. Maybe it’s the Grand Power or the Smith & Wesson seen above. Maybe the suppressor is from AAC or Q or Innovative Arms or Dead Air. None of that really matters. As long as it’s accurate and reliable, a suppressed .22 pistol is one of the best range toys of all time.