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What restaurant makes the best pizza? Who’s the best looking actress? Why do people park on a driveway and drive on a parkway? These are some of the great unanswerable questions of our time. Now comes Garry James of Guns & Ammo to give his answer to another of them: What’s the best looking handgun ever made? He submits for your consideration the Colt 1860. Gotta give it to her, she definitely has curves in all the right places. But is she really the most beautiful? The Grace Kelly of gundom? Oh, and check out his four runners up. The reaction to numbers four and five may give new meaning to the term blowback. Let the flame war begin!

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  1. I’ve always liked the ones with Art Deco styling – the old Colt and FN pocket pistols, early Hi Powers, the Mauser in the runners up list, etc. If I had to pick one, it would probably be the 1904 Colt.

    • From a non-opinionated design standpoint….they are much better looking than the S&W and Colts mentioned above.

      Appeal is subjective. There will never be consensus. That being said – none can really be honestly described as a beautiful obect.

      • I think my Sig P229 is beautiful :/. Granted, Not even close to what most 1911’s looks like but definitely better looking than a Glock.

  2. Dueling pistols by far. Handcrafted to suit the aesthetic desires of each man who seeks one. These are some of the most beautiful I have eve scene. My favorite is the “Super High Quality French Dueling Pistol.

    But this is MY favorite. This is the kind of market where you probably won’t merely find what you like, you pay for what you like.

    • I agree that percussion fired single shot pistols are the most sublime of handguns and picking anyone specific gun would be hard to do. But for revolvers my vote would be for the 1875 Remington and Ruger Bearcat. Bill Ruger used one of the 1875s predecessor, the 1858 Police as the inspiration for the Bearcat. There is just something about the graceful arc created from the butt of the grip through the web below the barrel that elevates the 1875 to a level above its peers. Bill Ruger used the 1858 as inspiration for his New Army blackpowder revolver. A gun which many feel to be the best blackpowder gun ever.

    • Now that’s an opinion I can support. After all the times shooting, cleaning and carrying – I think all of mine are beauty queens. But it’s the one in my hand at the right time…

  3. The Colt 1860 is a contender, but the Absolute, No Argument, Most Beautiful handgun is the Smith&Wesson New Model No.3 single action top break Target Model revolver with the 6″ barrel.

    Sorry folks, that’s the scientific consensus, it is settled, and any argument means you are simply a denier (and probably a racist or whatever Al Gore’s latest rant is).

  4. I’m a fan of the old S&W break open guns. I’m actually getting a .32 new departure this weekend. After a little work it should be shooting shape.

    • They are a lot of fun. The larger (.44) calibers get a bit pricey, but some of the .32s and .38 S&W (short .38s) are not too bad. If you can find one, try one of the S&W Perfected Model .38s (top break with a side latch).

      And write a letter to North American Arms DEMANDING that they continue with their project to sell a .22Mag Top-Break Mini-Revolver (they called it the Ranger). A friend of mine got one of the 500 prototypes, and it was 1) incredibly neat and 2) a lot of fun to shoot. They cancelled the project because the tooling costs were too high for a $400 gun, but I would pay $600 for it. (I am trying to get a customer revolution going.)

  5. My personal Ruger SP101 .357 with her 3″ long barrel and soft rubber Hogue grips is the sexist handgun in the world. She’s a keeper and I never have to be concerned that one day she’ll decide to divorce me, take away my wealth with the help of the divorce courts, and leave me living in a tent.

  6. Yes. The 1860 Army. Prettiest handgun ever. I can’t believe all the clunky looking guns you other guys nominated!

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