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Year-end lists have become pretty much obligatory. But when we decided to name the best of the best in the world of guns for 2013 – a first for TTAG – we didn’t want to do all the heavy lifting ourselves. Where’s the fun in that? Instead, we figured it made more sense to leave the decision-making to the collective wisdom of you, our readers. And I probably don’t have to tell you you’re an opinionated group. So now that we’ve weeded out the snark and older stuff, here are your choices for the best new products in the firearm firmament for 2013 . . .


Best Rifle of 2013 – TAVOR SAR

The Ruger 10/22 Takedown got a lot of love, but Tavor’s bullpup from the holy land was the clear winner. Nick’s review is here.

Best Shotgun of 2013Mossberg FLEX 500

Readers had high regard for a couple of other smoothbores, too – the Kel Tec KSG and the Remington 870, to name two – but neither was new for 2013. Hell, your granddaddy probably shot an 870. And based on Chris’s review, FLEX 500 owners are likely very happy they went with Mossy’s modular design.

Best Handgun of 2013Springfield Armory XDs-9

Our readership is a forgiving lot. After a neck-and-neck race with SIG Sauer’s P227, the Armed Intelligentsia looked past Springfield’s recall of their compact XDs guns and awarded the 2013 handgun laurels to the eminently concealable XDs-9.

Best Ammo of 2013Lehigh Defense .45 Colt Maximum Expansion


If a picture is worth a thousand words, a well-produced YouTube vid must add up to a bajillion or something. That’s what we figure tipped the scales toward Lehigh Defense’s devastatingly effective .45 Colt 220gr Maximum Expansion round for the Taurus Judge or S&W Governor. Check out ShootingTheBull410’s oh-so-thorough test and you’ll be impressed, too.

Best Optic of 2013Trijicon TA33 300 BLK ACOG


Yes, Nick’s hot for all things 300 Blackout, but he didn’t have his thumb on the scale for this one. Really. Trijicon’s 300 BLK-specific optic took the honors here fair and square.

Best Accessory of 2013SIG Sauer SB15 Stabilizing Brace

Settle down, settle down. This vote wasn’t even close. SIG’s SB15 took the title here by an almost three-to-one margin over the next closest vote getter. Looks like there are plenty of AR pistol fans out there after all. The Rabbi’s review is here.

So there you have it. The People of the Gun have spoken. Let the second-guessing, backbiting and recriminations begin.

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  1. like i say to the waiter at my favorite resturant when i have a menu in my hand…I’ll take it all…but seriously I love my tavor… hands down

  2. I was a little surprised the Tavor beat out the 10/22 Takedown, since I’d bet that at least half the people that voted for the Tavor have never shot one. Hype and breathless reviews only get you so far.

    • This is the internet. Who cares about honesty and integrity; it’s all about hype (not a dig at TTAG, I swear). Is the 10/22 Takedown featured in Call of Duty? I think not.

    • Meanwhile everyone and their brother has shot a 10/22. Can’t really see how the ability to take one apart without a screw driver makes that gun all that much different than the same gun that’s been built for the last 40+ years.

    • One is an entirely new rifle for these shores that shoots exceptionally well, and yes has been reviewed quite extensively. The other is a variation on an almost 50 year old design, and a variation that should have been available years ago for that matter. I’d say the right choice was made, and I would also bet that about half of the people that voted for the 10/22 Takedown have never shot one of them either.

      • Well I would have voted for the 10/22 if’n I’d voted. I own one, and I have a standard 10/22. Plus, the takedown comes with a backpack, and not a half bad one at that. Genius. I’ll shoot it some more if United Airlines didn’t misplace my luggage containing a 555 round pack of Winchester .22 LR CP HP purchased from Wal Mart for $23.97.

    • I don’t know if you have to actually use a product to declare that it’s good. I’ve never driven a Subaru BRZ, but I’m in love with it because it brings back a lot of wonderful qualities of sports cars the way they were meant to be. If all goes well, it could inspire a whole new generation of drivers. When I wrap my current car around a tree, it’s definitely on the short list, and I’ll suggest it to friends without hesitation.

      The Tavor is not quite the same, but if all goes well, it could bring a new wave of interest to the bullpup segment of the rifle market, which hasn’t been all that exciting over the last few years as far as I can see. FS2000 is too expensive, I’ve seen maybe one AUG in person and don’t want to buy proprietary mags, and the RFB is unfortunately made by Kel-Tec.

      It’s a shame, it’s a great concept but not many good ones out there.

      • I’d still get a Mustang GT (because massive horsepower!) but the BRZ / Scion seem to be great little cars. I’ve driven the new batch of 5.0 liter Mustangs, and they’re awesome. I like the Tavor design, and would purchase one if I didn’t already have a bunch of ARs.

        • I really, really like the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ. I also really like the Hyundai Genesis. That is all.

        • I hate to say this, since I prefer Subarus as driver’s cars, but if you get one of the twins, get the FR-S. Toyota (Scion) is providing MUCH better warranty care than Subaru these days. Same car (for the most part) but better protection with Scion…

          Look up the issues WRX and WRX STi owners are having with blown up ring lands on STOCK engines and Subaru not only failing to cover them, but going out of their way to marginalize the problem… This is the company that used to give an SCCA license in the glove box of a new WRX, but not anymore.

    • Whoa. I think I batted over .900 on those choices. Put me in, coach. I think I’d have been perfect, if I hadn’t overlooked that ammo.

  3. Surprised a handgun with an active factory recall would take the top title. There’s some real Springfield fanboys here.

    • Probably more have shot the xds than the P227 and the recall was total bunk. Sigs aren’t bad, they just don’t appeal to certain people.

    • It’s a pretty awesome gun, recall notwithstanding. They’ll get it worked out and it’ll be fine. It has seemed to me that the majority of people who have complained around here about the recall were not dissing the gun itself, and many were not even complaining about the recall, but how the recall was handled, and how they feel they were treated (whether their feelings on that are accurate or not).

      It reminds me a bit of the idiot people on Newegg who will give a computer component (let’s say a monitor) a one egg review, even though they love the monitor beyond all reason. These idiots give one egg because although they love the monitor, they feel like it was packed poorly for shipping (but it arrived undamaged) and that shipping took too long. So they one egg a perfectly good, even great monitor, for things that have nothing to do with the monitor itself. (For the record, I’ve seen the opposite happen, too. I once saw a 5 egg review on an item that did not work as advertised, caused him constant problems, and he ended up replacing it with a different brand, but he gave five eggs because, and I quote, “the shipping was fast and Newegg’s always been good to me.” What the bloody hell.)

  4. The Tavor is a pretty cool gun, but I have trouble with bull pups. Just can’t wrap my mind around them. I’ve sold a couple of them to some of my customers, and they really like them. I’d put it into the category of “sure I’d love one, but not if I had to actually pay for it”. Seems like a quality firearm (minus the HORRIBLE trigger) though.

  5. I can’t believe readers didn’t see that the special qualities of the PDS 15 lower qualify it as a totally new product, exactly the kind you’ve been waiting for. Tavor Schmavor.

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