Disclaimer! I am a crack shot and I have
had semi-automatic handguns for 40 years, but I am not an expert.
To find an expert to advise you on the most accurate semi-automatic
handguns, just go to any gun show. Everyone there will claim to be
a handgun expert.
While everybody is an expert, I have been able to glean from various
sources the "best", most accurate match grade semi-automatic handguns.
Of course, any custom built handgun is going to be more accurate.
Major points in handgun accuracy include:
- Ask for a "match grade" semi-automatic: A
match grade semi-automatic is milled to 1,000 of an inch, 15 times
closer than a Wal-Mart handgun.
- Test for the "right" ammo: Ammo makes a
huge difference in the accuracy of any semi-automatic handgun.
You will need to test your own handgun on a bench rest to see what
ammo is the most accurate for your specific hand gun.
- Don't assume that barrel length matters: While
it's true that a sub-nose is less accurate than a six inch barrel,
barrel length is not always correlated to high accuracy.
Also see my notes on the
single shot pistol.
Experts say that it's also important to know about the barrel length
and accuracy. In general, the longer barrels are more accurate,
but only up to about 6-8 inches, After than a longer barrel can
hinder accuracy because of difficulty in aiming it offhand.
A longer barrel does not always mean more
Also see my notes on the
best concealed carry handgun.
Here are my notes on the expert's choices for the best semi-automatic
pistols. Also it's important to note that the ammo haves a huge
difference in the accuracy of a handgun. See here, how to do an
ammo test on
Most a accurate handgun.
The ammo makes a huge difference in handgun accuracy
The most accurate 22 caliber semi-automatic handguns
While the 22 caliber handguns are not too good for personal defense
unless you get a shot right in the forehead or heart, there are many 22
caliber handguns that will shoot a two inch group at 50 yards.
Here is what I gleaned from the experts on most accurate 22 caliber
handguns. I have excluded pure "match handguns" that are not made
for ordinary killing:
- Browning Buckmark - Gorgeous looks
and balance, easy to clean and maintain, not a lot of
- Browning Challenger - A great
target pistol - At under $500, a great target pistol at
a great price.
- Colt Woodsman - Built for hunting,
- High Standard Supermatic Tournament,
Citation or Trophy - Some say it's the best
1911 style .22 target pistol
- Ruger Mark II and III - Overall,
the best target pistol, with lots of safety features and
loads of 3rd-party add-ons for the rail. The only
downside is that some models look like a Nazi Luger.
For more details o the best 22 caliber handguns, see my picks for the
best .22 target pistols.
We chose the Ruger Mark II, an amazingly accurate
Also see my ballistics tests on the most
accurate 22 ammo
bullets for a Ruger Mark III handgun
Most accurate 9mm semi-automatic handguns
The Most accurate 45 caliber semi-automatic handguns
The experts I talked with recommended these 45 caliber semi-automatic
handguns for their accuracy. In the 45 caliber, many people
make-up custom 1911 models, using specialized parts like the Caspian
frame and jeweled triggers.
I'm told that the Kimber Gold Match 2 in
Stainless steel is deadly accurate
I have not included 1911 custom build's and only listed retails
semi-automatic 45 pistols.
- Kimber Gold Match 2 Stainless – 45 caliber –
This is a remarkable match grade 45 caliber, with adjustable
trigger, on par with the custom built semi-automatic handguns.
Kimber shows a
2011 cost of $1,519.
- Colt Gold Cup .45 national match – 45 caliber
ACP – 2011 new price $1,022
- Smith & Wesson 945 match – 45 caliber – S&W
2011 sale price of $2,410.
- CZ-97B – 45 caliber – This is a true "match
grade" semi-automatic, but CZ makes great handguns and the 2010 cost
is only $619
- Heckler and Koch- HK Mark 23 – 45 caliber -
H&K notes an MSRP 2010 cost at $2,310
Other caliber accurate semi-automatic handguns
Here are some non-standard semi-automatic handguns
that experts say are highly accurate:
- Remington XP-100 – 221 caliber - claimed to
shoot 3/8" groups at 100 yards with telescopic sight.
- Smith & Wesson Model 52 – 38 caliber – used
sale price $1,225.
- Wilson supergrade: available in 45, 9mm,
38, and 40 caliber – Wilson Combat makes a
gun at a super price, starting at $4,400.
- Magnum Research 50 AE desert eagle – this is a
50 caliber monster selling for $1,251
I'm not a handgun expert, and if you have a recommendation for a high
accuracy handgun that I have missed, please e-mail me at the address
below and I will add your gun to my notes!