Editor’s Picks: Guns & Gear

We support our readers with hundreds of hours of testing and research to help you buy the best guns and gear. Here’s our top picks along with links to their original article.

-Eric Hung & Matt Collins, Editors

Best Small Frame Revolver
Smith & Wesson Model 60

Smith & Wesson Model 60

Our pick of favorite small frame revolver.  Stainless steel for good weight to help tame recoil.  Also great for concealed carry.  See more of our revolver picks in Top .357 Magnum Revolvers.

Lightest BCG
JP Enterprises Ultra Low Mass BCG

JP Enterprises Ultra Low Mass BCG

The lightest BCG on the market.  But because it's made out of aluminum, there's going to be some wear issues down the line.  Learn more at Best Lightweight Bolt Carrier Groups.

Best Precision Bullpup Rifle
Desert Tech SRS A1

Desert Tech SRS A1

Prices accurate at time of writing

My favorite precision rifle.  My older generation model shoots under 1/2 MOA consistently and because of the bullpup design...it's well-balanced and shorter than an AR-15.  See more at Best Bullpup Rifles & Shotguns.

Best Trigger (Beginners, Home Defense)
Springfield XD Mod 2, Service

Springfield XD Mod 2, Service

Another striker-fired reliable gun that got updated with more aggressive texturing and the favorite stock trigger in my opinion.  Check out the rest of the 9mm handguns that made our Best Handgun for Beginners and Home Defense.

Gets It Done (IWB)
Concealment Express Holsters

Concealment Express Holsters

Our favorite no-frills Kydex IWB holster.  Affordable, rugged, multiple attachment options, and pretty comfortable.  See the full review here.

Best Offset Sights
Ade Advanced Offset Sights

Ade Advanced Offset Sights

Prices accurate at time of writing

Want near instantaneous access to a fixed magnification AND close quarters 1x?  Try the offset iron sights that only require you to tilt your rifle for close encounters.  Check out other AR-15 iron sights in our guide here.

Editor's Pick (Semi-Auto, Home Defense)
FNH SLP Mark I

FNH SLP Mark I

Prices accurate at time of writing

A super durable semi-auto shotgun that is as comfortable at a competition as it is ready to protect your family.  Check out the rest at Best Semi-Auto Shotguns.

Best Left Handed AR-15
Stag Arms Model 2L

Stag Arms Model 2L

Prices accurate at time of writing

Are you a south paw?  Not looking to get brass ejections into your face?  Stag Arms will help you lefties out with their Model 2L.

Brightest EDC Flashlight
Olight S2

Olight S2

Prices accurate at time of writing

A blazing 950 lumens in a small package.  One button use and many modes...so you'll have to cycle through.  But one of our favorite EDC lights.  See more at Best EDC Flashlights.

Most Affordable Light BCG
Faxon Lightweight BCG

Faxon Lightweight BCG

Want to dive into the lightweight BCG game...but don't want to spend too much?  Faxon has got you covered with their steel BCG that is lightened with cuts.  Learn more about other options at Best Lightweight Bolt Carrier Groups.

Best Pen Light
ThruNite Ti4 CW

ThruNite Ti4 CW

Prices accurate at time of writing

The best EDC doesn't matter if you don't carry it.  This pen light is super slim and fits easily in your pocket or purse.  Decent output at 250 lumens and a steal at $20.  See our brighter options at Best EDC Flashlights.

Best 5.56 XM193 55 gr
American Eagle XM193 55 gr

American Eagle XM193 55 gr

Our favorite 5.56 XM193 ammo due to the manufacturer's 25% off rebate until the end of 2017.  Check out our other picks in Best AR-15 Ammo for Self-Defense & Range.

Best Hunting Scope
Leupold 3-9x VX-1

Leupold 3-9x VX-1

Looking for a great entry level hunting optic?  The Leupold 3-9x is great when you don't need much magnification nor clear 1x.

Most Affordable (.45 ACP)
Springfield XD(M) .45

Springfield XD(M) .45

The XD(M) is much easier to control than some of the other .45 calibers on the market, yet it still packs the same punch as bigger, bulkier pistols.  Plus it's priced right.  Check out the rest of our Best .45 ACP Handguns.

Best 9mm 1911
STI Trojan 9mm

STI Trojan 9mm

Prices accurate at time of writing

What we run for single stack competition in USPSA and the best 9mm 1911 in our opinion.  Silky smooth action and the lightest trigger pull of all our pistols.  See our other 1911 picks in Best 1911 for the Money.

Best 9mm Self-Defense (147 gr)
Federal HST 9mm 147 gr

Federal HST 9mm 147 gr

If you like the slower impulse of the heavier 147 gr in your 9mm...we recommend the Federal HST.  What we load in our 9mm handguns at home.  See more of our favorites at Best 9mm Ammo for Self-Defense & Range.

Best Semi-Auto Precision Rifle
Aero Precision M5E1 .308

Aero Precision M5E1 .308

Prices accurate at time of writing

The big brother to the AR-15...this AR-10 variant is chambered in .308 and kicks butt.  See the full review or also Best Sniper & Precision Rifles.

Best Double-Action Only
Sig Sauer P250

Sig Sauer P250

Prices accurate at time of writing

A double-action only (DAO) gun where each trigger pull is long and heavy to bring some comfort from a safety perspective.  Little felt recoil and highly customizable for grip size.  Check out the rest of our Best Handguns for Women.

Best Bang-For-The-Buck Handguard
Aero Precision ATLAS M-LOK Handguard

Aero Precision ATLAS M-LOK Handguard

Prices accurate at time of writing

Our new favorite handguard due to its price, weight, and feel.  Check out the full review in Best AR-15 Handguards as well as it in action on the Aero M4E1 Upper Review.

Smallest .380 Pistol
Kahr CW .380

Kahr CW .380

Size really matter?  The Kahr CW .380 is about as small as you can get while still retaining 6+1 rounds.

Most Readily Available
Colt LE6920

Colt LE6920

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Colt LE 6920 (law enforcement) is my main recommendation for an entry level AR-15 since you can find it almost any gun store.  It comes with a front sight block (FSB), carbine-length gas system, polymer handguards, and a flip-up rear sight.  Learn more about AR-15s in our Best AR-15 Guide

Most Affordable
Anderson Lower Receiver

Anderson Lower Receiver

Super affordable and does what it needs to do.  Can't ask for anything more than that!  But if you're looking for more options, check out our Best AR-15 Lowers.

Most Affordable .380 Pistol
Ruger LCP II .380

Ruger LCP II .380

One of the best bargains you can get...and reliable with a wide range of ammunition.  Check out the rest of the list in our Top .380 Pistols.

Editor's Pick (Forged)
Aero Precision Lower

Aero Precision Lower

Better looking than the Anderson and my current go-to for builds.  Plus they have special editions like the "Pew Pew Pew" lower.  For more options check out our Best AR-15 Lowers article.

Best Revolver for Smaller Hands
Smith & Wesson Model 66

Smith & Wesson Model 66

Chambered in .38 Special, the Model 66 is reliable, simple to use, and great for smaller hands.  Check out the rest in our 7 Best Handguns for Women.

Best Three-Point Sling
Specter Three Point Sling

Specter Three Point Sling

Prices accurate at time of writing

Love it or hate it...this is our favorite three-point sling.  Learn more at Best Rifle Sling for Your Purpose.

Editor's Pick Not-A-Shotgun
Mossberg 590 Shockwave

Mossberg 590 Shockwave

Prices accurate at time of writing

Not legally a shotgun...the Shockwave is simply a "firearm."  And despite the weird looking grip...it shoots better than other traditional pistol grip shotguns.  Learn more in our full review.

Best Animal Protection Revolver
Model 5033 Ruger Redhawk .357 Magnum

Model 5033 Ruger Redhawk .357 Magnum

Prices accurate at time of writing

8 rounds of .357 Magnum in a 2 ¾ inch barrel that is perfect for big critter country.  See more revolvers in our Top .357 Magnum Revolvers.

Best AR-15 with a Front Sight Block (FSB)
Daniel Defense DDM4 V3

Daniel Defense DDM4 V3

Prices accurate at time of writing

Our favorite front sight block AR-15 which comes with the softer shooting mid-length gas system and the impeccable Daniel Defense name.  Check out how to choose your first AR in our Best AR-15 Guide.

Most Functions
Laser Ammo PET

Laser Ammo PET

Prices accurate at time of writing

You get a bunch of different modes...but for the price you only get one target compared to LaserLyte versions.  But it does feel more quality.  More options at Best Laser Cartridges & Targets.

Best ACOG
ACOG TA31F 4x32

ACOG TA31F 4x32

Trijicon's ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) are magnified for hitting longer range targets.  Learn more about them in our Red Dot Sights article.

Most Reliable .380
Glock 42

Glock 42

Reliability the number one concern in choosing a concealed carry gun?  The Glock 42 in .380 is small AND ready to fire whenever you are.

Editor's Choice
Smith & Wesson Model 686+

Smith & Wesson Model 686+

My personal favorite for the one revolver you should own.  7 shots of either .38 or .357 goodness with a balanced 4" barrel.  Good trigger that can be easily turned into a great trigger.  See the rest of our Best Handgun for Beginners and Home Defense.

Best Fixed Magnification
Vortex Spitfire 3x

Vortex Spitfire 3x

Our pick for best fixed magnification optic.  The Vortex Spitfire gives you clear 3x magnification with a reticle that has drop-downs for up to 500 yards for 5.56 ammo.  See the rest of our Best AR-15 Optics & Scopes.

Longest Range Light
Nitecore MH25GT

Nitecore MH25GT

Prices accurate at time of writing

This heftier light has a concentrated 1000 lumen output that can reach up to 1500 feet.  See the beam output as well as other options at our Best Tactical Flashlights.

Editor's Choice (EDC Flashlight)
Fenix PD25

Fenix PD25

Prices accurate at time of writing

A simple compact light with several modes and a decent max brightness of 550 lumens.  Comes with a USB rechargeable battery and survived our drop and water immersion tests.  See more options at our Best EDC Flashlights.

Best .223 Self-Defense
Federal LE Hi-Shok 55 gr 500 Rounds

Federal LE Hi-Shok 55 gr 500 Rounds

Prices accurate at time of writing

A law enforcement soft-point .223 round.  Our go-to for self-defense rounds since if it's good enough for first responders...it's good enough for us.  See more choices at Best AR-15 Ammo for Self-Defense & Range.

The Gold Standard
Aimpoint Micro H-1, 2 MOA

Aimpoint Micro H-1, 2 MOA

When you absolutely need your red dot to turn on, hold zero, and survive a literal bomb blast...you go Aimpoint.  The Micro keeps it compact.  Check out more picks in our Best AR-15 Optics & Scopes.

Best Value (IWB)
Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0

Prices accurate at time of writing

One of our favorite hybrid (neoprene backer and Kydex shell) holsters for IWB (inside the waistband).  30-day trial run period and lifetime warranty from Alien Gear.  Check out our in-depth review here.

Best Value (Small Frame)
Ruger Model SP-101

Ruger Model SP-101

Prices accurate at time of writing

Want a great small frame .357 Mag but want to save a little?  You can't go wrong with the SP-101.  Check out the history of revolvers in our Top .357 Magnum Revolvers article.

Best Overall Laser Target
LaserLyte Steel Tyme

LaserLyte Steel Tyme

Prices accurate at time of writing

The current best bang-for-the-buck reactive laser target from Laserlyte.  Makes a nice *ting* when you hit it.  More choices at Best Laser Target & Cartridges.

Editor's Choice (Beginners, Home Defense)
Glock 17, Gen 4

Glock 17, Gen 4

Who hasn't heard of Glock?  The full-size 9mm Glock 17 is ultra reliable, the Glock "Safe Action" trigger safety, and now comes with adjustable backstraps to better fit your hand.  Find out more at our Best Handgun for Beginners and Home Defense.

Best Single-Point Sling
Magpul MS4 Sling

Magpul MS4 Sling

Our favorite single-point sling that’s comfortable, durable, and easy to adjust.  Learn more at Best Rifle Sling for Your Purpose.

Best Free Float Handguard AR-15
Daniel Defense DDM4 V7

Daniel Defense DDM4 V7

Again from Daniel Defense...our favorite pick for a free-floating handguard AR-15.  This variant has the mid-length gas system and 16" barrel.  Want to learn more about how we made our choice?  Check out our Best AR-15 Guide.

Best High-End Semi-Auto
Benelli M4

Benelli M4

The shotgun that accompanies US Marines across 6 continents.  This thing is built tough and uses a self-regulating gas system that runs cleaner compared to normal inertia systems.  See the rest at Best Semi-Auto Shotguns.

Editor's Choice (Lightweight Rail)
Midwest Industries LWMG3

Midwest Industries LWMG3

Prices accurate at time of writing

My favorite rail for most builds.  Good bang-for-the-buck, comfortable in hand, and also very light.  Check it out vs other rails in our Lightest AR-15 Handguards and Best AR-15 Furniture articles.

Runner-Up (3x Magnifiers)
Primary Arms 3x Magnifier, Gen 4

Primary Arms 3x Magnifier, Gen 4

Prices accurate at time of writing

Our more affordable pick for Best 3x Magnifier.  Clear glass, rubberized cover, and good eye relief.  But the heaviest, no included mount, and slightly less field of view than our favorite Vortex.

Best Holographic Sight
EOTech XPS-2

EOTech XPS-2

The gold standard and EOTech's smallest holographic sight.  The 65-MOA outside circle combined with the center dot gives you the best of both worlds...close quarters speed and long-distance accuracy.  Check out red dots and scopes in our Best AR-15 Optics & Scopes article.

Best Looking .380
Sig Sauer P238

Sig Sauer P238

Want your concealed carry piece to be a looker?  Sig Sauer's P238 is your best bet.  The 1911-inspired .380 pistol is aluminum framed and comes with a safety lever.  Want to see more CCW guns?  Check out our Top .380 Pistols.

Best Belly Band Holster
Brave Response Holster

Brave Response Holster

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best belly band holster that also comes with space for 3 spare mags.  If you're looking for other belly band holsters, check out our Best Concealed Carry Holsters.

Runner-Up (Tactical Flashlight)
Fenix PD35 TAC

Fenix PD35 TAC

Prices accurate at time of writing

The big brother to our favorite EDC light (PD25), this version is brighter at 1000 lumens, also rechargeable, and passed all our torture tests.  See the full details at our Best Tactical Flashlights.

Best Budget Semi-Auto (Hunting)
Stoeger m3500

Stoeger m3500

Want to venture into the world of hunting semi-auto shotguns on a budget?  The Stoeger m3500 is what you're looking for.  Check out the rest of the Best Semi-Auto Shotguns.

Editor's Choice (Laser Cartridge)
Laserlyte Cartridge

Laserlyte Cartridge

The most well-known brand for laser training cartridges.  My 9mm has been chugging past 5,000 dry-fire shots..  Check out more affordable options and targets in Best Laser Targets & Ammo.

Best .223 Bang-for-the-Buck
Wolf Gold .223 55 gr

Wolf Gold .223 55 gr

Our favorite all-purpose .223 round.  Available for around 30 cents a round but not the greatest for reloading.  See more of our choices at Best AR-15 Ammo for Self-Defense & Range.

Best Lightweight Lower
Battle Arms Development Lightweight Lower

Battle Arms Development Lightweight Lower

Best overall lightweight lower where you can shed a quarter pound in your lower alone.  BAD didn't go overboard and take out weight that might be necessary.  Plus it looks BAD-ass.  For more choices check out Best AR-15 Lowers.

Great Value (Sub-Compact)
Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield

Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield

The M&P9 Shield has a nice, smooth, shorter pull.  And is priced right.  A little larger than most subcompacts but still plenty concealable.  Check out the rest of Best Single Stack Sub-Compacts.

Best Red Dot Under $200
Holosun HS403A

Holosun HS403A

Prices accurate at time of writing

Our favorite red dot for under $200 that beat all its competitors in our grueling torture tests.  Check out the full red dot review here.

Best .45 ACP Self-Defense
Federal .45 ACP 230 gr HST

Federal .45 ACP 230 gr HST

We love Federal HST in 9mm and the same goes for .45 ACP.  This ammo dominated the FBI-style ballistics gel test for penetration and expansion.  See more choices at Best .45 ACP Ammo for Home Defense & Target Practice.

Best Value Semi-Auto (Competition)
Benelli M2 Tactical

Benelli M2 Tactical

The most popular competition shotgun that I've seen (and use personally).  Benelli has got it right with their inertia driven semi-auto 12 gauge.  See the rest at Best Semi-Auto Shotguns.

Best BUIS
Magpul MBUS

Magpul MBUS

Want to have a backup in case your main optic fails?  The Magpul BUIS (backup iron sites) are light, out of the way, and effective.  Check out other BUIS options in our guide here.

Best Pump Shotgun
Mossberg 590A1

Mossberg 590A1

Our favorite pump shotgun for home defense.  Slight edge over the Remington 870 because we like the position of the safety and bolt release better.  Check out our other picks for Best Tactical Shotguns.

Best Bang-For-The-Buck Scope
Vortex 1-6x Strike Eagle

Vortex 1-6x Strike Eagle

Our favorite entry level scope that's perfect for close engagement and also reaching out to several hundred yards.  What we ran in on our competition rifle for years.  Check out more in Best AR-15 Optics & Scopes.

Lightest Handguard
Brigand Arms Carbon Fiber Handguard

Brigand Arms Carbon Fiber Handguard

When you've absolutely got to have the lightest handguard.  Premium priced, no rail space, but man...is it light.  Check out the rest of the competition in Lightest AR-15 Handguards.

Best Bullpup Rifle
Tavor SAR Flattop B16

Tavor SAR Flattop B16

This Israeli bullpup has got it going on.  Reliable, short, and able to switch from 5.56 to 9mm with a kit.  Learn more at Best Bullpup Rifles & Shotguns.

Best Bang for the Buck AR-15
Aero Precision AC-15M

Aero Precision AC-15M

For the best overall value, I like Aero Precision's AC-15M.  Aero has a stellar reputation for build parts and their complete rifles are no exception.  Best Bang for the Buck since it comes with the softer shooting mid-length gas system.  Check out my review of one of their complete uppers.

Most Affordable Red Dot
TRS-25 AR Optics

TRS-25 AR Optics

The perfect stepping stone for getting into red dots.  The TRS-25 stands up to abuse and still holds zero.  Be sure to get the right riser though.  Check out its specifications and more in our Best AR-15 Optics & Scopes guide.

Best Adjustable Gas Block
Superlative Arms Adjustable Gas Block

Superlative Arms Adjustable Gas Block

Most AR-15s are over-gassed...which means more recoil.  Adjustable gas blocks restrict the amount of gas returning to your gun.  And this one can bleed it out instead of forcing it out the barrel.  Learn more in our full review.

Most Lightweight Lower
F1 UDR-15 3G Style 2

F1 UDR-15 3G Style 2

Prices accurate at time of writing

When you're going for the absolute lightest build at the possible expense of reliability in all conditions.  Check out the rest of our Best AR-15 Lowers.

Runner-Up Best Pump Shotgun
Remington 870

Remington 870

Another favorite pump shotgun that narrowly misses our top pick since we prefer the Mossberg 590's safety and bolt release.  Check out our other top picks for Best Tactical Shotguns.

Best Medium Frame Revolver
Ruger GP-100

Ruger GP-100

The GP-100 is a 6-shot .357 Magnum and is built like a TANK.  Check out the rest of our picks in Top .357 Magnum Revolvers.

Best Bullpup Rifle
FN PS90

FN PS90

The PS90 shoots the 5.7x28 round which is low-recoil, small, and super fast...which makes it deadly against body armor.  Check out our other picks in Best Bullpup Rifles & Shotguns.

Techiest Training Solution
MantisX

MantisX

Super-helpful device that attaches to your pistol rail that reads what you're doing wrong in both dry AND live fire.  Bluetooth to your phone with a nifty app.  Combine this with our Safe & Effective Dry Fire Training.

Best Value Over-Under Shotgun
Stoeger Condor

Stoeger Condor

The best over-under shotgun for under $500.  Everything you need to dominate the clays and available in a variety of calibers.  Learn more in our in-depth review.

Best Value Semi-Auto Shotgun
Mossberg SPX 930

Mossberg SPX 930

Best combination of price and performance for a semi-auto shotgun.  Check out our other picks for Best Tactical Shotguns.

Runner-Up (Beginners, Home Defense)
Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0

The newest version of the venerable M&P (military and police).  If there’s a list of best 9mm handguns, this usually makes the top 3.  Check out the rest at Best Handgun for Beginners and Home Defense.

Editor's Choice (Tactical Flashlight)
ThruNite TN12 2016 XP-L

ThruNite TN12 2016 XP-L

Prices accurate at time of writing

Well-rounded in everything from price to weight and lumen output.  1100 lumens at its max but also night-vision friendly with its .4 lumen "firefly" mode.  Check out more info at Best Tactical Flashlights.

Most Unique (IWB)
Urban Carry G2

Urban Carry G2

Prices accurate at time of writing

Take everything you know about holsters and throw it out the door.  The Urban Carry G2 relies on a unique system to pull out your CCW.  Check out the GIF in our Best Concealed Carry Holsters article.

Editor's Pick (Semi-Auto, Hunting)
Browning A5

Browning A5

Our favorite for best overall hunting semi-automatic shotgun.  Old school looking but able to differentiate between light and heavy loads.  Check out its competition in Best Semi-Auto Shotguns.

Best 9mm Self-Defense (124 gr)
Federal HST 9mm 124 gr

Federal HST 9mm 124 gr

Our favorite overall 9mm defensive round.  Passed the FBI-style ballistics gel test with flying colors.  Check out the results and more of our picks at Best 9mm Ammo for Self-Defense & Range.

Best 9mm Range Ammo
American Eagle 9mm 115 gr

American Eagle 9mm 115 gr

Hands down the best deal with the manufacturer's 25% off rebate until the end of the year.  Always goes bang and the brass is easy to reload.  See more at Best 9mm Ammo for Self-Defense & Range.

Best .45 ACP Range Ammo
American Eagle .45 ACP 230 gr

American Eagle .45 ACP 230 gr

Best deal for the year with American Eagle's 25% manufacturer's rebate.  Shoots clean, always goes bang, and great brass.  See more at Best .45 ACP Ammo for Home Defense & Target Practice.

Clearest 1-6x Glass
Vortex 1-6x Razor HD Gen 2

Vortex 1-6x Razor HD Gen 2

Want the clearest glass at low magnification that is perfect for competition?  The Razor HD Gen 2 is the perfect pick.

Very Compact (Single Stack)
Sig Sauer P290RS

Sig Sauer P290RS

Prices accurate at time of writing

Looking for a very compact 9mm singlestack?  The P290RS is the one for you.  Comes with "Dual Action" trigger so you can press the trigger again if you think you had a light primer.  Check out the rest of our Best Single Stack Sub-Compacts.

Best Pick Pistol Caliber Carbine
CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine

CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine

One of our favorite pistol caliber carbines...the CZ Scorpion is easy to shoot, the 9mm ammo is affordable, and reliable.  The new perfect home defense rifle.  Learn more in our in-depth review.

Best 3x Magnifier
Vortex 3x Magnifier

Vortex 3x Magnifier

Our favorite 3x magnifier under $200.  Clear glass, good eye relief, ambidextrous, easy to use mount, and slim design.  See more in our Best 3x Magnifier article.

Editor's Pick (.45 ACP)
Heckler & Koch HK45

Heckler & Koch HK45

Prices accurate at time of writing

Looking for the best non-1911 .45 ACP handgun?  The HK45 is best in class for home defense and tactical operations.  Check out who it beat in Best .45 ACP Pistols.

Best Glock Laser Trainer
SIRT Pistol

SIRT Pistol

Prices accurate at time of writing

Pricey but great if you want to mimic the trigger and weight/feel of a Glock...while shooting visible lasers.  Check out more training options in our Best Laser Targets & Cartridges.

Best Large Frame Revolver
Smith & Wesson Model 627 Pro Series

Smith & Wesson Model 627 Pro Series

Prices accurate at time of writing

8 shots of .357 Magnum goodness.  You'll feel very little recoil with this heavy revolver...plus you can reload with moon clips.  See more at Top .357 Magnum Revolvers.

Coolest Looking AR-15
LWRC DI 16"

LWRC DI 16"

Prices accurate at time of writing

How about the coolest looking (and reliable) AR-15?  LWRC's DI (direct impingement) AR-15 even comes with a mid-length gas system, free floating rail, and handstop.

Most Affordable
Hatsan Escort Aimguard

Hatsan Escort Aimguard

Prices accurate at time of writing

Want something reliable but yet super affordable?  The Hatsan Escort Aimguard is the way to go.

Best Retention (OWB)
Tagua Leather OWB Holster

Tagua Leather OWB Holster

The perfect OWB (outside the waistband) holster that has a thumb break as extra built-in retention.  See our other holster choices at Best Concealed Carry Holsters.

Editor's Pick Bullpup Shotgun
Kel-Tec KSG

Kel-Tec KSG

Prices accurate at time of writing

While there's not too much competition in the bullpup shotgun world...the KSG has got some things going for it.  Such as a super short length, and two tubes that allow a 7+7+1 ammo capacity.  Learn more at Best Bullpup Rifles & Shotguns.

Best Two-Point Sling
Viking Tactics Sling

Viking Tactics Sling

Used by tons of US troops...the upgraded version of this sling is wider, more comfortable, and has stronger hardware.  Learn more at Best Rifle Sling for Your Purpose.

Most Affordable 1911
Rock Island Armory 1911

Rock Island Armory 1911

Want a 1911 but don't want to spend too much?  But still want it reliable?  Look no further than the RIA 1911.  Check out our other picks in Best 1911 for the Money.

The "Goldilocks" Red Dot
Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO)

Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO)

The PRO combines the robustness that made Aimpoint famous coupled with great battery life and a lower price point.  Check out more scopes in our Best AR-15 Optics & Scopes guide.

Best Beginner Bolt Action Rifle
Remington 700

Remington 700

The go-to precision bolt rifle that shoots great out of the box...but can also be upgraded into a tack-driver.  See more at Best Sniper & Precision Rifles.

Best Buffer System
JP Captured Spring

JP Captured Spring

Hate the *sproing* of your buffer system?  Going with a lighter BCG?  Want your AR-15 to have less recoil?  Get this!  Learn more at Best Lightweight Bolt Carrier Groups.

Best Value (Medium Frame)
Taurus Model 66SS4

Taurus Model 66SS4

Prices accurate at time of writing

A 7-shot medium framed .357 Magnum revolver that is super durable.  See more of its competition in Top .357 Magnum Revolvers.

Dream 1911
Wilson Combat CQB Tactical LE

Wilson Combat CQB Tactical LE

Prices accurate at time of writing

What we would immediately order if we won the lottery.  For more affordable 1911 options, check out our Best 1911 for the Money guide.

1911 Editor's Choice
Springfield Loaded Operator

Springfield Loaded Operator

Our favorite 1911 that combines everything we want...and at a reasonable price.  Check out our other picks at Best 1911 for the Money.