There are thousands of gun models out there, all made with a specific purpose in mind. But, for the civilian, handguns can be classified into two groups: recreational guns and practical guns.
Recreational handguns are basically the weapons that one shoots just for fun, at the range or for target practice. These are usually guns that look good but are not ideal for carrying around; also novelty guns, old-school guns and guns that are hard to find. Practical handguns, on the other hand, are those smaller ones that can be used in any given situation, and generally can be carried everyday. These are the guns that are mostly used for self-defense and are regularly trained with.
Examples of recreational guns would be the Smith & Wesson 686, a double-action revolver made for the .357 Magnum cartridge. Introduced in the 1980s, this Smith & Wesson is a powerful gun, and handsomely made. However, its size and weight limits its use to the firing range or for home defense purposes.
Another recreational gun is the M1911 pistol. Once the standard issue handgun for the US Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986, the M1911 is still popular among gun enthusiasts due to its accuracy and reliability. But, it’s also not a gun that a normal person would be likely to tote around.
Glocks are some of the world’s most popular and lauded pistols. Also called the “Safe Action” pistol, Glocks are top performers when it comes to shooting, and are widely available. They are used by as much as 65% of the USA’s law enforcement agencies, as well as other military and security agencies worldwide.
More practical handguns are exemplified by the snubnosed revolver, which generally has a barrel length of only 3 inches. Compact and easy to handling, these revolvers are excellent as concealed carrying weapons while delivering powerful shots.
J-frame revolvers by Smith & Wesson are also ideal guns for practical use. These guns are known for their tiny size, but are still well-made and are very easy to handle due to a lighter weight, without sacrificing accuracy.