Best Guns and Gear for 2024

Which pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, accessories, and ammunition are our favorites? We highlight the various winners in each category.


Toward the end of each year, I survey the work R.K. Campbell, Robert Sadowski, Tracey Taylor, and Joe Woolley have done in Gun Tests, with an eye toward selecting guns, accessories, and ammunition the magazine’s testers have endorsed. From these evaluations I pick the best from a full year’s worth of tests and distill recommendations for readers, who often use them as shopping guides. These choices are a mixture of our original tests and other information I’ve compiled during the year. After we roll high-rated test products into long-term testing, I keep tabs on how those guns do, and if the firearms and accessories continue performing well, then I have confidence including these firearms in this wrap-up. 

  • Best in Class Revolver ’23 – Heritage Rough Rider Tactical Cowboy RR22B6-TH 22 LR
  • Best in Class Pistol ’23 – Walther PDP F-Series 4-Inch 9mm Luger
  • Best in Class Rifle ’23 – Savage Model 110 Tactical 6 ARC
  • Best in Class ShotGun ’23 –  Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical 12 Ga.

Savage Model 110 Tactical 57770 6 ARC, $663

Gun Tests Grade: A (BEST-IN-CLASS RIFLE)

Slightly more accurate in our tests than the Christensen Scout, we liked the versatility of the stock. Known for the quality of the Accu-Triggers, this rifle came to us with the best trigger we’ve ever shot on a Savage.

Full Review:  Savage Model 110 Tactical 57770 6 Arc

Action Type Bolt
Overall Length 38.25 in.
Barrel 18 in. long, 1:7.5 twist
Overall Height w/o Scope Mount 6.75 in.
Weight Unloaded 8.1 lbs.
Weight Loaded 9.0 lbs.
Sight Radius NA
Action Matte black steel
Barrel Matte black steel
Magazine Capacity 10
Magazine Type MDT detachable box, AICS pattern
Stock Polymer
Drop at Comb Adjustable
Drop at Heel 0.75 in.
Bedding Aluminum chassis
Buttplate Rubber
Length of Pull Adjustable, 12.75 to 13.75 in.
Receiver Scope-Base Pattern Savage 110
Trigger Pull Weight 1.3 lbs.
Safety Tang and trigger
Warranty 1-year limited for original owner
Telephone (800) 370-0708
Made In U.S.

Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical 85152 12 Gauge, $1189


The Pro Tactical makes a good defense or competition shotgun with numerous user-friendly features like oversized controls, beveled loading port, choke tubes, and an option to mount a red dot.

Full Review:  Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical 85152 12 Gauge

Action Type Semi-auto, gas operated
Chamber Size 3.0 in.
Overall Length 37.5 in.
Capacity 7+1
Weight Unloaded 7.5 lbs.
Weight Loaded 8.2 lbs.
Barrel Length 18.5 in.
Finish Matte blue
Choke Tubes Accu-Choke, Cylinder
Buttstock Textured polymer, adjustable
Buttstock Length Of Pull 12.5 to 14.25 in.
Fore End Textured polymer w/M-LOK rail
Sights Front fiber optic, optics ready
Trigger Pull Weight 5.7 lbs.
Safety Manual trigger block
Warranty 2-year limited
Telephone (203) 230-5300
Made In U.S.

Walther PDP F-Series 4-Inch 2842734 9mm Luger, $599


The Walther PDP F may be designed for the female hand shape, but our male raters liked the gun as well. Our female raters do not like larger grips and found the PDP F to be an excellent fit. It is also a great shooter.



Full Review:  Walther PDP F-Series 4-inch 2842734 9mm Luger

Action Type Semi-auto, double action
Overall Length 7.25 in.
Overall Height 5.4 in.
Maximum Width 1.35 in.
Weight Unloaded 26.0 oz.
Weight Loaded 31.0 oz.
Slide Black-phosphate-finish steel
Slide Retraction Effort 14.0 lbs.
Receiver MaterialPolymer
Finish Black
Front Strap Height 2.4 in.
Rear Strap Height 3.2 in.
Barrel Length 4.0 in.
Grip Replaceable back strap
Grip Thickness 1.3 in.
Grip Circumference 5.5 in.
Magazine (2) 15 round
Rear Sight Fixed
Front Sight Fixed (Glock compatible)
Trigger Pull Weight 4.9 lbs.
Trigger Span 2.6 in.
Sight Radius 6.4 in.
Safety Trigger lever
Warranty Lifetime
Telephone (479) 242-8500
Made In Germany

Heritage Rough Rider Tactical Cowboy RR22B6-TH 22 LR, $212


We really liked this inexpensive but useful revolver. Accuracy is good to excellent, and the sights are the best of the test. The ability to mount a red-dot sight is very interesting. This is a lot of gun for the money.


Full Review:  Heritage Rough Rider Tactical Cowboy RR22B6-TH 22 LR

Action Type Single action only, hammer fired
Overall Length 11.85 in.
Overall Height 5.0 in.
Maximum Width 1.5 in.
Weight Unloaded 32.0 oz.
Weight Loaded 35.8 oz.
Cylinder Gap 0.07 in.
Barrel Alloy steel, 6.5 in. long, 
1:14 RH twist, 6 grooves
Capacity 6
Frame Zinc alloy, black oxide finish
Cylinder Alloy steel, black oxide finish
Frame Front Strap Height 2.25 in.
Frame Rear Strap Height 3.0 in.
Grips Carbon fiber
Grip Thickness Maximum 1.5 in.
Grip Circumference 5.6 in., 5.9 in at toe of grip
Front Sight Fiber optic
Rear Sight Fixed rear, rail for red dot
Sight Radius 7.0 in.
Trigger Pull Weight Single Action 2.9 lbs.
Trigger Span 2.5 in.
Safety Manual
Warranty 1 year limited
Telephone (229) 515-8099
Made In U.S.


Optics and Accessory Picks

Holosun AEMS 211301, $280

The Holosun AEMS (Advanced Enclosed Micro Sight) offers both red and green reticles and two power sources. A CR2032 battery loads into a tray on the right side that actually usually uses screws for retention — it is not just press to close. The screws also help seal the unit against moisture which, along with other features, earned the AEMS an IPX8 rating for waterproofing. Those two power supplies provide juice for three possible reticle styles. The default is a 65-moa circle surrounding a 2-moa dot. The user can also select circle only or dot only. The “dot and the donut” reticle uses the most power, but battery life is still estimated to be at around 20,000 hours. The user has the option of eight daylight and four night-vision-compatible brightness settings. The operator can choose his settings manually or let the sight do it for him automatically. We used the auto function and had no trouble finding this dot. The Holosun is totally enclosed. This sight is housed in a body made from solid 7075-T6 aluminum. 

Our Team Said: The Holosun did not disappoint. The reticle was very easy to find and use.

Gun Tests Grade: A


Timney Alpha Competition Series Alpha Glock 3-4, $150

Hands down, the Timney trigger makes it a bit easier to shoot the Glock, in our opinion. The Timney trigger is flat faced with the safety lever built into the center. There is no tip at the end of the trigger like with the Apex and OverWatch. The trigger is made of aluminum, and the trigger bar is Teflon nickel coated, also called NP3 coating, so it is slick and will smooth up with use. The kit contains a trigger and trigger bar, sear assembly, two trigger return springs — one for stock Glock parts and one for aftermarket parts — and the tools to install the trigger.

Our Team Said: In our opinion, this is an excellent trigger for a competition Glock. We feel the pull weight is a bit too light for EDC.

Gun Tests Grade: A


MantisX Mantis Laser Academy, $150

The Mantis Laser Academy ( comes in a cardboard box holding 12 different targets, a laser cartridge, large tripod, wood dowel to remove the laser cartridge from the pistol barrel, five target stands, sticky tacks to temporarily stick the targets to a wall, and a small zipper case that holds multiple laser cartridges, the dowel, and an additional small tripod. The small tripod is used when setting up the system on a table top.

Mantis provides the standard bullseye-type drills, plus others like Shot From Guard/Low Ready — Multi-Shot, which has the shooter start from a prompt. This drill measures your reaction time and tracks the accuracy of shots. Another is Compressed Surprise Break drill, which helps develop a fast shot in response to the start signal. There are holster drills and duel drills where you can compete against an opponent. We liked how the benefits of the drill was explained by just tapping an info icon. The wide range of different drills is the real value with the Mantis. 

 Our Team Said: The Mantis Laser Academy offers good data collection and a large selection of drills and courses at a reasonable price. We liked the assortment of targets, the target stand, and the tripods, which in our opinion makes the Mantis versatile and easy to use in most environments. 


SIG Sauer Kilo 4K Range Rinder, $599 

You guessed it — SIG Sauer named this laser range finder the Kilo 4K because the company claims a maximum ranging capability of 4000 yards. Don’t expect that to mean that you can get a firm reading off that 2-minute-of-angle plate at 4000 yards. Nope. Not even if it is freshly painted. Four thousand yards might work for big objects, if everything is perfect. But they do claim properly reflective objects can be lased at 2000 yards and deer are possible at 1600. We hope this means that you can get a range on an animal a lot further away than you plan on shooting it. 

Standard features of the Kilo 4K add up to a very substantial list: 

1. Hyperscan capability creating ranges with four scans per second 

2. Digital image stabilization 

3. Multiple display options — Line of Sight, Angle Modified Range (takes angle into consideration), and Archery 

4. First, best, last, extended and fog target modes 

5. Lumatic display adjusts automatically to ambient light 

SIG Sauer uses some of its software to take device capabilities an order of magnitude further. First is an optical image stabilization that helps keep the image still when the user isn’t. Then comes a suite of ballistic apps. SIG has been syncing the Sierra BDX (Ballistic Data eXchange) model scopes for some time. The Kilo 4K LRF can also use a similar connection to provide elevation and windage adjustments based on input from the shooter. 

Our Team Said: The SIG Sauer Kilo 4K laser range finder provided a precise aiming point and good data accurate to the tenth of a yard. We matched the projected holdover data to the performance of a well-known rifle and found numbers matched up well. 


Steering Wheel Column Holster Mount, $40 

We found this mount to be very secure. The mount features two hooks that attach just to one side of the steering column. There is plenty of leeway for comfort and access or left- or right-hand set up. We were surprised at the ease of the draw. While a mount or magnet may be hidden, in this case the steering column served as a point of reference in leading toward the handgun. Reach down and bring the handgun up toward the center of the chest. Being certain the mount is adjusted as tightly as possible is the trick. 

The holster must incorporate a safety strap into the design. While the handgun may stay put in a tightly fitted holster, and some leather holsters work okay, you really need the combination of Velcro and a tight belt-loop connect. Line the mount up, properly tighten it, and you have a solid mount.





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