2020 Guns & Gear Top Picks

Which pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, accessories, and ammunition were our picks in the past year? We look back at the previous 12 months to highlight the winners.

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Toward the end of each year, I survey the work R.K. Campbell, Roger Eckstine, Robert Sadowski, David Tannahill, Tracey Taylor, and John Taylor 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.

SIG Sauer P365XL P365XL-9-BXR3 9mm Luger

$580

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

Action TypeSemi auto, striker fired
Overall Length6.6 in.
Overall Height4.8 in.
Maximum Width1.1 in. at magwell
Weight Unloaded18.0 oz., no magazine
Weight Loaded26.1 oz. w/13 124-gr. Speer Gold Dots
Slide MaterialStainless steel, Nitron finish
Slide Retraction Effort14.7 lbs.
Receiver MaterialPolymer
FinishBlack
Front Strap Height2.1 in.
Back Strap Height2.75 in.
Barrel Length3.7 in.
Grip Thickness (Maximum)1.17 in.
Grip Circumference5.1 in.
MagazineTwo 12-round flush-fit magazines
Rear SightFixed with tritium inserts
Front SightDrift adjustable with tritium insert
Sight Radius5.5 in.
Trigger Pull Weight4.9 lbs.
Trigger Span2.7 in.
SafetyFiring pin block
WarrantyLimited lifetime
Telephone(603) 610-3000
WebsiteSIGSauer.com
Made InNewington, NH

Colt King Cobra KCOBRA-SB3BB 357 Magnum

$838

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

Action TypeRevolver, DA/SA
Overall Length8.0 in.
Barrel Length3.0 in.
Sight Radius4.35 in.
Overall Height5.0 in.
Maximum Width1.4 in.
Weight Unloaded28 oz.
Weight Loaded28.9 oz.
Cylinder Gap0.003 in.
Capacity6
Frame FinishMatte stainless
Barrel/Cylinder FinishMatte stainless
Frame Front Strap Height2.0 in.
Frame Back Strap Height3.1 in.
GripHogue Overmolded, textured finger grooves, rubber
Grip Thickness (max)1.2 in.
Grip Circumference (max)5.1 in.
Front SightBrass bead post, removable
Rear SightFixed notch
Trigger Pull Weight (DA)8.6 lbs.
Trigger Pull Weight (SA)3.5 lbs.
Trigger Span (DA)3.2 in.
Trigger Span (SA)2.7 in.
SafetyTransfer bar
WarrantyNone written
Telephone(800) 962-2658
WebsiteColt.com
Made InUSA

Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16 AA9626 7.62 NATO/308 Win.

$1799

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

ActionGas-operated semi-automatic
Overall Length37.25 in.
Overall Height (w/o magazine)4.6 in.
Maximum Width2.6 in.
Weight Unloaded8.9 lbs.
Capacity5-, 10-, 20-, 25-round magazines
Barrel16.25 in., 6-groove carbon steel, 1:11 twist
ButtstockBlack synthetic
Fore-endBlack synthetic
Trigger StyleTwo-stage military
Trigger Weight5.5 lbs.
Magazine(1) 10-round detachable box
Magazine ReleaseLever
Bolt ReleaseReceiver Mounted
Rear SightGhost Ring .135 Aperture, MOA adj. for windage & elevation
Front SightXS post w/tritium insert, 0.125 blade
Receiver Scope ProvisionsRail in front of receiver/side mount
WarrantyLimited lifetime
Telephone(800) 680-6866
WebsiteSpringfield-Armory.com
Made InUSA

Remington 870 12 Gauge

$275

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

Action TypePump
Chamber Size3.0 in.
Overall Length38.4 in.
Capacity5+1
Weight7.25 lbs.
Weight Loaded8.05 lbs.
Barrel Length18.5 in.
FinishBlued
ChokeCylinder bore
StockWood, semi pistol grip
Length Of Pull14.0 in.
ForendRibbed wood
Front SightBrass bead
Trigger Pull Weight7.15 lbs.
SafetyCrossbolt
WarrantyNone as used
Telephone(800) 243-9700
WebsiteRemington.com
Made InU.S.A.

Ruger SR1911 LW Commander Stainless 06722 9mm Luger

$775

Gun Tests Grade: A

Action TypeSemi auto, hammer fired, single action only
Overall Length7.9 in.
Overall Height5.4 in.
Maximum Width1.3 in.
Weight Unloaded27.0 oz.
Weight Loaded33.9 oz. w/10 rounds 124-gr. Hornady JHP
Slide MaterialStainless steel
Slide Retraction Effort15.2 oz.
Receiver MaterialAnodized aluminum
FinishGun metal grey tone
Front Strap Height2.6 in.
Back Strap Height3.25 in.
Barrel Length4.25 in.
Grip Thickness (Maximum)1.2 in.
Grip Circumference5.25 in.
MagazineTwo 9 round
Rear SightNovak 2-dot in dovetail, drift adjustable, set screw
Front Sight1-dot blade in dovetail
Sight Radius5.8 in.
Trigger Pull Weight4.1 lbs.
Trigger Span2.5 in.
SafetyFiring pin drop, manual thumb safety, grip safety
WarrantyNone provided
Telephone(336) 949-5200
WebsiteRuger.com
Made InUSA

Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact 108390 22 LR

$286

Gun Tests Grade: A

Action TypeBlowback, single action
Overall Length6.7 in.
Height4.8 in.
Max Width1.2 in.
Weight Unloaded15.3 oz.
Weight Loaded17.1 oz.
Slide MaterialAluminum
Slide Retraction Effort9.5 lbs.
Receiver MaterialPolymer
Front Strap Height2.3 in.
Back Strap Height3.25 in.
Barrel3.6 in.
Grip Thickness Max0.9 in.
Grip Circumference5.15 in.
Magazines(2) 10 round
Rear SightAdj. windage and elevation, white dot insert
Front SightPost with white dot
Sight Radius5.4 in.
Trigger Pull Weight7.6 lbs.
Trigger Span2.55 in.
Trigger Travel/Reset Travel0.24 in., 0.5 in.
SafetyManual Safety/Trigger Lever/Magazine Safety
WarrantyLifetime
Made InUSA
Telephone(800) 331-0852
WebsiteSmith-Wesson.com

SIG Sauer Tacops 1911R-10-TACOPS 10MM AUTO

$1050

Gun Tests Grade: B-/A

Action TypeSingle action, hammer fired
Overall Length8.7 in.
Overall Height5.6 in.
Maximum Width1.33 in.
Weight Unloaded39.8 oz.
Weight Loaded47.7 oz. with nine 180-grain FMJs
Slide MaterialStainless steel
Slide Retraction Effort20.5 lbs.
Receiver MaterialStainless steel
FinishNitron
Front Strap Height2.75 in.
Back Strap Height3.5 in. with factory extended magwell
Barrel Length5.0 in.
Grip Thickness (Maximum)1.33 in.
Grip Circumference5.4 in.
MagazineFour 8-round steel
Rear SightNovak pattern Siglite
Front SightNovak pattern Siglite
Sight Radius6.5 in.
Trigger-Pull Weight4.0 lbs.
Trigger Span3.0 in.
SafetyFiring pin, grip, manual thumb
WarrantyLimited lifetime, non-transferrable
Telephone(603) 610-3000
WebsiteSigSauer.com
Made InU.S.A., New Hampshire

Springfield Loaded Operator PX9105LL 45 ACP

$1162

Gun Tests Grade: A (Best Buy)

Action TypeShort recoil-operated locked breech, single action
Overall Length8.5 in.
Overall Height5.5 in.
Max. Width1.25 in.
Weight Unloaded40.0 oz.
Weight Loaded45.0 oz.
Slide MaterialForged steel
Slide Retraction Effort20.5 lbs.
Receiver MaterialCasting
FinishStainless steel
Front Strap Height2.6 in.
Back Strap Height3.2 in.
Barrel Length5.0 in.
Grip Thickness Max.1.25 in.
Grip Circumference5.2 in.
MagazinesTwo 8 round
Rear SightDrift-adj. Novak w/tritium two-dot inserts
Front SightDovetailed post with tritium insert
Sight Radius6.4 in.
Trigger Pull Weight4.9 lbs.
Trigger Span2.8 in.
SafetySlide lock, grip
WarrantyLimited lifetime
Telephone(309) 944-5631
WebsiteSpringfield-Armory.com
Made InUSA

Springfield Armory Hellcat Micro-Compact OSP HC9319BOSP 9mm Luger

$550

Gun Tests Grade: A

Action TypeSemi auto, striker fired
Overall Length6.0 in.
Overall Height5.25 in. w/mag extension and red dot sight
Maximum Width1.06 in. at slide stop
Weight Unloaded (no magazine)15.9 oz. with red dot
Weight Loaded23.3 oz. w/12 rounds
Slide MaterialForged steel, Melonite finish
Slide Retraction Effort17.7 lbs.
Receiver MaterialPolymer
FinishBlack
Front Strap Height1.625 in.
Back Strap Height2.5 in.
Barrel Length3.0 in.
Grip Thickness (Maximum)1.06 in.
Grip Circumference5.25 in.
Magazine(1) 11 round & (1) 13 round extended
Rear SightDrift adjustable w/white outline U-shape notch
Front SightTritium lamp outlined with high-vis green circle
Sight Radius5.1 in.
Trigger Pull Weight5.75 lbs.
Trigger Span2.875 in.
SafetyTrigger blade, hammer block
WarrantyLimited warranty
Telephone(800) 680-6866
WebsiteSpringfield-Armory.com
Made InCroatia

Smith & Wesson Model 617-6 160584 22 LR

$725

Gun Tests Grade: A (Our Pick)

Action TypeSemi auto, striker fired
Overall Length6.0 in.
Overall Height5.25 in. w/mag extension and red dot sight
Maximum Width1.06 in. at slide stop
Weight Unloaded (no magazine)15.9 oz. with red dot
Weight Loaded23.3 oz. w/12 rounds
Slide MaterialForged steel, Melonite finish
Slide Retraction Effort17.7 lbs.
Receiver MaterialPolymer
FinishBlack
Front Strap Height1.625 in.
Back Strap Height2.5 in.
Barrel Length3.0 in.
Grip Thickness (Maximum)1.06 in.
Grip Circumference5.25 in.
Magazine(1) 11 round & (1) 13 round extended
Rear SightDrift adjustable w/white outline U-shape notch
Front SightTritium lamp outlined with high-vis green circle
Sight Radius5.1 in.
Trigger Pull Weight5.75 lbs.
Trigger Span2.875 in.
SafetyTrigger blade, hammer block
WarrantyLimited warranty
Telephone(800) 680-6866
WebsiteSpringfield-Armory.com
Made InCroatia

Smith & Wesson Model 610 12462 10MM AUTO

$859

Gun Tests Grade: A

Action TypeDA/SA revolver, hammer fired
Overall Length12.1 in.
Overall Height6.1 in.
Maximum Width1.71 in.
Weight Unloaded49.6 oz.
Weight Loaded54.5 oz. with six 180-grain FMJs and moon clip
Cylinder MaterialStainless steel
Slide Retraction EffortN/A
Receiver MaterialStainless steel
FinishMatte stainless
Front Strap Height2.5 in.
Back Strap Height4.4 in.
BarrelStainless steel
Barrel Length6.5 in.
Grip Thickness (Maximum)1.25 in.
Grip Circumference5.4 in.
Magazine6-round cylinder
Rear SightAdjustable white outline
Front SightBlack replaceable
Sight Radius8.3 in.
Trigger Pull Weight Double Action11.6 lbs.
Trigger Pull Weight Single Action4.6 lbs.
Trigger Span Double Action4.0 in.
Trigger Span Single Action3.5 in.
SafetyHammer bar and action lock
Warranty1-year limited warranty, non-transferrable
Telephone(800) 331-0852
WebsiteSmith-Wesson.com
Made InU.S.A., Massachusetts

Winchester Model 70 Featherweight 535234220 308 Win.

$951

Gun Tests Grade: A

Action TypeBolt, 2 Lugs
Overall Length42.25 in.
Barrel Length, Twist22.0 in. ,1:12 in.
Overall Height w/o Scope Mount6.8 in.
Weight Unloaded6.9 lbs.
Weight Loaded7.25 lbs.
Sight RadiusNA
Action FinishMatte Stainless
Barrel FinishMatte Stainless
Magazine Capacity5 Rounds
Magazine TypeInternal Box
StockWalnut
Drop at Comb0.5 in.
Drop at Heel0.75 in.
BeddingNone
ButtplatePachmayr Decelerator
Length of Pull13.75 in.
Receiver Scope-Base PatternWinchester Short Action
Trigger Pull Weight3.1 lbs.
Safety3 Position
WarrantyNone written
Telephone(800) 333-3288
WebsiteWinchester.com
Made InPortugal

Marlin Model 1895G 70462 45-70 Government

$633

Gun Tests Grade: A

Action TypeBolt, 2 Lugs
Overall Length42.25 in.
Barrel Length, Twist22.0 in. ,1:12 in.
Overall Height w/o Scope Mount6.8 in.
Weight Unloaded6.9 lbs.
Weight Loaded7.25 lbs.
Sight RadiusNA
Action FinishMatte Stainless
Barrel FinishMatte Stainless
Magazine Capacity5 Rounds
Magazine TypeInternal Box
StockWalnut
Drop at Comb0.5 in.
Drop at Heel0.75 in.
BeddingNone
ButtplatePachmayr Decelerator
Length of Pull13.75 in.
Receiver Scope-Base PatternWinchester Short Action
Trigger Pull Weight3.1 lbs.
Safety3 Position
WarrantyNone written
Telephone(800) 333-3288
WebsiteWinchester.com
Made InPortugal

TPS M6 M6-100 22 LR/410 Bore

$487

Gun Tests Grade: A

Action TypeBreak action, manual hammer, single-shot
Chamber Size3.0 in.
Overall Length32.25 in.
Disassembled Length18.875 in.
Capacity2
Weight Unloaded5.1 lbs.
Weight Loaded5.18 lbs.
Barrel Length18.25 in.
BarrelBlued steel
ReceiverBlued steel
Choke TubeFull
ButtstockAluminum storage compartment,serrated butt, tapped for sling studs
Buttstock LOP12.0 in.
ForendNone
SightsSteel front post, flip up peep/V-notch rear
Trigger Pull Weight4.2 lbs.
SafetyManual hammer block
WarrantyLimited lifetime
Telephone(320) 358-0230
WebsiteTPSarms.com
Made InUSA

2 COMMENTS

  1. It would appear that I have chosen well this year according to your pick.. Great read and lets get though this ammo crunch ? Maybe a in depth look as to why all the “hunting” ammo is gone as well as target ammo, even the off caliber’s like 8mm or .303 are gone ? Love the ‘color’ monthly print edition.

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