We will be looking at pistols from Smith & Wesson. When browsing for a handgun, people usually look for function and capability over aesthetics. That said, it is undeniable that a sharp-looking pistol would catch our eye and tempt us to buy it over other alternatives. Therefore, a great value gun would look sleek while also being reliable.

If you have been around for a while, you often hear the name Smith & Wesson. Everybody knows about the gun manufacturer, from gun enthusiasts to law enforcement officials and concealed carry fans. They are a reputable company that mass-produces high-quality guns. They also make Performance Center models for the custom category.

Smith & Wesson is one of the oldest names in United States firearm history. The company was founded back in the 1800s when they started manufacturing revolvers and other firearms such as the Model 3 American. The company found success and became very popular. Soon after, they moved on to semi-auto pistols, which revolutionized the firearm industry.

Of course, we would be here all day if we had to debate whether Smith & Wesson is the best firearms manufacturer. But if you want a gun that performs well for self-defense, then consider picking up one of their products. That is the purpose of today’s episode. We will look at five of their best products to help you narrow down your options.

1. S&W Performance Center Pro Series 442

Smith & Wesson J-Frame revolvers are not new. They have been floating in the firearms market since the 1950s and they aged like fine wine. The Model 442 Pro Series is a spin on the Model 42 Centennial Airweight. Smith & Wesson combined the time-tested features of the original Model 42 with modern technologies so that the Model 442 remain competitive.

Since reloading a revolver is such a pain, the manufacturer saw fit to include a moon clip to ease the process. It holds cartridges together for quick insertion and extraction. Chambered in .38 Special, this double-action revolver is elegant, well-made, and relatively affordable as well. Even if you are not into competitive shooting, the gun would make for a fine piece in your collection. It packs a punch as well as it is rated +P.

SMITH & WESSON PERFORMANCE CENTER PRO SERIES MODEL 442 AIRWEIGHT .38 S&W SPECIAL +P REVOLVER

2. S&W M&P Bodyguard 380

As the name suggests, the M&P Bodyguard is chambered in .380 ACP, and it is intended as a concealed carry weapon. Granted, you can probably make do with a 9 mm micro pistol, but the M&P Bodyguard is there if you want to try something different. A .380 ACP is only slightly smaller than a 9 mm anyway. Again, what is important is not the bullet size, but its placement. You are not going to do any damage with an RPG if you miss by a country mile. So, what is so special about this one?

For one, the ergonomic grip and high-strength polymer frame fit quite snugly in your hand and gives you a firm grasp over the weapon. One problem with micro pistols is that they are usually difficult to hold onto when you fire, which can throw off your aim. The M&P Bodyguard gives a solid feel of the grip so you can be confident in letting loose a couple of rounds quickly when you need it.

The S&W Bodyguard 380 solves one problem that many other concealed carry guns have. You see, when it is hot outside, you want to dress lighter. The problem is that it is difficult to conceal a gun that way because the gun prints and if the gun happens to be heavy enough, it also weighs down your clothing as well. Most importantly, guns also get hot, causing you to sweat, and that is just not ideal. Try to draw, aim, and fire with a pistol soaked in sweat. The S&W Bodyguard is just so light and compact that it eliminates all of those problems.

SMITH & WESSON M&P BODYGUARD .380 PISTOL W/O LASER

Other than that, you get finger groove and flat butt plate magazines, a manual thumb safety, and a double-action trigger. The gun sits at 5.25 inches long and 12.3 ounces heavy, making it a solid option for concealed carry.

3. S&W Model 500

Sleek, simple, and no-nonsense. The Model 500 would look right at home in an old cowboy movie. But it is not your stereotypical gun you get from your grandfather. To put it bluntly, this is a hammer with a trigger. If you want something to cover your flanks in bear country, you get the Model 500. It is not designed for concealed carry, but it deserves a place in your gun safe.

While the gun comes with shorter barrels, 4 and 6.5 inches to be exact, I think the Model 500 is most handsome if you get a full-size variant with 8.38 inches of barrel. This revolver is going to cost you a fair bit, not to mention that ammo will be a bit hard to come by. However, that is just the cost of owning a Model 500. If you can afford it, you can afford its ammo.

For this reason, you need to have a solid reason to buy it, not to mention having the understanding and practice to get the most out of your handheld cannon. While a .357 Magnum is a big round, you are going to feel the raw firepower when you move up to the .500 S&W. You got five rounds in the cylinder, but you can probably handle three at most. Personally, if you want something that you would trust your life with when you are out in a bear country, this one is probably your best bet.

SMITH & WESSON MODEL 500 3.5" 5RD 500 S&W MAGNUM REVOLVER W/ HI VIZ SIGHTS, STAINLESS STEEL

According to Smith & Wesson, this is the most powerful production revolver in the world. That statement is not to be taken lightly. Also, they said that this gun can be used as a hunting tool, and it will down any animal. Anything that moves, the Model 500 can handle it. That said, I do not recommend using this to shoot at squirrels or rodents in your backyard if you want to salvage anything from the carcass. But other than that, if you absolutely hate something and want it erased from existence, this is the go-to revolver. Shooting it with +P rounds is probably not going to be as fun but it can be if you go for reduced pressure loads.

4. Smith & Wesson 1911TA E-Series

Smith & Wesson also took a swing at the ionic 1911 design from John Moses Browning. They took this semi-auto and added their own touch to create the 1911TA. What we got is a gorgeous .45 ACP handgun with 8 rounds in the magazine with a beavertail. I guarantee you that people will drop whatever they are doing to take a gander at your firearm when you whip it out at the range.

Smith & Wesson made full-size Government and smaller Commander handguns to suit your preferences. Some of them come with an accessory rail to mount a light or laser. But the gun is not just about its looks. It still retains its reliability and performance, while looking beautiful doing it.

SMITH & WESSON SW1911TA E-SERIES TACTICAL ACCESSORY RAIL .45 ACP PISTOL

5. Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 FDE

The M&P 2.0 comes with an impressive magazine that carries 17 rounds for the 9 mm variant. Even with that large magazine size, Smith & Wesson managed to keep the gun light enough so that you can acquire your target faster, especially with a well-controlled muzzle climb. If you want, you can also get a loaded chamber indicator and thumb safety as well. The stock configuration comes with neither. The safety is ambidextrous, with up for safe and down to fire, and is conveniently placed. The dovetailed sights are pretty standard with white three dots but I am not complaining. They say not to fix things that are not broken, and these sights work just fine.

Speaking of customization options, the M&P 2.0 comes with four different palmswell grip inserts. This feature allows you to adjust the grip however you like. According to Smith & Wesson, the M&P 2.0 brings about innovative features in almost every aspect of the pistol. Looking at what the M&P 2.0 could do, I think they are not lying.

S&W M&P 2.0 OR SPEC SERIES KIT 9MM PISTOL, FDE/BLACK

And there you have it, folks. These are my top 5 picks for the best S&W pistols. Granted, this is just my opinion. With so many to choose from, it also pained me that I had to choose only 5. Of course, you do not have to agree with everything I said here, but if you think that other Smith & Wesson pistols should make the list, let us know your thoughts in the comment section. We would love to hear from you. It helps others make an informed decision on what gun to purchase as every single one of them is an investment.

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