Most recognized handguns......

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Bob Wright

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I've been mulling over which handguns are the most popular, that is, most recognized, by the general public. So, here's what I think are the most frequently seen and recognized by the public in general. Now, the Colt Single Action Army Model 1873 may not be known by than nomenclature, but suffice it to be called the "Cowboy gun" or "Matt Dillon's gun" but the folks would recognized a photo or model, or even the real thing. So, here goes my surmise:

No.1 Colt Single Action Army, or Peacemaker. Seen primarily on the scree or TV by way of the westerns from a few years back. Western movies and TV shows have captured the attention of the populace world wide.

No. 2 The Luger. Not sure whether No. 2 or No. 3, the Luger has been seen by many Europeans as it was the sidearm for two World Wars and was used by Germany, Switzerland, England and many other European countries. Also seen in war movies, and often by the adversary in crime movies.

No. 3 Colt Government Model/ M1911A1. Used by the US forces in two World Wars, and in Korea. Seen by many civilians when worn by US occupation forces following WW II. Also popular with outdoor sporting uses and target shooters.

No. 4 Toss up: Colt Detective Special/S&W Chiefs Special. The famous "Snub Nose .38" of crime fiction, in movies and TV shows.

No. 5 Webley/Enfield Top Breaks. Seen in many English made TV shows/Movies. Also seen around the world in British/Former British colonies. Armed the Armies of the Empire as well as colonial police.

I'm thinking maybe the Walther PPK would rank pretty high, maybe not. This thanks to James Bond.

Bob Wright
 

eveled

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How regular people see handguns

1 cowboy gun
2 regular revolver
3 1911
4 glock.
5 Luger

Came back to add “Pirate gun”. This may be the most recognized one.
 

Bob Wright

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I'd be interested in knowing how many folks in, say, France or Hungary, would identify a pistol as "Glock" or "Desert Eagle." Most of these are in modern movies which have yet to be seen in many countries.

Bob Wright
 

Biggfoot44

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Colt SAA - aka Cowboy gun aka John Wayne gun

Luger

Colt 1911 - aka Army .45

Walther PPK - James Bond , spy movies generally

" Snub Nose Revolver" - all inclusive w/o distinction

" Regular Revolver " - All inclusive w/o distinction

M29 - Dirty Harry revolver

Desert Eagle - Bad action movies and rap videos

" Glock " - Generic for any service type semiauto, with possible exception of Beretta M92/ M9 among Mil Veterans
 

Bad Barlow

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Colt SAA - aka Cowboy gun aka John Wayne gun

Luger

Colt 1911 - aka Army .45

Walther PPK - James Bond , spy movies generally

" Snub Nose Revolver" - all inclusive w/o distinction

" Regular Revolver " - All inclusive w/o distinction

M29 - Dirty Harry revolver

Desert Eagle - Bad action movies and rap videos

" Glock " - Generic for any service type semiauto, with possible exception of Beretta M92/ M9 among Mil Veterans
Recognizable to the general public?
Big pistol, little pistol.
 

KIR

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May not be the most recognized, but the most used in western flics would be the 1892 Winnie. It was very light and just about anybody could carry it.
 

kmoore

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When asking a victim about what type of handgun the crook pointed at them," it was big" and either it was "black" or "shinny". That's what most say. I once had a gangster type say, "When di yaw start packin a Glock". They tend to know that type of stuff.
Not sure anyone but people interested in guns recognizes handguns except to say stuff like the gun John Wayne carried, James Bond or John Wick.
 

Mauser9

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Great thread and posts. Enjoy modern westerns using period correct guns like the 1866-1873 reproduction Ubeirti guns. Heard Matt Dillon's Colt was actually a Colt clone made by a company called Great Western popular in the 50s-60s. Probably a lot cheaper than real Colts.
 

Biggfoot44

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As was John Wayne's .

They were a quality. US made clone in the era before Colt restarted production of the SAA in mid '50s , no doubt influenced by the brisk sales of the Great Western
 

skeen

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In the early '70s it was the S&W Model 29 made famous by Clint Eastwood, aka, Dirty Harry.:)
 

ole442

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Ohio! Way too freakin' close to the city!
When asking a victim about what type of handgun the crook pointed at them," it was big" and either it was "black" or "shinny". That's what most say. I once had a gangster type say, "When di yaw start packin a Glock". They tend to know that type of stuff.
Not sure anyone but people interested in guns recognizes handguns except to say stuff like the gun John Wayne carried, James Bond or John Wick.

I used to work at a grocery store when I was younger and a guy robbed the place 3 times! One of the times, a guy I knew was in the office and the robber pointed a gun at him and demanded money. Later, the police asked the clerk what the gun looked like and he said that it was a black revolver with shiny bullets in the cylinder! LOL! It's all perspective. BTW, the guy got caught all 3 times. I guess he must have gotten out on bail.
 

the_leper_colony

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the Great State of Wide-open (WY)
I've been mulling over which handguns are the most popular, that is, most recognized, by the general public. So, here's what I think are the most frequently seen and recognized by the public in general...

No. 3 Colt Government Model/ M1911A1. Used by the US forces in two World Wars, and in Korea. Seen by many civilians when worn by US occupation forces following WW II. Also popular with outdoor sporting uses and target shooters...

A lot of handguns are "recognized" by folks because they show up in movies - but not everything Hollywood uses is necessarily what it appears to be. Years ago, I learned that a lot of the "1911s" that we see in movies are really Star Model B 9mm pistols: apparently they run more reliably using blanks than real 1911s, and the grips are a bit smaller (which helps the actors & actresses hold on to 'em). If I remember correctly, the "1911" that Kevin Costner carried in The Untouchables was really a Star 9mm, as was the "1911" that Samuel L. Jackson used in Pulp Fiction.
 

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