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Viewer's Choice: Top 5 Handguns of 2023

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Top 5

It's that time of year when all the "guntubers" make their "top __" list videos. These videos are easy for creators to make and can have the added value of reminding us of some of the great guns that have come out or were covered that year. We like to do things a bit differently at GBGuns and so after combing through the 100+ videos published in 2023 here's a list of the top five guns reviewed in 2023 by view count.

Views on YouTube come from many sources and don't always indicate audience interest. It could be that these videos were pushed more (or suppressed less) by YouTube, or that you watched a video on the same gun on another channel and so YouTube suggested another one. Regardless of where the views came from, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this "top 5". My thoughts, and links to the reviews, as well as updated pricing (as of the time this was written) is below.


#5 of the top 5 is the Taurus TS9
#5 of the top 5 the Taurus TS9

#5 Taurus TS9

The gun that won't come to the US market finally did. It's a Bubits design and behaves rather nicely on the range. The "mullet" design of a longer slide and shorter barrel is popular with some, a turn off for others. Because this was originally intdended as a Brazillian contract gun it's not red-dot ready, and the trigger's certainly duty-grade, but overall I think the pistol deserves more support in the US market than it got. Maybe, if we're lucky, US sales will inspire Taurus to import more or even make other configurations.

Updated Pricing:


#4 of the Top 5 is the Taurus TX22 Compact
#4 of the Top 5 the Taurus TX22 Compact

#4 Taurus TX22 Compact

A neat little gun that fills the hand nicely and handles like a compact of a larger caliber. Optics ready, easy to use, and cheap to feed. An easy gun to get used for learning, training, or simple range fun.

Updated Pricing:


#3 of the Top 5 is the Canik METE SF
#3 of the Top 5 the Canik METE SF

#3 Canike METE SF

I'm glad this one did well. Canik released the METE SF somewhat quietly amidst all the other releases of the year. This is the "compact" size that was forever the standard (4" barrel, 15rd 9mm) because it's both small enough for most to carry, but also large enough to be comfortable for extended range sessions. The classic do-all size with all the perks the METE line brings to Canik pistols.

Updated Pricing:


#2 of the Top 5 the Canik Rival-S
#2 of the Top 5 the Canik Rival-S

#2 Canik SFX Rival-S

After how popular Walther's Q5 Match Steel Frame was, it's no surprise that Canik's less-expensive equivalent would be popular too. I suspect part of the lower price is less machining time on the frame which appears to be cast, not billet, but the end result is still a nice and heavy range pistol that will have you feeling like an olympian.

Updated Pricing:


#1 of the Top 5 viewed of 2023, the Canik METE MC9
#1 of the Top 5 viewed of 2023, the Canik METE MC9

#1 Canik METE MC9

This wasn't a surpise. We loved the MC9. I found it to be one of the few "micro" guns that I can shoot comfortably and Teya enjoyed it so much she bought one for herself and has since used it at courses and even when she got her Range Master certification as an instructor. If you already own a Canik you'll be pleased to know that the MC9 can accept regular-sized Canik magazines.

Updated Pricing:


A Patron pointed out when previewing the video one this piece that both Canik and Taurus make affordable firearms. I'll add to that good distribution and generally good availability and it's no wonder that these were the firearms most viewed of videos released in 2023. I'd like to hear from you, which were your favorites and why? Do you think this list represents true viewer interest or did YouTube's magic want simply make them appear more than others to folks browsing for videos?



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8 Comments


I rather like the Browning Hi-Power… no not that one the Springfield Armory SA-35… though certainly wish it where made in 30 Super Carry.

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I understand all 5 but the new (latecomer) Taurus GX4 Carry may beat the TS9 by the end of the year. Please review this pistol.

Graham, thanks for all you do.

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Replying to

Great! I hope it makes the list. I've been hearing and seeing good things about the GX4 Carry.


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Keith A. Stewart
Keith A. Stewart
Dec 20, 2023

I'm happy to say that have three out of these five firearms. Thank you GB Guns for your excellent testing and recommendations. I'll continue to follow you.

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Graham Baates
Graham Baates
Dec 20, 2023
Replying to

Thank you. I do my best to be fair and unbiased, present a format that permits my commentary, but no commentary of mine can override the standardized protocols. I think that's the most fair way to show and discuss something. You get my opinion as a guy with hundreds of hours of training and who's reviewed hundreds of firearms, but you also get to see how it performs against the same benchmark hundreds of other guns have.

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Wow, I have 3 of 5 , Canik Mete MC9, Mete SFX, and Taurus TX22 Compact. I can't afford a Rival-S :(

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Graham Baates
Graham Baates
Dec 20, 2023
Replying to

If you want a taste of the Rival-S you can get a brass backstrap for your SFX. The change that makes x5 or x10 is what happens when you have a 3lb gun (Rival-S w/ brass grips)

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