Rate Your Concealed Carry Handgun

Due to the increasing number of personal defense handguns available today, MidwayUSA has created a scoring system that allows shooters to compare concealed carry handguns based on criteria from three important areas.

While there are many additional factors to consider when choosing a firearm for daily carry, such as concealability or cost, this scoring system provides a foundation upon which shooters can make more informed decisions.

How to Score Your Handgun

Scoring is completed in three easy steps with all shooting conducted at a distance of twenty feet using a common paper plate for the target.

Whenever shooting a firearm remember to wear both ear and eye protection, and always use a safe backstop.

A second person using a shot timer or stopwatch is required for documenting time.

Step One: Time to First Hit

The time it takes engage a target and fire a well placed shot, using only one hand, is extremely important when considering a firearm for personal defense.

Score your firearm by placing it on a flat surface.

Record the time it takes from the moment you touch the gun to the first accurate hit on target and use the following chart determine your score.

Once the clock starts, pick up the handgun and engage the target.

Time to First Hit Chart

Time Score
1.5 sec500
1.6 sec473
1.7 sec447
1.8 sec420
1.9 sec393
2 sec367
2.1 sec340
2.2 sec313
2.3 sec287
2.4 sec260
2.5 sec233
2.6 sec206
2.7 sec180
2.8 sec153
2.9 sec127
3 sec100
First Hit Score:  

Step 2: Accuracy

After firing the first accurate shot, how many more shots can you fire into the paper plate, using only one hand, in just three seconds? Only hits will improve your score.

Record the number of hits and use the following chart to determine your score.

Accuracy Chart

Hits Score
Accuracy Score:  

Step 3: Knockdown Factor

Knockdown Factor is the ability of a cartridge, all other things being equal, to knock down an assailant with one well-placed shot.

We've ranked some of the most popular personal defense loads from lightest to heaviest on a 400 point scale. Find your load on the chart below and record the score.

Load Score
22 Short 40 Grain 47
25 ACP 50 Grain 48
22LR 36 Grain HP 79
32 S&W Long 98 Grain Lead RN 81
32 ACP 60 Grain Silvertip 94
32 ACP 71 Grain FMJ 96
22 WRF Magnum 118
38 Special 125 Grain JHP 142
380 ACP 102 Grain 150
32 H&R Magnum 95 Grain Lead SWC 169
32 H&R Magnum 85 Grain JHP 172
38 Special 125 Grain JHP +P 198
9mm Luger 124 Grain JHP 258
45 ACP 230 Grain JHP 276
9mm Luger 124 Grain JHP +P 288
45 ACP 185 Grain JHP 308
40 S&W 180 Grain JHP 309
357 Magnum 125 Grain JHP 309
38 Super 125 Grain +P 320
40 S&W 165 Grain JHP 363
45 G.A.P. 185 Grain JHP 366
45 ACP 185 Grain JHP +P 400
Knockdown Score:  

How Does Your Concealed Carry Handgun Stack Up?

Total your scores to determine the final ranking. There are 1000 possible points. This ranking will help when comparing multiple firearms you may be considering for personal defense.

Total Score:  

Remember that all firearms shoot differently for each person based on a variety of factors. The following chart should be used only as a starting point to help you best select your concealed carry handgun match.

For reference we have included a ranking of some popular handguns, as tested by Larry Potterfield, Founder and Chairman of the Board.

Rated Handguns

Handgun Rating
Beretta 950 B Minx 240
Colt Lawman Mark 3 495
S&W Model 15 595
Browning HiPower 650
S&W 5904 690
S&W Model 36 705
Colt Defender 720
Colt DS-2 725
Ruger GP-100 760
S&W Model 342 770
Sig Sauer P229 785
Glock 17 790
Glock 19 815
Ruger SP 101 820
Glock 26 830
Glock 22 835