It’s always good to look on the positive side, though looking on the negative side is usually more fun. So having examined the ugliest pistols in history, we turn to the good-lookers.
1. Smith & Wesson Triple Lock: the third lock was found unnecessary, but it’s a great-looking revolver, regardless.
2. Swiss 1906 Luger: all Lugers look great, but the 7.65mm Swiss version has it all.
3. Browning Vest Pocket: the Baby Browning was the best-looking of all the .25 autoloaders, and is still available made by PSA (www.precisionsmallarms.com).
4. Colt Banker’s Special: a cylinder intended for the .38 S&W class of cartridges is just better proportioned to a short barrel than one that accommodates .38 Spl.
5. Colt Officer’s Model Match: this is a classic from the great days of revolver target shooting when you just used one very strong arm.
6. Remington Model 51: this great-looking pocket auto was accurate and reliable, but its locked breech operating system made it more expensive than blowback competitors.
7. Browning Model 1922: this beautifully proportioned .32 was a popular police pistol in Europe and later marketed here in slightly modified form as the Model 1955 and Model 1971.
8. Mauser HSc: this rakishly streamlined .32 was the best-looking of the Third Reich’s pocket pistols.
9. Whitney Wolverine: this one offers the best in Space Age 1950s design, and Olympic Arms offers a modern reproduction with a plastic frame.
10. Walther P88; my personal favorite of the original Wondernines: It was slim and lively in the hand, unlike so many large-capacity 9mms.