high-end handguns

9 High-End Handguns You'll Be Dreaming About

Need a reason to spend some money? Here's a list of expensive handguns to drool over.

What are guns worth? It's a question often asked of both online forums and local gun shops alike.

You want my personal opinion? A gun in the right situation is priceless. Any gun. Any gun in your possession when faced with a critical situation is a gun on which you cannot place a material value.

Hopefully few of us will ever experience those extreme circumstances, the situations that we all practice for but pray will never arise. Most gun owners would argue that whichever weapon they're carrying when those unfortunate events unfold instantly becomes their most valued possession.

Under normal circumstances, however, the topic of gun price and value is an unending debate. When it comes to handguns, there are hundreds of options, with thousands of available features. The list of performance specs, features and modifications for customization are almost endless. The price tag for guns covers an equal spectrum.

From out of the box, mass produced simplicity to incredibly detailed, high end, complex works of art, gun costs are as varied as the owners who possess them. For the average Joe looking for a range piece or personal defense sidearm, many high-end models are simply out of the question.

As someone who fits that Average Joe description well, there are still a handful of semi-automatic guns I'd consider saving up spare change to afford.

Though many of them are expensive and cheaper alternatives may be found on every gun shop shelf, here is a list of nine guns that I'd argue may still be worth the price tag.

1. H&K USP Compact 9mm: $900

Some might say this Heckler & Koch 9mm pistol is chunky, but I'd argue it's size also provides a sense of self-defense confidence. This 13+1 gun is meant to handle abuse and does so with ease. Available in a variety of different trigger options, this compact version of the USP has a smaller frame which fits smaller hands well. Takedown is simple and maintenance is a breeze. Like most H&Ks, it's hard to find negatives to point out about this gun.

2. Rohrbaugh R9 Stealth Elite: $1,195

Volumes have been written about this small frame pocket pistol. It's incredibly light, weighing in empty at less than a pound, thanks in part to its many aircraft aluminum components. Multiple finishes are available, but the Stealth Elite is a gem with the Diamond Black coating over stainless. Pick one up and you'll have a gorgeous little hand-held percussion instrument you can concealed carry nicely in your pocket.

3. Springfield Armory EMP: $1,100

Pound-for-pound, this is one of my favorite full-size guns on this list and one of the best 1911 carry guns available. This short barrel gun is surprisingly accurate and impressively lightweight. Labeled a subcompact 1911, this model is made for smaller, shorter rounds allowing it to avoid feeling bulky. Many would argue the trigger pull feels lighter than claimed by Springfield at around 5 pounds. The EMP is everything we love about nice 1911s carried by law enforcement and the U.S. Army, except in a smaller package.

4. Kimber Rapide: $1,597

What can be said about this gun other than the fact that it's an absolute work of art? With a color combo like that, this gun embodies beauty, to the point that you'd almost want to leave it in the case. Almost.

The gray and black WavZ G10 grips are incredibly comfortable and the gun holds true to every aspect you'd expect from Kimber.

5. Colt Python Revolver: $1,600+


Lately it may take a bit more of that loose change to catch up to the growing price tag of this infamous .357 Magnum snake gun.

Commonly charting sales at over $3,000, this classic Colt embodies everything we love about big revolvers—simplicity, brutal force, masculine looks, ammunition that's just fun to say and that Clint-Eastwood-like-don't-mess-with-me attitude that comes free for every buyer. Many comparisons can be made and cheaper alternatives are aplenty, but the price of this legacy home defense firearm won't likely go down any time soon, which is why we could justify the cost. Or at least try.

6. Case Hardened Desert Eagle: $2,368


Since we've already established that we're dreaming, why stop with the Colt? The Desert Eagle from Magnum Research is another masterpiece. (Full disclosure, it's also a gun that I've never shot).

We could have gone with the classic gold, but that's overdone. This case hardened finish look spectacular.

Those ergonomics and numerous other features (not to mention its overall length) would make this a great centerpiece gun for your collection. That is if you can afford the price, and can get over the idea of carrying around a decent used car or a semester of college on your hip. The Desert Eagle is a museum-worthy work of art that also happens to fire ammo.

7. H&K P7: $1,100+

This German-designed gun is full of interesting features. One of the most notable is the grip cocking lever, an interesting new feature for any gun when it was designed back in 1976, let alone a small handgun. The 110-degree grip angle was also touted as being one of the most natural shooting hand positions available.

Another first of its time is the polygonal rifling in the barrel, made popular by modern Glocks. With a look that may not be as appealing as some of the others on this list, this little gun and its unique trigger guard are still worth your investment.

8. Smith & Wesson Performance Center Shorty .40: $900+

A functional, compact, metal frame .40 that is as accurate as all get out and made in the United States. As an added feature, this gun can share magazines with many other Smith & Wessons (669, 6906, 469, 59, among others). Certainly not the most expensive gun on our list, but one with a wide variety of lower-cost alternatives. Even with many lower-cost alternatives available, one that still might be worth the extra scratch.

9. Ed Brown Special Forces Carry I/II: $2,400+

Ed Brown guns may be the closest thing to a custom 1911 out of the box available. Forged steel parts offer a precision fit that is second to none, and the deep handle provides a new sense of confidence in the hand. Unlike other single stack 1911s on our list, though easy on the eyes, with the Special Forces Carry it's not the artwork you're paying for, it's the top shelf performance that never quits.

If you're counting, that leaves us with nine guns worth their respective sticker. So what's the 10th? We'll leave that up to you, so insert your favorite here. There are truly too many fantastic handguns available today to limit this list to a select few. I'd still argue that any gun you can own is worth the money. A gun that you're familiar with, comfortable using, and is readily accessible when the time is needed is invaluable, whatever the cost.