Reader’s Choice Awards Year in Review: BEST Guns, Silencers & Gear

    reader's choice awards

    Believe it or not, but we have been doing the Reader’s Choice Awards for an entire year with input from all of you! If it were not for our vocal readers like you reading this, this segment would not be the success it has been for the past 12 months! So for that, all of us at TheFirearmBlog would like to thank you for taking in our content and engaging with us.

    After a complete year of the Reader’s Choice Awards, we have a comprehensive list of all of the winners chosen by you! The Comments section has always been ripe with conversation about why you believe one firearm or product to be better than another, and we only hope that this recap is as passionately chaotic as all previous ones. Once again, thank you for the thrill ride after one year and check out all of the winners of the Reader’s Choice Awards as voted by YOU!

    Reader’s Choice Awards October 2018: BEST Semi-Auto Shotgun

    This was our first month of ever doing the Reader’s Choice Awards and we started off with a ‘softball’ category of the BEST Semi-Auto Shotgun. We threw out a lot of suggestions like always and you provided ample ideas through your Comments as well. Once everything was all said and done, this was how the voting panned out as decided by you.

    1. Benelli M4 Tactical 12 Gauge – 34%
    2. Mossberg 930 JM Pro 12 Gauge – 16%
    3. Benelli Super Black Eagle III 12 Gauge – 9%

    We left this category wide open, but based on your voting the more tactical shotguns were a pretty big hit! Also, it should come as no surprise that 12 Gauge is everyone’s favorite shotgun caliber. Benelli had a very strong showing by swallowing up 2 of the Top 3 choices in your voting as well.

    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards Oct’ 2018 – BEST Semi-Auto Shotgun: Benelli M4 Tactical 12 Gauge

    Reader’s Choice Awards November 2018: BEST Backwoods Gun

    Being as November is in the middle of numerous hunting seasons throughout the US, we thought it would be the perfect time to ask everyone what is the BEST Backwoods Gun for hunting or otherwise. This drummed up a lot of conversation and anecdotal evidence from our readers, but these were the results at the end of the month.

    1. Marlin 336C .30-30 Win – 29%
    2. Ruger Scout Rifle .308 Win – 7%
    3. Marlin 1895 .45-70 Gov’t – 6%

    Once again, we saw a strong favorite in the Marlin 336C as people credited that rifle to being a great brush gun and potent enough to hunt a wide range of big-game animals. Similar to the previous month, there was a dominating manufacturer as well with Marlin and their family of lever-action rifles. With all of the modern cartridges and firearm platforms we have nowadays, it is truly a testament to lever-actions to see they still have a lot of merit in the backwoods.

    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards Nov’ 2018 – BEST Backwoods Gun: Marlin 336C .30-30 Win

    Reader’s Choice Awards December 2018: BEST Custom 1911

    Even though polymer-framed striker-fire pistols might be all the rage these days, there is a definite market for high-end, custom 1911 manufacturers based upon how many of them are currently thriving. Because of this, we asked all of you in December what is the BEST Custom 1911 to cap off the 2018 calendar year. These are the results you provided us with through your voting.

    1. Wilson Combat Tactical Supergrade .45 ACP – 19.5%
    2. Nighthawk Custom Shadow Hawk Government 9mm with Trijicon RMR – 17%
    3. Cabot “Black Diamond Deluxe” Limited Edition .45 ACP – 14%

    Comparing one custom 1911 pistol versus another can be a very difficult task. One pistol might have grips made from mammoth tusk while another has been hand polished by a 30+ year gunsmith for 2 weeks before it leaves the shop. For those reasons, a lot of the voting is based on how much you might be willing to spend (or theoretically spend).

    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards Dec’ 2018 – BEST Custom 1911: Wilson Combat Tactical Supergrade .45 ACP

    Reader’s Choice Awards January 2019: BEST Full-Size Striker-Fired Pistol

    This category is a bread ‘n butter one for today’s modern shooter. Some people want a solid range pistol with high capacity for recreation, competition, and/or training. Other firearm enthusiasts might be looking for a full-size pistol for home defense. In either hypothetical, a full-size striker-fired pistol could be exactly what the doctor ordered. These are your voted on results for this category.

    1. Glock Gen5 17 9mm – 29.6%
    2. Sig Sauer P320 9mm – 19.8%
    3. Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 9mm – 15.3%

    If you had to compile a Top 3 list of the best selling full-size striker-fired pistols or the most popular ones, this list might read the same either way. Glock, SIG Sauer, and Smith & Wesson are all very deserving companies with proven models of firearms. It is hard to argue against the results of this poll.

    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards Jan’ 2019 – BEST Full-Size Striker-Fired Pistol: Glock Gen5 17 9mm

    Reader’s Choice Awards March 2019: BEST AR-15

    Black guns or modern sporting rifles seem to ebb and flow in popularity like an ocean tide, but if one thing is certain, they are not going anywhere. Whether we as shooters are building our own from stripped lower receivers or we are buying high-quality cataloged models from manufacturers, AR-15s have true staying power. After all of us came down from our high of SHOT Show in January/February we asked you to give us your votes for the BEST AR-15.

    1. POF P415 Edge 5.56 NATO – 44.7%
    2. Colt LE6920 M4 Carbine 5.56 NATO – 7.9%
    3. BCM RECCE-14 KMR-A Carbine 5.56 NATO – 7.6%

    POF, or Patriot Ordnance Factory, had one of the strongest outpourings from their fans in the short history of the Reader’s Choice Awards. They got a staggering 44.7% of your vote for the BEST AR-15 with their well-built POF P415 Edge 5.56 NATO rifle.

    readers choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards March 2019 – BEST AR-15: POF P415 Edge 5.56 NATO

    Reader’s Choice Awards April 2019: BEST Accessory for Pistol, Shotgun or Rifle

    We all love firearms here (that is a given), but something that is as equally important as our pew-pew machines are the accessories we choose to use with them. Some are simply hilarious culture pieces (look at your #3 voted option, you scoundrels) while others are extremely practical and can create new categories of firearms entirely (referring to your #1 voted choice). Take a look at all of your voted on results below.

    1. SB Tactical SBA3 Pistol Stabilizing Brace
    2. Magpul PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M3
    3. Tac Sac Accessory Rail Grip

    We, unfortunately, do not have percentages to gawk over for this month because technology failed us. We were able to extract your Top 3 voted on BEST Accessories, but for whatever mysterious reason we could not get the percentages. Regardless, that is quite the list, to say the least!

    readers choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards April 2019 – BEST Accessory: SB Tactical SBA3 Stabilizing Brace

    Reader’s Choice Awards May 2019: BEST Compact Striker-Fired Pistol

    This was a difficult category to describe to our readers, and an equally hard one to vote on. All of this can be attributed to the enigma pistol that stole a win right out from underneath Glock’s nose. We attempted to stipulate that this category would include double-stack and staggered magazine handguns. Something that we all forget is that, as small as the pistol is that won, it is, in fact, a staggered magazine.

    1. SIG Sauer P365 9mm – 24.67%
    2. Glock Gen5 19 9mm – 24.19%
    3. Smith & Wesson M&P 9 M2.0 Compact 9mm – 10.48%

    So although many people love, adore, and praise the SIG Sauer P365 for being a micro-compact pistol, when we drew a line in the sand to include staggered magazine handguns in this compact category it also pulled in the P365. As a result, Glock fanboys might hate us, but this was the closest voting we experienced all year for any topic.

    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards May 2019 – BEST Compact Striker-Fired Pistol: SIG Sauer P365 9mm

    Reader’s Choice Awards June 2019: BEST Sub-Compact Striker-Fired Pistol

    This category is the most popular when it comes to conceal and carry pistols. We all love our single-stack 9mm pistols, and many of us are loyalists to a specific brand or even a precise model. For those reasons, this month of voting brought out some very passionate discussions in the Comments, but the Top 3 honestly should not come as a surprise to anyone. Here are all of your voted on results.

    1. Glock Gen4 43 9mm – 19.74%
    2. Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield M2.0 9mm – 17.03%
    3. Walther PPS M2 9mm – 9.43%

    With the Glock 43 and Smith & Wesson Shield being barely 2% apart in voting, and then 3rd place trailing behind by roughly 8%, there is a definite clash of the titans for that number one spot. It basically depends what camp you fall into… are you a Glock fanboy? Or are you a Smith & Wesson die-hard? Both are great pistols so it can be difficult to choose.

    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards June 2019 – BEST Sub-Compact Striker-Fired Pistol: Glock Gen4 43 9mm

    Reader’s Choice Awards July 2019: BEST Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC)

    With the firearms industry being an evolving organism, many things are burgeoning and growing to the delight of shooters while others facets are shrinking. Luckily for us, the Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) dimension has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 5 – 10 years. This could be attributed to local PCC competitions, 3-gun matches, and even cinema romanticizing them (think John Wick). For all of those reasons, it made this category a fun and lively one to debate. Here are all of your voted on results.

    1. CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine 9mm – 13.60%
    2. Heckler & Koch (H&K) MP5 9mm – 12.78%
    3. Ruger PC Carbine 9mm – 10.96%

    The voting for BEST PCC was some of the tightest voting from first to last place we saw this whole last year for the Reader’s Choice Awards. For simplicity, we are only showing the Top 3 results from your voting, but it was honestly within 1 – 2% from top to bottom. That speaks volumes about the number of offerings for PCC shooters and the quality that is currently available in the market.

    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards July 2019 – BEST Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC): CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine 9mm

    Reader’s Choice Awards August 2019: BEST Suppressors – Rifle, Rimfire, Pistol & Specialty

    For the month of August, we put our readers to work! We not only asked all of you to give us your opinions on the BEST Suppressors, but we chopped it up into 4 different categories as well. From rifle to rimfire to pistols to specialty cans, we wanted to hear your favorites on all of them and you did not disappoint! Here are all of your voted on favorites for the BEST Suppressors.


    1. Surefire SOCOM556 RC2 5.56mm – 20.56%
    2. Dead Air Nomad-30 – 10.42%
    3. Dead Air Sandman-S 7.62mm – 10.18%
    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards Aug’ 2019 – BEST Rifle Suppressor: Surefire SOCOM556 RC2 5.56mm


    1. Dead Air Mask – 28.72%
    2. Q Erector – 18.09%
    3. AAC Element 2 – 14.05%
    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards Aug’ 2019 – BEST Rimfire Suppressor: Dead Air Mask-HD .22 LR


    1. Rugged Obsidian45 – 24.23%
    2. Dead Air Odessa-9 – 19.28%
    3. SilencerCo Osprey 45 – 19.28%
    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards Aug’ 2019 – BEST Pistol Suppressor: Rugged Obsidian45


    1. SilencerCo Hybrid 46 – 29.78%
    2. SilencerCo Maxim 9 – 20.85% 
    3. Dead Air Wolverine 7.62×39 – 11.57%
    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards Aug’ 2019 – BEST Specialty Suppressor: Silencerco Hybrid 46

    Reader’s Choice Awards September 2019: BEST Aftermarket Trigger

    One component or accessory many of us shooters alter in our firearms is the trigger which does not seem to get much press coverage. There are a lot of quality drop-in trigger upgrades to be had across varying platforms for not a lot of money. Coming off the heels of summer and rolling into the fall period of many hunting seasons, we asked all of you what was the BEST Aftermarket Trigger, and these are the results that you gave us.

    1. Geissele Automatics “Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced” (SSA-E) – 30.33%
    2. LaRue Tactical “MBT-2S” – 21.34%
    3. Franklin Armory “BFSIII AR-C1 Binary” – 7.24%

    We received suggestions from you that varied from modern sporting rifles, handguns, bolt-action rifles, and a lot more. The overwhelmingly favorite platform to upgrade was everyone’s AR-15. With that being everyone’s main focus, the Geissele Automatics “Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced” (SSA-E) reigned supreme!

    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards Sept 2019 – BEST Aftermarket Trigger: Geissele Automatics SSA-E

    Reader’s Choice October 2019: BEST Pump-Action Shotgun

    Slide-Action shotguns, or pump-action as they are more commonly referred to as, have been around for over 100 years, but they continue to improve. Whether it is for hunting, recreational sport, or potentially defense we constantly are witnessing small tweaks that make them more effective and useful for all of us. That makes this is a difficult category to vote on with so many competitors vying for the title. Here are your results for the BEST Pump-Action Shotgun.

    1. Remington 870 Express Field/Home Combo 12 Gauge – 26.63%
    2. Mossberg 500 Flex All-Purpose 12 Gauge – 14.26%
    3. Benelli M3 Convertible 12 Gauge – 10.31%

    It might not come as a surprise that some variation of the Remington 870 slid into 1st place. It is as bread ‘n butter as shotguns can come. They have been around forever, there are endless permutations of the model to suit your needs, and they are reasonably priced. Its two closest challengers in the Mossberg and Benelli are both great choices as well.

    reader's choice awards

    Reader’s Choice Awards October 2019 – BEST Pump-Action Shotgun: Remington 870 12 Gauge

    Reader’s Choice Awards Year in Review

    So there you have it, folks! It took us actually 13 months to cover our year’s worth of 12 categories as voted on by you. When you look at this comprehensive list one more time, how many of these firearms or products do you personally own? How many of them would you like to own or have on your Christmas wish list?

    We cannot repeat this enough, but THANK YOU to everyone who reads not only the Reader’s Choice Awards, but all of our articles on The Firearm Blog! Be sure to be on the lookout for a future Reader’s Choice Awards poll as we are close to rolling into a new year! Also, let us know what you think of the results we posted. Do you agree? Disagree? Let’s keep the conversation going in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.

    We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

    Editor |
    Writer |
    Writer |
    Writer | Tyrant Designs CNC Blog
    Guest Writer | Boyds Gunstocks Blog
    Guest Writer | NRA “Shooting Sports USA”
    Guest Writer | Sierra Bullets Blog
    Smith & Wesson Certified Armorer
    Glock Certified Armorer
    Instagram: strength_in_arms