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lioneaglegriffin
06-30-2008, 10:42 PM
I’m going to buy my first handgun in a year and I would like to know what you calgunners think.
Which do you think is the best of the group?
I wanted all .45's,(the 340 revolver uses .357) barrels shorter than 4" and can be used for carry around the house (unless Heller lets me have a CCW by then (I live in LA:rolleyes:)) or I would be used as a HD/SD weapon.

Sig Sauer P220 Carry DAK
XD 45. Compact
S&W MP .45
Glock 30
S&W Model 325 Thunder Ranch Revolver
S&W Model M&P 340 CT Revolver - Centennial
SA 1911 Operator
Kimber Pro TLE/RL II™ .45 ACP

I picked these specific manufacturers because I feel they have long standing reputations in the industry and their name should be synonymous with quality and reliability. It’s a mixed bag a couple Revolvers and 1911's and the rest polymer pistols. I something else what do you suggest along my parameters?

ryno066
06-30-2008, 11:16 PM
Get a 9mm. You will need to do a lot of shooting before you become proficient with it. Might as well keep it on the cheap, or cheaper.

Oldnoob
06-30-2008, 11:23 PM
If you live in LA(like me) don't put too much hope on ccw. Go with full size Glock, XD, M&P or Sig. From your list though, my vote is on s&w 325.

Fantasma
06-30-2008, 11:27 PM
I think you should start with a CZ75B preferably in Single Action only if you wanna do target shooting (it also works in condition 1 like a 1911).

These guns are great! i wish i would have bought it as my first gun...


*** whoops just read you wanted a .45. Get a 1911! nuff' said.

lioneaglegriffin
06-30-2008, 11:52 PM
not worried about cheap if i can blow 1000+ on a revolver... and im the kinda guy that likes to learn how to drive with a stick. ;) so starting with an easier caliber is not my concern. My first rifle was 308.

lioneaglegriffin
06-30-2008, 11:53 PM
If you live in LA(like me) don't put too much hope on ccw. Go with full size Glock, XD, M&P or Sig. From your list though, my vote is on s&w 325.


im not which is why i put up :rolleyes: the face to express my optimism...

Rover
07-01-2008, 12:10 AM
im not which is why i put up :rolleyes: the face to express my optimism...

Then I would look at a full size handgun. They are just plain more comfortable to shoot, and that's going to lead to much better accuracy no matter what your experience level is. IMHO the only reason to buy a compact gun is for easier concealment, for that reason my vote is either an XD45 service or a full size 1911. If you plan on open carrying I would go for flat black rather than stainless or a bi-tone as it will go "under the radar" better.

Sobriquet
07-01-2008, 12:12 AM
You've mentioned some good pieces that aren't cheap. That gives you a lot of options. Firearms are really personal things, so you really need to get to a range and rent as many things as you can to see what fits your hand. They don't clean or maintain those suckers much, so it won't be as smooth as your personal weapon, but it'll give you an idea for grip feel, etc.

The 9mm advice above is solid. You're talking $10-15 difference per box of ammo for 45acp over 9mm. It adds up. Quickly.

That said, a 1911 is a solid way to go, but I wouldn't recommend it for a first handgun. I don't trust their reliability out of the box as much as a Sig or Heckler & Koch, so it wouldn't be my primary handgun. If it's JUST a range toy for you, then YMMV. I still think you ought to decide what you like in a handgun first before moving on to 1911s.

All that said, if you want a .45, get a full size to help handle recoil. You're not concealing the thing anyway, and if you do ever CCW in CA (God willing), you'll want something smaller and more concealable. I would take a look at an HK USP in .45. I'd also consider a regular Sig P220 (why the lighter carry?). For me, the lack of an external safety on Sigs was a deal breaker for me because I keep it loaded in the house (I have no kids).

As for the Glock... forget it. Period. Their reputation exceeds their reliability IMHO. The only one to even CONSIDER is the original Glock 17 in 9mm. NYPD Phase 3 malfunctions and unsupported chambers are bad juju. Do realize my opinion isn't universally shared... but you asked.

Bottom line? You can afford it, so get yourself either an HK or a Sig. Save the 1911 for the 2nd time around.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 12:42 AM
You've mentioned some good pieces that aren't cheap. That gives you a lot of options. Firearms are really personal things, so you really need to get to a range and rent as many things as you can to see what fits your hand. They don't clean or maintain those suckers much, so it won't be as smooth as your personal weapon, but it'll give you an idea for grip feel, etc.

The 9mm advice above is solid. You're talking $10-15 difference per box of ammo for 45acp over 9mm. It adds up. Quickly.

That said, a 1911 is a solid way to go, but I wouldn't recommend it for a first handgun. I don't trust their reliability out of the box as much as a Sig or Heckler & Koch, so it wouldn't be my primary handgun. If it's JUST a range toy for you, then YMMV. I still think you ought to decide what you like in a handgun first before moving on to 1911s.

All that said, if you want a .45, get a full size to help handle recoil. You're not concealing the thing anyway, and if you do ever CCW in CA (God willing), you'll want something smaller and more concealable. I would take a look at an HK USP in .45. I'd also consider a regular Sig P220 (why the lighter carry?). For me, the lack of an external safety on Sigs was a deal breaker for me because I keep it loaded in the house (I have no kids).

As for the Glock... forget it. Period. Their reputation exceeds their reliability IMHO. The only one to even CONSIDER is the original Glock 17 in 9mm. NYPD Phase 3 malfunctions and unsupported chambers are bad juju. Do realize my opinion isn't universally shared... but you asked.

Bottom line? You can afford it, so get yourself either an HK or a Sig. Save the 1911 for the 2nd time around.

glock on the bottom of the list and your comment is helping it to stay that way.

The reason i chose 4" is because thats the max im my mind for concealed. So its a mix between concealed and open carry gun. if i were to get a 9mm i would go with Glock 17 or 19, XD 9 if i did a have a ccw maybe... a SA EMP. I like guns with big calibers and low(er) recoil due to manufacture's ingenuity do you know which have of these have that?

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 12:44 AM
You've mentioned some good pieces that aren't cheap. That gives you a lot of options. Firearms are really personal things, so you really need to get to a range and rent as many things as you can to see what fits your hand. They don't clean or maintain those suckers much, so it won't be as smooth as your personal weapon, but it'll give you an idea for grip feel, etc.

The 9mm advice above is solid. You're talking $10-15 difference per box of ammo for 45acp over 9mm. It adds up. Quickly.

That said, a 1911 is a solid way to go, but I wouldn't recommend it for a first handgun. I don't trust their reliability out of the box as much as a Sig or Heckler & Koch, so it wouldn't be my primary handgun. If it's JUST a range toy for you, then YMMV. I still think you ought to decide what you like in a handgun first before moving on to 1911s.

All that said, if you want a .45, get a full size to help handle recoil. You're not concealing the thing anyway, and if you do ever CCW in CA (God willing), you'll want something smaller and more concealable. I would take a look at an HK USP in .45. I'd also consider a regular Sig P220 (why the lighter carry?). For me, the lack of an external safety on Sigs was a deal breaker for me because I keep it loaded in the house (I have no kids).

As for the Glock... forget it. Period. Their reputation exceeds their reliability IMHO. The only one to even CONSIDER is the original Glock 17 in 9mm. NYPD Phase 3 malfunctions and unsupported chambers are bad juju. Do realize my opinion isn't universally shared... but you asked.

Bottom line? You can afford it, so get yourself either an HK or a Sig. Save the 1911 for the 2nd time around.

what is wrong with Brand new 1911 aside from the fact that they weren't cast in 1911?

kalibear
07-01-2008, 12:45 AM
Glock 19 - Super reliable, cheaper ammo, easy to maintain

Sobriquet
07-01-2008, 1:33 AM
Glock 19 - Super reliable, cheaper ammo, easy to maintain

http://www.thegunzone.com/glock/phase3.html

As for what's wrong with a 1911... absolutely nothing at all. I think they're absolutely gorgeous and can be fantastic guns. The problem is that there's a million brands and models and many of them aren't great. Some are unreliable right out of the box. Furthermore, to get the most out of it, it requires money, time, and knowledge.

It's his first handgun. Let him get something that comes stock 100% reliable and will stay that way without effort or thought. That's HK and Sig. Neither are the thoroughbred a 1911 can be, but I trust my HK to go boom each and every time I pull that trigger. It's also a tackdriver.

To the OP - if you want a 9mm polymer framed pistol without a safety, check out a P2000 with the LEM trigger. It's also would make a great CCW gun. A Sig P229 feels good, but the grip feels a LOT thicker to me and just isn't comfortable. It sure does have a nice trigger, though. My friend loves the feel and it may be the cat's meow to you. Worth renting. Take a few months and rent everything you possibly can and see what you like.

SeANMcBAY
07-01-2008, 2:08 AM
Get a Sig P6 while you still can on the cheap. I picked it as my first gun and think I made the right choice.

jakemccoy
07-01-2008, 2:35 AM
Glock 27

savs2k
07-01-2008, 4:43 AM
glock17/19 anything reliable in a 9mm is best for a first gun. You need more range time then you do a bigger caliber. Second gun get something bigger

big50_1
07-01-2008, 6:38 AM
For a first handgun, get a .22. A Ruger Mk III or Buckmark 4" to 6" barrel. That's where you really learn trigger control and gun handling. And they are quality firearms that will last for years, if not a lifetime. When you are young, the desire is to have the biggest and noisiest gun around. That's where most people get turned off to firearms or learn bad habits. As in all things, start slow, get a good grounding and proceed from there. Take a gun handling course at a local range from an instructor and practice, practice, practice! Good luck.

tmuller
07-01-2008, 8:13 AM
Sig 220 if you have to have a .45 to start. I like S&W 686 or a .22 for a starter but the 220 sure is nice!

Shenaniguns
07-01-2008, 8:24 AM
I say get a Glock 17...

TannerBoyl
07-01-2008, 8:34 AM
I voted for the SIG P220 Carry DAK, but I don't think it is on the Totally Useless and Utterly Lame CA "Safe" Handgun Roster (http://certguns.doj.ca.gov/). I voted for the P220 Carry DAK because of the trigger. The DAK trigger system has a smooth light trigger pull (approx. 6.5lbs). From the first trigger pull, if you reset the pistol to the first point, it will give you a slightly heavier trigger pull (approx. 8lbs). If you reset it to the full stroke, it will bring it back to 6.5lbs. I usually recommend this trigger for someone who is used to shooting revolvers or who isn't familiar with a DA/SA transition.

Another good choice for the DAO trigger is the Springfield XD. The DAO trigger is fairly light. The reset is full stroke, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view. Personally, I would prefer something with a shorter reset. For me being used to resetting the pistol at around the half-way point, this would really cause me greif.

The Glock trigger, while mushy feeling, is pretty good. The reset it short. Prepping the trigger is easy. The only problem that I've experienced is that I tend to slap the trigger instead of pushing it. I'm still working on that, but it's hard to unlearn bad habits.

The 1911 is a good choice. The trigger is short and light. The reset is extremely short. Once again, my issue is that I tend to slap the trigger. While it can shave time off of shots, it can also cause poor shot placement. Once again, its hard to unlearn that type of behavior. If you get a 1911, spend a lot of time practicing the reset and trigger control. Hopefully, you won't develop the bad habits that I'm trying to get rid of.

Revolvers are also excellent choices. My issue is that I love semi-autos. They're just more fun for me to shoot. I really like the Ruger GP100 or S&W 686 in 4" barrel. I don't have any experience with the S&W 325 Thunder Ranch.

Let me just echo the advice of getting a 9mm. With the current ammo offerings, you have a wider range of ammo with the 9mm. You have everything from cheap 115gr. target ammo to very capable 125gr. +P self defense rounds. If you were completely limited to ball ammo, I would suggest that you look at a .45ACP, but since Hollow Points are readily available, I would go for the cheaper, very versitile 9mm round. Having stated that, I will go on record saying that .45ACP is a lot of fun to shoot. I prefer to shoot it over 9mm, but it is just so freaking expensive. Since this is your first pistol, I would suggest you buy something that you can shoot more often to get as much training experience as possible.

If you have the means, I would also recommend that you find a decent shooting school and take a class. I took a three day course with Bruce Gray (http://www.grayguns.com/) and learned more than I care to admit. My trigger control has become noticably better and I am a much better shot for it. I still have much to learn, but the experience that I gained is priceless! I am much more confident with my pistol skills and girls want boyfriends with skills. :D

Mac Attack
07-01-2008, 8:36 AM
Out of the one's listed I selected a G30 - happen to have it on my hip as I speak.

But if I had to only have one it would be a 1911.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 10:45 AM
well i plan on getting more than one. as to the people who keep insisting 9mm, no! i don't regret choosing .308 over 223. and i doubt i will with side arm calibers. The Grip's well the S&W M&P has different backstraps and i think the XD does too so that isn't as much as an issue.

and Reliability of 1911 i would think kimber would have it, i was lead to believe they were the best.

The SD ammo i use is Hornandy TAP. Its pricey but i am not a penny pincher. I just don't like to waste money, saving it however is optional.

scotthmt
07-01-2008, 10:47 AM
1911 allthe way, plastic guns have nothing on such a tried and true design, the ak of pistols with more accuracy

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 10:48 AM
Springfield Armory is getting the most votes combined i see. and the Sig is getting quite a few as well. As to i not being on the list i will look for something simular that is.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 10:50 AM
1911 allthe way, plastic guns have nothing on such a tried and true design, the ak of pistols with more accuracy

lol i've heard it before. the movie We Were Soldiers gives you an idea of how they felt about "mattel" weapons.

Shenaniguns
07-01-2008, 10:52 AM
well i plan on getting more than one. as to the people who keep insisting 9mm, no! i don't regret choosing .308 over 223. and i doubt i will with side arm calibers. The Grip's well the S&W M&P has different backstraps and i think the XD does too so that isn't as much as an issue.

and Reliability of 1911 i would think kimber would have it, i was lead to believe they were the best.

The SD ammo i use is Hornandy TAP. Its pricey but i am not a penny pincher. I just don't like to waste money, saving it however is optional.


There's many inaccuracies in your post that shows you have a whoooolllle lot to learn;

Kimber is nowhere near the 'best'...

And the difference ballistically between all the service calibers (9mm,.45acp/gap,.357sig,40S&W,10mm) are negligible with modern ammunition...

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 10:52 AM
the last one says Don't bother btw

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 10:53 AM
There's many inaccuracies in your post that shows you have a whoooolllle lot to learn;

Kimber is nowhere near the 'best'...

And the difference ballistically between all the service calibers (9mm,.45acp/gap,.357sig,40S&W,10mm) are negligible with modern ammunition...

i'd love to hear who you think makes the best 1911's? (i am aware of the Les Baur and Wilson Combat custom types.)

Shenaniguns
07-01-2008, 10:54 AM
1911 allthe way, plastic guns have nothing on such a tried and true design, the ak of pistols with more accuracy


:rolleyes:

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 10:56 AM
:rolleyes:

i know i know theres allways a line drawn sometimes in threads, plastic guns are evil, wood and metal only!

FAL people who hijack M1A threads.

And OLL people who sh*t on Ruger Mini 14 threads.

Slayer
07-01-2008, 10:57 AM
M&P 9mm

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 10:59 AM
kahuna burger...

Shenaniguns
07-01-2008, 11:09 AM
i'd love to hear who you think makes the best 1911's? (i am aware of the Les Baur and Wilson Combat custom types.)

Best in what price range??? I think recent Kimber II's are overpriced and made with crappy mim parts, not fitted very well etc...

Off the top of my head;

Under $1k I'd stick with an STI Trojan, Dan Wesson PM7 or Springfield Loaded or TRP if you're lucky

$1000-$1500 Les Baer PII

$1500-$2000 Les Baer TRS (I bought mine new for $1630 shipped to my FFL)

$2000-$4000 there's a ton of options from Baer,Wilson,Nighthawk and even some work from a good smith

$5000 you get into Full House Custom territory and here's a list of some of the best 1911 smiths in the world...
http://www.louderthanwords.us/

Black Majik
07-01-2008, 11:10 AM
I gotta agree with everyone, starting with 9mm is the best way to go. Cheaper ammo, more ammo, less recoil, and less likely to create bad habits.

But, if you're dead set on a gun chambered in .45 ACP, go for a 1911. The gun is very ergonomical for most people, and the steel slide and frame will soak up recoil. If you're looking to conceal a 1911, in either fullsize or commander length, it's possible due to it's slim profile. I did notice that you specified a railed 1911. Keep in mind that this will create a smaller selection of holsters to choose from, as well as adding bulk (especially with a light attached). Go for a regular TLE II (minus rails) if you're dead set on a 1911 platform.

Others to look into around the same price range:

Springfield Armory TRP
Springfield Armory Loaded
S&W 1911PD
Colt XSE

Good luck..

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:14 AM
price range is >2000

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:16 AM
i like the option of having a light, it will be a surefire. i believe the current one is X300.

Black Majik
07-01-2008, 11:16 AM
price range is >2000

$2000+?

Springfield PRO, Nighthawk, Ed Brown, Les Baer, Wilson Combat, or have someone at LTW build you a gun from the ground up.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:23 AM
$2000+?

Springfield PRO, Nighthawk, Ed Brown, Les Baer, Wilson Combat, or have someone at LTW build you a gun from the ground up.

no less than, im using tax refund. Thats right my rich Uncle Sam buys me a gun every year. :D

Shenaniguns
07-01-2008, 11:29 AM
There's not really any production 1911's that I'd stake my life on under $1k out of the box... Though I test my handguns with atleast 1k rounds of target and defensive loadings before I ever carrying them anyways :)

Black Majik
07-01-2008, 11:31 AM
no less than, im using tax refund. Thats right my rich Uncle Sam buys me a gun every year. :D


Oh you mean <2000.

Then go for a Les Baer TRS.

pullnshoot25
07-01-2008, 11:32 AM
How about a Ruger MK II/III?

elSquid
07-01-2008, 11:42 AM
price range is >2000

If that's your price range, then for sure buy a 22LR first and learn to shoot with it. You can buy your .45 a month later.

As far as a loaded 'house gun' goes, I personally prefer DA/SA with no external safety. I want a long, (relatively) heavy trigger pull for the first shot. My choice for a .45 would be a SIG P220.

However, like others in this thread, I feel that 9mm is a valid choice over .45. I have a P226.

Spend the rest of your 2000 on training and ammo.

-- Michael

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:49 AM
any thoughts on .40 S&W?
is it useless freak of nature, something like the 6.5 grendel or 6.8 spec.

I think caliber is a matter of preference and really doesn't matter much. There are trade-offs for all them.

Rover
07-01-2008, 12:03 PM
no less than, im using tax refund. Thats right my rich Uncle Sam buys me a gun every year. :D

No, Uncle Sam is just giving you a little of your own money back, crappy gift if you ask me.


I contemplated an XD .40 before buying the XD9 because that extra power seemed pretty useful, but in the end it was a marginally more powerful round for almost the same price as a .45, not worth it to me. You can also just buy a new barrel and mags for the XD9 to turn it into an XD40.

Had I had the budget you have I would have probably gotten an HK USP, but I didn't so I bought an XD and am very happy with it. The 9mm has very little recoil, I can shoot and reaquire my aim extremely quickly which I see as very important, 3 well aimed 9mm rounds is always more effective than 1 .45 round. The XD is also very easy to take down for cleaning and it's easy to clean once it's apart so you likely won't have to test it's claimed reliability whie dirty.

brassburnz
07-01-2008, 12:19 PM
I would go with the 1911 platform. My first centerfire pistol was a Colt Govt Model Series 70. If you can't find a NIB Colt Series 70, the Springfield would be my next choice because it is similar to the Series 70, i.e. no firing pin safety system.

In order to get a lot of trigger time with your 1911, I'd buy an Advantage Arms 1911 .22 conversion. If you pay $22 for 50 rounds of .45 acp and $2 for 50 rounds of .22 rimfire, you'll recoup the cost of the conversion kit in a month or so. Plus, you'll be using the same grip and trigger system when using the conversion. Your sight system could also be identical if you wish.

Shenaniguns
07-01-2008, 12:52 PM
any thoughts on .40 S&W?
is it useless freak of nature, something like the 6.5 grendel or 6.8 spec.

I think caliber is a matter of preference and really doesn't matter much. There are trade-offs for all them.


More expensive yet you gain practically nothing ballistically...

loosewreck
07-01-2008, 1:29 PM
My vote goes to 220 (but in DA/SA), TLE, & Operator. In that order.

Like others have said, since you have the budget, its worth looking into HKs as well.

The problem you'll have if you go with any of these, is that your taste & expectations will be spoiled for other guns to follow.

peekay331
07-01-2008, 1:45 PM
I personally would rather have 3-4 $500 guns than one $2000 gun. It takes a true enthusiast to fully appreciate a $2000 gun and as a beginner, you likely won't be able to get the full benefit. Besides, there is no perfect all around gun. Generally:
More power, more recoil.
More Recoil, less accuracy.
More power, more money.
Longer barrel, more accuracy.
Longer barrel, less concealment.
More rounds, fatter grip.
More expensive, less likely to shoot it.
More expensive, less places you'll take it.

In light of this, I would suggest:
Ruger MKIII for target practice and as a workhorse range toy.
Sig P6 for beater purposes.
Glock 19, S&W M&P 9mm, SA XD, CZ 75, etc. for a general purpose "cheap gun", e.g. SD, range, carry, etc.
SA 1911 Mil Spec or GI for a taste of the 1911 experience.
Sig P226 to get a premium experience w/o the premium price tag.
Ruger GP100 or SW 686 in .357 for the revolver experience.

If you look around carefully, you can probably pick up 3-4 of the above guns and still be within $2000. Then, as your budget allows, gradually add to your collection.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 3:01 PM
No, Uncle Sam is just giving you a little of your own money back, crappy gift if you ask me.


I contemplated an XD .40 before buying the XD9 because that extra power seemed pretty useful, but in the end it was a marginally more powerful round for almost the same price as a .45, not worth it to me. You can also just buy a new barrel and mags for the XD9 to turn it into an XD40.

Had I had the budget you have I would have probably gotten an HK USP, but I didn't so I bought an XD and am very happy with it. The 9mm has very little recoil, I can shoot and reaquire my aim extremely quickly which I see as very important, 3 well aimed 9mm rounds is always more effective than 1 .45 round. The XD is also very easy to take down for cleaning and it's easy to clean once it's apart so you likely won't have to test it's claimed reliability whie dirty.

No i get all of it back the benifit of being a working student in this country.;)

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 3:12 PM
Hk's huh don't really see much on them. just the USP, how will i be spoiled and getting two handguns isnt out of the question either. maybe a 9 mm and .45. but im not worried about beginers jitters (to all those who keep suggesting .22) i have handled and fired a pistol and revolver before with fam in MS, and they have .45m, .357, and .44 magnum. so if fired these before and i had no problems (i was 10-16 then). The had a whole armory Rifles, Shotguns, and handguns of every type. For a family of 13 thats about 2 firearms per person. so i don't need to be eased into firearms. (and any bad habits i probably already have. ;))

elSquid
07-01-2008, 4:16 PM
Hk's huh don't really see much on them. just the USP, how will i be spoiled and getting two handguns isnt out of the question either. maybe a 9 mm and .45. but im not worried about beginers jitters (to all those who keep suggesting .22) i have handled and fired a pistol and revolver before with fam in MS, and they have .45m, .357, and .44 magnum. so if fired these before and i had no problems (i was 10-16 then). The had a whole armory Rifles, Shotguns, and handguns of every type. For a family of 13 thats about 2 firearms per person. so i don't need to be eased into firearms. (and any bad habits i probably already have. ;))

The issue isn't "beginner's jitters", but rather developing the skills needed to be a good shot. The advantage of the 22 is that it is cheap to buy, cheap to run, and it allows you to focus on the basics.

Have you priced out factory .45 ammo yet? I assume that you aren't going to reload and you mentioned that you are a student, so I'm not sure how much shooting you are going to be able to do with a big bore.

Besides 22s are just fun. I have a bull barrel Ruger 22/45 that's a complete hoot to shoot.

Your poll had a huge range of handguns, so it's clear you really don't know what you want. Buy a 22 to start. Shoot it for a while. Try out range rental guns. Read calguns some more. After a while your preferences will surface, and you can buy the second handgun that is right for you.

YMMV, of course.

-- Michael

Bukowski
07-01-2008, 5:26 PM
In your price range get both the Glock 19 and MP45. I have shot 1000's of rounds through both without a single problem. 1911's/ Sigs/HKs are all wonderful but why settle for just one when you can get two? :43: In all seriousness if a .45 is what you really want get an MP45, ammo, and a class or two. Ammo and training are two of the most important things for HD.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 6:05 PM
The issue isn't "beginner's jitters", but rather developing the skills needed to be a good shot. The advantage of the 22 is that it is cheap to buy, cheap to run, and it allows you to focus on the basics.

Have you priced out factory .45 ammo yet? I assume that you aren't going to reload and you mentioned that you are a student, so I'm not sure how much shooting you are going to be able to do with a big bore.

Besides 22s are just fun. I have a bull barrel Ruger 22/45 that's a complete hoot to shoot.

Your poll had a huge range of handguns, so it's clear you really don't know what you want. Buy a 22 to start. Shoot it for a while. Try out range rental guns. Read calguns some more. After a while your preferences will surface, and you can buy the second handgun that is right for you.

YMMV, of course.

-- Michael

i don't plan on shooting a bucket of ammo every time im at the range. just shooting on spare time. more for practice than fun. and i do have an idea of what i want the most at this point and that is a XD .45 and the glock 30 is what i want the least. i just want to see what others think.

Sobriquet
07-01-2008, 6:53 PM
It amazes me how many people post in these threads without actually addressing the OP's actual question. The man doesn't want a 9mm after we made the case for it. Move on. lol

There seems to be an anti-Heckler & Koch bias (or at least a lack of love) on this board, so I'll do my part as a satisfied owner and mention it again. Bottom line, you won't find a more reliable pistol than an HK. Period. Sigs are nothing to sneeze at, but I've been hearing about recent quality control problems. Plus, my HK45 has a really beefy recoil reduction system and it shoots softer than a lot of 9mm pistols I've fired - the system on a USP 45 is basically the same. Don't buy a SIG without first at least trying an HK.

.40 S&W is an absolute waste. It's a compromise caliber. The recoil is actually snappier and harder to control than a more powerful .45. Keep in mind a high performance 9mm +P round like a Federal HST has almost the same energy as a standard pressure .45 round.

As for Kimber, I've heard about problems with their MIM small parts breaking and feeding reliability problems out of the box. I don't know enough about it to speak intelligently, though.

Greg-Dawg
07-01-2008, 6:54 PM
Take lessons.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 6:57 PM
It amazes me how many people post in these threads without actually addressing the OP's actual question. The man doesn't want a 9mm after we made the case for it. Move on. lol

There seems to be an anti-Heckler & Koch bias (or at least a lack of love) on this board, so I'll do my part as a satisfied owner and mention it again. Bottom line, you won't find a more reliable pistol than an HK. Period. Sigs are nothing to sneeze at, but I've been hearing about recent quality control problems. Plus, my HK45 has a really beefy recoil reduction system and it shoots softer than a lot of 9mm pistols I've fired - the system on a USP 45 is basically the same. Don't buy a SIG without first at least trying an HK.

.40 S&W is an absolute waste. It's a compromise caliber. The recoil is actually snappier and harder to control than a more powerful .45. Keep in mind a high performance 9mm +P round like a Federal HST has almost the same energy as a standard pressure .45 round.

As for Kimber, I've heard about problems with their MIM small parts breaking and feeding reliability problems out of the box. I don't know enough about it to speak intelligently, though.

Thank you gave me something i was looking for in ingenuity question about reducing recoil of the .45, if HK's do that then that automatically puts them above about 6 of these handguns. Any one else know of any other manufacturers with recoil reduction systems?

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 6:58 PM
Take lessons.

with what?

M. Sage
07-01-2008, 7:01 PM
Sig 220, but I wouldn't get the DAK. Just me. I like single-action too much. Either get the standard Sig DA/SA or go for the SAO model. :D

In 9mm get a P226.

Just make sure your hands fit a Sig before you buy one. They take somewhat "plus-sized" hands. If your hands are on the smallish side, you probably won't like a Sig.

ETA: I see the chatter above about .45 recoil. Bleah. .45 doesn't have that much recoil that you need to worry about it.

Shenaniguns
07-01-2008, 7:02 PM
I had a dud of a USP that had more failures (FTE, Double Feeds) at the 2,000 round mark than the rest of my handguns combined, the trigger was nothing to write home about and though I bought it for $550 BNIB I wouldn't buy another one if it was the same price as a Glock.


And if you want to know about some of the issues with Kimber:

Here's some information on the Series II kimbers and 2 ( somewhat reluctant) consultants of the SIS model Yam and Vickers



http://www.10-8forums.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=custom1911&Number=61381&page=3&fpart=all





And Yam's writeup on the Series II safety:

Kent:

The Kimber and S&W 1911s use a variation of the Swartz firing pin safety, a grip safety actuated design abandoned by Colt prior to commencing WWII production of the 1911. If you do a search in this forum, you will find numerous references to functional issues with this system. Here's one thread: HERE. I have also referenced the issue in my article, Choosing a 1911 for Duty Use, that is on my site. It is an extensively documented issue with these guns, and a Series II Kimber that I recently had the misfortune of seeing on my bench exhibited consistent failures to fire when gripped a certain way.



Here is the pertinent excerpt from my article:

Quote:


Firing pin safeties typically fall into the Colt Series 80 pattern which are actuated by the trigger (Colt Series 80, Para Ordnance, Sig GSR) and the Swartz style safety which is actuated by the grip safety (Kimber, Smith & Wesson). Of all the firing pin safety mechanisms on the market, the original Colt Series 80 - in a Colt - is the most reliable of them all. The platforms utilizing the Swartz safety are a less than ideal choice across the board due to the inherent reliability problems of the design. The Swartz safety is extremely sensitive to the fit of the grip safety to the frame and the timing of the grip safety's trigger blocking arm. Tolerance issues can also lead to a Swartz safety that will time properly when the grip safety is depressed a certain way, and time differently when depressed a different way. This will typically be a product of loose fit of the grip safety to the frame tangs and/or loose fit of the thumb safety shaft through the grip safety. It is possible to have the grip safety timed such that the trigger will be able to release the sear well before the firing pin safety plunger has been moved far enough to clear the firing pin. Problems with improper timing of the Swartz safeties can lead to a situation where you get a "click" when you wanted a "bang." That's a serious problem. Unless department policy mandates a firing pin safety, I would choose a 1911 without one. It is possible to have a drop safe 1911 without the firing pin safety, and given the potential reliability problems with a poorly executed system, the perceived risk of drop safety is outweighed by the real risk of a failure to fire.



In concept it may be a good idea, but in execution it falls far, far short of even being mediocre. The Colt Series 80 system ties the trigger directly to the unlocking of the firing pin, which makes it inherently more reliable in execution than the Swartz system.



--------------------

www.10-8Performance.com











Due to profound issues with the Series II Kimbers directly related to the Series II firing pin safety mechanism, I do not recommend the expenditure of any effort or expense for upgrades. It is far more productive and cost effective to start with a fresh platform that does not include the Series II safety, as you could easily dump a ton of time/money into it and one day have it go "click" instead of "bang." Check out the articles on my site that TJ linked above, they address all the issues above in painstaking detail.



--------------------

www.10-8Performance.com

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 7:05 PM
I had a dud of a USP that had more failures (FTE, Double Feeds) at the 2,000 round mark than the rest of my handguns combined, the trigger was nothing to write home about and though I bought it for $550 BNIB I wouldn't buy another one if it was the same price as a Glock.


And if you want to know about some of the issues with Kimber:

Here's some information on the Series II kimbers and 2 ( somewhat reluctant) consultants of the SIS model Yam and Vickers



http://www.10-8forums.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=custom1911&Number=61381&page=3&fpart=all





And Yam's writeup on the Series II safety:

Kent:

The Kimber and S&W 1911s use a variation of the Swartz firing pin safety, a grip safety actuated design abandoned by Colt prior to commencing WWII production of the 1911. If you do a search in this forum, you will find numerous references to functional issues with this system. Here's one thread: HERE. I have also referenced the issue in my article, Choosing a 1911 for Duty Use, that is on my site. It is an extensively documented issue with these guns, and a Series II Kimber that I recently had the misfortune of seeing on my bench exhibited consistent failures to fire when gripped a certain way.



Here is the pertinent excerpt from my article:

Quote:


Firing pin safeties typically fall into the Colt Series 80 pattern which are actuated by the trigger (Colt Series 80, Para Ordnance, Sig GSR) and the Swartz style safety which is actuated by the grip safety (Kimber, Smith & Wesson). Of all the firing pin safety mechanisms on the market, the original Colt Series 80 - in a Colt - is the most reliable of them all. The platforms utilizing the Swartz safety are a less than ideal choice across the board due to the inherent reliability problems of the design. The Swartz safety is extremely sensitive to the fit of the grip safety to the frame and the timing of the grip safety's trigger blocking arm. Tolerance issues can also lead to a Swartz safety that will time properly when the grip safety is depressed a certain way, and time differently when depressed a different way. This will typically be a product of loose fit of the grip safety to the frame tangs and/or loose fit of the thumb safety shaft through the grip safety. It is possible to have the grip safety timed such that the trigger will be able to release the sear well before the firing pin safety plunger has been moved far enough to clear the firing pin. Problems with improper timing of the Swartz safeties can lead to a situation where you get a "click" when you wanted a "bang." That's a serious problem. Unless department policy mandates a firing pin safety, I would choose a 1911 without one. It is possible to have a drop safe 1911 without the firing pin safety, and given the potential reliability problems with a poorly executed system, the perceived risk of drop safety is outweighed by the real risk of a failure to fire.



In concept it may be a good idea, but in execution it falls far, far short of even being mediocre. The Colt Series 80 system ties the trigger directly to the unlocking of the firing pin, which makes it inherently more reliable in execution than the Swartz system.



--------------------

www.10-8Performance.com











Due to profound issues with the Series II Kimbers directly related to the Series II firing pin safety mechanism, I do not recommend the expenditure of any effort or expense for upgrades. It is far more productive and cost effective to start with a fresh platform that does not include the Series II safety, as you could easily dump a ton of time/money into it and one day have it go "click" instead of "bang." Check out the articles on my site that TJ linked above, they address all the issues above in painstaking detail.



--------------------

www.10-8Performance.com


Well Screw them then, Les Baer!

Shenaniguns
07-01-2008, 7:07 PM
Well Screw them then, Les Bauer!

The best deals in Les Baer's are from www.proload.com Give Crazy John a call and he'll help you decide :43:

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 7:15 PM
The best deals in Les Baer's are from www.proload.com Give Crazy John a call and he'll help you decide :43:

I Like the Thunder Ranch Special Home Defense 1911
but i dont see a barrel length.

Is it even available in California i don't see the State in the corner of the catalog...

Greg-Dawg
07-01-2008, 7:50 PM
with what?

Most NRA handgun course allow you to learn from one of many different types of handguns. For example, if you're in the Burbank area...the Burbank Firing Line has an excellent class every Saturday morning. You have a choice of using a wheel gun or a semi-auto from different brands.

Once you're able to learn sight picture, stance, grip, trigger control, etc....then you'll be able to find the right gun for YOU.

There are too many noobs who end up buying a gun because of peer pressure and end up hating the gun. Either from not being able to try out what's out there or being too unfamiliar with the fundamentals.

I don't know your level of gun knowledge, but taking a course would save you time and money. Just my take.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 9:10 PM
peer presure you make i sound like high school. and if i were suseptible to peer presure i would be set on getting a glock 17. but so far i want a XD and checking into how HK's are.

Sobriquet
07-01-2008, 10:23 PM
For the $100 it would cost to get a German made HK over a Croatian made XD, there's no question in my mind as to what I'd choose. They just aren't on the same level. I'd rather have a U.S. made Sig over an XD.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 10:36 PM
For the $100 it would cost to get a German made HK over a Croatian made XD, there's no question in my mind as to what I'd choose. They just aren't on the same level. I'd rather have a U.S. made Sig over an XD.

The made in america type of purchasing isn't for me. if its slightly less than a foriegn product i pick american, but if its crap then no. I.e Toyota v. General Motors. The fact that XD pistols are made in the balkans doesn't bother me. They should know something about firearms given how they kill each other over there. I saw somewhere it was adopted by springfield because it was a one handed pistol for K-9 police in croatia.

So far my top three based on what i've heard is XD, Sig, and HK

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 10:40 PM
Haven't heard much about the S&W M&P pistol bad, good, what? It won handgun of the year for christ sake...

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 10:59 PM
some reading for you guys.
January 2008

Full-Size Polymer .45s: S&W’s M&P45 Beats H&K and Glock
Put head to head with two previously high-rated handguns, Smith & Wesson’s Dark Earth .45 was nice to shoot and nice on the wallet. We’d pick it over the Model 21 and USP45CT units.


Gun Tests readers sometimes ask why reviews on certain guns vary over time. For instance, they wonder why Gun A, reviewed two years ago, got a "Don’t Buy" rating, but in a more recent evaluation, it gets a B+. The short answer is that test to test, guns vary, ammunition varies, the story angle varies, and, perhaps

When we tested a $619 Smith & Wesson M&P 45 .45 ACP (top) against a Heckler & Koch USP Compact Tactical USP45CT that cost twice as much (left), we didn’t find twice the performance in the more expensive gun, which earned an A in the June 2007 issue, but which falls to C- here. The $635 Glock 21 SF, (right), which we tested in July 2007, was a B+ gun in July, and it maintained that ranking when pitted against the M&P45.

most important, the match-ups vary. In an earlier draw, Gun A may have run up against other models that made it look like chopped liver. Then when we tested it again, Gun A may have whipped Guns B and C because the latter two weren’t much good, and Gun A benefited from the comparison.


In a way, that’s what happened when we tested a new-for-2007 Smith & Wesson M&P 45 .45 ACP, $619, against a $1235 Heckler & Koch USP Compact Tactical USP45CT .45 ACP, which we last tested in June 2007, and the $635 Glock 21 SF, which we tested in July 2007. In June, the H&K got an "A" rating, when we said its "…light weight, ease of maintenance, and accuracy makes it very appealing. Our staff concluded that it was best to operate the USP45CT either as a full-time single-action pistol or a full-time TDA. Sticking with one system or the other was the only way to stay trained up, in our opinion."

Likewise, the Glock 21 SF got kudos from us as well, when we said in July, "No question this is an improvement on the G21. Better handling, but still a big gun with little potential for concealed carry. In our view, we think police will be trading in their G21s for the improved SF model."

First introduced by S&W in February 2007, the M&P45 is the newest addition to the M&P pistol series, a product line launched in December 2005. We’ve tested the M&P9 9mm and the M&P40 with varying degrees of success, rating the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm Compact 2009004, $624, as a "D" in the April 2007 issue. The Smith & Wesson M&P .40 S&W No. 209000, $624, got a "Conditional Buy" in the August 2006 issue, and a Smith & Wesson M&P40 .40 S&W, $495, got an "A-" in the October 2007 issue.

The M&P45 began shipping in May 2007. Leland Nichols, president and COO of Smith & Wesson Corp., said at the time, "By combining the powerful .45 ACP cartridge with the performance and safety features of the M&P series, working professionals and shooting sports enthusiasts have a new option in the growing line of M&P products well-suited to fulfill a variety of needs."

Nichols continued, "We are also aware that multiple branches of the U.S. Military have expressed a desire to shift from their current 9mm weapons to either a .40 or .45 caliber duty weapon for greater stopping power. We are now currently shipping both .40 and .45 calibers, as well as a 9mm, in the M&P Pistol Series, and are fully prepared to address either requirement, should the U.S. Military initiate a request for purchase."

The gun was rolled out as a full-size polymer pistol with a 10+1 magazine capacity and an optional 14+1 magazine. It was originally offered with a traditional black frame and was manufactured with or without a frame-mounted ambidextrous thumb safety. Later, the M&P45 came with a dark earth–brown frame and a standard manual thumb safety, which is the gun we acquired for this test.


How We Tested

We fired a range of ammunitions for this match-up, including Aguila’s IQ 117-gr. hollowpoint, Hornady +P 230-gr. JHP/XTPs, and an inexpensive 230-gr. FMJ ball ammo from Sellier & Bellot. To collect accuracy data, we fired five-shot groups from a sandbag rest at targets 15 yards downrange. We recorded velocities using a PACT Professional Chronograph XP from Brownells, with the sky screens set 3 yards from the muzzle. Our accuracy targets were Caldwell Orange Peel 4-inch bullseyes, and we used a B21XR 50-foot silhouette target from Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. for our combat evaluations, which were shot at 7 yards.

Because Smith & Wesson seemed to have designs on the M&P45 being considered as a replacement for the 9mm M-9 from Beretta, we asked our test team, composed of law-enforcement officers and old Airborne soldiers, to consider which gun they would want when the chips were down. Their responses were direct and hard-hitting.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:00 PM
Smith & Wesson M&P45

.45 ACP, $619

The M&P45s feature a 4.6-inch barrel with an overall length of 8.0 inches. The M&P45 comes standard with three interchangeable grips, a steel dovetail mount front sight and a steel Novak Lo-Mount carry rear sight. Tritium sights are also available. A universal Picatinny-style equipment rail has been incorporated for tactical lights and lasers. Our polymer pistol had an empty weight of 25.1 ounces.

The new frame-mounted ambidextrous thumb safety acts as a passive safety device, allowing the slide to be pulled toward the rear, clearing the firearm without disengaging the safety. Another feature is the lanyard attachment. All M&P45 pistols feature a Zytel polymer frame reinforced with a stainless-steel chassis and a hardened black Melonite-finished stainless-steel barrel and slide and a Dark Earth Brown grip. This is a silly name for a color—Sand would have been fine—but we overlooked it.

A passive trigger safety prevents the pistol from firing if dropped, and a sear-release lever eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm. A loaded chamber indicator is located on top of the slide. The firearm also features an ambidextrous slide stop and a reversible magazine release, as well as an enlarged trigger guard designed to accommodate gloves. The Smith & Wesson lifetime service policy is standard with each pistol.

The barrel measured 4.6 inches in length, with a sight radius of 6.8 inches and an overall height of 5.5 inches. The frontstrap and backstrap heights were 2.5 inches and 3.8 inches, respectively. Across the ambi safety paddles, the gun’s maximum width taped out to be 1.6 inches, with the grip measuring 1.4 inches thick and 5.9 inches in circumference. Our test sample weighed 25.1 ounces with an unloaded magazine. The trigger pull weight single action was 8.0 pounds, and the trigger span of the gun cocked in single-action mode was 2.7 inches. Trigger travel rest to fire was 0.3 inches, and the trigger reset distance was 0.140 inch.

We liked a lot of things on the M&P45. Of course, to start it was slightly cheaper than the Glock and $600 cheaper than the H&K. It had impressive fit, finish, and cosmetics. For instance, we could see only the faintest line at the bottom of the grip where the pieces could be switched. The brown frame color offsets the black slide nicely, though the black pins in the brown frame didn’t look good to our eyes.

The gun is ambidextrous. Lefties had no trouble working the slide release or the safety, and the magazine release is reversible. The magazine release was a push-button design that could be changed to operate from the right side if desired—a boon for lefties, but the Glock and H&K guns had full-time ambi buttons, the H&K behind the trigger guard and the Glock in roughly the same place, but back into the frame, for good or ill.

Where the M&P gained an edge was in its 1911-style ambi safety paddles. Our test team loved that feature. 1911 shooters will welcome these levers, for they broaden the shooter’s choice of which condition to leave the gun in. Also, because the levers work all the time, the gun can be made safe loading, unloading, or working the slide. The Glock, of course, lacked this feature altogether, and the H&K had it on just the left-hand side. However, the H&K’s lever could be reversed.

One of the most important aspects of any pistol is the way it feels in the shooter’s hands, and the M&P feels good. We found the M&P’s grip angle to be to our liking. One of our testers called the M&P "a natural pointer" the first time he handled it, commenting that the grip angle reminded him of the 1911. The hand slips under the M&P’s beavertail better, and the thinner grip allowed the shooter’s hand to close around it better than the blockier Glock, we thought. Additionally, the optional backstraps allow shooters with different hand sizes to customize the grip for best fit. Unlike on the M&P40 we recently tested, we were able to extract the 45’s grip tool from its storage space and change grips. The Glock and H&K lacked this feature.

In more detail, the trigger face was hinged, and when the bottom of the trigger was pulled, it deactivated the striker block safety. The initial take-up disengaged the safety, then there was some creep and additional weight, then a bit of travel before a clean break at 8 pounds. Once pulled, a trigger stop hit a ridge on the inside of the trigger guard, which shortened the reset distance.

Elsewhere, the Novak sights were clear and easy to see; the frame included an accessory rail, and the wavy slide serrations provide a great grasping surface for working the slide without discomfort. The double-stack, 10-round magazine doesn’t cause the grip to be bulky. Also, with a 10-round count, it’s easy to calculate and count the total rounds you’re carrying and what you have shot, and what you have left. Under stress, it’s amazing how difficult it is to multiply times 7, 8, or 13.

From the bench, the M&P45 printed its best five-shot groups with Aguila’s 117-grain hollowpoints (1.4 inches), followed by the Sellier & Bellot 230-grain FMJs (1.5 inches) and Hornady’s 230-grain JHP/XTPs (1.8 inches). That was better than the Glock and H&K using the high-speed Aguila ammo and the S&B ball round, but behind the H&K with Hornady load.

Elsewhere, the M&P’s external extractor helped the gun function without flaw. The rear Novak low mount sight with two white dots was adjustable for windage only. The barrel hood offered a hole at the rear that extended into the breech face for visual inspection of the chamber. The ejection port in the slide was large. The well-built blued magazines were numbered 3 to 10 on the back side of the magazine, with the only weird thing being that the 9 hole was lower than the 10-hole.

But the gun’s not perfect. We found very sharp points on the front of the frame under the guide rod. This is a ticky-tacky point, because the other guns had the same problem, and that part of the frame isn’t exposed. And the M&P45 was the most difficult of the test guns to field-strip.

Also, we had trouble loading the ninth and tenth rounds into one magazine, and we couldn’t load the tenth round into the second magazine. We also noticed that when releasing the slide, it’s possible to engage the safety inadvertently. If you train with it, snapping the safety back down after a reload won’t be a problem, but if you’re not aware of it and you’ve shot a full magazine, reloaded, and snapped the slide home expecting the gun to go bang when you pull the trigger, then the safety lever being up could be a problem.

Glock G21 SF .45 ACP, $637

In July, we covered the major changes between the standard Glock 21 and the 21 SF model. To recap those changes briefly, the trigger housing was changed and an ambidextrous magazine release was installed. Original G21 magazines won’t fit the SF, but SF magazines will fit older Model 21 pistols. The backstrap was shortened by about 0.10 inch.

The barrel measured 4.6 inches in length, with a sight radius of 6.8 inches and an overall height of 5.2 inches. The frontstrap and backstrap heights were 2.6 inches and 3.6 inches, respectively. Across the thumb ridges in the grip frame, the gun’s maximum width taped out to be 1.4 inches, with the grip measuring 1.4 inches thick and 6.3 inches in circumference. Our test sample weighed 26.5 ounces with an unloaded magazine. The trigger pull weight was 7.7 pounds, and the trigger span of the gun cocked in single-action mode was 2.9 inches.

In this test, the G21 SF had a flat, boxy feeling compared to the M&P45, but the SF was nevertheless more pleasant to handle than older Glocks. (Many of our testers use Glocks at work, so they were able to make this assessment simply by reaching in their holsters.) However, the Glock’s smooth grip texture could be a problem with sweaty hands, and some of our shooters complained that when they bore down on the gun, the left top part of the grip frame irritated the inside web of the right-hand thumb.

Still, we thought the SF did the best job of handling recoil compared to the M&P and H&K. The grip angle allowed the gun to come onto target quickly, and it recovered the best during our combat shooting.

The Glock trigger had a short stroke that was smooth into the break. We never got to the point in our press where we felt it was taking too long to break.

The sights consisted of a white outlined notch in the rear unit, which was dovetailed into place. Our team said the sights were thick and allowed for little play in the sight picture. On our sample, the front dot was unevenly applied, with a thin strip at 12 o’clock. Our testers also don’t like a plastic front sight on a combat pistol.

The Glock 21 SF was right in the middle in our accuracy tests. Overall average for five shots was about 1.7 inches across. But when firing the Aguila IQ 117-grain HPs, the SF was a close second.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:00 PM
H&K USP Compact Tactical

USP45CT .45 ACP, $1235

Our third gun was the Heckler & Koch USP Compact Tactical. Also referred to as the USP45CT, this gun may be carried as a traditional double-action pistol or it can be carried cocked and locked for single-action operation. The HK USP45CT pistol was the only gun shipped with an eight-round magazine, putting it at a capacity disadvantage.

The new Compact Tactical USP45CT arrived in a ballistic nylon attaché case with tool kit and cleaning kit and two magazines. The gun’s price also included a longer barrel threaded for a suppressor. Our team thought the package was professional and businesslike (One commented that it was "everything a hit man could want.")

The barrel measured 4.4 inches in length, with a sight radius of 5.6 inches and an overall height of 5.1 inches. The frontstrap and backstrap heights were 2.3 inches and 3.1 inches, respectively. Across the levers underneath the slide, the gun’s maximum width was 1.4 inches; the grip thickness was 1.2 inches, and it was 5.5 inches in circumference. Our test sample weighed 26.3 ounces with an unloaded magazine. The SA trigger pull weight was 5.3 pounds and the DA pull was 11.5 pounds. The trigger span of the gun cocked in single-action mode was 2.7 inches and 2.9 inches in double action.

Perhaps moreso than the Glock, this gun suffered in a direct comparison with the M&P45. Shooting the guns side by side, our testers said the slim grip frame’s sharp checkering worked great with gloves, and the large slide-release and safety levers were easy to manipulate, but the small mag-release button would be hard to work with gloves on. Our testers didn’t much like shooting the USP45CT over long round counts without protection on their hands.

In our view, the double-action trigger of the USP45CT was too heavy and not nearly as pleasant as its single-action trigger. When we fired the gun from the bench, we were able to land an average SA size group of about 1.7 inches for all shots fired during our accuracy test. But during combat sequences when we started with DA, we thought the trigger was creepy, and the pull weight was significant enough for the gun to shift in the hand during the backward trigger stroke. That when we noticed the looseness in the front part of the SA pull, which was creepy instead of feeling like the front part of a two-stage pull, like on the M&P45. The slim grip was also harder to point, we thought, and we noted the natural tendency to dip the trigger on the double-action pull.

The decocker/safety lever was found on the left side only, but was reversible for left-handed shooters. We found it safe to ride the safety while shooting because the downward pressure exerted would not activate the decocker. We preferred having a safety lever like that found on the M&P45 and H&K guns over nothing, like on the Glock.

Magazines were a bright spot for the H&K. They were of high quality, with steel bodies and tight construction. One loaded to capacity easily, and on magazine two, round eight was hard to get in, but it did go in.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:01 PM
45 ACP Polymer Pistols with Thumb Safeties: Buy the XD45
In our opinion, Springfield Armory’s excellent XD45 with an “on-off switch” still leads Smith & Wesson’s M&P45 and the Taurus OSS, a promising gun that malfunctioned during our evaluation.


Everyone loves the big bullet. But one of the reasons why the models in this test are in production probably has more to do with a recent announcement by the United States military. A proposal was made to move away from the Beretta M9 and substitute a 45 ACP pistol with thumb safety and higher capacity than the traditional 1911 Government model. Plans to adopt such a pistol prompted several manufacturers to produce prototypes. Subsequently, the military decided to stand pat with the Beretta.

Nevertheless, participating gun makers thought they might as well

Of our three test guns, the $571 Springfield Armory XD45 with thumb safety was the only pistol in this test that we could recommend without reservation. It shot to point of aim, delivered sub-2-inch five shot groups on demand and ran without malfunction. It was also among the easiest pistols we’ve found to master. Demanding a suggested retail price less than its competitors, this may be the smartest buy in home defense. All three test guns were fitted with an accessory rail for a tactical light, so we chose to team up the XD with the Streamlight SuperTac LED. Strong enough to be mounted on a long gun, the SuperTac’s thin aluminum body makes it ideal for hand-held use. The built-in pocket clip came in handy, too. $120 from streamlight.com.

let the public decide if these new designs were worthwhile. Thus, all three pistols in this test, the $623 Taurus OSS No. 24/7-OSSDS45B, Springfield Armory’s $571 XD45 No. XD9661HCSP, and the $743 Smith & Wesson M&P No. 109107, can be made safe by lifting a thumb-operated safety.

Some of the questions we wanted to answer had to do with carry options and ergonomics. To withstand 45 ACP recoil, these guns were bigger and built heavier than the 9mm and 40 S&W models generally associated with polymer design. Would adding a full load of heavy ammunition make the guns too much to carry? What about reliability? Would the magazine springs remain strong enough to lift the final rounds into position? To test this last proposition, one magazine of each gun was left fully loaded with the 230-grain Black Hills JHP +P rounds for 14 days.

What about the thumb safeties? Did they interfere with maintaining a natural grip? Would they slow the shooter down in an emergency? Did the thumb safety cause malfunctions? Did we think the addition of the thumb safety made the gun safer to handle both tactically and administratively?

For this test, we fired indoors at Houston’s Top Gun Handgun Training Center (topgunrange.com). There we tested from a distance of 15 yards from a sandbag rest. We also garnered comment from members of the public thanks to testing alongside one of the many corporate functions hosted by Top Gun staff. Test ammunition included three prime examples of 45 ACP ammunition. For a light-recoiling target round we chose Winchester USA’s 185-grain FMJ loads. Next, we tried Federal Premium 230-grain Hydra-Shok JHP rounds, and for maximum power 230-grain JHP +P rounds from Black Hills Ammunition.

Here’s what we learned:

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:02 PM
Springfield Armory XD45 Service Model

No. XD9661HCSP 45 ACP, $571

The XD45 with thumb safety is the newest addition to the XD lineup. But the basic pistol has been around for quite some time. Before Springfield Armory had its name on it, the 9mm base model was being imported as the HS2000. This is significant. While others were just developing a polymer pistol, the HS was already

All XD pistols arrive with a very nice belt slide holster. But for rock-solid carry of heavy guns like our three 45s, we preferred the Hardmolded #9, Close Cropped Basic holster, $55 from fist-inc.com.

popular with police in its native Croatia. The original HS was evaluated in the April 2001 issue of Gun Tests, where we lauded its favorable ergonomics.

The XD had a safety lever located on the face of the trigger much like a Glock, but it also had a safety lever underneath the web of the hand that functioned as a grip safety. Other safety features consisted of a loaded-chamber indicator and striker ready indicator at the rear of the slide.

The XD pistol had a magazine-release button available from either side. The breakdown latch and the slide release were located on the left side of the pistol. Like on a Sig Sauer, removing the top end required locking back the slide and turning the latch. But in this case the lever was turned upward, passing through a cut in the slide. Once the latch was up and the slide released, the trigger must be pressed to free the slide. The top end, which offered a three-dot sight system dovetailed into place housed a linkless barrel that locked and unlocked over a steel block with slide rails on each side. Rails to the rear were polymer and fashioned as one piece with the grip frame. These rails helped align the slide. The rails in the center carried most of the stress.

An accessory rail with two slots was forward of the trigger guard. Two 13-round magazines were supplied. They featured viewing holes for each round and were constructed of shiny stainless steel. The basepads on all three pistols were removable, so springs and followers can be replaced when worn out. But the XD magazines were the simplest to disassemble. The magazine well featured a beveled profile to help insert the magazines. The XD package included a polymer belt slide holster (tension adjustable), and a dual magazine pouch with side rails for stowing any accessory that can fit on to the Picatinny rail.

The thumb safeties were located to the rear of the pistol on both sides. The levers rotated from an axis point just above the grip safety. The levers consisted of a stem that was countersunk into the frame and a raised section for contact. Both the slide release

The M&P slide reminded us more of the 1911 than the ones found on the Taurus or Springfield Armory pistols. Cocking serrations were handsome and effective.

and the safety could be operated with the strong-hand thumb. The pad of the thumb naturally finds the slide release, and the knuckle can work the safety without a change in grip or shifting the pistol in the hand. The XD had an indentation on each side of the grip at the top of the panel. The indent was enhanced with a shelf along its bottom. We found this was the natural point on which to seat the thumb when shooting with one hand. Holding the gun in both hands, we achieved greater control by raising the thumb and letting the lower palm of the weak hand contact the grip panel. This also placed the strong-hand thumb close to the safety so we could operate it quickly at any time. This grip was judged more effective than using the support hand to cover the strong hand thumb. Covering the thumb left a hollow space between our palm and the grip. This allowed the gun to move around during recoil, causing us to re-grip the gun between shots.

Riding the safety (keeping the thumb atop the lever while firing) is a popular technique not only for keeping the safety lever under control but opposing recoil. The lever on the XD was almost, but not quite big enough, to act as a shelf on which to apply downward pressure. Without a platform perpendicular to the frame, undue pressure applied by the strong hand thumb can push shots to the side. Instead, we enjoyed applying light pressure to the safety with the edge of our thumb to control and locate our grip. No malfunctions of any kind were experienced with the XD, and the availability of the safety as an on/off switch assured safe handling.

Drawing from a holster, we were able to quickly turn the safety off between the time our muzzle was facing the target and our sight picture made us ready to fire. In our opinion, no time was lost. The

This is the grip of the M&P45 with the rear panel removed. Several Practical Shooting competitors we encountered have chosen to fill this void with their own design to suit their hands. This is possible because no moving parts are exposed.

trigger did not require a long take-up, and there was plenty of feedback to the shooter. The XD system is thought of as being very close to a single-action design. The distance the trigger pushes back the striker is minimal compared to the Glock system. But the final movement was distinct. We always knew where we were in our press. Combined with the thumb safety, we felt we had complete control of the weapon.

In our hands the Springfield Armory XD was the most accurate despite having the shortest barrel, 4 inches, and the shortest sight radius. An average measurement of all five shot groups fired with all three test rounds worked out to less than 1.9 inches across. This included the smallest groups measuring from 1.4 inches to 1.7 inches center to center for each different round. All groups hit at point of aim.

We could attribute this success to the predictable trigger, the clear sights, and the quality of its lockup, but the grip had a lot to do with it, too. Not only does 45 ACP produce a lot of muzzle flip, but the big bullet has a tendency to torque the gun as well. The efficient grip helped us hold on to the gun and follow through on each shot. Simply put, we think the Springfield Armory XD with thumb safety is easy to shoot.

Smith & Wesson M&P45 No. 109107 45 ACP, $743

Of our three guns we felt that the M&P45 was closer to the 1911 than either the Taurus or Springfield Armory products. No, it did not have a grip-operated safety, but the profile of its slide looked like it could be used on a single-stack 1911. Some very effective cocking serrations on the front and rear of the slide continued the resemblance. The top of the slide was flat, and both sights were dovetailed into place. The rear sight was a low-mount unit with its rear face even with the back of the slide for maximum sight radius.

Overall, the M&P45 had a very sleek look. The length of the extractor was visible from the right side, but it was seated flush. The rake of the grip angle, topped with a beavertail that reached

The more we shot the Taurus OSS, the more flyers we experienced. Several five-shot attempts produced tight four-shot groups like this one, with the flyer printing about 5 inches away.

almost a full inch over the web of the shooter’s hand, set this gun apart from other polymer pistols. The dustcover offered a three-slot accessory rail. The magazine release was left side only, but in traditional location at the bottom rear of the trigger guard. The M&P45 featured ambidextrous slide releases and thumb safeties. The trigger itself was nearly a half circle in arc and was hinged to facilitate a safety device comparable to the Glock and XD models.

The grip of the M&P pistol offered a very pleasant, neutral texture. The back of the grip was removable. This also included a thin layer including about half of the side panel. To change inserts, required removing a pin that served two purposes. The top of the pin was located at the bottom rear of the grip as a continuation of its contour. You can also recognize the pin by the inlet that also served as a lanyard point. Turning the pin 90 degrees allowed it to be pulled out. This also released the rear panel. Three different-size panels were supposed to come with the gun, but for some reason we received one medium and two small sized panels. We doubt we would have used the large panel anyway, because we all preferred the panel marked small on the inside. Even so, we felt the backstrap was bulbous and unnecessarily noticeable. We’d rather not be conscious of the grip at all.

Checking with as many owners of the M&P pistols as we could find, we obtained some interesting feedback regarding the grip. Of the shooters who use the M&P in Practical Shooting competition, a number of them are not even using the inserts. They simply remove the insert and fill in the remaining void to suit their hands. This is feasible because no working parts are exposed with the backstrap removed. We tried shooting the M&P45 without an insert in place and could see the potential for improving the grip.

In addition to locking the grip insert into place, the pin also assisted in removing the top end. With the slide locked back, the pin was used to reach down past the breech face and push down on the sear deactivation lever. Next, the takedown lever could be rotated downward. Pressing the release should allow the slide to move forward off of the frame. However, we found that as the slide moved forward the takedown lever would sometimes leave its vertical position and rotate slightly. This would raise the rearward edge of the lever so that it would catch on the relief in the slide meant for the slide catch as it slid past, causing the slide to jam. We were careful to keep the takedown latch vertical to prevent this from happening during reassembly as well as takedown. With the top end removed, we found a complex action including springs and transfer bars.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:03 PM
At the firing line we learned several characteristics of the M&P45. First, you could ride the safety. This meant the strong-hand thumb could be placed atop the paddle to assist in recoil control. This design also guaranteed a sure grip when pushing it up or down (on or off).


Next, we began with the lighter recoiling Winchester USA 185-grain FMJ rounds. The M&P printed groups that averaged less than 2.0 inches across.

This was our best effort with the Smith & Wesson.

We like the ergonomics of the Taurus 24/7s, of which the OSS pistols are the largest. Thumb safeties were ambidextrous and easy to use. Note the slide lock and the upper portion of the extractor. The thin layer hinged outward indicates a full chamber.

But we might judge that the M&P45 was not tuned for these rounds as the cases consistently flew straight back from the ejection port into our shooter’s forehead. Our more powerful rounds printed five-shot groups that averaged about 2.5 inches across at 15 yards. But the gun ejected spent cases cleanly and quickly away from the shooter. We don’t think the difference in accuracy could be attributed to the ammunition per se. The M&P recoiled with sizeable muzzle flip that tested our follow through.

One additional problem we encountered was when we loaded the gun with the slide already locked back, the slide would pick up a round and move into battery on its own just as the magazine was seated. This may sound convenient, but we prefer to be in control of the gun.

The overall profile of the M&P45 makes it most appealing. Holding the gun and sighting down a target tempted us to whisper to ourselves with enthusiasm. But we think a few smaller points of finish need attention. Regarding the variety of alternate backstraps, we’re not sure the M&P really needs that much help. Much of the gun already mimics the better features of the Browning 1911. Perhaps continuing this theme to the rear of the grip may be the better choice.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:03 PM
Taurus OSS No. 24/7-OSSDS45B 45 ACP, $623

Of our three guns the Taurus OSS had the longest barrel, 5.25 inches, and a sight radius that we might refer to as luxurious. This gun is the big brother to the 24/7 series pistols that are also full-time double-action only with ambidextrous thumb safeties. Magazine capacity for the 9mm tops out at 17 rounds and the 40 S&W model will carry 15+1 rounds. Our forty-five was a 12+1 round model but all the 24/7s ship with 10-round magazines where required by law.

Of our three manufacturers, Taurus has been offering a thumb safety the longest, not to mention chambering polymer pistols for 45 ACP. We have found the ergonomics of the 24/7 series pistols to be outstanding. The OSS was no exception. Unique to the OSS was the amount of weight biased towards the muzzle. This helped tame muzzle flip.

Overall, the OSS offered the impression that serious business was about to take place. This same basic platform is available in a variety of color schemes and in calibers 9mm and 40 S&W as well as 45 ACP. The black slide on our pistol was topped with a Novak sight dovetailed and set with an Allen screw. The front sight not only offered a white dot but also a generous tall outline for the shooter to see. It, too, was dovetailed and fixed with an Allen screw. The slide had cocking serrations front and rear that were visually understated but effective. The externally mounted extractor was topped with a segment that was designed to bulge outward when the chamber was loaded for tactile indication. There was a key-operated lock on the right side of the slide. Up front was an accessory rail with two cross hatches. The slide release and the slide stop pin were located on the left side of the frame. Thumb-operated safeties were on both sides. The grip undercut the slide and swept downward gracefully, providing a comfortable palm swell. The front strap offered mild finger grooves. Along the side of the frame on both sides were mild indentations just above the front of the trigger guard. According to the taurususa.com website, the OSS pistol was "built to meet and/or exceed all requirements laid down by USSOCOM, (United States Special Operations Command) for its new sidearm" and that it included "features that real-world professionals were asking for." We’re not sure these indents were among the requests, but we liked them as finger-off- the-trigger points of reference anyway. We can see how they would be helpful especially while wearing gloves.

Disassembly required locking back the slide, rotating the slide stop downward and pulling it from the frame. Releasing the slide and pressing the trigger allowed the slide to move forward off of the frame. The Taurus 24/7 pistols actually come in three parts. They were the top end consisting of slide, barrel and recoil assembly; an aluminum assembly that housed the action and provided the frame rails; and the plastic grip frame. The only trick to reassembly was to tilt the gun muzzle down with the slide locked back so that the barrel was fully forward. This way the slide stop will be properly positioned. Replacing the slide stop pin required turning it as you pressed inward above the retaining leaf spring.

The thumb safeties were easy to operate, available primarily to the inside of the thumb at the knuckle. The safeties were not in the shape of a paddle, but some members of our staff were able to ride the safety and some weren’t. Top to bottom the grip was not very tall. This helped make the gun more concealable, but we had to move our support hand out of the way for the strong-hand thumb to get underneath the safety and push it to the On position. The trigger stroke was long and ignition occurred when the trigger was nearly up against the frame. Shooters with longer fingers or larger hands found this awkward.

At the range we fired the 185-grain FMJ rounds first. Groups ranged in size from 2.0 to 3.7 inches across. Since recoil from the light loads in the big heavy gun was minimal, we judged that follow through was not a problem. The difference in size between our smallest groups and are largest grew as we increased the power of our ammunition. The Federal Hydra-Shok was more consistent but not sterling. Groups varied in size from 3.0 to 3.6 inches across at a distance we would consider minimal for a gun with very good sights and a 5.25-inch barrel. Firing the 230-grain JHP +P ammunition, groups jumped to more than 5 inches wide.

But that is not the whole story.The first shot in each group of this powerful ammunition was flying high to the left. The remaining four shots were producing groups about 1.5 inches across. In our opinion, the lockup produced by hand-cycling during the loading procedure did not produce the same quality of mechanical lockup achieved by the velocity and force produced by ignition. Maladies such as this used to be common among semi-automatic pistols. The design concept of the Taurus OSS pistol should have, in our opinion, produced consistency if not the best accuracy. This design offered the most slide-to-frame contact which, when hand fit, can be beneficial.

Unfortunately, we also suffered malfunctions. One such malfunction caused the slide to lock back with rounds remaining inside the magazine. But the majority involved the inability to chamber the final round. This problem was more prevalent with hollowpoints.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:04 PM
45 ACP Matchup: We’re Mostly Sold on Kimber’s Custom SIS RL
A minor blemish afflicted even the Custom SIS RL, but it and Springfield Armory’s Loaded MC and the Para Ordnance 14-45S GR come close to 1911 perfection. Here is what else they need.


In this evaluation, we will look at three .45 ACP 1911-style pistols. Not too long ago, this would mean three pistols that looked almost exactly alike. But today’s 1911 may contain as many different components as the total number of its parts. For example, the new Brownells catalog devoted solely to the 1911 lists as many as 27 different styles of custom hammers. Thus, our test guns offered several different variations on the 1911 platform.

Our three test guns were the $1421 Kimber Custom SIS RL, Springfield Armory’s $1332 Loaded Operator MC, and the $1129 Para Ordnance P14-45S GR. Each gun fired from a 5-inch barrel

The $1421 Kimber SIS Custom RL, above, was our favorite pistol to shoot in our rapid-action test. This is the start position. Upon a signal from the CED 7000 timer, our shooter will load the gun with Black Hills 200-grain semi-wadcutters, shoot three steel targets, reload and shoot the steel again. Elapsed time for this drill was in the 8-second range. Why was the Kimber fast? Its sights were easy to read, and the grips were perfectly matched to the checkered steel frame.

supported at the muzzle by a bushing and could be referred to as full-size "Government" models. But the Para Ordnance pistol offered higher capacity, feeding from a wider magazine wherein the rounds were piled in a zigzag pattern rather than stacked in a single column. All three guns varied in the designs of their grips, sights, and thumb safeties.


How We Tested

We began our tests firing five-shot groups with the shooter using a sandbag rest for support. Test distance was 25 yards, with blustery wind conditions. For ammunition we chose 185-grain Winchester Silvertip hollowpoints, and from Black Hills Ammunition the 200-grain lead semi-wadcutter loads plus 230-grain JHP ammunition. The 200-grain SWC loads were remanufactured, and the 230-grain JHP rounds were new manufacture.

We also devised a rapid-action test that we hoped would tell us more about the fast-handling capabilities of each pistol. At Phil Oxley’s Impact Zone range (theimpactzone.us), we placed three steel Practice Targets ($95 each from actiontarget.com) 12 yards downrange and 8 feet apart. We chose these targets because the plates were durable and the stands rock solid, yet easy to fold and transport. The center target was a 10-inch rectangle, and the two outer targets were 8-inch circles. Each plate was mounted with a downward bias to deflect debris toward the ground. We used the

Elapsed times firing the $1129 Para Ordnance P14-45S GR were slowed by sights that were difficult to level off.

Black Hills 200-grain semi-wadcutter ammunition for this test because of its popularity with the Practical Shooting crowd.

We began each run with the gun laying flat on a barrel top completely empty with the hammer down. Beside it, we put two loaded magazines. The shooter began with his hands along the rim of the barrel. Upon the audible start signal from a CED 7000 recording timer ($120 from cdhk.com), our shooter grabbed one magazine and the gun, inserted the magazine, racked the slide and took aim at each target in rapid succession. After hitting each plate once, the shooter reloaded and reengaged the targets. This drill was repeated for a total of ten runs. We recorded the elapsed time, but of more interest was what transpired during each run. How did each gun help or hinder the shooter in getting the job done? Let’s find out.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:04 PM
Kimber SIS Custom RL

.45 ACP, $1421

The Kimber SIS Custom RL had several distinctive features. Most notable were carving the initials "SIS" into the slide as cocking serrations front and rear. Striking fancy knurled wood grips adorned this pistol, and they accented the gun’s slick gray KimPro outer finish, which had an element of metal flake sheen. We did spy a small chip or wear through on the slide just above the slide stop pin on the right side.

The SIS Custom RL came with night sights. The rear unit, windage adjustable via drift, was mounted in a dovetail aligning its rear

The $1332 Springfield Armory Loaded Operator MC had a couple of combat-proven features that helped it rival the Kimber, but we wanted different sights on it, too.

face precisely with the back of the slide for maximum sight radius. Its forward edge presented a vertical surface reaching about 0.2 inches upwards from the top of the slide. This was to provide a catch point on one’s belt or other edge in case the slide needed to be racked without using two hands. Today’s pistols commonly feature a rear sight with a ramped profile front to back. The ramped profile is much less likely to snag clothing than a tall and sharp sight blade. But if the slide must be racked and the support hand is not available, the operator might wish for the sharp edge of the old-style rear sight. Kimber’s SIS-style rear sight meets this need without the worry of hanging up on the inside of a jacket or shirt.

The accessory rail front sight was a modern era feature, but the solid profile trigger (adjustable for over travel) gave the SIS a throwback look. The hammer was heavily serrated for grip, and its overall profile was modern, but the relief was small compared to our other pistols. Another custom touch was the 30-lpi checkering on the front strap. The mainspring housing showed deep vertical lines, and the raised surface of the grip safety was engraved with three wavy lines.

Thumb safeties were ambidextrous, with the right side being slightly reduced in contact area. A standard-length guide rod was in play, and the spring cap could be compressed by hand. Initially, we found the barrel bushing too tight to be turned without using a wrench, which was supplied. But by the fourth time we had broken the gun down, field stripping could be achieved completely by hand.

Elsewhere, the SIS represented a return to more traditional construction. First, the extractor was housed inside the slide. This not only protects the extractor but strengthens the slide. Furthermore, the suffix "II" was missing from the gun’s nomenclature, signifying that the Schwarz safety system was not part of the design. Type-II Kimber pistols contained a firing-pin lock that was released as the grip safety was compressed. We prefer non-Type II pistols because there is less chance of interference with the trigger press. At the bench we found that the trigger was consistent, letting off with the application of 5.25 pounds shot after shot.

In our accuracy tests the Kimber favored Winchester’s 185-grain Silvertip HP rounds. We measured a best overall group of 1.1 inches while producing 369 ft.-lbs. of muzzle energy. Only a single shot that ruined an otherwise tight group increased the average group size towards the 2-inch mark. Consistency was remarkable with all three test brands.

In our rapid-action tests, we learned much more about the Kimber SIS pistol. To start, we liked that the SIS arrived with three KimPro magazines that held eight rounds. Also, two base pads of different sizes were included, and they help seat the magazines during reloads. One set added approximately 0.3 inch to the overall length, and the other set added about 0.6 inch. These were rebuildable magazines, so they could be taken apart for cleaning, and the springs could be replaced when necessary.

In our first attempt at our rapid-action course of fire, our elapsed time was 9.79 seconds. We noticed the gun shot to point of aim, and the desired sight picture of a centered front sight with the top edges of the blade leveled within the notch was very easy to pick up. Our next run took only 9.02 seconds, and from then on elapsed times dropped below 9 seconds, with a best run of 8.14 seconds.

We thought the Kimber SIS Custom RL was the easiest of our three guns to point. Because the sights were precise and clear, we always knew when was the gun was lined up. The checkering was a big help, but we think matching the proper-width grip panels had a lot to do with finding the target and quickly loading the magazine. The Kimber’s magazine well did not appear to be extensively beveled, but we could find the proper angle for a smooth reload every time. What we didn’t like was the lack of grip supplied by the letters SIS on the slide. Combined with the slick finish (and whatever oil seeped out from beneath the slide), we were surprised every time we grabbed the slide that we were able to move it far enough to pick up a round. We think the only reason it worked every time is that the SIS was well tuned and willing to feed ammunition. Combined with a heavy recoil spring, this also made for a very uneasy feeling whenever we needed to pull back the slide to clear the chamber. Those seeking a quick fix may be happy to know that as slick as the Kimber KimPro finish was, we tried applying 3M grip tape and yes, it did stick. The jury is still out on the toughness of Kimber’s new finish.

In our estimation, the Kimber SIS Custom RL is just a few good cocking serrations away from being one of the best over-the-counter 1911s we’ve tried.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:05 PM
Springfield Armory Loaded

Operator MC PX9105MLP

.45 ACP, $1332

The Springfield Armory Loaded Operator MC is another example of old and new features brought together to create a combat handgun. The olive-drab frame contrasting with the black slide may not be new, but the texture and durability of its Armory Kote is a modern innovation. So is the accessory rail that formed the dust cover. Low-mount tritium night sights were in place along with other modern "custom" features such as a relieved hammer, ventilated aluminum trigger adjustable for overtravel, memory groove grip safety, checkered mainspring housing, and ambidextrous thumb safeties. The rubber Pachmayr grip panels that stretched a checkered rubber surface across the frontstrap was definitely a throwback feature. The magazine well was deeply beveled along the sides and also along the rear edge. Cocking serrations along the slide were not fancy, but they did cover about two-thirds of the area rearward of the ejection port and more than an inch of surface area behind the muzzle.

Springfield Armory 1911s feature an internal locking system that is key operated and effectively locks down the mainspring. The keyhole was barely noticeable just below the grip safety. Two seven-round magazines were supplied. We noticed that the amount of slide stop pin protruding from the right side was considerably less than on either the Para Ordnance or Kimber pistols. A low-profile or flush-fit slide stop is preferable because this helps prevent incidental contact from pushing it out of place and causing a stoppage.

From the 25-yard bench, all three rounds showed a consistent spread from smallest to largest group, but the Winchester 185-grain Silvertip HP rounds produced the best groups overall. The Springfield Armory pistol matched the Kimber with an average five-shot group measuring 1.9 inches across.

Firing from support and utilizing a controlled press, we thought the Pachmayr grip was a useful tool. It also performed much better than expected when our hands were wet. But in our rapid-action test we thought the rubber grip was holding us back. Indeed, our first run went very well. Elapsed time was only 8.19 seconds. But our next run took 10.49 seconds. Subsequent attempts bounced around from 8.5 to 9.9 seconds. The reason for the inconsistent times was easy to spot. The tacky feel and bulk of the grip required perfect technique every time. One wrong move in the sequence, and the gun would hang up in the shooter’s hand. We decided to change grips.

With a pair of Extreme Aluminum grips by Hogue in place ($60 from Brownells, 800-741-0015), manipulation of the pistol was easier. Elapsed times dropped into a narrow range of 8.30 to 8.43 seconds. We also tested the Springfield pistol with Wilson’s dynamic new eight-round Elite Tactical magazines ($35, from wilsoncombat.com). Both the Springfield Armory and Kimber pistols ran without a single malfunction no matter which magazine was in place.

The Springfield Armory Loaded Operator MC was not as fancy as the Kimber SIS pistol. But aside from the grip panels, which were easily changed to fit the individual, some of its key features such as the cocking serrations were more efficient. Looking over our test results we were not able to quantify any disadvantage of the supplied sights, but at times we felt our vision was forced. A wider rear face that blocked more light would be our preference.

Overall, we think the Loaded Operator MC is a wise choice for home defense or the professional operator, but we narrowly prefer the Kimber.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:05 PM
Para Ordnance

P14-45S GR .45 ACP, $1129

Para Ordnance is a Canada-based manufacturer that opened the door for the high-capacity 1911 pistol. The Para Ordnance catalog lists many high-capacity models, and even a good number of traditional single-stack pistols chambered for 9mm and .40 S&W as well as the big .45 with a variety of frame types and barrel lengths. Full-time double-action pistols are also available, but the subject of this test was the single action–only 14+1 capacity P14-45S GR. (The GR suffix stands for Gun Rights. Each sale of a GR pistol will prompt the manufacturer to donate money to the NRA-ILA legal defense initiative.)

The P14-45S GR differed from our other pistols by being necessarily wider in the grip. Overall width has been minimized by the application of very thin plastic grip panels held in place with stainless Allen screws. The grips were also distinguished by the way they were anchored using a tab seated into the frame. Choices of replacement grips were limited, but fancy wood panels are available from Navidrex and Hogue (see grips4guns.com). The P14-45S GR did not have an accessory rail. One alternative that worked for us was the Liberator by First Light (first-light-usa.com). Suitable for left- or right-handed shooters, this high-powered flashlight slips over the hand with little interference to the normal shooting grip.

Another way in which our Para Ordnance pistol differed from our other test pistols was its full-length stainless-steel guide rod. Installing a full-length guide rod is one way to smooth cycling and increase the service life of the recoil spring. The addition of a full-length guide rod requires that the plug that retains the recoil spring be hollow so the rod can pass through as the gun cycles. The guide rod of the P14-45S GR was short enough to let the bushing pass over it without a problem. However, we do recommend the use of a wrench (supplied) to turn the bushing. This is because the end of the retainer can be tougher on the fingertips than the sealed cap found on the end of the short guide rod assemblies.

Visually, the Para Ordnance pistol had some nice touches. The theme of stainless steel and black gave it a very solid look. The checkered mainspring housing was black, and so was the trigger that was deeply skeletonized and adjustable for overtravel. The frame offered a matte finish, as did the top of the slide. The sides were brushed with cocking serrations found to the rear of the slide only. The front sight offered the shooter a rectangular outline to be centered inside the rear notch plus a red light-gathering filament to draw the eye. Spare lengths of red- and green-colored filament were supplied along with instructions for installation. The blade itself was seated into a narrow dovetail. But the base of the sight did not fill the cuts in the slide. In this way the front sight resembled a pinned unit. But checking beneath the slide, the front sight was indeed pressed into place. The rear sight was a ramp that ended with a serrated face and two white dots surrounding the notch. This unit was drift adjustable with an Allen set screw. Separate wrenches for the sight and the grip panels were supplied.

The visual profile of the rear sight was that of a semi-circle, and from the bench we found that aligning the sights required extra care—we did not find it easy to level the top of the front sight blade with the arc presented by the rear sight. Standard practice is to hold either dead center or level the sights at 6 o’clock below the bull. Our test shooter told us he was "cheating" by holding the sights to match the uppermost arc of the bull on our NRA B-16 target at the 12 o’clock position. Despite hitting the target some 4 inches low, the Para Ordnance was on par with its competitors, delivering on average a 2.0-inch five-shot group firing the Winchester Silvertips. Accuracy was just behind the Springfield Armory pistol firing the Black Hills semi-wadcutters, but on average this pistol handled the Black Hills 230-grain JHP rounds best overall. However, the difference in size between our smallest groups and our largest groups was extreme.

During our action tests we did experience three stoppages wherein the pistol did not fully return to battery. Normally, we would look first to the extractor. But the only real diagnostic action we took was to try shooting the five additional types of ammunition that we had on hand. These ranged from 230-grain FMJ rounds to 165-grain hollowpoints, and even some handloaded ammunition topped with lead truncated-cone bullets. But the problem did not appear again, leaving the problem unsolved. One result was that the Para Ordnance was shot much dirtier than our other test guns, but nevertheless completed the test without further malfunction.

Otherwise, the results of our action tests garnered three observations. First, the cocking serrations on the slide were handsome but not really effective, in our view. Like on the Kimber SIS, we were successful in charging the pistol each time, but it had us concerned every time we tried. Pulling back on the slide against the strong recoil spring was particularly unnerving when clearing the chamber. We feared the slide might slip from our hands before the round had fallen away. If this were to happen, the primer could be struck by the ejector with disastrous results. This is why we never like to see anyone cover the ejection port with a palm when clearing the chamber.

The second observation was that leveling the sights was something we could never be sure of. From shot to shot we just had to feel the gun into alignment. We’d take our cue from competitive shooters whose bread and butter is rapid sight acquisition and change the rear sight to a design that was flatter across the top.

The third observation was that it takes some practice to move the bigger, boxier grip frame in and out of position during a reload. But once we learned the correct reference points to manipulate the gun, the big hole at the bottom of the grip became an easy target for the magazine. Elapsed times were initially slowed by some clumsy attempts to bring the magazine release button to the thumb. The results were 10- and 11-second runs. Once our reloading technique was smoothed out, we recorded elapsed times consistently below 10 seconds. Our best single run took 8.84 seconds. While the other guns were knocking on the door of a 7-second run, we thought it was the difficult sight alignment that prevented us from completing the drill significantly faster than 9 seconds.

When it comes to high-capacity pistols with 1911-style controls, the guns of Para Ordnance are the only game in town without spending nearly twice as much. Still, we’d want improved sights, cocking serrations that actually help cock the pistol, and maybe some additional tuning before we’d buy the P14-45S GR ahead of the others.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:06 PM
These three articles on .45's are from Guntest Magazine.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:11 PM
heres one on 9mm

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:12 PM
Full-Time-Double-Action 9mms: We Like Sig Sauer, H&K, Glock
The Sig Sauer P250 and Heckler & Koch’s P2000 LEM pistols do a lot well, and Glock’s G17 is still hard to beat. Choosing between them is really a matter of what you like, and don’t like.


In this test we shot three double-action-only pistols designed for duty or personal self defense. Medium to large in size, they carry few levers, and this snag-free characteristic also makes them attractive for concealed carry. Two of the three guns, the $879 Heckler & Koch P2000 LEM V2 and Sig Sauer’s $749 P250 Two-Tone, utilize a hammer and firing pin for ignition. The $599 Glock G17, arguably the gun that started the polymer DAO revolution, relies on the preparation and release of a striker to impact the primer. Despite any similarities between the guns, this test challenged us to master vastly different trigger techniques.



The $599 Glock G17, shown on the target above, continues to be a solid, affordable 9mm option.

We began our tests from the 25-yard line supported by bench and sandbag. What better way to learn a trigger than limiting variables to grip, sight alignment, and a controlled press? We then added a second test. This would require landing rapid-fire hits on an 8.5-by-16-inch target from a distance of 5 yards, two shots at a time. Our shooter began each string of fire standing unsupported with a two-handed grip and sights on target but with finger off the trigger. We pasted a black 1-inch-wide dot in the center to provide a point of aim. Upon audible start signal from our CED electronic timer, we engaged the target as quickly as possible. Given that each stroke of the trigger both prepared and released the striking mechanism, we wanted to know how quickly and accurately we could land two hits on target one after another. We fired ten pairs and looked for a total of 20 hits on target. This test was performed twice. The second time we concentrated on applying what we learned from the first run. The rapid-fire test was performed firing one of our favorite practice rounds, Black Hills’ 115-grain FMJ ammunition sold in blue 50-round boxes. From the benches we tried Winchester’s new 105-grain jacketed softpoint Super Clean NT (nontoxic) ammunition; 124-grain full-metal-jacket rounds by Winchester USA, and 147-grain Subsonic jacketed hollow point Match rounds by Atlanta Arms and Ammo. Here is what we learned.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:12 PM
Sig Sauer P250

Two-Tone 9mm, $749

Big news at the Exeter, New Hampshire, plant not only includes a change of name from Sigarms to Sig Sauer, but also the release of a new pistol. The P250 featured a double-action system that raised the hammer smoothly in direct proportion to movement of the trigger. The stroke was long but the same length every time. Aside from the single-action 1911-style pistols, other Sig Sauer trigger systems are not as simple. Some models feature a double-action first stroke with the hammer remaining cocked thereafter and the trigger resetting rearward in the trigger guard. Until manually decocked, subsequent shots are fired single-action only. This system has also been offered with a shorter reset to the trigger labeled the SRT pattern. There is also a DAK trigger that works as a fulltime double-action mode with two separate reset points offering two different levels of resistance. But the P250 is different.



The $879 Heckler & Koch P2000 LEM V2.

The amount of take-up or free play in the trigger is negligible. As soon as the trigger begins to move, the hammer starts to the rear. The point at which the hammer falls is quite far from its starting point, but if the operator decides not to shoot there is ample opportunity to release the trigger and safely lower the hammer. The trigger does not reclaim the ability to raise the hammer until it is completely forward to its rest position. The hammer cannot be thumbed back.

Whether the chamber was loaded or not or whether the slide has been racked, the hammer always appeared in the same downward position. This leads us to a problem that we have not had to deal with in a long time. In view of rule number one for handling a firearm, "Treat all handguns as if they are loaded," perhaps it should not be referred to as a problem. The situation was that the loaded or unloaded condition of the P250 was never obvious. Most pistols either show a hammer back or there is a cutaway in the barrel hood. Many models offer an indicator to tell us when the chamber is loaded or action cocked. The extractor on the P250 carried a ridge on its outer edge similar to the one found on the Glock pistol. But the amount that the extractor bulged outward when the chamber was loaded was small, making indication too discreet, in our opinion, to be relied upon.

Another major innovation in the design of the P250 was its modular construction. The P250 consists of a polymer grip module, the subassembly including trigger, hammer, locking block and frame rails, and the slide, which housed the barrel and recoil assembly. Changing grip modules required that the takedown lever be removed. Lifting forward and up, the subassembly can be

The Sig Sauer’s $749 P250 Two-Tone.

removed from the grip module. The subassembly is actually the only part that is serialized and registered as a weapon. In this way the grip module can be changed to fit a variety of hands with no more penalty than replacing the panels on a 1911, for example. Even the top end can be swapped out, presumably to change caliber and perhaps even barrel length. The modular design might eventually permit receivers with different-length grips altering capacity. Capacity of our pistol was 15+1.

As of this report much of the versatility regarding grip size, caliber, barrel length, and so on is still in the future. Eventually, you will be able to put your hands on all three grip modules before purchase, but as of our writing only pistols with the medium-size grip module in place have been available. If we hadn’t shopped the well-stocked shelves of Fountain Firearms in Houston, Texas, (fountainfirearms.com or, 281-561-8447), we may not have found one at all.

The medium grip frame featured a somewhat bulbous feel. Front and rear straps showed an effective nonskid grip. The sides were stippled. There was an indent that leads the finger to the trigger on one side and a purchase point for the thumb on the other. The two indents could serve either purpose. Other ambidextrous points were the reversible magazine release and a slide release found on either side. Chambered for 9mm, the P250 was a pretty easy gun to hold on to. The grip module also featured an accessory rail with three cross hatches. Our P250 came with stainless steel slide and night sights. Basic field-stripping was accomplished by locking back the slide and rotating the takedown lever.

The modular capability of the Sig Sauer P250 should not, in our opinion, overshadow the quality of its trigger. Whether a long DAO stroke is your cup of tea or not, we have to admit that this is one of the smoothest we’ve tried. The sights were also very clear, which is essential because sight alignment must be adjusted continuously in order to be ready for breaking the shot. From the bench the P250 shot groups that measured on average just about 2 inches across with both the Winchester Non Toxic 105-grain rounds and the Atlanta Arms and Ammo 147-grain Subsonic Match ammunition.

Our first impression from shooting the P250 was that it was unusually prone to muzzle flip. We couldn’t say if the gun was actually generating more recoil or if it was a product of the grip, which one of our staffers described as being similar to holding on to a light bulb. Submitting the P250 to our rapid-fire test told us more.

The P250 was the first gun we tested. In our initial set we rang up two-shot strings averaging 0.63 seconds in duration. We didn’t know how this would compare with the other guns, but we did know we were working really hard to keep the trigger moving. But our efforts paid off. The first set of ten two-shot strings produced only one miss. We told our shooter to slow down and get all 20 hits. He reported the sensation of slowing down on the next string, but when rounded off, the elapsed time still averaged out to 0.63 seconds. We think the sensation of slowing down was merely the shooter becoming more familiar with the gun. This time all 20 shots were on target. That we could learn from the first set of runs and apply it effectively just minutes later tells us that the gun was easier to learn than expected, and feedback from the sights and trigger was reliable.

In terms of first-shot capability, the trigger can be prepped in one continuous motion, assuming there is a definite reason to shoot. But like each of our DAO pistols, riding the trigger in anticipation can be dangerous. For a quick first shot from a position of finger outside the trigger guard, training is important but gun-to-hand fit is essential. We think we would have to try all three grip modules to find out which would be best. That an onsite mockup wearing the three different modules will be available may help but it could also be misleading. In our opinion, judging the effectiveness of a grip without actually shooting the gun is akin to pronouncing a pair of shoes to be comfortable while lying in bed.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:13 PM
Glock G17 9mm, $599

Today’s G17 is likely the pistol closest to the original Glock. To date Glocks have proven durable and economical. One of the latest changes is the addition of an accessory rail along the dust cover. The initial appeal of the Glock pistol was largely based on its capacity (16+1) and simplicity. The field-stripping regimen is a good example. Retract the slide about one-quarter inch while pulling down on the slide latches. Remove the slide by pushing it forward off the frame. To reset the slide, apply it from the front and shift it rearward until it clicks into place. No tools necessary.

The G17 fired from a barrel that measured just less than 4.5 inches. The trigger on this pistol was the least complicated and easiest to learn of our test guns. We measured resistance to be about 8.5 pounds, and there was little variation in feel throughout the sweep of the trigger. Glock refers to this design as the SafAction trigger, but it qualifies as being double-action design because it serves to both compress and release the spring that drives forward the striker. If we were to provide a visual image of how this differs from a hammer driven system perhaps the striker could be referred to as being a cue stick and the cue ball the primer. A hammer-driven gun might be illustrated by using a hammer and chisel to strike the primer. When the chamber is loaded, the extractor bulges outward, and this can be confirmed visually or by touch.

From the bench we discovered that the sights offered very little light to the left and right sides of the front sight blade. But we were able to print a 1.3-inch group firing the Winchester 105-grain Super Clean JSP rounds on the way to establishing a 1.7-inch average firing this new product. During rapid fire we found it impossible to track the thin cracks of light showing between the interior of the notch and the front sight blade. Instead, we tried to keep the large white dot on the front sight inside the bold white outline surrounding the rear notch. The more experienced competitive shooters on our staff said they would have preferred a more open sight picture.

Setting up for our rapid-fire test we noticed right away how much bigger the G17 was than the other guns in the test. One characteristic that added to this sensation was the square profile of the slide. The average elapsed time of our first set of ten two-shot drills was 0.64 seconds with one shot off target. We tried slowing down on our next set in an attempt to land all 20 shots. But at the end of the second set, we were still missing one shot on target.

We would like to point out a positive to the boxy profile of the Glock slide. At closer range we experimented with using the rear profile of the gun instead of the sights. We found that as long as we saw the rear panel of the slide as a perfect square and not the sides of the gun, our shots were lined up.

lioneaglegriffin
07-01-2008, 11:13 PM
Heckler & Koch P2000

LEM V2 9mm, $879

The P2000 fired from a 3.6-inch barrel measured from the muzzle to the rear of the barrel hood. It had three-dot sights dovetailed

DAO pistols such as the H&K P2000 LEM have few external controls that can snag clothing. That’s one reason why they excel for concealed carry. The handsome $65 Don Hume IWB Strike leather holster puts the gun comfortably inside the waistband with the option of tucking in the shirt tail for deeper concealment. The $33 D417P magazine pouch with soft leather paddle offers more versatility than belt loop models and proved rock solid and comfortable. Available from donhume.com.

into place. A removable pin integrated with the left-side slide release retained the slide. There was a matching slide-release lever on the right side that stayed with the pistol when the pin was removed. The rear portion of the recoil assembly played a part in locking and unlocking the barrel during cycling. A shock buff rode up and down the captured recoil spring. When the action had been cocked, the hammer settled slightly ajar above the firing pin.

The magazine release consisted of a paddle available from either side at the lower rear corner of the trigger guard. The movement for release was downward instead of inward. Our long-fingered shooters used the thumb, and our short-fingered shooters used their middle finger to drop the magazine.

The front side of the grip was stippled, and the basepad of the 13-round magazine completed the length of the front strap. No less than four different size and shape back straps, each of them stippled, was supplied to accommodate different sizes of hands. We used the medium grip panel and were completely satisfied with the ergonomics of the P2000 LEM.

The LEM system found on the P2000 Variant 2 (V2) is HK’s proprietary DAO system. Our first impression of the LEM trigger was not altogether positive. The Glock 17 had offered a smooth sweep with constant tension. The Sig Sauer P250 offered a smooth sweep with relatively little tension.

In our evaluation of the Sig Sauer P250, we noted that the trigger was free flowing all the way through its stroke, but the shot could be cancelled at any time up to the point at which the hammer was about to drop. The same could be said of the LEM, with one significant difference. The break point, or more accurately the break zone, of the LEM trigger was clearly delineated. The P250 offered little or no feel as to when the hammer would fall, but the shooter could always tell when the trigger of the HK was up against the sear.

If the purpose of a DAO system is to provide added safety, then perhaps the LEM system is the better choice. We found that the trigger was capable of delivering accuracy from a controlled press, and the operator always knew where he was in the firing sequence.

After examining our targets from the bench session, we began to feel better about the LEM system. The HK P2000 LEM was the only pistol to print five-shot groups measuring less than 2 inches across on average with all three test rounds. (Overall average size for all groups measured by all three guns firing this impressive new ammunition was 1.8 inches across.) The P2000 LEM shot the Winchester 105-grain JSP NT rounds into five-shot groups with variation as little as 0.2 inches (1.4 inches to 1.6 inches across).

But how did the LEM trigger translate to rapid fire? In our first set of rapid fire, our times varied wildly from 0.68 to 0.91 seconds. The average time was 0.79 seconds, and all 20 shots were found on target. In our second set we started to settle in, finding the break consistently and dropping our average to 0.77 seconds. Not a big change, but this time the clock showed little variation in elapsed time, and once again all 20 shots were on target. The first shot of each two-shot string was the more difficult to accomplish. From outside the trigger guard to engaging the trigger and finding the break was complicated, compared to setting up the next shot.

Sobriquet
07-02-2008, 12:06 AM
Next time post URLs. That was way too much to try and read in non-formatted message board text.

The one thing I'll tell you is that it seems idiotic to compare a full size M&P against a HK Compact in .45 and then make a value judgment when they aren't the same thing. I've never even heard of that site.

dexter9659
07-02-2008, 12:10 AM
My advice is to purchase a single action 22 revolver. This will be light on the billfold and will help you learn the art of trigger control. I learned on a Ruger Single Six, and am very thankful for the cases of cheep ammo I shot. After building your muscle memory and honing your skills, then move to either a semi-auto, or even another revolver in a larger caliber.

If you have a standing skill of shooting and are no stranger to sight picture and trigger control, then I would suggest a 1911. While they are quite a bit more expensive to shoot, they can be very rewarding. Myself, I purchased 7 HKs after my transition into semi-autos. This by no means puts them above other quality pistols, but is due rather to personal taste. A Sig or Springfield can be equally rewarding.

From a personal standpoint, a Glock makes for a bad first gun. Their trigger is like no other trigger and can be found to be quite spongy. My Glocks are ok after I replaced the barrel, slide, all the internal parts, and then fitted everything. While some people swear by Glocks, all I can say is... Some people swear by Obama too, but Im not voting for him.

GW
07-02-2008, 12:29 AM
G-30

Its handy, reliable, accurate enough and simple to strip/maintain

lioneaglegriffin
07-02-2008, 1:04 AM
Next time post URLs. That was way too much to try and read in non-formatted message board text.

The one thing I'll tell you is that it seems idiotic to compare a full size M&P against a HK Compact in .45 and then make a value judgment when they aren't the same thing. I've never even heard of that site.

you wont be able to read it from a link with out logging it to see it.

Shenaniguns
07-02-2008, 6:30 AM
peer presure you make i sound like high school. and if i were suseptible to peer presure i would be set on getting a glock 17. but so far i want a XD and checking into how HK's are.



Call it experience... And if you value the opinion of the average Gun Rag over say people like Yam and Vickers (Who have a strong preference for 9mm Glocks :D ) you're very misguided.



http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?p=128879

Gents

I see the old sand test I was part of years ago has stirred up a hornet's nest over on another forum - I tried to post this thread there but found out I was banned - not sure why that would be so I decided to post this here - in addition it answers several questions I get in nearly every class about Glocks- here goes;

1) IMO the Glock 19 and 17 are the best Glock's made - both are excellent pistols - I own, use, and recommend both

2) I do not recommend the G22, G23, or G21 - based on my experience these pistols have problems (breakage, won't function with rail mounted lights, etc.) and I feel there are better choices in 40 and 45

3) Glocks as a rule are not as accurate as many other service pistols - partly due to the enlarged chamber - this can be fixed with aftermarket barrels

4) I recommend 3 things for a Glock 19 or 17; good sights (Heinie, Novak, 10-8and Warren are my current favorites) , a buttplug to keep debris out of the trigger mech (cheap insurance), and my mag catch made by Tangodown. Optional but highly recommended is frame texturing by Dave Bowie (I like the finger grooves removed also)

5) They are incredibly forgiving in maintenance and lubrication - amazing

6) Incredibly simple to operate - 2 levers/buttons and 1 is optional

7) Always remember the golden rule with a Glock; keep your finger OFF the trigger until you are ready to shoot - if you don't adhere to this expect a loud noise at some point

Bottom line Glocks in 9mm are excellent pistols - they are not my first choice in other calibers however - the S&W M&P has been called a product improved Glock ; this may be true but the verdict is still out as the M&P is a relatively new handgun vs millions of Glock's in service (mostly in 9mm I might add) and S&W has a spotty record in terms of autoloading pistols - time will tell

hope this helps

Larry Vickers

www.vickerstactical.com



Another good review http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=871&highlight=Glock

Sobriquet
07-02-2008, 7:49 AM
I deeply respect LAV's opinions on all things that go boom. That post, however, is slightly deceiving. He has spent much time talking about his... unfavorable... opinion of many things Glock. Just look for Greg Bell's postings about his experiences at Larry Vickers' classes on HKPRO. Larry won't even go near a non-9mm Glock, he says they require aftermarket sights and barrels, and hates the ergonomics to the point where he recommends frame modifications. To me, that sounds like a losing review.

I'm sure he'd reach for a Glock over a KelTec, but his loyalty lies with HK products and 1911s. I hate sounding like a fanboy.. but he, with Ken Hackathorn, designed my HK pistol for crying out loud.

Shenaniguns
07-02-2008, 8:02 AM
I deeply respect LAV's opinions on all things that go boom. That post, however, is slightly deceiving. He has spent much time talking about his... unfavorable... opinion of many things Glock. Just look for Greg Bell's postings about his experiences at Larry Vickers' classes on HKPRO. Larry won't even go near a non-9mm Glock, he says they require aftermarket sights and barrels, and hates the ergonomics to the point where he recommends frame modifications. To me, that sounds like a losing review.

I'm sure he'd reach for a Glock over a KelTec, but his loyalty lies with HK products and 1911s. I hate sounding like a fanboy.. but he, with Ken Hackathorn, designed my HK pistol for crying out loud.


I favor his opinions of 9mm Glocks :D


And about the HK45, the project did not go exactly how LAV and Hackathorn wanted it to go, LAV expresses his opinion regarding the design changes HK made on the final product over at m4carbine.net

lioneaglegriffin
07-02-2008, 9:03 AM
Yes Yes, Glocks are nice. How does that help me, it doesn't...:confused:

lioneaglegriffin
07-02-2008, 9:04 AM
when i think about it, it was the M&P 9 mm that won handgun of the year not the .45 and it was the XD .45 that won handgun of the year.

Shenaniguns
07-02-2008, 9:15 AM
Yes Yes, Glocks are nice. How does that help me, it doesn't...:confused:


Well I guess you don't need any help in your decision knowitall... ;)

lioneaglegriffin
07-02-2008, 2:46 PM
Well I guess you don't need any help in your decision knowitall... ;)

lol just tryin to stay on target.

ParChaser
07-02-2008, 4:25 PM
Personally my choice would be an Heckler & Koch pistol. P2000, P30 or HK45 would be the ones I would look at if I was a 1st time buyer with a $1000 budget. These choices cover all your calibers but 10mm.

Black Majik
07-02-2008, 4:30 PM
lol just tryin to stay on target.

You can do that with a Glock.












I kid, I kid.. :D

lioneaglegriffin
07-02-2008, 6:29 PM
You can do that with a Glock.












I kid, I kid.. :D

:rolleyes:

:D

lioneaglegriffin
07-02-2008, 6:31 PM
Personally my choice would be an Heckler & Koch pistol. P2000, P30 or HK45 would be the ones I would look at if I was a 1st time buyer with a $1000 budget. These choices cover all your calibers but 10mm.

what is a 10 mm really, im guessing its someting like the difference between .357 and 9mm. 45. somewhat equal to 10 mm?

Sobriquet
07-02-2008, 7:43 PM
what is a 10 mm really, im guessing its someting like the difference between .357 and 9mm. 45. somewhat equal to 10 mm?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10mm

The ammo is very expensive. Plus, a good .45 self defense load will do everything a 10mm round will. I can't think of one 10mm firearm I'd purchase. And before anyone goes off on a 10mm penetration tangent, my answer is Federal HST 45ACP +P tactical bonded ammo.

Lion, if you want to actually SHOOT whatever you buy, keep it either 9mm or 45. Anything more than a .45 is just Mall Ninja paranoia. No one is getting back up after a good three round grouping of .45 JHP.

lioneaglegriffin
07-02-2008, 8:27 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10mm

The ammo is very expensive. Plus, a good .45 self defense load will do everything a 10mm round will. I can't think of one 10mm firearm I'd purchase. And before anyone goes off on a 10mm penetration tangent, my answer is Federal HST 45ACP +P tactical bonded ammo.

Lion, if you want to actually SHOOT whatever you buy, keep it either 9mm or 45. Anything more than a .45 is just Mall Ninja paranoia. No one is getting back up after a good three round grouping of .45 JHP.

are you refering to Desert Eagle Fans?

lioneaglegriffin
07-02-2008, 8:40 PM
believe it or not im not worried about stoping power of the caliber i plan on using. I know 9mm is just as good as .45. As far as i know the biggest difference between the two is the sound they make coming out of a silencer. I not one of those people who believe .45 is this super bullet that knocks the guy on his Arse, he goes thru a window then bursts into flames. :D and believes the 9mm is this pusy cat round that bounces of people. I choose .45 because of its history so its more of a nostalgia thing more than anything, .308 and .45 kept my grandfather alive in korea, and if its good enough for him. its most certainly good enough for me. I like military history and i understand why militaries down sized to 223. and 9mm. But since they have done it there have been complaints about Stoping power and penetration of barriers. i.e the stone buildings in Iraq.

Lee Ermey kinda explains how pro. .45 people feel.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=4yr_cM8kvig

lioneaglegriffin
07-02-2008, 10:10 PM
also speaking of history those germans did give the allies alot of grief with that 9mm so these calibers have gone head to head before.

NotSoFast
07-02-2008, 11:13 PM
Glocks in all sizes work just great. :D If you get the bigger calibers, you can get conversion barrels to allow you to shoot in various calibers but the 9mm is best because of size.

And if you're downright cheep, you can get the Advantage Arms .22lr conversion for the Glock and save even more.

lioneaglegriffin
07-02-2008, 11:35 PM
Glocks in all sizes work just great. :D If you get the bigger calibers, you can get conversion barrels to allow you to shoot in various calibers but the 9mm is best because of size.

And if you're downright cheep, you can get the Advantage Arms .22lr conversion for the Glock and save even more.

well the problem is that i am not cheap, i just don't want to get screwed if a blow some money on something. Get my moneys worth so to speak.

NotSoFast
07-03-2008, 1:18 AM
well the problem is that i am not cheap, i just don't want to get screwed if a blow some money on something. Get my moneys worth so to speak.
Okay, so you but the .22lr conversion to have fun with, not because ammo is cheap. I found it has helped me with my grip and stance since I can concentrate there instead of anticipating recoil.

Sobriquet
07-03-2008, 2:09 AM
believe it or not im not worried about stoping power of the caliber i plan on using. I know 9mm is just as good as .45. As far as i know the biggest difference between the two is the sound they make coming out of a silencer.

You do know we don't get to play with suppressors here in the PRK, right?

I think you've gotten about all you can out of this thread until you go try some at the range. This is the part of the program where random people show up without reading the previous 10 pages and just say "glock."

elSquid
07-03-2008, 2:35 AM
You do know we don't get to play with suppressors here in the PRK, right?

I think you've gotten about all you can out of this thread until you go try some at the range. This is the part of the program where random people show up without reading the previous 10 pages and just say "glock."

"Webley-Fosbery."

-- Michael

Sobriquet
07-03-2008, 4:03 AM
LOL, nothing like a revolver from the Great War. If he wants to go that vintage, I'd get a HiPower. ;)

redcliff
07-03-2008, 5:31 AM
believe it or not im not worried about stoping power of the caliber i plan on using. I know 9mm is just as good as .45. As far as i know the biggest difference between the two is the sound they make coming out of a silencer. I not one of those people who believe .45 is this super bullet that knocks the guy on his Arse, he goes thru a window then bursts into flames. :D and believes the 9mm is this pusy cat round that bounces of people. I choose .45 because of its history so its more of a nostalgia thing more than anything, .308 and .45 kept my grandfather alive in korea, and if its good enough for him. its most certainly good enough for me. I like military history and i understand why militaries down sized to 223. and 9mm. But since they have done it there have been complaints about Stoping power and penetration of barriers. i.e the stone buildings in Iraq.

Lee Ermey kinda explains how pro. .45 people feel.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=4yr_cM8kvig

While a .45 may have kept your grandfather alive in Korea (I do believe they have better stopping power than 9mms however) I'd be wiling to bet a .308 didnt. I would expect it to have been an M1 Garand in .30-06.

lioneaglegriffin
07-03-2008, 11:32 AM
While a .45 may have kept your grandfather alive in Korea (I do believe they have better stopping power than 9mms however) I'd be wiling to bet a .308 didnt. I would expect it to have been an M1 Garand in .30-06.

your right. brain fart. and they had 30-30 too.

lioneaglegriffin
07-03-2008, 11:33 AM
You do know we don't get to play with suppressors here in the PRK, right?

I think you've gotten about all you can out of this thread until you go try some at the range. This is the part of the program where random people show up without reading the previous 10 pages and just say "glock."

lol yea, but i can't shoot at the range unless someone 21+ takes me. But what i got from this is Rent a XD 45, a HK 45, SA Operator and a Glock 17/19 just to see if i like it.

Sobriquet
07-03-2008, 7:13 PM
You're not 21? You can't buy a handgun anyway...?

Make sure you understand the HK USP .45 is different from an HK45. You can't buy an HK45 here in California unless you're a LEO or buy it private party from someone who legally purchased it. You can also receive it as an intra-familial gift (subject to certain requirements - that's a whole different thread). It's not on the Roster of Handguns for Sale in CA.

lioneaglegriffin
07-03-2008, 7:46 PM
You're not 21? You can't buy a handgun anyway...?

Make sure you understand the HK USP .45 is different from an HK45. You can't buy an HK45 here in California unless you're a LEO or buy it private party from someone who legally purchased it. You can also receive it as an intra-familial gift (subject to certain requirements - that's a whole different thread). It's not on the Roster of Handguns for Sale in CA.

in the beggining of my post i said in a year... i starting to despise that list.

lioneaglegriffin
07-03-2008, 7:46 PM
I’m going to buy my first handgun in a year and I would like to know what you calgunners think.
Which do you think is the best of the group?
I wanted all .45's,(the 340 revolver uses .357) barrels shorter than 4" and can be used for carry around the house (unless Heller lets me have a CCW by then (I live in LA:rolleyes:)) or I would be used as a HD/SD weapon.

Sig Sauer P220 Carry DAK
XD 45. Compact
S&W MP .45
Glock 30
S&W Model 325 Thunder Ranch Revolver
S&W Model M&P 340 CT Revolver - Centennial
SA 1911 Operator
Kimber Pro TLE/RL II™ .45 ACP

I picked these specific manufacturers because I feel they have long standing reputations in the industry and their name should be synonymous with quality and reliability. It’s a mixed bag a couple Revolvers and 1911's and the rest polymer pistols. I something else what do you suggest along my parameters?

first line

Greg-Dawg
07-03-2008, 7:49 PM
See you in a year....now go take a class.

PapaJoe
07-03-2008, 8:57 PM
Dear loneaglegriffin,

Get a Sig P220. Sigs have a well deserved reputation for reliability. If you are unfamiliar with semi-automatics, the Sig will perform as designed without any aftermarket gunsmithing. With other makes, you may mistake a malfunction or poor function for standard operating procedure because of your inexperience with pistols generally. Get the standard black full-sized model. The extra .5 inch greatly improves accuracy. (You will need all the encouragement you can get starting out.) It will have a rail for any equipment that you want to add and will shoot as well as the models that cost more money. You can buy a drop-in .22 conversion kit from Sig that will allow you to practice cheaply, although this will be simply to make you at one with the pistol. It won't be the same as firing a .45 with a smaller charge.(http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/2008/03/03/sig-sauer-introduces-22lr-rimfire-conversion-kits-for-the-p220-p226-and-p229-pistols/).

Now, for you other forum members, I think that you all are being a bit hard on this young man. Remember how eager you were to fire your first handgun. (Remember how eager you are to fire a new handgun today.)

That being said, "loneaglegriffin" is a tautology. A griffin has the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. So, you should call yourself, "lonegriffin", unless you were going for "lone eagle eagle lion". ;)

Cordially,
PapaJoe

lioneaglegriffin
07-04-2008, 2:10 AM
[F]Dear loneaglegriffin,

Get a Sig P220. Sigs have a well deserved reputation for reliability. If you are unfamiliar with semi-automatics, the Sig will perform as designed without any aftermarket gunsmithing. With other makes, you may mistake a malfunction or poor function for standard operating procedure because of your inexperience with pistols generally. Get the standard black full-sized model. The extra .5 inch greatly improves accuracy. (You will need all the encouragement you can get starting out.) It will have a rail for any equipment that you want to add and will shoot as well as the models that cost more money. You can buy a drop-in .22 conversion kit from Sig that will allow you to practice cheaply, although this will be simply to make you at one with the pistol. It won't be the same as firing a .45 with a smaller charge.(http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/2008/03/03/sig-sauer-introduces-22lr-rimfire-conversion-kits-for-the-p220-p226-and-p229-pistols/).

Now, for you other forum members, I think that you all are being a bit hard on this young man. Remember how eager you were to fire your first handgun. (Remember how eager you are to fire a new handgun today.)

That being said, "loneaglegriffin" is a tautology. A griffin has the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. So, you should call yourself, "lonegriffin", unless you were going for "lone eagle eagle lion". ;)

Cordially,
PapaJoe[/FONT]

your the first person to notice what a griffin is, but griffin is just my last name(irish), and i use lioneaglegriffin for email and usernames just because in all likelihood it is not taken. Also i am aware than it is redundant. like another mythological creature would be manbullminotaur a little more obvious but you catch my drift. i just like it.

CenterX
07-04-2008, 10:49 AM
your the first person to notice what a griffin is, but griffin is just my last name(irish), and i use lioneaglegriffin for email and usernames just because in all likelihood it is not taken. Also i am aware than it is redundant. like another mythological creature would be manbullminotaur a little more obvious but you catch my drift. i just like it.

Griffins are cool – they guard the soul of life - the castles the churches the monasteries.

There are a lot of opinions here to sort through. Her are mine.

Best gun to own is the one that works best for you - there are many makes like cars. You are young and may like one type now and another later on.
Seems like you have sort of a mentor that takes you to a range now and again – so try what you can. Be patient. You can always sell (at a slight loss) but don’t need to keep it after all it is tool not a body part.

Out of the box – money talks on 1911s

Wilson if you have 2300. Used Kimber if broken in at 700-800 full sized standard model you can get a .22 conversion kit and save money and still shoot all day.

Sig – can’t miss on any of the calibers on this. Yet 9mm is less expensive and gives the same results as 45 they hit the target where they are aimed

Glock – either like them or not. The feel funny to me, but they are out of the box accurate and no failures. Test have shown accuracy after 3K rounds without cleaning. Not a good idea but a testament to construction and longevity. (I’d never do this with a Kahr, Kimber, Wilson or Sig)

Revolver - S&W .357 pre-lock full under-lug, Combat if possible 4” or 6” with only a little use. Harder to find but will go for a long time in your life. Grips are available for small and large hands. I have one that has had up to 600 rounds without cleaning and still hits the mark, but I got it used and want to see that it can handle.

Buy what feels best.

Enroll in some classes where you can get usually have an advantage to try several types before you buy.

You are doing research which is good. But my opinion may not suit your shooting comfort level.
Peace be with you.

Sobriquet
07-04-2008, 11:22 AM
"What's a liger?"

"It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic."

lioneaglegriffin
07-04-2008, 12:25 PM
"What's a liger?"

"It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic."

its sad that they are sterile.

West coast
07-04-2008, 10:33 PM
My first handgun was a Astra-75 9mm and to this day i still have it and no regets...

Astig Boy
07-05-2008, 2:08 AM
If I were to do it all over again, Id get a high end 1911 first. :p

big50_1
07-05-2008, 8:14 AM
“I’m going to buy my first handgun in a year…” -- lioneaglegriffin

“…yea, but i can't shoot at the range unless someone 21+ takes me.” -- lioneaglegriffin

A liger -- “…its sad that they are sterile.” -- lioneaglegriffin

“As far as i know the biggest difference between the two (9mm vs .45) is the sound they make coming out of a silencer.” -- lioneaglegriffin

“Griffins are cool – they guard the soul of life - the castles the churches the monasteries.” -- CenterX

WHAT?!?!

lioneaglegriffin
07-05-2008, 10:54 AM
“I’m going to buy my first handgun in a year…” -- lioneaglegriffin

“…yea, but i can't shoot at the range unless someone 21+ takes me.” -- lioneaglegriffin

A liger -- “…its sad that they are sterile.” -- lioneaglegriffin

“As far as i know the biggest difference between the two (9mm vs .45) is the sound they make coming out of a silencer.” -- lioneaglegriffin

“Griffins are cool – they guard the soul of life - the castles the churches the monasteries.” -- CenterX

WHAT?!?!

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=10864&d=1215040128

Lmao

lioneaglegriffin
07-05-2008, 10:57 AM
If I were to do it all over again, Id get a high end 1911 first. :p

yea, im in love with those Les Baers. SA, and kimber were my "cheaper" alternatives, Les Baer wont even display the prices, if you have to ask...
you can't afford it. hopefully not

Sobriquet
07-05-2008, 11:37 AM
I think you can probably expect to pay at least $2,000 for a custom 1911 like a Les Baer, Wilson Combat, or Nighthawk.

lioneaglegriffin
07-05-2008, 12:18 PM
I think you can probably expect to pay at least $2,000 for a custom 1911 like a Les Baer, Wilson Combat, or Nighthawk.

i didn't really expect it to be less, i would be dissapointed if it was.

Is anyone guilty of brand loyalty?

my rilfe is from SA, and i somehow feel obligated to get a XD or 1911 simply because they've been so good to me over at Springfield.

big50_1
07-05-2008, 7:03 PM
hey, lioneaglegriffin-You're on the wrong forum. The Xbox forum is to the left. I almost thought you were for real.

lioneaglegriffin
07-05-2008, 9:55 PM
hey, lioneaglegriffin-You're on the wrong forum. The Xbox forum is to the left. I almost thought you were for real.

whats is wrong exactly?

Bukowski
07-05-2008, 10:55 PM
If cost is no object why bother with anything less than:

http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=104016767

after all you get what you pay for right?

:beatdeadhorse5:

lioneaglegriffin
07-06-2008, 2:38 PM
whoa, i didn't say i was loaded, (pun intended). 2,500 at the most. and i already have a knife from benchmade.