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breakwater
03-07-2009, 6:47 PM
I'm thinking of buying a handgun for SD and to use at the range, looking at Glocks. My ? is what caliber should I get? 9mm, 45 gap, 45 auto, 380, 10mm, 357. I want to get a sub-compact or compact Glock, can anyone give me some advice on caliber and size, sub verses compact. Also should I even get a Glock?
Thanks.
:cool:

f308gt4
03-07-2009, 7:00 PM
Go to a shooting range and rent a bunch of pistols in different calibers to try out. Buy what you like to shoot.

fastpowerstroker
03-07-2009, 8:18 PM
Go to a shooting range and rent a bunch of pistols in different calibers to try out. Buy what you like to shoot.

For sure try before you buy. Generally, bigger calibers will have more punch especially in compact models. Nothing wrong with Glock unless it doesn't fit your hand.

tonelar
03-07-2009, 9:11 PM
I've notseen a Glock in .380

Def +1 on the try before you buy. Also, bare in mind that while Glocks attract alot of new pistoleros based on their prices, features, reliability; they are an Expert handgun.

Meaning; you really have to be uber vigilant about safe firearm handling.

JJ1911
03-07-2009, 9:12 PM
If you try the glock and like it, try an XD too.

Librarian
03-07-2009, 9:59 PM
Also should I even get a Glock?

Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

Glocks are kind of like ethnic food. Some people like'em, others hate'em. Proper advice is to rent them and shoot them and see if they fit your hand, and how well they shoot for you; do that with XDs and Sigs and a 1911 or two, and don't forget revolvers.

Rob Roy
03-07-2009, 11:47 PM
I recommend buy readily available calibers in the store: 9mm, .40 S&W, .45ACP. I can recommend the best IMO in each caliber, which are in the same order: G19, G23 and G30/G30SF. I personally, prefer .45, but only you can determine which caliber is right for you.

the_donald_
03-08-2009, 12:15 AM
Why all the foreplay? .45 is the way to go.:cool2:

You can always use the .45 for SD and get a .22lr conversion kit to save $ on ammo, and still get trigger time. I reluctantly agree that ammo availability should be a consideration. I really hate to write that, but it's the reality these days. The cost of ammo & it's availability is unfortunately a factor.

All joking & ranting aside, you should rent whatever you can get your hands on. Consider a caliber that you are accurate with & that you can handle to get back on target quickly.

Miltiades
03-08-2009, 6:44 AM
Of the calibers you mentioned, I would stick with the most commonly available of 9mm or .45. Either one will work for self defense and are the most reasonably priced for practice at the range.

If you go with Glock, I'd get a compact instead of a subcompact because they are easier to shoot well and give you a full grip length for all your fingers. The model 19 in 9mm or model 30 in .45 are both good choices. Bear in mind what a previous poster mentioned - Glocks require careful handling and attention to detail when in a chambered condition, because they have a 5.5 pound trigger and no manual safety.

In the past when I have used a Glock for home defense I have kept it with a loaded magazine but not chambered, figuring that I would have to rack the slide to get it ready if I needed it. When I have carried Glocks they are chambered, but always in a holster covering the trigger area.

JDoe
03-08-2009, 7:44 AM
A compact Glock 19 (9 mm) will give you what you want if it fits your hand. Ammo is the most inexpensive of the SD center fire pistol ammunition and get the job done as well as .40 S& W and .45 ACP/Auto. There is no effective difference between those three calibers for SD.

Best Choice for Self Defense Ammo (http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm)

357 SIG is a cartridge that carries an advantage over 9 mm, .40 and .45 for penetrating barriers like car doors, etc. 357 SIG has ballistic gelatin penetration characteristics very similar to other typical center fire pistol ammunition but it penetrates barriers very nicely.

Here is a cool informal study of the barrier penetrating capabilities of 357 SIG (http://intrencik.com/357sig.htm) vs. other typical center fire pistol ammo. It isn't a scientific study by any means but gives you an idea why people say 357 SIG penetrates.

The Glock 32 is the same size as the Glock 19 and can take .40 and 9 mm conversion barrels. You can't convert a Glock 19 to .40 or 357 SIG by changing barrels. Some people have issues the reliability of conversion barrels but I haven't had that experience.

In my opinion, 9 mm is the way to go for a SD/HD pistol unless you have some potential need to potentially penetrate barriers and then the 357 SIG takes the crown.

Select your pistol based on how it feels in your hand AND other features like safeties, etc. I selected the Glock because it didn't require any thinking to use--it is a point and shoot kind of gun but has 3 internal safeties that, well, make it safe. Other pistols I looked at had external safeties that might require me to manually disengage. I didn't want to be saddled with fumbling with a safety in a SHTF situation. Reliability, access to parts, access to people that know how to work on Glocks, simplicity of design (fewer moving parts), etc. were also big factors in my selection process.

Reliability. This guy did a 10 year, 150,000 round (15,000 without cleaning) torture test of a Glock. (http://www.theprepared.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=90&Item)

If it fits your hand the Glock 19 (9 mm) will be a good choice.

SJgunguy24
03-08-2009, 7:57 AM
Buy what you won't flinch with. I have 2 9mm's and a 45.

The thing that is kinda cool about Glocks is they're like AR's. If you want a different caliber just swap uppers. You can build a new slide assembly for generally a couple hundred less than the price of a new gun.

ontmark
03-08-2009, 8:13 AM
IMHO and $.02 worth
I am old school.

I really believe anyone’s first handgun should be
a wheel gun in 357 with a 3 to 4 inch barrel
3 to 4 inch good for the range, packing camping,
and home defense.

Why a wheel gun?
You take so much out of possibilities of error.
1. Very easy to unload when needed
2. A lot easier to clean for the new shooter.
3. Can practice both double action and single trigger pull.
4. A lot less malfunctions to deal with while shooting.

The semi auto issues for new shooter
1. Harder to clean
2. Time to shoot. Magazine in, pull slide back off slide stop and let slide forward to load, tries to shoot. Nothing happens. Slide did not go into full battery. So new shooter thinks ok pistol didn’t strip round from Magazine. Cycles slide to load pistol and finds live round being ejected from pistol. First response usually from new shooter is go pick up live round, Sets loaded pistol on shooting bench while looking for live round. This is a no-no.
3. Range officer calls cease fire, magazines out action locked open. New shooter drops magazine opens action and locks it open. Again there is a live round somewhere on the ground, New shooters first response usually is to find live round. Is it in front of the bench, on the bench, or on the ground? None of which is usually behind safety line away from the bench.
4. What do I do if I have a fail to eject (stove pipe)?
5. What do I do if I have a fail to feed?
6. New handgun shooter’s main concern should always be the full control of the loaded weapon that is why I feel it is best to start with a wheel gun!!
7. I have seen all of these through my years of shooting.

Why a 357? 38 special wad cutters can be bought pretty cheap. Practice, Practice, Practice. Wide range of loads to try 38 special, 38 special+P 357 Magnum. Get use to shooting a hand gun. Then let’s get through the Semi Auto issues.

Sorry for the long replay.

For a Semi Auto choice for HD.
Must practice, practice failure drills B4 putting it up for a home defense choice.
Minimum of 250 rounds thru it with your HD Ammo choice.

Mac Bolan
03-08-2009, 8:24 AM
ontmark , gave the best advice. seriously try them all. But give what ontmark posted you can always trade-up later ........................... Mac

j1133s
03-08-2009, 9:32 AM
I'm thinking of buying a handgun for SD and to use at the range, looking at Glocks. My ? is what caliber should I get? 9mm, 45 gap, 45 auto, 380, 10mm, 357. I want to get a sub-compact or compact Glock, can anyone give me some advice on caliber and size, sub verses compact. Also should I even get a Glock?
Thanks.
:cool:

Glocks are very nice pistols and w/o external manual safeties that might hinder its use for a beginner. Anything above 9mm is good for SD, get something that's commonly available.

It's always a tradeoff between easier to shoot and smaller size for me, and I find compacts to be a very good compromise. For concealed carry, the only limitations for compacts is no pocket carry; but Glocks are generally too thick for that anyway.

Rob Roy
03-08-2009, 12:20 PM
A compact Glock 19 (9 mm) will give you what you want if it fits your hand. Ammo is the most inexpensive of the SD center fire pistol ammunition and get the job done as well as .40 S& W and .45 ACP/Auto. There is no effective difference between those three calibers for SD.

Best Choice for Self Defense Ammo (http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm)

357 SIG is a cartridge that carries an advantage over 9 mm, .40 and .45 for penetrating barriers like car doors, etc. 357 SIG has ballistic gelatin penetration characteristics very similar to other typical center fire pistol ammunition but it penetrates barriers very nicely.

Here is a cool informal study of the barrier penetrating capabilities of 357 SIG (http://intrencik.com/357sig.htm) vs. other typical center fire pistol ammo. It isn't a scientific study by any means but gives you an idea why people say 357 SIG penetrates.

The Glock 32 is the same size as the Glock 19 and can take .40 and 9 mm conversion barrels. You can't convert a Glock 19 to .40 or 357 SIG by changing barrels. Some people have issues the reliability of conversion barrels but I haven't had that experience.

In my opinion, 9 mm is the way to go for a SD/HD pistol unless you have some potential need to potentially penetrate barriers and then the 357 SIG takes the crown.

Select your pistol based on how it feels in your hand AND other features like safeties, etc. I selected the Glock because it didn't require any thinking to use--it is a point and shoot kind of gun but has 3 internal safeties that, well, make it safe. Other pistols I looked at had external safeties that might require me to manually disengage. I didn't want to be saddled with fumbling with a safety in a SHTF situation. Reliability, access to parts, access to people that know how to work on Glocks, simplicity of design (fewer moving parts), etc. were also big factors in my selection process.

Reliability. This guy did a 10 year, 150,000 round (15,000 without cleaning) torture test of a Glock. (http://www.theprepared.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=90&Item)

If it fits your hand the Glock 19 (9 mm) will be a good choice.
I agree, there are many interesting rounds (.357 SIG, 10mm, 5x7, etc.), but the problem they are expensive to practice with and might be a pain to find in the stores.