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View Full Version : Need help choosing a new .45...**I MADE MY DECISION**


JagerTroop
05-07-2009, 1:12 AM
The search is over... for now. See post #28

I'm planning on buying a new .45 in the next few weeks. I have owned a couple in the past (1911 compact & HK USP), but they are long gone. Now it's time to get a new one. I'm not sure what direction I want to go (polymer or steel, SA/DA, SAO, or DAO) but I've been leaning toward the DAO. In particular the M&P. I'm not ready to dive into the $2000 Kimber just yet... I'm looking for something in the range of $600 - $1000. I will eventually get a 1911 style, a hammerless DAO, and a SA/DA, but need help with the 1st one.

Please list pros and cons of your selection, and try to be as unbiased as possible (I know it'll be tough ;) ). If you recommend a 1911 style, please list make/model.

Just a little info; I've got some big paws, so a double stack is preferred.

Thanks for the help :)

ETA* If there is something inherently bad about any of these, please advise. (ie. gun X will jam, ftf, and fte unless you use brand Y ammo)

draconianruler
05-07-2009, 1:15 AM
Sig 220 is my first choice. I like the USP and G21 for polymers. I'm in the minority since I am not a huge 1911 fan (old design).

wikidklown
05-07-2009, 1:33 AM
I voted for 1911 so:
Kimber custom or target model
SA loaded
Should be in your price range...

But I did own an M&P and a Baby Eagle both in 9MM (sold both since I switched to 1911 style pistols)

I've tried my friend's M&P45 and Baby Eagle .45
The M&P felt good as far as grip, I shot it ok after he gave me tips on the sight. Action was smooth. BTW, this rig comes with 3 grip sizes.
I've own a 9MM and settled with the smallest grip so the biggest should be right at home with you ;)

I like the Baby Eagle a little more than the M&P. Heavier since it's all metal.
I shot better with it.
Since I didn't own in .45 cal, that is all I can contribute.


I'm planning on buying a new .45 in the next few weeks. I have owned a couple in the past (1911 compact & HK USP), but they are long gone. Now it's time to get a new one. I'm not sure what direction I want to go (polymer or steel, SA/DA, SAO, or DAO) but I've been leaning toward the DAO. In particular the M&P. I'm not ready to dive into the $2000 Kimber just yet... I'm looking for something in the range of $600 - $1000. I will eventually get a 1911 style, a hammerless DAO, and a SA/DA, but need help with the 1st one.

Please list pros and cons of your selection, and try to be as unbiased as possible (I know it'll be tough ;) ). If you recommend a 1911 style, please list make/model.

Just a little info; I've got some big paws, so a double stack is prefered.

Thanks for the help :)

AfricanHunter
05-07-2009, 1:37 AM
If I couldnt go over $1000 and wanted a 45 I would pick a full size USP or HK45 if you can find it. They have a DAO variant also I believe. I have a USP compact and couldnt be happier with it. Hasn't had a single failure besides with one batch of shady range ammo I bought that caused jams. High quality pistol and double stack for your big mitts. In the end shoot what feels best to your hands but for me it would go like this;

HK USP/HK45 fullsize

Springfield Armory or Dan Wesson 1911 I would go used here to maximize the gun for the money and even better if its from someone you know so you can get an honest appraisal on how it runs. After SA/DW would go for Colt. I have had bad experiences with Kimber so personally wouldnt go there but no doubt plenty of people have kimbers that they love. just have seen too many that were crap to trust them.

Then the Sig.

Dont have experience with XD or M&P but have heard good things about the m&p.

Glock makes a great product for the money but depends if you like the trigger and feel of them or not. Still personally prefer HK

Maybe you could tell us the intended use for this pistol? will it be a bedside HD 45? purely target? both? what on the list feels best to your hands? etc?

JagerTroop
05-07-2009, 2:11 AM
Maybe you could tell us the intended use for this pistol? will it be a bedside HD 45? purely target? both? what on the list feels best to your hands? etc?

This would be a multi purpose gun. As far as what fits my hand? The HK is a definite winner. I have yet to hold the M&P (I don't know why, but I'm really curious about this gun. Maybe it's the price), Glocks always felt a little slim(and ergonomically weird to me), as do the Sigs but I know there are grip options with the Sig. I have zero experience with the XD. I like 1911s, as long as it has a Hogue grip to fatten it up.

I've always liked the layout and function of the HK and Sig. Ultimately, I will choose the gun that fits me best while considering reliability, weight, and ergonomic function (controls placement). I know I couldn't go wrong with the HK, Sig, or 1911... I just want to know if there's something I'm overlooking with other guns (ie. features, reliability, best bang for my buck,etc.)

I'm trying to get all the info I can, so my decision isn't solely based on "this feels good", "this one looks cool" or "this one is really popular, so it must be good"

lerroy1119
05-07-2009, 2:21 AM
Sig 220 combat or any 220

cineski
05-07-2009, 6:50 AM
I wouldn't go with any 220, there's some dogs out there. IMO, the ultimate 45 is the HK45 or HK45c, which is off list but you can find them as a PPT. After owning a lot of 45's, they are the absolute best. XD45c is a great beater gun for the woods.

loosewreck
05-07-2009, 8:27 AM
Since you're leaning towards DAO

220 w/ DAK conversion
Glock
M&P
XD

However none of these are a true Double Action Only.

godfather1
05-07-2009, 8:33 AM
I personally like the Walther P99

cineski
05-07-2009, 8:35 AM
Godfather, we're talking .45's here:)

Casual_Shooter
05-07-2009, 8:40 AM
I'm in the same position. I asked a long time friend who is very knowledgeable about guns.

He suggested a Sig P220.

BHPFan
05-07-2009, 8:58 AM
I'm looking for something in the range of $600 - $1000.



I recommend SIG P220 for that price range. Out of the box, it is the most accurate DA/SA .45 pistol. There is not a whole lot that you can do to customize it except maybe adding nite sites (if it doesn't come with one). It is one of the very few pistols that I can get accurate groupings at 20+ yards.

I particularly like the heavier ST model (all Stainless Steel) as it has all the accurate shooting of a standard P220 plus a much softer recoil.

The P220 may not have the capacity of a Glock, XD, MP and HK, but with the limit of 10 rds max, 8 rds on a more comfortable grip won't make much of a difference. BTW, SIG does make 10rds mags for the P220 though they will stick a little at the bottom.

cineski
05-07-2009, 9:27 AM
I'm an absolute 220 lover and hobbiest-guru. I've loved them for the longest time and owned 4 (now all gone). However, I'm always good to pipe up about SIG 220's :D and the fact that it was a very failed platform due to shady corporate tactics. If you do get one, just make sure you get one that has an external extractor, or one of the older folded slide models made in Germany. There were many problems with internal extractor, US made 220's, so much that SIG guru Bruce Grey is designing a fix for it, and blatantly warned people to stay away from modern 220's. That's not say they're all that way, but I personally don't play Russian Roulette. While most companies would have done a mass recall to fix a problem, SIG, helmed by one time Kimber exec, decided to hide and deny the problem. They silently came out with external extractor 220's to fix a problem they claim never existed. I'm sorry this boils my blood so damn much, but IMO this should have led to a class action lawsuit against SIG as guns are meant to defend our lives, much like seat belts and air bags. Had there been a mass failing of the latter, there WOULD be a massive lawsuit. SIG, IMO, had their balls clipped off in the last several years and knowingly sold products meant to defend ourselves that were faulty. Oh, another known problem with the 220 is the takedown lever, which can break and render the gun completely useless. Another stealth "fix" by SIG was to introduce a beefed up version that has a bullseye on the side of it (1st introduced with the 220 Combat). SIG would not recall the old faulty takedown levers, but instead would give them out to anyone who asked. WTF? What if you simply don't know about this and your 220 takedown lever broke when you needed it the most and you wind up dead? There is so much curvy spine syndrome with SIG it makes me sick.

I had a W.German 220 that was a fantastic gun, but I sold it because it just felt too antiquish for my use after gaining access to an HK45. I'd like to pick another up in the future when gun funds are plentiful.

Stkx66
05-07-2009, 9:40 AM
Absolutely love my 1911 Kimber. I'm a big fan of all metal guns so far because they are heavier and I shoot for fun. The trigger on my kimber is smooth compared to my MP 40 trigger. Today I pick up my 9mm Sig p226 stainless frame and again am looking forward to another smooth trigger system. I bought my 1911 carbon steel blued gun for it's quality and beauty. There are more expensive 1911's out there for sure but I'm completely happy with mine. I handled dozens of 1911's before I settled on the one and only one I have now. My next goal is another 1911 in .40 cal that's sinlge stacked. My advice is to rent a few guns before you decide.

Dangerous1
05-07-2009, 11:31 AM
HK USP45. More reliable than ammo.

Erik S. Klein
05-07-2009, 11:47 AM
SIG 220.

I have the Equinox and sent it back for the action job and SRT. It's simply awesome. . .

I'm not a fan of the DAK or any other striker fire/long trigger pull options. . .

The H&K is a good second, but for my money it's not even close.

(With apologies to those who prefer the 1911 style - I like 'em too, but I'm not a fan of cocking the first shot.)

Vacaville
05-07-2009, 11:57 AM
I'd say either the HK or a 1911.

Colt Jackson
05-07-2009, 12:16 PM
I am partial to 1911 .45's, so I would say a Kimber . BUT I also like Sigs. If you are just going to use it for the range and or home protection I'd go with the Kimber (did I tell you I'm partial to 1911's?):rolleyes:

bootcamp
05-07-2009, 12:30 PM
http://www.gunshopfinder.com/springfield/PX9152L.jpg

This is what i got and it's bad***** looking gun!! I love shooting this piece!

steves86ta
05-07-2009, 12:37 PM
I absolutely love my ruger p90

raw24
05-07-2009, 1:14 PM
Get a Colt 1911

5hundo
05-07-2009, 1:46 PM
I'd give one of those Sig Sauer 1911s a try....

I've heard good things....

ArnFromVA
05-07-2009, 1:55 PM
I'd personally choose a 1911, but voted an XD for you since you have all those plastic pistols on the poll and seem to be leaning that way. If you go with the old warhorse, I'd suggest looking at Springfield or Para for the best bang for the buck, and pick the model that has the best features and price for you. Oh yeah, those SIG 1911s are awesome, too, but good luck finding a holster for them.

I helped a friend buy his first gun before Christmas. I took him to a couple of gun shows and had him handle pretty much everything in .45, but suggested the XD 45 (original, not the M). He eventually picked out a bi-tone XD. We went to the range to break in his new toy, and I brought my Springfield Mil-Spec. This guy knew marksmanship fundamentals from rifle shooting in high school, but he had never shot a pistol up until this point. About 90% of his shots were in the black at 7 yds. We also fired each other's gun, and to be honest I wasn't expecting much despite the rave reviews. The soap bar grip didn't look like it would be comfortable, and I prefer steel. I have to say that I was impressed with the XD as far as accuracy, fit, pointability, and recoil... so much so that I'd rate it even with my beloved 1911. The only tie-breaker for me is the history and old-school styling, but I also find the blocky look of the XD attractive, not to mention it holds more rounds. It may not matter much to you, but I also find the grip safety reassuring with the absence of a manual safety.

As far as fit, I'm about 5'5" 140 lbs. with fairly small hands, where my friend is much larger with large meaty hands. The XD fit us both perfectly, and I plan to get one after taking care of the essentials in my arsenal.

Z ME FLY
05-07-2009, 2:00 PM
Hmm... for that amount of money I would look at a 1911. Springfield Loaded is pretty nice

Axewound
05-07-2009, 2:04 PM
well if your gonna eventually own a high end 1911 then go for a plastic gun now. you cant go wrong with any of the brands you have listed.

i own a XD and glock along with a 1911. I love them all, hard choice

but to throw into the ring a under $1000 1911 try Dan Wesson PM7

Fantasma
05-07-2009, 2:05 PM
RIA Tactical + 1000 Rounds of ammo.

Then upgrade to a 1000+ 1911 when you get really good with the RIA.

That's what i would do.

kalguns
05-07-2009, 2:16 PM
Dan Wesson Bobtail

JagerTroop
05-07-2009, 3:19 PM
Well, I went out window shopping, and 'tried on' the guns on my list. When I left the house, I really had the USP in mind. I went down to Bass Pro, to fondle their wares. They had the USPc, M&Pc, Glock, Sig, and some S&W 1911s. Didn't care for the M&P compact, so the jury is still out on that one, till I hold the full frame. Tried the Glock, and it was just as I remember. Just didn't feel right. I like the 1911, but decided to wait till I can get a quality one. HK is spot on, and I've shot them plenty before...so I figured it was "the one". Then I spied the Sig, and it is giving the HK a run for it's money. It's Sig and HK, neck and neck.

So now I have something to think about. As I'm leaving, I remember that Tunn Tavern Arms is right around the corner. So I stop in to see Lee, and have him start searching for a USP45. We start talking, and he pulls out a lightly used P220 w/ 2/8rd and 2/10rd mags, and Hogue grips... for $550 :eek:

Long story short, I'll be getting a Sig!

Thank you all for your input. Your responses were very informative, and will continue to help me with future purchases. I'm still on the hunt for the elusive HK45.

cineski - thanks for the good info. I'll be looking into a new takedown lever. I don't know which extractor it has, so I'll need to look more into it.

PS. Lee also had a XD. Didn't care for it. Felt strange in my hands. With the angle of the grip, light frame, and heavy slide, it felt like I was holding a hammer. Maybe I would feel different if I shot it.

Gothemi
05-07-2009, 3:29 PM
Tunn Tavern Arms? Where is this place? I thought we only had Bass Pro and Barnwood around here. He had an XD-45? Must find this place...

draconianruler
05-07-2009, 3:50 PM
I wouldn't go with any 220, there's some dogs out there. IMO, the ultimate 45 is the HK45 or HK45c, which is off list but you can find them as a PPT. After owning a lot of 45's, they are the absolute best. XD45c is a great beater gun for the woods.

I haven't had any problems and heard of any major ones with the 220. I have all the .45s mentioned (except the XD) and the one under my bed is my 220 because its reliable and super accurate.

lunde
05-07-2009, 4:02 PM
The Sig-Sauer P220 is excellent. Nice choice. If it has the old-style takedown lever, the new-style ones are easy to find, and are easy to install. You should also consider the .22LR conversion unit.

JagerTroop
05-07-2009, 4:16 PM
Tunn Tavern Arms? Where is this place? I thought we only had Bass Pro and Barnwood around here. He had an XD-45? Must find this place...

It wasn't a .45... he had a 9mm and a .40

There isn't a storefront. He runs it out of his house. Really nice guy. I'm more than happy to give my money to a small business owner, rather than the juggernaut Bass Pro.

Give him a call:

Tunn Tavern Arms - Leeland Williams
209-824-9547

he is a Calguns member - Tavern Keeper (0 posts)

JagerTroop
05-07-2009, 4:26 PM
I absolutely love my ruger p90

Not quite the same catagory as the Sig or HK. However, I have a special place in my heart for the P-series Rugers. My first handgun was a P89 :thumbsup:

Gothemi
05-07-2009, 4:41 PM
Thank you JagerTroop. Prices on par with Bass Pro? I know the service has got to be better than Bass Pro.

JagerTroop
05-07-2009, 4:47 PM
Thank you JagerTroop. Prices on par with Bass Pro? I know the service has got to be better than Bass Pro.

I think he was about 50 bucks cheaper than BP on the USP45. The Sig was (slightly) used, but was over 300 cheaper. And yes, the customer service is exponentially better.

Casual_Shooter
05-08-2009, 10:25 AM
Thanks for the update... I'd like to hear your impressions of the P220 after you shoot it since it's the gun on my to-buy-next list. :)