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View Full Version : Newbie to handguns needs your opinion on caliber for Sig P226r


FuNkDrSpOt
10-13-2010, 10:24 AM
My gf is a chicken and needs some protection in the house and I have always wanted a handgun so we went to the Cordova shooting range. Long story short after shooting the glock 17 and the sig p220, I caught the bug. I settled on the Sig p226r BTFO .40 deal through the Cordova shooting range because from all accounts it seems like a sweet deal.

http://cordovashootingcenter.com/SACRAMENTOGUNS.pdf

So after doing a bit more reading on the forums, I wanted to see what others thought of the 9mm vs .40 for that particular gun. The reason behind me picking the .40 cal was that I shot the .45 perfectly and figured the .40 cal was a good compromise between the 9mm and .45 ( since my gf is going to use it too ), but after some reading it seems like some people think the .40 actually has MORE recoil than the .45, so I thought I'd ask for some input from more experienced guys.

Also, what ammo for the range and home defense is recommended? Can i just pick up any ol' ammo from Wal-Mart or will there be issues I'll have to deal with later due to cheap ammo?

ruddogg
10-13-2010, 10:29 AM
I have the P226 .40s&w, & just bought the P220 & took that to the range last night... recoil's about the same... both easy to shoot... can't go wrong with Sigs.
ammo... just been using the Federal ones from Walmart... cheapest... $16.97 for 50 rds of .45acp... $14.97 for 50 rds of .40s&w

Bullwinkle
10-13-2010, 10:41 AM
IMO, the .40 recoils more than the .45... or at least the perceived recoil is more. The .45 is a slow-burning low pressure round, whereas the .40 has a large pressure spike at the beginning. It's not like it can't be handled--there are plenty of women who shoot the .40--it's just "jerkier" (and hence easier at causing flinches to develop, so be aware of that). Again, IMO.

The bad thing about the .40 over the 9mm is ammo cost. Oh well.

Walmart is fine for ammo. Get whatever cheapie stuff they have from Federal, Winchester, or UMC for the range. I heard Walmart recently started carrying some cheap Russian stuff too (Tula I believe), though I haven't seen any first-hand yet. Avoid it. It's steel-cased, which I've heard is harder on extractors (probably an old wives' tale, considering I've shot my fair share of Wolf ammo in the past with no apparent ill effects). Also avoid RWS... for one reason it's more expensive, but the main reason is because it has a bi-metal jacket, so it sticks to a magnet and many indoor ranges won't let you use it. For real HD business, get the Winchester Supreme Elite PDX-1 (surprises the heck out of me that Walmart actually carries the best (IMO) defensive ammo on the market!). It comes in a black box, 20rds/box, so it stands out and should be easy to spot... when they have it.

HTH,

ap3572001
10-13-2010, 11:10 AM
9mm

FuNkDrSpOt
10-13-2010, 11:29 AM
So from what you guys are telling me my choice doesn't bode well. My woman didn't seem to like the .45's kick so I'm gonna call them and see if it's possible to pick it up in 9mm without delaying another 10 days.

I've also heard I can convert it to the .357 sig caliber and that is more of a REAL middle ground between the 9mm and the .45, is that correct?

boink
10-13-2010, 11:57 AM
So from what you guys are telling me my choice doesn't bode well. My woman didn't seem to like the .45's kick so I'm gonna call them and see if it's possible to pick it up in 9mm without delaying another 10 days.

I've also heard I can convert it to the .357 sig caliber and that is more of a REAL middle ground between the 9mm and the .45, is that correct?

Cartridge - Muzzle energy ft-lbf - joules
9 mm Luger 350 470
.45 ACP 400 540
.40 S&W 425 576
.357 Sig 475 644

I have never shot .357 Sig, but it has the most muzzle energy and joules of the three. I believe the .357 is very similar to the .40.

I have a P226 in 9mm, and the recoil is very manageable. Also, my fiancee has shot it, and did not have much trouble, and she is very recoil sensitive. She prefers a 22lr, but at least she can handle the 9mm without issue if she had to (she's a pretty good shot too!)

Also, even if you switch now, you will have to start the 10 days all over as you'll have to fill out a new DROS for a different serial.

ChrisTKHarris
10-13-2010, 12:02 PM
I would get the 226 in 9mm. :)

Mister.E
10-13-2010, 1:43 PM
Go with the 9mm. Less recoil, quicker follow-up shots, and cheaper to shoot. Just get a good HP round for home (I have Hornady) and practice with whatever cheap FMJ. Shot placement > caliber.

Joe
10-13-2010, 1:47 PM
9mm

BillPear
10-13-2010, 3:37 PM
I would go with 9mm also but my wife who shoots my S&W 659 9mm doesnt have any real problem with my HK USPc .40, but shes afraid to shoot my 1911. There you have it perfectly muddied waters;)

tacticalcity
10-13-2010, 3:54 PM
Definitely 9mm for a first time handgun...however, I would not recommend a DA/SA handgun as your first firearm. It is going to take you a really long time to master it compared to a Glock.

DA/SA means long hard first trigger pull followed by short trigger pulls. Translation, two separate groups one high and one low and none in the middle where you want them.

The Glock on the other hand has the exact same trigger pull every single time (as do 1911s). Nice centered grouping every time, exactly where you want it.

Bear in mind, the kind of shooting Cordova Shooting range actually allows is not how it works in real life. Up until now you've been in a very controlled setting. You stand behind a bench at a fixed distance. You pick the gun up directly off the bench (not working from a holster or concealment). You have no time constraints. You can take all day long to pull the trigger. You cannot rapid fire, which means you do not notice how your particular action effects you when firing controlled pairs (two aimed shots as fast as you can manage) or non standard response (3-5 rounds as fast as you can control them) which is what you would do in real life.

Realistic training involves working from a holster, from concealment, with moving targets, at various distances, with your running all over the place so your heart beat, breath, and adrenaline are all over the place, and time and speed are critical.

When cross over from bench rest to realistic training, those differences really start to matter. With enough training and effort you can master them both, but the Glock is the easiest to master so you will get proficient much faster.

Since you are in the Sacramento area checkout www.STONECOBRATACTICAL.com for a affordable training right here in Sacramento. Talk about a great class and a lot of fun.

FuNkDrSpOt
10-13-2010, 4:05 PM
Definitely 9mm...however, I would not recommend a DA/SA handgun as your first firearm. It is going to take you a really long time to master it compared to a Glock.

DA/SA means long hard first trigger pull followed by short trigger pulls. Translation, two separate groups one high and one low and none in the middle where you want them.

The Glock on the other hand has the exact same trigger pull every single time (as do 1911s). Nice centered grouping every time, exactly where you want it.

I was going to go with a H&K USP for the simple fact that it has a safety. I'm less concerned with taking the time to get to know the gun as I am of an accidental discharge, especially with my 1 yr old in the house. I've read about the trigger differences and felt them a bit when using the glock 17 and sig p220 at the range, but I'd sacrifice that for a bit more piece of mind.

Bear in mind, the kind of shooting Cordova Shooting range actually allows is not how it works in real life. Up until now you've been in a very controlled setting. You stand behind a bench at a fixed distance. You pick the gun up directly off the bench (not working from a holster or concealment). You have no time constraints. You can take all day long to pull the trigger. You cannot rapid fire, which means you do not notice how your particular action effects you when firing controlled pairs (two aimed shots as fast as you can manage) or non standard response (3-5 rounds as fast as you can control them) which is what you would do in real life.

I definitely realize this. Although I wasnt supposed to, I tried to do a decent amount of controlled pairs, and since there were so many people, no one noticed. If you know of a better range then please let me know but I gotta work within my restraints.

Realistic training involves working from a holster, from concealment, with moving targets, at various distances, with your running all over the place your heart beat, breath, and adrenaline are all over the place, and time and speed are critical.

If you know of a spot that's like this then I'm all ears. But I DO understand this and I DO appreciate your input. LoL if nothing else, all those years of Counter-Strike gave me a basic understanding of this.

When cross over from bench rest to realistic training, those differences really start to matter. With enough training and effort you can master them both, but the Glock is the easiest to master so you will get proficient much faster.

Cool beans. Well like i said, If you know of a spot that offers this type of training without me joining the military or police, I'm all ears.

Moto4Fun
10-13-2010, 4:55 PM
As opposed to Tacticalcity's view, I preferred the DA/SA system as a occasional target shooter, but defender of my home. I know that it will take some effort to squeeze off that first round. In the heat of a battle that gun will be empty pretty quick, and I would rather have that first round be a little more difficult to get off in case my finger accidentally ends up on the trigger. You would likely find the SIG far more enjoyable during range time as you don't have to decock it, you can shoot all 10 at the light SA pull. Plus the SIG 226 is such a nice machine.

Cheers to the Glock guy that pokes his head into a Sig thread though!

Blood Ocean
10-13-2010, 5:24 PM
Whoa now, this is ridiculous, no one, and I mean no one shoots DA first and then SA (alright, maybe one guy in the whole world does this). Also, Glocks have a grip angle that is unlike ANY other weapon so good luck using that as a trainer for your future 1911. And you can't compare the fact that a 1911 has the same SA trigger pull to the Glock DA trigger pull, you'd actually rather have 10 bad trigger pulls per mag compared to MAYBE 1 (again, if you're that guy). Sig P226 is the choice of Special Forces who don't use 1911s, and they almost all use 9mm as well.
Definitely 9mm for a first time handgun...however, I would not recommend a DA/SA handgun as your first firearm. It is going to take you a really long time to master it compared to a Glock.

DA/SA means long hard first trigger pull followed by short trigger pulls. Translation, two separate groups one high and one low and none in the middle where you want them.

The Glock on the other hand has the exact same trigger pull every single time (as do 1911s). Nice centered grouping every time, exactly where you want it.

Bear in mind, the kind of shooting Cordova Shooting range actually allows is not how it works in real life. Up until now you've been in a very controlled setting. You stand behind a bench at a fixed distance. You pick the gun up directly off the bench (not working from a holster or concealment). You have no time constraints. You can take all day long to pull the trigger. You cannot rapid fire, which means you do not notice how your particular action effects you when firing controlled pairs (two aimed shots as fast as you can manage) or non standard response (3-5 rounds as fast as you can control them) which is what you would do in real life.

Realistic training involves working from a holster, from concealment, with moving targets, at various distances, with your running all over the place so your heart beat, breath, and adrenaline are all over the place, and time and speed are critical.

When cross over from bench rest to realistic training, those differences really start to matter. With enough training and effort you can master them both, but the Glock is the easiest to master so you will get proficient much faster.

Since you are in the Sacramento area checkout www.STONECOBRATACTICAL.com for a affordable training right here in Sacramento. Talk about a great class and a lot of fun.

Bullwinkle
10-14-2010, 8:26 AM
It is going to take you a really long time to master [a DA/SA pistol] compared to a Glock.:fud:

no one, and I mean no one shoots DA first and then SA:fud:
I hope you're not implying that people should carry their DA pistols cocked, or store them that way next to the bed at night. If anyone reading this thread was thinking of doing that after reading the above comment, DON'T! That is unless, of course, your DA pistol happens to be a CZ-75 style pistol and can be run cocked & locked (but in that case you're using it as a "SA pistol with double-strike capability" rather than a true DA pistol).

loose_electron
10-14-2010, 8:42 AM
Another vote for 9mm - Cost for ammo is part of the equation, and I feel that a target pistol in 22 doesn't have the recoil that you need to train with.

All the calibre arguments and stopping power discussions are a little silly if people can't place their shots properly so get some training and practice, practice, practice...

gorenut
10-14-2010, 8:51 AM
So you already bought the gun? You should just be happy with it for now, see it out for a little time.. if later you decide you'd prefer a 9mm, then try to trade/sale it off.

Its pretty bad to be second-guessing the gun so soon.

As far as 40 recoil.. its just different than most other guns. I think people overstate it being a WRIST BREAKER or whatever (my 100 lb girlfriend shoots my USP 40 just fine) but I do think it has the possibility to make your muscle memory act different when you switch around other calibers after shooting the 40.

Admittedly, I've been recently switching over to 9 for range guns simply because I have 357mag JHPs for home defense. The cheaper price of 9s helps my wallet since I go to the range once or twice a week. Seeing how this is your home defense gun, 40 isn't a bad round if you can shoot it well.

shoupdawg
10-14-2010, 2:50 PM
I have a W. German P6 in 9mm and a W. German 220 in .45 acp. I also have a 226st in 40. After shooting the 226st, I remember my surprise when I went to the 220. I didn't think it was snappy before, but the full stainless weight of the 226st helped tame the .40 and made the .45 seem snappier.

I'd get all 3 calibers, but if just a 226 for now, I'd get the st and .40. You can get a 9mm barrel, or a .357 sig barrel like I did.

bjl333
10-14-2010, 2:56 PM
9mm ^^^^ They covered it !!!

tonelar
10-14-2010, 3:11 PM
If you already have a .40 on DROS, get a 9mm barrel and mag for it-
so you can swap em out and shoot either caliber at the range

I would stay with the original caliber (or .357 Sig) for HD though.

Moto4Fun
10-14-2010, 4:17 PM
I didn't get a clear picture of whether you DROS'd it already or not. But if you got the .40, I think you will be quite happy with it. You can tell all the 9mm guys that they are wuses!

My first semi was a .40 polymer framed S&W99. I really enjoyed having a more exciting round than the 9mm. But after shooting 9mm through a 226, I craved a heavier, more solid gun platform. So I bought a p229 in .40 and found it to be a perfect combo. Now I have a 9mm polymer on the way (Sig Pro!).

If you haven't DROS'd it yet, get the 9mm. The ammo is slightly cheaper, and it is a very smooth shooter in the 226. I actually shot the 226 in 9mm and 229 in .40 prior to buying mine and I shot the 229 slightly better. Maybe the bigger holes in the target just made it look better.

bsg
10-14-2010, 4:48 PM
i prefer the older P series w german Sigs... so my P226 is 9mm.

i'm very happy with my P226.

GKO
10-15-2010, 1:17 AM
I recently switched to shooting 9mm and .22 exclusively. Big issue was cost as has been mentioned. Cheaper means I can shoot more means I can hopefully be a better shot. From what I've read/gel charts/etc, 9mm/.40/.45 all perform about the same.

So, the choice really shouldn't be about caliber but instead, the delivery system. I like the P226R in 9mm, feels like shooting a .22 due to the overall weight and weight of the stainless steel slide. I personally preferred the .40 in the P229 vs the P226.

41M
10-15-2010, 2:16 AM
Since you mentioned your gf will be shooting it also I would recommend the 9mm. This does not have anything to do with women not being able to shoot a harder recoiling gun. The .40 S&W guns use a stronger recoil spring and I have seen newer shooters, men and women, struggle to manipulate the slide as compared to handling the slide on a 9mm. As far as ammo, once you select the personal defense ammo you plan to use I would try different practice loads, full metal jacket, looking for one that shoots to the same point of impact or close to your defense loads.

SenorJefe
10-15-2010, 8:01 AM
i have a 226R in 9mm and love it

Nerfherder
10-15-2010, 8:49 AM
I would go with 9mm also but my wife who shoots my S&W 659 9mm doesnt have any real problem with my HK USPc .40, but shes afraid to shoot my 1911. There you have it perfectly muddied waters;)

That was awesome! I'm going straight to you with my next problem :)

Nerfherder
10-15-2010, 9:03 AM
If your girlfriend really is a chicken, then you have much bigger problems than debating calibers. I'm still trying to figure out if she holds the pistol with her wings, or her talons.

Just kidding, I'm sure she's a lovely girl. In all seriousness, at least you're not one of those guys that has to convince the significant other of a firearms purchase.

My first handgun was a 226 9mm. I did not find it hard to become proficient with DA/SA. As a previous poster suggested, less expensive ammo equals more trigger time equals more proficiency. I also agree with a previous poster about Glock grip angles. Some people like it others don't.

JohnnyCrash
10-15-2010, 2:40 PM
My GF has a 9mm, but she shoots my .40 and my friend's Colt 1911 .45 all the time. Your GF will get used to larger calibers/recoil, mine did.

That said, I chose a .40 P226. My main reasons are:

1. Here in CA you can't have mags that hold more than 10 anyway, so I decided a 9mm's extra capacity was a moot point, to me.

2. Max caliber for max stopping power with max capacity. A .45 P220 only holds 8 rounds. If it was only a range toy though, I probably would've gone with 9mm as 9mm ammo is much cheaper.

I prefer the DA/SA action of the SIG for home defense. The first trigger pull is longer and harder and if adrenaline is flowing and the lights are off - I'd rather avoid an accidental discharge in my own home. At the range you can cock the hammer back to make the 1st shot have the shorter/lighter SA trigger pull anyway.

Try out as many as you can and then decide based on your needs.

I dig my SIG.

shortround1
10-15-2010, 3:09 PM
If you already have a .40 on DROS, get a 9mm barrel and mag for it-
so you can swap em out and shoot either caliber at the range

I would stay with the original caliber (or .357 Sig) for HD though.

9mm barrel will flop around inside a .40 slide. It would have to be a special conversion barrel, or the whole caliber x-change kit.

FuNkDrSpOt
10-18-2010, 4:53 PM
First I just gotta say thanks to everyone for giving me their own POV.

So you already bought the gun? You should just be happy with it for now, see it out for a little time.. if later you decide you'd prefer a 9mm, then try to trade/sale it off.

Its pretty bad to be second-guessing the gun so soon.

As far as 40 recoil.. its just different than most other guns. I think people overstate it being a WRIST BREAKER or whatever (my 100 lb girlfriend shoots my USP 40 just fine) but I do think it has the possibility to make your muscle memory act different when you switch around other calibers after shooting the 40.

Admittedly, I've been recently switching over to 9 for range guns simply because I have 357mag JHPs for home defense. The cheaper price of 9s helps my wallet since I go to the range once or twice a week. Seeing how this is your home defense gun, 40 isn't a bad round if you can shoot it well.

I'm coming from a point of having absolutely zero gun knowledge just a month ago so I'm just trying to get caught up and as I read and come across different POVs and consensuses, my viewpoint is going to shift, especially since I haven't shot a .40 cal. That was my main mistake in that I was told the .40 was a middle ground between 9mm and .45 so I tried those 2 to get an idea of what I should buy, then I later found out that the .40 actually might have as much or more kick than the .45...

I decided to go with a 9mm, mainly because it seems like an easier gun for us ( me and wifey ) to learn. I shot the .45 pretty damn accurately, and the 9mm was a breeze, but she was absolutely horrible, hitting the ground a couple of times with the 9mm : P

chim-chim7
10-18-2010, 9:01 PM
If its a home self defense weapon only-.40 S&W
If it's for the range, 9mm makes more sense. Plus you can get some HP for the 9mm that work just fine for home defense. Dont buy into the hype, if you shoot someone with a 9mm HP it's going to take all the fight out of them. They wont want to get shot again, if they are not already dead, they run away. More power from a .40 yes, more expensive ammo, yes, better for home defense, big maybe. For a LEO in the field who encounter dangerous individuals on a daily basis, a .40 makes more sense. That being said, get the 9mm.

fullrearview
10-18-2010, 9:05 PM
Cant go wrong with either 9mm or .40! Great choice on the p226!