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Old 01-26-2011, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default Picking a Handgun...

Been considering purchasing a gun that will fill two positions. Range use (to stay proficient) and nightstand/safe/home defense use.

.22s are my filler guns to be able to practice a repeatable level of skill/accuracy. Yes I know they aren't the same, thus I'll be taking the new gun to the range also, I just can't rationalize the expense of slinging the same amount of ammo down range.

I am currently swaying in between two models of one brand. Smith & Wesson's M&P model line has the fit/reliability/balance that I want. I've shot HK/Sig/Glock/M&P and it felt the best to me.

My dilemma comes in with caliber choice though. Do I go with higher capacity 9mm or higher stopping power .45. I can pickup 14rnd magazines to somewhat offset the capacity balance, so that is a plus. The ammo is about 50% more expensive though. I'm somewhat worried I won't shoot as much as I "should" to stay proficient, but I believe I can overcome that.

Oh and I'm not a big guy, but having shot the .45, I'm not really concerned about recoil. The M&P (in both calibers) handles it well and its balance/feel/design makes it practically a joy to shoot (in my experience).

What do some of our actual gun users think?

I'm kind of leaning towards 9mm for general cost/round count/9m availability at this point.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
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I picked the 9mm when I had to make the decision for my first gun. I just could justify spending the extra $ on ammo for the larger calibers in a gun that I was going to shoot a lot. I'm still happy with my decision. My buddy recently bought a .45 and he cringes every time he has to buy ammo for it.

I got a G19 about 2 years ago and I've probably put 1500-2000 rounds through it and I've NEVER had a jam, failure to feed, failure to fire, etc. Nothing but perfect service. Glock is my gun of choice.

For a pocket pistol I use a little TCP in .380. It's not a fun shooter and will jam. I only shoot it ever couple of months because it's just not fun to shoot and ammo is pretty pricey. A couple of friends have LCPs and they're the same way.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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Smith and Wesson sigma is another option also, you can easily pick them up for around $300 and the come in 40 cal... still more expensive then the 9's but still less than the 45's The only down side to them is the trigger feel.... which is pretty shitty stock, but they can be modded so they arnt as bad.
Just another option,
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
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Well I can get the M&P 9mm or .40 new for 450. So I figure the "nicer" gun is a good starting point. Short of going with the pro models. Already planning on putting an Apex sear into whichever I pick and lightening the trigger pull up.

I pass on the Glocks mainly due to feel, I did give them a chance and shot at least 2 different models a 19 and the 'target' oriented fluted barrel model (i forget the #). They felt like an oversized box/brick in my hand. The M&P ergonomics feel just right to me. Thus why I'll be buying within that brand/model.

Plus... there are a few amusing carbines in 9mm... so having consolidated ammunition sizing is not a bad thing.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:11 PM   #5
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Please don't buy a Sigma-warmed-over SD.

M&P's are excellent pistols. I think 9mm is the place to start -- ammo is cheaper, it's more pleasant to shoot for extended range days (not that .45 is a bruiser), and greater capacity is never a bad thing.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
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+1 on the 9mm in terms of decent balance between ammo cost, availability, and size. You'll always get the stopping power arguement and fwiw, I own a .45 weapon as well, but the 9mm is under the nightstand and what I grab to hit the range the most.

As for which handgun, find a range that loans out guns and see what you shoot the best. I don't like the chunky feel of the glock, and originally had two other 9mm handguns that I found much more ergonomic/better feel. One day for ***** and giggles, I rented 3 other 9mm handguns including a glock and spent and afternoon shooting in diff orders (to account for getting tired). Probably put 50+ rounds with each one (ten round sessions) and guess which gun I was most accurate with? Goddamn glock by a significant margin, so I ended up selling the others and buying a glock 17. Not saying the glock is superior in any way, just saying feel/ergo in the hand vs. actual accuracy may differ. Doesn't hurt that they have 33 round mags that are interchangable with the Kel-tec Sub2000 carbine either for more range fun.

Oh and start buying hi-cap mags now just in case they decide to put more restrictions on them after recent high publicity shootings.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:17 PM   #7
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A high-cap polymer 9mm is my nightstand gun as well (Steyr M9-A1). I'm in the market for a polymer .45, but I'm completely comfortable using the 9mm.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:21 PM   #8
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.45 or go home.

I bought a Springfield sub-compact 1911 in .45 while I was home on leave in Dec. (3" barrel) and I'm a 130 lbs on a good day and can shoot her all day long without crying about it, man-up and get a real gun.

/******* mode.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by KPLAFIN View Post
.45 or go home.

I bought a Springfield sub-compact 1911 in .45 while I was home on leave in Dec. (3" barrel) and I'm a 130 lbs on a good day and can shoot her all day long without crying about it, man-up and get a real gun.

/******* mode.
Lol, you aren't an *******... also not the first to say .45.

I just run into the issue of wanting to shoot it A LOT and become very proficient with it. I'll do that a lot easier with 9mm. Also the thought of at some point the wife being willing to also use it... 9mm will work a bit better for her.

Oh and brgracer, I was playing with a Sub2000 at the store the other day... surprisingly useable. Backpacking rifle?
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:32 PM   #10
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Lol, you aren't an *******... also not the first to say .45.

I just run into the issue of wanting to shoot it A LOT and become very proficient with it. I'll do that a lot easier with 9mm. Also the thought of at some point the wife being willing to also use it... 9mm will work a bit better for her.

Oh and brgracer, I was playing with a Sub2000 at the store the other day... surprisingly useable. Backpacking rifle?
Start reloading your own ammunition. It's cheap and easy and will save you tons in the long run. .45 > anything in a 1911 frame hands down; and .45 > anything in ALMOST any other platform.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:33 PM   #11
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Personally, my preference for that exact purpose is a revolver, a 357 magnum because you can shoot 38 special at the range in it for cost purposes. No jams, no misfires with a revolver, which makes it the nicer choice for the nightstand gun.

But i'm itching like mad to buy an H&K USP stainless in .45
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:36 PM   #12
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I find it hilarious that someone would suggest a Sigma. Why anyone would buy one of those pieces of **** is beyond me.

I'd highly recommend Sig Sauer P220. It's probably out of your price range and doesn't have a high capacity magazine, but it's the best handgun I've ever used. As much as I love Glocks, I just don't feel safe tucking one into my waistband. The Sig is no problem; it's slim, relatively lightweight and packs a powerful punch.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:41 PM   #13
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Nice Colt Python .357 is definitely an option too, at least for a nightstand gun.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Pusha View Post
I find it hilarious that someone would suggest a Sigma. Why anyone would buy one of those pieces of **** is beyond me.

I'd highly recommend Sig Sauer P220. It's probably out of your price range and doesn't have a high capacity magazine, but it's the best handgun I've ever used. As much as I love Glocks, I just don't feel safe tucking one into my waistband. The Sig is no problem; it's slim, relatively lightweight and packs a powerful punch.
I feel like that is the Sig model I tried. Felt nice, but the M&P felt better to me. That all of course comes down to personal preference.

I at bare minimum feel like I can't go wrong with whatever I choose at this point. The M&P line is really nice. Even if I went up a hair in price to an XDm or Sig or HK etc... I'd still be in the proper range of quality.

I have a feeling I'm going to go with the 9mm. Not ready to start buying supplies for reloading and such, to many factors there and things to learn. I haven't touched a reloader since our Scout troop went skeet shooting and they had us load our own shells.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
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As much as I love Glocks, I just don't feel safe tucking one into my waistband.
Plaxico Burress agrees.



Seriously, buy a decent holster.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:43 PM   #16
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I haven't touched a reloader since our Scout troop went skeet shooting and they had us load our own shells.
They put your life in your small, incompetent, shaking hands.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:44 PM   #17
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Doesn't Chicago have some pretty extemeist-liberal gun laws and regulations? What are your limits so we're not throwing stuff on the table for you to think about that isn't practical.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:44 PM   #18
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I shoot and carry .40 most of the time. IMO, the best compromise between power and capacity. Expensive to practice with though.

You can't go wrong with a SIG, Glock, or XD/XDm.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:47 PM   #19
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I hate to be that guy that's pressing the .45 and 1911 thing so much, but have you handled a nice 1911 style gun yet? They really can't be beat for balance and overall feel in my book. Plastic guns will never win me over (Glock I'm looking at you)
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:48 PM   #20
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Doesn't Chicago have some pretty extemeist-liberal gun laws and regulations? What are your limits so we're not throwing stuff on the table for you to think about that isn't practical.
I'm in the burbs thankfully. Only restrictions are AOW/Class 3 stuff. I don't live in a town that has arbitrary magazine capacities either.

3day wait... have a gun owner identification card... etc... but can buy most things.
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