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Thread: Girlfriend having trouble deciding on a handgun

  1. #1
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    She wants an XD but isn't sure if she wants to go for the subcompact in 9mm or the compact in .45 ACP

    She likes the subcompact because, once she has her CHP, it will be easier to conceal. She likes the .45 ACP because of the knockdown, she fired it at the range, enjoyed it, and was accurate with it (which was a surprise to both of us, considering how she did with other, smaller calibers).

    She is also thinking about getting a S&W 642 eventually. I gave her the advice that if she is going to get the 642 then just go ahead and spring for the .45 ACP despite the larger size, in that she doesn't yet have her CHP nor has she taken a class for it, so she won't be able to conceal it right away, and by the time that she has taken a class and gotten her CHP she will be able to buy another handgun, which could be one more suitable to her build and frame, whether it be the 642 or the subcompact 9mm.

    She has fired all of the guns in question, except for the XD45 compact. She fired the Service model of it, which to my understanding is the same thing just a regular sized grip. She was most accurate with said XD .45 Service, but did not like the length of the grip, hence wanting the Compact instead.

    I think it's pretty straight forward that she should get the .45 Compact now and get either the XD9SC or S&W642 later; but she is back and forth and criss crossing and unsure as it is an important purchase.

    Any opinions, advice, etc, that you can offer to nudge her along in it, as I want her to get one as soon as possible.

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    Try to get her to fire a .45ACP compact if possible. I do not know for sure about the XD, but generally the compacts weight considerably less causing greater felt recoil, especially with .45ACP.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    The XD45 compact service and XD45 service feel the same. The compact just shortens the grip by about 3/4". If you use the 10 rd mag the only difference in balance is the loss of 3 rds in the mag. If you use the full size mag it feels just like the regular service model. Yes, I have and carry an XD45 compact, often with the 10rd mag because I have to CC a lot, but with the 13 rd mag if I can as it fits my hand better.
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    deepdiver wrote:
    The XD45 compact service and XD45 service feel the same. The compact just shortens the grip by about 3/4". If you use the 10 rd mag the only difference in balance is the loss of 3 rds in the mag. If you use the full size mag it feels just like the regular service model. Yes, I have and carry an XD45 compact, often with the 10rd mag because I have to CC a lot, but with the 13 rd mag if I can as it fits my hand better.
    +1

    The Subcompact is only 3/4-inch shorter in overall length than the Compact. Most of the difference is in grip height. Personally, I hate shooting the way I drink tea (with the pinky unsupported ),but that's just me.

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    curtiswr wrote:
    She likes the .45 ACP because of the knockdown, she fired it at the range, enjoyed it, and was accurate with it ........
    She has fired all of the guns in question, except for the XD45 compact. She fired the Service model of it, which to my understanding is the same thing just a regular sized grip. She was most accurate with said XD .45 Service, but did not like the length of the grip, hence wanting the Compact instead.
    You are right the decision has been made. Get what she shoots well. An XD.45 compact is my EDC because in IMO the XD.45 compact is the best SD EDC gun there is. With well over 2,000 rounds through it without a single FTF I know it is Rock Solid Reliable. Hits everything I point it at. Eats everything I feed it. Simple to clean & maintain. The grip and trigger safeties are natural and intuitive. No manual safety to confuse matters or cause a delay when nano seconds count, make it ideal for self defense. In a K&D Holster, my XD is infinitely concealable and a breeze to carry all day long. Makeing it ideal for EDC. The 10 round compact magazine holds more than a full size 1911 plus one in the pipe and thirteen in the spare mag for twenty four out the door, is lot of 230 gr. Federal HST flower power for the BG. What continues to amaze me is this is a compact .45 cal that is just a blast to shoot and I swear I am a better shot because of it. If your girl freinds shoot well with it, enjoys shooting it than it is the gun for her. Now the down side is after having an XD it is hard to appreciate some of the more expensive guns.

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    The .45ACP is not particularly different than the 9mm in terms of performance, but if she shoots best with it then it seems like a logical choice.

    I like my S&W 642 Airweight, I can carry it everywhere and I'm a skinny guy. I have trouble even CCing a Glock 26 to be honest. The only gun I've found that is reasonable for CC is the S&W, it has an internal hammer and isn't likely to snag. There are smaller guns of course but they are so tiny that you can't practice with them very much and a lot of them can't use +P ammo. This revolver will work when needed and if you get Double Tap's .38 Special +P load you'll send a 125gr Low Velocity Gold Dot out of a 1.875" barrel at 1100fps and 336ft.lb.!!! That is insane performance for a .38 Special and when I realized that I wouldn't be restricted to 200ft.lb. with a snubby I was perfectly fine with the .38Sp+P. It's an awesome gun and it only weighs 12oz, so it's super easy to carry all day everyday. At 1o'clock IWB, I can carry it everywhere and it has never once been noticed (Even by family members who would be extremely rude about it). It doesn't even print when I wear relatively tight fitting shirts.

    I use a Clip Draw so I always carry it at 1o'clock IWB. I can carry it with pants or shorts, with or without a belt and with or without pockets. That makes it incredibly useful. I almost always carry 10 extra rounds with me in HKS #36A Speedloaders. 15 rounds isn't bad and the speedloaders make reloading very quick. The 642 also just feels right in my hand. It has an extremely natural feel when aiming it. It comes on sight instinctively and it feels extremely balanced, comfortable and controllable in my hand. The simplicity of use is on the level of a Glock of course, which is great because I love my Glocks, just pull the trigger and keep pulling until you're done.

    I don't know how big or small she is, but concealing full sized or compact models is nearly impossible for me unless I'm wearing a huge coat or something. I have to have sub-compacts and snubbies. Even the XDSC and S&W M&P Compact were too big (The XD's slide is massive and the M&P is just large overall when compared with the G26), the only subcompact semi-auto I've found that is acceptable in size is the Glock 26. The lack of a pinky grip isn't a problem for me at all, I don't find myself holding any firearm particularly tightly with my pinky anyway. I hold it with my middle two fingers and use my weakside hand to control it. The pinky is there for a bit of control, but it doesn't do much and I find it's surprisingly natural to simply not use it as well. I can actually shoot the G26 regularly with no control issues and it will take +P+ ammo all day long, unlike a super small gun like the Kel-Tec PF-9. My Glocks have been so incredibly reliable and simple that I have trouble getting different makes anyway, I trust these 9mm Glocks to work every time. Same with the 642, it will eat anything that it can be fed and will fire. If it doesn't, keep pulling the trigger!

    Depending upon how long it will be before she gets her CC permit, it may be best to go with a Full Sized handgun. That will give the most velocity of course and will offer the best performance. If she's going to take the CC course soon though, the S&W 642 Airweight is a good idea because then she'll save a bit over the XD and be able to put that towards the course. It ended up costing me a little over $200 to get my CC permit after all of it was said and done. $120 course, $80 application fee and $15 fingerprint fee IIRC. Then I had to wait exactly 4 weeks to get the permit, which was a lot quicker than I'd expected.

    If she gets the 642, just get her some very good loads like Double Tap and Extreme Shock's Enhance Penetration Frangible round. That way you can maximize the performance of the .38 Special. Even if you get her the XD in 9mm or .45ACP, I still HIGHLY recommend Double Tap's loads, they are priced right and are extremely powerful. They make a 9mm round that pushes a 115gr Gold Dot to 1415fps and 511ft.lb. out of a 4.5" barrel Glock 17. Their 124gr and 147gr 9mm Gold Dot loads are also sickeningly potent. Extreme Shock's 9mm (And up) loads are super deadly. Jeff at Gunblast dropped a big hog in it's tracks with a S&W M&P Full Size 9mm using that load. People have killed 200-300lb hogs with nothing more than a .32ACP or .32NAA in one or two shots using the ES EP round. Pigs are rather similar to humans in terms of their "ballistics," and if it drops a 275lb hog in it's tracks I believe it will have similar performance on two legged swine. I carry Extreme Shock's Fang Face (Which appears to have been discontinued in favor of promoting the Enhanced Penetration) in the primary mag for my Glock 26 and of course one is in the chamber. My secondary mag is Federal's +P+ 124gr LE Hydrashok.

    If you're interested in getting some Law Enforcement (Henceforth dubbed "LE") loads you can PM me. The 9mm is incredibly cheap to load up well. $15-$20 for 50 rounds of +P or +P+ LE ammo. Double Tap's 9mm loads are $27/50rds, which is the same price as Speer's LE Gold Dots anyway and DT loads them much more aggressively resulting in significant velocity improvements. DT also some how manages to do the impossible with their powders, many handloaders cannot reach the velocities DT reaches without causing overpressurization. But DT is awesome about that. Plus you're getting a nickel coated case (By Starline I believe) and a bonded core Gold Dot bullet, all with low flash powders and higher velocity than any other 9mm or .38 Special load. Especially when you consider that 20 Personal Defense Speer Gold Dots that perform significantly worse than DT's loads will run you $25+ for 20 rounds. Double Tap is an insane deal at $27 for 50 rounds.

    Of course, it's worth it to make sure she has the best loads available in her caliber. I perfer light and fast because everything I've read (Jeff at Gunblast has researched several thousand shootings and came to the same conclusion) has stated that the lighter and faster loads stop the attack faster. They may not necessarily be more deadly, but the increased energy means they hit harder. They also tend to stop in a shorter distance than heavier loads. If you think about it, if they have more energy and stop more quickly that will result in the energy being fully delivered in a shorter time period. This gives higher acceleration, and I don't mean "deceleration," (I'm not a fan of the word since acceleration can be positive or negative) and a greater force being delivered to the target. So I go as light as is reasonable for the gun and the time of year (What clothing it will have to go through). In my Glock 26, I really prefer to have 124gr loads in the summer and 147gr loads for the winter because of the reduced velocity provided by the 3.5" barrel. In my Glock 17 I prefer 115gr loads in the summer and 124gr loads in the winter. The only 147gr 9mm load I would really be comfortable carrying is the Double Tap load though. It's the only one I've seen that really has a nasty punch behind it. A review is on their webpage that states the following about the 147gr Gold Dot:

    "I tried these out for the first time and wow! They are by far the most potent 9mm round I have ever experimented with. I tried a few rounds on Cottontails and Jack Rabbits and the results were amazing. The tissue damage was extreme to say the least, not only were my rounds taking chunks of muscle through the exit channels, but whole muscles and bone fragments were being pulled through. The chemistry of the velocity matched with the bullet weight is unbeatable. It is surprisingly low in muzzle flash and recoil and is very accurate. The 10mm is the only caliber I would consider above this round for self defense. As of now my XD-9 Tactical is loaded with the 147gr +P and I have no worries."

    There are plenty more reviews like that. People say the 124gr load tears up a slab of beef "like you wouldn't believe." People chrono their ammo and often find that it was under-rated and performs even better than advertised. One guy got the same velocity that was advertised for a 4" barrel out of a 3" barrel with one of their loads. Their choice of powder is so good that they don't seem to lose much velocity when you put them through a short barrel. Here is Double Tap's ammo page:

    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...dc1dcb393cef34

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    Weak 9mm wrote:
    I carry Extreme Shock's Fang Face (Which appears to have been discontinued in favor of promoting the Enhanced Penetration) in the primary mag for my Glock 26 and of course one is in the chamber.
    Glock 26, that's 9x19, right?

    http://www.extremeshockusa.com/cgistore/store.cgi?page=/new/product.html&setup=0&ida=60&idp=14&amp ;his=0|14&cart_id=134

    Anyone wanting to try those in another size, look here.
    http://www.extremeshockusa.com/cgist...mp;cart_id=134
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    Yeah the reason I said I think they may have discontinued them is here:

    http://www.extremeshockammo.net/products.asp

    I know there are probably a bunch still in circulation but they took the info on the Fang Face off of their product page. Who knows what's up with that.

    The Factory Video of the performance is here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM_USFY45xs

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    Customer Service:
    jeff@extremeshockammo.net


    :P

    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot23.htm

    I dunno about Extreme Shock and I'm not willing to pay the price to find out about them when there are others that have been tried and true, such as Remington Golden Sabers.

    We went to the range again and she liked the XD45 the best again. Maybe it's just my Beretta in 9mm that she doesn't like. I'll get her to try the XD9 and if she still likes the XD45 and is most accurate with it, then it'll be settled.

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    Hey, make sure you try them out as well.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    I'm interested in trying out the XD9. I already own and love the XD45, picked mine up just last Tuesday. I am interested in trying out the 5" Tactical models.

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    I have the M&P 9 compact, shoots Great, Straight and fires everything I feedher. I plan on getting642 or similar for a BUG gun. I steered away from theframe as my primary Carry becauseof only 5 rounds, my M&P 9c 12+1. MY other deciding factor was the price of 9mm vs. 45 ammo.
    Iím proudly straight. I'm free to not support Legalization, GLBT, Illegal Aliens, or the Islamization of America.

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    curtiswr wrote:
    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot23.htm

    I dunno about Extreme Shock and I'm not willing to pay the price to find out about them when there are others that have been tried and true, such as Remington Golden Sabers.

    We went to the range again and she liked the XD45 the best again. Maybe it's just my Beretta in 9mm that she doesn't like. I'll get her to try the XD9 and if she still likes the XD45 and is most accurate with it, then it'll be settled.
    I don't know if you noticed my recommendation of Double Tap, it seemed like you skipped right over it due to the talk about Extreme Shock. The Gold Dot is certainly "tried and true." Double Tap offers ammo at significantly higher velocities than any other manufacturer (Besides maybe Buffalo Bore), at LESS THAN HALF the price of ammo like Remington's Golden Saber and personal defense ammo from Speer. They are, without a doubt, the best bang for your buck ammunition for calibers such as the 9mm, 10mm, .357 Magnum and .38 Special. I linked them in the same post in which I brought up Extreme Shock. Look into Double Tap and also throw out that Box O Lies crap.


    I've never been a big fan of Box o Lies. They clearly did not read the Extreme Shock information regarding the performance of their Fang Face round. They also perform subpar testing. They need to involve ballistics gelatin and provide much more detailed information. A website like Brass Fetcher is WAY better at providing accurate, detailed information about the performance of a given round:

    http://www.brassfetcher.com/oldindex.html



    So, the Box O Lies starts out incredibly skeptical, which is not particularly objective in my opinion, but whatever. Then they give away the fact that they have no clue about what these rounds are even supposed to do when they write of the ES Fang Face:

    As you can see, it failed to upset and acted like a solid. I was so surprised at the results, that we shot another one. It did the same thing
    Why were they surprised?! It has always clearly stated on Extreme Shock's website that the Fang Face will perform LIKE A STANDARD LEAD BULLET through barriers. The Fang Face has in fact been discontinued in favor of a 2 round lineup of ES and AFR only btw (According to Midway). Here is what Extreme Shock has always stated about the Fang Face:

    The Extreme Shock Explosive-Entry, Fang Face 9mm round is hollow point ammunition that acts like frangible ammo upon contact of soft, organic targets. A technological advance over standard, lead-core hollow points, the Extreme Shock Fang Face round has the same penetration ability through interior walls as a standard lead-core bullet, yet will disintegrate rapidly upon contact with soft, organic targets. 96% of the energy of a Fang Face round will be expended within the first 7 inches! Extreme Shock Fang Face rounds have the same recoil, accuracy and range as a standard, lead-core bullet. All Extreme Shock rounds comply with appropriate Department of Justice ballistic vest requirements for pistol calibers.
    The Air Freedom Round is supposed to have less penetration through sheet rock and the like, but the Fang Face is NOT. The Fang Face should pass through things like Glass and Wood without fragmenting, then once in soft tissue it fragments. With the one exception that if the Fang Face hits any object that would cause a lead bullet to ricochet, it will fragment. It performed EXACTLY like they claim it should.

    I'm glad you brought that idiot box of lies up. I can't STAND that article, I've quoted it before as an indication of just how stupid they are. It clearly demonstrates their utter inability to read anything about the rounds they're using. As far as not trusting it, here's some "tried and true" usage of Extreme Shock (Pictures of wounds included):

    http://www.gunblast.com/ExtremeShock.htm


    Here are a bunch of testimonials in which people used Extreme Shock ammo on living targets (Pictures of the wounds included in one testimonial). This stuff is no joke, the effects are catastrophic. An officer hit someone in the leg with what he thought was a grazing hit, they ended up having to amputate this guys leg it was so messed up. Another guy took a 400lb boar with a .32ACP Kel-Tec in two shots (Upon opening him up they found that the first would have been fatal, but they had finished him off with a second shot):

    http://www.extremeshockusa.com/cgist...mp;cart_id=134

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    Okay, so.. allowing that it is good and dependable... so is Remington Golden Saber. My apologies for believing Box of Truth about what they said about it and not researching it myself. The issue of believing BoT is a lesson learned and I will be more wary about trusting what I see there in the future.

    However, I didn't feel the need to research ES myself as I have no interest in trying or buying Extreme Shock ammo when I can stop by my local gun shop and pick up a box of exactly what I want when I want it, among other things.

    Don't get me wrong; I'm glad that you like them and they work for you, but I just don't see that I need to go out of my way to get them when I have several other options that work readily obtainable.

    As for Double Tap ammo, I will look into it but again, there is the issue of whether or not I can stop by one of several convenient local shops for me and pick it up or not.

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    My wife liked my Glock 19 she carries it now. I've had to add two more to the collection in the event she wants another one
    Quote Originally Posted by Open Carry.org Member View Post
    I really disgree with this one! That means that we can have any yahoo running around with a gun with out the proper training. This really scares the hell out of me. Just my two-cents!
    Quote Originally Posted by KansasMustang View Post
    Joe Schmedlap out there with a loaded weapon thinking he's going to deter crime and he's not even trained to fire his weapon safely just kinda makes my hair on the back of my neck stand up.

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