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Thread: First Handgun

  1. #1
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    -So I am going to purchase a handgun soon, and it will be the first one I own, not the first I have shot or handled but the first I own, I also own a few rifles and shotguns so I understand firearm saftey. I will be using it mostly just to keep at home as a self defense weapon, as well as to carry (openly for now, concealed in the future) from time to time, and of course to shoot as much as possible.

    -I have it narrowed down to three guns, and I am having trouble deciding between them all, I am set between these three guns pretty firmly from the research I have done. The three are...

    -Glock 17/19 - although possibly other caliber
    -Springfield XD/XDM-9mm (maybe another caliber)
    -1911 (probably a Springfield Armory, although I would be open to other options)

    I will briefly go through some pros and cons of each.

    --Glock Pros- Utter Simplicity/Extreme Reliability/Hi-Cap Magazines/many accessories/Easy to maintain and clean/easy to fix (if it ever was malfunctioning although this is unlikely)
    --Glock cons-Limp wristing?/Ka-Booms?/Does not fit my hand as well as XD,XDM,1911/Kind of boring

    --XD/XDM pros- Realiable/Extra features that glock does not have/Better fit/Easy to maintain and clean/More safties/Hi-Cap magazines
    --XD/XDM cons- More safties and features take away from the simplicity of the gun/possibly less reliable than glock/not as "proven" as glock

    --1911 pros-Classic/.45 (i realize you can get the other 2 in .45 but I would probably end up with a 9mm for ammo costs/higher capacity)/American/no plastic all metal/more accurate/
    --1911 cons- only 7 or 8 round mags/more "finicky"/more prone to malfuntion/more complicated to take down clean/less "safe" than the other 2

    -I plan to eventually own all three, but at the moment I am a broke college student, and $500 is ALOT OF MONEY to me currently so I need to only buy one for now. Please let me know your opinion and let me know if I have left out any pros and cons or even if my pros and cons are false or irrelevant

    -By the way I feel that If I am using logic this becomes a contest between the XD(M) and a glock, and the main contest is the better grip/feel of the XD - but the simplicty/utilitarian nature/reliability of the glock, in most other regards they are very similiar. If I am going with my heart I want an American made, sleak and cool 1911....
    Thanks for your help

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    Ok, just my .02 cents worth. As far as caliber goes, it really is up to you....9mm is popular and cheaper, but some people prefer the larger calibers for "knockdown power".(this is an argument for another time) Glocks are good guns, durable and reliable.I have and still own many andI enjoy shooting and carrying them.2 questions, why are you limp-wristing a glock, and why do you find them boring?

    Iown a SA XD, but I am not a big fan of the lemon squeezer. I hardly every carry or shoot it, and it has been in the safe so long, it may be permanently "welded" to the rack. They are way too big in my opinion, more like holding a drill than a gun.

    1911s are great, but not for everyone. I have several. S&Ws, SA,Kimber,Colt. All nice, but not the most simple firearm ever made. They are also heavy, bulky things, unlike the polymers listed above.They require alot of shooting,attention and shooting. You can get them in 9mm, 10mm, and 38 super.

    One thing I will mention, you say you want American.....Have youconsidered a Smith & Wesson M&P? Great guns, great shooting.Take a look at them.....

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    If you are on A budget that is 500 or less then A Kimber is A bit out of that or any 1911 style handgun,And yes they are A pain in the butt to take down to clean. If you want A plastic gun I would highly suggest A XD if you have larger hands. I have A XDcompact .45 ACP and love it. I have since looked at XDm but they arn`t all that great, I like the XD better. As far as A M&P go I wouldn`t own one of them due to the fact that the one that I shot had nothing but malfunctions, and I don`t want to have malfunctions when I carry that gun to save my life if need be. If you are into Glocks and have larger hands get one of the newer style Glock`s they reshaped the handle for A more comfortable grip.

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    One M&P had malfunctions, that doesn't mean all of them do. I have 9 at the moment and have owned 4 others and haven't had problems with any of them. I do have a SA 1911 that has spent more time at their warranty center than with me since I have had it. All manufacturers have problems at times, but it doesnt mean all of their guns are prone to have them.

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    No Im not saying all M&P`s are bad, but I just don`t want to get one that has A feeding problem when I absoulty need it to save my life or my family or friends lifes. I know many around 10 - 15 people that have A XD and only 1 has something bad to say about them. I only know of 2 people that have A M&P and one don`t talk about it much,and the other one is the one that I shot with malfunctions every round

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    frenchdl wrote:
    -I have it narrowed down to three guns, and I am having trouble deciding between them all, I am set between these three guns pretty firmly from the research I have done. The three are...
    Get the GLOCK. And get whatever caliber you please, though 9mm is the only rational choice for a PCS.

    Utter reliability, good first semi-auto handgun, easy to get out of.

    Look for a used one, mebbe. Inspect it well. They're pretty easy to find.

    And remember: No one ever got fired for buying GLOCK....

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    While I'm more partial to 1911s, you actually have a good list to choose from. I personally think that the XD is more natural to point than a glock. It has better ergonomics, at least in 9mm. But, that's how it was for me. I have owned glocks and an XD back when they were called the HS 2000. All of them have since been sold and I won't buy another. I prefer either a 1911 or a wheel gun. That being said, you may want to check out a Sig Pro. I have one in 9mm and it's the only plastic gun I own and I will not part with it. It's a great shooter, comfy, reliable, night sights stock, and it came at a great price. SIG Sauer make some outstanding weapons.

    Well, good luck with your hunt. I honestly don't think you can go wrong with any of your available options. Have a good one.



    -Gruu

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    Might be a stupid question, but... Have you shot all three options? I ask this only because I went out and bought a Glock as my first gun when I was 21, but would have probably gone with a 1911 had I ever gotten my hands on one and shot it. Several moons have passed since then, and I have shot almost every type of pistol in existence. I have owned all the weapons you have mentioned. I recommend the XD as it is an amazing step between the Glock's ruggedness, dependability and ease of use, and the 1911 in ergonomics, safety and accuracy.

    I also own a compact M&P in 9mm, and I definitely recommend you go shoot one prior to making your purchase. I absolutely love my M&P C9 and would always choose it over a Glock. Not a dig on Glock, but the M&P is just better.

    ps: a Glock is nowhere near as "safe" as a 1911

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    apcci2 wrote:
    ...2 questions, why are you limp-wristing a glock, and why do you find them boring?* *

    One thing I will mention, you say you want American.....
    I'm not limp wristing, I have just heard of people having problems with it specifically with glocks, and I just say boring because they are very plain jane, blocky, etc, not that I even really care that much.

    And I should rephrase what I was saying about the American thing. Its not that I want an American made gun, its that owning a 1911 is the american way.

    --HankT (or anyone else, what is "PCS"?

    --And I have shot none of the guns, and honestly probably wont before I own one, not trying to sound arrogant or anything, just being realistic. I have however handled all three multiple times so I know how they all feel. The XD and 1911 have a very similar feel main difference being weight, and the glock is more bulky and not quite as "good" feeling

    Thanks for the help so far

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    .40 Cal wrote:
    Might be a stupid question, but... Have you shot all three options? I ask this only because I went out and bought a Glock as my first gun when I was 21, but would have probably gone with a 1911 had I ever gotten my hands on one and shot it.
    Wow, that was basically what I did a few years back when I turned 21.



    -Gruu

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    May I suggest two very important factors in selecting a defensive sidearm: reliability and pointability.

    Reliability. The absolute most important factor of all. Does it go bang when you need it to? Everything else pales to this one factor. A handgun that fails you when you need it is less valuable than a hammer. Granted, there are no guarantees in life. But some are better than others in this category.

    Pointability. How it feels, how it sits, and how it helps you acquire a target can mean the difference between hits and misses in a critical situation. Do you have to "adjust" and "position" the gun after you draw it and before you can deliver a round to target? If so, you are wasting time and putting your future existence in serious jeopardy. The gun should come up and out and align to target in one smooth movement without having to make hand corrections along the way.

    As for caliber, there is an adage here. Years ago when I took a weekend shooting course, one of the speakers, who was a member of the association I was/am, was also a captain in the Fairfax Sheriff's department. This guy was no nonsense and he suggested you carry the most powerful load you can that you car consistently delivery rounds to target which you are likely to carry with you on a regular basis. In other words, size, weight, recoil, and similar factors need to be considered. It is better to be able to consistently hit your target with a 9mm than it is to have frequent misses with a .45ACP.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    Just found this and thought I'd share, in case 1911 was still an option for you:

    http://www.gunblast.com/DanWesson-CommanderClassic.htm

    PS: If you make it to Charlotte, I'll let you try all of them before you buy one (but I will not sell :P).

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    From personal experience: I LOVE the way my old SA 1911 FELT in my hand, the ergonomics on those things are brilliant. However, and this could have just been with my specific gun, when I would fire, the hammer would bite the web of my hand inbetween by thumb and index finger. I was taught to shoot holding the gun as high as possible to where the web of your finger will start to spill over the gaurd. So it was great to hold, but shooting it was not fun. Capacity is also not a pro for them.

    I've only shot a XD a few times, and I enjoyed it. It was easy to find the sights when drawing, and I didn't have any jams out of a few hundred rounds with the 9mm I shot

    Glocks are Glocks...You've pointed out their reliability and durability, and for a company to receive the type of reputation that Glock has earned, that should speak for itself right there. I've shot the subcompact 10mm, a few of the 9mm, and a .45 through a glock. I did not like the competetive/full sized glock, just because my hands arn't large enough for them (I can't hold onto them comfortably and naturally enough, high enough). For limp wristing, it isn't the gun, it's YOU who does that. Shoot enough and you'll get strength in your wrist as well as experience and you can numb it down. If the gun is too powerful, go to a lesser grain, a different caliber (for instance, I find that a .45 shoots easier than a .40), or get the barrel/slide ported.

    When picking a gun for self defense, as Southernboy bluntly said, it's about RELIABILITY and POINTABILITY. We're not here looking for pretty little purses or the newest, coolest shoes on the market. If the looks is the most important thing to you, then go with a tricked out, engraved 1911 with custom grips. You'll get plenty of 'ohhs' and 'ahhs.' If you want to buy a lot and lot of pistols for a COLLECTION, then yeah go ahead and spend money on getting the prettiest little things you can find. But as you yourself said, this gun is going to be for self-defense. The attractive factor of the gun should be the last thing on your mind, which I think you do understand given the fact that you have a Glock as one of your three choices. Any good gun shop should have all three in stock. Go to your local shop and ask to handle each of them. If they are used guns, you SHOULD be allowed to fire it at the range (given the shop has one). Do what you can to fire it. If not, spend some time (holding the gun in your hand for 15 seconds is NOT time...point it, see if all of the mechanisms are close to your fingers and available, does it give you a NATURAL feeling?) familiarizing yourself with the pistol and hold it.

    Caliber wise...As said before, the argument on which caliber is the best is (in my opinion) just useless. Anybody who tells you that anything other than a .45 is not going to do anything, ask them if they've ever been shot by even a .22 before. It is all on shot placement and the bullets ABILITY TO DISRUBT VITAL BODILY FUNCTIONS. If you can't do that with a .45, but you can do it perfectlywith a .380, then you know which one you should be shooting. If you arn't able to shoot each exact pistol, then head out to the range and shoot each caliber.

    In your case, you're saying that you are using it MOSTLY for home defense. In that case, I would recommend something that has high energy without a long range. A .40 will hit harder than a .45 but not travel as far. A 9mm will have a LOT of rounds that you can put into the bad guy if he's right there 7 yards away (so can a .40, though yes not as many), but a .40 will still hit harder. So that would be my suggestion. But you've already seemed to be set on a 9mm, so I would say go with that in a Glock (the largest magazine I know of for the glock in 9mm is 33 rounds). Great reliability - if you're life has 3 seconds left in it unless you do something, the only issue you'll have to worry about is how YOU react, because the gun will.

    There's my two cents. Sorry that turned out to be so long! But whatever you get, make sure you PRACTICE with it. The guns solo ability will never trump the operator's.

    Ben

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    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
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    Yes I am very aware of vaguntrader.com and am on this site, that site and many others at least once a day.

    Thanks again for the input folks, and I think Its either gonna be a glock or 1911, Ill give it more time though and wait for the right deal. Ill probably end up buy used and I can always trader any of those guns for the others if I really want.

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    If you only have $500, a 1911 is out of your price range. The debugging alone (also known as "break-in" period) will cost you several hundred in ammo and range fees. If there are any problems with the gun (and 1911's are typically finicky), you will need to ship the gun to either the factory or a gunsmith.

    Just get a used Glock from summitgunbroker.com or similar. You'll be able to afford a decent holster, mag pouch, and an extra mag or two.



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    I would be buying a used 1911 and one that was already "de-bugged" and hopefully never had to be. $500 was just an estimate, I would go up 200 or so more, but that price does not include ammo and what not, and I have seen many a used 1911 for right around $600.

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    frenchdl wrote:
    I would be buying a used 1911 and one that was already "de-bugged" and hopefully never had to be. $500 was just an estimate, I would go up 200 or so more, but that price does not include ammo and what not, and I have seen many a used 1911 for right around $600.
    Just sayin'...my experience has been they're a lot more expensive than I thought. Go into it with an open mind and open wallet.

    http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=84012

    http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=86620

    http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=101413

    http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=105608




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    Fix is right. A 1911 would be a terrible choice for your first gun. In fact few people will ever be at a level that would allow them to be qualified to own a 1911. You should buy a gun that has been tried and tested for 100 years... wait, that would be a 1911. You should make sure you get a gun that never malfunctions... wait, there's no such thing. You should get what we tell you to get... wait, you're an American and you have the right to make your own decisions. Pick what fits your budget, your hand and your style; then become proficient at using it.

    PS: If you think Glocks aren't finicky, check out http://www.Glocktalk.com. Every design has an opportunity to have flaws.

    Pretty and functional can go hand in hand:


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    Hi French,

    I'll relate a story about my wife and 1911’s, little history first though.

    The first pistol my wife ever fired was a Browning High Power, similar to the 1911 in all important aspects mechanically, with the exception of the grip safety and trigger. The HP was designed to be carrying cocked and locked. Well within 200 or 300 rounds and a day or two of range time she was shooting the X ring out at 10 yards…We then spent 8 years in Brazil on several projects, a Glock was the best pistol I could buy there, so we had one and she hated it…with a passion. Now keep in mind she was not a shooter with a “preferred” pistol that she liked.

    Well the projects is over and we are back in the states, she wants a pistol, so we start looking, bought a SW 649 (5 shot revolver) , it’s OK but she does not like it much. Next we bought a Sig P250 in 9mm, this was better but she did not care for the long trigger, still after a few hundred rounds she was shooting it fairly well at combat distances. Not with lightening speed but she was keeping them in a 5 inch groups working through the loonnggg trigger pull.

    A month ago we were down in Southern Arizona visiting relatives and shooting at the Sierra Vista gun club several times a week. She was shooting with my Dad and another guy while I was wringing out a new M4 and scope set up and she starting shooting a Sig 220 (.45acp) and doing well with it single action. Before we left I was shooting one of my 1911’s, she knew it was .45acp and asked how the kick was, I explained that she had been shooting a .45 and that it would not be much different…WELL, “I want to shoot it” . I ran her through the safety and slide stop/release and work with her on the safety application and she started shooting.

    To make a long story shorter, she was shooting X rings, literally shot the 9 and 10 rings out of 2 targets at 10 yards. She now considers that 1911 hers…..unfortunately it’s an Ed Brown Class A custom (Minus adj sights and ambi safety), I’m trying convince her that she’ll like a Kimber just as much.

    Point being to all this, shooting and operating a 1911 is not difficult, nor is the purview of the elite or super-duper highly trained shooter, nor does it take years of intense training as some would have you believe. The 1911 has the best trigger of any combat auto bar none, some 1911’s will have better triggers than others, but a good Kimber will have a good trigger. Hell a bad factory trigger in a 1911 is better that a good Glock or XD trigger.

    Safety? In my mind the 1911 is no less safe that any firearm ‘handled unsafely” every pistol with one in the chamber is cocked and locked for all intents and purposes, when the trigger is pulled, hammer or striker falls they all go BANG. I think that the cocked hammer on the 1911 just looks scary to some folks. It was designed to be carried that way. You learn the 1911 manual of arms, just like you do for any pistol. Striker fired pistols certainly have their little tricks and their share of disasters.

    Finicky, I would disagree, most of the newer 1911 models have had the feeding issues worked out and the reputation for finicky was around SWC’s and hollow point ammo of the 70’ and 80’s. Some here will remember the old Speer “Flying Ashtray” HP. I still have several boxes somewhere. The 1911 works best with 230 grain FMJ ammo that is what it was designed to shoot. I have not heard of many problems with ammo profiles that are in line with the 230 FMJ. In fact most of the modern .45 SD ammo is designed with that profile in mind, that combined with the factory ramp/throat work on newer guns has really stopped a lot of the finicky complaints. Use high quality magazines, (Wilson, Tripp etc). And just like any pistol, without 500 rounds through it and 100 of the SD round you plan on carrying, it is not ready for the streets.

    A 5” 1911 also conceals better that the full frame Glocks and XD, the grip is the difficult part of the pistol to conceal. The 1911 is slimmer through the frame than any double stack magazine pistol hands down.

    All this is not to run down Glocks or XD’s they are a good defensive pistol, but you made some comments about the 1911 that needed clarification.

    If you want a 1911, get one and you’ll not look back, there is a reason they are still the single most popular design after 100 years of service. But it really all boils down to what fits you, what you shootwell and what you are confortable with.



    Just my 2 cents..er….well maybe 25 cents in this case.



    Good luck

    Steve


    Steve


    "Life is hard, its even harder when you are stupid!"

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    frenchdl:

    Given your price range, I'd go with a slightly used XD or Glock. I love 1911's but as many others have said, you're going to be hard-pressed to find a good 1911 (and break it in) with your budget.

    Also, since you plan to carry, you will need to consider holsters, spare magazines, and spare magazine pouches.

    With that in mind, the new XD's (the XDM) come with 2 spare mags, a mag pouch, a holster and a total of 3 different sets of backstraps for the grips. (The old XD's come with the same stuff sans the backstraps.)

    I'd be leaning towards the XD given your budget, unless you can find a Glock that has all of the accessories you'll need to carry with it or at a low enough price you can purchase all the additional accessories for carry.

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    .45acp wrote:
    The 1911 has the best trigger of any combat auto bar none, some 1911’s will have better triggers than others, but a good Kimber will have a good trigger. Hell a bad factory trigger in a 1911 is better that a good Glock or XD trigger.
    No doubt they're nice, but I don't think it's fair to call a 1911 trigger the absolute best. I've had guys with custom 1911's tell me that my P220 trigger was nicer that the pull on their 1911s. As a matter of fact, I've never had someone shoot my P220 and tell me that they liked their handgun's trigger better.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

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    Michigander wrote:
    .45acp wrote:
    The 1911 has the best trigger of any combat auto bar none, some 1911’s will have better triggers than others, but a good Kimber will have a good trigger. Hell a bad factory trigger in a 1911 is better that a good Glock or XD trigger.
    No doubt they're nice, but I don't think it's fair to call a 1911 trigger the absolute best. I've had guys with custom 1911's tell me that my P220 trigger was nicer that the pull on their 1911s. As a matter of fact, I've never had someone shoot my P220 and tell me that they liked their handgun's trigger better.
    Remember, most people focus on the tool rather than training. Additionally, they focus on target shooting over combat shooting. Given that this is opencarry.org, I believe that the focus should be on combat shooting. However, most shooters do not get exposed to that mentality and they believe they're properly preparing for a fight by shooting at stationary paper targets. The "great 1911 trigger" is just a symptom of that mindset.






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    cREbralFIX wrote:
    Michigander wrote:
    .45acp wrote:
    The 1911 has the best trigger of any combat auto bar none, some 1911’s will have better triggers than others, but a good Kimber will have a good trigger. Hell a bad factory trigger in a 1911 is better that a good Glock or XD trigger.
    No doubt they're nice, but I don't think it's fair to call a 1911 trigger the absolute best. I've had guys with custom 1911's tell me that my P220 trigger was nicer that the pull on their 1911s. As a matter of fact, I've never had someone shoot my P220 and tell me that they liked their handgun's trigger better.
    Remember, most people focus on the tool rather than training. Additionally, they focus on target shooting over combat shooting. Given that this is opencarry.org, I believe that the focus should be on combat shooting. However, most shooters do not get exposed to that mentality and they believe they're properly preparing for a fight by shooting at stationary paper targets. The "great 1911 trigger" is just a symptom of that mindset.




    +1 for truth

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    cREbralFIX wrote:
    Michigander wrote:
    .45acp wrote:
    The 1911 has the best trigger of any combat auto bar none, some 1911’s will have better triggers than others, but a good Kimber will have a good trigger. Hell a bad factory trigger in a 1911 is better that a good Glock or XD trigger.
    No doubt they're nice, but I don't think it's fair to call a 1911 trigger the absolute best. I've had guys with custom 1911's tell me that my P220 trigger was nicer that the pull on their 1911s. As a matter of fact, I've never had someone shoot my P220 and tell me that they liked their handgun's trigger better.
    Remember, most people focus on the tool rather than training. Additionally, they focus on target shooting over combat shooting. Given that this is opencarry.org, I believe that the focus should be on combat shooting. However, most shooters do not get exposed to that mentality and they believe they're properly preparing for a fight by shooting at stationary paper targets. The "great 1911 trigger" is just a symptom of that mindset.




    Not focusing on the equipment, personally it does not make much difference what make, cal. or model people shoot. My point was that the OP had some statements regarding the 1911 that were incorrect.

    If you read my post, I never said that the 1911 was the best pistol to carry, I did correct some misconceptions and incorrect statements however.

    Shadowfax, do you never shoot paper targets........The great 1911 trigger made its reputation as a combat gun...whats your beef? I have to laugh…when people are extolling the virtues of Glocks, XD’s and what not all is good….as soon as the high points of the 1911 are brought up…Well those people are equipment focused and target shooters..yeah right.

    Speaking of the mechanical aspect of a system has nothing to do with mindset....to each their own. I do prefer a 1911 but don’t really care what one shoots. Now like it or not you do need to buy the equipment BEFORE any of that training stuff can start right? This thread was started with the premise of “first pistol” and the OP was asking about three specific pistols …right?

    Sig 220, I have one with a good trigger, good gun and I would never feel under armed carrying one.



    Steve




    Steve


    "Life is hard, its even harder when you are stupid!"

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