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Thread: Your Favorite .45 - Looking to buy

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    Hello all - Been awhile since I've checked in on this forum. Anyway, I mostly carry a Sig P229 (9mm), which is just an awesome firearm.

    I am now looking at buying a .45, and would like to know everyone's thoughts on their favorite .45. Right now I am leaning toward the HK USP .45 -- I've always like H&Ks. I saw that H&K has that new .45 with the Batman grip, so I will probably test that out before I make my decision - but it seems that the reviews are mixed on that new firearm.

    The other option I have been considering is the S&W M&P .45. I enjoyed firing the 9mm version of that handgun, but haven't fired the .45 yet. The nice thing about going with the S&W is that it is single action, whereas my Sig is double and the H&Ks are double. While I like double, might be nice to go with a single action for the second firearm.

    Anyway, I am open to other suggestions based on what I have written above. Thanks.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    You are barking up my tree since I love 45acp! (hey that rhymes)

    I have a few favorite 45's. First you have to decide things like size that fits your hand and capacity.

    Sig P220 Stainless Elite - This is my prettiest gun and a great shooting one. Both in accuracy and comfort. I could shoot this one all day. The only drawbacks are price (about $1k includes night sites and short reset trigger) and capacity 8+1. The regular P220's have a polymer frame which makes the gun lighter but also increases felt recoil. I have gotten other P220 models between $800-$900.

    H&K USP - This is my favorite gun to carry every day. It has a 12+1 capacity so it holds more than the Sig. It is accurate and mostly comfortable to shoot. Price range is between $7-800 bucks without night sights. I don't have night sights but would prefer them. That would bump the price up around $900. The HK45 is newer and has a few advantages over the USP like standard Picatinny rail, mag release and shaped grip but the USP is 12+1 where the HK45 is only 10+1. Since the HK45 came out the USP prices dropped. The HK45 will run you and extra $1-200.

    other - I have two hi capacity 45acp guns that I like but need time to decide if I love them. The first is Para's Big Hawg. If you like 1911's and have average to large hands this is a good gun. My reservation with it is that it needed over 300 rounds to break in and is finicky on some sorts of ammo. It is 14/15+1 depending on the mag you get. The second is the FNH FNP-45. This gun is like a cross between a P220 and a USP and is also 14//15+1 in capacity. Finding a holster for it is more difficult (no serpa) but it seems to shoot very well and is comfortable. The price on these guns is definitely reasonable at around $600. The Big Hawg runs around $800.

    BUG - I have a Taurus PT145 Millenium Pro which I love as a BUG. I have a Don Hume pocket holster for it and carry it almost everywhere I go. Having a BUG that uses the same ammo as my primary is a plus and it fits in my pocket.

    I have heard good things about the S&W MP line so I don't think you can go wrong there. The only thing I didn't like about it was the 10+1 limit.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    One other unique thing about the H&K USP is that you can cycle the slide while the safety is on. I like this because if you have to go on school grounds and have to unload your pistol (before you get on school grounds) you can unload and load with the safety on and no chance of AD.

    As far as triggers, the Para is SA 5lbs like any 1911, the Sig is my favorite DA/SA 10/4.4lbs and the H&K & FNH are about the same but the DA feels heavier like 11 or 12lbs DA and 4lbs SA.

    You can order or find DAO models of most guns if that is what you prefer.

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    Regular Member tcmech's Avatar
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    I like my glock 36, but I would also like a 21sf.

    The springfield xd, and xdm's are nice shooting guns.

    The smith and wesson m&p is nice.

    You also can't go wrong with a good 1911.
    If Obama is the answer; how stupid was the question?

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    To the OP, those that you listed are fine indeed. If you insist on plastic, then the HK would be the winner IMO. I had one a couple years back. However, I also second the notion of going with a 1911. I all but promise you that it would be love at first shot. It's always up to you though, you're just getting the opinions from people on the interwebs. Good luck in your pursuit. The hunt is almost as much fun as the purchase.



    -Gruu

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    45acpForMe wrote:
    Sig P220 Stainless Elite - This is my prettiest gun ... regular P220's have a polymer frame.
    I've got a Carry Stainless Elite, sometimes I get it out just to look at it! Just a nit, I believe "regular" P220's have a metal alloy frame, not plastic/polymer.

    I would certainly recommend a P220 of any stripe to anybody looking for a reliable .45 ACP pistol. It is probably a little big for most to CC, but a fine OC piece.


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    Yea that Stainless Steel sig looks pretty nice. Now I am debating a .40 but still not sure.

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    I do like my Glock 30. i would take a 1911a1 though.

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    architect wrote:
    45acpForMe wrote:
    Sig P220 Stainless Elite - This is my prettiest gun ... regular P220's have a polymer frame.
    I've got a Carry Stainless Elite, sometimes I get it out just to look at it! Just a nit, I believe "regular" P220's have a metal alloy frame, not plastic/polymer.

    I would certainly recommend a P220 of any stripe to anybody looking for a reliable .45 ACP pistol.* It is probably a little big for most to CC, but a fine OC piece.
    You are correct they have a anodized frame which I guess is aluminum or some alloy. The grip is polymer and is listed as such on the web site so when I hold them I think plastic. The non-stainless versions are about 6oz lighter and it is noticeable in felt recoil. Not unbearable just noticeable.

    You can always buy more than one. :-) But if this is the "one" gun you are going to live with for a few years I would probably recommend the USP since it has 12+1 capacity and shoots as well as the Sig. You don't have a location in your profile so I don't know if capacity limits apply. You won't go wrong with either Sig, H&K or S&W so it is a win-win decision. Try holding each and if possible shooting each.

    I am a big fan of .45acp, (because shooting twice is silly) :-) The main arguments I hear for a .40 is for a higher capacity gun. I have found high capacity .45's too that aren't too big for me but you would have to try them out. I did just picked up a used P226 in .40 to have as a secondary caliber in case .45 dries up.

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    45acpForMe wrote:
    One other unique thing about the H&K USP is that you can cycle the slide while the safety is on. I like this because if you have to go on school grounds and have to unload your pistol (before you get on school grounds) you can unload and load with the safety on and no chance of AD.

    ...SNIPped
    Not sure about other models, but my P220 Super Match also allows the slide to cycled with the safety on.

    All good though, love H&K's as well.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Jim675 wrote:
    45acpForMe wrote:
    One other unique thing about the H&K USP is that you can cycle the slide while the safety is on. I like this because if you have to go on school grounds and have to unload your pistol (before you get on school grounds) you can unload and load with the safety on and no chance of AD.

    ...SNIPped
    Not sure about other models, but my P220 Super Match also allows the slide to cycled with the safety on.

    All good though, love H&K's as well.
    I don't have one of those.... yet. :-) All my Sigs are DA/SA with no manual safety.

    As far as 1911's go I agree they are love-at-first shoot "but" my concerns with 1911's are capacity 7-8+1 for most of them, hence my Para Big Hawg at 14-15+1. The other thing about 1911's are they are a pain to break down and clean (in my humble opinion). I modified mine to get rid of full length guide rods which require a tool to break down your gun (or a really nerve-dead finger).

    I can break down, clean and reassemble my P220's in two minutes. It takes me about ten minutes to do the same to a 1911. So while the 1911 has been around longer and more "proven" than a P220 or USP, the latter are easier to maintain. (I don't want to start an "1911" war, I do like them)

    If you like carrying cocked-and-locked (preferred 1911 carry mode) you can do the same with the USP.

    Again I believe any gun lover will own a 1911 sometime in their life. Just be aware of the tradeoffs.

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    Regular Member Huck's Avatar
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    45acpForMe wrote:
    Jim675 wrote:
    45acpForMe wrote:
    One other unique thing about the H&K USP is that you can cycle the slide while the safety is on. I like this because if you have to go on school grounds and have to unload your pistol (before you get on school grounds) you can unload and load with the safety on and no chance of AD.

    ...SNIPped
    Not sure about other models, but my P220 Super Match also allows the slide to cycled with the safety on.

    All good though, love H&K's as well.
    I don't have one of those.... yet. :-) All my Sigs are DA/SA with no manual safety.

    As far as 1911's go I agree they are love-at-first shoot "but" my concerns with 1911's are capacity 7-8+1 for most of them, hence my Para Big Hawg at 14-15+1. The other thing about 1911's are they are a pain to break down and clean (in my humble opinion). I modified mine to get rid of full length guide rods which require a tool to break down your gun (or a really nerve-dead finger).

    I can break down, clean and reassemble my P220's in two minutes. It takes me about ten minutes to do the same to a 1911. So while the 1911 has been around longer and more "proven" than a P220 or USP, the latter are easier to maintain. (I don't want to start an "1911" war, I do like them)

    If you like carrying cocked-and-locked (preferred 1911 carry mode) you can do the same with the USP.

    Again I believe any gun lover will own a 1911 sometime in their life. Just be aware of the tradeoffs.
    Heck with .45 acp, 7-8+1 is more than enough for self defense.
    "You can teach 'em, but you cant learn 'em."

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    i had a choice between a glock 21 and the armscor 1911 i bought and for cc its alot thiner if you measure the slide the 21 was lighter but felt fat in the grip

    and being my first gun the extra safety cant hurt

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    Favorite was my USP Tactical. Wish I'd found out about open carry before I traded it in!
    Love my P-14 and my Glock 30 is the most reliable/versatile pistol I've ever owned.

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    You haven't really given any parameters for your selection such as size, cost, etc. My most favorite 45 ACP is my CZ97 for the simple reason that in my hands it shoots like a laser beam. I can put them in one ragged hole at 25 yards all day long. However, it's really freakin' big. I carried it in a custom OWB concealment holster for several months but the weight caused me to develop sciatica, so I stopped that. I replaced it with a Wilson CQB Elite M1911 which is also spectacularly accurate, although in my hands marginally less so than the CZ. IMO, the Wilson is as good as it gets in a 1911-style pistol, but it's really expensive. Most of the "major names" in the M1911game make reliable pistols with various bells and whistles to meet different budgets and as long as you stay with a known quantity, you probably won't go wrong.

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    Cavalryman wrote:
    You haven't really given any parameters for your selection such as size, cost, etc. My most favorite 45 ACP is my CZ97 for the simple reason that in my hands it shoots like a laser beam. I can put them in one ragged hole at 25 yards all day long. However, it's really freakin' big. I carried it in a custom OWB concealment holster for several months but the weight caused me to develop sciatica, so I stopped that. I replaced it with a Wilson CQB Elite M1911 which is also spectacularly accurate, although in my hands marginally less so than the CZ. IMO, the Wilson is as good as it gets in a 1911-style pistol, but it's really expensive. Most of the "major names" in the M1911game make reliable pistols with various bells and whistles to meet different budgets and as long as you stay with a known quantity, you probably won't go wrong.
    No, but you can kind of tell from my initial choice of guns what I am looking for. Plus, so far all of the posts have been quite useful.

    I am leaning toward the H&K USP .40 or .45 -- but I am going to test fire some of the other weapons mentioned here. I was talking to a good friend of mine who is LE and he has a USP .40, and he was saying that he personally prefers the .40 over the .45 due to the recoil difference (with the USP). I will probably rent both and see what I like better.

    My Sig P229 9mm is just a beautiful weapon. It fits in my hand perfectly, I can shoot incredibly with it, and it CCs very easy. I use an inside the waist holster.

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    Jim Thorpe wrote:
    I was talking to a good friend of mine who is LE and he has a USP .40, and he was saying that he personally prefers the .40 over the .45 due to the recoil difference (with the USP).
    No idea why someone would prefer .40 over .45 because of recoil alone.

    I'd go with HK or Sig... or a 1911 if I weren't too worried about capacity or weight.

    Wonder why Sig would put a 5lb pull on a match pistol.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    t33j wrote:
    Jim Thorpe wrote:
    Cavalryman wrote: I was talking to a good friend of mine who is LE and he has a USP .40, and he was saying that he personally prefers the .40 over the .45 due to the recoil difference (with the USP).
    No idea why someone would prefer .40 over .45 because of recoil alone.

    I'd go with HK or Sig... or a 1911 if I weren't too worried about capacity or weight.

    Wonder why Sig would put a 5lb pull on a match pistol.
    I was misquoted!

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    Indeed. Apologies.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    Glock 37 GAP


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    I watched a girl that was barely 5' 1" shoot my USP when I still had it with no recoil issues. The only problem she had was gripping the damn think with her extremely little hands. It was a little big for myself, but it's a fine plastic pistol.



    -Gruu




    Forgot to add, the USP I had was .45.

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Bravo_Sierra wrote:
    Glock 37 GAP

    Main problem I have with the GAP round is:
    http://ammoseek.com/?gun=handgun&cal...ds=&sortby=cpr
    http://ammoseek.com/?from=resultspag....submit=Search
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    Huck wrote:
    [/quote]Heck with .45 acp, 7-8+1 is more than enough for self defense.[/quote]

    Well I have seen statistics that LEO miss 50-80% of the time during a shooting incident. Assuming that I shoot as well as the best LEO, missing 50% in a 8 round magazine gives me 4 hits. If you add multiple attackers that thins out the number of bullets for each perp. :-(

    So you can either carry more mags, which require changes during the fight or carry larger capacity guns. I have also seen stats showing that the average gun fight was 3-5 shots so I know you could make an argument that 8 rounds is enough.

    I would rather have the extra capacity and not need it than not have it and need it. :-) With guns like the XDm having 19+1 in 9mm I feel better carrying my USP, Big Hawg and FNP-45 where I have 13,15-16 rounds without a mag change.

    There was also the Texas LEO that hit the perp 22 times before he stopped attacking (using .40) and he was not on drugs! I want to hit them with the biggest round I can as many times as I can until they stop being a threat.

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    t33j wrote:
    Jim Thorpe wrote:
    I was talking to a good friend of mine who is LE and he has a USP .40, and he was saying that he personally prefers the .40 over the .45 due to the recoil difference (with the USP).
    No idea why someone would prefer .40 over .45 because of recoil alone.

    I'd go with HK or Sig... or a 1911 if I weren't too worried about capacity or weight.

    Wonder why Sig would put a 5lb pull on a match pistol.
    Because a .40 has enough stopping power.

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    Fine, Glock 21 then.

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