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Thread: Searching for the Ultimate Fighting Handgun

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    Regular Member cmdr_iceman71's Avatar
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    Searching for the Ultimate Fighting Handgun

    I’m looking for a 45 caliber handgun with a 5 inch barrel that holds no less than 14 cartridges and has a double/single action trigger. These are all must have attributes.

    Is there any gun other than FN-45 Tactical that fits this description?

    I looked long and hard at Para Ordnance’s P-14 but I couldn’t find many reviews on that particular gun especially regarding accuracy and durability. Not to mention I wasn’t thrilled with the P-14 being single action, no ambidextrous magazine release, needing a tool to break it down for cleaning, and having to manually flick an external safety. With my FNs and Springfield I’m accustomed to simply drawing, aiming, and firing.
    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." - President George Washington

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    The Glock 21????

    Standard Glock trigger, no external safety works like most Glocks, holds a pile of ammo in the mag for those Army of Darkness zombie gun fights. I had one and swapped it on another 1911. Glocks just aren’t my thing, good guns..but not for me.

    The ultimate fighting hand gun...well that depends on who you listen to and of course what you are fighting.

    If it was me, given your criteria, I'd drop the dime on the Para...but I’m a 1911 single action guy.


    Let us know what you decide to go with.

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    Here's all the guns I can think of that fit your criteria or at least come close:
    XD tactical or XDM 45, not DA/SA
    CZ 97, might have to buy mec-gar mags for 13+1 capacity, no big deal as mec-gar makes mags for CZ, SIG and many others.
    Glock 21, Not DA/SA
    Para hi-cap
    EAA witness 45
    Beretta PX4 storm
    HK USP, I think capacity is 12+1
    Kimber Ten II, I had one for a long time and it was excellent. It was more accurate, softer shooting and less expensive than all my other 1911's. My buddies hounded me for so long to sell it to them that I finally broke down and sold it on the condition that if he ever wants to sell or trade it, I get first chance to buy it. I highly recommend this pistol if you have large hands and don't mind the grip size. I have regretted selling it since the day I did and my buddy won't sell it back to me.

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    Regular Member cmdr_iceman71's Avatar
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    Irish, and .45acp thanks for the recommendations, I investigated all of handguns you gentlemen suggested however none of them met my "must have" criteria. The FN Tactical seems to still lie at the top of the heap.
    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." - President George Washington

    "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." - Thomas Paine

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdr_iceman71 View Post
    Irish, and .45acp thanks for the recommendations, I investigated all of handguns you gentlemen suggested however none of them met my "must have" criteria. The FN Tactical seems to still lie at the top of the heap.
    Your "requirements" exclude some good guns. XDm, Glock, H&K etc.

    The first one that I can think of is the FNP-45 which you mentioned. I have one and really like it. I don't carry it much yet because Blackhawk hasn't released a SERPA for it. If you like leather holsters or Fobus you can find a holster to your liking. The FNP-45 tactical looks really nice. Of course they have 14 and 15 round magazines. One of my friends shot my FNP-45 and didn't like it because he likes a really high grip and the decocker was getting in his way. I like it fine and don't have any problem with it. It is also a very accurate gun and easy to maintain. It is like the child of a Sig P220 and an H&K USP.

    The second I have is the Para Big Hawg, also 14 or 15+1. It is a 1911 SAO but is very accurate and feels great. I can't really recommend it though because mine has FTF issues and is ammo sensitive. It is the only gun I have ever owned that is ammo sensitive! I am in communication with Para to see what can be done. If it ate what I fed it I would carry it more and would love it. Para also has a LDA line light double action which I hear good things about. Until my Para sorrows are over though I hesitate to recommend them yet.

    One gun that is my go to utility gun is my H&K USP in 45acp. Yes it is only 12+1 but it feels great, is easy to carry and is accurate. It is a little harder than my Sigs to break down but still easier than any 1911. I carry this gun about 90% of the time and it is very reliable. I trust my life on the USP and Sig P220 but wanted the additional round count. I went on a search for the perfect hi-cap 45acp pistol and these are what I found & like. I also carry a BUG (45acp) so my round count is higher than my primary gun alone. While 14-15 rounds seemed perfect the weight does add up so 12+1 of the USP is fine. Also when you shoot a gun that has 16 rounds in it, the first 8 shots feel different than the last 8 because the weight of the gun is changing.

    All in all I wouldn't rule out any gun because it doesn't hold 14 rounds. I think anything 12 or over should be strongly considered. My Sig's only carry 8+1 but with an additional mag in my pocket I have the same round count. Good luck and let us know what you decide on.

    ETA: Are you the same iceman that had the basketweave holsters and two FNP-45's? I remember a thread a while ago with some beautiful pictures. Also I wouldn't limit choices to a 5" barrel. I think anything 4.25" or longer is fine. I bought some 5" 1911's and a Sig P220 match thinking the longer barrel would increase my marksmanship. It didn't. I shoot them the same as my 4.4" and 3.9" barrels on my Sig's. Shorter barrels make for easier carry so I wouldn't exclude a 5" barrel but I also wouldn't exclude a 4" one if everything else was acceptable.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 03-04-2011 at 08:21 PM.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    I had another thought. :-)

    The way you word your first post it doesn't seem like you are trying to buy the perfect gun but just want to discuss/explore the perfect fighting gun.

    If that is the case you left off some criteria.

    In my humble opinion, the perfect fighting gun is 100% reliable (including in mud/sand/dirt/dust), easy to field strip, has readily available parts/replacements, has a threaded barrel for suppressor.

    With that said I think H&K & Glock rise up the chart. FNH has a great reputation so you could argue that the FNP line will prove as reliable but only time will actually show that. I have been in the market for a used H&K USP Tactical but always seem to be out of cash when they are available. I sold some guns to raise funds but then came across a Sig P220 Stainless Elite I couldn't pass up. :-) Anyways I have yet to find "the" perfect gun. Each mode of use lends itself to compromises. Then again is there such a thing as a perfect combat handgun? If you are going to find yourself in combat I would much prefer a rifle. :-)

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    Regular Member cmdr_iceman71's Avatar
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    To answer your question, Yes I am the same iceman who owns and posted the pic of the twin FNP-45s in black basketweave holsters.

    You are correct, the primary reason I desire a five inch barrel is because I believe it will slightly increase my accuracy and muzzle velocity, especially at ranges beyond 25ft. If I can just get my hands on that 5.3 inch threaded barrel that comes with the FN's Tactical model, I would be wholly satisfied and consider it the ultimate fighting pistol "for me."

    As far as weight concerns, that is immaterial, I openly carry both FN’s fully loaded along with two spare high capacity magazines everywhere it is legal to do so, thus I’ve grown so accustomed the extra weight that I don’t even notice it anymore.
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    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." - President George Washington

    "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." - Thomas Paine

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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    well,,,

    I also have an FNP 45, but just one!

    I think they are super in construction, design, controls and operation!

    Im sure that soon bar sto will make barrels, I want six inches!
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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdr_iceman71 View Post
    To answer your question, Yes I am the same iceman who owns and posted the pic of the twin FNP-45s in black basketweave holsters.

    You are correct, the primary reason I desire a five inch barrel is because I believe it will slightly increase my accuracy and muzzle velocity, especially at ranges beyond 25ft. If I can just get my hands on that 5.3 inch threaded barrel that comes with the FN's Tactical model, I would be wholly satisfied and consider it the ultimate fighting pistol "for me."

    As far as weight concerns, that is immaterial, I openly carry both FN’s fully loaded along with two spare high capacity magazines everywhere it is legal to do so, thus I’ve grown so accustomed the extra weight that I don’t even notice it anymore.
    Well at 25 yards the 5" barrel didn't really improve my marksmanship. I would think the sight radius would be more important than barrel lenght though. Beautiful picture! I use a P220 holster for my FNP-45 and am still waiting for a SERPA. After writing last night I went to Gunbroker and found a USP Tactical new and jumped in. :-)

    If you really want a longer barrel you could look at the USP expert and USP Elite. There are long slide 1911 6" and if you have about $3k a Sig P220 6" from their custom shop. :-) The FNP tactical will probably do you well though!

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    For an Ultimate Fightingpistol, as long as you'rechambering .45, you're there.
    As to any one pistol being "it", that's going to vary from person to person, of course.
    Was considering the FN before I made my own choice-a fantastic pistol indeed, but for me, the grip was just too chunky for my stubby-fingered hands for me to properly grasp it during firing-especially w/rapid pairs. Personally, I need something I can hold onto well,in order to shoot well with it.
    Apart from that, love those FN's, Glock 21C as well-both great designs, overall.

    As to additional barrel-length, not sure how much more of anything you'll gain with a mere 1 more inch..a few fps,perhaps?
    Like he said above, the sight radius is going to have more to do with shooting any more accurately with it, I'd think.
    Heck, mine has a 4" barrel, but a 6" sight radius, and that works just perfectly for me. I also feel the overall balance of 4"-5" is just about ideal in a fighting pistol.
    Last edited by j4l; 03-05-2011 at 08:10 AM.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    If you'd be willing to step up the power and capacity with no increase in recoil, I suggest you consider a Glock 20 C. Not DA/SA, but instead a long first pull with a short reset.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdr_iceman71 View Post
    As far as weight concerns, that is immaterial, I openly carry both FN’s fully loaded along with two spare high capacity magazines everywhere it is legal to do so, thus I’ve grown so accustomed the extra weight that I don’t even notice it anymore.
    Pssssst, zombies aren't real. Nice pic though.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    The "ultimate fighting pistol" has about 10% to do with the firearm, and about 90% to do with the brain controlling it...

    In the right hands, a 22 revolver can be an "ultimate fighting pistol"...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNinfantryman View Post
    Pssssst, zombies aren't real.
    You, sir, have obviously never watched MSNBC or visited the state of Maryland...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    In the right hands, a 22 revolver can be an "ultimate fighting pistol"...
    Don't know about UFP, definitely a UAP though.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNinfantryman View Post
    Don't know about UFP, definitely a UAP though.
    Millions of urban "gangbangers" would strongly disagree...

    Or talk to trauma unit surgeons in major cities. They will tell you that they get tens of times more DOAs and victims that arrive with a "condition incompatible with life" suffering from small-caliber gunshot wounds (.22, .25, .32) than all the large-caliber pistol rounds combined...

    .22LR is just as deadly as any other round--its just that with the smaller calibers, shot placement is more important...

    There is a reason the CIA and KGB preferred small-caliber rimfire pistols for "wet work"--they are EXCEEDINGLY effective at close range and don't make nearly as much noise (or mess) as bigger calibers...

    Would I chose a .22 for a primary self defense carry gun? No. But a .22 would be a damn sight better than pepper spray if the SHTF.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    "Select fire" Glock 18???

    It's a 9mm, but would give you plenty of "firepower" as requested.......

    Last edited by MedicineMan; 03-11-2011 at 11:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    Millions of urban "gangbangers" would strongly disagree...

    Or talk to trauma unit surgeons in major cities. They will tell you that they get tens of times more DOAs and victims that arrive with a "condition incompatible with life" suffering from small-caliber gunshot wounds (.22, .25, .32) than all the large-caliber pistol rounds combined...

    .22LR is just as deadly as any other round--its just that with the smaller calibers, shot placement is more important...

    There is a reason the CIA and KGB preferred small-caliber rimfire pistols for "wet work"--they are EXCEEDINGLY effective at close range and don't make nearly as much noise (or mess) as bigger calibers...

    Would I chose a .22 for a primary self defense carry gun? No. But a .22 would be a damn sight better than pepper spray if the SHTF.
    UAP - Ultimate Assassination Pistol or "wet work" pistol. It's the fact that you have to focus on shot placement which makes it less than ideal as a fighting pistol. I can kill someone with a potato gun or a pellet rifle with the right shot placement, that doesn't make it a good fighting gun.

    As to the gangbangers preference, I'm sure that has more to do with how cheap the rounds are than it does their effectiveness as a fighting round. You're also talking about guys who shoot worse than the Taliban and have really taken to heart the policy of spraying and praying. From the sheer number of rounds that they expend they'd be bound to hit something.

    I'm not saying the .22 is incapable of being a successful fighting round, I'm saying it's not the ultimate fighting round.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNinfantryman View Post
    UAP - Ultimate Assassination Pistol or "wet work" pistol. It's the fact that you have to focus on shot placement which makes it less than ideal as a fighting pistol.

    Depends on how you're fighting.

    I don't fight fair, I fight to live...

    Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace; divinely mysterious, he is inaudible. Thus he is the master of his enemy's fate. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member DevinWKuska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdr_iceman71 View Post
    I’m looking for a 45 caliber handgun with a 5 inch barrel that holds no less than 14 cartridges and has a double/single action trigger. These are all must have attributes.

    Is there any gun other than FN-45 Tactical that fits this description?

    I looked long and hard at Para Ordnance’s P-14 but I couldn’t find many reviews on that particular gun especially regarding accuracy and durability. Not to mention I wasn’t thrilled with the P-14 being single action, no ambidextrous magazine release, needing a tool to break it down for cleaning, and having to manually flick an external safety. With my FNs and Springfield I’m accustomed to simply drawing, aiming, and firing.
    I am curious as to the OP's reasons for pre-reqs? I understand you may be looking fo rmore accuracy but we need to be realistic. Once you hit Condition Black your not gonna be hitting anything past 25". Also what is so magical about 14rd capacity? If your good enough to be putting dimes at 25+ feet... you only need 10rd mags IMO. Also I am curious to your terminology as 'Ultimate fighting..." What kind of fights do you get into that involve larger caliber handguns? Sounds to me like you looking for "Best combat scenario handgun." In Which I would suggest Colt1911 with 4"+ barrel or Beretta M9(Both are tried and true in the worst situations)
    "So there I was between a rock and a hard place, when it hit me... What am I doing on this side of the rock?"

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    Regular Member DevinWKuska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNinfantryman View Post
    As to the gangbangers preference, I'm sure that has more to do with how cheap the rounds are than it does their effectiveness as a fighting round. You're also talking about guys who shoot worse than the Taliban and have really taken to heart the policy of spraying and praying. From the sheer number of rounds that they expend they'd be bound to hit something.
    Ever been to say... seattle? Los Angelas? There are some gangs locally that have gotten a reputation for being surgical shots! I have a coworker who is a volunteer EMT who will vouch that he has seen "Sniper like" shots from gangmembers at police and EMT's trying to save a wounded rival gangmember. Perphaps you have been too influenced by TV?
    Last edited by DevinWKuska; 03-12-2011 at 12:33 AM.
    "So there I was between a rock and a hard place, when it hit me... What am I doing on this side of the rock?"

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    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinWKuska View Post
    I am curious as to the OP's reasons for pre-reqs?
    Gun Kata?

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    "Or talk to trauma unit surgeons in major cities. They will tell you that they get tens of times more DOAs and victims that arrive with a "condition incompatible with life" suffering from small-caliber gunshot wounds (.22, .25, .32) than all the large-caliber pistol rounds combined..."

    100% correct. 5 yrs, working X-rays in a trauma center that avg'd 4-6 gunshot victims per night taught me this. THE SINGLE most frequently-fatal round used in street shootings was the .25 acp fired from Ravens. Hands -down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HandyHamlet View Post
    Haha! Best post in this thread so far.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    I suggest you consider a Glock 20 C.
    Ew.

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