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KJG67 01-06-2013 08:04 PM

1st pistol advice - Sig, FNX, XD(M)...
Hi all - newbie and really enjoy the forums here. I've been shooting .22 rifles, trap/skeet on and off for years, but am a newbie in the grand scheme of things. I've recently taken two pistol courses and have been going to the range regularly to practice and rent several pistols. My use is basically recreational, maybe do some local competition stuff down the road if/when I become proficient. I'm looking at 9mm at this point for price and practice, and will eventually add .45 as an option for CC. Of course I live in Illinios, so I may end up with my index finger and thumb for home defense shortly.

So far I've shot Sig, S&W, Ruger, FN, and Springfield in 9 and 40. By far, the Sig 226 base model fit my hand like a glove and shot like an extension of my body. The FNX and XD(M) were close contenders. Grips were pretty comfortable and shot placement at various distances were acceptable. The S&W M&P9 felt like the Sig in my hand, but I wasn't crazy about the trigger. Ruger SR9 was nice as well. Last tidbit - I'm lefty. I've adapted and am comfortable with the Sig and XD(M).

I think I have my decision down to the following 3-4 guns. Only negative to the Sig is obviously the price. I can do it, but wanted some opinions before laying out that kind of dough. Will probably end up installing trijicon sights.

226 Nitron or MK-25 9mm
XD(M) 4.5" 9mm

Thanks for any advice you can offer. Fortunately there are two ranges in the area where I can rent most popular models.

ScottA 01-06-2013 08:45 PM

Any of the guns you mentioned are fine pieces of machinery. You can't go wrong with any of them. Much of selecting handguns simply comes down to what feels right to you.

kalboy26 01-07-2013 03:09 AM

All of those are great, and you will get a quality gun with any of them. It sounds like at this point you should go with what shoots best in your hands and feels good. My brother didn't even look at glocks when he wanted a gun initially because he didn't want to be part of "the group". After he shot many other guns he finally decided to try one, and then took it home cause he felt more accurate and comfortable with it. So if you've got one that feels good and shoots good, that that's the one i would get. My sister did the same thing and ended up with a bersa.

ScottA 01-07-2013 03:19 AM

Friends don't let friends shoot Glocks. ;)

trip286 01-07-2013 04:00 AM

1911 for the win.

KJG67 01-07-2013 04:03 AM

Thanks guys :) Sorry I left Glock off there, but did shoot a 17. It was OK. Wasn't bad, wasn't impressive in my hands. I know there's so many manufacturers to look at. My two ranges don't rent Bersa, so I can't test a Thunder HC Pro.

I didn't think I was going to hear anything bad about these choices as I did some research, but wanted to see if anything jumped out at you experienced guys and gals. I love the Sig but the more I consider this all other things being equal, I may go with the FN or XD(M), and then spend the other half of the money on a compact or subcompact.

And in case anyone didn't hear, we beat the idiots in Springfield (Illinois politicians) (for now). No weapons ban passed today.

KJG67 01-07-2013 04:08 AM


Originally Posted by trip286 (Post 1083615)
1911 for the win.

Someday! I'm not confident enough yet to be carrying around cocked and locked. I know there are safety's in place, but I'm just not there yet with experience.

trip286 01-07-2013 04:23 AM


Originally Posted by KJG67 (Post 1083623)
Someday! I'm not confident enough yet to be carrying around cocked and locked. I know there are safety's in place, but I'm just not there yet with experience.

You would likely be incredibly surprised. Once you take apart a 1911, and study the parts and how they interact, you'll never have any but the utmost confidence in cocked and locked carry with a 1911.

Maybe I'm just drinking too much of the KoolAid, but I sincerely believe that perfection was achieved approximately 103 years ago. IMO, the only thing that holds a candle to it, is the Browning High Power, which JMB has reportedly said he personally felt was an improvement over the 1911. But it's a 9mm...

kbd512 01-07-2013 04:42 AM

I would recommend getting a Glock 17 or 19 9MM pistol for your first practice and carry piece.

I can think of no reason to use .45 ACP for carry if you are not restricted by magazine capacity. If you are restricted by magazine capacity, get a Glock 26. When you are by yourself in public, don't have spare magazines laying around as you may in your own house, and have only what you're carrying to end any potentially life threatening encounter with a criminal, having more rounds and not less is generally a better idea. Anyone who shoots .45 ACP well can shoot 9MM just as well and faster because there's less recoil to contend with.

Despite the comments about Glocks, there's no finer general purpose use combat handgun made. I would take a 9MM Glock over a Colt M1911 any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I own both and shoot both. I've never personally owned a Colt M1911 (2 series 80 guns that I sold and 1 series 70 that I still own) that made it to 5K rounds before a major parts failure of some kind.

The extractor failed on my series 70 in fewer than 500 rounds. I keep replacement parts on hand and it was not the end of the world, but it doesn't exactly inspire confidence. The failures with the series 80 guns were more serious (front sight fell off one and the other had a barrel bushing fail). None of the failures were catastrophic, I just had to purchase and install replacement parts. Any gun can malfunction, but Glocks generally malfunction less than other types of guns and have fewer major parts failures.

You can pay between 2K to 3K to purchase a M1911 that's as reliable as a Glock, or you can pay $500 for a Glock, $100 for extra magazines, $100 on a quality holster, $200 for a SureFire X300, and then spend the rest on cheaper 9MM ammo to practice with.

Whichever platform you decide to go with, buy something that is striker-fired (Glock series, S&W M&P series, Caracal, Arsenal Firearms Strike One) and don't modify it without a lot of thought and good reason. Hammer-fired guns are old technology. The Glock has three safeties and you don't have to manually disengage any of them to fire the gun.

The M1911-A1 is single-action only and has an external safety lever and grip safety lever that must both be actuated to fire the gun. Glocks have only required controls on them (trigger and slide release). Interestingly enough, the M1911 as John Moses Browning designed it did not have an external safety. The US Army made it a requirement.

I would view any .45 ACP pistol or .357 Magnum revolver as a home defense weapon and a 9MM pistol as a concealed carry weapon.

With modern hollowpoint ammunition, there's no relevant difference in wound channel between 9MM and .45 ACP. It makes sense for the military to use .45 ACP because of the artificial requirement to not use hollowpoint ammunition. We civilians don't have that asinine ammunition design detail to contend with.

1911love 01-07-2013 04:51 AM

Kbd is right about 9mm. I load in my G19 for CC 124gr +p Speer Gold Dot bonded JHPs. They scream out of the barrel at 1450fps. That's almost as fast as a .357 magnum. It's all about shot placement IMO. Also, check out the new Sig M11-A1. See if anyone teaches a basic CC course in your area that offers many diff guns to run scenarios with. If they have lots of "trial" guns in the class, they will also have lots of "trial" holsters too. This will save lots of time and money trying to figure out what works best for you.

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