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Old 09-09-2011, 10:31 AM   #11
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Ehh, I got to thinking and I'm going against my 1911 idea now. So I guess I'm down to the polymer style guns. I'd prefer metal if possible (I like the looks of something like that FN Herstal). So for stopping power is there an appreciable difference in .40 S&W and .45 ACP? I'm also more open to 9mm now, thinking I'd need better ammo though to make it more effective.

So for concealment IWB style for someone who's around 175 lbs 5'7" - are any of these guns really a bad fit for that - FN Herstal, HK USP, Springfield XD (Or XDm), CZ75 (Compact), CZ PO7 or CZ PO6?

I'm gathering my doubts in general which is making me more apt to just totally put this off and either buy a shotgun (Which was actually on my eventual list) or just hold off all together on buying a gun. I get too much of a feeling that I don't know reliability of brands and things like that are especially important for semi-autos. I know I'm the one who makes the last decision on these, but I'd still like to know how these models I mentioned in this post are considered by gun enthusiasts (Since I'm well aware that sometimes gun companies market guns towards those who are like me buying their first gun and wouldn't know of some flaws in cheaper models that you veterans would easily be aware of). I'm also unsure on the "value" for the money each of these guns are - which is where I defer to the knowledgeable folks here to help me out. I will attempt going to the range today and seeing what I can find to get my hands on and practice with - but weather has been looking nasty and may hinder this.

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Old 09-09-2011, 02:14 PM   #12
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Give your brother's HK USP 9mm a trial run. HKs sell for a lot new, and that looks like a pretty good price for a used one. Prices on used guns don't fall off the way prices on new cars do, BTW. And give it even more consideration if the USP has a threaded barrel.

A threaded barrel will allow it to take a suppressor (known in movies as a silencer). Suppressors are legal in many areas, though there is a federal licensing process to go through. I understand it isn't that painful, but I've never done it before. Be sure to check your state laws as well. You will probably find out more details from subsequent posts, and a local gun shop that sells suppressors will be very happy to help you.

You won't want to carry it with the suppressor on, but if you attach the suppressor when you're home, it will greatly reduce the flash and noise if you should need to use it in the home. If you need to use the gun outside, when you are carrying it, the noise level is greatly reduced if you're outdoors.

If you do go back to the idea of a revolver, keep in mind that the flash is considerably worse because it comes from both the muzzle and the cylinder gap.

I believe the Para you were looking at is the GI Expert. That's their low-end 1911. I've read mostly good reviews about them, with one or two poor reviews. I fired one for my first time just the other day. It was decidedly...OK. I didn't put many rounds through it. It functioned without a problem, and it hit what I aimed at. It was a bit loose, but that's fine for a defensive gun — the original military models were loose too.

Another 1911 in that range that I have read many good reviews on is the Rock Island Armory (RIA) 1911.

Were I shopping for a 1911, I would personally save up a bit more for the Ruger SA1911 or a bit more still for a Colt.

Do some research on stopping power. I think you'll see that most sources that have done thorough research will tell you that there isn't a huge difference in stopping power in any of the major loads. I personally am a fan of the .45 ACP even though I don't currently own a gun chambered for it. I am convinced that 9mm defense rounds are quite capable of getting the job done, otherwise I wouldn't carry a gun chambered for them. But until *you* are confident in them, they aren't right for you.

I read a news article some years ago about a cop who ended up in a gunfight with someone he had pulled over. The cop was hit a couple of times and kept fighting. The bad guy was hit 17 times, 14 of those in the torso, with .40 rounds, then got in his car and drove off a short distance before dying. Then I read another article recently about a woman working in a hotel who was attacked by a man intent on raping her. She fired one round from her gun — a .22 — and he dropped dead.

I don't recommend the .22 for defense, but this illustrates that shot placement is everything and that there is no magic caliber.

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Old 09-10-2011, 12:35 AM   #13
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Well, I was able to go to the range today - looked cloudy and sprinkled off and on but generally nice weather to go otherwise. Brought my trusty Mosin as well as some cash to rent a gun. I ended up renting a .40 S&W CZ75 PO-6. Shot a box of 50 through it. I set my target out 25 yards or as close I can tell from my eyes (outdoor range) and the targets I used were 25 yard slowfire pistol targets.

Let's just say, I'm embarassed at how badly I did. Seriously, if it were a bad guy he would've gotten away no problem - I'm not sure if I'm just that bad at shooting a pistol since I haven't done it in a long while, if it was the gun or if I was just too shaky. The .40 had a pretty decent kick to it I'd say, I'd be happy with this caliber in a carry handgun though the way I was holding it initially even though my hands were no where near the slide around the grip (Or so I thought) I was still having the tops of my hands get hit by it. It was a used gun, but still I expected better of myself and can't possibly blame my horrible accuracy on the sights. I did all my shooting in a standing stance, did try crouching for a bit and seemed to help of course. Gun never jammed, misfed, misfired, or failed to eject so in that regard it was no problem. A side note - but is the last 1-2 bullets in the magazine supposed to take so much force to put in? I always feel like a wimp having to push down so hard on the bullets and cramming the last one in, like maybe I'm an idiot and feeding them some strange way. My Mosin easily takes all 5 rounds when I load them in, but I recall shooting a Mauser 7.92mm some time back that just refused to hold more than 4 bullets in the internal magazine as well as an AK-47 that just would not hold more than 24 rounds in the clip (Should've been 30). Are the magazines just crappy or is it usually something else?

I didn't end up renting any other guns, didn't have the time or desire after that. I had a larger target that I ran 20 rounds through my Mosin at - all but the last 5 fired from a sitting positiong using a table for a brace. I moved it out to about 40-50 yards - ended up with 16 rounds on the target, was having some difficulty because of my big ear muffs getting in the way of me putting my face against the gun and messing with me until I found a way to position the gun just right (I need some smaller ones for the rifle). Seems like it shoots to the upper right of where I was aiming as my grouping is pretty good otherwise.

Again all I can say in my defense is perhaps I was distracted by all the others who were there today - some other guys who were pretty young (Ironically they were probably a few years older than me or within a year, but acted rather immaturely) doing the typical cocky shooting and causing me general concern. Had to wait for them to finish firing as their pistol shells kept ejecting in my direction...and one of them decided to let his girlfriend shoot a pistol, but she was scared of it - I stood back in case of gun drop which seemed quite possible at first. No offense to people like that, but those kind of people really get on my nerves and generally cause the rangemaster to have to spend all his time keeping an eye on them. Doing your typical bump firing, shooting from the hip and telling each other how "awesome" it was. So those factors may have hindered my accuracy too.

I'm not really sure where I stand now. This was supposed to be more helpful in deciding yet I feel no better off than before - other than knowing I can't hit the broadside of a barn with a pistol. Eh, maybe I should just buy a shotgun instead and get the pistol later. Also, I did not fire any of the guns without ear protection...not only did the .40 seem quite loud in itself there were several other large caliber rifles firing including one black powder. As a question of curiosity, the more you are around these guns do you stop flinching at first? I absolutely cannot help but flinch a little when I first get on the range but I'm better after I've been there for a few minutes or so. I guess I'm always surprised by how loud some of the other guns are, do wish I could avoid that flinching that I inevitably end up doing at least once.

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Old 09-10-2011, 02:14 PM   #14
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A lot of people claim the .40 has a sharper recoil than the .45. I don't know how they figure that, personally I can't tell the difference and the make/model of the gun play a big role too. At this point it sounds to me like you just need to test drive a few and figure out what you want.

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Old 09-10-2011, 03:16 PM   #15
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Yes the .44 Mag and .357 Mag are louder than most any auto pistol round however ANY round fired indoors without hearing protection will ring your bell.

This is simply something your going to have to accept if your forced to fire in a defensive situation but I doubt that the "once in a lifetime" circumstance of defensive shooting would cause permanent damage.

I served 6 years Army Light Infantry in my youth and was not always careful about hearing protection. Regardless, my "final military physical" showed ZERO hearing loss after what had to be several hundred of the thousands of rounds I fired being shot w/NO earplugs.

I certainly don't advise this and now practice hearing protection religiously but still, dude, relax. Your far more likely to damage your ears "like your father" by exposing yourself to hours of continuously HIGH decibels.

With all that said, my personal favorite revolver cartridge is the .45 ACP. I love this platform because most .45 ACP revolvers allow the use of full moon clips which in my experience reload much more effectively and quicker than the speed loaders used for most other revolver cartridge.

So if your leaning revolver but fear the .44 Mag and .357 Mag then the .45 ACP revolver should address your concern, still allow acceptable stopping power, "IMHO better because this round is less likely to over penetrate", reload faster, and give you much less recoil.

The Smith & Wesson model 25 is my favorite wheel gun in this caliber and one you should certainly research.

Good Luck,

TACK

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Old 09-10-2011, 05:28 PM   #16
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No common self defense handgun round is what I would call a "reliable" man stopper, so the cost/availability of practice ammo should be weighed against the "stopping power" of the cartridge. 9mm, .40, .45, .357, etc will all serve you well if you purchase quality self defense cartridges, i.e. Speer Gold Dot, Corbon DPX, Federal Personal Defense.

My recommendation would be for a Glock 19, midsize 9mm


or,

a Smith & Wesson model 65 .357 magnum with three or four inch barrel.


Since you are concerned about hearing, invest in a quality set of muff with a high Db rating. I can highly recommend the Howard Leight L3 model, rated at 31 Db.

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Old 09-11-2011, 03:28 PM   #17
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I love the model 65. that's what I have, with a 4 inch barrel.

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Old 09-11-2011, 08:26 PM   #18
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I'd be checking out the CZ line:

Fans and supporters are growing and growing...

http://www.cz-usa.com/products/by-category/handguns/

CZ USA Pistols

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Old 09-11-2011, 09:25 PM   #19
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As for caliber, even with improved ammo available for smaller calibers, I'd only go with 45 ACP. Why settle for less than #1?

You probably need to use two guns to see if it's you or the gun. If it's you then you're either flinching or you're pulling the trigger sideways. If it's because your flinching, then you can either go down in caliber until you're more comfortable or you can just shoot more until you're used to it more. 357 is the most intimidating to me and has the most recoil. I prefer 45 as just right, but it still has a nice recoil.

After you get your gun, you could try practice dry firing if you load "snap caps" so you won't damage your firing pin. When you practice dry firing, use the tip of your finger on the trigger, pull slow and keep your gun steady all the way through until it fires.

If it's because you're not able to keep it steady and shake too much, then you could try a kneeling position with your elbow on your knee. You should practice that regularly with your snap caps and plan on using the kneeling position if you're ever in a real situation. At the range, you may not be able to kneel, but you can put your elbow on the table.

That's all the ideas I have to help.

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Old 09-11-2011, 09:38 PM   #20
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Don't worry about inaccuracy with a pistol. You'll get better. Shooting pistol and shooting rifle are quite different. It's just takes some time to satisfactorily master the fundamentals. Go search for some of the respected firearms trainers on YouTube. I'm amazed by what you can learn just by watching that site.

If you don't want the .357, then go rent everything else you can. Eventually, something is going to speak to you.

Personally, I'd keep the .357 in the mix. 90% of the time I carry at .380 in my pocket, but I also carry at Ruger SP101 .357 with .38+P rounds.

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