Doubts about first handgun selection
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:31 AM   #1
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Default Doubts about first handgun selection

So I recently went to a local range and finally had the chance to shoot a Glock 26 after handling them in different shops. What I discovered was that the 26 is simply too small for me, and I couldn't get a comfortable grip on it. A grip extender might have helped, but then how is that any different from a 19? So I tried a 19 next and that was the ticket. Felt great in the hand, and I was doing much better on accuracy. So I pretty much had it settled, I want a Glock 19.

Or so I thought. So I was doing some more pre-purchase research since I found the 19 that I wanted to buy online and was going to order a box of defensive ammunition with it as well since I have no handguns (What good is a Glock with no ammo?) and started wondering about the differences between the grain loads. It was here that I found in different places people reporting second-hand stories of people who have been shot with 9mm rounds and not being stopped. One person I recall was talking about how the guy shot the bad guy 10 times with a 9mm, only 2 rounds expanded inside him even though he was using JHP and one of the rounds actually went through and hit his friend but didn't penetrate much. This guy was not trying to speak of the downsides of the 9mm caliber itself, as he was commenting on which grain to select. But I made this connection and it has made me concerned about the effectiveness of the 9mm caliber.

I don't even want to start any sort of 9mm vs. whatever caliber thread here, I know it's been hashed to death. What I would like to know however, is if a .40 Glock would perform any better. The range I was at had a decent deal on a new Gen 3 23 for around $485. At the time I was only interested in the 9mm variant, but now I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't consider the 23. I know the 23 can also be converted to 9mm, which gives it some versatility as well - but I probably wouldn't run out and buy the barrel right away. I know Glock is a polarizing brand, but personally I like the looks and feel. For whatever reason, I think they look good - something about the spartan square shape, over some other polymer pistols which have lots of ridges and angles that just don't look as good. I love a great looking 1911 too, so don't get me wrong - but I like the Glocks for more than just their reliability.

But looks aside (a frivolous concern), I'm also wondering about a .45. If Glock made a compact .45, I'd probably be looking at it. The only options are the 21 (too big) or the 30 (too small). The 36 looks like it might work since it's only a tad smaller than the compact frame, but I don't know anything about it - or how Glock .45's perform since 9mm is their bread and butter.

So I'm at an impasse here. Does anyone have any first, second, or third hand experience with the effectiveness of .40 over the 9mm? I'd strongly prefer to stay with a Glock, but I'm open to considering something else if it has a similar reliability record. I just like how Glocks can be serviced anywhere, simple field strip, and so on. I'd love to have a 1911 eventually, but I figured I would buy one of the nicer ones which means probably around $850-$1000 or more - and I really don't want to spend that much right now. This gun is going to eventually be a conceal carry, but for now it will just serve as home defense and range practice. I've set a standard for myself that I absolutely will not consider carrying until I am so familiar and comfortable with the gun that using it is second nature and I consistently have no misses at realistic ranges/sizes. I feel comfortable with the size of the 19/23, 1911's seem to be a bit bulkier to carry as I haven't had my hands on any of the commanders to see how they feel.

The current price point I'd like to set is no higher than $550 new or used, if I need to consider other choices. Would anyone care to help me out with their opinions and thoughts? Would greatly appreciate the guidance!

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Old 12-11-2013, 01:34 AM   #2
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You can always get the G23 (.40 cal) and get a conversion barrel for 9mm...... Two handguns in one

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Old 12-11-2013, 03:22 AM   #3
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Hmm, so I thought about the .40 option - I agree it is nice to be able to shoot either the 9mm or .40, but shouldn't one practice with the .40 then? If you practice with the 9mm, wouldn't it leave you ill-prepared if all you regularly shoot is the 9mm? Using the 23 as a 9mm seems like a good option for someone who isn't sure which of the two calibers they prefer since it's cheaper than buying the 9mm and finding you want the .40 and having to go buy a .40 in addition.

I want to tread these waters very carefully, but I guess what I'm wondering - are there any sub-$500 1911's or other poly guns that offer the same kind of reliability as a Glock, but in .45? No FTFs, no FTEs, just pretty much fire no matter what you put in them?

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Old 12-11-2013, 03:28 AM   #4
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Yes. You bought the wrong gun. You bought a Glock.

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Old 12-11-2013, 03:44 AM   #5
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That's OK, Scott, don't be sad, someday he'll have more than

change for a nickel, and he'll be able to buy a real pistol...

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Old 12-11-2013, 03:44 AM   #6
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All handguns suck for stopping determined attackers. With GOOD modern defensive loads, the difference between a 9mm, a .40, or a .45 is not worth arguing endlessly about. Pick what you shoot best. Pick what you can practice with most. Pick what you will be able to score multiple hits with, as rapidly as you can. Pick a round that will get adequate penetration (all three of these are capable).

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Old 12-11-2013, 03:47 AM   #7
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And pay no attention to the Glock hate. Every brand has their fans and every brand has those that dislike them. Pick what you shoot well. Train with it so you understand how to safely employ it. You'll be fine.

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Old 12-11-2013, 03:58 AM   #8
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I carry the Glock 17 with a back up 17 round magazine under a coat in the winter.
If the bad guy doesn't go down after getting blasted by 34 rounds of Hornady JHP,then he is either
1.Superman
2.A vampire
3.A ghost
As the case of the Glock 19,15 rounds and a back up 15 round magazine should do.Unless you are in a Hollywood style shootout.I honestly do not see anyone getting up and walking away after so many gun shots.
I do not feel underpowered with a 9mm,but I also too have been looking into a Glock 22 or 23 for more stopping power.
But in the end,carry what works for you and what you feel comfortable with.
On a side note,many law enforcement agencies do carry the .40 S&W,like the FBI ,U.S. Marshall.It does have more recoil over the 9mm,but when I last fired a Glock 22,it wasn't too painful,but felt like it twists more than anything.
I think you will be fine with either one.Heck,you can get Glock 23 GEN 2 LEO trade ins for very cheap,same with the Glock 22 if you don't mind the absence of a accessory rail.Get them both

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Old 12-11-2013, 04:08 AM   #9
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Navy Seals carry a 9mm sig 226. And those that they have killed haven't complained yet

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Old 12-11-2013, 04:09 AM   #10
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And a Glock 19 will accept Glock 17 mags if you wanted a bigger backup mag. A 26 will take the 19 or 17 mag as well. All if them will accept the 33 round Glock 18 mags if you really think you need some firepower.

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