Need Advice: Deciding between Several Semi Automatics
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Need Advice: Deciding between Several Semi Automatics


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Old 08-14-2011, 02:16 AM   #1
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Default Need Advice: Deciding between Several Semi Automatics

Hi,

I have been looking at several types of guns and was wondering if anyone on here has some advice and experience with any of them. Particularly, the Walther PPS (also, any recommendations between the 9mm and .40 versions), the small Sig Sauers, and the Glock 26 have caught my eye recently at the gun store. The 26 is the only one I have actually been able to try out, though it is significantly wider than the others. Also, if there are any other models out there anyone can recommend, I am open to that, too. I am wanting something that could be used for concealed carry and have several important factors I am considering. I need a good balance here:

Size- I am a petite, slender, and fit woman (120 lbs.) so there isn't a whole lot of room for me to conceal. I need something small, but I don't want one of those teeny tiny little things I've seen at the shop that look like they would be miserable to fire at the range and use .22 ammo. I don't want .22 period for self-defense.

Recoil- I know a smaller gun will have more recoil, though I don't want something that will be so snappy that I won't enjoy practicing with it at the range. I have shot several 9mm Glocks, including the Glock 26 and I was fine with the recoil from them. I own a SA Champion .45 and I'm fine with that, too. I just don't know how significant the difference in recoil would be from the smaller guns. Anyone could share experience with the PPS or Sig Sauers in this area would be greatly appreciated.

Reliability and Effectiveness- Obviously, I need something reliable and well made. I also need something that will serve me well if God forbid I ever have to defend myself. A well placed shot is clearly more important than caliber, but who wouldn't take a .45 or a 9 mm over a .22 if your life depended on it and you could shoot well with any of them?

I would really appreciate any advice, experience, or suggestions you all may have. Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:25 AM   #2
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This may seem like an off the wall suggestion, but take a look at an Officer size 1911. It's very slim, has a three inch barrel and will give you seven rounds of .45ACP. (6 in the mag + 1 in the chamber)

If you haven't fired a 1911 yet, don't be put off by the .45 caliber. It's easier to control than a .40 and much less snappy. It's also a bunch more powerful than a 9mm, although it's a slower round. Believe me, it will hit the target plenty quick.

Alternatively, a Commander size 1911 will have either a 4" or 4.25" barrel and the grip is slightly longer too, allowing you to carry either 7 + 1 or 8 + 1 while still being very concealable.
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:33 AM   #3
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If you are open to a revolver I would suggest taking a look at the Ruger LCR in .357 mag. Nice little package with a big kick. Recoil can be tamed with .38spc or .38+p.

Other semi-auto options I can recommend are XD compact or sub-compacts...both come in either 9mm or .40S&W, although .40 S&W in any barrel length is "snappier" than both 9mm and .45 ACP. There is also the CZ 75 compact in 9mm...nice gun but not very small despite the name, I guess its small compared to the full sized CZ.

You mentioned that you have a SA 1911, why abandon .45 ACP? There are several commander and officer sized models available from Kimber, Colt, SA to name a few.

Regardless of what you choose, your build is going to make concealment difficult...my advice to you is change your clothes to suit your gun, don't carry light for fashion purposes. Yeah I know, easy for a guy to think that way...

Good luck...
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:37 AM   #4
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Sig P229, P239- These are great guns. If the size fits, you'll be very happy with them. The P239 is a single stack, but a little bigger than its low capacity would imply. Size/thickness could be a problem.

Glock 26- Good gun. Simple, reliable, blocky...just like every other Glock. Good capacity for its size, but that translates to thickness. If you like Glocks it's a winner. Size/thickness could be a problem.

Walther PPS- I haven't shot this gun. I do like the feel though. It's a very thin carry gun and really walks the line between a decent handling compact and a subcompact/micro gun. This might be a great option, given your needs.

Others worth investigating:

1911 Commander: Since you're already familiar with 1911s, take a 4-4.25" model for a spin and see how it suits your needs. Compact 1911s can also be found in 9mm.

Kahr 9mm (link)- Kahr makes several decent 9mms (PM9, CW9, CM9, P9, etc), all being compacts or subcompacts. They have an excellent track record in the carry community, with a reputation for being ultra-reliable and more shooter friendly than their size would imply. I would suggest starting here, as one of their 9mms is likely to suit your tastes precisely.
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:43 AM   #5
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Put on about ten pounds and carry a compact 1911
It's the best of all worlds
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:48 AM   #6
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Oops, my bad. I missed that you already have an SA Champion. Why wouldn't you carry that?
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:59 AM   #7
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There are many good pistols out there here are some that I have experience with that I think you would be happy with.
Sig p-239. This is a fairly compact pistol in 9mm and .40, but the recoil is very manageable. In fact when I shot this pistol in 9mm, it was side by side with a Walther PPK in .380 and the recoil from the Walther was worse. This pistol does not have a safety to manipulate. It has a decock lever to uncock the pistol so it can be carried.
Taurus 24/7. A woman I work with wanted a pistol for self defense when her husband was deployed overseas with the Nation Gaurd and the one she picked was the Taurus 24/7 in .40 s&w. I helped her shop around and gave her some coaching on shooting. I was impressed with this pistol. It was not at all unpleasant to shoot, was accurate and reliable, and was a good value. The woman in question also liked that this pistol has a manual safety which she felt more comfortable carrying.
Glock pistols. This pistols are reliable and in 9mm and .40 the recoil is very manageable. Glocks are simple to operate, there are no safeties or decock levers to operate. Just aim and shoot. 2 things to be aware of with the glocks. They are somewhat bulky and may give a little trouble with concealment. Also they have an odd grip angle that hives them a different feel to other pistols. Some people preferr it and some don't like it. You should compare the feel of different pistols in the gunshop as part of your decision making process.
Remember that using a gun for self defense is only done in life-threatening, high stress situations. Choose a weapon that you have the most comfort with and the most confidence in.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:09 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your thoughtful comments.

I really enjoy shooting the 1911s and I like the .45 caliber, I am just concerned about the size and ability to conceal in warmer weather. When it's cool, my 1911 would be okay under a jacket, big sweatshirt, or winter vest (I checked in the mirror, lol.) In summer clothes, even with my biggest t-shirt, there is a noticeable bulge where there shouldn't be one (especially when I move.)

I will have to also check out the Kahrs that were recommended and compact 1911s next time I am at the gun store. (Though they can't seem to keep 1911s in stock recently- they've been selling like crazy.)

Sweeper22, are the Sigs fun to shoot?
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:18 AM   #9
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Hmm, not really familiar with Taurus; I will have to check into that, too.

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Originally Posted by zimm View Post
Choose a weapon that you have the most comfort with and the most confidence in.
Good point, exactly why I want something I will also enjoy shooting at the range.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:31 AM   #10
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Since you like the .45 caliber, I would suggest you check out the Taurus PT145 (or PT140 in .40 S&W and PT111 in 9mm). The Ruger SR9c & SR40c are also excellent for cc, too.
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