To compact or full size?

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by BeyondTheBox, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    I'm a new shooter, but beside that I've always been much more attracted to the smaller guns. Not just for aesthetic appeal, but for carry and convenience purposes.

    The negative side of compacts, as I see it, would be the constant reloading. But there's got to be more, right? What am I missing here...?
     
  2. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    Less weight to absorb recoil.

    Shorter sight radius.

    But increased convenience and carry ability.
     

  3. Firearms4ever

    Firearms4ever New Member

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    Scott pretty much nailed it. About the only thing I have to add is for a lot of people they cannot stand not being able to put their pinky on the grip so they usually get magazines with finger extensions on them. I actually rarely use my pinky when grasping a firearm, so for me it's a positive due to the more compact size.
     
  4. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    The absolute best best gun for you is the one you have with you when you need it!
    You will hear a lot of opinions on what size, caliber, capacity, stopping power etc.
    But if you don't have it with you its a moot point at best! Chances are 99.9% you will never have to pull your gun in self defense
    but to be prepared for that .01% chose a weapon you'll be comfortable carrying and using if necessary.
    I have a few 1911's and I do love them but 2 1/2 lbs. on your belt for 8 or 9 hrs. is a bit much these days most of the time its a Ruger LC9
    or my Taurus Millennium Pro in 45 acp if 8 rounds of 9 mil. isn't enough to settle the dispute I definitely need more range time!
    There may come a time when you have to defend against marauding hordes but until then there's nothing wrong with small!
     
  5. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    As already covered for the most part...

    Smaller sight radius usually equals less (or at least more difficult) precision.
    Shorter grips will not fit some hands well, and grip is critical to accuracy.
    Lighter weight generally makes for a less balanced gun and greater recoil.
    Shorter barrels result both in greater recoil and diminished velocity.
    Compacts often lack the service life of full-frames and aren't always designed to handle "full-house" loads.
    Many compacts aren't fun high volume shooters at the range.

    There are always exceptions, but the points above are true more often than not.
     
  6. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a Glock 36 and an XD 45 compact. The G36 with 7 rounds of 230 grn 45 ACP weighs 27 oz. The XD with 11 rounds of 230 grn 45 ACP weighs 36 oz. The XD is easier to shoot and I am more accurate with it but guess which one get carried.
     
  7. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    I'm much more for the even lighter side of life. I have the LCP as my primary carry and LC9 as a backup if I go overboard with the l'il 380 when shooting, or don't want to carry in my waist line.

    I can't imagine carrying anything larger than these two, especially a loaded 45. I know the caliber does more damage, in general, but the first round struck will almost always be from the gun of the last man standing. I'm more than confident with anything 380 and up, loaded with hollows.
     
  8. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    I definitely would want to be able to get my whole hand on it, including all my fingers.

    I would want it narrow enough to conceal, and the barrel as long as possible while still concealable.

    And I would want the largest calibre that I can myself handle, because I want knock-down power. First-shot knock-down power.

    And and adjustable rear sight, so I could count on it if I actually had to aim for whatever reason. Such as if the perp grabbed a hostage and said "drop it or I will kill her/him." In that case I would want an accruate handgun sighted in.
     
  9. apowers1214

    apowers1214 New Member

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    I have the glock 26 with pinky extender and the glock17 extended mags with grip extenders. I do a lot of practice at the range to over come the pinky issue and recoil. My advice is shoot a bunch at your local range that can rent guns. Once you find one you like shoot it several more times to make sure.
     
  10. 007BondJamesBond007

    007BondJamesBond007 New Member

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    The XDm 3.2 comes with two mags compact and full size. It give the best of both worlds.
     
  11. Phelenwolf

    Phelenwolf New Member

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    In the begaining when I started carrying my XD45C with the shorter mag it felt different. But given time and practice I hardly notice it now.

    But what it comes down to is what do you feel comfortable carrying and shooting. If you do not like what you shoot and carry then you will not carry it. If you do not carry it you will not have it when you need it.
     
  12. 1stMarine

    1stMarine New Member

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    My biggest problem with compacts it the fact that with the amplified recoil, and smaller grip size, they actually hurt a bit to shoot (at least for me, I have freakishly large hands). For ccw though they're generally a ton easier to carry than their full size counterparts.

    Never Forget.
     
  13. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    Agreed.

    I can't lie, I started buying guns with the intent of mere self defense (ie a personal daily driver and home defense). But I very quickly became enthralled with not just the feeling of shooting for sport but also the history and details of firearms.

    I have a bad feeling that this is going to become my next expensive obsession. Mater of fact, too late, it already has.
     
  14. Phelenwolf

    Phelenwolf New Member

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    I am 6' 1" and have large hands, yet after shooting my XD45C I have gotten used to curling my pinky under the magazine base plate and cupping it with my left hand. It takes some getting used to it take some time and practice. Plus I had to adjust my hand placement as well to shoot my compact pistol more comfortably.
     
  15. Phelenwolf

    Phelenwolf New Member

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    Tell me about it. I have been shooting and collecting firearms for over 35yrs and my collection keeps getting bigger. I enjoy it but my wife gives me the "LOOK" everytime I bring a new weapon home. If any of you have ever had the "LOOK" you know what I mean.
     
  16. 1stMarine

    1stMarine New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, ill try that on my glock this weekend.

    Never Forget.
     
  17. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    Yeah, I'm also 6'1", but small framed, and with my LCP I have to tuck the pinky, but because it was only my second gun it didn't take me much to train myself. I find it second nature, though they do make an extended pinky magbutt that could work... I just don't feel the need.
     
  18. 007BondJamesBond007

    007BondJamesBond007 New Member

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    When you are forced to use it to save your life you will not even notice the recoil.

    My wife hates her S & W 642CT because it is not FUN to shoot it is not for target shooting I bought it to save her life.
     
  19. Riverg420

    Riverg420 New Member

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    Consider a Sig 239 My opinion its a happy medium not too small I carry a 239 .40 7+1
     
  20. Tertullus

    Tertullus New Member

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    I came home the other day and got the look. "Why do you need another gun?"

    I told her
    "It's like diamonds for men."
    She was quiet after that.