My Firearm Journey
This is a discussion on My Firearm Journey within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Be forewarned, this could be long.
Growing up, I always had an interest in firearms. We had guns in the house, but I can only ...
June 7th, 2010 01:06 AM
My Firearm Journey
Be forewarned, this could be long.
Growing up, I always had an interest in firearms. We had guns in the house, but I can only recall going shooting two or three times. While in school one of my friends turned 21 and purchased himself a S&W 1911PD, a truly beautiful gun. We went out shooting, and I borrowed my mom's PPK/S (which had not been shot in 16 years) for my first handgun experience since I was 7. Went through 50 rounds in the Walther, amazingly with no failures since it hadn't been cleaned or lubricated, well, ever (I was ignorant of this at the time, I know better now). That was all well and good, but when I shot the 1911, I fell in love. Fortunately, I was practically broke, meaning I didn't make an impulse buy that I could regret later.
Once I moved out of my parent's place a year ago, I decided that since I was finally 21 and out on my own, I should go and get a handgun for fun and personal defense. Naturally, a 1911 was at the top of my list. I looked around in quite an amateur manner (never shopped for a gun before), and was overcome by sticker shock. I started looking at polymer pistols, and was turned off by the lack of manual safetys on the Glocks and XDs. I ended up purchasing a Beretta PX4 Storm in .40S&W, thinking that it would cover all my needs.
Of course, I was wrong. Don't misunderstand, the PX4 is a fantastic gun: comfortable to hold, soft shooting, high capacity, easy to disassemble, and has not failed once in the hundreds of rounds I have put through it. For home defense or OC, I find no fault in it. Unfortunately, I grossly underestimated the demands of concealed carry in handgun design, and found that the Beretta was far too large for such a role.
I lived with an unused CHL until a month ago, when I ran across a Kimber Ultra Carry II at a gun shop. A small, lightweight, 1911-pattern pistol seemed too good to be true, and the price was doable if I sold my Beretta. As the gears were turning in my head and things set into motion, one of my best friends bought it. Naturally, it was the only one they had, so I left without a gun. However, my mind was set in motion, and I went looking for a lightweight 1911. I eventually decided on the Springfield Lightweight Loaded Champion, and searched far and wide for such a weapon, but none could be found. Eventually, my dad (who was going to buy my Beretta from me) ended up giving me their PPK/S as a gift, and I gave up on my dream of a 1911 for the time being.
That PPK/S is now my EDC, but I have a problem. It is not that it is .380, though I'd like a more powerful round, or that it is picky about ammo, or that it only holds 7+1. No, the problem is that it is too beautiful and I fear that I may damage it, or at least lessen its beauty, by carrying it every day. The aesthetics and history of the gun have led me to form an emotional attachment to it, and I don't want to see it come to harm. The same cannot be said for the Beretta, as flawless as the weapon has been. While I am a little OCD about keeping my equipment clean and well maintained (same goes with cars, motorcycles, computers, etc.), there is nothing special about the Beretta in my eyes, even though it was my first firearms purchase.
I know the same emotive attachment would occur should I get a 1911, for many of the same reasons. Unfortunately, I cannot purchase a gun just because it is pretty, as effective as the 1911 is. What I need is a tool, something that will perform the job without me worrying about scratching it, or accidentally hitting things with it, or getting it wet or sweaty.
What many of you are thinking right now is, "Sounds like he needs a Glock!" That is something that has crossed my mind too. Today I went and held a G27, the Glock that I would most likely purchase. The hypothetical plan would be to sell my Beretta, and put the proceeds to the Glock. I'd also get a magazine from one of the larger .40 Glocks, using the stock magazine(s) for CC and the larger magazine(s) for Home Defense and range duty. That way I could have one gun that wears multiple "hats", and keep the Walther pretty for special occasions.
I was thinking of the G27 over the G26 just so I wouldn't have to go out and buy more ammo and somehow get rid of the .40 I have. The only concern that I have with the G27 is its width for CC. The thinness of the PPK/S makes concealment under a tucked-in dress shirt VERY easy, and as this is my work attire the Glock would have to be concealed in the same wardrobe. On the plus side, I think the Glock isn't as tall. Six in one hand, half-dozen in the other, eh?
My question to you folks is this: do you see any flaws in my thinking here? Any suggestions?
Remington 870 Express 20ga.
June 7th, 2010 01:38 AM
...not exactly sure what the question is....
Glocks are a best buy for just about anyone that wants a low-maintenance hogh-performance weapon. I have several, in 9mm, and have no plans to make any changes.
If you want to consolidate calibers to save on ammo, makes sense to me.
Yes, the GLock will be thicker than the .380 PPK. Almost any 9mm will be, and same goes for the .40s. That does not mean it will not conceal as effectively.
We all have budgets to adhere to, and wants lists that sometimes stay the same, and sometimes are always changing, so I am sure your 1911 will eventually find its way to your home. In the meantime, be assured the Glock will serve you well.
June 7th, 2010 01:46 AM
I think you're going through the same decisions that a lot of us have gone through... other than being afraid to put wear on a gun. I'm very careful about maintenance of my firearms, but I'm not in the least bit worried about scratching them or wearing the finish. It's a tool.
Since you believe that the Beretta is too large for CC, I would start trying out different guns and see if you can find one that is more comfortable. I carried a Glock 27 for years and years and only switched when the Kahr PM9 came out. To me, it's almost an ideal CC since it's .90" thick and weighs 15.9oz. unloaded and is under 20oz. loaded.
June 7th, 2010 01:49 AM
I guess I really didn't have a specific question per se, I was just trying to bounce my thinking off my fellow forum members. I know that I can suffer from tunnel vision just as much (or more-so) than others, and wanted to make sure there wasn't another aspect or firearm that I was overlooking.
Basically, I'm seeing the G27 as a gun that can basically do it all with little compromise. If you guys have suggestions for firearms that can do the same just as well I'd love to hear it.
EDIT: The Walther does have a bit of family history behind it, so that has added to the "more than a tool" aspect of it. It isn't so much that it is a PPK/S, bu that it is this particular PPK/S. Like I said, I have no qualms about my Beretta. Anyway, sounded like a good excuse to go gun shopping regardless. :P
Last edited by Dleavitt; June 7th, 2010 at 02:21 AM.
Remington 870 Express 20ga.
June 7th, 2010 03:33 AM
My main criteria for a carry gun is how would I perform with it if I had to get into a gunfight. Not just a self-defence shooting but an actual gunfight. Everyone has to choose what works for them. What concessions they are willing or un-willing to make. Smaller guns are easier to carry while larger guns are generally easier to shoot well. While some are drawn to extremes on both ends, most of us fall somewhere in the middle.
I carried a G27 for a lot of years. It's one of the best major caliber compacts on the market. It shoots much more like a full size gun than many others of it's type. It's not as concealable as a PPK/S but it's close enough. It's also a much better tool if you do happen to get into a gunfight.
"In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power." -
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero
June 7th, 2010 07:14 AM
I understand your thinking, and I have also bantered about what to carry...I ended up a Glock fan.
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
June 7th, 2010 08:05 AM
Single stack polymer .40
If I understand your posting, you are looking for a concealable polymer .40 for carry, and are concerned that the Glock 27 is too thick for easy concealment. In that case, you might look at the two single stack polymer .40s that are dominant on the market, the Kahr P40 and the Walther PPS in .40. These are both slim guns, about 0.90 inches wide. Here is a photo of a Walther PPS and a comparison in thickness with the Glock 27 or 26 (which are the same size):
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington
June 7th, 2010 08:32 AM
Simple answer here: if becomes a piece of artwork to you rather than a tool, put it in a glass case so you can admire it every day, and get yourself a tool for when you need a tool.
Originally Posted by Dleavitt
I have two beautiful Kimbers, and they now have nicks, scratches and finish wear as my traveling companions. Look closely at seasoned guitar players, and you'll see them usually playing well-worn guitars. Part of the enjoyment can be watching your beloved companion pick up the marks of frequent use and carry.
If you want it as a piece of industrial art, find a way to safely display it so you can enjoy it. Letting it just sit in a safe is pretty senseless, IMHO.
June 7th, 2010 05:52 PM
You mentioned the lack of a safety turned you off from Glocks initially. How 'bout a S&W M&P40 Compact. You can buy versions with or without a safety. I just got the version with the safety, and also appreciate the small opening to check if there's a round in the chamber.
Regarding the PPS, I wanted to like it, but couldn't get over the odd magazine release at the bottom of the trigger guard.
June 7th, 2010 11:13 PM
+1 on the M&P Compact, but make sure one day you get a 1911, they are special,
June 7th, 2010 11:29 PM
My PPS has become my favorite carry pistol. I have nearly a dozen modern carry pistols but the PPS is the perfect combination of size, thin profile and reliability. It has proven to be utterly reliable and it disappears under even the lightest clothing.
Originally Posted by pogo2
June 7th, 2010 11:58 PM
+1 on the PPS, I have several guns that I used to carry but no I find myself only carrying the PPS.
June 8th, 2010 12:05 AM
"What I need is a tool, something that will perform the job without me worrying about scratching it, or accidentally hitting things with it, or getting it wet or sweaty."
A good 1911, dedicated for your personal self defense, will still serve perfectly. It isn't some wilting flower and will easily hold up to daily concealed carry use.
Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”
Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893
June 8th, 2010 12:33 AM
Since you've liked your PX4 so much...why not just trade for a Sub-Comp version of it?
You already know how to work it and take care of it. You also won't be as butt-buddies with it as you are with the PPK.
Don't forget that if you use the gun in a defensive situation it might get confiscated for evidence.
June 8th, 2010 11:52 PM
You must be the first person I've read that had the same dilemma as I. I had a Colt Mustang Pocketlite for many years but didn't shoot it after the initial 50 rounds, so it was still new. I could not bring myself to carry it like I need to carry a working gun. Besides too nice to carry, I wanted to move to a 9mm for pocket carry.
I finally decided on a Kahr PM9 and really like it, but this one is a tool and I carry it every day. BTW, I sold the Colt to a collector with a safe full of guns and I think this one was for his wife. Both are nice folks so I feel good about selling it.
Point is you are not alone, so pick one you'll actually shoot and as Jocko says, "shoot it like you stole it."
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