Why? Before, now and in the future

Why? Before, now and in the future

This is a discussion on Why? Before, now and in the future within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Why did you end up with brand X or model Y handgun? Threads like this have been done in the past, but this one is ...

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Thread: Why? Before, now and in the future

  1. #1
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006

    Why? Before, now and in the future

    Why did you end up with brand X or model Y handgun?

    Threads like this have been done in the past, but this one is a little different; I want the why. I want to understand the line of thinking of people and why they landed where they did in terms of handgun selection. I don't want the generic answer in a can ("it feels good in my hand") but a little thought and add some of your personal history to the answer.

    I'll go first;

    My very first combat handgun that I purchased myself was a Ruger P89. I chose it because of the construction and it was relatively cheap. I had others before it, (1911's) but the Ruger was the first handgun I bought for the sole purpose of defense. It didn't last long in my rotation (but I still have the gun, in fact I've bought a few more since), once I discovered that the non 1911 market had a lot more refined options.

    I then switched back to what I knew best, 1911's. I had a few WW2 surplus guns, some bone stock, other mildly modified as I shot steel and pin challenges a lot. A light switch came on and I realized that I should shoot for defense what I shot for fun. This lasted for a few years and I went through several makes and models. I started on a Remington Rand, went to a Springfield Loaded and finally ended up on a Kimber CPD. There were others in between too...

    Then, I got some exposure in the commercial market. I picked up sponsors from some gun manufactures and local stores. This dictated a lot of my choices. Not because they controlled what I carried, but because I figured if they were footing the bill for me to be a good shooter, I might as well carry what I currently know the best. I spent some time with the Beretta 92's (the Elite II was a wicked gun, but failed in the marketing dept.)

    And then along came the Glocks. The range that employed me as the resident "pro" got big in GSSF. So, Glocks came free and easy. To bad the tranistion wasn't. I had a hard time learning the Glock. But once I did, it was a awesome thing. All I had to do is tell the boss I wanted whatever model, and pull it off the shelf. That was nice... At some point, I had every model there was, including the famed G18. ( I didnt own it, but I had a demo) Glock stuck with me for a long time. Ammo was free, and I tore it up. People will tell you you cant wear out a Glock... I'll tell you differently. At that point, I was shooting a 1000 rounds a week. It didn't take long to wear one out. I still have a soft spot for Glock.

    Then along came my LE career... I got away with carrying a G22 under the radar for several years. (remember, I decided long ago to carry what I shot on the range) I choose the 22 because it was a full size 40; I just wasn't confident in the 9mm as a duty weapon. (Oh, how time and experience changes minds) As assignments changed, I'd switch to a 23 or 27. Most of my early action packed adventures in LE occurred with the Glock. The G22 got me through the academy, SWAT school, and probably a dozen other LE shooting schools. It got me through my first week at TDI too. Then one day, the old man (chief) finally noticed I wasn't carrying what the department issued me after a particularly rough day on the street. I got in a little trouble, but skated on it because I had other superior's approval. I got stuck with a S&W 4046. Yuck. Later on, as things changed and I took on new roles, I once again went back to Glock, this time it was the G19.

    But, that lit a fire and I started participating in long term T&E for duty guns. I got to see and learn a lot in those programs. That is where I've came up with a lot of my opinions and biases. My own department settled on Sig Sauer. Some went to the M&P, most stayed with Glock. Spending a lot of time researching and real world trials, I personally settled on the 220 for duty use. That was almost ten years ago now, and I still feel it was the right choice. For my own go to gun, I choose the 228. I've always like the balance of the 90's wonder 9 and now I had a perfect excuse. I am very happy to be "stuck" with a premier fighting pistol.

    In the future, where will I go? Tough call. If I was not a cop and somewhat limited (limited by my own choice) I'd explore the M&P line a lot more, and very possibly I'd break some of my own rules and go CZ. The 75 is a fantastic platform. The M&P line is as close to perfect in the ergonomics department, even though I don't like the mechanicals 100%. (go back to the T&E days) They are growing on me, and perhaps I'm worried about nothing in the mechanics.

    So there it is. The cliff noted version of my journey through combat handgunning. Its the why I ended up in the places I did, and where I'd like to go in the future.
    "Just blame Sixto"

    I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Western Colorado
    After 25 years of expecting Glocks to fade from the scene I got curious about their continued popularity. I was in Sportsman's Warehouse last year and the clerk let me handle one and, you know, that sucker "felt good in my hand." I took it home and after a few trips to the range I liked it so much I bought another one.
    "Don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters"

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Western AZ
    I don't have a whole lot of guns, but the few I do have all have one characteristic, they are simple. I'm a fan of revolvers for this very reason, they are simple, durable, and reliable. My two primary carry guns are the LCP and the CM9. I like the LCP because it has no frills whatsoever, and is one of the reasons I chose it over the S&W BG. The CM9 is by far my favorite semi-auto, and again, it was chosen because it has no frills except a slide stop on last shot, has a good reputation, looks like a tool and not a gizmo, and well...it felt good in my hand.
    "60% of the time...it works every time..." -Brian Fantana

  4. #4
    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Ohio Valley
    The prospect of becoming a parent got me interested in defensive topics. I started seriously considering buying a handgun when I was in my early 30s, about five years ago. At that point, my only experience with guns—ever—was the Beretta 92 I'd carried on my duty belt in the CG nearly 10 years earlier. Because I'd put hundreds or maybe even thousands of rounds through those (both at the range and over the side of the boat, helping the gunner's mate expend old ammo whenever I got the chance), I decided to get the same thing, figuring there was irreplaceable value in that level of experience with a given platform even if it might have other drawbacks. I also liked (what I understood about) its safety features: double action on first pull, firing pin rotated out of position when not firing so it couldn't (shouldn't!) fire when dropped.

    When I was getting close to actually making my purchase a few years later, I was living in a state with a large bear population and, while I never even really thought about CCW in day to day circumstances, I definitely anticipated having my gun along on family camping trips. My main concern in the woods, then and now, is not animals but rather people, but I decided I should have at least a chance at being effective against a bear. Given my commitment to the 92, I decided on .40 caliber (I know, I know, there is no good handgun scenario for bears, but my research found that people have killed bears with .40s, including one of the bears that ate Tim Treadwell). I went in to my LGS, asked about the 92, and in return was asked: "Ever heard of these?" The clerk handed me a Cougar; indeed, I'd never heard of them before, but it was love at first sight/handle. I loved the looks, the feel, everything about it. (You can tell I hadn't considered CCW yet, or I would have had concerns about the thickness.)

    To be sure, this was a Stoeger Cougar, not a Beretta, but my research quickly determined that this was probably for the better in terms of cost. (Look it up yourself if you don't know, but supposedly Beretta just moved all the equipment to Stoeger's plant in Turkey, so they are made the exact same way as the Beretta versions but sell for substantially less).

    And it really was a great first gun. The weight mitigated the recoil, it worked flawlessly, I continued to really love its design (I think Beretta makes beautiful guns). I took a refresher safety course soon after purchasing it and started learning/re-learning about guns and gun culture.

    Then, as I became interested in CCW and began thinking more practically about home defense, some drawbacks suggested themselves. Difficult to conceal in other than winter clothes, fairly heavy. I also grew concerned about over-penetration with a .40 caliber round.

    Using this rationale, I half-convinced my wife that I needed something smaller, i.e., a snubbie. I say half-convinced because she'd only agreed that she could see how this would be a justifiable purchase sometime in the future when I suddenly fell in love with a Ruger LCR .357 in my new LGS, researched it, and then bought it on impulse. Once I'd handled it I literally could not stand to wait to own it. Don't know if I've ever experienced such intense object lust before in my life.

    From this point, there was a very slippery slope toward daily CCW of the LCR. I'm really happy with it.

    Some mop-up: yes, I now know that over-penetration with the .40 could have been mitigated with HP rounds, which is now what I load it with at home. And yes, I know that .357 packs a wallop, too--I actually bought it intending to carry .38s but just wanted the extra weight. Guns that feel "light" for their size just weird me out. As for bears, my go-to first choice would now be spray; I'm well convinced by the research I've seen on this issue. However, I still prefer the Cougar .40 in the woods for the increased ammo capacity, accurate range, and the ability to do damage to wildlife (with ball rounds, though, obviously). For example, there was a story about a hiker who was gored by a bighorn which then wouldn't leave his side, preventing his party from stopping his bleeding before he died. It seems to me that something like this could happen with any number of other wild animals; I'm not saying my .40 and shooting skills would solve the problem for sure, but, as they say, the purpose of a gun is to turn a situation in which you would otherwise be completely f***ed into a situation in which you might be able to be a little less f***ed, and for me that's a good enough reason to lug a little extra weight around.

    If I had gun-purchase funds in my near future (and at this point, those would have to include safe purchase funds, too, since my V-Line Top Draw is currently maxed out with two guns), I would love to experiment with the Beretta Storms and some of the more classic revolvers. Really, I'm open to anything and wish I knew some other gun people with more extensive collections who wouldn't mind letting me try some out. Unfortunately, I'm sort of undercover in a fairly gun-unfriendly (or at least handgun-unfriendly) neighborhood/social scene.

  5. #5
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    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Afew months ago I walked into a gunshop and saw a pistol that I wanted. Since I actually do some work for the owner building custom guns and fixing stuff for him, he lets me have everything at his cost. In some cases, he can get them cheaper than I can because he gets volume discounts on guns and his shipping costs are better than mine, so its actually cheaper for me to get them from him.

    So that day I walked out with a pistol.The new Ruger MKIII with threaded barrel.

    Same thing yesterday. I'd been toying around getting a Sig 1911-22, just because I like Sigs and 1911's. I walk in just to shoot the breeze and see whats he's got that I can't live without and there on the counter were 5 brand new Sigs that he hadn't even logged in yet.

    I went through them, looked at each one and when he told me "my" price, I walked out with one. I'm not one that does much impulsive buying, but the last several times I've went in there I came out much lighter in the wallet than I went it with. What sealed the deal was that it too was threaded from the factory, to put little gizmo's like suppressors on.

    My love affair with Sigs started in the early 80's when I handled my first one. A Master Chief that I once knew "acquired" some for T&E purposes and I got to play with one, after all, the ammo was compliments of Uncle Sam. There is a lot to be said for being in the right spot at the right time.

    Since then I have acquired several. I carried a Sig 220 for a decade on duty as a Deputy before I was forced, (yes forced) to carry a ratty,ugly plastic Glock 21 with the ergonomics of a 2x4.
    Universal Background Checks...the next step towards registration and confiscation.

    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Wyoming, DE
    I went to the LGS looking to purchase a G23, when I arrived, I didn't care how it felt, picked up the XD 40 SC and loved it. Buddy who works at the LGS showed me all about it, including how to tear it down. I liked the fact that it has two built in safeties which are automatically deactivated in the process of shooting the gun. You don't have to remember anything, when you grip the gun to draw the grip safety is cleared, and when you pull the trigger, the trigger safety is cleared. As long as you follow the rules your good to go.
    You can educate ignorance, you can't fix stupid
    Retired DE Trooper, SA XD40 SC, S&W 2" Airweight
    dukalmighty & Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro "Trooper" Holsters, DE CCDW and LEOSA Permits, Vietnam Vet 68-69 Pleiku

  7. #7
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    Array gunthorp's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    home office
    I bought my first gun right after we got married in 1973. I wanted a handgun for home defense, wilderness camping protection, long range target shooting, and big game hunting, if necessary. I paid just over $100 for a new 7 1/2" Ruger Blackhawk convertible in 45Colt/45auto. The next year I bought a Series 70 Gold Cup for target shooting. Soon I built up a hardballer and bought a 1963 High Standard 107 for three gun competition. As my 20/5 sight started degrading in 1979, I got a permit to carry and a Series 80 Nickel Combat Commander. Now I carry a Kimber Ultra CDP/LG. Call me old fashioned, but I'm OK with the 1911's with which I've sent many thousands of rounds downrange. I've purchased many other guns to use as displays and demos for classes. I want to point out the development and differences in handguns with examples like these: 1807 Harper's Ferry, Philadelphia derringer, 1851 Colt Navy, 1873 SAA, 500 S&W double action, Taurus 415ti 41 snubby, 615ti/LG 357 shrouded hammer, 1911 ACP with 22 conversion kit, Kahr PM40 striker, and Rohrbaugh R9 DAO auto. My bride carries a Kel-Tec P3-AT and has a Kimber SS Ultra LG by her nightstand. Eery time I think I'm gunned up enough, a new bug bites me in the rear.
    Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776

    Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
    -Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    central florida
    The first gun that I bought to carry was a S&W Sigma 9mm. I lived in Ma at the time and the choices I had were limited. That gun lasted about a year. I never could shoot it very well. It had a very heavy trigger pull on it.

    I got rid of that and picked up a S&W Model 36 with a square butt. Now that gun I could shoot! I carried that gun for many years. I still have it although it has now been pretty much retired. I just can't see the sights anymore.

    While carrying the 36 I also dabbled in carrying a full size 1911, a Star PD, and a CZ97b. None of which worked out for numerous reasons.

    In 2008 I decided it was time to replace the 36. I shopped around for about 3 months before I bought my first Glock. A G26. At that time I felt the Baby Glock was what I really needed. Good sights, good trigger, good capacity, good reputation and on and on. I carried that until about a year and a half ago when I suffered a lower abdomen /groin injury.

    So I picked up a Taurus TCP738. Since I was told I couldn't wear tight pants or a belt for a long time I needed something to carry that was small and very light. The Taurus fit the bill nicely! I've never had any problem with it at all. And it is accurate enough at short range. I really like this little pocket pistol.

    Last year I bought a Glock 17 since I wanted a larger gun for home defense. Well, last month I was cleared to start wearing a belt again as long as I didn't cinch it too tight and the pain was bearable. So I got the idea in my head to try carrying the big G17. Surprisingly enough I've been able to pull it off as long as I've got on a cover shirt. I never would have believed it possible. I always thought that those guys that said they carried a full size gun were full of bull. Well, it can be done. And it's not uncomfortable. All I can say is live and learn.

    In the future I plan on trying out a G19 Gen4. If the finger spacing feels right. This may replace both my G17 and my G26. I also would like to get a modern j frame that I can see the sights on.
    Question Everything!

  9. #9
    Senior Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    May 2007
    I obtained my first handgun in 1975 but I cut my teeth on Smith & Wesson revolvers and Colt .45 automatics. They were everywhere around me in my formative years, both at home and with in my extended family. They were brought out for sessions with tin cans, were stuffed in belt holsters for hiking, were kept in the car and at the bedside. They were just were generally handy. They were in on events that called for shooting whether it be plinking, competition, or hunting. They were the handguns that offered the assurance of self-protection. Later on my life experiences with handguns were obtained with these same kinds of guns.

    They never failed to work as advertised. Which is why I'm resistant to most newer renditions of firearms produced to utilize the same metallic cartridge designs that have been in use for 150 years now.
    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

  10. #10
    Member Array mattwestm's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Eastern NC
    I used to have two CZs, a Beretta M9, an XD, and an FNP-45. I sold them all for various reasons. Mostly, the reasons were: too heavy, inconsistent trigger pull (DA/SA), lack of holsters or other parts, and shooting problems that I could never resolve. Currently, I own a Kahr, a Kel-tec, two 1911s, and three Glocks. I appreciate the simplicity of Glocks. It's also better to stick with one type of handgun instead of trying to train with different types.

    I'm currently thinking about selling my RIA 1911 CS for a Glock 20 or 21 since I don't have a full sized Glock. I bought the 1911CS for CC, but it's a bit too heavy for that. I have the G30 which fills the CC role.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Got my first civilian pistol in Aug 2001, intending nothing other than a .22 for target shooting. 9/11 changed that. I fully expected - and still do - a Mumbai style attack here. Only a matter of when, where, and how bad.

    First buy was a then-new Kahr P9, at the suggestion of the gun store owner. I wanted a 9mm, because it was capable enough, and the ammo was cheaper than other service calibers, which meant more practice. I also wanted a consistent trigger (I hated the DA/SA trigger on the M9 I had in the Army), and I did not want any external thumb safety. Well, never buy a gun when it is new - that P9 was a disaster. After several trips back to Kahr did not fix it, the store gave me a refund.

    That experience turned me off semi auto pistols for a while. Next was a SP101 in .357 Mag. Great gun, but heavy, and only 5 rounds and a slow reload. Carrying spare ammo was also an issue - I found "speed" loaders too bulky.

    I went to the gun store, and asked for a "reliable" semi auto. "GLOCK" was the answer. I didn't like the G36 the owner let me shoot (it pinched my pinky between the grip and the bottom of the mag), but the G19 was a dream. Bought it, and still have it. But...concealing it was difficult for me (my needs are discreet, and I did not know of the Smartcarry then), so I looked for smaller.

    Kahr had just come out with the PM9 - bought one. Uh oh...lots of issues. Again - don't buy a gun when it first comes out! Kahr eventually replaced it with a new one, but by then I had lost confidence in Kahr, and I sold it. In retrospect, I should have kept that one, since it ran fine for the 300 or so rounds I put through it.

    Found the Smartcarry holster, and used it with my G19 for 2 years or so. Then added a G26 for less printing. After 3 years of using those, however, they started causing me pain where the backstrap pushed into my bend point while seated (driving). Due to this pain issue, I decided to go back to full-time pocket carry (I tried IWB over the years, but it just isn't discreet enough for my needs).

    Decided my wife's LCP was neat - bought one, and then another. Carried two of them, and still do at times, in opposite pockets. Dual pocket carry is discreet, and solves the issue of ambidextrous access.

    Then gave Kahr one last try - and bought another PM9 (via their instructor sales discount program), simply because there is still nothing else out there like it (small, 9mm, +P capable, no thumb safety, no mag disconnect, night sights, CT laser available, locks the slide open when empty). This one has been reliable - albeit only with the 6-rd mag (nose down jams with the 7-rd mag). Currently carry it in a pocket, with a LCP as a BUG.
    Last edited by 10thmtn; October 16th, 2011 at 09:10 AM. Reason: more info; spelling
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all. Get a gun you will always carry, and add more capability as you grow.

  12. #12
    Member Array helderberg's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Rolesville, NC, United States
    Started back in the late 70's with a Ruger MkI, bull barrel and previous owner custom grips. Added a Second hand Ruger Security Six in 357. Could never find a set of grips that fit my hand so the 357 was traded for a S&W 9mm 5xx. Added a Beretta 22 Bobcat and a 44mag Blackhawk. Fell on hard times and everything had to go except the Bobcat. After a few years I added a S&W 38special Airweight Snubbie. Put on a Crimson Trace grip sight and a IWB holster. Traded the Bobcat for a LCP and then the Airweight for a SR9c. Should have kept the Airweight but that is water over the dam. Traded the SR9c for a M&P FS 45Traded the LCP for a Bodyguard 380 and picked up a Ruger Stainless MkIII Target. Bought a used Kahr CW45, had problems with it , traded it for a LC9, traded it for a M&P 4.25 FS 9mm, bought back the LC9. That is where I am now and have been fighting the urge to sell the two M&P's and buy a S&W 1911. That or sell the two M&P's and buy a M&P Pro 5" 9mm. Just can't find where I want to settle down with. Do not know where I will end up. Have to get out and try handling other guns. The only other brand I have tried is Glock and I just can not warm to them. Oh well, so many guns and so little time.
    Be safe, Frank.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    My first gun I carried on duty was the S&W model 15 38 spl in the USAF,
    In Civilian LE I worked for a small department and carried a Colt Python 4" blued on duty,and a Colt Combat Commander 1911 in a Bianchi X15 shoulder holster off duty,Next LEO job department furnished S&W 686 357 magnums and carried 147grain silver tip ammo in the mid 80's,I still carried the 1911 off duty.
    After getting my CHL in 2006 I started carrying a RIA 1911 compact,and over time have acquired a M&P45c,Sig 229 40,Sigpro 2022 40,Colt SS CC 1911 xse which I carry daily,SA XD9, and a few others,I have holsters for every gun I own and have carried them all at one time or another,Even tho I have to pay for all my ammo,I still shoot around 300 rounds centerfire pistol every week,which costs me about $5.00 100
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Central Kentucky
    When I was a kid , about 12 years old, my grandfather had 2 handguns;, a model 15 masterpiece, and a ratty old Colt 1911. He allowed me unrestricted access to them. He had about 4000 rounds of ammo for the Colt, which I shot up in one summer, killing damn near every turtle and watersnake in the pond. I also made use of the m15, shooting it and carrying it about everywhere I went.

    I bought my first handgun when I was 22 years old, it was the P85 Ruger. I started carrying it everywhere (illegally, as there was no concealed carry laws then) and later purchased a Taurus M66 357, which shared the same holster, a Bianchi X15 shoulder rig.
    I later picked up a Smith model 39 in 9mm.

    While on the Marine Corps rifle and pistol team, I was reaquainted with the 1911 and Beretta 92fs.
    About this time, after reading an article in the 1987 by Mas, I purchased a G17. Then came the G19, 26, and 23.

    After starting my LE career, I was issued the G17, and then the G22.
    Been on that road ever since, up until about 3 months ago, now I am back to the 1911.

    The 1911, Glock, and Smith wheelguns are handguns that all give me confidence, and I am so familiar with them. There are only a few other guns I can say that about, and they are all classics. The Johnny come latelys of the last 7 or 10 years have nothing that interests me.
    " Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight"
    -Jeff Cooper

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Der Alte's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Goldsboro, NC
    Now you have made me feel old again:( My first carry gun was a S&W top break snubbie in .38 S&W. That was in 1951 when I was driving a dynamite truck for a coal company in WV. After that I carried many a different versions - Army 1911, Air Force S&W .38 Special. Fed Agent - S&W .38 special. As a private citizen I normally carry a 1911 or a M&P .40c although at times it could be anything from a snubbie to a 625 in .45 ACP.
    Its a shame that youth is wasted on the young.

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