Need some advice on a new carry gun.

This is a discussion on Need some advice on a new carry gun. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'll try to summarize as much as possible but here it goes: In 2002 I had a MAJOR back surgery involving a lumbar fusion among ...

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Thread: Need some advice on a new carry gun.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    Need some advice on a new carry gun.

    I'll try to summarize as much as possible but here it goes: In 2002 I had a MAJOR back surgery involving a lumbar fusion among other things at L4-L5, the surgery took 5 hours. Late in 2003 I had a second surgery to remove the steel hardware ... long story, don't ask. I still have a bad disc at L5-S1 that gives me pain when shooting at the range and the overall effect of the two was that it caused my retirement in January of 2005.

    Now here's the real kicker! I've had intermittant neck and shoulder pain radiating down my left arm since 1994 (old work injury). Last week I FINALLY managed to get a doctor to run an MRI instead of them saying "we'll keep an eye on that." Well, two days ago I found out that the discs at C5-C6 and C6-C7 are completely shot and causing nerve compression - I'm leaving here in about 30 minutes to talk to my neurosurgeon. It looks like it's going to be a two level diskectomy and fusion. I'm well aware of the pros and cons of spinal surgery, I've played this game before. Trust me, it's time for the surgery.

    Now to the point: I currently carry a 5" steel 1911 and I was already considering switching to something lighter (LW Commander) but now it looks like I'll also need something with lighter recoil. The .45 isn't too bad but it shoves just enough that after a day at the range my back is on fire. With a cervical fusion I don't think I'll be able to handle that anymore, at least not for a good long while. I'm of the opinion that it might be time to seriously consider a polymer 9mm. Not really interested in the XDs or Kahrs right now and have no desire for the .40 S&W caliber.

    I'm seriously considering three Glocks at the moment and would like opinions on how they might fit my needs. In order of preference:

    G30 - Does the wider grip footprint absorb enough recoil to make this model a possible contender? I'd prefer to stay with the .45acp if possible but if not, I could live with the 9mm.

    G19 - Can it be easily concealed in an OWB holster (ala Def-Con, Eagle Defender, etc) underneath an untucked button up shirt? How would you rate the recoil?

    G26 - How stiff is the recoil on the Baby Glock compared to the G19. Any big difference in accuracy (at combat distances)?

    Of the three models, the G19 is the only one available for rental at my local range and I'll be doing just that within the next two weeks. Really sucks to be in this position but for what my physical limitations will be, I think a Glock may be the way to go ... I'll use my 642 until I get fully up and around but after that I'll want more capacity.

    Thanks for your input all!
    Jack

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    I know it doesn't answer the question you asked, but if recoil sensitivity is going to be an issue, I'd like to recommend the Px4. It recoils less than any 9mm I've ever shot (barrel rotation system).

  4. #3
    Member Array sevesteen's Avatar
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    I'm curious about felt recoil vs. actual recoil for your purposes. It seems to me that differences in grip and such might reduce recoil as felt by your hand, but not necessarily what gets to your back.

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    Member Array jhfox462's Avatar
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    I have both a G30 and a G17. The 17 is deffinately a lighter recoil but not by very much. I am assuming then that a 19 will have a little bit more than the 17 and thus may be about the same as the 30. WHen I first bought the 30 I was a little worried about the recoil being a lot more but in all honesty, I don't think it is too bad. IF you are that sensitive though a 19 might hurt less in the long run than a 30 if you shoot alot.
    Benjamin Franklin once said, "he that would supplant a little liberty for a little safety deserves neither".

  6. #5
    Member Array Whirlwind06's Avatar
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    You might also consider a Beretta .380 with the 4 inch barrel from what I hear it is has very light recoil.

  7. #6
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    Jack,

    You shouldn't have any trouble handling the recoil of the .45, I don't. I had Anterior cervical disk fusion on C4 through C7 last July, hasn't made any difference as far as handguns go. I can't shoot heavy recoiling rifles like I use to (duration), but handguns haven't been any problem at all.

    This isn't my x-ray (I have 8 titanium screws) but you may get one of these cards from your doctor. Now, titanium shouldn't "set-off" any metal detectors, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.



    Jack,
    Best of luck with your surgery my friend.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
    ~ Tiger McKee

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    Member Array Falsemap's Avatar
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    I have had a G30, and currently own a G17, G19 and G26. I found the recoil on the G30 to be quite manageable and the functioning and accuracy were great. I sold it only because I found it a bit to thick for CCW and I used to get my pinky pinched between the mag and frame. So, if you want to stick with a .45 I think you'd be OK, with a G30. It would be great if you could try one. The G19's recoil is mild. IMO it's the best all around Glock. Easy to grip and easy to carry. The recoil is only slightly more snappy with the G26. Accuracy is great, the main issue is not as much grip there to hang on to, but you can compensate with grip extensions or higher cap. mags. Of cource the G26 is the easiest to carry. Sorry to here about your back problems! Thats a lot to go through.

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    VIP Member Array ron8903's Avatar
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    Good luck.

    My g23, light recoil and still .40 cal
    "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
    - Sir Winston Churchill

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    Member Array Garg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SammyIamToday View Post
    I know it doesn't answer the question you asked, but if recoil sensitivity is going to be an issue, I'd like to recommend the Px4. It recoils less than any 9mm I've ever shot (barrel rotation system).
    I was going to suggest the very same thing. Light weight, but extremely low recoil.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Minimizing recoil

    I have thought quite a bit about recoil in a handgun and what influences it. I have a background in mechanical engineering, so I tend to take a technical approach to the question. I also have owned and shot dozens of handguns over many years, so I have some first hand experience as well.

    I believe the key parameter in defining recoil is momentum, defined as mass times velocity. When a bullet is fired, it will have momentum as it leaves the barrel equal to bullet mass (or weight) times muzzle velocity. Given the geometry of a gun, the hot gas which gives the bullet its forward momentum will impart an equal momentum to the gun, but in the opposite direction. This backward momentum is caused by the push of the cartridge case against the breech (or frame, or slide, or receiver) of the gun.

    In a revolver there are no moving weights (the slide) or springs being compressed (recoil spring) as there are in a semiauto, so the momentum is felt as a backward movement of the gun in the shooter's hand (or hands). The mass of the gun times the velocity of the gun (backwards) will equal the momentum of the bullet. I think it is this backward gun velocity that we call recoil.

    In a semiauto it is a little more complicated, as the slide and frame move separately, sliding on each other, and are connected by the recoil spring, which first compresses, storing some energy, then expands, releasing the energy. But the momentum is still there, and is eventually felt by the shooter as backwards velocity of the gun in his hands.

    The bottom line is that bullet mass times bullet velocity equals gun mass times gun velocity. So to reduce recoil (gun velocity), you can shoot lighter bullets at lower velocities from a heavier gun - or any combination thereof.

    I think your plan of going from .45 ACP to 9mm will go a long way in reducing recoil. A typical 230 grain .45 bullet leaving the gun at 850 feet per second has a "power factor" (momentum divided by 1000) of 196. A typical 115 grain 9mm bullet leaving the gun at 1225 feet per second has a power factor of 141. This by itself would reduce recoil by 28%, in guns of the same weight and design.

    Then it comes down to selecting the particular 9mm gun you would use. I think the best choice would be the heaviest gun that still has "compact" dimensions for carry - one made of all steel instead of steel and polymer or steel and aluminum. The steel 9mm would probably weigh in the 32 ounce range, while the polymer framed 9mm guns are typically 21 to 24 ounces, depending on model. Aluminum framed 9mm's are somewhere in between.

    I did a search using the very handy handgun database at Genitron.com:
    Genitron handgun database

    The 3 guns I found that fit the spec fairly well are:

    CZ 75 compact (all steel, 3.9" barrel, 32.5 oz., 14 round magazine)

    Browning Hi Power (steel, 4.75" barrel, 32 oz., 13 round magazine, not as compact but quite slim)

    Sig P229 in 9mm (aluminum frame but heavy at 31 oz., 3.9" barrel, 13 round magazine)

    Here is a picture of the CZ 75 compact, which would be my first choice:


  12. #11
    Member Array Jester's Avatar
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    While I don't carry or shoot a 1911, I can say that most people say that the M&P feels most like on than any other "plastic" gun.

    I suggest an M&P 9mm. I shoot the .40 in that model and enjoy it alot.

    Other than that I'd go for a BHP

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    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, that's the kind of input I was looking for. Dan ... I think you're more screwed up than me! I gots ta' get me one of thhose cards though! Good to hear handgun shooting hasn't been affected for you, the only long gun I've shot in the last few years has been my 10/22 so I think I'm good there.

    One other 9mm I'd consider would be the Sig P-239 (if I can find a good used one). I really, REALLY like the 229 as it fits me like a glove but I'd like to go smaller to save weight and allow for easier OWB concealment. Payday's next Friday so either then or sometime the following week I'll try to make it up to the range and rent some Tupperware.

    BTW, turns out the biggest problem is spondylosis (bone spurs) and some stenosis (arthritic build up). Surgery is done as outpatient so I'll go in in the morning and I'll be home by supper time. I talked the doc into waiting until December so it'll coincide with my wife's work schedule.
    Jack

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    Senior Member Array gregarat's Avatar
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    My two favorite carry guns are my 5" 1911 and my G19. The G19 is alot lighter, and the recoil isnt bad at all even with +P loads. Its also super concealable, and confortable for me.

    If I were you Jack, I would rent the G19 and the Sig P-239. Then compair the two for yourself.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregarat View Post
    My two favorite carry guns are my 5" 1911 and my G19. The G19 is alot lighter, and the recoil isnt bad at all even with +P loads. Its also super concealable, and confortable for me.

    If I were you Jack, I would rent the G19 and the Sig P-239. Then compair the two for yourself.
    That's exactly what I'm planning on. The range has a 239 for rent but I don't remember which caliber it's in. What holster(s) do you use for your G19? I'd be using Gary's Def Con if the slide's short enough to conceal well, if not I'd go with another MCV (I imagine I'd buy one for it anyway). I'd really like to go with OWB if at all possible, my lower back doesn't fair too well during the cool and cold months of the year.
    Jack

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    Senior Member Array gregarat's Avatar
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    What holster(s) do you use for your G19?
    To be honest a nylon, padded, cheap IBW holster, made by KNJ. Works great for me!
    Then again, I can manage to conceal full-size Glocks easly. In fact my next Glock purchess would be eather a G21 or a G20or 29.

    If I were to guess you will wont have a hard time finding a good holster. The only issue I can guess may be a problem for anyone, is the Glock isnt as thin as the 1911. If you are going OBW, I think the width of the G19 wouldnt be as much of an issue.

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