This is a discussion on pistol selection/fit within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Redneck Repairs requested, in this thread--http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=334683#post334683. post 7 for someone to discuss the proper pistol selection and fit, as well as "a primer on how ...
April 6th, 2007 03:42 AM
Redneck Repairs requested, in this thread--http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=334683#post334683. post 7 for someone to discuss the proper pistol selection and fit, as well as "a primer on how to pick a pistol"
I'll start by saying that pistol selection is normally going to involve many aspects based on personal preferences and pre-prejudices or pre conceived ideas from each of us.
If we look at this objectively, and do not allow subjective opinions to weigh on the pistols selection, what would be some criteria we'd consider?
1. How about caliber. What can the shooter handle well based on recoil impulse? What physical attributes [ hand strength ] are going to be necessary to shoot the weapon well?
2. How about LOP [ length of pull ]. Probably one of the most important aspects of a proper selection IMO. If the middle of the first pad of your trigger finger can't be placed on the trigger without any part of the rest of that finger touching the slide/frame etc, the LOP is not conducive to proper trigger control which affects how you'll shoot the weapon.
3. How about the relationship between the height of the barrel/bore to the grip? The higher the bore axis in relation to the hand the more we're likely to experience muzzle flip [ again based on caliber and hand strength ].
4. How about grip angle? The grip angle will certainly affect how the gun points naturally in different peoples hands.
5. How about the experience of the prospective buyer in shooting various weapons platforms and calibers? Certainly this comes into play in selection of the weapon.
6. How about the grips themselves? What are they made of, how "slippery" are they under recoil and perhaps more importantly how to they allow the hand to not slip under recoil when sweaty? The materials they grips are made of play a part in how recoil is managed, how easily the gun "locks" into the shooters grip. That brings us back to grip strength of the shooter which will be individualistic in nature.
7. How about the length of the grip itself? Does it allow the shooter a full purchase on the pistol/revolver, or is the grip too short to get the four fingers firmly around the grip [ is it a compact, subcompact, etc ].
Lets take the 7 variables and look at them, in concert with each other to create a total "feel" when we hold the weapon.
When a customer comes into the shop looking for a gun and is a new shooter, or just new to handling firearms, they are often looking for recommendations and help in picking out something they can live with, that will not "fight" them more than necessary.
I'll ask what caliber they have in mind #1. Look at their body structure and ask them how familiar they are with handling any weapons in the past.
The first criteria I'll want to determine when they want to see this gun or that one, is #2.
If that passes muster, we move into #6, the grips on the gun. If they have looked at a few different platforms which passes #2, I'll bring them all onto the counter in front of the customer and ask them to close their eyes. I'll hand them the ones they have looked at one at a time, and ask them how the gun feels in their hand while they grip the gun one handed like they were shooting it.
This really is telling, as often they'll like one over another visually, but thats not the gun that "feels" good in their hand. That narrows the choices down from the initial options they were considering as some just do not pass the blind grip test, and they don't like the way it feels in their hand.
#4 and overall weight of any gun choice will be part of this test as well in their telling me what feels good and what doesn't in their hand. The overall balance of the gun will be subtle in telling them what 'feels' right as well without asking.
#7 will be discussed, and can also be part of the blind 'test' at times. I want most shooters to be able to get a full purchase on the gun with all fingers securely above or on the magazine lip when seated [ when the grip had some type of finger rest by it's design ].
#3, and #5 will be where I intervene when the choices have been narrowed to this point based on the customer answering questions about past training, experience with firearms, calibers etc.
This gives us a start in determining what gun might be more conducive to the individual's shooting well right off. What might get them to have a good experience at their first outing than not.
There's more, but it's late and I'll just add that QKShooter brought up some great points as well in the other thread which I think should be brought to this thread as well. In the meantime, members can go to the link at the top of the page and look at his post #8.
April 6th, 2007 08:39 AM
Good list and process.
I'm a big proponent on it has to feel right and point naturally for that person. Caliber is less of an issue if the gun fits the person and most guns come in several different calibers. Then it is try several different guns and choose the one that works for you because all the major manufactures make very good guns.
My best friend and I helped a mutual friend with pistol selection. He felt and shot 8 different guns. He choose one that worked for him. He likes it and he shoots it well.
My wife finally likes my new Smith Model 60 that was made in 1968. I had here feel the revolver with 3 different grips. She loved the pachmayrs (but she understands the trade offs now on size vs carry) so when we shoot that is what is grip on the gun. Very good choice IMHO.
"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.
April 6th, 2007 06:13 PM
Good list and process.
It's a start anyway.
April 6th, 2007 07:47 PM
I have a simpler list that is "ingrained" in my psyche. Your's is much better for the world to see and make sense.
Mine makes no "sense" but here it is:
Do I like and trust the caliber?
Can I get or already have sufficient SD ammo in that caliber?
Does it "call" to me?
The above questions are why I have J, K, L, and N Frame Revolvers for CCW. The Revolvers really "call" to me. I also have Glocks, a Kahr PM9 and soon a 1911. However, the 1911 will not be for CCW. It's a great gun, but too much of a "Trick Bag" in the legal setting for my taste. I'll probably pick up a Glock 21 SF this year too.
April 6th, 2007 08:11 PM
My first response to most people who are looking for a handgun is; if you haven't got a couple thousand rounds put downrange out of a pistol, your first priority is to get a couple thousand rounds put downrange. Quickest and most efficient way to do that is to get a decent .22. After you've put that many rounds downrange, and hopefully gotten some help from other shooters at the range who have put 10's to 100's of thousands of rounds downrange your going to be alot more able to figure out what kind of centerfire pistol you're going to be good with.
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