The best fighting handgun you can own and carry - Page 4

The best fighting handgun you can own and carry

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Thread: The best fighting handgun you can own and carry

  1. #46
    Senior Member Array 2ndunamended's Avatar
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    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...


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    With his pistol drawn, decisive judgement could be reached and reached quickly.

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  2. #47
    Senior Member Array DHart's Avatar
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    We live in a time when the number and variety of perfectly serviceable "fighting" pistols is considerable. This truly is the "Golden Age" of firearms.

    I don't care if what's in my hand is a Glock, an M&P, an HK, a SIG, a Walther, a CZ, an XD, or a 1911. Any of them, properly maintained, is likely to serve well. But the first seven of them generally offer greater capacity and (right out of the box), possibly better reliability.

    What I think is important in a "fighting" pistol is reliability, shoot-ability, capacity, and potency. For that, my preference would be for the larger size models, chambered in calibers .40S&W or .45. You can have that, pretty much, from any of the brands/designs I listed above.

    So, I'd say select whichever of those seems to suit your fancy the best, do your part well, and you're likely to make out ok!

    Personally, if I had to walk out the door armed with only one pistol, to face a fight... I would take the M&P40 (16 rounds of 180 gr. HST) or the SIG P320 40 Full Size (15 rounds of 180 gr. HST). The combination of caliber potency, easy rapid-fire control-ability, and high-capacity offered by those models totally works for me. I am also very much a fan of the G21SF, G30, M&P45, M&P45C... but capacity in .45auto caliber typically falls a bit short as compared to the .40S&W models - and I feel that "fighting" may easily consume capacity quite readily.
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  3. #48
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    We do indeed live in the Golden Age for firearms in general. After all, we have access to almost all of the firearms that have gone before plus all of the latest and greatest models of today. Ultimately it's the archer not the arrow. Provided that your weapon of choice is reliable then carry what you want. If you like Glocks then great- they're super cheap and plentiful. Personally I am guilty of using the phrase "fighting handgun" as well but 10thmtn hits it on the head- handguns exist because you can't always have a long gun. They're a compromise based on convenience not performance. I've said several times that if I knew there was gonna be a gunfight at the theater I'd make danged sure not to be there that day! If for some reason I couldn't avoid the gunfight I would prefer to have my AR15 wearing its Aimpoint, WML and a mag filled with 30 rounds of 70gr GMX ammo. But since I can't know in advance where I might need a gun, and seeing as most places won't allow me to tote an AR there, I carry a concealed sidearm.

    That said, to me the ultimate fighting handgun is probably either an HK USP9 Tactical set up with a Jet Funnel kit or an HK P30L. They're both dead reliable and easy to shoot well. The USP Tactical has a bit longer barrel than a standard USP for maybe a smidge more velocity and a really nice Match Trigger. The P30 trigger sucks unless you have the LEM or do some work on it but I have never found it to negatively affect my ability to shoot it well. Honestly I would probably put the VP9 in the same category but it's not as proven as the USP or P30-series due to being a much newer design, but I wouldn't hesitate to rely on it for CCW (and sometimes I do carry one).
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  5. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    If you look at the decade of the 1970s, and the end of the 1960s before that, and the magazines of the era you'll see enough of the 1911 that it'll make you want to puke. I was around the 1911 as a kid and as a young shooter in the 1970s and respected and admired it, yet I grew heartily sick of so much 1911, and custom 1911, and custom 1911 'smiths.
    I suppose I'm not really a big fan of the 1911. I have had three of them over the years, two Colts and a Kimber, and they weren't really "mystical" to me. Still, that trigger! Every time I get rid of a 1911 I figure I'll never buy another one, but eventually it seems I always do! The first Colt I had was a stainless Commander in .38 Super, and I really wish I still had that one. Despite the weight and "impracticality" of the 1911 occasionally I'll shoot my buddy's Sig 1911 and get the bug real bad again. Eventually I might pick up an STI.

    But for CCW I'm pretty happy with my HKs.
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  6. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Eventually I might pick up an STI.
    Oh yeah.... my STI Edge has proven to be as fine as any 1911/2011 I've ever had, which includes Wilsons and Browns. This gun feels like it was made by Rolls Royce.



    This is certainly a pistol that I would consider among the very best choices for a fighting pistol. .40S&W caliber, 17 round capacity of 180 gr Federal HST, or handloads of 180 gr XTP @ 1150 fps, and it shoots so softly that it feels like 9mm.
    Last edited by DHart; February 17th, 2017 at 01:39 PM.
    “Inequality" is a law of nature, not something government can "re-distribute”. The fit, well-educated, hard-working will prosper. And the unfit will not. It is not the responsibility of those who work hard and prosper to make the lives of those who do not, more “equal."

  7. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I suppose I'm not really a big fan of the 1911. I have had three of them over the years, two Colts and a Kimber, and they weren't really "mystical" to me. Still, that trigger! Every time I get rid of a 1911 I figure I'll never buy another one, but eventually it seems I always do! The first Colt I had was a stainless Commander in .38 Super, and I really wish I still had that one. Despite the weight and "impracticality" of the 1911 occasionally I'll shoot my buddy's Sig 1911 and get the bug real bad again. Eventually I might pick up an STI.

    But for CCW I'm pretty happy with my HKs.
    Perfectly illustrates the old "different strokes for different folks" line. 1911s never were mystical to me in the sense of being something spiritual as much as they have always been authentically relevant. They serve to fling fat, heavy projectiles very effectively. I never considered the 1911 particularly heavy until I was told it was by reading forums so I enjoy its weight and balance. When it comes to that projectile-flinging, the 1911s reliability, accuracy-encouraging trigger, carry-encouraging sveletness, and Rock-of-Gibraltar balance in the hand, all combine to form a unique and yet-relevant practicality.

    I have been tempted to try the Smith & Wesson Model 645 and the SIG Sauer P220. Both seem to have appealing attributes to me. So far, the 1911 gun has kept me from being temped enough to stray to others for my .45 shooting.
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  8. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoyVA View Post
    A few first offs are in order here.

    Number one. I am not a fanboy or bootlick for any firearms manufacturer. I will freely admit that I have some favorites but being of an analytical and technical mind, I believe I can separate facts from opinions, mine and others.

    Number two. I will also freely admit that what I write here is largely a matter of opinion but if one thinks about what is written, one can see the position taken.

    Number three. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, an expert nor do I wish to set myself up as such. Doing so would only prove me to be a fool.

    Now with the ground work laid...

    What makes any handgun a fighting or combat handgun? I would suggest; reliability, simplicity, ease of maintenance, and practical accuracy. Reliability should always be the most important factor in the selection and use of a fighting handgun. And of all of the really fine handguns out there, which one is the best of the lot when all factors are considered?

    Glock. Specifically the models 19, 23, 17, and 22 in no particular order. So why Glock. Why not a fine 1911? Take a 1911 and time yourself as you do a field strip of the gun. Then do the same thing with a Glock. I can field strip a Glock, using no special tools, in 6.4 seconds. No way can I do this with my 1911. And I can detail strip the frame in under one minute, which includes the field strip. With only 34 parts, simplicity rules. I can tune my Glock, change the sights, and do other gunsmithing things with ease.

    Glocks are very simple and easy to clean. Their polygonal rifling makes cleaning the barrel very easy. But most importantly, they work. They're like that rather ugly hammer in your toolbox you've had for decades that is near perfect and you are never likely to discard. Try as you might, that which works, and works well, perfectly fits the adage.. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    Lastly they really carry well, especially their compact versions like the model 19 and model 23. One well known gun writer wrote that the Glock 23 is the finest combat handgun you can carry. I believe he's pretty much dead on with that statement.

    Now admittedly I also very much like Smith and Wesson's line of their M&P pistols. I have a number of them and do carry them when I feel they would be the better choice. Really fine products. but they are not as simple to field strip and even less simple to detail strip for repairs, detailed cleaning, or modifications.

    So I am just someone who admires and respects things that work the way they were designed. The architectural truism of "Form follows function" seems to have been ingrained in the Glock design. So if a 1911, a Beretta 92FS, an XD series Springfield Armory, a Sig Sauer, and a Glock 23 are sitting on a table waiting for me as I leave my home. Which one do I pick up? Without question, the Glock 23. Others would pickup something else and that's fine. But for me, the choice between these listed guns is simple. A light, efficient, reliable, and high capacity pistol will ride on my hip.

    Once more, I am not a fanboy. I just like things that work and fit my wants, needs, and requirements.
    That's seems slow to me. I'm not going to choose a fighting handgun based on the time it takes to field strip it to begin with. That comes after the fighting has ended, with time irrelevant to a handguns "fighting" ability. I'll have to time myself one day on the 1911 field strip, I doubt it's over 6.4 seconds anyway [ and I seriously doubt my glocks take 6.4 seconds to field strip.

    But then, I carried one and sometimes two of them on me every day for decades in a professional capacity. Actually had to fight with one a few times too. Still here, which may say as much about the shooter as it does the shooting platform.

    "Best" is a subjective word. It means different things to different people based on their perception, experience and training. The most reliable guns I've owned that have had over 30K rounds put through them are, in no particular order----

    Sig 226 over 50K in 4 years with zero malfs
    Sig 228 over 35K in 3 years with zero malfs
    Glock 17 over 125K in 20+ years, 3 malfs, two related to ammo and the 3rd to operator error.
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  9. #53
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    There is a reason the Military teaches fighting with rifles. Rifles are for fighting, handguns are for when you don't think you will need a rifle.
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  10. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    That's seems slow to me. I'm not going to choose a fighting handgun based on the time it takes to field strip it to begin with. That comes after the fighting has ended, with time irrelevant to a handguns "fighting" ability. I'll have to time myself one day on the 1911 field strip, I doubt it's over 6.4 seconds anyway [ and I seriously doubt my glocks take 6.4 seconds to field strip.

    But then, I carried one and sometimes two of them on me every day for decades in a professional capacity. Actually had to fight with one a few times too. Still here, which may say as much about the shooter as it does the shooting platform.

    "Best" is a subjective word. It means different things to different people based on their perception, experience and training. The most reliable guns I've owned that have had over 30K rounds put through them are, in no particular order----

    Sig 226 over 50K in 4 years with zero malfs
    Sig 228 over 35K in 3 years with zero malfs
    Glock 17 over 125K in 20+ years, 3 malfs, two related to ammo and the 3rd to operator error.
    But you can do the iquartata with a 1911..............
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  11. #55
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    Most of you have probably seen this video already as it is posted on DC in another thread. The shop owner looks like he is firing a 1911 at the bg. It looks like two rounds going off and the results are devastating. I'm not sure if its the gun being most important or the caliber and shot placement that wins the day. BTW I don't own a 1911 or a Glock.

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  12. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    There is a reason the Military teaches fighting with rifles. Rifles are for fighting, handguns are for when you don't think you will need a rifle.
    I agree with everyone that says Handguns aren't fighting guns to a point. If I have to use my handgun for defense than it is a fighting gun because I'm fighting for my life or the life of my family. Not trying to be a smart butt, I'm just saying if I have to defend myself, I'm fighting.
    I like the .40 .

  13. #57
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    I'd gander a guess that few members have experienced anywhere near the available handguns that may be considered a "fighting" handgun, thus their database is short on experience in firing most available platforms.
    The mind is the limiting factor

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  14. #58
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    Browning/FN High Power. All factory parts (except frame & slide) are replaced by Cylinder & Slide components, installed/tuned by them. KKM replacement .357 Sig barrel (the first one Kevin McIntyre ever built). Thin-line Navarex Micarta grip panels. Extended Pachmayr hard-chromed slide release. If I KNOW the fight is coming (how, right?), it WILL be the pistol in my holster.
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Vets are a funny group of people;

    A lot of guys will not budge from what they used in the theatre.

    And yet others, are more willing to look at something different.

    I had the honor of driving my step dad to his units Vietnam War vets reunion down in Gatlinburg this fall.
    What I found interesting was that despite the fact that you hear so much about how much better the M1A was and how bad the M16 was, most of the guys in his outfit said they were glad to get rid of the M1A, and he had expressed that many times.

    What I found out was, that the Marines training apparently has not changed. When we were taught to hit the ground quickly, we used the stock of our weapon to break the fall by jamming the butt in the ground as we went down.

    They did the same thing, and apparently the Marines had a high number of broken stock incidents because of that. Kind of a different, unexpected point of view from what we are lead to believe as an absolute.

    During my service years, the M9 was the gun, yet I don't care for it today.

    But all seem to agree the with the modern weaponry of today, a fireteam sized unit can project the firepower of what a platoon could back then.

    Oh, I know it's not really relevant to the tooic here; but I thought it was an interesting observation:)
    As I have said, we work with Marines a lot and I can't recall the number of Marines, that said they would like to trade for my M14 for their M 16. The Marines I speak of, are in the weeds not back at base. Most of what I heard was like me, they like how it would punch through the weeds and bush and when needed it had the range. And they like that it work all the time. (During my service years, the M9 was the gun, yet I don't care for it today.) No expert, I would take the Glock over the M 9. Just my $.02
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  16. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    But you can do the iquartata with a 1911..............
    Bob, you can do the inquartqa with the 1911, Brownie can field strip the 1911 in 6.4 seconds, while I've managed to fumble it and shoot the recoil spring and plunger across the room. But I will have the bushing outa the thing.
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