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n00b here! I did an extensive search on here regarding my situation and learned a lot, so I'm glad to have found this forum. A little background: I'm an Air Force pilot, born/raised/stationed in Texas, looking for my first handgun for self defense. I plan on taking the CHL class soon, but I'm not sure if I'll use my gun for concealed carry. It'll be more of a home/auto defense firearm that me and my wife can enjoy at the range.

I did a lot of research in the past, and based on my budget, I was really set on the XDM 40 (assuming I liked it after firing it). This past week, my father and I went to the range and I shot his P229 for the first time and LOVED it. He told me he would pay for half of whatever gun I chose, so now the Sig is an option for me.

We went to a local gun shop and I got to handle a lot of the handguns I was looking at. The XDM seemed a little too plasticy to me, and didn't feel as solid as the Sig. I also have small, girlish hands so the shorter grip on the Sig worked better for me and my wife. One concern is the shop employee noticed the DA/SA trigger on the 229 seemed too forward for my wife, since she almost had to have her index finger completely extended to pull the trigger for the first round. I hear there's a short trigger than will lessen this distance.

So my questions really concern the overall pros & cons of the 229/239 vs. the XDM. Quality, reliability, safety, etc. I've only shot the 229 out of the bunch, and haven't even picked up a 239 as I only learned of it from reading this board. I will eventually shoot them all before I decide, but I wanted to hear the opinions of the experts. If you're still reading this, thanks!

I'd also like to add that I haven't really decided on the .40 vs. the 9mm, but I don't want to go down that road. I'm just focusing on the model right now.
 

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Sig makes a short trigger for all the classic P-series guns (P220, P226, P229, P239) specifically to take care of your wife's problem. :hand10:

Between the guns you list, I'd grab the 229, but that's entirely personal preference.

Welcome to the forum!
 

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Thank you for your service. If dad is paying half get what you like and let the wife get what she likes. Do you have a rental range or friends that have guns that you and you wife can shoot. You might not find a gun that works for both of you.
 

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SIgs are great, but for the wife you may want to check out SW MP compact, with the changeable grip panels it may fit her hand better.
 

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Being you live in Texas and not sure about CC I'd go with the gun that would be most appropriate for CC just in case that's what you decide to do.
If you wife wants a gun then I'd also agree with "itschuck" as an M&P compact is a sweet shooter. However but nothing wrong with a SIG so have fun deciding.
 

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I love all three of these guns. If I had to get one of these to share with the wife it would be a Sig 229R 40 S&W. Actually thats what I bought her for her birthday about 3 years ago.
 

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Nothing beats a Sig! I'd go with the 229, but that's just my opinion, either of the Sigs would be great.
 

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Don't forget that the Sig 239 is a single stack, making for a slightly smaller grip. If you can, definitely handle one first. Fire one if you can.
 

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Don't forget that the Sig 239 is a single stack, making for a slightly smaller grip. If you can, definitely handle one first. Fire one if you can.
The 239 has a much smaller grip due to single stack, my wife dosn't shoot the 229 well, she loves and shoots the 239 great. I also carry the 239 in the summer months, it's easier to cc. You can't go wrong with either. Good luck. :smile:
 

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Both Sigs are good...

I have the Sig P229 in .40 and the P239 in 9mm. I tend to use the larger P229 for range or home defense, and the smaller P239 for carry and range. My P239 has the "short trigger" shown below, and is definitely better for smaller hands.

Both are excellent guns and the choice depends on your particular application or needs. The P239 is easier to conceal and weighs less, so it is easier to carry.

 

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Welcome to the forum! I just copied and pasted this portion of another of my posts, concerning the XD:

"I consider the XD to be handicapped as a defensive gun, by having a grip safety. Needing to have a near-perfect firing grip on a pistol while clearing a malfunction is a handicap, especially if one hand is unable to function properly. Roll your eyes all you want. I have seen too many AARs, and read/heard too many credible anecdotes, in which police officers have been shot in the hands and arms, including two co-workers personally known to me.

A good example of injuries to arms and hands can be read in any good, detailed account of the FBI encounter with Platt and Mattix.

If I was compelled to carry an XD, I would make doubly sure to carry a backup weapon. Same with a 1911, though at least the 1911 does not require the grip safety to be depressed to pull the slide back. (It was an embarrassing "oops" with a 1911 grip safety, in my skinny hand, during a transition drill at a carbine class, that prompted me to stop using 1911 pistols as go-to holster guns. I use SIG P229s now.)"

Just to be clear, I am not against XDs or 1911s, nor folks who use them.

One of my P229s has a factory short trigger; four more have TJ Customs triggers I ordered from Brownells.
 

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I would go sig 229
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the input everyone!

It's really hard for me to sway towards one gun or another without shooting them all. I took a peek at the M&P after the suggestions in this thread, and it looks a lot like the P239 but with a larger capacity. I will definitely put this gun on the list of ones to try out at the range. One thing I couldn't find on the S&W website was the type of trigger it had (SA, DA, etc).

-P229 (already fired)
-P239
-XDM
-M&P

Any others in this class that I might like?
 

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I have the Sig 239 in 40 S&W (my EDC) and in 9mm. Have the XDM in 40 S&W. I've never shot a 229 but, IMO, you can't go wrong with a Sig. As a carry gun, the 239 is outstanding though some consider it shy on ammo. I don't. I figure if I can't get it done with 8 rounds in the gun plus a 7 round reload, I'm in trouble anyway.

The XDM is an excellent HD or range gun. I consider it too large for concealed carry, though others don't. With it's 19+1 9mm or 16+1 40 S&W capacities, it makes a formidable HD firearm. If you're woken in the middle of the night by someone breaking into your home, you may not think to grab an extra mag. The high round count is an asset.

When it comes to caliber, both will get the job done with proper shot placement. I consider the 40 to be a significant improvement in performance over the 9mm. Using info from Federal HST ammo, the 40 makes a bit more than 100 ft. lbs. more energy at the muzzle and has more retained energy at 75 yards than the 9mm has at the muzzle. However, the 40 is definitely a snappier round to shoot and your wife may find that she's uncomfortable with it. Since this is a gun you want both of you to be able to use and practice with, caliber will need to be a joint decision.

Hoss
 

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If money isn't an object I would also look at the HK P30 and the HK P2000. Regarding the XDm, they recently released a 3.8" barrel version that you may like. As far as Sigs go, they are excellent weapons. Reliable in direct proportion to their cost, as they are somewhat pricey. I have owned and carried Glocks, M&Ps, and Sigs. All reliable pistols, of all of them, the Sigs were the most accurate (for me) by far. Good luck, but whichever one you decide on, I think it will be adequate for your needs.
 

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I'm going to go totally against the norm and tell you to get neither. The Sig 229 are great guns and everyone aspires to own one. The XD(M) 40 is also a great gun but it's advantage is as a competition gun. I have owned both the Sig and XD(m). My personal opinion is that I absolutely will not own another 40S&W especially for a gun to shoot for pleasure. I consider the recoil a poor trade off to achieve the stopping ability of a 45ACP. The 45ACP's recoil is far less annoying than that of the 40S&W. Sig makes a excellent 45ACP in the P220, I have one :rolleyes:, but in my opinion perhaps the best 45ACP for you might be the XD45 Compact, I have one of these too :embarassed:. The XD45 Compact is a fun range gun and is as easy to conceal as a sub compact while holding 11 rounds. I encourage both you and your wife to shoot both particularly compare the 40S&W to the 45ACP.

As for the grip safety concerns, the 1911 has had a grip safety for nearly 100 years through numerous wars and I have never heard of it being a hindrance.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So you're saying the recoil on the .45 might actually be easier for my wife to handle than the recoil on the .40? Is this across the board or just on one model specifically? If so, I'll just go for the .45.
 

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So you're saying the recoil on the .45 might actually be easier for my wife to handle than the recoil on the .40? Is this across the board or just on one model specifically? If so, I'll just go for the .45.
You really need to have both of you shoot guns in both calibers. While I'll agree that the 40 is a snappy cartridge, it does NOT generate more free recoil than a 45 ACP. Notice I said "free recoil", not "felt" or "perceived" recoil. Felt or perceived recoil cannot be measured. Free recoil can. Only the shooter can determine what the actual felt recoil is for them. Free recoil is a mathematical calculation. Below is a chart I did up using the Free Recoil Calculator at Handloads.com. I used bullet weights and velocities from Federal LE HST ammo. For powder charge weight, I used weights from Accurate's web site that generated the closest velocity to the HST listed velocity. For firearm weight, I used the listed weight from Sig's web site for a standard P220 and a standard P229.

You'll notice that the 45 generates .49 ft. lbs. more free recoil than the 40. Because of the difference in operating pressures, your "perception" of recoil may be different but the real world facts are that the 45 with it's heavier bullet generates more recoil than the 40.

Hoss
 
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