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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.
 

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Another vote for Glock. I'll grab my Gen 3 Glock 20 first when I want the utmost confidence in my firearm. If you replace the springs every 5K or so rounds, I don't think there's a more reliable or simple to maintain handgun made. Love my 1911's but they are more complicated and one cannot avoid the truism, complexity is the enemy of reliability.
 

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I have never been a fan of the plastic guns, back as a young SSgt I could not afford a 1911 so I purchased a stripped frame then purchased parts as I could afford them. Along with the parts I bought an Army service manual to learn how to assemble it. I have not timed myself but I am confident I can field strip one as fast as anyone else and I have no qualms with a total dissemble if necessary. I especially like the thinness since I do not need larger pants for IWB carry. Plus being all metal should you run out of ammo it will leave a lasting impression when pistol whipping a criminal.
 

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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.]
I'd pick up an HK. Pretty much any HK. Reliable and tough and the controls fit me just right. Others are good guns too. HK makes me smile. :comeandgetsome:
 

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You'll receive no objectivity here. Our babies ain't ugly.

It's all a matter of opinion or preference. And damned few responses will be wrong.

Personally? I favor the HK USP series. No need to justify.

But my P226 is probably as good as my 3 USPs.

And my Glock 26 gets carried a LOT.

But so does my j frame.....

To answer your question, if I needed a war gun I'd choose a USP 9 or 45.
 

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In my experience, mechanical simplicity and reliability are generally closely related. Glock shines there. Also, the sheer availability of aftermarket parts, holsters, etc. I shoot my 1911 just a bit better, but for all the reasons you stated, Glock is tough to beat.
 

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Nothing wrong with a Glock but I'm not a fan. More important, a 40 would not be my choice in a SHTF senario. Which is the only way I would be in any extended combat situation. I'd take a 9mm or a 45 any day of the week. Probably a 45. If for no other reason, availability of ammo.

All that being said, in a combat situation, I'd take a variety of long guns over anything mentioned so far.
 
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This is tough because I have trained with so many carry pistols. I guess it depends on what I was doing. I would say that if I had to choose one and only one I would pick Glock 19. It holds 15+1. It's light weight, it's reliable, it's the easiest gun to take apart and maintain, it is accurate, there is a ton of oem and aftermarket support, it's not too big or too small, it's combat ready, well the stock sights suck and need to be changed.
 

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My only quibble would be with the whole concept of a "fighting handgun." Handguns were never meant for serious fighting. They are one-handed weapons, designed as a backup to a more serious two-handed or crew-served weapon. Or, for those whose primary job is not fighting, but who need a smaller tool for last ditch self defense that doesn't get in the way of their primary job. Finally, they serve those who need to fit or work in constrained spaces (tank crews, pilots, etc).

The only time you would take a handgun into a fight is if you had absolutely no other choice...or were insane.

A handgun is a tool for getting yourself out of a fight. It is not a tool for getting into one.

My concern if for those who strap on a duty sized pistol, and then think they can get involved in situations where they will quickly find themselves way over their head. Folks need to know their limitations, and I fear many have a false sense of security (or even superiority) due to their choice in sidearm.

That caveat aside...yes, if you are forced to fight with a handgun, the Glock of your choice is a good choice. A pair of revolvers will do nicely as well, especially if you need a contact shot (or two) - which is probably more likely than needing 875 rounds in your magazine...
 

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There are several contenders but for me it would be a Glock 19. It has almost the perfect balance of size, weight, and ammo capacity. A Glock 23 or Sig M-11 A-1 would be a very close second place. All are great fighting handguns in their own right!
 

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Since the rise of dominance of polymer guns, and especially the Glock, comparisons have been made, battle lines drawn and sides chosen....the line in the sand of forum banter is clear.

I myself have tiptoed on the line, torn between my affection for the older, more traditional designs, and the modern high caps.

Most dyed in the wool guys have grown quite comfortable with the 1911, and rightly point to its historic role in "every climb and place", and there are many great stories of using it to take out an entire squad of krauts, airplanes, and gooks.

In recent years gone by, it was tinkered with and responsible for an entire cottage industry of smiths who's sole purpose was to make it more reliable with defensive ammo of the day, polishing the feed ramps, lowering the ejection port, and other solutions to perceived deficiencies with the gun....even magazines were redesigned with different follower designs and feed lips to help.
Hell, an entire library could be filled with reading material written by experts on the reasons it needed this or that, and stories of the barrel links being the weak part of the design, and so on.

Meanwhile, during this time, most people decided that the revolver was the way to go if one wanted the essential reliability... as a matter of fact, guns like the S&W M39, which begat an entire series of models was deemed worthy to fill the holsters of LE across the nation, and really, during this time the 1911 was largely ignored by the gun media and scribes.

Here are two publications from the mid and late 80's that are very representative to what the interests were back at that time.
Articles of interest on the 1911 were far and few (I have a stack of these as reference besides these two) that clearly demonstrate the interest in the modern for the time, S&W, and Sig pistols.
IMG_2736.jpg IMG_2737.jpg

Then, came the Glock 17 Gen 1, that completely challenged traditional thinking.

As it gained favor and influence, and produced the first 40 S&W pistol, the Brady Bill came down limiting mag capacity to 10 rounds.

This, breathed new life in to the viability of the 1911, and the Glock 23. Limited to 10 rounds it just made more sense to carry bigger bullets that fit in to the same size gun as the G19.

During the 10 year Brady period, a lot of R&D went in to smaller, more size efficient guns, and Glock came out with the G26/27 pistol, once again showing innovation and design.

New players in the 1911 market, noticeably Kimber, came out with changes in the 1911 design, coned barrels and such, while Para Ordance created a "Light Double Action " (LDA) trigger and a ramped barrel for "reliability".
And the 1911 was once again a relevant gun viable for a carry choice, and the rest is history, as they say.

Meanwhile, the Glock has remained largely unchanged, save for the recoil spring and minor details.


When I look at the totality of where it's all come from, from my reading and observations over the years, it was really the Glock pistol, and Sig, and S&W that made the auto pistol a credible choice of carry over the revolver.
But it was the seemingly infallible characteristics and light weight of the Glock pistol, among other attributes that made it the logical choice.

So, the way I see it, just like we don't fight wars with Biplanes, have a Calvary of horses anymore, it makes sense to choose modern , proven technology over the old.

I have had good experiences with the 1911, but if I had to choose between the two because of any important reason I can think of, I would definetly go Glock.
 

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My only quibble would be with the whole concept of a "fighting handgun." Handguns were never meant for serious fighting. They are one-handed weapons, designed as a backup to a more serious two-handed or crew-served weapon. Or, for those whose primary job is not fighting, but who need a smaller tool for last ditch self defense that doesn't get in the way of their primary job. Finally, they serve those who need to fit or work in constrained spaces (tank crews, pilots, etc).

The only time you would take a handgun into a fight is if you had absolutely no other choice...or were insane.

A handgun is a tool for getting yourself out of a fight. It is not a tool for getting into one.

My concern if for those who strap on a duty sized pistol, and then think they can get involved in situations where they will quickly find themselves way over their head. Folks need to know their limitations, and I fear many have a false sense of security (or even superiority) due to their choice in sidearm.

That caveat aside...yes, if you are forced to fight with a handgun, the Glock of your choice is a good choice. A pair of revolvers will do nicely as well, especially if you need a contact shot (or two) - which is probably more likely than needing 875 rounds in your magazine...
Very well said!
 

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I've narrowed my "best" handgun down to .... (all have night sights):
Glock: 19, 23, 32, 22, 30SF, 20SF, 21SF
1911's: Ruger CMD, Ed Brown Special Forces, Les Baer UTC, Dan Wesson Valor

I'm content to carry any of the listed options (seriously).
 

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I've owned the following Glocks, 17, 23, 26, and 30. The G30 was the best of the lot, but a brick. Today I don't own any Glocks because there are better choices on the market for a "fighting handgun" IMO. However, one's choice of the best is driven by a multitude of factors, meaning what is right for me may not be right for my best friend. That said, if a Glock was my only choice, I certainly would not turn it down.
 

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Well since I don't own any Glocks except for my wife's little 43 and we don't have a single 1911 (actually nothing .45) in the house, I guess I'll just be stuck grabbing either my Sig 229 or 226 . :danceban:

The VP9 we have (its my daughters) is a nice plastic gun but I'd just rather grab what I'm the most familiar with.

You never know one of these days I might just buy a Glock.
 
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