D/A Semiauto to bet your life on


April 9, 2003, 11:51 PM
There were lots of interesting posts to the "Your favorite 9MM" thread. Check here http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1053 if you haven't seen it.

I would like to expand on that a little. A friend of mine recently got a job that requires you to carry. The employer had some strict guidelines on what was allowed, and my friend had to pay for it out of pocket.

So the question is, given a set of guidelines, which semiauto would you pick and why?

Here are the guidelines:

1. Must be SA/DA or Double Action Only
2. Must be 9MM or .40 cal
3. No polymer frames

There are a couple of other guidelines, but they are not necessarily relevant, and are even more restrictive than the three I list above.

Have at it folks. What's your pick? Give reasons to support it.

If you enjoyed reading about "D/A Semiauto to bet your life on" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
April 10, 2003, 12:13 AM
Any Sig or Beretta within the parameters stated - just because they tend to have a pretty consistent positive track record among all their various models.

Dr. J
April 10, 2003, 12:45 AM
Whichever Sig fits your hand the best.

The reasons? Quality, reliability, trigger.

April 10, 2003, 01:08 AM
:( No poly frames? :(

Well, then I'd go w/ the Beretta 92fs (or variations there of) :D

April 10, 2003, 01:17 AM
I would pull out my Ruger P89, it fits the bill and it goes bang every time I pull the triger.:D I don't understand the poly gun thing.:(

April 10, 2003, 01:20 AM
I can't see any of Beretta's huge products for carry.

Sig is great, maybe a 239 to keep cost down. Light, great trigger, accurate.

Kahr. DAO, all steel, nicely made.

FN HP DA (or whatever they're calling it) All steel hicap descendant of the BHP.

Longshot: HK P7. Hey, couldn't hurt to ask (it's kinda DA).

Marko Kloos
April 10, 2003, 06:56 AM
Based on your criteria, I'd pick a SIG, Beretta, CZ, or 3rd generation S&W auto.

April 10, 2003, 09:09 AM
CZ 75 and all model varients....great guns at any price
3rd Gen Smiths........had 39/69/59 series...all 100%
Sigs....great but ergonomics vary...try them for feel.....
Kahr.....again....top notch all of the way......
Taurus PT9**....best safety on the planet, all around great gun.
Lots of other choices..these are my fav's in d/a 9mm's.......
shoot well

April 10, 2003, 09:19 AM
and my friend had to pay for it out of pocket
Then I'd pick:

1. CZ75B first...

2. then any of the Taurus PT9XX series, pref PT915/911,

3. Maybe a FEG PJK9HP, but its only SA...

The others are comparatively more expensive

April 10, 2003, 09:19 AM
If you can conceal it & it fits the hand, the SIG P226 9mm.
Excellent shooter. Easy to hit your mark out to 50 ft.
No felt recoil. Quality piece.

April 10, 2003, 09:26 AM
Ruger P89 and P94....I would rather say P97 but cant under the restrictions you posted above..


April 10, 2003, 09:53 AM
SIG 229 in .40 caliber would be my first choice, although a bit pricy.

Second Choice would probably be a CZ75 PCR/P01 with a backup full capacity full size CZ75 magazine or two.

Beretta Cougar seems really nice, but I have no first hand experience with it.

Ruger P94 would make an excellent inexpensive .40 cal that I would most likely have not problems trusting my life to.

I hear really good things about the current generation of Smith and Wesson autochuckers. Everybody seems to like the TSW pistols and some have even compared them to SIG, they most certainly must be wrong but hey what do I know.:D Anyway they make a model for every size and caliber and pre-ban 9mm mags should be cheap and easy to find.

What about a Browning High Power. Everybody but me likes those. My personal misgivings aside, they are an excellent world class pistol.

Based on the above you are looking at prices from about $450-$750 depending on what you choose. All should be first rate extremely reliable pistols so it really comes down to what fits the best, what caliber you want and how much money you want to spend.


April 10, 2003, 10:54 AM

metal frame only, 9mm/.40 & SA/DA or DAO, buy it myself

Based on how my KP-90 Ruger performs, [eats ANY ammo, goes BANG! evey time I mash the trigger] I would pick the P89 Ruger..MSRP of $475. Probably can be out the door well under $400. My 2 closest local shops do not carry CZ's.

April 10, 2003, 12:43 PM
Good so far.

For those of you that questioned the poly gun thing - it's a little complicated to explain. I'm going to let the thread run for a littel bit before I give more details.

Suffice to say in the meantime, that the spec for the sidearm was written by attorneys, not those who would be "in the field".

I'll give more details, including what I recommended, and what my friend eventually got after this runs for a little bit.

April 10, 2003, 12:52 PM
I would take any sig in 9mm and up. My faviorate is the 239. The Beretta 92 is also a good gun. But I would miss my Kimber and my GLocks.

April 10, 2003, 12:56 PM
Sig P239, P228, P229
S&W 3913

April 10, 2003, 01:30 PM
Just about any 3rd Generation S&W would fit the bill for me. I'd also consider something from Sig. I personally don't care for Beretta pistols, but if they're your cup of tea, that works, too.

I really like the CZ pistols, and a bunch of them fit the criteria.

April 10, 2003, 01:36 PM
Sig 226 or 229, since I can get full capacity magazines, inexpensively. ;)
Sig 239 if you want something compact.
I would up the ammo choice and go with 357Sig, if not that than the 40sw.

Sean Smith
April 10, 2003, 01:38 PM
CZ or SigSauer.

Ala Dan
April 10, 2003, 02:22 PM
9m/m SIG-Sauer M11 or P228

Reason? Compact, or "mid size" 9m/m; with these same
basic quality's that are found in all SIG "Classic" P-series

a) RELIABILITY - second to none!

b) ACCURACY - with practice the P228 can be found
to be darn near as accurate as its big brother, the SIG P226!

CRAFTSMANSHIP - by design, it along with the SIG
P220 make it one of the companys "BEST SELLERS"!

*FootNote- the only negative comment you will find about
any standard SIG "Classic" P-series product will be
about its factory blued finish. But, you know if any of these
weapons are taken care of properly (TLC); that problem is
not an issue. Example- My current .45 caliber SIG P220A
was purchased NIB on 31 January of 95; and after count-
less rounds fired, as well as carried "Mexican style" it still
looks brand new. No scratches or ding's are present on
the surface; and I have always protected this gun
(and all other's) with BREAK FREE CLP!

So to sum up, yes the SIG-Sauer P228 would be MY one
and only choice; based on your criteria.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

April 10, 2003, 03:24 PM
There are many good suggestions here. I can say that a full size Beretta would work for me - particularly if it did not have to be concealed.

When you said it was for carry... did you mean CONCEALED carry? I wasn't clear on that. Depending on the job, I might even prefer a revolver (I know you said semi-auto).

April 10, 2003, 03:29 PM
I would absolutely trust my DA/SA Taurus PT99AF implicitly and completely. Never a failure. EVER! Safety is in the 'correct' location and you could even carry it cocked and locked if allowed.

If I had that job and had a choice, it is what I would carry. Along with 124 +P Gold Dots.


April 10, 2003, 03:34 PM
The guns in my safe that would qualify include: Sig P239, Kahr K9, Kahr K40, CZ-75B.


April 10, 2003, 03:38 PM
Para Ordnance P-16 (that's 16+1 rounds of .40 S&W on tap!) stainless LDA.

April 10, 2003, 04:02 PM
SIG Sauer P226 9mm and P228

Or I would never have bought them in the first place. Nothing finer.

But if I was on a budget I'd probably go with a CZ 75BD and CZ P-01, although I've never owned a CZ.

Dave Markowitz
April 10, 2003, 04:33 PM
What Ala Dan said -- SIG P228.

April 10, 2003, 04:41 PM
I owned a CZ-75BD, and it was just great, and I currently own a CZ P-01 (well, P-01 hybrid, it has a PCR slide), and I wouldn't give it up for anything. Superb little gun. I'd recommend it to anyone, though I consider it to be a little weak in the recoil spring and heavy in the hammer spring department, so I replaced those with Wolffs and now it's like a compact 9mm Jesus. Plus, they look pretty snazzy, even though nobody ever shows a pic of them without that giant flashlight on the front. Mine was $430 including tax, and it was worth every penny. Only about 1200 rounds through it so far, because I hit some serious financial trouble and couldn't afford to practice with it for a while, but not so much as a hiccup in that time. It gets the coveted Squid Seal Of Approval. :D

April 10, 2003, 05:12 PM
if cost is a consideration (remember it might be a tax write-off) i'm thinking the cz or taurus family.

the rugers are very rugged, but a bit large and usually not as smooth as the others.

i have used both the sigs (220,226,229) and berettas (92/96) as duty weapons. my current choice is the beretta because it is just as accurate and just seems to run smoother than the sigs. i have never had a FTF or FTE in thousands of rounds...it just give me a warm feeling :p

April 10, 2003, 05:48 PM
Beretta 92 FS. Possibly the most reliable semi auto pistols ever made!

April 10, 2003, 06:13 PM
I second critter's pick,

Para Ordnance P16.40 LDA

Gerald McDonald
April 10, 2003, 06:29 PM
Unless the pay is real good I would probably look for another job. If the pay justifys it probably ParaOrd or Sig or CZ. If the job is risky enough to require carry I wouldnt care for a paper pusher telling me what works.

April 10, 2003, 07:41 PM
I am kinda thinking a bit like Gerald. Apparently they are asking you to be a a position to need to defend yourself but not allowing you the choice of a .45 auto or a Walther P99 maybe.

If you just happened to be used to one of these weapons already you might be a lot better off with what you are used to.

- seems a bit odd.

No polymer huh.... I got it! - Body guard for a Taurus executive in Brazil! (And I own a PT-111 too!)

April 11, 2003, 12:25 AM
I agree with Gerald as well, as did my friend.

Unfortunately, that is the reality in some scenarios. The choice is predestined by an administrator.

OK some more tidbits to help shape your thinking. The job was more a "calling" than anything. In fact it is being done without pay. Only a stipend to cover equipment expenses.

The poly gun thing is a little oversimplification on my part. The spec actually stated "No Glocks". And had additional criteria that would have eliminated the HK and Walther poly guns. So rather than list every little detail I lumped them all together.

One more teaser. Several of you hit on my first recommendation. A couple of you even picked what was ultimately my friends choice.

Stay tuned.....

April 11, 2003, 01:03 PM
OK, time to let the cat out of the bag.

I started the thread with a couple of intentions. First to identify some of the better SA/DA autos, and reaffirm my feelings about them.

Second, to illustrate how complicated things can get when bureacrats determine what is an acceptable self defense weapon. Which is a microcosm of what the anti-gun types in Washington would like to do to all of us with trigger locks, smart guns, etc.

Like many of you I recommended the Sig P228 or 229 series. In fact Sigs were about the only gun that passed all the criteria.

My friend ultimately picked the FN-HP DA as it was closest in feel to the Brownings and 1911s normally used by said friend.

Here are the specs as best I can recall:

1. No Glocks (this was stated specifically, because of the trigger action)
2. No guns capable of 'cocked and locked' which eliminated the 1911, CZ75, HK USP, Witness.
3. Must be DAO or DA/SA
4. No slide mounted safeties (this eliminated the S&Ws, and Berettas, the reasoning here was that during some malfunction drills the safety can be wiped 'on'. Elimate the weapon rather than improve the training:rolleyes: )
5. 9MM or 40 cal (which eliminated the P220)

The Walther was mentioned by someone, it was eliminated due to the QA trigger being 'Glock-like'

And the final kicker - even though this was a LEO assignment, under the command of the chief LEO, said department did not provide letterhead needed for LEO mags. 10 rd civilian models only.

April 11, 2003, 02:44 PM
Sounds like a great job. Become a walking target for no pay, provide your own weapon but we'll tell you what you can or can't buy.

Some things transcend money, and I guess that must be one of them.

April 11, 2003, 04:27 PM
gee isn't that special...i've seen specs like this before when they want a specific item but did not want to specify it by name to avoid litigation from competitors.

actually, given the full specs i would have gone with the beretta 92/96D for DAO or the 92/96 elite series (only because of the lack of access to the 92/96G) for a DA/SA without slide mounted safety (decocker only)

April 11, 2003, 04:40 PM
epiphany, I would have agreed with you. However, as stated above, the bliss ninnys were writing the rules the way I understood it. And they were worried about liability, not trying to "steer" the spec in a particular direction. IMO they took every negative comment ever uttered about a handgun, and wrote a "thou shalt not" into the spec to cover their you know what.

You'll notice that even though the HK USP is a DA/SA gun, it was eliminated due to the ability to go condition 1. They didn't want to have to monitor what was carried and how. Thus, all Berettas and S&Ws were eliminated so they wouldn't have to check to see if it was an 'F' or 'G'. They could have gotten a 'D' Model approved but it would have been more hassle than it's worth.

The spec doesn't apply to the department as a whole, just my friends particular unit. It's always possible the spec could change in time, but I wouldn't count on it.

April 11, 2003, 04:46 PM
ohhh...now this sounds even more weird. to single out just one unit of a department to impose such restrictions on

April 11, 2003, 05:18 PM
It's kind of a weird situation.

It's a small town that has become a boomtown due to tourism factors. The need for officers has grown faster than budgets will allow. To stem the tide somewhat the chief allowed them to recruit a small contingent of reserve officers.

Only the reserve unit is under these restrictions. My assumption is the attorney for the town wanted to cover all his bases in case the officers got into use of force situation and the city got sued.

April 11, 2003, 11:04 PM
With all the new considerations, I would say the CZ-75BD, CZ P-01 or a Sig P228.

April 12, 2003, 01:05 AM
Only the reserve unit is under these restrictions

I know this was not you or your friends doing but wanted to say,
Different standards for officers in the same police dept. usually lead to more scruntiny. Its like saying hey these guys are not as competent as the other officers. I hate to see this in any PD or any company for that matter.

I would go with a Beretta Elite 2, or a Sig 226. Maybe a Para' LDA, but most PD's dont go for those.

April 12, 2003, 09:34 AM
tacblack, you don't know how close you got.

That was actually the reasoning for the restrictions. If a suit was brought against the department alleging they lacked the skills, the city attorney wanted to be able to say "We restrict them as much as possible, therefore the city has no liability":banghead:

How do these guys manage to make it through 6-10 years of college and be this devoid of common sense?:confused:

Island Beretta
April 13, 2003, 09:57 AM

To answer your LATEST question, they are LAWYERS!!!:what:

Fortunately however the Sig meets the criteria and is a good gun..oops forgot...who is going to monitor to ensure that they decock from SA to DA and do not end up carrying SA!!! :uhoh:

April 14, 2003, 06:27 PM
Sig 225 or 228.

April 15, 2003, 12:11 PM
S&W 4013TSW with decocker only.

April 16, 2003, 01:49 AM
Look at these or the PO1's with the rail...for a duty gun its about perfect....hmmm. It was designed for a LE Duty/side arm from the beginning Shoot well.....http://www.angelfire.com/amiga/pcrcz/Mostlystock.jpg

If you enjoyed reading about "D/A Semiauto to bet your life on" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!