The Remington 870 of handguns?


August 19, 2009, 10:29 AM
Hello all,

Maybe I should have said "the Ruger 10/22 or Marlin 60 or Remington 700 or AK or FAL of handguns?"

Basically, I'm looking for this in a pistol: Something that is a classic, proven design, crazy reliable, still in current production, easily repaired/maintained and has parts easily sourced for it, in a common caliber, and is easy/comfortable to shoot. I suppose that last one depends on how it feels in my hands, but I'm looking for a pistol that meets the above requirements. I reaaaaly like how the Springfield XD9 feels in my hands, but kinda wonder if it is too complicated (little parts indicating this and that and showing this and telling you that) and would be better off with something dead simple. I'm a fan of "less is more" when it comes to engineering....simpler seems to often be better in life, so I'm leaning somewhat Glock despite the greater comfort of the XD.

I'm accumulating a "gun base" (no specific use other than covering the bases...pistol, small rifle, shotgun, large bolt rifle, etc..) and am trying to get the basics...hence the Remington 870/Ruger 10/22 reference, as those are kind of my benchmarks within their type/caliber. As it stands now I have an old Springfield .30-06 and a new Remington 870 Marine Magnum, but would like to get a pistol as well as a .22 rifle to fill out the bunch. I'm kinda leaning towards a pistol ...almost purchased a CZ 452 rifle this week as I don't have a .22 yet, but thought a pistol might be the smarter choice to get first.

Your recommendations are most welcome.


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August 19, 2009, 10:36 AM
1911 man, it is the ultimate toy box and the most reliable as long as stupid stuff isnt done to it

August 19, 2009, 11:18 AM
There is no need to worry about the reliability of an XD. They have been torture tested to death and are incredibly durable and reliable. I personally have about 5000 rounds through my XD-40 without a single malfunction.

August 19, 2009, 11:53 AM
I'd say 1911 or S&W K-Frame Model 10 or Model 66.
They are the classic examples of autoloader and revolver; they go bang when you pull the trigger, while still being an attractive piece.

August 19, 2009, 01:22 PM
Right on. So:

S&W K Frame 66 or 10

I'll look into those again. However, does anyone make a less-expensive, yet not "cheap", 1911 variant?

August 19, 2009, 01:27 PM
The most bang for your buck will be a used 80 series colt

others will say taurus, rock island, springfield- springfield is a pretty good gun but stay away from rock island and taurus

and a smith is a smith, unless it has a lock

August 19, 2009, 01:31 PM
Right on. So:

S&W K Frame 66 or 10

I'll look into those again. However, does anyone make a less-expensive, yet not "cheap", 1911 variant? Armscor/ Rock Island Armory makes a great 1911 clone for the budget-minded shooter.
BTW, the Beretta 92 has been around for decades, has walked the walk with probably billions (if not trillions) of rounds fired through them, and is standard issue for numerous police agencies worldwide, not to mention the United States military. Used with standard ammo, it will probably outlast the average gun owner.

August 19, 2009, 02:31 PM
If you're after basic guns that have some history behind them then the XD is still a newbie with a shorter history. Not that it's in any way a bad or complicated gun. But that didn't seem to be where you are heading.

For your case there's two handguns to add to your basic and somewhat historical collection. A 1911 and a revolver. To keep the historical connection the 1911 should be a genuine Colt. And the S&W should be a K frame model 19 with the option of an N framed 27 or 28 if you intend to shoot a lot of magnum through it. Both of these guns are basic, all metal and have a long background of history in America.

On the other hand if you like the feel of the XD and it shoots well under your control then just buy the darn thing and don't worry about it. There's lots of XD folks out there that are using them without issues and, being a current production gun, there won't be parts availability issues for at least the next decade or more.

August 19, 2009, 02:38 PM
I nominate the Ruger GP100 in .357 as the "870 of handguns".

Solid. Easy to operate. Fun to shoot. Great for self-defense, plinking, target shooting and hunting. Shoots .38 special and .357 magnum. Great first handgun.

1911 is a bit less of an all-around gun, but certainly a close second.

August 19, 2009, 02:38 PM
S&W K Frame.

August 19, 2009, 03:06 PM
For the money....the K frame - pick a model......

August 19, 2009, 03:31 PM
Ruger Security Six (Or GP100 for current production guns)
S&W 686
S&W Model 10
Glock 17

August 19, 2009, 03:42 PM
1911 and FN HP-35 aka the Browning Hi-Power. Classics that are hard to not love. Also very fond of the CZ 75.

Bill B.
August 19, 2009, 03:50 PM
Remington 870 = Smith & Wesson Model 10!

August 19, 2009, 03:51 PM
Glock. End of story.

I don't even own one.

SIG P226 or 1911 if you don't like the Glock's grip angle.

August 19, 2009, 03:59 PM
All of the guns mentioned are excellent choices, and I have shot or own most of them.

When something goes bump in the night I'm reaching for the XD..........If for some reason the 870 isn't there:D

August 19, 2009, 05:22 PM
Basically, I'm looking for this in a pistol: Something that is a classic, proven design, crazy reliable, still in current production, easily repaired/maintained and has parts easily sourced for it, in a common caliber, and is easy/comfortable to shoot.Glock 34 in 9mm would be my pick.

August 19, 2009, 07:59 PM
Wow. Thanks for all the recommendations. To be clear, I'm NOT "collecting" guns so much as looking for solid, reliable, great pieces to buy, use, and KEEP FOREVER. I'm a musician and have spent soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much money over the years on guitars and amps and tubes and speakers and drums and cymbals and microphones and gear that is "good", but not that kind of intangible, mysterious "great"...that kind of great that you just know when you pick it up and hear it for the first time. I've known what history has deemed "great": Fender/Marshal/Vox...Martin, Gibson, etc...yet I tried the latest-greatest and the fancy and the shortcut. If I'd have just bought the best and cried once, I'd have saved myself hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the "experimental" purchase. I'd like to avoid this same mistake in the realm of firearms...

This isn't to say "oh yes, I want to drop $3k on a pistol", but rather to say that I'm sure I could put $600 or so into a great piece and never have to replace it due to impracticality/uselessness/poor quality/etc.. I want the Fender Telecaster of pistols. ;)

So yes, Sig P226 has been on my radar, but I've seemed to stay in the $500-ish range of the Glock 17 and Springfield XD for some reason. The 1911 seems cool, but maybe too much $$$ for the fancy models. Is there a "basic", non-pretty yet equally as functional and well built 1911? I don't need pretty so much as I need "never regretted buying it". Revolvers are, for some reason, not attractive to me. Can't explain...seem to gravitate towards semi-auto, though I know that goes against the "simpler is better" ideals I swear by. Ah, the inconsistencies of my own nature...

August 19, 2009, 08:11 PM
Ruger GP100 or Security Six

You can beat the living daylights out of these things and they'll come back for more.

I had an old 870 that I used for everything. It was indestructible. I wish I had never sold it.

August 19, 2009, 08:13 PM
S&W 686?

Not a semi-auto, reliabile, has a lot of history, and packs a lot of power.

Can't really see comparing a semi-auto pistol to a pump shotgun, but if I had to I'd probably say 1911 as well.

August 19, 2009, 08:25 PM
1911 and Glock both fit the bill, regardless of their own dichotomy.

If you want something specific out of your 1911, chances are, there's already a way to do that. Ditto with the Glock.

August 19, 2009, 08:32 PM
agree with rx-178, my two favourite pistols a 1911 and glock, both reliable, accurate, durable, easy to repair or mod, and comfortable (for me anyway). go with a springfield or colt 1911 and whatever glock that suits you and you will not be disappointed.
ps xds are pretty much as good as glocks in my book so they are a good way to go too

August 19, 2009, 09:29 PM
Cheap, ugly, readily available 870=Glock 17 or 19

1911 or BHP= Auto 5 or Win M12. :D

August 19, 2009, 09:42 PM
Nice... :)

August 19, 2009, 09:57 PM
I think by definition it can't be an auto, so - S&W Model 10

August 19, 2009, 10:06 PM
Dehughes, if you are a musician as I am, you will know that you can go to a music store and handle an entire rack of guitars of the same exact model and only one will speak to you. It will simply say, "I'm the one." If you buy it you will play it better than any other guitar you have. You will communicate with it in a way that you can't with any other guitar.

It is, IMO, very similar with a handgun. Find a gun that feels so good in your hand that you can't put it down. If you do put it down, you simply can't resist picking it back up and fondling it. It is talking to you. If you buy this gun you will shoot it better than any other gun. Even a Tele has it's faults and limitations. But if it talks to you, you can overlook these faults and make sweet music with it. You can look at pickups like calibers. You like single coils or humbuckers? Find a caliber you like and then find the gun that shoots it. A handgun is such a personal choice these days. Make no mistake, they are all capable of being fine weapons. 1911's, BHPs, Glocks, revolvers, XD's and on and on and on. Find the one that speaks to you.

IMO, there is no Telecaster of handguns.

August 19, 2009, 10:17 PM
I'm partial to the CZ 75B, which arguably has as deep a history as any modern pistol aside from the 1911, it just gathered most of it on the wrong side of the iron curtain. Glock is a good pick if it fits you, shoot it and tell us how you feel. Are you not partial to Caliber? I think that is the first decision. If you like 9mm get a CZ, BHP or Beretta 92, all of them have extremely positive reviews and the aforementioned history. If you like .40 all of those guns come that way. If you are a fan of .45, I honestly think the only choice is 1911, or maybe a Sig P220. Of course you can get a Tupperware gun in any of those calibers. (Glock, XD, M&P).

That is just my two cents, and there are TONS of great guns I didn't mention, but based on person personal experience and research that is what I've found. All of those guns can be found new or used in the sub $600 range if you look around. I hear that if you want a no frills 1911 new for under $600 The Springfield entry-level models aren't bad choices (I believe they are called the GI and the Mil-Spec).

Just Shoot the guns you can and figure it out from what you prefer.

August 20, 2009, 12:05 AM
Great advice...thanks so much. I totally get what you mean, nitetrain98. For me, the Telecaster is the guitar that just "did it" for me. I own a Tele (which I "re-built") and an SG, and that's all I need for electrics. I'm looking to get the same deal with firearms.....don't need an arsenal.

I'm open to semi-auto and revolvers....even though semi-auto breaks with the 870 analogy, it keeps with the others mentioned (FAL, Ruger 10/22, etc...), and the main point is the same.

It seems I need to spend some time at a range testing out different ones, as well as more time in stores handling the various models...

August 20, 2009, 07:02 AM
almost purchased a CZ 452 rifle this week as I don't have a .22 yet, but thought a pistol might be the smarter choice to get first.

Then get both. Either a Ruger Single Six, or a Ruger standard auto (MK whatever). You'll have so much fun shooting either you'll wonder how you got along without them all this time.

Either one will last you forever.

August 20, 2009, 02:39 PM
The 1911 seems cool, but maybe too much $$$ for the fancy models. Is there a "basic", non-pretty yet equally as functional and well built 1911? I don't need pretty so much as I need "never regretted buying it".
They're built pretty closely to the original design and work.
They also have jazzed-up versions for a little more dough, but they aren't going to break the bank. They also aren't going to be fitted to the level of a Nighthawk or Brown.

August 20, 2009, 02:44 PM
Smith and Wesson revolver.

August 20, 2009, 02:52 PM
I would compare the Dan Wesson revolver to the Remington 870-you can change the barrels to fit your purposes-2.5 or 4" for CCW, 6"-8" for target shooting. The Remington, a slug or short barrel for home defense, longer barrels for trap, skeet or hunting.
I am a Steel and Walnut man myself, also a dedicated bargain hunter, hence I always look at the used guns first.
You did not mention how much training or experience you have or how much you will be shooting. In new guns I recommend a CZ-75 WITH their Kadet unit, that way you can practice with 22LRs, when you transition to centerfire
the controls and feel of the handgun are all familiar. An M1911 with a conversion unit is another option.

August 20, 2009, 02:58 PM
S&W K-Frame Model 10.

I have one that's 35 years old (or so). No bluing left, but very clean, mechanically better than new, and a trigger softer than room temp butter.

I love my 1911 and my Sigs, but accuracy wise this one wins hands down.

August 20, 2009, 03:18 PM
Nice. Thanks. This will be "the pistol" of the house, so it will cover any and all situations. I figure this would be easier for my wife to use in my absence than my Remington 870, and more portable as well. So, I'm looking for, well, "the pistol", whatever form that may take. :) I don't intend to look into getting a carry permit, so this gun won't be on my person.

As for me, I'm relatively new to guns, but really do enjoy shooting and learning and getting skilled with them. I plan on going to ranges or out into the country and taking time to get used to all the firearms I own, so the make/model/type/etc. is irrelevant so long as it meets my criteria and I've then taken the time to get comfortable with it. We have a few good ranges in town that aren't too expensive, and my friend and I enjoy heading out of town and going up into the forest for target practice, so I'll have lots of opportunities to get acclimated to whatever pistol I end up with.

On a side note, I really did enjoy shooting my friend's .45 Ruger. Super easy for me to shoot and be relatively accurate with (after 15 rounds or so...). I liked that better than his .380, and better than my cousin's Glock 17.

August 20, 2009, 03:54 PM
A do-all handgun huh? I have a safe full and I still "need" more! If I could only keep one it would be a 1911, a Colt 45 to be more specific. If you liked that Ruger wait till you try the Colt.

A new American made Colt 80 series can still be found for under $750 otd. I know because I bought another this week on gunbroker. Nothin fancy, but as time goes by you can add whatever you want to it to make it yours, or just leave it stock which is great too. Sure the new polymer guns are great, cheap, easy to clean, and hold more rounds - I have many of those too, but they lack character. And when someone asks you what kind of handgun you have you can smile and say, A COLT 45 SIR!!

Now if you just want a run of the pack gun that works and requires little to no maintenace get an XD, or spend a bit more and get a CZ, or a bit more than that and get a Sig or H&K(which are my preference for black guns). I would stick with a 9mm, .40, or .45 for your use though.

August 20, 2009, 04:00 PM
I'd have to say the 1911, Hi-Power and S&W Model 19/66 K-frame are neck and neck for me. So I bought them all. As you probably have with your favorite guitars!

August 20, 2009, 04:02 PM
If you are inclined toward a 9mm, I would suggest a Glock 17 over the Springfield XD. Now, if .45 is more to your liking, the XD, hands down. Glocks in .45 ACP are nice, but the Springfield fits better.

Tim the student
August 20, 2009, 04:06 PM
If you are inclined toward a 9mm, I would suggest a Glock 17 over the Springfield XD

Why's that?

August 20, 2009, 04:08 PM
If you're expecting the wife to use it and if she's not all that much of a regular shooter then the handling of a revolver is far less difficult to remember. Just grab and then pull and it'll go BANG. But a semi forces the operator to know a little more about it and what to do depending on what condition it is kept in during guard duty. For example in the heat of a situation would she (or you for that matter) remember to thumb the safety down as part of the gripping of the gun? If it's kept without a round in the chamber will she be practised enough to remember to rack the slide? Some match type 1911's come with a rather sensitive touch trigger. Will she get enough range and handling time to make it ingrained that the finger does not pass into the guard until a target is seen and confirmed?

A lot of this all applies to the revolver as well of course. But there's less to remember with a revolver and when shooting it in double action there's a few more milliseconds for her or you to change your mind if either of you suddenly realizes that the shadow is a lost neighbour instead of a home invader.

Either option obviously makes a great defense gun but I feel that any of the semis requires a little more of the operator in terms of use and regular practice not only for the shooting but also for the handling before the shooting of it. When under the effect of adrenaline in a real situation a lot of the finer motor skills and judgement goes down teh flusher if the use of these tools is not fully and frequently ingrained to where it's automatic.

August 20, 2009, 04:15 PM
A "do it all" handgun that will serve as your main HD handgun. You have many options in both revolvers and semi autos that are quality made within your mid $500.00 range.

GLOCK variants
XD variants
Beretta 92
Springfield GI 1911
Ruger P series pistols
CZ 75B

Ruger GP 100 (a 4" bbl .357 is THE ultimate utility gun IMHO)
Ruger Sp101
SW 620 or 686 ( NIB is a good deal higher than your stated price range, look for used)
SW 66 or 10 are good, but are no longer in production. (parts should be easy to locate though)

Good luck and let us know what you decide on.

August 20, 2009, 04:22 PM
i've had my springfield xd 45 never fail me. it eats anything, lifetime warranty, easy to breakdown. for under $600 you can't beat it.

August 20, 2009, 05:18 PM
Very cool. Great info. Thanks all.

I do get the desire to buy more than one type/make/model of handgun, but for now, $$$ dictates I make one wise purchase as opposed to two or three. :)

I also get the semi-auto vs. revolver deal...makes sense. I suppose I'm gravitating more towards a semi-auto pistol for subconscious reasons mostly, but I should give a good S&W revolver or two a chance before I make the final decision.

Same with CZ... I've compared the Springfield to the Glock in terms of comfort in the hand, and the XD won hands-down. As for 1911 and CZ vs. XD...I've yet to do that, and will ASAP. I intend to hit up the Clackamas range in the coming days (just had a baby a few hours I'm not in a place to do it just yet....) and see what they have to compare. I really like the Glock philosophy of design, and want to prefer it over the XD, but it just doesn't feel as good in my hands as the XD.

As for caliber...I dunno. I REALLY liked how that .45 ACP felt, and I shot really well with it at about 10 yards or so (at least, I THINK I shot well with it...), and the recoil and feel of that round was just fine with me. Very comfortable. I'll have to give other calibers a good run in the same type (Glock, XD, etc...) at the range before I settle on one in particular, though...

August 20, 2009, 08:28 PM
I'm thinking Glock 17, though I prefer the 19.

August 20, 2009, 10:27 PM
Well... heck and a half, congrats on the new baby! ! ! ! Boy or girl?

Your idea of getting out and trying a few is by far the best idea you've had in the whole thread other than wanting the guns that are the backbone of handgunning. And do remember to talk over the home defense situation with the wife and base your first gun on her attitude towards the whole scene. If she's keen on shooting then she'll be keen on learning whatever she needs to know. If she's OK but not highly motivated then do consider what I wrote above about keeping it simple for her sake just in case she needs to use it when you're not there.

My first handgun was a CZ 9mm. I'm supremely happy with it and based the purchase on my findings from having shot a couple of Glocks, S&W M&P9, Beretta 92FS, Baby Eagle, Steyr, STI Trojan in 9mm and a couple of Sigs. I was pretty much ready to buy a Baby Eagle but then I got to try a buddy's CZ Shadow. That one totally grabbed my heart big time. For me it was the best of the lot by a clear margin. But obviously this is a highly personal issue for fit and function as the legions of folks that own the other guns I mentioned points out. So the idea of trying a bunch is the way to go.

Oddly enough I thought revolvers were ungainly looking things that would be grossly front heavy... Then I shot a box through a S&W Model 19 and had a firearms epiphany. I've now got 3 S&W wheelguns and love them. I can actually shoot any of these three more tightly than I can shoot my Shadow, my 1911 or any other of my center fire semi auto handguns. Only my semi .22's match my prowess with my revolvers thanks to the all but non existent recoil. So by all means do not be pejudiced one way or the other until you try a few of each. You may just find your own firearms epiphany.... :D

August 21, 2009, 05:55 AM
There are several handguns that I might consider the 870 of handguns.

1. Ruger GP100. Crazy durable, crazy reliable, will shoot anything within SAAMI pressure specs and beg for more. It has a modular design, it is the very definition of overbuilt. If you can overlook the sometimes rough finish, these guns are absolutely incredible.

2. Ruger SP101. Same as above, but in a compact format. Every bit as good as the GP100.

3. Glock 17

4. Glock 19

I don't even own any glocks, but when I read your thread, I thought Glock all the way for the autoloader equivalent of the 870.

August 21, 2009, 08:48 AM
If you are inclined toward a 9mm, I would suggest a Glock 17 over the Springfield XD

Why's that?

Personal preference. Glocks are idiot proof. The XD is a superb weapon but, given the choice, I'd rather have the Glock in 9mm (I like its simplicity, no grip safety.) I prefer the XD in .45 because of the narrower grip compared to the Glock in .45 (granted, it is a very minor difference.) The grip angle on both work very well for all reality, you won't go wrong with either.

August 21, 2009, 09:05 AM
Congratulations on the new baby! (Now to serious matters.) :rolleyes:

As much as I like 45ACP, the most comfortable and accurate semi-auto, centerfire, I've handled is the CZ 75B. I got it for my wife with her small hands but it works for me as well. Several thousand rounds later, I'm still waiting for the first jam.

For a revolver, any S&W K frame will do the job but I keep a beat up 1970s vintage Model 10, 4" bull barrel by the bed side. Plenty of history behind it and, unless you need to deal with body armor, a 38 special will do the job for a house gun. Less history but very sweet is a 4" Ruger GP100 loaded with 38 specials. Very versatile and if it's not indestructible it will do until the real thing comes along.

Again, congratulations to you and your wife.


August 21, 2009, 09:08 AM
Basically, I'm looking for this in a pistol: Something that is a classic, proven design, crazy reliable, still in current production, easily repaired/maintained and has parts easily sourced for it, in a common caliber, and is easy/comfortable to shoot.

Even though you say you're more of a semiauto guy, what you've described is the classic Smith & Wesson Model 10/Model 64 k-frame revolver. They're very good handling and amazingly easy to shoot accurately. For more than half a century they were THE duty sidearm of nearly every law enforcement agency in the country, with good reason. Give one a try before you dismiss the revolver option. Excellent used examples are available for $350, and sometimes less. For many people, these classic revolvers are "just right" in so many ways.

If you're set on a semiauto, the 1911 is at the top of the heap in classics. No design approaches it in terms of proven long-term performance. It's like holding a handful of history going back to Alvin York in the WWI trenches. Colt, Springlfield, and S&W all make good ones, although they're well beyond $500.

August 21, 2009, 11:16 AM
Right on. Thanks. Great info as always.

So, S&W Model 10 and 64 K Frame, and Ruger GP-100 revolvers are on the check list, then, and I'll have to give Glocks a good run at the range to really be sure if they're in or out. I think NW Armory has a good stock of both types I could check out (in the store...not on the range) for how they fit in my hands.

Oh, and it's a girl. She'd doing quite well for her first day out in the world.

August 21, 2009, 12:33 PM
XDs are great till the grip safety gets caught halfway and locks the gin up tight.

I say what you are looking for is a Glock or 1911.

August 21, 2009, 12:35 PM
I think of the 1911 as the Remington 870 and the Glock 17 as more of the Mossberg 590.


August 21, 2009, 02:25 PM
As said above what you have described fits the S&W M10 to a tee. Here is a little story from a fella I know, he goes on about his M10 and what he has done with since he purchased it 1975. It is really a great read.

I’ve always had the good fortune to have both firearms and unlimited shooting opportunities available to me. Growing up, I lived in a rural setting from the time I was old enough to handle a gun. I spent many happy hours with a Benjamin Model 347 air rifle, Winchester Model 190 .22 rifle, and an old Savage 755 auto loading 12-gauge shotgun. Through trial and error I learned most basic principals of shooting such as trajectory, wind drift, lead etc. By the time I graduated high school I had accumulated several good rifles and that Savage shotgun. My huntin’ uncle, who’d had a large collection of firearms, had died a few years before and my cousins all had access to his arsenal. This included handguns, some of which are now tremendous collector’s items. I hung out with these cousins and was able to sample most all of my uncle’s menagerie of weapons. I determined that I required a handgun of my own.

I became employed with a large Fort Worth bank at 18, just out of high school and was making more money than I’d ever had before. $385 per month, which worked out to $161 every two weeks take-home! Why I had money to burn so burned up a goodly sum on firearms. I became acquainted with some of the armored motor transport guards who made their daily deliveries armed with Colt or Smith and Wesson .38 Special revolvers. One of the guards mentioned that he intended to trade off his blued revolver for a flashier nickel-plated revolver. I was all ears as I couldn’t just walk into a shop and purchase a handgun at eighteen. I offered to buy his revolver and he told me he’d sell it for $75. I happily paid him and spirited my new purchase out of the bank and home. It was a slightly used Smith & Wesson Model 10 with four-inch heavy barrel. The right grip was worn from dragging against the brick wall in the close confines of the bank’s armored motor dock while on the guard’s hip. Only later did I learn that the list price of a new Model 10 was $78.50.

Still… I had a handgun. I replaced the scuffed grip and wrote the date I acquired the Model 10 on the inside of the left grip panel, December 16, 1975. Later a factory letter indicated that my gun was shipped in June of 1971.

My favorite huntin’ cousin who was only five days younger than I, and with whom I’d grown up, had his dad’s Smith & Wesson Model 15 four inch and also had available to him all his dad’s handloading equipment and supplies. We went into the ammo makin’ business. We had no business makin’ ammo without adult supervision. We wanted “hot” loads so we made ‘em up as we went along. If the old Hornady and Pacific manuals we were using stated a maximum charge of Unique, we started there and added a grain. Seemed like a good place to begin. Only the goodness of the basic S&W K-frame design saved us from ourselves. We happily fired several thousand of these loads. We’d even take the loading equipment with us to the family lake cabin, which was situated on large acreage. There we’d shoot up 500 rounds of the hot .38 Special ammo one day, clamp the old Lyman Spar-T press to the kitchen table and reload the cases that night for the next day’s fun. Back then we’d never heard of hearing protection so I am somewhat deaf to this day from the pounding my ears took so long ago. After the first year or so we toned done the loads to more reasonable levels to the everlasting gratitude of our revolvers, which we both still have and which are none the worse for wear.

Roaming the wilds of the family property at the lake, various deer leases, or my parents’ home place I always found varmints and critters galore to shoot. My old Model 10 has taken most every thing that may be found in these parts of Texas including but not necessarily limited to: mice, rats, gophers, ground squirrels, snakes, lizards, turtles, birds, rabbits, jackrabbits, squirrels, armadillos, skunks ‘possums, ‘coons, ringtailed cats, a coyote, carp, gar, nutria, a few black bass, crow, duck, turkey, guinea fowl, feral dogs and cats, and deer. My favorite field load for the .38 Special, a 158 grain lead SWC over 4.8 grains of Unique, is generally what I use. The .38 Special has always performed well for me with good hits and that is all one can ask of a cartridge. Even with the deer or the largest of dogs that I tackled, it offered effective killing power. I can’t recall anything that ran off after I turned my .38 Special on it.

Years ago I spine shot a small buck with a .30-40 Krag, paralyzing him but not immediately killing him. I was packing my Model 10 on my belt, filled with SuperVel 110 grain +P loads. I carefully lined up a shot, which I though would pierce his heart and fired. He stopped struggling and his eyes glazed over and he was dead. Upon field dressing him I found that the hot hollowpoint load did indeed poke a .38 hole through his heart and then the bullet ranged far down his left foreleg stopping just before the knee joint. I extracted it to find that it hadn’t opened up and was scarcely damaged at all. This shot was taken at pointblank range, and the ammo had chronographed at over 1200 fps from the 4-inch barrel of the Model 10. This was the first revelation to me that expanding bullets didn’t always perform as well as their reputation suggested.

Twenty something years ago I set out to kill my first deer with a handgun and I determined that I wanted it to be a .38 Special. I had a quantity of 200 grain Remington lead round nose factory component bullets on hand, so selected this heavy slug to use. I worked up, and chronographed loads with several powders, finally settling on a charge of 2400 which gave this long heavy bullet a muzzle velocity of 935 fps from the 8 3/8-inch barrel of my S&W Model 14. This bullet was of very soft lead and gave good expansion in some materials I used in my non-tests. In actual use, one of these slugs slammed through the boiler room of a Texas whitetail buck and effectively settled his hash. The bullet lodged in a rib on the off side of the deer, flattened out with a big smear of lead on one side about the size of a quarter. It had apparently turned sideways in its track through the vitals. This shot was taken at all of 17 yards.

Many years later I sent a factory Winchester +P 158 grain SWC-HP from my Model 10 through a small Texas whitetail doe from about 30 yards away. She ran about 40 yards in a semi-circle, fell on her back, kicked weakly at the sky and expired. This bullet exited, leaving only a ¾-inch exit hole.

While scouting out a locale on a deer lease one fall I came upon a spike buck entangled in a barbed wire fence. He was very lively but his forelegs were ribbons and one was broken from his struggles. One of my 4.8 grain/158 grain SWC handloads from my favorite old Model 10 through the heart killed him instantly. Of course this was at point blank range.

I commuted to a bank in a different town for 11 years, which took me through some deer country. I frequently saw deer lying dead on the roadside, killed by automobiles. One morning I passed a nice buck lying injured in a ditch beside the highway. A customer of mine drove up about the same time I did and we shook our heads regretfully about the waste of a good buck and a nice rack. I returned to my pickup and retrieved my Model 10, putting the poor buck out of his misery with a single shot to the front of the chest with the Winchester 158 grain +P load. The life went out of his eyes and his head sagged to the ground upon receiving the shot.

From 1980 to 1983 I was a silhouette shooting fiend, attending local matches in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and practicing several times a week at our local range. I primarily used an 8 3/8-inch Smith & Wesson Model 29 for the four seasons I was involved in the sport, but played with several other revolvers to some extent, mostly on the practice range. I never got to be any great shakes at hunter pistol silhouette. At my practiced best I hovered around 30 out of 40 possible. While practicing, I unlimbered the Model 10 on a number of occasions and was generally good for 18 to 22 with the 4-inch fixed sight revolver, using the “Kentucky windage” method of lofting the 158 grain/4.8 grains Unique load into the turkeys and rams. It was pretty easy to accomplish once one familiarized himself with the trajectory. My Model 10 needs no allowance for proper horizontal hold on target with most of my loads.

I had some long-range practice under my belt when I took up hunter pistol silhouette competition, as I’d previously spend several years shooting at ranges out to 200 yards with handguns at a range we have set up at our lake cabin. It’s fun to wile away the afternoon, pretending to be a howitzer, and flinging lead at distant targets with a .38 Special. Instructive too. Cousins, brothers-in-law, assorted friends, and I have set up cans, rocks, gallon milk jugs full of water, old real estate signs, and other assorted targets including a few computers/monitors on the side of the hill of our range and then assaulted them with all kinds of ordnance. My Model 10 has always been at the forefront of such goofin’ off. There’s a oval shaped rock 2 ½ feet by 1 1/2 feet at about 140 yards that I still can hit with regularity with the Model 10 by holding what appears to be a foot over it with the moderate Unique load. That rock is smaller than it’s original dimensions due to all the long range pounding it’s endured for the past 30 years.

The crow I took was the unfortunate recipient of all this long-range pistol practice. I was fishing in a secret hole when a heavy rainstorm came along. I retreated to the car to sit it out. Along came a forlorn crow and lit in a cottonwood tree at water’s edge about 100 yards away. I looked at the crow a long time, speculating on whether or not I could employ the Model 10 to trim him off the limb on which he was perched. Finally I determined to try. Opening the car door against the torrent, I braced my elbows on the window frame, held about a crow-length over him, and carefully pressed the trigger. The Model 10 barked and, after a short interval, the bullet struck the crow with an audible thud and down he plummeted with a splash, into the pond. Don’t know whether he or I was the more surprised. Of course both the Model 10 and I got a thorough wetting.

Speaking of wettings, the Model 10 and not some stainless handgun, has always accompanied me duck hunting or fishing. It’s been rained on, snowed on, bled on, muddy, and has been swimming in our slough on Lake Leon on a few occasions. Sometimes it rides in a belt holster and sometimes it is toted in the pocket on the inside of the chest waders. That pocket gets kinda sandy and gritty during the season too. No matter, the revolver is always available and always works perfectly. I always keep it wiped off best as possible, and it receives a thorough cleaning and re-oiling after living in such an environment. Never any rust problems. Early on in its career and in my own crass ignorance, it was subjected to underwater firing tests in Lake Leon. The volume of gas released makes for a huge bubble but I couldn’t even connect with a submerged stump at 10 feet. I was unwilling to get any closer in fear that I might be struck with a bullet that bounced back at me. In the interest of prudence I must caution against this idiotic practice of firing underwater. I’d seen an episode of “Sea Hunt” where the bad guy fired a snub nosed revolver at Lloyd Bridges as they grappled in an underwater fight scene, so just had to try it.

Ed McGivern’s famous tome “Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting” inspired me to attempt to learn the stunt of aerial shooting. This is an activity that is difficult to safely pursue in this day and age. One must be in control of a lot of wide, open space to insure complete safety when the bullets fall. I have had the space available to safely practice aerial target shooting. After expenditure of much ammunition I became capable of hitting self-thrown targets about 50% of the time. Most of my aerial shooting was accomplished with the Model 10, though a good deal was done with two other Smith & Wesson revolvers, an 8 3/8-inch Model 17 .22, and an 8 3/8-inch Model 29 .44 Magnum (with light loads). I always felt that I actually did better work on this type of shooting with the Model 10 than with the long barreled revolvers. I’ve had opportunities to surprise a few buddies with my shooting antics on the aerial targets.

When the going gets tough I reach for my old Model 10. I am scarcely ever farther than three feet from a handgun whether I am toting on my person or the handgun is nearby. This has been so for 30 years now and that handgun is generally a .38 Special, usually my Model 10 HB. I’m grateful for the measure of security and reassurance it provides. I spent a couple of years as a bank collection manager, and as a long time loan officer, I have always made efforts to effect payment or repossession on my own delinquent loans through the personal visit. Over the past 25 years or so, field collection activities have taken me to some locales both unsavory and remote, and at some odd hours. The Model 10 is not a collection technique but a comfort. On two occasions its heft was reassuring as I balanced it in my hand to forestall the possible deterioration of a situation. On both occasions the desired effect was achieved without a shot being fired. Neither of these had to do with past due note collections. Never once in 26 years have I been assailed with anything but verbal threats while collecting.

It’s been my experience that the Smith & Wesson revolver of traditional manufacture at least, wears in instead of wearing out. I don’t know about the new ones with the MIM parts, barrel shrouds, and locks. After many years of heavy use my Model 10 has the finest single action trigger pull that a mechanical trigger can provide, and its double action pull is smooth as butter. My Model 10 hasn’t had an action job. It’s never been to a gunsmith either. The $25 “action job” was once de rigueur for the gunsmiths of the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, both the good ‘uns and the not-so-good ‘uns. Not long after I bought it, I subjected my Model 14 K-38 to the butchery of a reputed action job “whiz” who proceeded to ruin it, rendering the revolver unsafe. A new hammer and trigger were required to remedy the mess he made. My Model 10 has always remained in time despite the volume of ammunition it has digested. Also, despite being dropped on a few occasions, I’ve been fortunate that it scarcely suffered much cosmetic marring, much less mechanical damage. It has always been scrupulously cleaned and lubricated which has to contribute to long service life in any weapon. I’m convinced that most revolvers that have mechanical wear and timing problems were not cleaned and lubricated properly.

In this current age of the concealed carry craze, the atomic powered yet teeny-weeny revolvers and auto loaders reign supreme. Though I have small J-frame snubs in .38 Special, it is a waste of a fine cartridge to relegate the .38 Special only to such products. The steel K-frame .38 Special should be the hottest selling product in the Smith & Wesson line. The cartridge is very capable in its own right, .357 Magnum aside. The fixed sight models are nigh on to indestructible and their sights are far more useful than most suppose. The adjustable sighted Models 14 and 15 give an elegant performance on the range and in the field, and the sights are more durable than most suppose. They are all very easy to get to know and love. They are dependable, very accurate and pleasant to fire. Much more so than the average shrunken concealed carry piece. They may be cleverly and comfortably concealed if some thought is put into the task.

Alas, it’s not meant to be, at least not in the beginning of the 21st century. That’s OK by me. I’m out of style. I’m also sentimental. My Model 10 was my first handgun and we’ve been many a mile together. If circumstances forced me to sell off the firearms collection, I’d keep a rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun. That rifle would be an M1 Garand, the shotgun would be a Winchester Model 12 12 guage, and the handgun would be the Model 10 HB.

August 21, 2009, 04:03 PM
Ruger P-Series


August 21, 2009, 04:12 PM
Interesting...Azizza, did you have this grip safety experience with the XD? I've never heard of this happening.

So the 1911 is the 870 and the Glock is the Mossberg? :) Too funny...but I get it.

So, 366A, that's a killer story.... He picks great guns....a M1, Winchester 12, and the S&W. Hard to beat classics, huh.

August 21, 2009, 08:17 PM
So, I have to say...the Sig P226 is THE most comfortable pistol I've held. Amazing. Compared it side by side to a Glock 21, a .45 XD, a HK (something or other...), and a low-end Kimber 1911, and the Sig has THE grip for me.

I'm thinking of the Sig P220 (their .45 version, right?), as that grip was just way too perfect. However, the Glock 21 wasn't that bad, in reality....and I kinda started to get annoyed by the grip saftey on the XD and Kimber 1911. The HK was just built like a tank. Super solid gun...felt heavy and mean. The Kimber was nice too...but I liked the rounder handle of the P226 and the XD.45. The Glock grip would be fine if it was more round and less deep...but it would do, I'm sure.

However, do I really need a P220? I mean, wouldn't a Glock 21 be just fine? I'll have to read up on the Sig/Glock .45 versions...

August 21, 2009, 08:36 PM
S&W K frame or Glock 9mm

August 23, 2009, 09:30 AM
Interesting...Azizza, did you have this grip safety experience with the XD? I've never heard of this happening.

Not to any of my guns. Seen it happen once and heard of it happening to others. I still have 3 XDs that I love. Just saying that it is something that has happened and should be kept in mind.

August 23, 2009, 10:08 PM
C'mon guys he said the Remington 870 of handguns. That would be a good quality revolver. L-frame Smith or Ruger, take your pick.

Had he said the Remington 1100 of handguns I'd say 1911 or XD.

August 23, 2009, 10:50 PM
Pump vs semi? OK, I'll have to agree with the revolver slant in that case.... :D

Boy... NOTHING gets by you, does it.... :D

August 23, 2009, 11:23 PM
In all fairness, he did go on to say,

Maybe I should have said "the Ruger 10/22 or Marlin 60 or Remington 700 or AK or FAL of handguns?"

So I suppose just about anything is fair game. :)

August 23, 2009, 11:47 PM
In all fairness, he did go on to say,

Maybe I should have said "the Ruger 10/22 or Marlin 60 or Remington 700 or AK or FAL of handguns?"
So I suppose just about anything is fair game.

Exactly. I'm looking for a known reliable/classic/dependable/easilysourcedparts pistol. Something that I could pick up replacement parts for anywhere, etc... The 870 just came to mind first as an analog to my pistol search, but then the other guns cropped up after I thought about my criteria long enough.

Ala Dan
August 24, 2009, 12:27 AM
I will have to second the S&W's model 10 nomination~! ;) :D

August 24, 2009, 12:53 AM
i like my guns very simple too. my requirements are:
1) 100% reliable
2) simple &
3)accurate...thats all you need

thats why i got a glock 22 and a ruger sp101 .357mag
both will function flawlessly

August 24, 2009, 01:07 AM
I think you have several good candidates depending on the style you prefer.
Ruger GP-100
Ruger Blackhawk
Smith K, L, or N frame (before their pricing went stupid) Most specifically a Model 65
Beretta 92
Colt 1911
Several SIGs - I am not familiar with all their numbers off the top of my head, but a P230 was the only semi auto I ever owned that didn't jam.

August 24, 2009, 01:14 AM
CZ-75B all the way.

August 24, 2009, 12:59 PM
Another vote for the Ruger GP-100 in .357mag with the 6" barrel.

Second choice would be a 1911a1 .45acp.


August 24, 2009, 01:34 PM

August 24, 2009, 04:44 PM
Sounds like you may be leaning towards a Sig and/or a 45. You wont go wrong there. I prefer the single stack grip on the p220 vs 226/229/228...but thats just me. I also prefer shooting 45 for some reason. It costs more to practice with but I have gotten to the point now where my 45s are all I bring to my range. That being said I own a p220carry with a SRT and really like it. Accurate, reliable, fun and easy to shoot. My wife can handle the 220 really well too. Sig makes a great gun and has great service to back them up. Its worth the price difference for me for all the non-1911 guns.

August 24, 2009, 05:10 PM
First of all some disclosure, I'm a 1911 kind of guy. I've had seven of them and two Hi Powers. I currently have a Nighthawk, Colt and Para, so I've put my money where my mouth is. I've also got a Model 10 along with a couple of other revolvers, since it's been brought up.

I'm going to give the OP the same advice I've given to a couple of friends lately. If you're looking to spend around $500 on a pistol that may be your only pistol, it's really hard to beat a Glock 19. There's a reason it's arguably the most popular of the Glocks.

I used to be a "Glock Hater", until I got one recently. Damn fine pistol. And very hard to beat at that price range, I refer to it as the AK-47 of handguns.

August 24, 2009, 05:23 PM
Thanks TXHORNS and HexHead. I think you both get what I'm looking for.

The SIG P220 is a sweet pistol, but my question is that if I'm in that price range, might I be better served looking at a Sprinfield 1911? What would push one to SIG .45 from a 1911? (and yes, I really like .45ACP, even though it's much more $$$...)

As for Glock being the AK-47 of handguns...that's exactly what I'm looking for. I think you get my intent.... As for the Glock 19, why that over the Glock 21SF? I'm not going to carry whatever pistol I end up with, so compact size isn't nearly as important as balance, feel, etc... I have nothing against a full-size, and I find myself gravitating towards full-size pistols due to my hand size. The Glock 21SF is about as big a grip as I can handle comfortably, but it does feel pretty good.

August 24, 2009, 05:37 PM
You like your XD keep it.

August 25, 2009, 12:12 AM
Exactly. I'm looking for a known reliable/classic/dependable/easilysourcedparts pistol. Something that I could pick up replacement parts for anywhere, etc...

Reliable & dependable guns don't need spare or replacement parts. S&W or Ruger revolvers will run like the energizer bunny with an occasional cleaning. So will the XD and most Glocks (from what I hear). IMHO, the problem with the 1911 is that they are so easy to work on that everyone feels like they should. Been there, done that, and have the box of parts to prove it.

My 1991A was very dependable when I bought it. After changing to a full length guide rod, aftermarket hammer, sear and trigger, upgraded springs, ect I would up with a gun the was worse off than when I started. I've got it back to stock configuration and it runs fine again.

August 25, 2009, 12:35 AM
If you are trying to decide between a Springer 1911 and a Sig P220 I can help. I have one of each and prefer the Springer. My breakdown:

Sig P220:
Easier to break down/clean, barely
Great ergonomics
100% reliable
Less sharp edges?

Springer Loaded:
100% reliable too
Takes 10 more seconds to break down/clean
Better trigger
Cheaper mags by alot
More accurate for me, because of the trigger
Slimmer, easier to conceal, not that you care but its true
Theres something about a 1911
More upgrades

I own several HK's and the 1 Sig, cause its the only Sig I like. But I prefer the 1911s. I shoot them more and carry them more. I cant find anything wrong with them. I appreciate quality and will pay more for it. But I dont think the P220 brings anything to the table that a Springer Loaded doesnt have. The 1911 is the standard that all others are measured by and in my opinion nothing touches it. And the Springer Loaded is a great deal. I would prefer a Colt sent to a great smith to add some features (more pricey) but the Loaded is a great deal out of the box. Also the Colt xse comes nicely equiped but has less configurations. And for a few more bucks you can snag an STI or DW which are awesome for the price.

Either way you will be happy if you plan on spending that kind of cash (upwards of 8-1000bucks) which I think is worth it.

If you want to stay around $5-600 then the XD would be my choice. Glocks just dont work for me. They may for you though. I like to pick up a handgun and see how it points for me, just like you shoulder a shotgun. Close your eyes and aim, open eyes and see where you are at. Also test out the triggers. Pull the tigger and see how you steady the sights. Great way to practice too. For me, I find the xd more to my liking if thats your price range.

As far as wheel guns go, they are great too. Get a GP100 if you want one. Built like a tank. Im a semi guy though, although I keep the 1 wheel gun around just for kicks.

A few other guns to consider: HK45 - great but pricey. CZ 97 - hard to find, heavy but awesome. HK USP 45, close price to Sig, 12 rounds, one of my favorite guns.

BTW my springer had seen better days. After hunting season its going to the custom shop for a paint job + some goodies. I hope part of this ramble helps your decision.

August 25, 2009, 01:46 AM
Thanks TXHORNS. I've added the Springfield 1911s to my "to try out at the store and/or shooting range once I get the cash available" list. I've been impressed with Springfield's M1 SOCOM rifles for some time now, so I really ought to at least handle one of their 1911s before I make a final decision.

$500-$600 would be best for me as far as price range (hence my leaning towards the Glock 21SF), but then I understand the value of buying something *good* albeit more expensive the first time around and in the long run actually saving money.

August 25, 2009, 09:01 AM
My Springer was bought used for $600 on gunbroker.

August 25, 2009, 09:23 AM
The OP asked about "easily repaired/maintained" and no one has really talked about that. How many have taken their semi-autos down to the VERY smallest parts? Yes, I'm sure many have, but a great many more probably haven't entirely detail stripped their pistols which WILL be required if it breaks. Either the slide, frame or both. Glock is, by far, hands down the EASIEST pistol to detail strip. I can have the slide down to the striker spring retaining cups and back together in under a minute. Same for the grip. From removing the frame pins, pulling the locking block and slide lock to the trigger and trigger bar assembly to the disconnector and put back together. This makes any parts replacement VERY easy and Glock parts are available everywhere. Although it wasn't needed, for piece of mind, I bought an entire rebuild parts kit for my G19 for under $100. Everything except the frame, barrel and slide. Not bad at all! And that's just covering the repair/maintenance aspect. Everyone knows about the legendary reliability and durability.

Now, try detail stripping that 1911...not hard but it IS more time consuming and "complicated". :D

August 28, 2009, 04:54 PM
1911, cz 75, jericho. .45 acp, 9mm para, or .40 s&w

August 29, 2009, 01:38 PM
A sawed-off 870, maybe? :)

August 29, 2009, 02:14 PM
Ha.....sawed-off 870. :)

Actually, after doing some reading and checking out of pistols in person, I'm leaning heavily toward either the Glock 17 or 21SF. I'll still give the rest (CZ, Beretta, 1911-variants, SIG) a chance, but I think I'm going to end up in Glock-land.... We'll see. Need to sell some cymbals first to fund the pistol...

August 29, 2009, 08:14 PM
Interesting thread.

I'm more interested in finding the "XD" of shotguns myself :)

August 29, 2009, 11:30 PM
Glock 23 cause its just right

August 29, 2009, 11:42 PM
Hogshead wins the thread.
G23 is my daily carry gun.

August 30, 2009, 09:14 AM
You need to wrap your hand around a CZ-75.
For many, me included, it's like no other.

August 30, 2009, 09:56 AM
S&W Model 10. Dirt-simple, effective, accurate, easy to maintain, parts available, proven and reliable (the design has been around since 1899), and ammo is *somewhat* easier to find. I can still find 38 Spl ammo in +P, standard, SWC, JHP, etc.

September 2, 2009, 12:33 PM
The 870 have handguns? That would be the glock 17, it's so reliable out of the box it's boring.

September 2, 2009, 04:17 PM
Nice...I like boring. Boring means it works every time I pull the trigger. :)

September 2, 2009, 06:48 PM
Beretta 92. It holds a lot of bullets, 16 if keep one chambered, it always goes boom, and it's easy to clean, disassemble and assemble. Lots of good reccomendations here.

September 2, 2009, 06:55 PM
Glock 17 and 1911 directly fit your criteria.

I'm an XD owner, but I'm not going to claim the XD fits your criteria better than the Glock, which has a ton of aftermarket accessories, and is wildly popular. Reliability and quality is a wash.

September 2, 2009, 07:12 PM
As many have stated, the 1911 fits your description to the tee. I don't have one yet, but it is near the top of my wish list. That said, DO NOT be afraid of the XD. I have a full size XD45 and love it. I love it soooo much that I just bought an XD40 SubCompact as a companion to it so it doesn't get lonely when I'm gone! Another option for you may be the Beretta 92.

September 2, 2009, 08:41 PM
For an auto, I would suggest that the Glock is as simple as you can get. For a revolver I'm quite partial to Rugers, in this case I will suggest a GP100.

September 3, 2009, 03:18 PM
Springfield Armory 1911 GI .45 model, its around $600-$750 i believe

September 3, 2009, 07:53 PM
Ruger 22 Mk 2, or Ruger 22/45 Mk 2 or Mk 3......

September 5, 2009, 02:47 PM
So, I ended up with a Glock 17, for a number of reasons... Can't wait to take it out shooting and see how it works. Thankfully we have a nice local range and other places out of the city available...

Thanks for your help, suggestions, etc.. Very seemed like there were many "right" choices to make in the handgun area.

September 5, 2009, 03:01 PM
I would opine that the Glock would be a likely candidate if a semi-auto can be considered; these are modular and parts are mostly drop-in and are also readily and cheaply available. Otherwise I would say a Ruger DA revolver due to the simplicity of design and construction, "...even a caveman can do it!".;)

Boris Baninoff
September 7, 2009, 01:10 AM

I liked the first one so much that I got a second one so the first one wouldn't be lonely.

September 10, 2009, 02:32 PM

September 10, 2009, 03:00 PM
Glock hands down. I think without the need to be able to completely fix the pistol yourself then their are many options such as 1911, S&W K frame, and so many others. These though can be very complicated to detail strip, able to be done but much harder than a Glock.

September 10, 2009, 03:06 PM
ByAnyMeans, the 1911 is a bit more complicated than the Glock to detail strip, but it's pretty easy after you've done it a few times. There isn't a single part I can't remove/replace with a 1911. Same for the Glock.

September 10, 2009, 03:24 PM
I hear you, I have recently just got my first 1911 and have been attempting to learn how to detail strip it. it has taken me a few working hours and I'm not their yet. I had my Glock down by this time already and was well on my way to having taught my fiance.

September 10, 2009, 03:53 PM
Google "1911 detail strip" and you'll find tons of links. Even videos on Youtube. The slide is simple. No harder than the Glock. Even easier if you don't have the Schwartz safety style which blocks the firing pin. Even then it's still very easy. The frame isn't bad, either. Tap out the pin at the base of the mainspring housing and slide the housing down off the back of the grip. Remove the grip panels (if desired). Wiggle the thumb safety out (grip safety and the three-pronged leaf spring will easily come out once it's removed), remove the thumb safety and slide lock spring/plunger assembly on the left side, remove the hammer pin and hammer, then the pin for the sear, trigger disconnect and "plunger lifter" if you have the Schwartz safety. Then the magazine catch and the trigger/trigger bow. That's about it. It's actually easier done than said. ;)

Here's a VERY cool animation of a standard 1911 being reassembled from the most basic parts. Watch the internal workings at the end.

September 10, 2009, 04:04 PM
K-frame S&W's will not digest too many rounds without problems. Hence the larger L-frame. While I personally prefer S&W's the Ruger GP100 is a very stout handgun.

September 11, 2009, 01:08 PM
Another vote for the 1911. Cant go wrong with one.

September 15, 2009, 08:31 PM
K-frame S&W's will not digest too many rounds without problems. Hence the larger L-frame. While I personally prefer S&W's the Ruger GP100 is a very stout handgun.

I wasnt aware size has a thing to do with durability, explain.

September 15, 2009, 08:49 PM
For an auto: a 1911 or Glock (pick your respective flavors).
For a revolver: a S&W k-frame or a Ruger GP-100.

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