Going into harm's way - you pick the sidearm


November 8, 2003, 07:39 PM
New scenario for everyone to try.

You have just been hired as a field agent for a specialized government agency in the war on terrorism. Your duties run the gamut from working a protection detail to conducting raids on suspected cells.

Because of the specialized nature of your work, your bosses are going to let you pick your own sidearm. It must be capable of fulfilling all the roles you would likely need it for.

You can only pick one.

Which handgun would you pick and why?

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November 8, 2003, 07:46 PM
Glock 20 loaded with DoubleTap 165gr @ 1425fps. 15+1 capacity, plenty of power, penetration. Explosive expansion. The Glock doesn't look that pretty, but it just flat out works EVERY time you pull the trigger.

November 8, 2003, 08:14 PM
I'd stick with my Beretta because of ammo availability and its reliability.

Ala Dan
November 8, 2003, 08:25 PM

I would pick the 9m/m SIG-SAUER P228, with lots
of high capacity magazines. You ask "Why"?
Two reasons, the first being RELIABILITY and
the second, compactness; very easy to conceal on
special detail operations.

And the 9m/m caliber because ammunition is available
virtually world wide; even in some of the poor 3rd
world countries!

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

Zeke Menuar
November 8, 2003, 08:35 PM
Browning Hi-Power. It's reputation speaks for itself

I don't really like DA/SA autopistols.

As others have stated, 9mm ammo is everywhere on boths sides of the law.


November 8, 2003, 08:51 PM
I'd probably stick with my trusty 92FS.

Mike Irwin
November 8, 2003, 08:56 PM
S&W Model 19, 4".

Powerful, wonderful ergonomics, reliable, and even with the 4" tube, can be concealed.

4v50 Gary
November 8, 2003, 09:18 PM
CZ Kadet. Headshots w/quick recovery. Besides, you can always convert it to a 9mm or 40. ;)

November 8, 2003, 09:20 PM
1911 style.

November 8, 2003, 09:23 PM
Hard choice

Either a Sig 226 or Glock 17.

Both are reliable, both eat any ammo, both conceal easily for me.

Either one would serve me well

November 8, 2003, 09:31 PM
Make mine a Glock 17. I think it is the AK-47 of handguns!

November 8, 2003, 09:44 PM
hmm....just one? well mine would be a smith&wesson model 19 loaded with 125 gr. jacketed hollowpoint:D

November 8, 2003, 09:44 PM
HK USP9 of course...

Never trusted anything else but this... ;)

November 8, 2003, 09:51 PM
A Browning Hi Power in 9mm. I trust mine completely.

9mm can be found all over the place, too.


Ky Larry
November 8, 2003, 10:36 PM
My Kimber Custom Defender II .45ACP for the same reasons I carry it every day. It's reliable,accurate, and shoots an effective cartridge.

November 8, 2003, 11:04 PM
I'll follow the 9mm crowd .. ammo is everywhere!! I'll also relinquish my P97 in favor of the P95 .. and many mags! I think capacity will matter.

My Hi-Power is nicer to shoot and I fancy a tad more accurate but I think I'll stick with ''Mr Fugly'' for sheer toughness and reliability ..... it'd see me out of some spots.:)

November 8, 2003, 11:13 PM
STI 38 Super Tru-bore Competitor with 7 pre-ban 32 round mags

November 8, 2003, 11:26 PM
Browning HP...absolutely reliable, accurate, soft shooting, concealable...the ultimate battle pistol....


November 8, 2003, 11:45 PM
In the US, a SIG 239 in 40

Outside of the US, a G19 9mm

Both are reliable, accurate and personal favorites. I like the 40 but outside the US the 9mm is the way to go and there aren't any better ways to get there in a concealable manner than a Glock 19. I really like the Beretta 92, however, the Glocks just as reliable, holds the same amount of rounds and conceals alot better.

Black Snowman
November 8, 2003, 11:50 PM
G20 chambered in .224 BOZ
I bring ammo with me.
If for some reason I can't get to my rifle I want my pistol to be able to defeat body armor.

November 9, 2003, 12:18 AM
AKSU-74 or HK 53.
If and when I get the chance to get a real "sidearm" for my collection, you had better bet that I am not going to pass it up.:D

November 9, 2003, 12:39 AM
Probably a Glock 19.

November 9, 2003, 12:53 AM
If you are in or run a team, the defensive pistol you use will be the same as everyone else on your team. Same ammo, and mag-sharing.

I'd prefer a M1911 style in .45ACP, preferably one of the new Marine rebuilds, but I would carry any gun issued.

November 9, 2003, 01:25 AM
Glock 18

November 9, 2003, 01:49 AM
Do any of those .223 pistols work? If theres one that really runs well, I could see carrying that, I figure the chances of bad guys in that scenario wearing body armor and a .223 would punch right through them. Otherwise, my issue Glock 35 with issue Cor Bon 135 would be fine.

November 9, 2003, 02:42 AM
Need more info.

Without which, ....
Like Mike; opt for 4" Smith 19.


November 9, 2003, 02:56 AM
SIG Sauer P226 9mm:

I find it conceals well enough, it fires the 9mm NATO cartridge, and since its my favorite 9mm pistol its the logical choice for me.

November 9, 2003, 03:01 AM
I would take my cz75bd. It is super reliable, accurate, and I trust it.

November 9, 2003, 08:16 AM
OK, some of you are thinking. And some of you are stretching it a bit :p

AKSU-74 or HK 53

Does Sparks make a holster for that?

Come on now guys one of the parameters was that you might be on a protective detail and need to conceal.

A word on ammo. Since you get to pick your sidearm it would be reasonable to assume the agency will provide you with plenty of ammo. You guys are planning ahead though. You are assuming the supply truck might not make it and you would have to manage with whatever was available locally.

CR Sam, what else would you need to know? Your mission is be ready for anything.

November 9, 2003, 08:31 AM
Glock 19 for me please.

Anyone else note the mysterious absence of 1911's from everyone's list?

November 9, 2003, 08:48 AM
Not jumping ahead and therefore not considering the ammo availibilyt potential problem, I'd probably go with the 1911 with plenty of mags including some high capacity. IF I did consider the ammo issue it'd be the CZ75B with Federals Hydroshoks!

November 9, 2003, 09:22 AM
As always Para Ordnance P14.45 Limited.

Fits my hand better than any other gun.
Shoots like a dream.

14 rounds of 45acp.

But I'm not going into suspected cells without my gauge!


A. Partisan
November 9, 2003, 11:40 AM
Glock 21 with a 230gr JHP

Why? Glock owners know why.;)

November 9, 2003, 12:16 PM
Lone gunman, don't read anything into that just yet. More details to follow.

Thanks to everyone who is answering.

Just a reminder, it is a TWO part question. The WHY is as important as the WHAT. I'm going somewhere with this. Please bear with me.

November 9, 2003, 01:08 PM
Any one of my B92 configurations.Reliability and Availability of 9mm ammo around the world.

November 9, 2003, 04:33 PM
Ok, I guess I forgot to say why I picked the Glock 19...

Very reliable, can find ammo everywhere, and it is very concealable yet handles like a full size gun.

15 rounds in the mag is also reassuring.

November 9, 2003, 05:11 PM
USP45 Tactical, in a shoulder with a UTL. 5 12 round mags.

November 9, 2003, 06:46 PM
The Glock 19. Reliable, lightweight, tough finish, can take 15, 17, and 33rd. mags, consistent trigger pull with short reset, parts and accessories available everywhere, easy to conceal, easy to fix myself (don't need a smith), tigger pull variations from 3 to 12-lbs., relatively smooth profile for snag free concealed carry and quick presentation, simple design with few parts, requires little lube doesn't need to be wet to run, ect. ect.......

Best, jnb01

November 9, 2003, 06:52 PM
These are always tough questions. I would say the Glock 20 with high caps or the Glock 35 with high caps.

November 9, 2003, 08:48 PM
I would take my USP 45c. 230 gr. ball ammo works well enough for me.

I can shoot 50 rounds out of that pistol at 3, 7, and 10 yards and with a few flyers aside (nobody is perfect) I can end up with one ragged hole big enough to put my fist through.

I might send it off to a smith to work on the DA trigger pull and add some tritium sights. If possible I would look into getting larger capacity magazines, the ones from the USP 45f and MK23 do not fit the compact.

Give me a little time and money to experiment with other pistols and I might choose something different. I am partial to the 1911 but I don't have much experience with the high quality ones. I also might think of trading up to a USP 45f or Tactical.

November 10, 2003, 12:25 AM
My Wilson CQB w/Novak night sites. Reliable as a Sig or H&K. And with Nyclads can defeat body.

November 10, 2003, 12:37 AM
Gee ya think everybody just picked what they'd pick as their sidearm if. . .

Aliens attacked?
There was a new civil war?
Secret Agent Man?
A gang of bikers pissed in your cornflakes?

These threads are nothing if not unimaginative.:rolleyes:

November 10, 2003, 01:31 AM
Nope I'd want 44 mag for biker mutants.

Next question. Me? Haha.. what we need to infiltrate Al Queda cells hiding out in Burlesque shows, rocker bars and art galleries? Oh did I mention community theatre and the Indy film raket?

For this kind of thing.. I'd opt for BHP, mag disconnector removed, hi-viz night sights (ashleys maybe) A hogue monogrip and the back strap covered with skateboard tape. My IDPA pistol is similar, but maybe I'd get one of those new Charles Daly FEG's as a basis. Parkerize the whole thing.

BHP clone is the most reliable auto pistol I've ever had.

Hey.. I actually WORE an Uzi in a Desantis rig once... that's an Old school Secret Service rig.

November 10, 2003, 08:20 AM
Gee ya think everybody just picked what they'd pick as their sidearm if. . .

Aliens attacked?
There was a new civil war?
Secret Agent Man?
A gang of bikers pissed in your cornflakes?

These threads are nothing if not unimaginative.

Boats, this thread is NOT about that, and I will ask the mods to close it if it goes there.

There is a specific purpose I had in mind when I started it, but giving that purpose away at the beginning would have biased the responses. Bear with me a little longer.

November 10, 2003, 08:57 AM
A customized or at least a tweeked BHP if logistics and supplies are going to be a problem.
A Glock 31 or 32 if ammo supplies are going to be plentiful.

November 10, 2003, 09:47 AM
No doubt, 1911 all the way. Would want a knock down bullet and a gun that is reliable. Easy to conceal, but why. Let people know what you've got and they may think twice. If they don't, then a big hole will help their friends think.

November 10, 2003, 10:18 AM
Glock 17....but depending on just how "special" the agency I worked for was might find a niche for a nice suppressed Ruger MK II... ;)

November 10, 2003, 10:32 AM
Glock 19 with nite sights, extended slide release, 3.5 lb trigger and plenty of 15 roung mags. I chose the Glock 19 because it is very reliable and cocealable and. I shoot well with it.

George Hill
November 10, 2003, 10:53 AM
AKSU-74 - Nice choice. But I think a handgun was what they are looking for here... but I'm with you on that one.

Handguns... Beretta 92FS. Other options... The Beretta Elite II, a Beretta 92GSD the Beretta Border Marshal, a Beretta Inox, maybe a Beretta Vertec...

You know, a revolver would make a good special application handgun too... I don't see any revolvers listed. Never underestimate the potential of a .357 Magnum... Speed loaders make reloading almost as fast as an automatic. And if you want to talk about power factors - Let's look at what an N frame can fire. Sure, revolvers are not High-Speed/Low-Drag like an automatic...
But say your mission requires plausable deniability? Revolvers can be loaded with Magsafes so you get no recovered slugs... and best yet... no ejected brass to leave behind either. That could be very important...
Think about a revolver in .22 with a long barrel and set up for accuracy... loaded with Aquila PSS loads... it's a hand held stealth sniper rifle. That could have lots of potential with special applications...

November 10, 2003, 11:02 AM
1911 and a para FAL.

November 10, 2003, 11:12 AM
Yeah, I guess I forgot to tell everybody why, too.

I trust my BHP because it performs flawlessly every time. The one minor hang up I've had in 1709 rounds was from one of my rookie handloads (bullet wasn't seated deep enough. It fed, but caught the rifling and didn't want to go into battery on its own). What more can I say, other than I trust it completely.

I'm interested to see where this one is intended to go. :D


November 10, 2003, 12:19 PM
Glock 17

November 10, 2003, 12:30 PM
I'd have a steel framed, full size 1911 custom built and get a tweaked Colt Defender for a BUG. Both would be thouroghly tested for reliability.

Actually, my custom built Sistema and my Colt CCO would do nicely.

The reasoning being, the 1911 is tough, reliable in combat, fires a big, but controllable round and I know I can detail strip it in the middle of BFE with no tools if I ever had to.

November 10, 2003, 03:20 PM
My Para P-14ltd - stoked with Triton 450smc - 165 grain JHP.


November 10, 2003, 03:26 PM
Glock 19

Brian Williams
November 10, 2003, 03:35 PM
S&W 13 3" set up for moon clips, It is handy and quick pointing with a potent round.
No mags to have the base plate fall out of, no bushing, no missing parts when empty, few springs to malf, great grips(mine that is).

NIB US Govt 1911a1 with beaucoup 8 round mags.

November 10, 2003, 03:55 PM
My favorite custom gun from the safe, lotsa 7 round mags.

Why? I know the 1911, how to shoot it and how to fix it. Parts are only a shipment away.

While I also truely like the H&K P7, it internals look like a watch.

November 10, 2003, 04:20 PM
I'd go with something like my S&W 65LS. Very few guns give you the flexibility of a .357mag. You have more options in loads (from .38spl to high powered hunting ammo) than just about any other caliber. It is easy to tailor it to different needs. A 3" barrel hides pretty easy, the barrel is long enough to get enough velocity to get much of the potential out of a .357mag. With practice reloading with speed loaders is pretty easy. A revolver will be fine 99.99% of the time, and in such an agency it seems to be a fairly safe assumption that when you truly will need more, rifles and shotguns will probably be available.

Honorable mentions:
-CZ 75B. I shoot it well. It is a DA gun with a safety that allows "cocked and locked" carry (versatility, safe DA first shot, or consistent SA trigger pulls). I like 9mms and I am more accurate with my CZ than most other guns.

-1911 (most major makes). A classic for a reason. Hard hitting (for a handgun) .45acp chambering, slim and concealable, full-size controllability, accurate, and fast reloads with just a reasonable amount of practice.

-BHP. Another classic for a reason. 9mm (I love 9mm), high cap, but relatively slim and concealable with full-size controllability.

November 10, 2003, 07:29 PM
SIG P220, loaded up with 230 gr Hydra-Shoks.

Zach S
November 10, 2003, 07:41 PM

Or a 93R, you know, just for ****s and giggles...

November 10, 2003, 11:52 PM
CZ-75B if aint broke, don't fix it

November 11, 2003, 12:55 AM
Browning Hi-Power.

Fits my hand perfectly. Large enough to be an easy shooter, but slim enough to be concealable. 13 rounds in standard capacity with larger capacity magazines available. 9mm - good, common round. Absolutely reliable.

November 11, 2003, 02:18 AM
HK USP Tactical





12+1 .45 ACP!

I'd get a silencer for it as well for those Tac Ops.

November 11, 2003, 07:16 AM

(What the hey,,,,it's a what if fantasy thread so anything goes)

November 11, 2003, 02:36 PM
Glock 27 with lotsa mags.

kentucky bucky
November 11, 2003, 03:47 PM
Another vote for Glock 21, high cap mags of course. (with a 30 for off duty)

November 11, 2003, 03:54 PM
Glock 19. Tough. Reliable. Wide ammo availability. Concealable.

November 11, 2003, 04:18 PM
Kimber Gold Match - I can shoot it better then anything else I have, and it has been, up to this point (approaching 10,000), virtually flawless.

November 11, 2003, 05:47 PM
Glock 17.

Dave Markowitz
November 11, 2003, 06:51 PM
My S&W Model 15 with FBI loads. I shoot it better than anything else. With a M-640 as backup. Same ammo.

Although I recently shot a 3" GP-100 that was mighty fine, and very controllable even with hot loads of 125 grain JHPs on top of Blue Dot. So maybe I'd take that.

Can you tell I like wheelguns if I think TS is like to HTF? :D

the only auto I'd consider would be my BHP.

November 12, 2003, 03:45 AM
SIG 228, not too big, not too small

mr. e
November 12, 2003, 07:57 PM
My Walther P99 in 40 auto with Speer 165 Gr. GDHP loads. Never a failure, comfortable to carry concealed, and those 40 auto loads will definitely leave a mark.

November 12, 2003, 09:01 PM
P14-45 ltd is my go to gun. 14+1 +14 each mag. .45 stopping power. It eats any .45 ammo I can find. Only one FTF and that was the ammo.

November 13, 2003, 02:18 AM
OK, a 9X19 Hi Power for me too, but I want to check out the GP Comp version, for extra accuracy & velocity. If those aren't there for me, then the standard MKIII version, with Trijicons, a good trigger job, and lots of 20 round mags. This is proven & reliable, with parts available worldwide.

Second choice might be the S&W DPA5906, night sights & lots of 15 & 20 round mags again. A very reliable, smooth, accurate 9X19.

And the problem better be people. If animals with teeth & claws are involved, I want a G20 with Trijicons & a grip reduction job. This is accurate, reliable, powerful, and very easy to maintain.

There's my one choice. What's the catch??????? :neener:

November 13, 2003, 12:36 PM
P7M8 for the reasons that make it a good pistol...

hopefully after 9 rounds of 9mm my reload will be a longarm...

November 13, 2003, 12:36 PM
Plasma phase rifle in 40 watt...oh sorry, wrong thread.

1911. Period.

November 13, 2003, 01:14 PM
My Sig :)

November 13, 2003, 01:53 PM

Built like a tank, and 10+1 of .45. No probs w/ any ammo. What's not to love?:cool:

November 13, 2003, 02:11 PM
I didn't state the "why" in being one of the first to choose the 1911 style. In fact an old USGI is what I'd prefer.
-I shoot this platform best.
-I like the fact it is a tool unto itself, I can have a few spare parts and quickley fix it in the field--as per original design.
-I have also exposed different platforms to pouring sand into them, getting wet,muddy...etc. I'm comfortable,and comforted by my choice.

Greg Bell
November 13, 2003, 02:15 PM
P7M13 w/ 2 extra mags. Maybe an extended barrel for a suppressor...oh yeah...YEAH BABY YEAH!!:D

Ok, maybe I lost it there...:uhoh:

November 13, 2003, 02:47 PM
My SIG P232. We need more intel and the baby sig will just cause them enough discomfort to allow them to be taken alive.

November 13, 2003, 06:39 PM
BHP because my first one was accurate and completely reliable through 60,000 rounds.

Second choice would be a SIG P220 also due to accuracy and reliability.

Both have excellent ergonomics.

An FN FiveseveN would be nice except for the poor availability of ammo.

November 13, 2003, 10:22 PM
My choice would be my Custom series 70 Colt Commander. Absolute reliability, very accurate, enough power to do the job. I like the Federal HydroShock 230gr HP.

November 13, 2003, 11:06 PM
At this moment I'd be happy with my 10 month old S&W 910(9mm): I know Col. Cooper would laugh, but, after thousands of rounds of all types of 9X19 ammo, a great trigger and ZERO malfunctions, I'd trust my life to it.

November 14, 2003, 05:26 PM
OK, time to reveal the purpose of this exercise. Results of your responses:

Action preferred most:
Single action 62% (this includes the Glock 'Safe Action')
DA/SA 30%
Revolver 8%

If you combine the SA and revolver into "consistent pull" then we favor a consistent trigger 70-30.

.35 - 60% (this includes .380, 9MM, .38 Super, and .38/357 guns)
.40 - 9% (40S&W and 10MM)
.45 - 31% (this includes .45ACP and above, and big bore revolvers)

It would appear that even with the assurance that ammo supply would probably not be an issue, the mid calibers were chosen 2-1 over the big bores that we always thump our chest about. The marketing miracle of the .40 cal was a virtual no show.

low - 33% (includes revolvers and single stack semi autos)
high - 67% (double stack semi autos)

We apparently like to have all the ammo we can carry. However, the revolver did make a strong showing, so shot placement is still valued by enough to make it viable.

Reliable - 84%
Caliber - 4%
Other - 12%

Reliability was the hands down reason given for choosing your sidearm. It wasn't even close. Other includes things such as "I like it", "It feels good", "It's what I know". Caliber was a distant third. There is no magic bullet.

So how did the overall survey compare to your current carry gun? Did they match? Did your individual choice reflect what you carry daily?

If not, why not?

I hear you out there in the back. "It doesn't apply to me because I'm not doing executive proctection."


Do you ever take the family out for an evening? Go to the mall? The park? Then you're doing the same job, protecting your charges in an open environment, against possible threats. Only real difference is you get your pay in hugs instead of cash.

"I don't go on raids"

What if you're in the backyard doing some work and you hear your wife scream? Not the scream she uses for spiders, or the Hoppe's stain you left on the dining room table, but the "I'm in danger, help me!" scream. You are about to make a dynamic entry into a building, clearing rooms as you go looking for an unknown threat. What's the difference really?

I offer this as food for thought. I hope you find it useful. Thanks for your time.

November 14, 2003, 05:43 PM
Wow. Dissected and didn't even know it.

Black Snowman
November 14, 2003, 07:48 PM
Well, I can't have my choice because "they" won't sell me a .224 BOZ :) With the decreased likelyhood of being a target, and more likely it being non-armored thugs, plus not having a family living with me, once I managed to win back my right to protect myself here in KS I'll be satisfied with a G22 and a G27 depending on the concealment requirements. But in the no-show media wonder that is the .40 S&W :D

BTW, I don't own either gun yet.

November 14, 2003, 10:37 PM
Wow. Dissected and didn't even know it.
Not really. More like looking at yourself in the mirror and deciding if you like what you see.

once I managed to win back my right to protect myself here in KS I'll be satisfied with a G22 and a G27 depending on the concealment requirements. But in the no-show media wonder that is the .40 S&W

OK, maybe I was a little harsh with that comment. But the point is, with a promise of being able to pick any of the current handgun calibers, the tried and true 9MM, .357, and .45ACP were the most often picked.

To be fair I guess I should give my choices. I would take full size 1911 and 3-4 spare mags full of 230gr JHP. Main reason is reliability.

Second choice would be the BHP also for reliability.

Yes the 1911 is the one I carry daily.

November 15, 2003, 03:12 AM
A GP Comp Hi Power is something I plan to buy one day, but for now, I prefer an already paid for MKIII 9mm (reliable, etc..., and very handy) when I can choose what I carry. That grip fits just about perfect & is my favorite for an autoloader.

A G35 (ugly & practical) is what I carry when I can't choose my favorite Hi Power.

I don't have a G20, but it sounds interesting................

November 15, 2003, 03:28 AM
Your scenario assumes no legal restrictions on handguns. Yeah I would prefer a 16 shot wondernine, if it weren't for AWB.

November 15, 2003, 03:55 PM
Your scenario assumes no legal restrictions on handguns. Yeah I would prefer a 16 shot wondernine, if it weren't for AWB.

My scenario assumed nothing other than the user could choose the handgun.

You will note if you review the posts that every wondernine chosen has been around for years and has plenty of preban mags out there if you wish to look for them.

November 16, 2003, 02:48 AM

November 16, 2003, 11:14 PM
Good exercise. I do carry my G17, the one I chose, although I carry my G26 more. However, with a 17-round backup mag, which I usually have on me as well, the G26 is almost as good as the G17. Notice I said "almost", as I prefer the full-size grip and sight radius on the G17. Sometimes, allowances do have to be made to carry a gun all the time, though, and a smaller gun that will take the mags of my full-size gun is one of those allowances.

This has made me think, though. I might start rearranging dress so that I can carry my G17 more often, now that I've thought about it.

November 16, 2003, 11:17 PM

I think you should think about it:evil:

November 17, 2003, 07:54 AM
Yep, thinking's good :).

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