First .45... what would you recommend?


February 15, 2012, 01:56 PM
Been reading THR for a while now but decided it was time for my first post!

I've been looking into getting my first .45 but am somewhat torn as to what to get. I am a fan of 1911's, but am also pretty impressed with offerings like a Sig P220, CZ 97B. I live in Canada, so unfortunately that limits my choices somewhat, we don't have quite the same selection offered. Our barrel length restrictions pretty much rule out anything 'compact'.

I don't have any specific criteria really as this will just be used for shooting at the range and such, no competition. Just looking for something fun and reliable!

Currently own 3 9mm - STI Ranger II, M&P and CZ SP-01 Tactical. I love them all but would appreciate any suggestions in the .45 department!

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February 15, 2012, 02:40 PM
BOTH!!!!!!!!!! That's a tough call.. but as a 1911 fan boy.. I'll say get the 1911 .45 1st.. as it's the "classic" .45.

February 15, 2012, 02:44 PM
I have no recomendation on a 1911 as there are way to many to choose from. If you are looking for something fun though, I own an FNP-45. It's a great gun, durable as all get out, and in my opinion, one of the best looking poly .45's out there.

They are large guns though (they hold 14 0r 15 rounds in the magazine, though 10 rounders can be had), so if you have small hands, you probably won't like it.

February 15, 2012, 03:26 PM
They haven't made the gun you want.. but when they do, it'll be a Ruger SR45! :)

February 15, 2012, 04:01 PM
i have held and fired the Ruger SR9 which i quite enjoy, too bad they don't make the .45 yet to compare! i actually like their P345 but they aren't very common in these parts so getting my hands on one isn't very easy. for the price though, hard to say no

i really do like the 1911 platform as the options seem endless and it is quite the classic. i'm able to find a bunch of kimbers and STI up here but we're sorely lacking for other manufacturers like springfield or colt. i'm only looking for something basic though so i'm sure that i could find one that i enjoy. i am a big fan of the SA and trigger breaks on a 1911. shooting the 9mm STI i have is always a pleasure so that helps reaffirm my appreciation for the 1911 style

i've always been interested in FN. they seem to be fairly rare here in the great white north but i do know of one dealer who has a large stock of of the FNP-45. from what i can gather (mostly off the internet mind you) they are solid shooters, and i like the looks of them to. my hands aren't small but i'm always hesitant to buy anything that i can't handle first...

i appreciate the responses! these decisions are always tough, maybe i'll just have to get one of each platform so i don't have any regrets ;)

February 15, 2012, 04:06 PM
If you're a fan of the 1911 then get a 1911.

I have one of the cheaper ones (Regent R100) and it's great, but I'm regretting that it's not a Colt for no other reason than it's not "real" without the pony.

If I could buy my first .45 all over again, it'd be a Colt. Just my .02...

February 15, 2012, 05:01 PM
Its hard to go wrong with a good solid 5 1911. A Colt is always a good choice, maybe a Springfield.

February 15, 2012, 06:24 PM
I've shot lots of different 45s over the years. The one I like best is the one that felt best in my hand. Assuming you aren't going for junk, I'd rent some and get the one that feels best to you. I honestly believe all of the other rational for which one is almost moot. Sig, 1911, XD, Glock, HK, FN are all fine pistols.

February 15, 2012, 07:22 PM
As a big fan of the .45 I own some of the guns you mentioned. It will always come down to taste personal preference and use. My vote for a .45, if it was to be my first and only .45 would be the Sig P220. Classic beauty, a soft shooter and reliable. Not sure if you have handled a 97b but it's a big gun. Fantastic weapon but a handful for some folks.

February 15, 2012, 08:17 PM
Les Baer
Dan Wesson
Ed Brown.

4 out of 5 are 1911's, hmmmmm. What am I trying to say?

February 15, 2012, 09:01 PM
My next 45 will be of the 220 flavor...fwiw

February 15, 2012, 09:12 PM
You've picked two good ones to choose from - the CZ 97B and the Sig P220. As noted, the CZ 97B is a big gun and may or may not fit you, so try before you buy. The Sig P220 is a classic for many good reasons. I noticed that you have a 9mm STI Ranger II, so have you considered an STI Trojan? It's a classic .45 acp pistol and I can attest it is a great gun. You're aware of the quality of an STI, so it's another to consider, if you decide to go the 1911 route.

One last note - my next .45 acp will be a Sig P220.

Good shopping. Enjoy the process.

Kent in MI

February 15, 2012, 09:14 PM

February 15, 2012, 11:31 PM

February 15, 2012, 11:35 PM
First 45 and you want to play with it??? do you really need to ask? Get a 1911! :P Then buy the P220 and sneak it home too, and then, get another 1911, lol. So many 45s, so little time.

February 16, 2012, 03:28 PM
i have to admit, if i could afford an Ed Brown right now, i'd already have one! the executive carry is just beautiful... i might just save up for one of those to be my safe queen.

got the chance to shoot the 97b recently. even though it was a 'well-loved' range gun, i was pretty impressed with it's accuracy and how soft a shooter it was for me. it is fairly big but it wasn't uncomfortable to shoot even with my average sized hands. i'm a big CZ fan so i'm starting to lean that way. i enjoy the P220 as well but it felt a little chunky when i shot it. will probabaly have to take another look at it though as i find their quality to be top notch and it was a while ago that i shot one

February 16, 2012, 03:29 PM
My regular carry is a P14 Para-Ordinance, made in Canada. It's been with me almost every day for the past 12 years; never failed to fire once.

February 16, 2012, 04:23 PM
Good choice's! I have a CZ97bd and a I just picked up a sig full size 220r Single Action Only. I have not had a chance to fire the sig yet. When I started the same quest you are on I rented a well loved 220 and I liked it... but I bought the CZ.

The CZ is big and heavy but I too found it to be the softest shooting 45 I have fired to date, and the most accurate one. I'm not a 1911 guy yet...My wife and my friends wife's have no trouble handling the 97 and they actually like it better than my sig 229 elite 9mm, as do I ( but not by much!)

The downside is that they can be finicky with Hollow Points however, CZ is great about returning it in to be fixed. Mine like's Hornady Critical defense 185 Grain Hp's with the rubber insert thingy so I just stock up on those.. Its actually at CZ now to get the "wide cavity hollow point blues" cured.. I never had a problem with ball/ fmj jacket and heck that's still a darn big hole.. For me, I only run HP's for self defense.

One quirky little thing I actually like about my 97 is that if I angle my hand to the right when putting a magazine in after the last round is fired and the slide is locked back it racks a round in without having to press the slide release. Faster reloads are sweeeeet.. Some may not like that and some 97s may not do that.

The 220r SAO has a thumb safety like a 1911, so you can carry it cocked n locked but it can be racked with the safety on which is cool... and you get the reliability Sig is famous for. The SAO option may make your decision even harder!!

Heck you cant go wrong.. I'll check back in after I get the 220 to the range.. I can get some pics up tonight if you like too.. could think of it as just getting one first to tide you over until you get the other

February 17, 2012, 08:53 AM
For a first .45 ACP I'd get a Colt Government Model 1911 or a Series 70 Repro. Second choice would be the CZ-97B, then the Sig. ALL great choices btw.

The Lone Haranguer
February 17, 2012, 10:13 PM
Can you get the Smith & Wesson 4506?

February 17, 2012, 10:24 PM
Odd I saw no suggestions for the Ruger SR1911. Good looks and performance <$800.

February 17, 2012, 10:34 PM
Odd I saw no suggestions for the Ruger SR1911. Good looks and performance <$800.

February 17, 2012, 10:37 PM
Out of the two listed suggestions, I would go with the CZ-97B any day of the week. JMHO

February 17, 2012, 10:43 PM
M&P .45!! No thumb safety, Its a fantastic pistol. If you have the big bucks to spend then a 1911 is in order. Just my opinion.

February 18, 2012, 10:30 AM

If I were in the Market for my first .45 again, I'd have to go with a no-frills Colt Series 70

As it were, my first was a stainless Mk IV series 80.

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