Need Guidance Please


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Peregrine
November 1, 2013, 09:12 PM
I'm RTH in Ohio. Business owner, ex college hoops jock 6'5 220lbs, decent condition and up in years.
See the need to move forward with defensive weapons while traveling and for the home.. and am starting with handgun analysis (I will move to shot gun next) and decision. Have spoken to friends (other business men) that carry and have at home. Other friends are Ex Army Rangers and one Seal.

Trying to narrow decision down to 3 side arms to go and see, hold and fire.

Probably want a .45 caliber. Looking for reliability and accuracy. The cost is less important because if I'm moving forward with this, I want to know that if I need to use it...I'm not even thinking about non performance. Probably no different than anyone else.
I will be CC with this weapon

Looking into Sigs, Kimbers and Wilson Combats.
Looking into Bursa Thunder, Beretta Nano and S&W SW9ve 9MM for my wife.

I realize this is pretty broad yet but I am an analyst in everything I have ever done and this will be no different..especially this!

I am continuing to work my way through a bunch of threads and alternate data but any guidance is appreciated.

Thx much

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mljdeckard
November 1, 2013, 09:19 PM
You need to get to a rental range, trust your gut, and ignore most of what people say in forums like this.

hoghunting
November 1, 2013, 10:28 PM
If you're not familiar with the 1911 type pistols, the Sig may be your best bet as you don't have to swipe the safety to fire if you're looking at their DA/SA pistols. In the heat of a battle you don't want to pull the trigger and have nothing happen as you forgot to release the safety. Your Ranger and Seal friends have had plenty of range time with their 1911s.

Lex Luthier
November 1, 2013, 10:41 PM
It has been my experience that the slimmer and more athletic you are, the bigger sidearm you can carry. Make sure the grip is large enough and comfortable for your hand. I am only 5'10", but lost 3" off my waist and now prefer either the Beretta M9 or Kimber 1911.

I love my Sigs, but the Beretta is kind of new and shiny to me these days. Try a few different things, but stick with the standards. They have always worked.

tomrkba
November 1, 2013, 10:44 PM
Some non-1911 options that work well and are more compact than the Glock 21, Glock 30, SIG P220:

S&W M&P 45 Compact
Springfield XD 45 Compact
HK USP 45 Compact (can be setup for cocked and locked carry, thumb safety only or thumb safety with decocker with any combination of one or both sides)
SIG P220 Compact

Both the M&P 45 Compact and XD Compact are Glock 19 sized. This is a great balance between size, capacity, sight radius and concealment. However, since you're a larger guy, you can more easily hide the larger guns such as the SIG P220, S&W M&P 45 and Glock 21.

4v50 Gary
November 1, 2013, 10:45 PM
Find some buddies and go try their stuff first. Nothing beats hand on experience.

tomrkba
November 1, 2013, 10:48 PM
You need to get to a rental range, trust your gut, and ignore most of what people say in forums like this.

Nope, trust your training. People's "gut instinct" about a defensive gun is usually incorrect or needs tweaking. Defensive handgunnery is far more than standing on a range shooting at a static paper target. If you have no training, your decisions are not going to be very good.

I recommend you buy several shooting lessons at the local range using their rental guns. This will help you more than just holding guns in the store. As soon as possible, attend a two day defensive pistol course using a rental gun from the instructor. You will learn more about what you need in those two days than you can in 100 years of internet surfing and talking with gun store employees. For example, I thought the Browning High Power MK III was the perfect gun. Ten speed reloads into the class and all my fingers were bleeding. I had discovered that the slide serrations and safety slot were razor sharp. Another example is the Glock 30...it looked great on paper. However, I pinched my finger between the magazine and frame performing speed reloads. It was so annoying that I went back to SIG. I couldn't even complete a gun class using the Glock 23 due to massive wrist problems. Fortunately, it was only a two day class and I ended up shooting weak hand only on the second day.

Looking into Bursa Thunder, Beretta Nano and S&W SW9ve 9MM for my wife.

Your wife needs to choose her gun. If you want a particular gun, then buy it for yourself and don't hand it to her. Besides, if she steals it, you can buy another one!

mljdeckard
November 1, 2013, 10:52 PM
But if you are training with a gun that doesn't fit you well, the training is useless too.

David E
November 1, 2013, 10:59 PM
If you're not familiar with the 1911 type pistols, the Sig may be your best bet as you don't have to swipe the safety to fire if you're looking at their DA/SA pistols. In the heat of a battle you don't want to pull the trigger and have nothing happen as you forgot to release the safety...

Sig makes a variation or three of the 1911.

A DA/SA requires decocking after shooting, if you haven't shot the gun dry.

.

David E
November 1, 2013, 11:05 PM
But if you are training with a gun that doesn't fit you well, the training is useless too.
A good trainer identifies proper/improper gun fit.

.

mljdeckard
November 1, 2013, 11:42 PM
I very much agree.

blarby
November 1, 2013, 11:45 PM
You need to get to a rental range, trust your gut, and ignore most of what people say in forums like this.

Thats good stuff right there.


Find some buddies and go try their stuff first. Nothing beats hand on experience.

And there.

Now for my 2 cents :


And find something thats comfortable to carry. It may be cool at the range, but remember- its gonna be on you most of the time.

" It's supposed to be comforting, not comfortable " Sounds good, but itsn't practical for most floks.

OptimusPrime
November 2, 2013, 12:04 AM
All of us, rookie and veteran alike, have our own opinions. YOU need to find out what's right for YOU. The other folks beat me to the punch here; you've gotta take some time, try them all out out, and figure out what you like.
If you take 1 person's opinion, you are doing yourself a monumental disservice.

The_Next_Generation
November 2, 2013, 01:22 AM
Honestly, half the "fun" is the buying and trading for years and years until you find out what really works for you and what doesn't.

I'm really liking my Ruger SR1911 at the moment after a handfull of other guns, but I still have yet to own and extensively shoot a CZ75, Sig, HK, and on and on...

Of course, go to the range and try lots of guns. As long as the gun has a good reputation for durability and you can shoot it well, go for it. Chances are you'll find something "better" in a few months anyway ;)

Trust me, lots of folks try to buy the "perfect gun" the first time...many folks would agree with me when I say it can't be done!

Good luck and welcome to the journey!

- TNG

redneck2
November 2, 2013, 07:26 AM
I went thru the same type evolution. I thought a 1911 woud be the end all. While they are great to shoot and quite accurate, carrying one all day is like carrying an anvil on your belt unless you get an extra wide belt to distribute the weight.

I ended up getting a S&W Shield in .40. Very small, easy to shoot, light and easy to carry/conceal. Evidently not just my opinion, as they are continually sold out. May be the most popular carry pistol to buy right now. I'd give them a look

CB900F
November 2, 2013, 09:55 AM
Peregrine;

As others have stated, you have to find what works best for you. However, this is what's worked for me: H&K USP compact in .40 S&W bought in 1997 I think. Carried daily since then in a Milt Sparks Exec's companion IWB holster. I'm now on my second holster from them & figured if the first one lasted 15 or 16 years the second one oughta be good for a while too.

If you do examine one, make sure you also find out about the options available to you. You can have, from the factory, more than a couple of operating system choices. One of their advertising points that really impressed me was the time they deliberately lodged a bullet in the barrel & then shot another round into it. Yes, it bulged the barrel but did not rupture it. That's not amazing. What was amazing was the group that they then shot with the same gun & barrel.

Mine's been utterly reliable for me over the years. I sent it in to H&K for an ambi operating lever when it first became available & had the work done rapidly, at the quoted price, and returned promptly with a note thanking me for using their services. I've heard negative comments about H&K's customer relations attitude, but you couldn't prove it by my actual experience.

And, I'll agree with the poster that advised you to let your wife pick her own gun. I'll also advise you that if she's going to carry, get her the training also.

900F

tomrkba
November 2, 2013, 10:12 AM
But if you are training with a gun that doesn't fit you well, the training is useless too.

This is a vast overstatement that only applies in the extreme case. People can adapt to suboptimal variations in fit.

tomrkba
November 2, 2013, 10:16 AM
You need to get to a rental range, trust your gut, and ignore most of what people say in forums like this.

Thats good stuff right there.


No, it is not for the reasons explained above. I will go even farther and say America's gun mythology actively leads people in the wrong direction. Defensive gun fighting is a complex subject that must be taught carefully by a professional. Handgun evaluation for the purpose is part of that skillset.

Honestly, half the "fun" is the buying and trading for years and years until you find out what really works for you and what doesn't.

Yes it is. I am working on the Ruger GP100 for carry and it has been a very good time.

powder
November 2, 2013, 12:35 PM
I will be CC with this weapon

Like me, you are a big guy, I'd imagine with size 12 hands.

You have the frame to conceal well.

After many years of buy/sell/trade, I came up with this basic realization: check the aftermarket for your possible purchases.
a.) Holsters. b.) Caliber conversions. c.) Access to general knowledge.

I ended up building my own kydex shop, just for reason #1.
Reason #2 is VERY applicable when you start looking into Glocks: their .40 S&W pistols have great aftermarket support from StormLake and KKM Precision for barrel conversions to 9mm and .357 SIG, converting to .357 SIG is much simpler using same mags and extractors.

If you NEED to start at .45 ACP, and want a disappears in your pants awesome pistol, find a G36, and an IWB from THeis in Arkansas.

HD shotgun? Mossberg 500 w/ pistol grip, and a sling for riding on your back in the field.

Have fun!

ArchAngelCD
November 2, 2013, 12:37 PM
Welcome to the forum.
Some good and some bad advice here already. I won't go into each because there are too many sensitive people out there these days and they cry too much.

I will give you my opinion, ignore most opinions on forums unless it's about reliability. It's not that they are wrong but what you get on forums is what THEY like, not what might be right for YOU. (like said above)

Looking into Sigs, Kimbers and Wilson Combats.
Looking into Bursa Thunder, Beretta Nano and S&W SW9ve 9MM for my wife.
Right there is a can of worms. I must admit that has to be your wife's choice also like said above. You job is to be sure the arrogant guy behind the counter doesn't abuse her. As long as the handgun she chooses has a reputation for reliability it's the right choice for her. (she might like the S&W M&P Shield, I had to lol )

Mike1234567
November 2, 2013, 01:30 PM
I've owned several pistols and revolvers of various makes/models. Any of them would have been fine for home defense regards to functionality/effectiveness... but I prefer a mid-sized pistol with higher capacity mags in 9mm, .40S&W, or .45ACP. I don't conceal carry but I do carry on my property and in my vehicle (Texas). My current pistol for both HD and vehicle carry is a Ruger SR9c and it's been reliable/accurate plus it's very comfortable for me to shoot. But don't take that as a recommendation. The SR9c is too bulky for concealed carry... but only IMO. I once owned a little LC9 that I would have carried every day had I the permit. Again... not a recommendation... I just liked the one I had because it was small.

If you're anything like me you'll research and ask many questions on many forums and probably become a bit confused at first with all the "personal opinions" expressed... mostly by very well-meaning and good folks. It takes much time and patience to filter through what information really pertains to you (and to learn what that is) and what is personal opinion vs. fact. What I did, and continue to do, is keep researching and trying firearms for reliability, features and good fit... until I feel confident I can make a wise decision for my needs. I don't make a habit of this but I do rarely replace one firearm for another if I think it better fits my needs. IMO (yeah, here comes mine) you may discover that your self-defense needs won't be fully filled with just one firearm for each of you. For example, you might opt for a shotgun for HD and a compact pistol for CC... that's pretty common. You may then decide you want to add a mid or full-sized pistol in addition to a SG for HD because it can be a bit faster to grab a pistol off the night stand when a single second can save your life.

As others probably already stated, make sure your wife fully understands the need for and is vested in having her own firearm(s) and she's the one who has ultimate decision for what she owns and can/will use comfortably. Make sure you both practice often... can be a nice date for you both. "Dinner and a range trip, babe?" :D

Ever have kids around? That's another ball of wax.

Once you've made good choices for HD and CC... you may find other firearms that may better fit your needs. That's okay... but you already have good choices that are in place for you and your wife's safety. At that point you can take all the time you need to replace or add to firearms as you please.

OTOH... I too often over-think things. :)

sgt127
November 2, 2013, 02:38 PM
I would likely tell you to quit over analyzing it. I'm not a fan of Glocks. But, 13 years ago, they handed me one and said "this is your duty gun".

And now, I can shoot a Glock very well. And, I appreciate them for what they are.

Go try out as many guns as you can, pick one, shoot the crap out of it, get some training.

As long as you choose a decent gun, made by one of the big boys, it will likely serve you well.

You can get caught up in paralysis through analysis. I've been there.

Hurryin' Hoosier
November 2, 2013, 02:47 PM
I'm RTH in Ohio. ... ex college hoops jock ...


If you played basketball for Ohio State, I don't believe that you can legally own any weapons more powerful than a B-B gun. ;)

tarosean
November 2, 2013, 03:00 PM
Not sure what your handgun experience is but I'd suggest NRA's basic handgun course first..

There are lots of nice guns out there..

spm
November 2, 2013, 07:13 PM
You need to get to a rental range, trust your gut, and ignore most of what people say in forums like this.

What mljdeckard said.

Go to a range and just start shooting. Talk to the guys at the range. Keep in mind they would like to sell you a gun, but most of them are gun guys and will be happy to help. You'll figure it out without much trouble.

On forums like this, everyone has their favorites and many of us think quite highly of our opinions.

That said, I am also an analysis junkie and went through the same process you are beginning. But the best thing I did was to try different guns until I found one that just felt right. Again, you'll know it when you find it.

Happy hunting, and good luck.
spm

Queen_of_Thunder
November 2, 2013, 09:04 PM
Me I like a S&W or Ruger revolver in 357 mag with a 2 1/2 to 3 in barrel. I also am not adverse to a Glock 20 (10mm) or a 1911. Now being female I have more options on barrel size as long as I have a purse big enough. Like everyone said try them out before buying and let the wife pick what she likes.

David E
November 2, 2013, 09:04 PM
This is a vast overstatement that only applies in the extreme case. People can adapt to suboptimal variations in fit.

"Defensive gun fighting is a complex subject that must be taught carefully by a professional. Handgun evaluation for the purpose is part of that skillset."

Well said.

It's better if the shooter/student does not have to fight his own equipment, even a little bit. Each "adjustment" that is made constitutes an unnecessary battle, minor tho it may be. And each one diminishes his potential ability.

Mat, not doormat
November 2, 2013, 09:45 PM
Almost all of the service pistols are a reasonably good choice, these days. Arguing differences between them is essentially splitting hairs. The 1911 is a regrettable exception to that. They are extremely rewarding when quality hardware abs quality software meet, but reaching that blessed state is challenging enough that it's best left til later.

To start with, any of the common service pistols will serve well. It's worth remembering, however, that far more important than having the mostest bestest equipment is having the skill to use it well. Merely owning a Stradivarius does not a violinist make.

I suggest that you'd be far better served to buy a Glock 19, a case of ammunition, and a training course than the finest pistol Wilson Combat, STI, or Les Baer have to offer.

If, once you have some experience, you still want a fine pistol, by all means go get one. By that time, you'll likely have a much better idea what you want in a gun anyhow.

JDR
November 3, 2013, 04:32 AM
I have a few 45s, a Gen4 Glock 21, a full size SW1911 and a Sig P220 and recommend that you try any or all of those. But, in my humble opinion, I think the best carry 45 right now is the HK45 Compact. I like this because you can get it in one trigger variant, and then have it changed out by a gunsmith without having to change guns. Personally I like the LEM (Double Action Only) trigger variant. And I like the modular backstraps to modify the grip size if you have big hands like I do.

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