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Best Combat/Defense Pistol

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by TFIT, Dec 27, 2012.

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  1. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I've carried two handguns in combat, a Colt M357 and an M1911A1. The .357 was highly effective, but required constant babying and had to be squeeky clean. So my nod goes to the M1911A1.
     
  2. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    First acknowledging there is no one right answer to this question, for an overall answer I would have to say a 1911. For all the legitimate gripes with it, they point well, .45's are a fantastic combat round, and they are ubiquitous.

    I own a 1911 and like it, but personally my bedside gun is my XD, which would be closely followed by my S&W 66. I like my XD over my 1911 because the XD has a light rail, and while a light on a gun might not be a necessity, I strongly believe in them. My 66 because I think the .357 is, in fact, the best all-around combat handgun round available.
     
  3. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    I distinguish between "combat"-SE Asia in my case-and "defense"-in your own home. A "combat" pistol must be reliable and be able to hold up in less than optimum conditions-hence the dust tests that the M1911 had to go through. The M1911 is as close we come to the THE pistol to fill that role with the Brownhing HP a very close second. For "defense"-in my case it's my trusty Colt Trooper .357, my S&W M-27 4" and my Dan Wesson Model 15.
     
  4. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

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    If I were able to choose, I would go to war with an HK USP or Mod 0 V1 trigger in .40 or .45ACP. More towards the .40 for the higher capacity.

    1911s are kinda picky for overseas grungy conditions. And don't even get me started on Glocks. There is a reason why they aren't the main service pistol for any premier military.
    Five Seven is a joke of a round. SIG would make a good duty pistol depending on the user preference.
     
  5. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    As you've probably gathered by now, there is no "best".

    What there is, however, is a large variety of options available for you to choose from based on many different factors, such as (but not limited to) caliber, capacity, velocity, bullet types, availablity, and personal taste.

    My advice is to find something you like, make the purchase, get intimately familiar with it, and put in lots of range time with it.

    And then remember that this one pistol you just bought need not be your ONLY pistol...just the first of many, if you so choose.

    :):)
     
  6. otasan56

    otasan56 Member

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    Let me clarify

    When I got my G17 in Oct1989, I was an M1911A1 owner, and I thought that the G17 looked odd. But the oddness wore away with each magazine of faultless performance. After over 23 years of match-shooting and CCW service, the G17 has never malfunctioned. We are talking tens of thousands of rounds fired. It has always preformed accurately. I can easily rely on my G17, and I had it converted to 3rd Gen to get the rail three years ago. Next will be a flashlight and laser pointer. :D
     
  7. TFIT

    TFIT Member

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    Steyr C9-A1

    I purchased the Steyr C9-A1 today, and it is really smooth! I also purchased a Springfield Armory 1911-A1 almost identical to the ones we used on the ship. Believe it or not, two local gun stores were fresh out of the G17, which is what I was looking for, but I will get one as soon as they restock. That said, if anyone has not tried one of the Steyr models, I highly recommend it!!!

    No need to recommend the 1911 as I think we all agree it is well tested and proven to be one of the all time best pistols ever generated. I've gone away from the .40 cal all together. Given the legendary stopping power of the .45, and the new technology today in the 9MM, I think either of these rounds are more than enough given the situation.

    Thanks again for all the feedback! Please, keep'em coming! :)
     
  8. Rockyriver

    Rockyriver Member

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    I was a dyed in the wool Glock fan, but after using a M&P 9 and a M&P 40 both in the 4.25 inch barrel and in Pro Series, I switched over too the M&P.
    The M&P are like updated or a more modern advanced Glock.
    Try one and you will see.
     
  9. TFIT

    TFIT Member

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    I do like the M&P. I had the 9mm and the .45, and really liked them both. But they just don't fit my hand quite as well as the Glock Gen 4s. As soon as I can get another G17, I'm going to. Now don't get me wrong, I'd go into combat with either the M&P or the Glock, but if I had a choice I'd go with the G17 everytime. Now I should also clarify that the 1911 I purchased was one of the reproduction GI 1911-A1 models by Springfield Amory. It is as close to one of the originals as you can buy today. It feels great in my hand, and I cannot wait to unleash it on the range. I also have to say I am really liking the Steyr C9-A1! What a great feeling gun, and it was as smooth as the Glock 19 Gen 4. No kidding! Try one just to see how they shoot if nothing else. :)
     
  10. TFIT

    TFIT Member

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    Hey Chief! I'm a Navy guy myself. Did 12 yrs active duty, and in the reserves now. I agree with you, there is no "best". It depends on what you're facing as you said. For me, I think the 9MM is best for most situations today, especially given the advances made in ammunition technology. I really like the new Hornady Critical Duty. I also like Speer Gold Dot, which is what I'm told most police officers use today. My cousin is a cop, and that's what he uses. Also, my Chief is a LT Deputy Sheriff, and I believe he uses the same in his newly issued G21 .45. He really doesn't like the G21 b/c it is such a huge handful, but he deals with it. They previously used the .40 Glock either 22/23. He really liked the .40, but in my trials I have just come to get away from it. It is such a snappy round in my hands, and I'm more accurate with the 9MM and the .45. I carry the 9MM and keep the .45 for my general purpose home defense gun. Push comes to shove, I may switch it up a little, but I spend a lot of time at the range and dry fire exercies. Thanks for your input, Chief! What's the old saying...when all else fails, do what the Chief said first. ;-) Have a great day, Chief!
     
  11. TFIT

    TFIT Member

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    Actually, I was just told the British Armed Forces just purchased several thousand G17s to replace their current issue sidearm. I know the HKs are great guns loved by many, but they are just not for me. Too bulky for me. I like Sig, but have recently given place to the new Gen 4 Glocks. I really, really like the new trigger system on this model, and I have proven to be very proficient with one in my hands. I had the SOCOM MK23 but got rid of it b/c it was just too darn big for any good use. It was accurate and was fairly smooth, but just too dang big! LOL

    I've settled on the Glock Gen4 G17 and/or 19. The only reason I have the Steyr now is b/c no Gen 4s are available at the moment due to mass hysteria over the gun control freaks. But you can bet as soon as they hit the store again, I'm going to have one. Thanks for your input! :)
     
  12. TFIT

    TFIT Member

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    I have to say that as far as pure feel, nothing beats the 1911. At least for me. The ONLY thing I hold against the 1911 is capacity. Still, they are quite proven platforms for combat. I also like the BHP. Great guns! I guess I have gone through a number of guns over the last several months in the endeavor to decide on my "primary". I've worked with the M&P 9 and .45, Glock Gen4 17, 19, 22, 27, Sig P220, P226 (9MM & .40), P229, FNS 9, BHP, Colt 1911, as well as the SOCOM MK23 (actually this was more of a novalty purchase), and as I've said, the Glock Gen4 G17 is mine, followed closely by the G19. One of the major deciding factors, believe it or not, is the new trigger system. The Glock Gen4 has a new trigger system that allows for quicker reset, and I can put a lot of bullets down range in very short order. I've also become very proficient at this. I noticed after working with the new Gen4 17, I've gotten so used to that trigger pull that when shooting Sig P226 MK25, I pull the trigger too fast for the Sigs to have time to reset, and I start misfiring as a result. You know how you lunge when the gun doesn't fire when you pull the trigger? LOL! It took me a minute to figure out that I was so accustomed to the trigger reset of the Glock Gen4 that I wasn't allowing the Sigs enough time to reset before I was trying to pull the trigger again. It actually became a recurring problem for me, which really hurt my feelings b/c I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Sig P226. But as the result, I compared the two (P226 vs G17) at the range, and the only logical answer was to switch to the G17. I'm just very smooth with it, and now I'm too jerky with the P226. Of all the weapons I've worked with, the G17 just feels more like an extention of my hand than any other model, although I will say the Steyr has impressed me. I also love the capacity of the Glocks (recognizing several have similar capacity-just not quite as comforable as the G17/19 to me) and their proven reliability and durability is second to none. I know I can pull this tool and go to work. I don't have to fool with thumb safeties or DA/SA conversions. I don't have to worry about accidental discharges (just keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot) and I love its low profile signature. At the end of it all, Glock Gen4 G17 just works for me. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  13. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Good to hear from another Sailor!

    Yeah, there is a lot more to any gun than "the best". Much of "the best" is subjective.

    For instance, if the gun doesn't fit your hand well then many of the other characteristics are a moot point, no matter how good they may seem.

    From a concealed carry viewpoint, if the gun is so large that the key word "concealed" does not apply, then it's not "the best" for that role.

    If one cannot control the recoil of the weapon reliably, then it is not "the best" for that person.

    Yes, there ARE some objective perspectives on "the best"...but even then, most of these vary conditionally. For example, I'm of the opinion that, while a large caliber magnum is a most excellent round for personal protection, it is a somewhat less than optimal choice as your primary personal protection weapon in a large, crowded apartment complex in the middle of a city.


    At some point, every person must make their decision on what to buy and what to carry based on their personal desires and needs under their specific circumstances. And then they must practice, practice, practice.

    :):)
     
  14. Roadking Rider

    Roadking Rider Member

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    I'm also a Navy Vet (66 -69). I agree the best is only that persons opinion and what works for them. Certainly nothing written in stone and to be taken as gospel.
     
  15. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    If you are an American you are not limited by the 1899 Hague Convention Declaration III On The Use of Bullets That Expand or Flatten Easily. The US is not a party to it. Further in most of the conflicts the US is a participant in that treaty would not apply even if the US were a party. If you have ever read that document it applies by its terms only to conflicts between parties. Thus if both sides are not parties to the treaty, it has no applicability. It further means that the treaty is only applicable to International armed combat and has no applicability to non international armed conflict. This is a very very important legal distinction. Much of what the US is involved in could be categorized as NIAC not IAC.

    If the US is required to use non expanding or hollow point ammunition it is as a result of that prescription being customary international law. Within IAC it could be argued that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which the US had signed but not ratified may prohibit the US from using such ammunition.

    The proscription on hollow point or expanding ammunition is greatly misunderstood and I think I am yet to see it discussed on this forum without glaring misinformation.
     
  16. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I place a premium on fit and ergonomics. I think the person who designed the original (pre-Hogue) Ruger GP100 factory grip may actually be an identical twin, from whom I was mysteriously separated at birth. If I could have only one handgun, for all purposes to include fighting, it would be a 4" to 6" GP100. This is my personal idea of absolute best. What is best for me may not be best for another.

    Of course, I recognize there are other handguns that are really, really good, and in fact good enough for me to carry into a fight. (Fighting is best done with rifles and other long guns, but this is a pistol discussion.) I recognize the usefulness of faster reloading possible with autos. I started handgunning with a 1911 auto, thinking at the time revolvers were quaint, and still think a properly set-up 1911 to be almost tied for best, for me. I must have a perfect, or near-perfect grip on a 1911, to realize best accuracy, however, while a GP100 is more forgiving in that regard. So, the GP100 remains best for me, with the 1911 second-best.

    My duty SIG P229R DAK is a darned good pistol, but I can have bad days with it, and be disappointed in my accuracy, especially if my grip is off just a bit. (The P229 is quite accurate; I am meaning my ability to shoot it consistently, under stress.) Moreover, it has pronounced muzzle flip, with the snappy .40 ammo, and has become a torture device. I once thought the P229 to be a best pistol, but not for me, anymore, as infirmities that come with age have changed the equation. The pistol did not change; I changed.

    I recently bought a Glock G17, knowing it is a very good pistol, second to none, when it was thought my chief would sign-off on a policy change allowing 9mm as a duty pistol cartridge, in the 9mm counterparts of our currently-authorized .40 pistols. This would be kinder and gentler to my aging,
    aching wrist. Well, the policy is not yet changed, but the G17 is a really, really good pistol. It cannot,
    however, be best for me, because it is not really a handgun, but a hands-gun. I have fairly large
    hands, but relatively short-to-medium thumbs and fingers, so I can only do my best work with two hands on a Glock.

    These four pistols, and yes, a revolver is a pistol*, are all "best" pistols.

    *We Texians, and yes, I spelled Texian correctly, remember the tremendous advantage that Sam Colt's Revolving Pistols gave us when facing Comanche lances and the lances and single-shot firearms of the Mexican Army, back when Mexico thought the Nueces River was the national boundary. Revolvers are pistols! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  17. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    When I got around to buying a 'serious' pistol I picked the Browning Hi-Power.

    It's seen a lot of action all over the world, and like the 1911 can be customized, unlike the sturdy but 'one size fits all' Glock. Newer polymer guns have addressed the issue with grips/backstrap that are modular, but they weren't available when I was shopping.

    I just shoot it better than my 1911's.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  18. Glockedout17

    Glockedout17 Member

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    A Sig P229, and a Glock 19 would be my first two choices. A 33 round mag in a Glock 19 will definitely make it combat ready.
     
  19. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Actually glocks and other polymer guns can be customized in various ways, from grip and frame shape, to mag well work, to trigger, to beaver tails, to controls such as mag release, and slide stop/release, to slide work, etc. How much of that is needed is another issue. Generally speaking such work is cheaper than having a steel frame gun worked on, particularly one that requires parts to be hand fitted.

    See e.g. http://www.bowietacticalconcepts.com/pictures.html

    Benner_glock_web_pix-470x345.jpg
     
  20. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    We know. One can actually pay someone to ruin perfectly good firearm.:rolleyes: It is harder to do when working with steel then plastic so they charge more.
     
  21. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

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    Hk mk23
     
  22. RoboDuck

    RoboDuck Member

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    For me the Glock 21 with my handloads.
     
  23. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    How is adding stippling to a polymer frame ruining the gun? Or checkering a steel front strap?

    How is undercutting the trigger guard to allow a higher grip, which allows for better control of the gun, ruining the gun?

    How is adding an extended control ruining the gun?

    How is a trigger job on a 1911 (or a Hi Power) ruining the gun?

    How is say adding a skimmer trigger to a glock ruining it?

    How are mag cut outs in the grip ruining it? Do you know why they exist? How are they worse than glocks factory solution?

    Again you may argue how much any of this is needed or even just how much of a benefit it is but it is pretty inane to say those things ruin the gun?
     
  24. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Member

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    I'm in with RoboDuck. Glock 21. It shoots so sweeeeeeeet! 13 rounds+1 of beautiful .45, never had a misfire, never put a round more than 2" off where I wanted it to go. Well, maybe 2.45" away.
     
  25. otasan56

    otasan56 Member

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    Well

    I count in this thread 23 out of 100 chose Glocks. That is a plurality for sure.
     
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