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What's a "Combat Handgun"?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by DMK, Jul 18, 2004.

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  1. DMK

    DMK Member

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    I see this term referred to all the time on forums and in the gun rags. At first, I thought it referred to Military Service handguns, but I often see it associated with short barreled revolvers as well.

    I'm assume now that it usually refers to a somewhat compact handgun (ie. not a Desert Eagle or 6" N-frame, but not a Khar MK9 or J-frame either) that can be conveniently carried concealed or open, packs a relatively powerful bite and is used to defend one's self whether you happen to be civilian, military or LEO.

    Is this a correct assumption, or am I off base here?
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Hey, if that is what you want to call them, it is fine with me.

    There is no REAL definition of "combat handgun." It is a catchword used by advertisers and magazine writers to make sales.
     
  3. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Thanks for your support Jim. :D
     
  4. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Whatever gun you have in your hand when you really need it.:)
     
  5. joab

    joab Member

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    Combat guns typically are not pretty or capable of one hole groups at 50yds
    Thay are built to perform in adverse conditions where extreme accuracy takes a back seat to flawless reliability.
    Combat accuracy means that it can put all rounds into a pie plate at typical engagement distances.
    Combat reliable means that they can perform their assigned task covered in mud, dirt or you or your buddy's blood and body parts.

    But mostly it's just a sales gimmick
     
  6. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    I think not! I hold in my hand a Colt "Combat Government Model" 1911.
    If it don't say "Combat", it's just a copy.:neener: :D
     
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    My point exactly.
    It does NOT say "Colt Combat Handgun."
     
  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Combat Handgun

    Catch-phrases and marketing ploys aside...here's my definition.

    The sidearm...whether revolver or autopistol...should have ample power
    to stop an attack in a reasonable amount of time by a relatively determined foe of average size and strength. It should be capable of shutting him down with the fewest number of rounds fired as possible...preferably one. A reasonable amount of time is two seconds or less from the time the first shot is fired. It'll take the average human being about that long to recover from the shock of being shot and get you back
    on screen. If he doesn't fall at that point, you need to take evasion steps and prepare to fire again.

    It should be reasonably controllable in the event that a second or third shot is needed to stop the aggressor's actions. This factor will vary from person to person, and can only be determined by the individual.

    It should be accurate enough to engage the target at the distance which the target is engaged. This will vary according to the person carrying the gun. Police officers will likely have need of engaging a target at a longer distance than a private citizen who will be using the gun as a purely defensive tool, and will thus have a more stringent accuracy requirement.

    It MUST be reliable above all other concerns. Match-grade accuracy
    and pretty finishes and "tactical" affectations don't mean a thing if the gun can't be counted on to function. A pistol that has even one stoppage can get you killed. A pistol that has had repeat malfunctions on the practice range doesn't inspire confidence. One stoppage in 500 rounds is acceptable...barely. One in a thousand is gettin' there. One in a thousand over the course of 3 sessions without cleaning the gun is close
    to ideal.

    Luck!

    Tuner
     
  9. RWK

    RWK Member

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    It is marketing “wordsmithingâ€, nothing more, since there are no recognized, quantifiable criteria for this “distinctionâ€.
     
  10. 1911Ron

    1911Ron Member

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    If it's in a non reflective black coating and has carbon fiber grips:evil: :D
     
  11. Blueduck

    Blueduck Member

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    Handgun used by a "Combatant" with very poor planning skills ;)
     
  12. mete

    mete Member

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    You might read George Nonte's "Combat Handguns" 1980, to get an idea what makes a combat handgun.
     
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Plans

    Blueduck said:

    Handgun used by a "Combatant" with very poor planning skills

    Now, I LIKE that one...:cool: May I quote you?
     
  14. Dave R

    Dave R Member

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    I thought a combat pistol is:

    -bigger than a concealed carry pistol
    -small enough to carry on a hip (i.e. not a "hand cannon")
    -Has a reasonable ammo capacity (i.e. not a single shot)
    -Designed for military use (whether it actualy was used in a military application or not)
     
  15. Blueduck

    Blueduck Member

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    Feel free, gotta stay on your good side now that I've got a 1911 ;)
     
  16. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    This is a Combat handgun.
    [​IMG]
    and this is a distinguished Combat Magnum
    [​IMG]

    S&W used this as a Marketing ploy in the early 50's

    If Mike Irwin still hung around he would have had this pegged.
    Thought C.R. Sam would have stepped in but .....


    S&W named the K frame line with adjustable sights in 22lr, 38 spec and 357

    The Combat line
    The Combat Masterpiece Model 15/67 in 38 and Mod 18 in 22lr
    The Combat Magnum Model 19/66 in 357
    The Distinguished Combat Magnum 586/686 with the heavy under lug barrel and heavier frame



    Nope that is tactical, Combat is Blue Steel and Checked wood
     
  17. amprecon

    amprecon Member

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    GLOCK 19 :cool:
     
  18. Plinkerton

    Plinkerton Member

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    So you mean my S&W 686 isn't really a Distinguished Combat Magnum? :rolleyes:
     
  19. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    Only if it does not have the @#$@#$^ lock.
     
  20. Plinkerton

    Plinkerton Member

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    Well, I guess I'm sh*t outta luck then...
     
  21. Edmond

    Edmond Member

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    A lot of people tout Glocks as combat handguns.

    I think the criteria of not looking pretty and functioninalism (is that a word?) when you need it to are met by Glocks. At least by the model 19 and 30.
     
  22. Ktulu

    Ktulu Member

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  23. Unisaw

    Unisaw Member

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    I think "combat handgun" is like "Corinthian leather" -- a term that was just made up.
     
  24. Mute

    Mute Member

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    It's black. And you have to scowl when you shoot it.
     
  25. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I side with Jim Watson and others on this one. "Combat" is a BS word, like "tactical" and "assault", used to sell stuff to the suckers and Walter Mitty types who think they are going to fight all the bad guys of the world.

    Most of us have some idea of what type of gun we would like to have when/if a problem occurs, but real world considerations, like not being able to carry legally, tend to intrude on dream time.

    As for military use, very few military personnel get to choose. You go with what is issued to you. You don't get to shop around, and if you carry unauthorized gear, you can get in a whole lot of trouble.

    Jim
     
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