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  1. #1
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    Help with gun choice

    I want to get back into combat shooting and perhaps try IDPA. I've been out of the sport for decades and need a gun. I"ve shot a lot of 22 back in the day but many things have changed in 25 years.

    I've always wanted a 1911 of some kind, but the new poly 45's with higher capacity mags (and lower price tags) are tempting. I plan to start reloading and a friend tells me that 9mm is 1/2 the cost to shoot.

    So I"m basically lost...the new XDm 5.25 with adj sights, a glock, spend more and get a 1911 (and which one?) or ?? The local gunshop folks are not much help.

    Will "any" 9 or 45 be as basically as good as the next?
    What qualities/features should I be looking for (sights, easy mag release, etc)?
    Are adjustable sights a necessity, of any benefit?
    How much (roughly) to have sights changed (local store has an XD in 45 but it has the heine sights)
    I shot a colt 45, I beleive a commander model, when I was a teen and found it had little recoil (compared with the 38/357 revolvers I'd shot) so I'm sure that and growing up on WW2 movies have influenced my thoughts.
    Is weight that big of a deal? I'm used a Ruger Mk1 bull barrel 22 which runs around 40oz.

    I know there is no perfect answer and I've been told to go with 'whatever gun feels good in your hand' but unless you can find what you want in stock you can't use that advice, and getting to test shoot them is harder yet.

    TIA

  2. #2
    Raymond's Avatar
    Raymond is offline Junior Member
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    Weight and length of the weapon along with caliber will affect recoil. There are several good 1911 models on the market now. Price may influence your decision in choosing a 1911. I shoot Kimber 1911's. Springfield, Colt, Sig among others all make excellent 1911's. If a composite non 1911 gun is on your mind, look at the Glock 30 or 36. They are both 45 acp shooters. The difference in the two is that the G30 holds more ammo than the G36. The G36 is a slimmer version of Glock's 45 acp's. Hope that I have given you a starting place.

  3. #3
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    How do you intend to use the weapon? Carry concealed, home protection, hunting, sport, etc.

  4. #4
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    Target/competion snooting mostly.
    Not for carry - never carried and never felt the need to.
    home protection? With small children in the house the guns have had locks on them for years wtih ammo in a different place..now I have a gun safe in the bedroom so at least it's more of a viable option, assuming the baddies come in during the night and wake me up...which isn't likely as I sleep like the dead. Up until last week home protection would have been a 22 and hopefully a well placed shot. I now have a 30-30...more deadly but a lot less handy.

    Not to complicate things any, but my wife is interested in at least taking a pistol safety course. I have normal to large hands and she has smaller hands .. a large capacity 45 is probably not gonna work for her at all, but then it might depend on what for - to shoot alot? No, but to shoot an intruder, sure, that might work (assuming she'd even bother to get the gun which I doubt she would). She's not anti gun but suffers from a bit of the 'fear of the unknown' type of thing.

    From what I've seen pretty much any 1911 carries a $200 ish premium over a non-1911 45. For sheer stopping power I prefer a 45 of course.

    Now the local club has combat and target and IDPA competitions and I'd like to participate. From reading here and there a 9mm might be a good choice - cheaper to shoot which if you shoot 500-1000 rounds a year might make a difference...or is the difference small enough to not matter? I figure the diff on 1000 handloads to be $70ish (well, the 45 brass will cost a bit more upfront). Assuming my math of 17c per 9mm round and 24c per 45 round times 1000 is right. I figure a 9 might be smaller for my wife also, but that may depend more on a specific gun than the caliber.

    Is 9mm easier to shoot than 45 on a full frame poly auto? As in less recoil, lighter gun (when loaded), etc? Or is it so close as to not matter?

    I guess I'd prefer a 45 but for all practical reasons a 9mm sounds like a better choice. The 45 has the advantage of being a better defense round but as I've mentioned that's not the reason I'm getting a pistol.

  5. #5
    HK Dan is offline Member
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    GLOCK or M&P are good choices that will have you in "state of the art" status in IDPA or in USPSA production. I wouldn't try to compete with a lower end 1911, it's just not worth the aggravation. All of these Kimber guys who have never had a jam? Haven't tried to run them 'at speed'. Now, the new Springfield Range Officer is good to go, and at $800 it's not hideously over priced. For polymer guns, about the only caution I'd give you is to avoid the XD. Use stats showed that they started out strong and dropped off fast--they just aren't up to the task.

  6. #6
    Raymond's Avatar
    Raymond is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HK Dan View Post
    GLOCK or M&P are good choices that will have you in "state of the art" status in IDPA or in USPSA production. I wouldn't try to compete with a lower end 1911, it's just not worth the aggravation. All of these Kimber guys who have never had a jam? Haven't tried to run them 'at speed'. Now, the new Springfield Range Officer is good to go, and at $800 it's not hideously over priced. For polymer guns, about the only caution I'd give you is to avoid the XD. Use stats showed that they started out strong and dropped off fast--they just aren't up to the task.
    This Kimber guy has shot several combat courses and and being a Vet whose side arm was an M9 Baretta (9mm) I will take my Kimber covert anyday of the week on any course. I just don't understand the need some of you guys feel to take shots at Kimber whenever you can. I had a crappy Ford once but there are tons of them on the road with no problems.

  7. #7
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    Good to know about the XD...it seems to get high praise in reviews and are available used here for $500ish in 45. I've also seen a Para USA and Kahr in 45 (not 1911 models though). I plan to go looking a 9mm this week to see what's out there in the used market. A new Glock was cheaper than I'd thought they'd be and the M&P is another i've read good things about, but I've read almost as much anti S&W as anything else, not so much about quality as corporate policies and such.

    To be honest I'd prefer an all steel gun, but it seems they're on the rare side these days.

  8. #8
    rgrundy's Avatar
    rgrundy is offline Member
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    For an entry level pistol the Glock is hard to beat. There's a world of aftermarket parts and 22 conversions for it too. It has a trigger like a staplegun but can be fixed if you want. Thirty dollars for a 3.5 pound connector and a ZEV spring kit fixes them. The Mil-Spec 1911's run pretty well especially the Springfields and Colts. You can find them in steel.

  9. #9
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    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    You might go with the M&P in .45 and later your wife can get a smaller 9mm with the same controls and size options or smaller for concealed carry and if she wants a safety on hers they are available ...no so with Glock....M&P also has different size backstraps to fit different size hands...S&W also gives a lifetime warranty and they have great customer service if you ever need it and they pay shipping both ways...If you can find a range that has both the S&W and Glock try them both to see which works best for you...JJ

  10. #10
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    And I like revolvers. The S & W 686 with a 4" barrel is a fine example. It is a 6 shot gun that will fire anything from light .38 target loads all the way up to the uber-potent .357 magnum.

    There are competition classes for revolvers. And a 4" S & W will undoubtedly prove to be very accurate.

    The battery of arms is simple and it makes a fine weapon for teaching a newcomer. You can learn both the double action and single action modes and those skills translate well for semi-automatics too.

  11. #11
    chessail77's Avatar
    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    The people at S&W who set that corp. policy are long gone.....

  12. #12
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    Gun Chosen

    I decided to sorta ignore my budget and get what I wanted - a new XDm 5.25 Competition in 9mm. Thanks for all the advice.

  13. #13
    HandGunGuy is offline Junior Member
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    Cool Kahr

    Kahr k series or mk series are all metal design. At least the mk9 and k9 are.

  14. #14
    Prin_C's Avatar
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    I believe the best way to decide on what is best for you is to get a pistol that will have a good feel in your hand. With that said, you will have to decide if the polymer frames are for you or the metal frames. From just reading your posts I get an indication that you may prefer the metal framed pistols, but still try one or two polymer framed ones before making your final choice. If i were you I would choose a pistol where I can convert it to shoot different calibers, like 9 mm and 40 caliber. All in all, take time, visit the range and gunstore often, and try the many pistols that are available. You will be the best person to decide what works for you, especially if you are not limited by finances.

  15. #15
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of good guns out there and just a few bad ones. If you avoid the bad ones you generally will do fine.

    And don't expect to stick with the first gun you get. You will try others.

    I know I bought, sold and then bought again guns I've had in the past. (Sort of like a wife; you have to replace them once in a while.)

  16. #16
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    If read the posts you'd have seen I bought a gun, a Springfield Armory XDm Competition 5.25 in 9mm.
    I talked with some local competitors, users of glocks, S&W revolvers, XD users (as well as others) and held several glocks, XDs and S&W M&P Pro.
    I liked the feel of the S&W pro the best in my hand with the XD about 95% as good. The Glock wasn't bad and better looking than in the pics (17, 34, 19 were in stock) but the grip felt rather square. The XD in stock was the XDm 4.6" barrel non-competition model.

    The local club is active - I'm gonna give the combat league (since i've done that) and IDPA (since it looks fun and challenging) a try and take a look at pistol bullseye.


    Quote Originally Posted by Prin_C View Post
    I believe the best way to decide on what is best for you is to get a pistol that will have a good feel in your hand. With that said, you will have to decide if the polymer frames are for you or the metal frames. From just reading your posts I get an indication that you may prefer the metal framed pistols, but still try one or two polymer framed ones before making your final choice. If i were you I would choose a pistol where I can convert it to shoot different calibers, like 9 mm and 40 caliber. All in all, take time, visit the range and gunstore often, and try the many pistols that are available. You will be the best person to decide what works for you, especially if you are not limited by finances.

  17. #17
    recoilguy's Avatar
    recoilguy is offline Senior Member
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    Good luck and you made a very wise decision picking the gun you wanted. All the advice in the world is really just advice. Some good some not so much. Getting what you really want is very wise. You will now have a good base to decide on your next gun and a very good point of comparison. If this is a beginner target and competition gun, you should be very satisfied. The FO front sight and the longer barrel will be a big benefit to you in both persuits.

    I would not have picked that gun but I am not you and I like a hammer. I hope you are very happy with your new weapon, have fun and be safe!!!!!!!!!

    RCG

  18. #18
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
    I decided to sorta ignore my budget and get what I wanted - a new XDm 5.25 Competition in 9mm. Thanks for all the advice.
    I'm sorry for your choice
    good luck

  19. #19
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hideit View Post
    I'm sorry for your choice
    good luck
    Why would you say that? The XDm Competition is supposed to be a fine weapon.

  20. #20
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hideit View Post
    I'm sorry for your choice
    good luck
    I didn't you see make any recommendations or offer any advice - so now you pop in to second guess and say I made a mistake?

    I read reviews in magazines and online. I talked with owners of XD and XDm guns. Never was a bad word read or heard at all in any way.

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