You "FIRED" your dad's military issued 45? Say it isn't so. I think I would have cleaned it and cherished it forever. Oh well...regarding other unbiased advice on other caliber handguns. The choices are many. In competitions I see a lot of Glock. Not really sure that brand is or should be considered the best, but a lot are in use. For me the top three in 9mm are Sigsauer, Beretta and Glock. CZ's seem to be popular and I'm reading some information regarding the FN brand. Other members have their favorites and the list surely will expand. I'm not to versed on the 40 or 45 calibers. I have fired the Springfield 45 and liked it. Sit back, the opinions are about to begin.