What handgun brands are considered to be among the best quality, reliability/durability, etc.?
Such as, Beretta, Taurus, Glock, Smith & Wesson, Walther, Springfield, Heckler-Koch?
What brands give you the best quality for the money?
I'm looking at:
Smith & Wesson M&P 4"
Springfield Armory XD 4" Standard (or maybe the compact)
Wanting .45, but .40 would be ok. Definitely want a manual safety. Also, it's for personal defense/home protection.
The XD doesn't have a manual safety, but it's a great gun.
So many options. IMO the best guns are the following, in my order of preference
1911 variants from Wilson Combat, Nighthawk, Kimber etc
HK and Glock have legendary reliability. I've seen both HKs and Glocks with well over 50,000 rounds through them with no failures or broken parts.
Glock has no manual safety while the HK45 has a manual safety on them.
I say manual safety, but every gun has built in safeties in the form of a firing pin block or some other mechanism that prevents a round from firing until the trigger is pulled. Drop it, kick it, throw it and it won't fire unless something pulls the trigger.
I don't like external safeties. I think they provide a false sense of security and cause a lot of people to not take every precaution and to not treat every firearm as if it was loaded. "Oh, there's a safety, it can't go off!" I realize many of you on here have externals safeties and are responsible, but a lot of people aren't, and having an external safety might keep someone from staying on their guard with their gun. Just my two cents.
Agreed, I gave a little thought to manual safety before I bought my first gun and realized the real safety is the person holding the gun. I feel like a gun with a safety is more dangerous than one without. You should never RELY on a safety. Personally I realized that (for me) if I felt like a manual safety was a must then maybe I wasn't ready to own a gun.
Get an XD, it will be the best $500 you will ever spend on a gun. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't love their XD.
Though your list is a good one with great pistol choices, you definitely owe it to yourself to pick up a Sig and behold the quality, the trigger, fit and finish and ergonomics. They're fine shootin' irons. A pal of mine just picked up an XD .357 Sig that I also can't wait to shoot.. The XD's were definitely one of my top picks. The XD's actually carry cocked if a round is in the chamber, relying on trigger, firing pin block and grip safety, whereas a d/s decocker carries decocked whether it has or has not a manual safety. 08XD's do offer some manual safeties as a new design though.
Typically, the "unseen" firing-pin block safety on the more robust guns gives me peace of mind that the gun is designed not to fire unless certain things happen, such as being taken off safety and a grip-safety engaged and the trigger pulled.. such as a 1911 or springfield XD.. Which also follows inline in how the gun is handled and carried when not ready for fire.. Which gets into single-action cocked and locked condition 1, or other, etc.
In the case of my Sig, it has a firing pin block engaged with round in chamber loaded and decocked. The pin block should in design prevent firing from jarring or dropping the gun, which would be a major catastrophe to me but who knows.. I guess it happens where a gun can be dropped. With no manual safety, it's simply carried decocked with a firing pin block (I shall verify that of course in the manual) but firing capable via double action.
Without the manual safety, when I need the gun to fire without thought to whether a manual safety is engaged or not, I just point and it's going to fire with a first double action pull, like a revolver straight from holster carry condition. So in the heat of the moment (some call it a SHTF situation here), there's one less thing to think about.. just present, aim and fire.
I guess the standard 92FS is a similar setup, but the decocker also acts as manual safety, so there's one more step to firing.
.... With all this said, I guess my BIGGEST concern is that the gun's internal safety system is a darn good one and a well built one, regardless the type.
I'm not bashing the bigger bullets. But sometimes I think 9mm is a better choice, especially on a small carry weapon. The Navy SEALs carry 9mm SIG P226s as a backup sidearm. I think if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me and you.
Good luck with whatever you choose, but always weigh out the pros and cons of each weapon, use POE (process of elimination), and find the one you can afford to both purchase and train with, one that you can shoot defensively with some level of ease, and one you can conceal and feel comfortable carrying.
Is Taurus a good brand?
What about the S&W M&P?