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  1. #21
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by vjc123 View Post
    This seems to be a very honest answer, very much appreciated by me. Mike, can you explain why the 1911 design is easier to shoot well and with the proper care can it be just as reliable to shoot as modern guns?
    The 1911 is easy to shoot well for several reasons. In good examples, it has a short, crisp trigger pull. It has an extremely short trigger reset, which is underappreciated but a great help in fast/accurate shooting. It has a low bore axis, meaning it sits low in the hand. This reduces muzzle flip, again aiding in fast/accurate shooting as well as making the gun point more naturally than a pistol with higher bore axis. The 1911 has a smallish, comfortable grip, in contrast with most modern pistols which have bulkier grips (to contain their larger magazines).

    As far as reliability, let me relate a little story. When I was at Front Sight a couple of years ago, I observed the guns in our class. Their were eight Glocks, a couple of SIGs, a Beretta, a CZ75, one S&W revolver, and six 1911s.

    None of the Glocks or SIGs malfunctioned. Neither did the Beretta, the CZ or the revolver. However, five of the six 1911s malfunctioned at least once. One malfunctioned multiple times.

    I have seen this same pattern over and over at other courses, and it is very common in pistol matches, as well. See SuckLead's recent post about her first IDPA match, for example.

    The 1911 can be made reliable enough for defense. I carried one for many years before I switched to Glock, and I was satisfied with its reliability. Several members here report excellent reliability with their 1911s. However, from what I have seen over the years in classes, matches, and on pistol ranges both shooting and teaching, the 1911 design is simply not as reliable as more modern designs. This stands to reason - we know more about pistol engineering now than we did a century ago, when John Browning designed the old horse pistol.


    I shot a .357 5" barrel with the .38 special round and a .38 snub nose with the .38 special round. I have to say the .38 snub nose had much more kick than the .357. At the end one of the guys says to me, "well, neither of us has ever shot a .45, so don't listen to us." THANKS A LOT!
    A .38 snubby with a full-charge load recoils considerably harder than a steel-framed 1911 pistol. .45ACP is a breeze to shoot compared to a .38 snub - when in the hands of an experienced shooter. New shooters often have trouble with it unless they get good training immediately.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  2. #22
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    like I said earlier ... too bad you are hung up on the 1911 frame
    if you really aren't hung up on a 1911 frame then get a Glock.
    as mike said it is much much easier to clean
    Today I finished reading the Gun Digest Book on the Glock written by Patrick Sweeney.
    what I was rerefreshed on was that for competition Glock makes the G34 in 9mm and G35 in .40 - why - because of the ISPC BOX. longer slide and longer sight radius helps in competition.
    Also the polymer frame absorbs more energy of the recoil than a still steel frame like the 1911. Also since it is for competition the 34 and 35 have a better cleaner trigger.

  3. #23
    Snowman's Avatar
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    I do enjoy a good physics discussion. All I have to add is that both energy and momentum are conserved, but energy can change form (mechanical, thermal, sound, etc.). I've yet to see a satisfying relation for stopping power as a function of either KE or momentum. I personally put more stock in momentum, but I can't support that.

    Mike makes a good point about 1911s being a hassle to clean. It takes much longer to strip my SW1911 down to clean it than my P99.

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    Edited for 45 ACP endorsement. If you're getting a 1911, get a .45!

  4. #24
    vjc123 is offline Junior Member
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    This has been so helpful. I think where I am shaking out is the 9mm, but I am still on the fence about the 1911 platform. I do read many good things about the Glock and it is good to hear Mike and Hideit give it support as well. I do have one question, I cannot seem to get over the lack of a traditional safety and the look is not so appealing, but I can get over the look for function.

    Mike, what Glock do you own? After Hideit's recommendation, I read good things about the Glock 34, but people seem to say the stocks sights are terrible. Any suggestions on a 1911 9mm or a 9mm besides Glock?

  5. #25
    CHRGDGS is offline Junior Member
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    I personally own the Glock 19 and love it, glock has a reputation for being reliable everytime you squeeze the trigger *as long as its taken care of* When I first picked up the Glock I thought "ughh, it feels like a brick" until I actually shot it, then I was set.

    I've shot Kimber, and Springfield 1911's although they're accurate they are a pain to clean, and the trigger pull takes some time to get use to, atleast for me it did.

    Another good Range/Home gun that I could think of would be a Ruger P89, or a CZ 75b. Both good shooters and reliabe.

  6. #26
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
    I've yet to see a satisfying relation for stopping power as a function of either KE or momentum. I personally put more stock in momentum, but I can't support that.
    Neither KE nor momentum considers bullet design, which is critical when discussing "stopping power." If I had to shoot a guy, I'd rather do it with a good JHP .380 than a solid-bullet .357, for example.

    Rather than using a mathematical formula that only considers a bullet's potential, why not look at target damage to determine actual bullet effects? A handgun bullet that penetrates to 12" and expands to .70" is going to do roughly the same amount of damage to the target regardless of whether it starts as a 9mm, a .40 or a .45.
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  7. #27
    vjc123 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks to everyone for all the help. I think I have narrowed it down to a 9mm Sig or Sprinfield. Not if i could only find a range in my state that rents guns. Thanks again.

  8. #28
    Snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Neither KE nor momentum considers bullet design, which is critical when discussing "stopping power." If I had to shoot a guy, I'd rather do it with a good JHP .380 than a solid-bullet .357, for example.

    Rather than using a mathematical formula that only considers a bullet's potential, why not look at target damage to determine actual bullet effects? A handgun bullet that penetrates to 12" and expands to .70" is going to do roughly the same amount of damage to the target regardless of whether it starts as a 9mm, a .40 or a .45.
    Sure. Empirical data is almost always a better indication than a theoretical formula. However, for a similar bullet design, I'll bet you could fit a relation of stopping power as a function of KE or P. Of course, bullet diameter would also need to be controlled. Anyway, if such a relation existed it would be neat to see.

  9. #29
    hideit's Avatar
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    for RSP its the 45 hands down
    i have an excell sheet I can send you
    and yes the formula favors the larrger dia bullet
    the 45 is king
    it wont go thru walls because of lower velocity
    but for CCW the new single stack 9mm are awfully nice like the walther PPS

  10. #30
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    LoL!
    Get a 9mm AND a 45 ACP..And tell the wife she can use the one not in your hand at the moment

    You have a lot to think about really. Try as many as you and your wife can then get what will fit you both the most comfortable. A 45 will do neither of you any good if you are going to flinch before the hammer drops or it doesn't feel right when you draw it. The best pistol in the world will do you no good if it don't fit your hand right.

  11. #31
    vjc123 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson View Post
    LoL!
    Get a 9mm AND a 45 ACP..And tell the wife she can use the one not in your hand at the moment

    You have a lot to think about really. Try as many as you and your wife can then get what will fit you both the most comfortable. A 45 will do neither of you any good if you are going to flinch before the hammer drops or it doesn't feel right when you draw it. The best pistol in the world will do you no good if it don't fit your hand right.
    I think that is a very good comment and is why I am leaning toward a sig 9mm right now. First of all it seems as though they are excellent guns, and since I am a newbie to the hand gun scene it will help me when I draw near to buying a .45ACP.

    I have to say this is quite an expensive hobby I decided to pick up. I went trap shooting for the first time the other day and now I am hooked on that. Thanks to all of you for some great advice.

  12. #32
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hideit View Post
    for RSP its the 45 hands down
    i have an excell sheet I can send you
    and yes the formula favors the larrger dia bullet
    the 45 is king
    it wont go thru walls because of lower velocity
    but for CCW the new single stack 9mm are awfully nice like the walther PPS
    Wow, I haven't seen a serious reference to Julian Hatcher's ancient formula for Relative Stopping Power in...ages. While an interesting attempt to mathematically quantify "stopping power," Hatcher's RSP has time and time again been shown to dramatically underrate light/fast frangible bullets. Probably the best example of this is the full-charge 125 gr. .357 Magnum, which, back when cops carried revolvers, was widely considered the best load available. Similar things can be said of +P and +P+ 9mm loads, which have been amply proven in the real world.

    As for .45ACP not going through walls, I will once again reference the Box of Truth tests (www.theboxotruth.com) which demonstrate that .45 and 9mm will both sail completely through a typically-constructed house. There are good reasons to choose the .45, but some illusion of safety when cracking off rounds inside a house is not one of them.
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  13. #33
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    My guess is that you will, like most of us, become addicted and buy more than one gun. For now, I'd get a good 9 (cheap ammo, and in spite of the caliber wars, good for self defense). With the 9, you'll practice a lot. You can get a .45 later, and if it becomes expensive to shoot, it's a very easy cartridge to reload.

    For the 9, I'd look at a Sig 228, 229 or 226, Glock 17 or 19.

    For the .45, I'd look at a Sig 220, XD 45 Tactical, Glock 21. I can't advise you on 1911's, because I haven't shot one since 1968.

    Self Defense variables: .45 means a larger bullet, smaller mag capacity; 9 millimeter means good muzzle velocity, large mag capacity, less recoil. I'd trust either one as a self defense caliber.

  14. #34
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    I've never been partial to 9mm, but it's just personal preference. The 9mm ammo is half the price of .45 ACP or darn close to it.

    That being said, check out the Browning 9mm if you haven't already. One of the best pistols I've ever shot, in any caliber

    I carry a .45 - Springfield XD. I used to carry a 1911 Para Ordnance .40

    I can tell you that the 1911 frame is extremely reliable, simple and trustworthy. Pretty much fool proof.

  15. #35
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    I was looking at body armor last week. It takes a level II or III vest to stop a 9mm round but a 45 can be stopped by a level I vest. That alone should tell you that the 9mm has much better penetration.

  16. #36
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SemoShooter View Post
    I was looking at body armor last week. It takes a level II or III vest to stop a 9mm round but a 45 can be stopped by a level I vest. That alone should tell you that the 9mm has much better penetration.
    Heh heh, yeah, it tells us that 9mm penetrates Kevlar better than .45. They penetrate about the same in both wallboard and flesh, which are much more realistic "targets" than body armor, at least for most armed citizens.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  17. #37
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Well I have both a 9mm and 45 ACP I prefer to carry the 45 and I love to shoot the 9mm at the range although either make a good carry weapon.

    Like I had said find what is the best fit and remember grips can be changed on most...lol..even a handall on a Glock changes the way it feels a good deal.

    [Wonders to himself how many have added ACP and Glock to the spell check dict..lol]

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