Hello from Washington!
My name is Patrick, and I'm thinking about buying my first gun. Nothing fancy just a .45 but I don't know which to get, a .45ACP or .45GAP and was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for me? I'm no stranger to firing a weapon, I grew up in Wyoming and had my fair share of shooting. Any help and advice as far as which would be a better option for a first time buyer and the "why's" would be greatly appreciated.
Welcome from Damascus, MD.
HGF Forum Moderator
Welcome to the site!
As for the question of .45 ACP vs. .45 GAP: the cartridges are equal in power in factory-loaded ammunition, although there will be more bullet styles and bullet weight choices available in the .45 ACP. The .45 GAP was designed for a very specific purpose -- to duplicate .45 ACP ballistics in a cartridge with a shorter overall length. The longer a cartridge is, the harder it is to make a autoloading handgun that holds a reasonable amount of ammunition without the weapon's grip being too large for some folks to manage. The .45 GAP was designed by Glock, to fit into the shorter/narrower grip of their 9mm- and .40-sized pistols and magazines, so folks with smaller hands could still carry and effectively use the big .45 caliber bullet that many folks prefer.
If your hands are large, then the .45 GAP probably will not fill a need for you. The GAP ammo is also generally more expensive, and a bit harder to find than .45 ACP ammo, so unless you have smaller hands and absolutely MUST have a .45 caliber Glock, you will probably be better served by a Glock G21 or G21SF in .45 ACP caliber (or maybe a G30/G30SF, a slightly shorter and more compact handgun).
Thanks for the tip DJ, my hands are pretty big so it sounds like the .45 ACP is the way to go. I didn't know exactly what the difference of the two was and have done pretty minimal research up to this point since I am only now seriously considering buying a handgun. I was wondering if you or anybody else here had a preference for one type over another? I suppose the easiest way would be to go to a local shooting range and try out a few different styles of to see which one feels "right" in my hands. I'm looking for something pretty reasonably priced since I'm only 22 and will be going to school. I saw some online that were $3-$600 but I don't know if they were used, or mixed between new and used(my suspicion). Do you by chance know price ranges of something I might be looking at? Assuming they are roughly the same price where ever you go I guess that is kind of a difficult question to answer...
Also thanks Zebra, I appreciate the welcome, from both of you!
Welcome from SE Texas.
Look at the Stoeger Cougar. Stoeger Industries is a subsidiary of Beretta. The Stoeger Cougars are made in Turkey using the same machinery that Beretta used to make the original Cougars. It is every bit the quality of the Beretta. The Cougar is a great gun for the money, around $450. They are available in 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP.
HGF Forum Moderator
There are many good weapon choices in .45 ACP. I am a fan of Glock handguns, as they have a somewhat unique combination of high reliability and durability, light weight for their size/capacity, minimal muzzle flip due to the grip angle and low bore axis, ease of use, ease of maintenance and parts replacement, and wide acceptance in the civilian and Law Enforcement markets. They are easy to learn to use for a novice, but still effective enough that they are preferred by many professionals, along with people of all skill levels who carry a weapon to protect themselves and their families.
There are less-expensive guns that have some (but not all) of these features, and there are more than a few very expensive guns that have almost all of them, but still lack a few. I usually tell folks "Don't buy a Glock because they are popular; find out what makes them popular, and then you'll understand why folks buy them."
Best thing you can do is shoot a few different guns side-by-side, if you can arrange it. Sometimes gun stores that have an attached range will rent guns, or if you know someone who owns a handgun, they might allow you to try it out (offering to pay for any ammunition will help). A good basic-level Handgun Safety or Introduction To Handguns course is also a very good idea, if any are offered in your area (check with local gun stores, shooting/hunting instructors, or the NRA website for date/times/locations).