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  1. #1
    mikim is offline Junior Member
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    compact shopping

    The wife and I decided we wanted a pair of handguns for several reasons ... won't bother with that ... and we got what she likes, but I'm still undecided and shopping. I've narrowed it to a 45ACP. I rented a couple of guns at a range - and I liked the Glock 36 by far of the ones I rented .... except I don't care for the squared off edges it has. I went to a shop and the man showed me a Kimber 1911 compact ...NICE GUN .. and nicer price. I about dropped my teeth at $1200 ... but my net research tells me that's not out of line for it. Springfield has almost the identical gun for the same price. I also found the "Judge" and put it on my list to have for my tractor gun. In the meantime -- I want a compact for ccw ...and this Kimber seems to fit the bill in all respects. I see in the 1911 forum here that the Kimber and Springer are rated highest in the poll but are they a good choice for a new handgun owner? So that's my question here of all you folks. As I said - I liked the way the Glock fired and I was quite comfortable with it --MUCH preferred it to the 357 revolver I fired at the same time. (with 38sp) just didn't care for the sharp edges. Comments pls.

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  3. #2
    kenn's Avatar
    kenn is offline Member
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    While cool, I don't think I'd recommend a 1911 for a new shooter as a ton of stuff can go wrong. I would recommend the revolver or the Glock. If you like the way the Glock fired, I'd def. stick with it.

  4. #3
    Todd is offline Banned
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    While I love the look to the little 1911's and would like to own one eventually, I don't think I'd ever get one as a CCW weapon. While many people swear by them, there are too many reports of problems with those little guys for me to spend $1000+ on a handgun that may or may not work reliably when I need it the most. If you like the Glock, go with it as it is a reliable weapon. If you can't get over the looks, keep looking for something with a more reliable track record.

  5. #4
    submoa is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikim View Post
    I see in the 1911 forum here that the Kimber and Springer are rated highest in the poll but are they a good choice for a new handgun owner?
    The 1911 safety will actually help you learn holding the gun properly in your hand. 1911s don't get reliable until they are broken in. As a new shooter, the gun will get better as you do.

    Don't drop it, don't feed it crap reloads or +P rounds, keep it in a holster, remember to clean and lube, find a good instructor and train and either one will serve you well for many years.

  6. #5
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    When I'm asked, I don't usually recommend a 1911 as a first handgun. Not that it's bad - it's just that the manual of arms for a Glock or Sig or even a revolver is quicker/easier to learn. And although I'm very proficient with handguns and can afford anything out there, I don't carry a 1911. I don't care to have to think about switching off a safety lever if I'm ever so unlucky as to actually be in a shooting situation. Even extensively-trained LEO's have been known to forget to hit the safety when suddenly presented with a shooting situation. I also don't like the hammer sticking out and digging into my side (can be remedied with the right holster). Also, short 1911's can often be finicky, sometimes to the point of frustration, and I don't have time for that.

    But, if you do go for a short 1911, you don't have to spend a grand. Kimber makes a few that go for much less. ParaUSA, Colt, STI and I think Springfield does as well. I have a ParaUSA 1911 myself, and it has been an excellent pistol that has never had any failures of any type.

    BTW, I own a Glock and have used others, and I've never seen a sharp edge on one. Are you sure it said GLOCK on the side?

    PhilR.

  7. #6
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    Is it a defensive tool?

    Is it a trophy room display?

    In the handgun world, ugly is functional/reliable/simple. Pretty is complicated/time-intensive/complex... and expensive.

    For defensive purposes... BUY a reliable tool that will shoot even if you DROP IT DOWN THE STAIRS... even if it is scratched, boiled, dinged, abused, and buried in the back yard by the dog for a month...

    When you're looking in the FUTURE for an artistic statement of elegance and classic design... that shoots... buy a 1911.

    Glock/XD/Sig/M&P... your call. K.I.S.S.

    My 2 cents...

    JeffWard

  8. #7
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    My Para 3" 1911 had a few jams until it was broken in, and hasn't made a single hiccup yet. As great as they are, they don't make the best first handgun IMO as they require a lot of special attention.

    Take a look at the Glock 30 if you can. I've heard they're quite bulky, but I held a Glock 29 that has the same dimensions and I liked the way it felt. Glock 27 would be a smaller version if you're willing to go down to .40S&W.

  9. #8
    mikim is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the input. There's a gun show on Jun 7 I'm going to ... I'll spend a lot of time looking and narrowing down my choice. I'm actually a bit disappointed that a lot of you don't believe a 1911 is a good first gun .... it wuz purty! ... but I am definitely listening to those who have more experience and it will be foremost in my mind as I am searching.
    thank you

  10. #9
    vernpriest's Avatar
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    I recently took a training course that I used my Glock 19 for. It, as always, worked perfectly. There were three individuals that had problems with their guns, two were Kimbers. They are no doubt good guns, but the DA guns like Glocks and XD's are far superior defensive weapons IMO. They require you to do nothing but pull the trigger and will cycle anything you feed them. The Glock in particular has a reputation for being virtually indestructable. They may be ugly but they sure are tough.

    I saw a quote recently I really liked:

    "A Kimber is something you show to your friends, a Glock is something you show to your enemies!"

  11. #10
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikim View Post
    Thanks for all the input. There's a gun show on Jun 7 I'm going to ... I'll spend a lot of time looking and narrowing down my choice.
    Just a heads up, do some research before you hit the gun show. While you might be able to find a good deal, there are quite a few vendors out there that try to rape people on pricing who think that just because it's at a show, the price has to be good.

  12. #11
    Liko81 is offline Member
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    I would avoid a 1911 as a first gun. Not really because of the technical complexity, but more because of the required break-in. nice 1911s like the $1200 Kimbers, Springfields, etc. have very fine tolerances, so fine in fact that the gun is too tight when you first get it. After about 500 rounds, they've broken in and you have a very reliable weapon, but in the meantime you can get failures to cycle, feed, eject, etc. They are also, as you saw, very expensive guns.

    That's not to say that there is ANY gun on the market that won't break in; I'm just saying some guns are built to be reliable out of box. Most of the weapons you find in the $400-$600 range including Glock, M&P, Ruger, Taurus, and XD are built to perform reliably out-of-box. The downside is that they end up looser after break-in than a more expensive gun. You as a novice shooter, and even as an expert marksman, will probably not notice the difference; there are WAY too many other variables between any two guns' "shootability" that matter more than a few microns difference in fit, such as the recoil behavior (pushback, muzzle climb, and even torque), the grip, and the trigger feel.

    What you want depends on what you plan to do with it. If you want a concealed-carry weapon, I recommend the G30 (a bit bigger then the 36, 4 more rounds, and a little more comfy in the hand). If you want a big ol' manstopper, either the G21 or the M&P .45 are excellent full-size .45s (the M&P will be my next handgun, but I will probably get a shotgun first). You can also check out Ruger in the full-size category; the P90 and P345 are beefy designs, but very solid, bet-your-life reliable, and on the less expensive side of the spectrum. Taurus makes decent guns, but I prefer spending the extra $50-$100 for a Ruger if I want a handgun on a budget.

  13. #12
    Spartan's Avatar
    Spartan is offline Member
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    HK, XD, Glock, MP would be the order I consider for a sc. Any one of them would be ideal, it's just personal preference and $$ from there.

  14. #13
    Dr.K's Avatar
    Dr.K is offline Junior Member
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    One of my first guns was a 1911, I still shoot it. I also carry the kimber 3", and it works perfectly.

    During all my years of shooting, a Sig Sauer P229 has been the MOST reliable handgun I own, never failing in close to 10,000 rounds

    To the defense of the 1911, I shoot a lot of competitions, and I have seen glocks bite the dust more that any other gun. Maybe that there are more of them is why, but this is just my observation. I'm not bashing, I own a glock and it has been AS reliable as my other handguns, but not MORE reliable.

    If you shoot enough, there will be hiccups in any gun. Good luck, and some wisdom from the flashaholic forums....why not get both?

  15. #14
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.K View Post
    To the defense of the 1911, I shoot a lot of competitions, and I have seen glocks bite the dust more that any other gun.
    When I see Glocks puke, it's usually the ones that have been tinkered and futzed with. Competition shooters are always looking for an edge, so they put the dumbest aftermarket crap in/on their guns, and then act all surprised when their guns don't work anymore. This goes for 1911s, as well.

    Most often, stock guns are the most reliable, and 95% of aftermarket "improvements" should be avoided like the plague they are.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  16. #15
    tony pasley's Avatar
    tony pasley is offline Senior Member
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    The 1911 is the Gold Standard of semi-autos. That being said like everything else you have to maintain your pistol, if you don't want to put the time into taking care of what you get sooner or later it will fail you. Revolvers are the easiest to maintain, glocks they tried to make idiot proof or so they claim. Some day you will get the 1911 most shooters do, but it is your money nd your choice.

  17. #16
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony pasley View Post
    glocks they tried to make idiot proof or so they claim.
    THAT explains why I like Glocks!

    Some day you will get the 1911 most shooters do, but it is your money nd your choice.
    I went the other way. My lone remaining 1911 lives in the safe, while Glocks and KelTecs are on defensive duty.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  18. #17
    hideit's Avatar
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    you never said what you are going to do with it?
    for target practice I think any is ok - gotta practice with what ya got

    for home defense size isn't a matter - a good choice is the XD45acp in 5" (like the 1911) barrell.

    if you are going to carry it then the glock 36 is the slimmest, shortest, smallest lightest 45acp out there so far (unless the kahr pm45 is out but this is new and reliabiity could be an issue with a new gun) and is very very reliable

    if your hand fits it and want more capacity then the glock30
    or the xd45 4"

    why do I say this; because i don't have a 45acp and want one
    and most of the information I said came from the best moderator on this forum

  19. #18
    Charlie's Avatar
    Charlie is offline Senior Member
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    My Colt Defender (3") has never had a hiccup. I carry it daily. I like the 1911 platform and there is value in buying any gun and sticking with it until you are comfortable with it and it's broken in. I've got several 1911s but I love my Defender and it goes with me almost everywhere I go. I have had several Glocks in the past and the other posters are correct in that they are simple and seem to always go bang when you pull the trigger. Glock reliability is excellent. You would be good to go with either. Just my $.02.

  20. #19
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    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    I recommend the EAA Witness P Compact.45, not only a sweet shooting gun, but, EAA offers conversion kits that you can make the same .45 into a 9mm in about 30 seconds. Practice at the range with the cheaper 9's and use the .45 for carry. Since I'm using the same gun, cheaper practice and get the same feel for my defensive needs.

  21. #20
    TxPhantom's Avatar
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    Some choices?????

    My primary carry pistol is my MP 9 compact. Great little gun. Love my MP's!
    That said, the perfect ccw is the snubbie. I have a S & W 442 and my wife has a S & W 642, both with Crimson Trace laser grips. Very easy to carry and conceal in warm summer months.
    My wife also has a Springfield Armory 1911 Micro Compact that is pretty easy to carry.
    The Judge would be a very good car gun. Who knows, I just might get one someday.
    Lots of good guns out there to choose from.

  22. #21
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxPhantom View Post
    The Judge would be a very good car gun.
    What makes the Judge a good car gun? Only when loaded with .45 Colt ammo does it have sufficient penetration for any kind of fighting, much less car-to-car action. But if you are carrying regular .45 Colt ammo, why not carry a more compact revolver? Or just carry a compact .45 auto, which is smaller, often lighter, easier to conceal, holds more ammo, and is faster to reload?

    Reference: http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot41.htm

    Further, here are John Farnam's comments on .410 revolvers:

    Taurus is currently marketing their M4510, five-shot revolver. In their booth at the SHOT Show, Taurus showed us a video touting this gun as being designed specifically for use in preventing car-jackings. It is a big, heavy pistol, and reloading is slow. Comfortable, concealed carry is possible only for the biggest among us.

    The revolver chambers and fires both 45 Colt ("Long-Colt") and 410 shotgun cartridges, however 410 shotgun shells are limited to the shortest made, 2.5 inches. In the promotional video, 410 birdshot was, not surprisingly, demonstrated on a "Shoot-n-See" paper target that is designed to make each pellet impact look much bigger than it actually is. The pistol's rifled bore aggravates the spread of the shot pattern. Even at a range of four feet, the birdshot pattern in the demonstration had already attained a diameter of eight inches.

    As I watched, it occurred to me that, as a single-purpose "snake-gun," this revolver would be second to none!

    I know of no actual shootings with this revolver on human criminals. However, a friend in OK just used his copy to dispatch a large skunk at a range of ten feet. He used #8 birdshot. The task required three hits, but the unimpressed skunk was far from DRT. He slowly waddled off, crawled into abush, and eventually died.

    I can't imagine any size of birdshot, particularly from a short barrel, being an effective fight-stopper. However, loaded with 45 Colt, or 410 slugs or buckshot, I believe this revolver is at least arguable as a "car-gun." 410 slugs are available, as is 410/000bk (three pellets). My personal choice would be 000bk!

    In a real fight, that one can use this revolver, or any gun, effectively, via any species of unaimed, "spray" technique, is little more than self-deception. To be effective in a life-threatening circumstance, shots from any kind of firearm must be aimed precisely by a competent Operator.

    Just as cars that "drive themselves" are currently unavailable, guns that are effective in the hands of the untrained and willfully incompetent exist only in the minds of the naive.

    /John


    So basically it's good for shooting snakes and clays, but a questionable (or as John put it, "arguable") choice for fighting.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  23. #22
    TxPhantom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    What makes the Judge a good car gun? Only when loaded with .45 Colt ammo does it have sufficient penetration for any kind of fighting, much less car-to-car action. But if you are carrying regular .45 Colt ammo, why not carry a more compact revolver? Or just carry a compact .45 auto, which is smaller, often lighter, easier to conceal, holds more ammo, and is faster to reload?


    So basically it's good for shooting snakes and clays, but a questionable (or as John put it, "arguable") choice for fighting.
    Some very good points. I don't own a Judge but have considered buying one without doing much research yet. After reading this, probably not.

  24. #23
    mikim is offline Junior Member
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    After some consideration and talking to the CFO I am going to wait on the Kimber until I have more experience and know that I would use $1200 worth of gun. The wife and I both like her Bersa 380 ...so my thought at the moment is - why not get the Bersa 45 then getting the judge as well won't be as big a financial hit. My main use for the Judge is as a tractor / snake / varmint gun. I plan on putting it in a holster under my left arm out of harms way as I'm working, but close at hand for snakes & skunks & such. I'm calling it a tractor gun but keep in mind when I'm working in the woods with my tractor, I'm off it at least as much as I'm in the seat. The Bersa would be my carry gun. The advantage of the Judge as I see it is the variable loads. You could put buck shot followed with a slug or 45 LC - if the buck didn't take care of whatever varmint you immediately follow with your next shot of larger ammo.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxPhantom View Post
    Some very good points. I don't own a Judge but have considered buying one without doing much research yet. After reading this, probably not.
    If you really want a revolver for SD, look into the .357 mag. Excellent cartridge for SD.

  26. #25
    TxPhantom's Avatar
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    S & W snubbies.....

    Quote Originally Posted by fivehourfrenzy View Post
    If you really want a revolver for SD, look into the .357 mag. Excellent cartridge for SD.
    My wife and I both have S & W snubbies, she a 642, and me a 442. Both with Crimson Trace lasers and loaded with +P ammo. We carry them often depending on weather related clothing. They are both 38 caliber.
    I shot a friend's 357 snubbie and it was snappy, a little too snappy. We have a couple of 357 revolvers, a S & W,TRR8 (hers) and a 686PP with a six inch barrel (mine) that handle the 357 magnum quite well but too big to use as a ccw. They stay in bedside drawers at home, as part of our home defense arsenal.

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