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  1. #1
    VP70TK is offline Junior Member
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    Question Accessory rail importance?

    Hi all. I just found this site yesterday and I'm really glad I did. This is my first post, so here we go.
    I'm looking for a handgun for: 1) home defense
    2) range/target shooting
    3) possible future CCW
    This is not my first handgun, but it's been a while since I had one. Alot has changed, it seems, in the last 12 years.
    Anyway, back to the subject.

    Is an accessory rail a really valuable part of a handgun today given my usage plans? Simply, will I miss it if I don't have it?

    I'm looking at (new) : FNP40/45, XD40/45, SIG 2022(.40), SIG 226(.40), SIG 229(.40) and HK USP(.40 or .45). Of course, all come with accessory rail.
    However, I have the opportunity to buy a slightly used (300-400 rounds) SIG P226 without rail from a co-worker. He's wanting about $50 less than the cheapest of the new guns listed above.

    Hence my delima. Will I miss the accessory rail (especially for home defense)?

    Sorry for the long post. I thought the more info I could give, the better.

    Any opinions are greatly appreciated !

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  3. #2
    bruce333's Avatar
    bruce333 is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    I think it's more a marketing ploy than an especially useful item.

    IMO I don't think they are all that great an idea. Maybe for mounting a laser, but crimson trace makes grips that serve the same purpose. Mount a light on it and you have to point the gun at what you want to look at, not a good idea if it turns out to be your kid or wife, etc..

    I don't know of any concealment holster that would allow using the rail. There are thigh holsters and some really flimsy looking ones. But nothing for concealed carry.
    Bruce, Life Member: NRA, NCRPA, GRNC, GOA

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  4. #3
    VP70TK is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the quick reply Bruce. So I'm assuming that you prefer a hand-held tacticle light for home defense?

  5. #4
    Joeywhat's Avatar
    Joeywhat is offline Member
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    If I want a gun with a light on it I'll be holding a rifle or shotgun. I find it unnecessary on a handgun...use one hand to hold the gun, the other to hold a flashlight. Can probably find a VERY nice handheld flashlight for a fraction of the cost of a rail mounted light.

    Plus remember that pistols have a lot of muzzle flip, and the light is attached to the muzzle. I can shoot one handed just fine, and keep the light on target while shooting, at least more so then if attached to the gun.

  6. #5
    bruce333's Avatar
    bruce333 is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by VP70TK View Post
    So I'm assuming that you prefer a hand-held tacticle light for home defense?
    If you call a 3 D-cell mag-lite tactical.

  7. #6
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm with bruce333 on this one. I don't use the rail on any of my handguns.

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce333
    If you call a 3 D-cell mag-lite tactical.


    Quote Originally Posted by VP70TK View Post
    Thanks for the quick reply Bruce. So I'm assuming that you prefer a hand-held *snip* light for home defense?
    I do. Get yourself a nice and bright handheld flashlight and use it in your off-hand (Surefire, etc). Practice, practice, practice. This way, the light is also very useful for other purposes.

    -Jeff-

  8. #7
    VP70TK is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks all. OK, now. Which gun with or without rail?
    Thanks again

  9. #8
    bruce333's Avatar
    bruce333 is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    However, I have the opportunity to buy a slightly used (300-400 rounds) SIG P226 without rail from a co-worker. He's wanting about $50 less than the cheapest of the new guns listed above.
    This sounds like a good deal to me. 400 rounds is nothing, spread over the life of the gun.

  10. #9
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    I am with Bruce and Jeff. The rail is really not needed. I trained as a police officer with handheld flashlights and used a big Streamlight for years. I recently got a nice smaller LED type flashlight and like it a lot.

    The deal on the Sig Sauer P226 sounds great and it is a great gun. It may be a bit hard to conceal well all the time, but if concealed carry is not something you need to worry about right away, I think it will work well for home defense and the range.

    Also, welcome to the forum.

  11. #10
    tekhead1219's Avatar
    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with Bruce, the rail is really unnecessary. If you mount a laser or tac light on it, you have problems finding a good holster that will fit. A small handheld tac flashlight works just fine. It's what I use for IDPA shooting. Regarding the Sig...sounds like a good buy, but, like Ptarmigan says, it'll be a little difficult to conceal due to its size. Good luck with what you decide.

  12. #11
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    Accessory Rail

    The accessory rail is useful in all kinds of scenarios where concealment is not an issue and you are not holster carrying the weapon. Once you hang the light/laser under the dust cover you kill most of your holster choices and the light is not that great an accessory. The rail mounted laser is useful item but I prefer the Lasermax Guide Rod Laser that I have in my Beretta 96, doesn't affect the holster choice in any way and is dead on accurate. As for the light, we use Mag lights with the S.O. and strong hand the weapon, weak hand the light. I agree if I am looking for a "lighted" weapon, it will be a shotgun or rifle. Neat idea, useful, not really. Beretta just modified the M-9 to the M-9A1 for the USMC and our area reserve unit has them, no one uses anything on the rail.

  13. #12
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    A bit off topic but, tekhead, IDPA has a night shoot? That is great. I tried IPSC once and hated it.

  14. #13
    tekhead1219's Avatar
    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    It's not really a night shoot as much as it is a low light shoot. Our competition doesn't start until 6:30 PM and its an outdoor range. Gets dark here at 5:00 PM so they won't turn on the bay lights on low light shoot nights. Lots of fun shooting strong hand only while holding tac light weak hand. Never tried IPSC, so I can't compare the two.

  15. #14
    VP70TK is offline Junior Member
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    OK guys. I was mainly asking about the "tac"-light in the home defense scenerio but all of you have convinced me that it's not necessary nor will I miss it.
    Right now the pistol that I get will be for home defense and range/practice shooting. The concealed carry issue will come about later, when I get my liscense.
    I guess I need to add that the "little mrs." will also be using this weapon as home defense and practice shooting. I also have a 9 year old daughter that I'd like to introduce to guns and gun safety. I've already been talking to her about it.
    My son just bought a XD two-tone .40 and I have to say that I like holding it. Haven't shot it yet, but we're supposed to go to the range this weekend.
    Any and all other comments and opinions are very much welcome.
    Thanks alot!

  16. #15
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    I do not recommend the .40S&W caliber for new shooters such as your daughter. May not be a fun experience for her due to the recoil. If this gun is to be share with your wife and daughter, may I suggest you look at a 9mm instead. 9mm ammo is also much cheaper so you can shoot more.

  17. #16
    VP70TK is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptarmigan View Post
    I do not recommend the .40S&W caliber for new shooters such as your daughter. May not be a fun experience for her due to the recoil. If this gun is to be share with your wife and daughter, may I suggest you look at a 9mm instead. 9mm ammo is also much cheaper so you can shoot more.
    Well, the wife has quite a bit of shooting experience so that won't be a problem. I do understand about my daughter shooting a .40 though. Now I have another decision to make I guess.

  18. #17
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    Sorry about that.

    If the .40 works for you and your wife, save up some money and get a Ruger .22 pistol for around $250 to use for your daughter. If she learns well, you can move her up to the .40 from there some years down the road.

    My advice is to jump on the sweet deal on the 226 and use the money you save on the .22 either now or later for your daughter.

  19. #18
    VP70TK is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptarmigan View Post
    Sorry about that.


    My advice is to jump on the sweet deal on the 226 and use the money you save on the .22 either now or later for your daughter.

    Strange, that's the idea that just popped in my head too!!!
    Great, now I may have 2 guns to decide on.

  20. #19
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VP70TK
    Great, now I may have 2 guns to decide on.
    The right decision is below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptarmigan View Post
    If the .40 works for you and your wife, save up some money and get a Ruger .22 pistol for around $250 to use for your daughter. If she learns well, you can move her up to the .40 from there some years down the road.

    My advice is to jump on the sweet deal on the 226 and use the money you save on the .22 either now or later for your daughter.
    Grab the deal on the 226 while you can and get yourself a Ruger 22.



    -Jeff-

  21. #20
    VP70TK is offline Junior Member
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    I thought of the Ruger .22. I know they're supposed to be a great handgun, BUT, I never have liked the looks of them----don't know why.

    Doesn't SIG make a conversion kit for the P226 in either .22 or 9mm?
    Seems like they do, but I can't remember off hand.

  22. #21
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VP70TK View Post
    I thought of the Ruger .22. I know they're supposed to be a great handgun, BUT, I never have liked the looks of them----don't know why.
    I'm not one to care about looks with my tools. Have you ever seen a stainless Ruger? They look real nice. Another great option is the Browning Buckmark. They are a tad more expensive from what I've seen, but a nice firearm. The decision for me was between the Ruger and the Browning, and I just liked the feel of the Ruger in my hands better.

    Quote Originally Posted by VP70TK
    Doesn't SIG make a conversion kit for the P226 in either .22 or 9mm?
    Seems like they do, but I can't remember off hand.
    I believe they do. Either way, I never really liked the idea of the conversion kits (unless maybe they were less expensive). For the cost of a conversion, I have my Ruger and lots of .22 ammo.

    -Jeff-

  23. #22
    VP70TK is offline Junior Member
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    Both points well taken and understood!!!

    What about a .22 or .25 Beretta flip-up barrel for my daughter? Sorry, I can't remember the model no., but I shot them quite a bit in the past and they were really a blast and reliable.

  24. #23
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VP70TK View Post
    Both points well taken and understood!!!

    What about a .22 or .25 Beretta flip-up barrel for my daughter? Sorry, I can't remember the model no., but I shot them quite a bit in the past and they were really a blast and reliable.
    .22 ammo is much easier to find, and also much cheaper (at least around here). I would stick with a common semi-auto .22 pistol. That way you can find accessories and anything else you may want/need.

    -Jeff-

  25. #24
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Hmmm.... rails on a handgun. How did all those LEO's in the decades before get by? I guess they just had to hold their flashlights in their other hand.

    The only real reason why we have handguns with rails is because we can, it looks cool, and people love buying things that look cool and accessorizing. Me - I'll just keep holding a flashlight in my hands, and therefore have the option to point my light where I want it to go, without having to point my weapon at the same place. I like being able to indentify whats around me when light levels are low, things such as family members, pets, etc. without having to point a loaded handgun at them at the same time.

    So no, I don't think you will miss the accessory rail. Good luck on making your decision. At least you have picked out a very nice group to choose from. Some of your potential choices are somewhat large though, so keep that in mind since the little lady will be shooting too....

    PhilR.

  26. #25
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VP70TK View Post
    I thought of the Ruger .22. I know they're supposed to be a great handgun, BUT, I never have liked the looks of them----don't know why.
    Luckily for all of us, there are few other very good and inexpensive .22 auto's. The S&W 22A is just as accurate (if not moreso) as a MKIII, but much cheaper and is also a whole lot easier to field strip. The Browning Buckmark has a better trigger, and costs less than the MKIII versions w/adjustable sights. I'll bet you will like that one a lot. It is my wife's favorite .22 auto. There's also the Beretta Neos to consider as well. It is much cheaper than MkIII, but also reliable and accurate, and has the bonus of having a smaller grip size than the others, which might work out well for you and your family.

    PhilR.

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