I agree with everything you've written here and I seen this so many times over the years. However, I have to believe you took a little stab at me with your, "Now I have become proficient with a bottom rung" phrase. I also take a 9mm to the range nearly every time I go, and sometimes two of them. Took one yesterday and two eight days ago. And I carried one in my travels this morning (modified Glock 19).
Originally Posted by recoilguy
I don't fall into the category of "keyboard heroes or gugus" simply because I am humble enough to freely admit I never stop learning things in the gun culture. Have been doing this for 44 years and I expect I continue to do it for the rest of my life. Certainly there are experts, but as you suggested, there are also a lot of wannabe experts, too. It is good to listen to them as well if only to learn how to extract the BS from facts. But the funny thing with firearms and ammunition is that facts are dynamic entities... they are no where static in nature.
I recommend to folks to ingest as much as they can, learn how to recognize BS, keep an open and logical mind, and avoid the pitfalls of the self-anointed.
Wow,what a statement to make,so please don't put much stock in what these people say.While I'm not a big fan of the 9mm,I've carried one on and off duty along with shooting many matches with one,along with still having my Beretta for over 20 years.I've been away from them for a while but bullet design has come a long way the last few decades.We carried 115gr and that's what I always shot,but if I were to carry it again I'd look hard at the 124gr offerings because I'm also not a big fan of fast light bullets,I like some weight there for penetration.I don't think the 147s are great for everyday use and are more suited to suppressed weapons.They may have worked on them more but back then they were pretty much all subsonic to be quiet.
Originally Posted by LStetz
Honestly,when it comes down to it,just about any caliber will work to defend yourself.Shot placement is the #1 concern whatever you have but some calibers are more versatile for a wider range of situations.Most of the time the threat stops when they look down a barrel but for those that don't you just need to know the round's limitations.If a 300+lb guy is coming at you the last thing you want to do is dump a few 22s in his chest,between the eyebrows is your focus.Conversely,you don't want to pull off a head shot with a 45 unless it's a last resort after the chest hits fail to stop the attack.
Southernboy, I was actually speaking to the OP using your phrase to make my point to her that many folks have many opinions. No stab was intentionally directed your way. I apologize for the appearance that it may have been the case.
Your recomendations are very good ones.
To the OP 9mm is a great roound very versitale easy to find and powerful enough to be fun when fun is the desired result and also leathal if that is the result required by the situation. There are many rounds and just one is not the answer to all questions.
Enjoy be safe and the most important person to listen to is your self.
Thanks for your getback. We're good to go.
Originally Posted by recoilguy
My preference is the .40S&W but I admit to having more carry guns in 9mm than in any other caliber. Perhaps because of the excellent selection in that caliber. And though I may favor the .40, I am certainly not remiss about carrying a 9mm. When I do, it is generally stoked with Gold Dot 124g +P or Federal HST +P in either 124 or 147 grain versions.
For those who want a real sweet shooter for range work, and an excellent choice for SD as well, the M&P 4.25" barrel model in either the standard or the Pro Series is one fine handling gun. I carried one (Pro Series) for seven months and am now vacillating between it and my gen3 Glock 19 or one of my gen3 23's. I tend change from time to time. I shoot all of my primary carry guns on a regular basis. Yesterday, it was my Glock 19 and one of my Glock 23's. Next week, it will be my M&P and that same Glock 19. I like to stay reasonably proficient with these guns so that I can feel comfortable in the event I ever have to call on one.
I would choose the Glock 19 just because I like that size better. The Glock is a great range gun and is easy to shoot accurately. It will also last long enough that most people cannot afford to shoot it out. I prefer the 9mm for self defense over the 357 sig, 40 S & W, or 45 ACP. With all due respect, not meaning to offend anyone and certainly not meaning to put down anyone's favorite caliber. I just prefer the 9mm for self defense. Some reasons why I prefer the 9mm include, finding it easier to shoot accurately with lower recoil, the higher magazine capacity that the 9mm affords, and the fact that the 9mm penetrates just as far as the 357 sig, 40 or 45. The only down side is it tends produce a slug that is a tenth of an inch smaller than the 45 ACP. Don't know if you have looked at a ruler lately, but a tenth of an inch isn't that big a deal. If a slug actually hits the heart, it won't matter if its .75 (9mm) or .85 (45 ACP). Truthfully, if it misses the vitals completely it won't matter either. Lot of folks that argue for the 45 ACP due so with lot of stories about combat to support their arguments. The funny thing about that is that when in combat only FMJ ammo is used, which for the 45 ACP only makes a .45 inch hole. Much smaller recovered diameter than quality 9mm slugs would produce today. I have seen gel test of 9mm federal HST that produce 9mm slugs that penetrated the necessary 12 inches and still had a recovered diameter of .85! The speer gold dot often gets excellant penetration with .70 to .75 diameters. That's more than adequate, that excellant! Especially when you consider that full size guns carry 15 - 20 rounds. Anyone who cannot defend themselves with that cartridge probably just needs more practice. I'm not directing this post at anyone, just saying that I agree with those who carry the 9mm with confidence. The 357 sig, 40 S & W, and 45 ACP are all great cartridges also, just not any better in my opinion. The 9 is fine
To play a little devil's advocate, I know some people who have "been there and done that". Of these, the .45ACP is their caliber of choice (keep in mind, they don't use ball ammo for SD use). Two in particular come to mind. One I know on another website, though I have never met him. I believe he has worked/does work in some area of forensics or in a semi-medical field. In any case, he has seen the outcome of hundreds of shootings where all types of firearms have been used. He is pretty adamant against the 9mm AND the .40S&W and he gives concrete reasons why, not armchair opinions.
Originally Posted by jdw68
The other man I'm pretty sure, works in some area of federal law enforcement... I suspect as a U.S. marshall. He has never told me for whom or what. Now him I have met on several occasions. He is very low key, soft spoken, but very deliberate in both his manner and his speech. A no nonsense sort of man, he could easily play a role in a movie. Of the seven men to whom he has had to return fire, five never saw the next day and two are in prison. Every time I saw him, he was carrying a 1911 in .45ACP. Now a word on shot placement.
We constantly hear the term "shot placement" being the key to stopping an assailant from his evil deeds. But consider this. Do you think for one moment that should the time come that you have to use your sidearm, your opponent(s) are going to stand still and let you get off well aimed shots to center mass? Or even more difficult, to their heads? Got news for you, that only works in movies. Granted, if your target is three feet away and you manage to get off two or three shots, the chance of them hitting something vital is much higher than if he is twelve feet away and moving this way and that. Add to this the very real possibility that he is highly likely to be shooting back if he has his own firearm. What you are likely to hit, when you do hit, is all sorts of things on his person. Hands, arms, lower thorax, legs, groin, lungs, etc.
I'm not trying to dissolution anyone in regards to caliber and load choice, and as to whether or not they will be able to deliver effective shots to their assailant. I'm just trying to get folks to think about anything and everything that can and will be involved in extreme encounters where you must pull your gun and open fire. The fact is, you are not going to know if your caliber and load choice was a good one, if your countless hours and dollars of training worked, and if you are willing and able to fire on another human being, until it actually happens... unless you have done something like this before. And even then, you cannot guarantee that you will achieve the same results.
Am I an advocate of the .45ACP over the 9mm or the .40A&W? Not necessarily. What I am an advocate of, is for people to select the gun, caliber, and load that works best for them. One with which they can confidently, consistently, quickly, and accurately deliver rounds to target. One which they will carry on their person and have at the ready should the time ever come when they must call upon it. I'd rather face a haphazard, inexperienced and ineffective shooter than someone who is deliberate and determined, and can shoot through anything I can dream up. Be that person who is focused and deliberate with the gun of your choice. If you train enough with a gun you can control and with which you can hit what you aim at, you stand a much better chance of surviving a gun fight than the person who buys a gun on a whim, fires maybe 200 to 300 rounds a year, grips it like he sees on TV and the movies, and thinks that's all he needs.
Lastly, I would reiterate that you would be served well to do as much research as you can on these topics. Learn as much as you can soak up, and maintain an open mind in order to filter the crap from factual data. Listen to those who have experience in these areas, but be aware that even some of them can tell you BS. I know this from my own experiences.
And for the record, I have two 9mm handguns which live in my primary carry stable and several others which I call upon for carry from time to time. I shoot all of these guns well so I have confidence in them to serve me well.
Out of your choices I love the sig p229 or if you want full size p226. I dont own one but it'll be my next purchase!
For my first 9m I got a ruger p95.
Personally I would look at the CZ75 line of 9mm, in particularly either the CZ75 DB (all metal) or the Phantom (polymer frame). Both are full size, both have the decocker and both are with in your price range if you look around. The CZ like the Browning High Power and 1911 has proven itself on numerous battlefields around the world and is very reliable, I don't think you would be disappointed.
Originally Posted by kms888
From top to bottom:
pre-B CZ 75
CZ 75 BD Police
CZ 75 SP-01 Phantom
CZ 75 D PCR
I agree with a whole lot of these post.Weapon and caliber and type of round selection can be confusing to someone who is new.Now with advances in manufacturing,the quality and selection has gone up tremendously.I like others have preferences which are purely personal.The .22 will work as long as it is on you at a critical time.No matter the choice it all depends on your ability to put rounds on target in the 10 ring,whether paper or flesh.Minds way smarter than I cant even agree which is the absolte best for SD.I have always enjoyed hog hunting throughout my life.As a youngster my uncle would take me and we would use dogs.No firearms just an Arkansas toothpick.I have personally killed over 25 in this way.I have killed them with a single .22 round.I have also had them soak up 12 ga buckshot and slugs and continue the fight.Now we know in the medical field that a hog is close to humans in anatomy.There are so many variables in each documented shooting,such as mindset.clothing,adrenaline level and so forth.The only true one shot stop is the brain stem which ceases all function.But well placed shots in the vitals will stop the fight.The handgun is nothing more than a emergency tool.You need to know your weapon inside an out and be proficient with it.
I personally feel to much emphasis is put on the handgun as a save-all.The best weapon you have is your brain.To make a handgun really effective you have to do alot of practice.Draw and fire has to be 2nd nature.Nothing worse than fumbling with a weapon in the face of lethal danger.Criminals are known to be good judge of what is prey.I feel you need to know how to get out of a situations without relying on a handgun.Everyday items are a good tool if you know how to use them.A hot cup of coffee,cheap ink pen the list goes on.
No matter the choice,make sure it fits you and you like it.Use a high quality round for SD preferably in JHP and use a inexpensive for range time.But make sure both act the same as far as ability to hit your target.I also suggest study anatomy and know where the vitals are located.I wish we had shillouettes with vitals on them.
just a little response
Originally Posted by SouthernBoy
People who look at 100's of 9mm shootings are looking at the work of gang related activity. Gang bangers are not known for shot placement. Furthermore, they would likey continue to shoot you even after you are down. Therefore, the foresic experts look at this carnage and say, wow this guy was shot X number of times by the 9mm, but this guy was only shot twice by the 45 ACP. This is just anecdotal evidence and doesn't prove anything. We have to look at the facts, such as the two slugs are just pistol rounds and are both limited. They both penetrate the same and one tends to start and finish a mere 10th of an inch larger. Not a big difference. Furthermore, you made a point about the difficulty of accuracy in a real shoot out. This only makes me want the 9mm more! The 9mm is easier to shoot accurately and therefore, more likely to hit a moving / threatening target. The 9mm also holds more rounds which means more chances to stop the threat. I don't believe that missing a vital area will be overcome simply because the projectile is a 10th of an inch larger. The 45 ACP is a great cartridge, and one that I own, but I choose the 9mm for defensive purposes. I also can afford to shoot the 9mm much more than the 45.
"People who look at 100's of 9mm shootings are looking at the work of gang related activity."
Originally Posted by jdw68
The gentleman I mentioned who has experience in hundreds of shootings has seen pretty much all of the handgun calibers you can imagine, some rifles, and the occasional shotgun. He has also seen other tools used like knives and blunt objects. I listen to folks like him and take in what I can because I have no such experience. I also listen to how they say these things, too which helps me arrive at some measure of conclusion as to his validity. As for penetration, if all things are equal, the 9mm will be exceeded by the .40 and the .45 in this area. One of the best 9mm loads is the Gold Dot 124gr +P (#53617). This load manages around 13.5" which is very good for a 9mm. It has very good controlled expansion as well and it is a bonded bullet. The Federal HST 180gr .40S&W manages around 16.5". The 165gr HST seems to manage over 18" including bone penetration.
"Furthermore, you made a point about the difficulty of accuracy in a real shoot out. This only makes me want the 9mm more! The 9mm is easier to shoot accurately and therefore, more likely to hit a moving / threatening target. The 9mm also holds more rounds which means more chances to stop the threat."
This is probably the best reason given and one which I mentioned as well. Carry what works best for you. If that is a 9mm, that's fine. If it's a .40 or a .45, that is also good. The point is, if someone is less competent, less comfortable, less consistent, less accurate, and less able to deliver quick followup shots with a certain caliber, then that is one to avoid.
As I write this, there are three handguns strategically placed in my home. One is a "current" carry gun and the other two are "goto" guns. One of the goto guns is a .40S&W and the other two are 9mm. Any one of these are classed as my primary carry guns and I have and do carry all of them (not at the same time) at my whim.
I think most of us agree that for each individual, there is an answer and if they have done their homework and taken the necessary time, made the necessary effort, their chosen SD and carry gun is the right one for them. What we can do is to help those who come here to learn as much as they can and to offer suggestions and any other information that might help them take the right decision for them. This is as it should be. The .380ACP carried is always going to be better than the .357 Magnum left at home. Same goes for other calibers and guns. As you mentioned, it's what works for you that counts.
Over the past 10 months, I went through an evaluation period in an attempt to select the best overall gun for my primary carry piece. For years I had carried a modified gen3 Glock 23 (.40S&W for those unaware) then last summer I bought an M&P 9mm Pro Series. Starting in September, a neighbor friend and I started to hit the range every two weeks. We used a host of different targets and scenarios, testing both ourselves and our guns (he had only one handgun... a gen3 Glock 19). It soon became apparent to me that I was shooting consistently better with the M&P 9mm than the Glock .40S&W. So I switched my primary carry gun to that M&P.
Then a few weeks ago, I bought a set of Trijicon sights (GL01) for three of my Glocks and one of them was that Glock 19 mentioned above. These sights work well with my eyes, letting just the right amount of light around the front post and through the rear aperture. Now I find that I am shooting that Glock probably as well as my M&P 9mm. So I will begin the evaluation again to see how it goes. What this all means is that the gun world is very dynamic and we humans are also dynamic. We change, too. What worked for us eight or ten years ago may be improved upon by something out there today.
Not sure how those top two smileys got into my last post??? That sentence was suppose to read: Most gel test show the 45 going about an inch more than the 9mm even though both 9mm and 45 both tend to penetrate the 12 inches desired.
Also just want to say that my post are not intended to inflame Southernboy. You make some good points, and I'm not that far from your opinion. If I had a glock 23 or 21 I would love those guns and have great confidence in those weapons. I would still prefer my Beretta 92 fs and see it as being just as good (not better) and cheaper to shoot.
When I went looking for my 1st handgun I looked -- meaning handled, rented/shot -- quite a few including Glocks, Berettas and Rugers as well as some others.
I went with a Glock 17 Gen 4. While some were smoother, cooler looking, smaller, etc. I decided on the full-size 9mm for a number of reasons, some of which include: 1) cost of 9mm vs others; 2) reliability/ease of breakdown for cleaning; 3) round capacity; 4) no manual safeties; 5) feel in my hand (with the Gen 4 grip).
While I don't carry regularly, I do on occasion do so IWB with a Comp-Tac Minataur. While a smaller gun would probably be more comfortable to carry, I can carry the G17 IWB without printing and just a heavy T-Shirt over it.
Best thing to do is to rent several different guns before choosing.
"Hope your not getting upset."
Originally Posted by jdw68
Oh no, of course not. I trust I didn't give that impression. I enjoy reading and learning from others. I can't tell you how many times someone has pointed out something and I have gone and looked into it just to find a new and different perspective. Since Monday, I've been carrying my gen3 Glock 19 with Gold Dot 124gr +P loads in it. I shoot this gun well and do not feel under gunned with it. Of course I also am aware that I will only know I am right if I have to use it. But I know that I can deliver rounds to target with this gun so that is a great plus.
Your comment about gang bangers doing drivebys and I might add side shooting the gun (holding it parallel to the ground) may account for a lot of injuries in lieu of fatalities from their hits. I venture to say you won't find too many of these people putting in time on the range to perfect their skills.
BTW Happy Fourth of July to all you good folks. Don't forget why we celebrate this day.
All of your points are good and well recommended to people in the market for a handgun. In the end, what is important is what works best for you. There are some fundamental absolutes with a defensive handgun and as long as those are met, the rest is personal choice.
Originally Posted by techiej
No sir, not one bit. Your posts have been more than civil. Were I to be offended it would be my error, not yours.
Originally Posted by jdw68
Happy Fourth of July to everyone, and stay safe! And a thanks to all those who serve!
Sorry if i got some people going on this list, did not mean to do that, but i have to say that the person behind the counter might have been getting a little inpatient with me, as i was asking him guestions, I also remembered that i friend of mine has a hand gun and not a semi auto, as alot more to them, well anyway he also said a shotgun would be good easy to use etc, but sense i never shot a handgun before told him that i was taking a course at the end of aug and he was telling me for a first gun a 38
I also need to find a range that rents out so that i can shoot the diffrent handguns and the trainer i am going to said that i will get that chance as i am also going with my friend as my husband wants nothing to do with this/ so at the store i went to he pulled out a bretta, 9 m and a smith and wesson and after talking to my friend of a friend who has been shooting for a long time i am thinking i might not get semi auto, but there is just somthing about them l like, just have to wait until I take that class
A lot of good information has been offered about calibers and loads, and many fine weapons have been suggested. I own .22, .380, 9mm, and .45 handguns, and visit the local range often. A factor not mentioned in the thread so far is ergonomics.
Like any tool, a good fit, good grip, compatible (with you) trigger, and easy pointing and sighting have a lot to do with your comfort in practice, accuracy, stamina, and general satisfaction when using a particular weapon. With tools that require precision movement with hand-eye coordination, all this is a big deal.
When I began shooting regularly again, I visited quite a few gun stores and handled quite a few guns. I already owned a Colt Huntsman 22 and a WWII Walther P38, and shot both well, but as both are collector pieces, when shooting became fun, and a trip to the range might mean 500 rounds downrange, I had to get modern substitutes.
My two favorite range guns are a Walther P99QA (best overall ergonomics of anything I own - in my hands) and a moderately modified satin chrome Browning High Power (first released in 1935). The Walther is an elegantly engineered polymer-frame released around 1999, the Browning is classic and all-steel, John Browning's improvement on his own 1911 design. Both are very accurate, and both are very comfortable for me.
The P99, with its polymer frame, is curvaceous compared to the HP, and considerably lighter. It is striker-fired, uses a decocker, but can be re-cocked with 1/4" of slide movement. It comes with three backstraps to customize the handle thickness to your liking; this makes it a great possibility for a person with smallish hands. It's also available with either of two triggers; for most people, I'd recommend the AS model (an elaboration of a 2-stage DA/SA) over the QA trigger (single stage, ultra smooth but rather heavy). That's based on consensus of many owners who've expressed an opinion on the difference. The P99AS and P99QA are available for around $600. (You do sometimes see sales.)
The HP is a very refined design; it's evolved subtly and continuously since 1935. It was the first double-stack 9mm, with a standard capacity of 13 rounds in an era where 6 or 7 was normal for .380, .38, and .45. Hence the "High Power": more rounds. It's a beautiful gun, finely machined and assembled, and has a fine single-stage single-action trigger, although it does have a magazine disconnect safety that adds a bit of gravel to the pull until the -- magazine and disconnect follower -- are smoothed up by use. My satin chrome is pretty, but I think it looks spectacular in polished blue with walnut grips. The HP goes for under $1000, rarely less than 900.
An aside: The S&W M&P, released a couple years after the P99, follows the general outline of the P99 pretty closely. It's a good gun, and a good value, and shoots well (for me, when borrowing one), but the Walther is tighter and in my opinion better-made.
I have seven 9mm pistols; my carry piece is a 3" Walther P99, surprisingly very nearly as accurate as the 3.9" P99 and 5" High Power. But if it came down to defense, I'd want the P99 at hand above them all. Ergonomics.
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