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By Tom Daly

I am 21 and recently obtained my pistol permit. The reason for this short story is because, well, sometimes you make a decision in the moment that you ultimately might regret. The reason for the regret is you might not get exactly what you were aiming for. My decision was hampered by the state I live in, Connecticut. I originally wanted a wonder nine (CZ 75 or CZ P-01), but could not justify one if I could not have the wonderful magazine capacity that made the wonder nines so endearing. I did my homework looking for a good around full size handgun chambered in 40 S&W or 45 ACP . . .

I was leaning towards 45 ACP due to the overall ballistic properties of what I read on Wikipedia and the fact the round is still in use in certain military circles. Principally I was looking at it from a philosophy of use. Forty-five is a large heavy round that has recoil factor, but at the same time the kinetic mass of a .45 is what had made it so world famous your target will not get up taking one center of mass.

So I did some research and it came down to SIG SAUER P220, Armscor TAC 1 1911 and the CZ 97. I went to Cabelas to get a feel for local prices and quickly discovered that any full-size gun was going ot run me more then I was willing to spend. So off my list went the P220 and the CZ 97. What I was left with was the TAC 1 1911 from Armscor.

As such, a few days after visiting Cabelas I went to the local gun shop and was prepared to put money down for a Armscor 1911. But lo and behold, upon window shopping I discovered a SIG P250 chambered in 45 ACP. I sat there with that p250 in my hands. It was nicely priced at $300 and was chambered in .45. It had no external safety and was DAO and thus was even more appealing to me.

I could not make up my mind. Everyone around me was saying it was a good deal and that I would not regret it. Thus I bought  it right there in the moment. After I got home, though I felt i had made the wrong choice. After some deep thought I ultimately decided to return it and order my 1911 Tac 1. The reason being that though a great handgun, it just did not feel right to me, personally.



I would definitely buy one today as I still feel the occasional pang of regret concerning the P250, but would prefer it chambered in 9MM or 40 S&W. With my 1911 I feel as if I made the absolute right decision. The size and history of the 1911 is what brought me over and the fact it feels better in my hand. And for a first handgun there’s no better handgun to learn from. If you can conquer the 1911 you can shoot almost any handgun in my honest opinion.

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    • Seriously, that was my first thought. You buy a gun here & even if you left the store 5 minutes prior & decided you didn’t like it, that gun is yours. You could sell/trade it back to your dealer, but it’d be at a loss, because that’s a used gun now. Even if you didn’t fire it.

      • What I can’t stand is how a store wants to sell you a pistol that a million different people have played with on Saturdays at full price.

        I brought this up to someone at the gun counter at Cabela’s, and he seemed a bit offended. It’s ridiculous because at that point, it’s a display model. If that were a TV, laptop, Blu Ray player, etc, you would get a discount if you purchased the display model. But a pistol, with metal-on-metal operation with an indeterminate amount of pre-purchase usage, you pay full price. Sounds legit.

        • what? its not like you are going to go to Amazon and buy a brand new version of the gun you just handled , so yeah they can charge full price for a display case model. Economics 101, Best Buy offers a display discount for two reasons, handling electronics has an impact on their usable life that is far greater than handling a firearm. Second, they have to convince you to still buy from them as opposed to window shopping and buying online. TV’s arent regulated like guns so they are much easier to just go buy online and have at your door within the week. Also, a gun will basically last you a lifetime so a few chubby fingered customers racking the slide and dry firing a couple of times isn’t going to have a huge impact on the life of that gun, unless they drop it. I honestly don’t know what a gun store owner would do in that case.

        • When I purchase a gun at Cabela’s I pick the display piece I like, the sales guy goes in the back and comes out with a brand new gun in the box, allows me to inspect it to make sure it’s to my satisfaction, and that’s the one I take home. Not the display item. Maybe practices are different at your Cabela’s…

        • What General Zod said is what happens to me also. Display model goes back into the case and a new gun with no greasy paw prints comes out from the back. Unless it is a used gun, then it has all of the greasy paw prints included as a bonus. Oh and, I picked up a CZ P07 and a CZ P01 in the past month. The P01 has hands down became my favorite pistol. My friend couldn’t put it down at the range also. The P07 is no slouch either, but the P01 was amazing.

        • @GeneralZod

          That’s actually what I do, too. Luckily, that’s what I’ve been able to do with all of the pistols I’ve bought at Cabela’s.

          The exchange with the gun counter guy came about after he said that there was 1 Glock 30SF in the back, but proceeded to tell me that it didn’t matter, as the one in the case “doesn’t get looked at that much”.

  1. Oh my goodness, sir, you need to remember the OFWG first rule of buying guns:
    ”If you cannot decide between two guns, buy them both.”

    Forget the whole “I couldn’t afford both” excuse: sell your dog, get rid of you cell phone or cable TV, whatever it takes. Trust me on this – 5 years from now, you will be saying “I could have bought that for half the price back in 2014!”

    I speak from cold, cruel personal experience. I could have bought that set of cased Colt Lee & Grant 1851 Navy replica revolvers for only $250. (In 1972, at a gun store near Ft. Benning GA). To this day, that failure haunts me. Do NOT let this fate befall you, Grasshopper – buy them both.

      • Ooooh i would love to have a 9410… Go all “Rifleman” on some rabbits. I passed on Ruger .44 magnum semi auto Carbine for $250 once, THEN i looked online at the retail value.

      • Yeah, but I was in the Army, living on post, no mortgage, no wife/kids, and my only reason for not buying the cased set was “I probably won’t use those”. I think that cased set with the Colt name on them goes for somewhere around $3000 now. Woe and lamentations.

        • I wouldn’t lament it too much. Accounting for inflation, that 1972 $250 is about $1400 today. So you would only have doubled your money over 40 years. Not bad, but not a windfall. If anything, kick yourself for not spending that $250 in 1972 on a few ounces of gold…

        • It was still illegal for private individuals to hold gold in 1972.

          When it did become legal the price was (if memory serves) about 180 bucks. A better return would have been from paying 250/oz around 1999 (I don’t remember the exact year), which was much less money after adjusting for inflation.

  2. Very similar to my concealed handgun journey. After hours of reading post by internet “Operators” i decided to buy a Glock 23 because it was “small and easy to conceal” and the .40 S&W round was “FAR superior to 9mm or .45″….. then i shot it, and then i tried to carry it IWB in the summer time. Not so much… I do shoot it well and the recoil doesn’t bother me but now i know that there is not a big differance between the .40 and 9mm when it comes to terminal performance. I learned a valuable lesson on that one. I still have it, until i can replace it with the Glock 19 as my dedicated light carrying bedside gun and OC hunting sidearm. I now carry a great shooting, even better carrying, XDS 9mm with talon grips. Live and learn!

    • so buy a loan wolf 40-9 conversion barrel….ebay has them for about 115 shipped…and get couple g19 mags

      • That’s what I did with my G23, grabbed a Lone Wolf .357sig barrel too. Three different calibers & the same gun… Can’t beat that versatility.

    • Funny, all the YouTube “operators” now espouse the 9mm as their caliber of choice for when they “run their gun”, “deploy their weapons system”, and “look left and right for tangos”.

      The .40 is absolutely a better round than 9mm, and .45 is arguably better than the .40.

      You can talk about charts, terminal ballistics, etc., all day long; there are far too many cases of guys having to hit someone 8 times with a 9mm to stop the threat. And before someone chimes in with the usual “all handgun rounds are underpowered, I use my pistol to fight to my long gun, blah, blah”; you do not have to empty a mag of .45 to make someone stop doing whatever it is they were doing.

      Chris Costa, James Yeager, et al, use 9mm so they have less chance of getting worse results in front of their paying customers.

      Outside of COD, you’re not getting into extended firefights in which you “let forth an unending string of fire”. You’re firing one, two rounds. Why would you rather those were two tiny 9mm rounds than .40 or .45?

      Also, before someone jumps in with the tired, cliched “hurr durr, no one volunteers to stand in front of my 9mm, durr”; that’s a retarded barometer of round effectiveness as compared to better options.

      • “Why would you rather those were two tiny 9mm rounds than .40 or .45?”

        What the hell, I’ll bite. How about because I’m an adult, therefore I’ll spend my money and defend myself and my family however I see fit…

        But, if my 9mm is offensive to your sensibilities, you can always buy me a gun in a caliber which you deem acceptable, or maybe give me one from your collection.

        Or you can give me a call, maybe bring one of your guns with a caliber that starts with a 4 over and stand a post in front my home, help me defend my family.

        Either one is fine with me, hope to hear from you soon. 😉

        • I don’t recall caring at all about what you choose to do or not do, nor do I recall addressing you at all.

          Also, in your snarky reply below about the diameter differences between 9mm and .40 and 9mm and .45, you’re leaving out weight, among other factors. 165/185 gr > 115 gr (or 124, or 147) && 230 grain > 115 gr (or 124, or 147).

          Thanks for playing.

        • 100 grains is what?

          .2 ounces.

          Man, that’s like a couple kernels of corn. Impressive stuff.

      • Sigh.

        “you do not have to empty a mag of .45 to make someone stop doing whatever it is they were doing.”

        You need to stop believing in fairies and unicorns and look at real life shooting data.

        For example, Jared Reston shot a bad guy 7 times..three of them CONTACT head shots and autopsy showed only 1 of the head shots was fatal.

        That was with a .40 S&W and duty ammo. 1 out of 7 shots, or about 14%, fatal injury.

        He himself was shot in the jaw by the bad guy…with a .45. Reston was shot several other times (three rounds to the body armor, but others not to armor as well), and he survived. Not only survived, but lived to fight in additional gunfights.

        For more data:

        For instance: .45 ACP has statistically smaller chance of “one shot incapacitation” than .32 (Long and ACP combined).

        In fact, the .45 ACP percentage of shots that were fatal was equal to .380 and .38 Spl.

        So, can we please stop with the “9 mm bounce off bad guys and .45 gets it done every time” bull squeeze. Please. Pretty please.

        First Rule is: Have a Gun.

        Caliber wars is Keyboard Commando nonsense.

        • But, JR, the 9mm Luger’s projectile is only .35 caliber, that is a whole .05 (five hundredths) of an inch in diameter smaller than the venerable .40 S&W. And a whopping .1 (one tenth) of an inch in diameter smaller than soul crashing .45 ACP.

          I’m mean seriously, the 9mm couldn’t even cause severe welting. No man’s man would be caught dead with one, which you will be if you ever have get in a gunfight with it.

          The 9mm sits somewhere between a pellet gun and straw with spit wad, better to simply carry a spit wad and call it a day.

        • “better to simply carry a spit wad and call it a day.”


          I see now. You make a compelling point. As I think of it, spit wads are probably easier to conceal, too. Win, win.

        • I agree; the ballistic difference between modern self-defense 9mm, .40 and .45ACP is relatively minor; with these calibers; it is all about shot placement. It is really all about what gun configuration fits a persons hand best and the caliber that is most controllable in its’ recoil.

          One of the only times you can make a significant up grade in a semi-auto hand gun ballistics is if you go with .460 Rowland conversion. You get .44 magnum ballistics in a modern semi-auto ..45 ACP pistol configuration. So a regular 185 g bullet moving at 1050 ft/sec and 500 Ft/lbs of energy goes up to `1500 Ft/sec and 1000 ft/lbs of energy. There are conversions for most models of .45 ACP calibers.

          If there is a one shot stop with a hand gun, this would do it.

        • I don’t want to go full caliber wars but the study you’re quoting admits internally that one shouldn’t draw conclusions from it. Obviously a couple score shootings with each caliber simply isn’t enough to develop meaningful data but if you want a great take away from that study it’s this: Average shots per stop with a 9mm 2.45, with a .45 ACP 2.08. If you apply standard rounding you get 3 shots from a 9 per stop and 2 from a .45. Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

          Not even the cited studies own author believes that a .32 is as effective as a .45 (really, he actually says so).

          Until some component of incapacitation can be discovered that doesn’t rely on energy deposit, and length, depth and width of wound channel the .45 will always be superior to 9mm in this way. Doesn’t make anyone a wimp for carrying a 9, I do Mon-Fri. The 9mm doesn’t need a defense, it is an effective defense, but it’s not as powerful as .45.

        • The data used there was more than “one or two” gunfights.

          Greg Ellifritz is smart to make that disclaimer given the way he collected and presented the data. Given the “reaction” Evan Marshall has received, I’d say Ellifritz is having a good old fashioned game of CYA by trying to shut-up the pompous naysayers before they start.

          Believe that I’m not “equating” .32 and .45 nor am I saying the data mean more than they do.

          But at some point this whole argument just gets plain stupid.

          Take the collective whole of Ellifritz’s data, Marshall’s data, ballistic gel studies, and the real world results of thousands and thousands of human beings shot with handguns. I’ve been to autopsies where single shot from .22 killed the victim and I’ve seen 5 hits from a .357 Sig leave the bad guy up and running.

          These caliber war statements have no leg whatsoever to stand on. Any claims of “this caliber” vs “that caliber” is pure, unadulterated dogmatic fantasy. I do, however, realize it’s spitting into the wind to get people to ungrasp their dogma.

          There’s a term for this dogmatic clinging to that which has not been directly experienced…”Geezer Science.” It’s “I heard or read this and I believe it. It must be true.”

          Or, said more eloquently a few hundred years ago:

          “‘Be very, very careful what you put in that head because you will never, ever get it out.”

          –Thomas Cardinal Wolsey

          The First Rule: Have A Gun.

      • Started a caliber war you did, burned alive in the comments you are.

        The simple fact is that of the 9mm .40 .45 trio the .45 is simply more powerful. This isn’t magic or wishing or anything but good old math. Energy = Mass x Velocity. If it’s in the same speed zone but heavier it’s more powerful, end of story and nothing you could ever say will alter physics.

        Add in that a .45 is larger in diameter and you have even more wounding potential that the simple weight times mass formula.

        Is this power differential important in shooting humans? The answer is that in the best of studies .45ACP has about a 17% enhanced stop probability per shot. Not much, but it is something.

        If you shoot or just like a .40 or a 9 better, fine, they are deadly rounds and more than adequate for SD purposes. , but they aren’t as ‘deadly’ as the .45, can’t be at handgun velocities and wont be no matter how much you wish it.

        Before it starts (or in case it already has) yes shot placement is the most important part once adequate penetration is assumed. However shot placement is less important by 1/10 an inch in all directions with a .45 over a 9mm and after expansion it’s less fine by an even wider margin.

        .45s aren’t death rays by any means, but they are somewhat more effective than 9s and that’s just unavoidable. It’s not a statement about you as a person or anything else. I carry 9s I carry .45s, I know my .45 is more ‘powerful’ than my 9, I know my 9 is highly effective. It’s not a contest, it’s math.

        • Thank you, Ardent. I have no idea why the 9mm crowd comes out and acts insulted by facts. I never once told them that the 9mm isn’t effective, I simply stated that it’s not as effective as .40 or .45.

          They may want to ask themselves why their feelings and identity are that wrapped up in a caliber and why they vehemently “defend” it.

          One of my pistols is a 9mm (yes, I know that sounds like “one of my best friends is a black guy”!), but I don’t carry it or use it for home defense.

        • Yeah, it was not what you said, it was how you said it.

          There was the implication in your comments that if you carry a 9mm that you’re a wannabe, operator, ninja commando. Your preface to the facts was down right inflammatory.

          You might want it just stick to the facts and leave the youtube operator comments aside next time.

        • @RockOnHellChild

          Please re-read. The commenter to whom I was responding mentioned that he “got into .40 because that was what the internet operators at the time recommended”.

          I replied that it’s funny that those YouTube operators now recommend 9mm.

          I’m willing to chalk it all up to misunderstanding, but as you’re making recommendations to me about what I may want to do next time, you may want to read further and know what you’re talking about next time.

        • May 21, 2014 at 14:15
          Funny, all the YouTube “operators” now espouse the 9mm as their caliber of choice for when they “run their gun”, “deploy their weapons system”, and “look left and right for tangos”.

          That’s all you said. Don’t add more to it now that you got called out.

        • @RockOnHellChild

          I got “called out” by your apparent lack of reading comprehension.

          Here is the original post by possum89 to which I replied, so I didn’t “add anything”:

          “Very similar to my concealed handgun journey. After hours of reading post by internet “Operators” i decided to buy a Glock 23 because it was “small and easy to conceal” and the .40 S&W round was “FAR superior to 9mm or .45″”

          Thanks for playing.

        • The problem with the .45 is more powerful statement is that there has NEVER been any simple scientific link between muzzle energy and wounding potential.

          I’ve read a few articles debunking all the “pop notions” of wounding potential in terminal ballistics. I’ll see if I can dig them up.

          But, the short answer is that it is a combination of things. Given certain bullet types, .45 would be ‘better.’ Given a different bullet type something else would be better. Etc.

          Singling out muzzle energy as the determining factor for successful terminal performance is wrong. As it would be equally wrong to single out any other parameter…muzzle velocity, momentum, bullet weight, etc.

          But I don’t expect to win hearts and minds on this issue. Believe what you want…even if it’s not scientifically justified.

          Just carry a gun and be willing and ready to use it if need be.

        • “I have no idea why the 9mm crowd comes out and acts insulted by facts. “

          Here’s a clue for you: It’s NOT a fact.

          Do some real research on the topic; look at real data, look at real studies where people have TRIED to correlate various projectile properties to results and then try to understand the message that comes from such study.

          There is no panacea. For a LOT of reasons, there is no panacea.

          Have a Gun. That’s the only rule that stands the test in the real world. You cannot win a gunfight without one.

        • And lastly, from the FBI study “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness,”

          “The actual destruction caused by any small arms projectile is too small in magnitude relative to the mass and complexity of the target. If a bullet destroys about 2 ounces of tissue in its passage through the body, that represents 0.07 of one percent of the mass of a 180 pound man. “

          {emphasis in original}

          Quote taken from:

    • Im curious as to why carrying a g23 IWB didnt work where a g19 would? the ONLY difference between those two guns is the size of the hole in the barrel. Dimensionally they are completely and totally 100% IDENTICAL. The mags are even the same except for capacity and the width of the feedlips on 9mm vs 40.

      You are right about the XDS9 though, that is one nice gun for carry. I don’t think I would even need to get new pants if I carried that one. Now they make a 4″ 9mm version which makes it identical in length to the g19 and you still get the super slim grip and slide, and if you want the short magazines make it 99% as concealable as the 3.3″ version.

  3. Living in CT I was shoehorned into buying a subcompact in order to comply with the post-Sandy Hook restrictions. (If you’re forced to carry only 10 rounds or less, you might as well go for the added concealibility.)
    Thus my first pistol was a Glock 27, when really I had wanted a Glock 19 or 23. But my first pistol need not be my only one. When you get some more money together, explore some more options!

    • I hear you, I’m in upstate NY yet stuck with city libturd laws. It really changes the way you shop for guns being stuck at 10 rounds. If I plan on carrying it, and it is designed with a mag cap. over 10 it is just a waste of grip space without the benefit of more rounds at your disposal. It also makes guns tougher to get, as special packages of larger guns with 10 round mags are not as readily available as stock offerings.

    • That’s why I like the 30S – the least size with the most, most effective rounds (for a Glock, anyway).

  4. ####”And for a first handgun there’s no better handgun to learn from. If you can conquer the 1911 you can shoot almost any handgun in my honest opinion.”###

    I run the risk of offending the John Browning fan club, but IMO the 1911 is the worst gun for a new shooter. That crisp, clean trigger hides a great deal of bad shooting form . One thing about DA handguns, you can’t BS a heavy trigger. If your form sucks, you’ll know it immediately.

    • I agree, a crisp single action trigger can be a crutch for new shooters. I learned to shoot on rifles, and had a pretty bad flinch for a while. Everytime I got to shoot a nice rifle my groups would suddenly shrink dramatically, but I never concquered the flinch until I really learned how to shoot my rifle with a clunky trigger. Thats why all the new adjustable triggers annoy me a little bit. Everyone buys a Model 70, Rem700 or Savage and backs the trigger off as light as it will go. The result, people hunting with hair triggers because thats the only way they can shoot accurately. I find this more among the “300winmag is the only round to ethically take white tail deer with” crowd. They’d probably be better served changing out their shoulder cannon for a 243, and spending some time at the range to sort out their flinching.

      I always like to warm up at the range with an old Ruger SP101 38spl double action revolver that I picked up. 20 rounds through that really focusing on controlling the trigger and my first 15 yard group with the 1911 after that is usually just a ragged hole 🙂

    • I’ll also risk offending the JMB Apostles. I steer people away from 1911s because I see them malfunction. A LOT. My friend (referenced in my post below) who went through 15 handguns? At least five of them were 1911s, but every one (but one of them) choked on defensive ammo–the exact stuff you cannot tolerate jam-proneness. I tend to be into large metal handguns, so I should like the 1911–but I just see too much fail with them, time and time again. Sure, you could be lucky and get one that happens to work. Sure, you could be willing to spend time and money futzing around with the thing getting it to be reliable. A finicky gun that will likely need to be after-market worked over is NOT a good beginner’s gun. Leave it for the connoisseurs.

      If I had, lying on the table before me a loaded, but otherwise new in box 1911, and a Glock 17 or 19 with five rounds of 9mm in it, also new in box, and someone were to come at me, I’d pick up the Glock, even with fewer rounds of something less powerful, and even though the “tupperware” Glock is not really my “style.” I’d have much more confidence that the Glock will actually fire more than once. I don’t love them, but I do respect them–enough to have a couple of them.

      • My Sig 1911 has never had any type of failure. Reliable out of the box, no extra expense, no work done to it.

        • Well I figured it wouldn’t take much time for someone to say “well my X brand 1911…” as if it invalidates my point somehow.

          Clearly you were fortunate (assuming you have fired a LOT of defensive ammo through it, not just a couple of boxes). I did say some of them *do* work. But it’s a real crapshoot. And not something I’d want to steer a new shooter towards.

        • Yeah, notice how he did not even provide a number of how many rounds he’s fired.

          I’ve grown a bit weary of the “never had a malfunction” claim, because the proper engineering concept is “mean time BETWEEN failures.”

          If there’s never been a failure, you don’t have real data to draw an engineering conclusion. The MTBF could be 100 rounds, but if by some statistical anomaly, you shoot 1000 rounds before you start get out of the fluctuations around the mean, claiming “never” means NOTHING.

          Much more meaningful is “I’ve shot 20,000 rounds through this gun and I know I can go at least 2000 between malfunctions.” But, that involves real testing, real data collection and real mathematical analysis.

          It’s much easier to sit at the computer and type “I’ve never had a failure.”

        • @SteveInCO and sidekick

          Excuse me, I just got home from work and didn’t have time to reply yet.

          I never said that I was invalidating your point about 1911s in general; I pointed out that I own a Sig 1911 which has never had any issues, and that I didn’t have to do anything to it. No more no less.

          Yes, I have fired A LOT of ammo through it, including defensive ammo. Sorry, I don’t keep an exact count.

          You gentlemen have a nice day.

        • No offense, but define “a LOT.” 300 rounds one time a month for a year?

          For some folks, 50 rounds…a whole box…is a lot. For others, 1000 rounds a month is warm up ammo.

          Can you at least provide something like an estimate? Less than 1000 rounds? Over 10,000?

          Or, more to the many rounds between cleanings? 50 round range trip, clean and repeat only suggests MTBF is somewhere north of 50 rounds. {shrug}. Lots of guns could go 20,000+ this way unless a spring breaks or some such.

          Bottom line is, you are making a claim that has little ummph engineering wise. If “no failure,” then you don’t know the mean failure rate of YOUR firearm. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “the statistics of one measurement is meaningless;” well, the statistics of zero measurements is worth even less.

          To KNOW the reliability of a firearm, it has to be tested to failure multiple times.

          Todd over at has done some solid work in torture testing various popular handguns. Turns out, he had a blog post about this just yesterday.

          Take a look. All those “never failed” models sure do show some failures when pushed. But…the good news is the percentage of failures to rounds fired. It’s not a guess; it’s measured data.

          Here’s a quote from that blog post that gets exactly to the point I am trying to make:

          “Within the course of just a few rounds (from 91,300 to 91,322 to be fair) and without any other warning [the P30] went from being perfectly dependable to being completely unreliable. “

          If you want to hear more of Todd’s input on the subject, check out this interview:

        • @Yeah: Also, if you weren’t trying to invalidate the point I was making then why on earth did you post?

          I’m genuinely puzzled here. Someone points out that lots of 1911 guns have reliability issues and people feel the need to claim that theirs has been flawless–even though the claim was not made that ALL of them are jam-o-matics. Why else do so than because you feel the need to try to counter a diss against the great John Moses Browning?

          Person A: 1911s have a higher tendency to be lemons than other common designs
          Person B: Well mine is flawless!!


          Aside from the points made by JR–lets assume you’ve done all the due diligence he has talked about–or can even guesstimate the number of rounds you’ve fired–the obvious inference is that person B wouldn’t have said what he did unless he was feeling defensive about his choice. If he had said something like “Maybe but if do happen to find a good one it’s a joy to shoot!” [a statement with which I could agree, by the way] it would have made some sense.

          Instead it comes across as “don’t listen to Person A, because mine works great!” And THAT is why I accused you of trying to invalidate my point with an irrelevancy. Because it IS irrelevant. You can’t argue against statistics (other than ones that start with the word “all”) by cherry picking an exception. And of course even that assumes your gun really IS an exception; JR’s point still stands.

        • @SteveInCo

          This has gone way beyond silly. I responded because I felt like it; the last time I checked, that’s still allowed on TTAG (though the hivemind tries to dissuade people from doing so, bizarrely).

          Take a breath, get the last word in if you feel the need to, then I’m done with this exchange, unless you want to converse like a normal person.

    • I have to agree. My first handgun was a 1911. When I bought my first polymer, I had lots of problems with it because I was limp-wristing. The 1911 had no issue with my limp-wrist.

    • From a manual of arms standpoint I disagree, the 1911 offers some challenges in handling that other guns don’t have (yeah, it’s the manual safety thing). Also, the limited capacity of a 1911 means that you’d better be accurate with it or else.

      However I know all too well that even poor shooters with whatever they have score much better with a 1911 in hand. The optimized grip angle, slim grip, long sight radius, heavy weight to help with recoil and the sweet, sweet SA trigger really can hide a lot of bad form. Then again, so long as you carry a 1911 and its working this hardly matters for most shooters.

      I’ve recently begun to outshoot myself in speed groups with of all things a little XDs-9 over my beloved and by some dreaded .45. I don’t even know why unless it’s just having learned recoil control on ‘the beast’ the little 9mm is less challenging.

      Most of my shooting mates are much younger than I and were weaned on 9mms. They were always in awe of my speed groups from the 1911, until they shot mine, then they all wanted one. The weight really makes a difference in speed groups. Enter good form though and I’m actually outclassing myself with a concealment sized 9. I’m interested in seeing what will happen when I take the same approach to something G19 or bigger. Is the XDs just some anomaly and I happen to shoot it well instinctively or will this trend carry through and better with a larger heavier 9? Years ago I packed a Berretta 92 FS and loved it because of the speed with which I could print decent groups, before the 1911 stole my love away. Maybe a full size, steel frame 9mm is the pistol I’m looking for, especially after spending years with a .45.

  5. I don’t think necessarily that there was a point to the article. He was just sharing his experience. Why is everyone hating on him?

      • Because he got a permit, so clearly he doesn’t REALLY get the 2nd Amendment, and he’s a statist collaborator libtard subject in a slave state. Oh, wait – that’s what Yeah just said, but more succinctly.

        • Never said anything even remotely like that, friend. I suggest you re-read because you’re obviously attributing to me something that someone else must have said.

        • Sorry, my post was missing the (sarc)(/sarc) tags; it’s a rare posting that doesn’t bring out the hate on TTAG, as you noted.

        • Ah, sorry, CGinTX; my sarcasm meter’s on the fritz as I’ve been in the middle of fending off all kinds of disconcertinlgy emotional responses from some people on here!

        • Well, what’s scary (and sort of cracks me up) is that you read my comment, and my stating that someone was “a statist collaborator libtard subject in a slave state” didn’t register hard enough to bump the sarcasm detection meter.

          To paraphrase the last line of one of the best movies ever: Forget it, Yeah. It’s TTAG.

  6. Classic millennial crap. I looked on Wikipedia and then went to the giant box store and then I made a mistake.

    Here is an idea, put down your iPad/laptop/phone and get SOME FRIENDS. You know humans with similar interests or even similar values. Then you can talk to real people and try out the guns they have before you spend money. They can share their experiences with you. They might even point you to the best gun store or sell you one of their used ones.

    “I went with the 1911 because of the history”, yadah, yadah, yadah. Yeah, it was invented before the internet and sh*t.

    Christ on a Chris Craft these 1st world problems drive me crazy…………………….

    • I do a lot of Internet research on guns…And I have plenty of friends and am happily married. When i was 21 and getting my CCW nobody in my family carried a handgun and all my friends were either too poor to buy one or thought carrying a gun was for women and guys that were too scared to fight. The OFWGs in my Local Gun Shops were just as ignorant as i was and not at all receptive to the young buck coming in and asking questions and wanting to handle the guns. Their loss, i had my money saved and was willing to buy the first gun that felt good and came with a good reputation. As well as ammo and holsters and such. Maybe some of us “millennials” wouldnt have to turn to the internet if the people of the gun were more receptive and friendly and willing to help… Just saying. Have a Blessed day 🙂

      • Nothing wrong with internet research or the internet in general. Hell I’m on it all the time. My point is get out and find some people who share your interest. You say none around you shared your interest in guns and that the idiots at the LGS were just that idiots, So you turned to your only friend the internet.


        Try broadening your horizons. Its pretty easy. And how many other new gun people have you helped along the way? Or did you just relate your tale of woe?

        And “some of us millennials wouldn’t have to turn to the internet if the people of the gun were more receptive” so you are blaming someone else for your problems? Just saying.

        There are at least a dozen shooting clubs here in Austin (the blueberry in the bowl of Texas tomato soup). Some just for women. There are many, many, more around the country. Even on the east and west coast. Sure you might run into some grumpy folks but so what? Are you such a pussy that you can’t deal with grumps? Turn them to your side or turn them to the side and move on. Again, 1st world problems………….

        • Oh i can deal with grumps, i do so all day long. I work in customer service for a Utility company, i get cussed out daily. But when i walk into a store that sells guns, looking to buy a gun, with $750 burning a hole in my pocket, i want nice and courteous service. After taking my tour or less than friendly gun stores, in which only one guy said he “sometimes” carried a Kimber Super Carry in a SOB holster (No body else thought is was neccesary to carry a gun EVERY day) i drove an hour to Gander Mtn. I told the clerk the 3 guns i wanted to look at and he laid each one on the counter one by one and stepped back so i could check it out. I got to handle an XD, an M&P and a Glock in about a 30 min time frame and decide which one I wanted. All were atleast $50 cheaper than my LGS by the way.

      • “I do a lot of Internet research on guns”

        That’s cool, but the OP specifically said “Wikipedia.” Big difference.

        Wikipedia != Research

        Reading reviews and forum discussions involving owners and past owners of a model is research.

      • Wish I could introduce you to my LGS. We love new shooters and you’re welcome to handle every gun in the store if you like (we actually encourage it, its amazing how often people want to buy guns they have actually held). If I know you’re a $500 dollar man but you come in once a week to look at a $1000 gun, I’ll hand it to you without you’re asking every time you come in. At worst, you’ll handle a nice gun, maybe learn something and we can have a nice talk about it and how it compares to other guns, at best you’ll decide to save up and buy the thing and then you’ll have a nice gun and we make money.

        Stay away from gun shops where the employees aren’t into guns or don’t like showing guns. It’s just a bad scene. Heck, we’ll teach someone how to use a gun they bought somewhere else. We just love guns, talking about them, playing with them, shooting them. If you’re cool or really needy you’ll get invited to one of the guys private range (perhaps mine) for some shooting and perhaps a little one on one instruction. Want more? We offer a range of pay for play classes from certified instructors. Really want something out there? We assemble groups to offset cost to have serious instructors give advanced classes.

        There might not be a mirror shop everywhere, but the more engaged and engaging the shop you’re working with is the better off you are.

    • “Classic millennial crap. I looked on Wikipedia and then went to the giant box store and then I made a mistake.”

      Yep, balked at the price of a P220 so bought a cheap bastard child version because hey its made by the same people… regretted it, and traded for a mediocre 1911, because “hey how different could it be than a WIlson Combat, arent all 1911’s the same?”… In all reality, someone who doesnt shoot much will probably never have problems with a mediocre 1911, so he can feel happy whipping it out Clint Eastwood Gran Torino style when his non gun owning friends come over.

      In all reality if he wanted a P220 he should have waited a month or 2 more and save up the extra coin. (I am basing this on the fact that I see entry level P220’s for around 850-900 here). The list of good 1911’s under $1000 is very small and in my mind basically includes Springfield RO or Loaded, STI Spartan, or Kimber Custom II and TLEII and most of those (except for the STI) are in the same price range as the P220 anyways.

      Other than a very few exceptions I revert to the old saying which is especially true of 1911’s under $1000 “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a good price is forgotten” Again, if you don’t shoot a lot, and your pistol is mostly a conversation piece, then this doesnt really apply.

      • If I give a list of quality 1911s under $1000 would you recant?

        Springfield anything at all (at least 7 guns in total)
        Stock Colts
        STI entry level guns
        Para Ordinance everything
        Some Kimbers
        ATI’s latest offerings
        Rock Island Arms higher end offerings

        I could go on but the point is that sub $1k reliable 1911s are pretty common, so common that they out number $1k plus guns. For my money and my opinion, as someone who’s been around 1911s and higher end ones for years, after the first $1k you’re buying a name.

  7. Most people will go through a couple of iterations before they finally do figure out what works best for them. (And you have the complicating factor of stupid state laws removing some options.)

    I was *pretty* close the first time, with a Beretta 92. But the super fat grip and the *decocking* safety — which buys you two different trigger pulls during a DGU no matter what — eventually led me to look for something else, and that turned out to be the CZ-75. (Your initial thought was a good one IMHO–but yeah, you did have those stupid state laws in the way–fortunately for me at least my mags are grandfathered since CO now has a 15 round limit on new xfers. CZ -75 16 rounders are just *barely* evil according to CO state law.)

    I know someone who has gone through about 15 guns before finally settling on what he is doing now (his circumstances did change some so not all of that was indecisiveness), and if you look at what I am doing for a smaller gun for medium-deep CC, I will probably iterate again, myself, my Beretta Nano having earned my distrust.

    • Agreed, the odds of getting the ‘right’ gun for anything on the first try are pretty poor. My primary pistols have gone so far afield over the years you might think me schizophrenic:
      S&W mod 36 and 64 and Bodyguard .380
      HK USP.40
      AMT .380 Backup
      Berretta 92FS
      1911 5′

      We evolve as shooters and carriers, our wardrobe evolves, times change, opinions change, needs change.

      There isn’t a ‘wrong’ gun for CCW only a continuum of better guns based on trade offs in power, size, capacity, shootabilty and so forth. Some people stick with their first choice, some of us have carried at one time or another guns so vastly different that it’s difficult to follow our reasoning. There are no wrong answers since there are so many different concerns and needs that almost any choice is valid by some standard.

      • A five foot 1911? 🙂 I think I’d take a rifle at that point.

        Kidding aside, there IS such a thing as a wrong gun for carry, and that’s an unreliable one.

        Even there I have to qualify my statement with: Unless you simply cannot afford one that does work well. Even though there’s usually something out there fairly inexpensive (and not yet popular enough to command 500 dollar or more pricetags), some people cannot even afford that. Those sorts of circumstances are the reason moderate, much less high, CCW fees are an unacceptable infringement.

  8. I disagree with your opinion, but thanks for submitting the article. Most of the naysayers on here don’t have the courage to submit their own for critique.

  9. I agree. Someone wants to win a gun. I don’t blame him. I can’t believe you suggested he spend $1000 on a carry gun. Most 21year olds couldn’t afford to pay that much and certainty couldn’t afford to have said gun confiscated in a DGU.

  10. Oh, boy:

    Take a can.
    Fill it with worms.
    Seal it.
    Then open it up.

    Congrats on your purchase, for $300 I would have also purchased it on sheer impulse.

    You say: “your target will not get up taking one center of mass.”

    This, as you no doubt will see in the comments, is a statement that will cause a kerfuffle, let alone, your argument for the .45ACP.

    Let the caliber wars commence!

    But seriously, NO round is capable of dropping a target with one shot, UNLESS, it hits in the right place. Now granted, a bad guy will have a lot more to “think” about if he takes a big old .45 JHP in center mass than if it were another round, but only if it hits him in the “hydraulic” or “electrical” system.

    Anyone who has very seriously studied and trained with a handgun knows that in a gun fight the most important consideration is:

    (1) Have a gun.
    (2) Know how to use it well.
    (3) Get as many rounds into center mass as quickly as possible to “stop the threat.”

    Many of us would argue that it is better to have a high capacity sidearm and put plenty of 9mm JHP rounds into a target rather than rely on a smaller capacity handgun, even if you are blazing away with .45ACP or 10mm (assuming your target or “threat” is a human being.

    For me, I’ve settled on learning how to operate my Glock-Brand Glock with high capacity Glockazines, using 9mm JHP rounds, as effectively and rapidly as possible employing the *TACTICS* necessary to come out of a gun fight alive.

    I’ll leave the never ending brand and ballistic wars to the keyboard commandos and Internet Ninjas who will never cease arguing about 1911 v. Anything Else, and 40SW v. anything else, or .45ACP v. anything else.

    Bottom line, I’d say you did ok.

    If you end up wanting something else, I would think you will easily recover your $300 investment, then again, you may just want to keep it and enjoy having a .45ACP 1911 in your gun collection. Many of us have one for that purpose alone.

    Good luck and stay safe!

    • @Paul T McCain,

      The only one here acting like a keyboard commando/tough guy is you:

      “For me, I’ve settled on learning how to operate my Glock-Brand Glock with high capacity Glockazines, using 9mm JHP rounds, as effectively and rapidly as possible employing the *TACTICS* necessary to come out of a gun fight alive.”

      Really? You have the “TACTICS” and you’re deploying your weapons system rapidly and effectively?

      In how many gun fights have you effectively, rapidly deployed these tactics again?

      • Might be interesting for you to offer up rebuttals of what I have asserted. If you have a better way of winning a gunfight, let me know, I’m all ears. Oh, and you are the one who is using the phrase “weapon system” not me.

        Go ahead though, enlighten me on your idea of how a handgun is used to defend oneself and win a gunfight.

        Please. I want to get your opinion on this important question.

        • I used “weapons system” jokingly, as it goes along with the mall ninja tone of what you wrote.

          I didn’t say that I had any tactics; nice strawman. My point was that you’re calling others keyboard commandos (for talking about caliber and gun preferences) when you’re the only one talking like one, evoking images of you, (out of breath, naturally), employing your rapid, effective tacticool TACTICS that “win gunfights”. How many have you won again?

          As someone else here recently pointed out; you hang out with operator-types and try to act/talk like one.

    • We sure don’t always agree (ever agree?) but on this I’m with you. You have a proven reliable and simple handgun with which you’ve trained to shoot effectively. You’ve even determined what ‘effective’ means. For all those who don’t know, ‘effective’ in a defensive shooting is the value of all rounds striking the center of mass of the target divided by the time it took to put them there.

      Misses only count as a time penalty (unless ammo is severely limited, you do carry spare mags, right?) and well placed hits are only effective if they are fast.
      At defense 3 to the chest in under a second is better than one to the head in over a second. Might not make intuitive sense but if the other guy is shooting back you need to hit him often and well, not just well.

      My most frequent training these days (and this after 30 years of mastering the fundamentals and then trying every sort of training you can think of) is a from the holster to slide lock drill performed as fast as I possibly can with 80-90% hits at any given range. The misses don’t count because the hits are coming so fast and plenty and the best way to end a gun fight is to put a lot of rounds into your opponent. The less time he has to shoot the better your odds of winning and your best bet for getting him to fire fewer accurate rounds is to shoot his as much as you can as fast as you can.

      I don’t often agree with Paul (no offense intended) but on this he’s dead right. Get something you can shoot rapidly with coarse accuracy then train the hell out of it.

  11. My first advice is to move out of CT, I did.
    Don’t worry about buying he wrong gun most people will buy several. Many of us change our carry gun.

  12. I also would NEVER let a friend by a 1911 as a first gun. But, you have already crossed that bridge. I would invest in TWO HIGH-QUALITY mags immediately, at a minimum. Wilson’s would be my personal choice, but McCormick’s also have a good rep. Stick with 7rd mags, not 8’s. Those will be your carry-n-reload mags, assuming they have proven their reliability.

    Get yourself Power-Ball ammo, or similar. Don’t risk anything HP on the design, even though it may seem reliable with ‘some’ of it. You want your defense ammo to mimick ball as much as possible. Resist with all of your might the draw to want to modify, or accessorize, or otherwise ‘tweak’ with the gun. Learn to use it as-is. Practice all of the malfunction clearance drills with DUMMY ammo at home.
    WHen on the firing-line, but SURE OF YOUR MUZZLE DIRECTIon before you try to clear a malf on the gun.

    Best of luck, Sir

    • ^^ take this post and ignore every word of it except for the blurb about getting some CMC or Wilson mags (I would get more than 2, and would absolutely get the 8 rounders, thousands of IDPA shooters wouldn’t be using them if they weren’t reliable).

      Everything else in this post = utter garbage, watch some ammo tests of PowrBall if you dont believe me. Fed HST very closely follows the profile of 230ball ammo if you are concerned about that, and they look expand really nasty, reference ShootingtheBull410 or tnoutdoors9 on youtube for ammo tests, and for gods sake dont buy exotic ammo like powrball. Sheesh.

      • I second this emotion, use any ammo (preferable hollow points) that your weapon feeds reliably. Do get good mags, arguably more important than fancy HP ammo. I’d rather feed ball reliably that hang HPs. Do test your carry ammo in your gun, yes it costs a fortune but great ammo is no good if it wont feed.

        There are a whole lot of people convinced that 1911s are inherently unreliable. This isn’t true but some 1911s are unreliable so be sure to qualify your 1911 with the ammo you’re going to feed it. (this is good advice no matter what sort of gun you have).

        As for ‘tweaks’ I don’t like to monkey with the factory gun lest reliability be compromised. The exceptions are sights (they can’t affect reliability) and work done to guns that aren’t reliable in the first place.

        Don’t let the bastards get you down. You have a good gun and the will to carry and use it, you’re beating 90% of the people already.

  13. Buyers regret is par for the course in the gun world. It’s like earning your stripes.

    We all went through it.

    • I narrowly avoided what would have probably been buyer’s remorse a couple weeks ago. I looked at an XDS 45, was about to buy it, then decided to hold off and research other options.

      It would have been nice as a concealable .45, but it just didn’t feel right in the hand, and the slide was precariously, slide-bitingly low.

  14. Some of the comments here are hilarious. Someone’s buddy had a couple problems with a 1911 so they all suck and if you mention that yours hasn’t exhibited problems you’re an a-hole for not doing exhaustive testing on your gun?!? Seriously dude, get off the computer and go shoot. My crappy SR1911 has proven pretty reliable, with the crappy Ruger 8 shot mag, even. It doesn’t seem to like taking the first round of Remington ammo or anything wih a steel case…no problems with anything else (probably 1,500 rounds through it so far…yeah, I don’t log my shots, either, sorry….I shoot for fun and to improve my skills with it). I do carry it at times, LOVE shooting it and am comfortable having it as one of the tools I use to protect myself and my family.

    Hats off to the writer for sharing his experience. Piss off to all the curmudgeons that piss and moan and attack everyone. I’m a relatively new shooter and can attest there are a number of real idiots out there who like telling you how dumb you are. They’re like the crotchety old bikers who drink beer, talk a lot of BS and rarely actually ride their $35,000 Harley.

    Sorry for ranting, but some of these comments are just way over the top. I’m a new shooter, have already met some great people and learned a tremendous amount. It gets easier and easier to pick out the people to ignore when trying to educate myself.

    • You’re ok, there are a lot of people here who have opinion’s that are less than thoughtful and less than helpful. Often the commenters here are anti CPR unless you have a heart lung machine, otherwise you shouldn’t’ bother. I’d say mindset and training are so much more important than gear that the two cannot be conflated. If you have great mindset and training you’ll make it with poor gear, if you have these and great gear you’re doing awesome. Great equipment and poor training and mindset might get you through, but only with luck.

      The larger problem is guys who have tons of $ to spend on guns but don’t like to actually practice. They’ll rank out your equipment but can’t outperform you even with there $3000 piece. Just ignore them, they eventually go away.

    • Exactly. I had the temerity to *gasp* mention yesterday that I have never had any issues with my Sig 1911 and suddenly I’m supposed to produce a spreadsheet with round counts from each range trip, the weather, chronograph readings, what I had for lunch that day, etc!


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