Skip to comments.Handgun opinions (vanity)
Posted on 04/26/2010 7:56:18 AM PDT by SnakeDoctor
Although I own a couple of guns, they are mostly heirlooms or antiques, and don't get much use. I am in the market for a good all-purpose defensive handgun -- for home defense, target practice, concealed carry, and general training. I don't have a CHL at this point, but want to begin training to get one. I have had several models recommended to me -- HK USP Compact (45 or 9mm), Kimber 1911, Walther P99, Sig Sauer P229, Glock 19.
I went out shopping a bit this weekend at a local dealer. I was inclined to go with the Barrett 50 cal, but it isn't quite concealable enough (haha). Based on recommendations and reviews, I am leaning toward the HK USP at this point (though I am undecided on whether to go for the 9mm or the 45). From what I have heard, the HK USP is pretty-well the top-of-the-line for defensive handguns. The dealer also pointed me toward some new HK models that are supposedly upgrades on the USP -- the HK45 (the 45 version) and HK P30 (the 9mm version).
So, for FR gun enthusiasts -- what are your recommendations? Is the USP the appropriate choice for a general all-purpose handgun? Is it an appropriate weapon for beginning a training program? Would the Sig, Glock, Kimber, Walther or another model be a better choice? Would you recommend going with a 9mm or 45? And, for those that have tested both the USP and the HK45 or HK P30 ... are the upgrades on the newer models worth the additional $200-$300 price tag?
You’ll get no opinions on this forum.....
They're much easier to learn to shoot well IMO and the money you save over a new auto-loader can be put into ammunition, training, and range time.
Just a thought.
I love my Sig P239/9 in a Milt Sparks Versa Max II.
I have a question.
Anyone on the list collect antique handguns?
For the same price as a USP, you could carry five Hi-Point C9’s and at least some of them are bound to work at any given time.
LOL--in rare cases, someone will make fun of you for not being an expert . . . which leads to the question: if one is an expert already, why would he ask the question?
I agree with Lurker. The Springfield XD is a much better gun to me. It really boils down to testing each gun and seeing which one is most comfortable for you to hold. The Glock and HK’s are great guns but I liked the feel of the Springfield over both.
I’m disinclined to buy I gun that would be of better use when thrown at an intruder.
# Models available = # of opinions you’ll get :)
My 2 pennies - if you ever plan to carry this on a daily basis, make sure its compact enough (and light) to comfortably wear. There are alt of Clint Eastwoods out there who will steer you towards large caliber...but the 9mm have enough energy to be perfectly adequate.
Glock for carry and 12 gauge tactical pump for home defense.
Small pocket nines work best for concealed carry, not so good for target and hunting.
If you want a CCW, then concealment and weight should be top consideration. I think a full nine is the minimum defense weapon, ammo is cheap(er) and easy to find around here.
If your local range has a try before you buy, then that should be your first stop. I find a Glock 19 to be a fine compromise, cheap, and quite re-salable if you don’t like it. I personally carry a Glock 26, the wife goes with the Glock 19. I can drop my 26 in my jeans pocket and you can’t tell it’s there. Both are hard use serviceable.
Not really a Glock fan boy, my all time favorite is a 1911, but cocked and locked doesn’t work for most concealed carry for me. I open carry that.
I’m an HK USP40 owner with no regrets.
Get what you comfortable with
Just get a gun that fits your hand and feels right.
Kimber is great in .45. Love it and the feel. Shoot it all day long. Requires a tool to break down. Don’t care, just love the darn thing.
USP is also terrific and breaks like a traditional pistol. No tools.
As for accessories, it’s a personal thing.
Would recommend a Serpa Holster and place a piece of stairway strip on the release mechanism for greater feed back on your trigger finger.
Go to your local range and rent the Kimber Tac II and the USP. See which one you like.
I would tell you more but I have no recent experience with guns, due to a boating accident.
the pissin match on .45 vs 9mm begins in 3...2...1
Antique Handguns Horst Held
interested in collectible small arms: derringer, pistol, revolver, engraved, cased,
odd system, early self-loading = semi-automatic,
self-employed since 1965
My favorite antique handgun site and I would love to have most of the weapons(wish).
My favorite on the site is the first revolver, it was a flint lock.
I'm not sure why the poster is not looking into a .40 cal. I myself think it's the perfect bridge caliber between the .9MM and .45. Better impact than the .9MM and very close to the .45.
I figure I’ll have to buy a second gun for some carry situations ... I live in Houston and thus can’t bundle up much. I’m inclined toward the Wather PPK for carrying in hot weather — but want something with a little more kick for training.
The HK Compact line seems small enough to carry between September and April around here. I’ll probably still need a summer gun, though.
Have you handled the P30 or the HK45(not to be confused with the HK45C)? The grips are fantastic. I own a P30. I’ve run 1500 or so rounds through it in the past year and never had a failure of any sort. All sorts of different brands of ammo as well.
As for concealment, they’re all pretty big but HKS great guns.
Yes! The HK is an excellent handgun.
I would definately go for the .45 over the .9mm.
While most people will say that the 9mm is a good defensive round almost no one will say that it is *better* than the .45. Many people will say that the .45 is better than the 9mm. So I’d go with the consensus choice of the better round, all other things being equal.
The .45 does cost more to shoot, and recoil more. I’m assuming you are of normal stature and plan to train with the weapon regularly.
All semi-autos are a bit complicated, the HK included.
If you are not going to spend the time to master the weapon (shooting once a week for 3 months and then once a month there after, for instance) then I would consider a nice Smith and Wesson 4” revolver in .357 Mag.
You still *should* practice but the manual of arms is an order of magnitude simpler than a semi-auto. The one button on the gun swings out the cylinder, which allows you to verify if it’s loaded. The trigger makes it go bang.
If having a spouse potentially use the gun is a concern consider her ability to memorize the manual of arms. I tested my wife by hading her (unloaded guns) at various times, like when she was reorganizing her closet. “Show me that this is unloaded”. That requires dropping the magazine and retracting the slide on a semi auto.
She now has a revolver.
If you ARE going to get into guns then I would get a full-size Governemnt Model 1911 from one of the better makers like Springfield, Kimber, Smith and Wesson, SIG or Colt in .45.
I have a gun-safe full of other types of semis, but keep coming back to the Government Model myself. Many people I know have started off with Glocks, SIGS, and HKs and *still* ended up with 1911s.
Good luck, let us know what you choose!
But the trick is figuring which one. The HK is pretty much a done deal.
I think the USP frame comes in a 40 as well. Is that a better caliber than 9mm or 45?
Check out the new 9mm. Ruger SR9C.
I agree with your statement that if you are going to carry concealed than the pocket 9mms are probably among the best choices.
lucky she didnt beat ya to death with it...???
The best handgun for home defense is not a handgun at all. Remington 870... accept no substitute.
You can’t even tell my Kel-tec .380 (w/hollow points) is in my pocket. (have ccw) I don’t leave home without it. Anything larger and I wouldn’t want to lug it around.
If you have a shooting range available that will rent these weapons for practice I would recommend going there and trying each of them. (it would be worth traveling some distance to find a range that rents)
Buy the one that fits your hand the best and points naturally to the target.
If you intend to use this weapon for self defense remember if you should need this weapon to save your life at that particular moment you will be under extreme stress, you will need a weapon that naturally comes to target with little more than your pure instincts.
After buying the weapon then practice, practice, practice drawing and pointing. When that becomes natural then proceed to drawing and dry firing (with a dry fire cartridge). When that becomes natural proceed to actual drawing and firing.
The best choice for a self defense weapon is a purely individual one. But remember to purchase safety slugs when loading for home defense. You do not want to shoot through a wall and injure or kill an unintended person. Most any caliber of handgun will shoot through at least one wall and still be lethal.
“a piece of stairway strip on the release mechanism”
What a great idea....
I sold my SIG P229 to buy one.
I like/love SIGs, but the simplicity of the Glock is unmatched. It’s also a lot lighter and more concealable than the SIG.
Don't go for anything larger than the S&W 500, or you'll be deciding daily whether to carry. A gun you'll carry that you can hit with is more important than the coolness factor (. . . would you believe it's as important?). My vote is for self-defense don't go for anything smaller than a .45 or 10 mm, unless you have issues with firing more than once with something that size. Otherwise, most of the decision depends on your individual preferences and depends on shooting each choice (and used weapons can be a good call).
get your butt down to the range, get your hands on all the ones you are considering, and try them out. you may think a sig or HK is great, but it may not fit your hands, or PoA may be not quite right, or you may detest the trigger.
also consider size and weight for carrying. a full size kimber is a great gun, comfortable to shoot, etc., but all that steel will weigh you down, be uncomfortable, and won’t always comform to your body if you sit down alot.
a good all around calibre would be 9mm. i personally don’t care for it, but it is less expensive to shoot than .40 or .45, and has a lot less recoil. if you plan on shooting alot, consider it. however if you plan to roll your own, check out the .45. they tend to be more forgiving on tolerances.
The Glocks are very popular - for good reason, and the XDs are a very nice gun, but I prefer a 1911 .45, and Kimber makes several nice ones for CC.
.45 is far superior to 9mm in stopping power, but makes for more difficult CC and/or smaller capacity mags.
Some questions you want to ask yourself. Do you need protection for your home, or while you are out and about? How big is your hand? Getting a gun with the right feel is important. How readily available is ammunition for certain guns in your area? How expensive is ammunition? You will want to practice quite a bit, I am sure. Understand the pros and cons of semi-automatic pistols vs revolvers. My only advice is to get a pistol that will go through 2 layers of drywall that still has its stopping power. I am told a .357 and higher will do this.
good holsters solve everything. i sometimes carry my p220 in the height of summer. no problems.
H&K P2000SK & Sig P239 both in .40
I held the HK45C and P30C this weekend (because of concealment, I am inclined toward the compact models rather than the full size). Both had excellent grips, and apparently some interchangeable grip features for customization.
The HK USP 45 ran about $800, and the HK45 was about $1050 ... and I wasn’t sure if the difference was enough to justify the price hike. There were upgrades to the grip (more ergonomic), ambidextrous slide and clip release, longer slide release button, a proprietary seal ring with standardizes the barrel’s placement in the frame, and an alternate bottom which fits standard lights, etc. (the USP model apparently requires proprietary add-ons).
It is very interesting that I went through the same process and had the same questions about a month ago. I have to give up golf this year due to a back injury and need another hobby to take up my time. The lesson I learned is that knowing why you want a pistol will help you pick out the right one for you.
some people don’t like the long trigger sweep- i can’t stand glocks because of that and because the handle isn’t comfortable to me, but i’ll never put down their price, light weight, ease of use, and reliability.
I know someone who would recommend 40 over the 45 or the 9.
Ping to you, Eaker.
Get a Walther P22 and use high velocity ammunition.
1) ammo is far cheaper and actually available now.
2) little to no recoil so the female members of the family are more inclined to use it to learn.
3) high velocity 22 comes out of it at 2,400 FPS or so. If you are ever needing a firearm for defense, odds are you are going to empty the mag at the target anyway. It will put them down.
What are the better holsters to use for concealing a larger gun in the summer? Paddle holster? A shoulder holster won’t work ... I don’t wear a jacket that often.
Handgun Cartridge Power Chart - Condensed Version
By Chuck Hawks
You must have HUGE jeans. I openly carry my Glock 26 whenever I'm in PA, and usually switch to my Kel Tec P3AT when I'm CCing in the PRNY because I don't have a shirt big enough to cover it in my OWB holster. Of course, I could get an IWB holster but then I'd need new bigger jeans.
Also, the Walther P22 is far lighter and easier to conceal on your person than a big old 45, 40.
If you really think you want more firepower, move to the Ruger LCP .380. Small and lightweight, but has a bigger kick.
HK is great just the mags are expensive.
They are all good firearms. What fits your hands and budget, including magazines, means the most. I prefer a heavier caliber like the 40 or 45, especially for general purpose work. My daily carry is a Kimber Ultra Carry 1911. It is a 45, small enough to conceal extemely well, and it shoots like a dream; decisive trigger pull, smooth action, accurate, points well, etc.
depends alot on how you wear your shirts. a good IWB paddle holster is great, it’ll hold tight to your body. but you’ll really want to wear a tshirt under it- that leather will get very sweaty if its right against your skin. my preference is a belly band. holds the gun very close to your body, and i find them very comfortable.
theres also a few companies that make “concealed carry tshirts” they have a pocket under you arm made for your gun. they conceal very well.
if you wear big hawaiian shirts, shoulder holsters work fine.