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Author Topic: Guns guns guns!  (Read 2616 times)
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Crux
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« on: May 15, 2009, 07:36:16 PM »

I have recently come to the decision to buy a handgun to keep at home for home defense. I'm probably going to go with a .40 S&W caliber semi-auto, and have narrowed my probably selections down to one of the following:

Sig 226



H&K USP40



S&W M&P 40



So I was wondering what handguns, if any, folks around here have and are using smile Anyone in the Atlanta area and have a good shooting range they visit often?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2009, 07:40:08 PM by Crux » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2009, 07:38:50 PM »

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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2009, 07:39:09 PM »

There's a red x for the Smith and Wesson gun, Crux.  Tongue
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Crux
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2009, 07:39:33 PM »

Boo. I'll fix it. Thanks smile
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Blackjack
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2009, 07:43:23 PM »

My buddy who edits a magazine for the NRA and keeps a handgun in a lockbox under his car seat salutes you. I, on the other hand, will keep as far away from you as possible.    paranoid   icon_smile

If you want, I'll ask him for some advice. He's editor for a rifle magazine, but does a lot of testing of new handguns as well.

He at one point was going to arrange for me to try firing some WWII-era weapons (M1 Garand, a Colt .45 etc.) but I had too many visions of me shooting my foot off or something.  icon_razz
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2009, 07:48:29 PM »

Do you have any other guns?  If the sole purpose of the gun is for home defense I suggest getting a pump-action shotgun instead.  Much better for the purpose in my opinion.

As for the guns you listed, I've shot the Sig and the HK.  Both are phenomenal guns and you can't go wrong with either.  I prefer the Sig (just felt right when I shot it, the HK did not feel right at all), but you should rent both at a gun range and see which one you prefer.

I find that polymer guns sacrifice comfort for weight.  I've never found a polymer frame that felt as good in my hands as a steel frame.  Since I don't carry a gun the weight difference means nothing to me.
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2009, 07:53:20 PM »

I was expecting a pic of a shirtless Crux showing off his guns  crybaby

I'll second the shottie suggestion.  nothing like a street howitzer to make a point.
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2009, 07:55:46 PM »

Quote from: McNutt on May 15, 2009, 07:48:29 PM

Do you have any other guns?  If the sole purpose of the gun is for home defense I suggest getting a pump-action shotgun instead.  Much better for the purpose in my opinion.

I agree. Nothing says "freeze sucker" like the pump sound of a shotgun. Also I wouldn't plan on hitting much with a handgun in a home invasion scenario unless you spend time at the range.

I don't have anything yet for home defense, primarily because of my young kids, but when I do, the shotgun will be my weapon of choice.
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2009, 08:08:14 PM »

In Ontario all police are mandated to carry .40 sidearms.  My department (and most) went with the Glock, but quite a few others went with the SIG.  There are a few using the S&W as well.  I've had opportunities to play around with all three.  By far the gun that just felt the best in my hands was the SIG.  Just something about the grip and feel that connected with me.  I like it better then my Glock.  The S&W was my least favourite, but I only got to fire a pair of mags with it.

As McNutt said, your best bet is to head down to a range and give all three a good workout.  You'll know which one feels best, which is probably the most important factor.  I know nothing about the HK, but I'm guessing all three of your choices are reliable weapons that would suit your needs.

Actually, I should also throw out a nomination for the Glock 22 which I carry at work; it's a very reliable low maintenance gun.  Mine is constantly exposed to rain, snow and other elements, and has been frequently knocked, bumped and struck in the course of duty.  Even with all the abuse, always fire perfectly and without issue whenever I've used it at the range, and that's before it gets stripped down and cleaned.
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McNutt
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2009, 08:11:13 PM »

Glocks are great guns and should definitely be considered.  Just make sure they feel good in your hand.  They feel like a brick in mine, but they're very popular and for good reason.
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2009, 08:16:27 PM »

Quote from: Crux on May 15, 2009, 07:36:16 PM

So I was wondering what handguns, if any, folks around here have and are using smile Anyone in the Atlanta area and have a good shooting range they visit often?

USMC Kato got an HK Model HK45 V1 to protect himself in an actual war, so I'm thinking that might be a pretty ok gun for home defense if you're not going the shotgun route.
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2009, 08:22:32 PM »

Quote from: McNutt on May 15, 2009, 07:48:29 PM

If the sole purpose of the gun is for home defense I suggest getting a pump-action shotgun instead.  Much better for the purpose in my opinion.

A lot of recent articles on home defense have swung opinion away from the shotgun as ideal for the home.  

The ideal weapon is whatever you can get to quickly and use decisively and can be used by both you and your wife and even kids if they are properly trained.

This led me to selling off my shotgun, which I kept purely for home defense, as I am the only member of my family that can shoot it.  My wife and daughters can't handle the recoil and are too short and thus lack the reach to manipulate the charging mechanism.

For home defense now I keep my .45 auto and my .38 revolver hidden but easily accessible by any member of my family.  My wife and both of my daughters can load, operate, and accurately shoot with either of those pistols.  This allows for any member of the family to provide for defense even if I am incapacitated.

If things really get dicey, say in the event of a zombie uprising, I always keep loaded magazines available for the AR15, the AK47, and the M1 Carbine all of which can also be used by any member of the family.


As for the handgun choices in the OP, I have to say that I really like the way the S&W M&P fits my hand but I've never had a chance to shoot it.  The H&K feels like I'm holding a brick.  The SIG is always a good choice.

That said, I prefer the .45 over the .40 but that's just personal preference speaking.
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2009, 08:27:13 PM »

For home defense, I live in a good neighborhood, and keep my doors locked. So far, 100% successful, and no accidental fatalities!
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2009, 08:32:38 PM »

Getting a gun your entire family can use necessitates having your entire family well trained in that firearm.  My experience with my ex-wife and wife told me that both should stay away from the any gun if an intruder was in the house.  I agree with Brian that a gun is useless if you can't handle it, but if you get a gun for your family make sure they get trained in it.

I also favor the .45.  Great round.
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2009, 08:54:14 PM »

Also consider where you live, how close your neighbors are and the layout of your house (kids rooms, etc).  A shotgun does not have the same problems of overpenetration as a handgun round does, assuming you are using some sort of pellet shot and not a slug.  Since there is negligible spread at short distances with a shotgun, the lack of overpenetration is about the only advantage IMO.  But on the other side it is quite easy to leverage a shotgun out of someone's hands and they are not small like a handgun, which makes it harder to manuever with.

Both handguns and shotguns have their pros and cons.

As has been said.. nothing can substitute for training and being comfortable with the weapon.

I keep a kimber ultra carry II .45 and a remington 870 express in the house and thankfully have never even had to think about using them.

And as for the guns listed,  I would try to shoot all 3 and see which one feels the most comfortable in the hands of yourself or anyone else who may use it.  They are all 3 fine manufacturers and I have no experience with any of those 3,  I am sure they are all fine weapons.  And if you plan or have interest to carry it concealed you might want to find something smaller.
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2009, 08:58:36 PM »

I've had a Sig .229 for about 13 years now- it's .40 and it's a wonderful gun. So one vote for the sig here. My guess is that the .229 is considered a compact and the .226 is a 'full size'.

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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2009, 09:13:18 PM »

I'll echo what others have said - whichever one is most comfortable for you is the "right" one.

I have a Walther PPKS - smaller, lighter - but I have little girly hands.
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2009, 10:08:13 PM »

Quote from: Geezer on May 15, 2009, 09:13:18 PM

I'll echo what others have said - whichever one is most comfortable for you is the "right" one.

I have a Walther PPKS - smaller, lighter - but I have little girly hands.

I also have a Walther PPK, but I don't keep bullets for it in my apartment.
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2009, 10:14:19 PM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 15, 2009, 10:08:13 PM

Quote from: Geezer on May 15, 2009, 09:13:18 PM

I'll echo what others have said - whichever one is most comfortable for you is the "right" one.

I have a Walther PPKS - smaller, lighter - but I have little girly hands.

I also have a Walther PPK, but I don't keep bullets for it in my apartment.

That's OK.  You can always trick an intruder into getting the soft part of his hand between the thumb and fingers caught in the slide.  That hurts like a bitch.
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2009, 10:23:11 PM »

I have a springfield XD 9 and love it....  I keep it loaded with hollow points at home and go shooting about 2 times a month at the range.

For those who are interested this website... The Box of Truth has some pretty interesting tests on simulated walls for ammo penetration.  Helpful to keep in the back of you mind when making a choice for home defense, especially if you live in an apartment or close neighborhood.  Yeah... you can shoot someone in your house but where will that round go after that....
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« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2009, 10:28:06 PM »

Quote from: papasmurff on May 15, 2009, 10:23:11 PM

I have a springfield XD 9 and love it....  I keep it loaded with hollow points at home and go shooting about 2 times a month at the range.

For those who are interested this website... The Box of Truth has some pretty interesting tests on simulated walls for ammo penetration.  Helpful to keep in the back of you mind when making a choice for home defense, especially if you live in an apartment or close neighborhood.  Yeah... you can shoot someone in your house but where will that round go after that....

That's why I kept my Glock 22 with a clip of Glasser Safety Slugs.

Of course I kept them in a locked box on a shelf for ten years, but still.
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Crux
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2009, 10:58:09 PM »

Well, I've already located a range not far away that runs highly recommended training courses on gun safety etc. The course includes an hour of range time and gun rental at the end, so I will try whatever they have there and see how it feels. The shotgun is great in theory, but it will be harder to store in an appropriate location in our house. This makes it harder to reach in an emergency.

And for anyone concerned, I am very cognizant of the dangers and plan on taking plenty of precautions! Training myself and getting appropriate storage is stage one. I figure the daughter is a little young at 11 months to learn yet though slywink
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« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2009, 11:30:33 PM »

While deciding on a gun, you might want to start shopping around for cheap ammo.  You're going to burn through a lot of rounds when you first start between your training and the sheer fun/novelty factor.  I have no idea where it's cheap to buy, but I seem to recall another thread recommending gun shows.

If you're not aware, ammo prices are currently through the roof.  The ongoing fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have created an increased demand, while metal prices have started going up due to increased demand for resources in China and elsewhere.  It's making ammo more costly to produce at a time when quantities are reduced for civilians.
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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2009, 11:46:19 PM »

Quote from: Mr. Fed on May 15, 2009, 10:14:19 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 15, 2009, 10:08:13 PM

Quote from: Geezer on May 15, 2009, 09:13:18 PM

I'll echo what others have said - whichever one is most comfortable for you is the "right" one.

I have a Walther PPKS - smaller, lighter - but I have little girly hands.

I also have a Walther PPK, but I don't keep bullets for it in my apartment.

That's OK.  You can always trick an intruder into getting the soft part of his hand between the thumb and fingers caught in the slide.  That hurts like a bitch.

+1.  Caught the tip of my thumb inside a Remington 7400 a couple of weeks ago.  That was a nice trip to the ER.
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« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2009, 12:18:38 AM »

Quote from: Mr. Fed on May 15, 2009, 10:14:19 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 15, 2009, 10:08:13 PM

Quote from: Geezer on May 15, 2009, 09:13:18 PM

I'll echo what others have said - whichever one is most comfortable for you is the "right" one.

I have a Walther PPKS - smaller, lighter - but I have little girly hands.

I also have a Walther PPK, but I don't keep bullets for it in my apartment.

That's OK.  You can always trick an intruder into getting the soft part of his hand between the thumb and fingers caught in the slide.  That hurts like a bitch.

Yeah, you have to be careful about that. I've managed to avoid it thus far. smile
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« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2009, 12:33:20 AM »

I have a Colt Python which I love shooting. We do have a home load that has a couple of shotgun like BB rounds along with some soft slugs that won't kill you if the gun get's taken away.
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« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2009, 12:34:29 AM »

Quote from: Crux on May 15, 2009, 10:58:09 PM

The shotgun is great in theory, but it will be harder to store in an appropriate location in our house.

I'm just sayin...
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« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2009, 12:36:22 AM »

I own a first-gen S&W .M&P .40, holds 16 rounds of ammunition with an administrative load and comes with three different grips. Its carried me through many training scenarios and countless range time, I have no doubt that if I do what I am supposed to do that pistol will as well.

Having said that, you can't go wrong with any of the three you mentioned.

Just remember that a pistol/shotgun/etc is merely a tool. Much like living in a, "safe," neighborhood and keeping your doors locked isn't a self defense panacea, neither is owning a firearm. Your greatest weapon is your mind.
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« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2009, 12:45:15 AM »

Quote from: coopasonic on May 16, 2009, 12:34:29 AM

Quote from: Crux on May 15, 2009, 10:58:09 PM

The shotgun is great in theory, but it will be harder to store in an appropriate location in our house.

I'm just sayin...

talk about a little extra thunder in the bedroom!
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2009, 02:28:31 AM »

Forget all these, because... Here comes the judge!
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« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2009, 02:58:32 AM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on May 16, 2009, 02:28:31 AM

Forget all these, because... Here comes the judge!

Dude loves cymbals!

Believe it or not, there are better 4 year old drummers on youtube, not that "The Judge" isn't damn impressive. I'll have to see if I can find the video of the 2 year old drummer, who is shown progressing up to age 12 or so, and is simply phenomenal.

Oh, and like, guns and stuff!
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« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2009, 04:40:46 AM »

Wow. That kid is amazing, it's true. But I meant to link to this Judge. Here he comes!
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« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2009, 12:36:13 PM »

Quote from: Mr. Fed on May 15, 2009, 10:14:19 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 15, 2009, 10:08:13 PM

Quote from: Geezer on May 15, 2009, 09:13:18 PM

I'll echo what others have said - whichever one is most comfortable for you is the "right" one.

I have a Walther PPKS - smaller, lighter - but I have little girly hands.

I also have a Walther PPK, but I don't keep bullets for it in my apartment.

That's OK.  You can always trick an intruder into getting the soft part of his hand between the thumb and fingers caught in the slide.  That hurts like a bitch.

BTDT
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« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2009, 02:29:14 PM »

Have a look at the Springfield XD .40 .  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2009, 09:38:46 PM »

I have the XD .45 with 13 round mags, very nice gun.
Easy to maintain too.
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Crux
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« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2009, 02:19:59 AM »

Clear! BZZZZT

I actually did my safety course yesterday. It was a solid 4 hours including an hour of range time. Due to time constraints I was stuck shooting 9mms, but I actually wasn't unhappy about that. Got to try three different guns - The XD in 9, the 226 and the Beretta Storm. The Storm was slightly the more comfortable of the three grip-wise, but I definitely shot my best with the Sig. Then before I left I held (but didn't shoot) a brand new H&K P30. So. Comfortable.

Going to try find a way to shoot a few rounds with it, but it is more than likely that is what I'm going to go for. Heard only good things about it, and the ergonomics are just crazy good.
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« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2009, 10:23:52 AM »

Shotgun...........when you absolutely have to kill every motherfu**er in the room.
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« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2009, 12:31:48 PM »

Crux, the P30 is an excellent gun. You already found out how great the ergonomics are. Definitely shoot it before you buy it, if anything just to see how it might compare to the other guns you tried. And I know you said you shot an XD9, but try and find an XDm in 9mm too. The trigger is much nicer on the M series than it is on the regular XD's, the grip is different (both more aggressive and more comfortable, IMO), and it has a higher capacity magazine.

That said, I had a P30 V3 for a long time. I did eventually sell it, but still admit it is by far the most comfortable to hold gun I've ever put in my hand. The only other gun that might be better is the HK45, and that's probably only true if you have big goofy paws like mine. If you're going to get one for concealed carry I'd say get the regular version. You held the P30 V3 right? It's by far the most common model. It has a decocker (a little button next to the hammer) and no safety. That said, if you're going to get one for range use and possible home defense, get the P30L (longslide). It has a bit more weight to it so it absorbs recoil better, and the longer barrel helps with accuracy. It's just easier to shoot in general.

If I ever get wistful and want my P30 back I'll definitely end up with the longslide.

At one point I had a Glock 17, the P30, and a CZ75 SP01. The only 9mm I've kept is the CZ. It's a big, heavy, brute of a 9mm handgun. I think it weighs over 2.5 pounds with a loaded mag. Pretty chunky for a 9mm.

My handgun tendencies have swung to the .45 as of late. The Glock and P30 were replaced with two 1911's. I've got a Springfield TRP (by far my favorite handgun I've ever shot... so, so accurate) which is the full 5 inch barrel, and I also picked up a Sig 1911, commander size with the 4.25 inch barrel.

If I had to grab a handgun in the middle of the night, I'd grab the TRP. That thing's been rock solid and it's super easy to shoot. I've taken friends that don't generally shoot to the range and they've put all 8 rounds into the midsection of a silhouette target at 15 yards. I shoot my 1911's better than I've shot anything I've owned in 9mm.

But then, if I were to wake up at night to the sound of a window breaking and some douchebag walking through my house I'd tend to gravitate toward barricading the door to the bedroom, calling the cops, and aiming the Mossberg 12 gauge at the door until they got there. The handguns would be a distant second to the shotgun.

For smaller people who have trouble shooting the 12 guage I'd say get a youth model in 20 gauge and buy some reduced recoil buckshot.

Quote from: Owain on May 15, 2009, 08:54:14 PM

Also consider where you live, how close your neighbors are and the layout of your house (kids rooms, etc).  A shotgun does not have the same problems of overpenetration as a handgun round does, assuming you are using some sort of pellet shot and not a slug.  Since there is negligible spread at short distances with a shotgun, the lack of overpenetration is about the only advantage IMO.  But on the other side it is quite easy to leverage a shotgun out of someone's hands and they are not small like a handgun, which makes it harder to manuever with.

Both handguns and shotguns have their pros and cons.

As has been said.. nothing can substitute for training and being comfortable with the weapon.

The first part of this is just not true. '00 Buckshot (The "standard" home defense choice load for shotguns) will overpenetrate through multiple inner walls of a house just like any handgun round will. Look up a website called the Box O Truth and find their shotgun testing. While their testing is in no way definitive it does do a good job showing just how much energy is behind shotgun rounds. In a way, the overpenetration on buckshot is actually worse than a handgun because each layer/wall it hits spreads the shot farther apart, increasing the odds you could hit someone in the next room.

Everything you say not relative to overpenetration is pretty much right on though.

I'd argue there are other bonuses to the shotgun though. It has far more energy on the target, and even though it will have just as much overpenetration as most handgun rounds, it won't have anything like the distance on it after it passes through a wall as a pistol round. Buckshot tends to fall off and hit the ground before it hits 150 or 200 yards when fired into open air, so if your house is a decent distance from your neighbors it's a better choice. Combine the generally short max distance of the round with the velocity lost by passing through walls and the odds of your round leaving your place and hitting the neighbor's house are almost zero if you have some distance and use buckshot.

If you're in a condo, a housing development, or somewhere with neighbors in close proximity it doesn't matter what you use. You just have to plan your approach to a home invasion very, very carefully to avoid ending up in jail afterward. Always be aware of what's behind your target.

Any pistol round... not so much on the drop off, though I'll take .45 over 9mm and definitely over .40 for that. The .45 is a much slower round, so it too tends to drop off a lot sooner than 9mm or .40. The velocity and bullet weights on .40 are pretty crazy really, as far as standard pistol rounds go. There's a few self defense loads in .40 that have enough energy to cause hydrostatic shock in people hit with them, which was something previously limited to magnum revolver rounds like .357 and larger.

*edit*

Ah, the only handgun I've fiddled with to date that I really, really didn't like was the Beretta 92fs. A buddy of mine bought a police special for $400 from a local shop that got a bunch of them as overrun from a sherrif's department that ordered too many. I hate it. I hate everything about it. The grip somehow manages to be worse than the Glock (which is a true accomplishment if your goal is horrible ergonomic design) and I can't shoot it for shit. The only award I'd give it is disassembly is really easy. Otherwise... eeew.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 01:33:29 PM by Thin_J » Logged

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McNutt
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« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2009, 01:12:24 PM »

I agree with you on the Beretta.  I too have a CZ75 and while it seems like it should feel and perform just like the Beretta, it's much better.  At least it is for me.  I also have two 1911s and there is just something about that design that makes them a joy to shoot.  They're easy to shoot well. 
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TK-421
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« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2009, 02:30:19 PM »

I had an IMI Baby Eagle which is basically a CZ75 in Israeli colors.

It felt great in the hand and shot really well.  My biggest complaint was the tiny slide was awkward for me to work safely and reliably.

Still, I've been considering getting a CZ75 to replace the 9mm LLama I recently sold.
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