I’ve just recently become a gun guy. After my aunt was robbed and beaten back in August, I made it a point to become armed and learn how to defend myself from the trash of the world. My first gun, which I highly recommend for anyone looking to get started themselves, was a stainless steel Taurus Tracker .357 Magnum seven shot with 4″ barrel. .357 is as much power as anyone needs, and if it’s too much one can downgrade to the easier to handle and cheaper .38 Special round. Given that it was a bit more than I’d like to carry and given my recent acquisition of a carry license, I decided to get a smaller piece that’d be easier to live with. That resulted in my buying a Bersa Thunder CC .380 pistol…it’s a cheap but nice little gun, but I’ve been having questions as to whether I want to trust a caliber typically regarded as insufficient for self-defense and that can’t be aimed that easily for good shot placement.
Therefore, the first thing I’m doing when I get back to work (I’m hoping it’ll happen soon) is to get a weapon chambered for .45 ACP rounds. This is a proven manstopper, having essentially taken the place of the venerable .357 revolver with most law enforcement agencies in America. Of course, it proved its chops on the battlefield, having been the U.S. Army’s standard issue handgun from World War I to Desert Storm. So I’m pretty much looking toward this as my primary carry weapon in the future.
Of course, the most difficult issue I’m having to deal with here is in selection. This has to be the most common weapon chambering in the world, with the most diverse range of styles and actions, from the classic 1911 John Browning created a hundred years ago (and for which the .45ACP cartridge was created) to the popular Glock-style polymer weapons to even revolvers that use the automatic rounds.
So I go to several gun stores in the area. Since we have no public firing ranges in my area (where do I shoot, you ask? My back yard, of course), there’s no place I can go to test a variety of models. And since I haven’t seen the one real gun nut I know since I lost my last job, it’s not as if I feel justified in asking him about help in this regard. So I’m at the mercy of guys wanting to sell me something. Luckily, there’s the internet to give me a hand figuring everything out.
The first suggestion from a store guy was a Kimber 1911 style weapon. Granted, I was really wanting to give something like this a spin first, as I’m not really sold on a single-action only weapon. I like versatility in such a device, plus the fact that they don’t have great magazine capacity doesn’t help matters. However, Kimber has a good rep and from what I’ve read seems like a good choice. For a thousand bucks, it ought to be.
Another recommendation from a store was a Ruger P345, which in actuality seems a lot like my Bersa .380 with its decocking lever/safety and single-action/double-action modes of function. However, I’ve not really read much on its reliability, but it seems like a nice weapon…I think the New Zealand military (who knew they even had one?) uses it as standard issue. It was alright, but I just didn’t feel right about it for some reason.
Then I was turned on to Sigarms’ P220 weapon, which turned out to be a finalist. It felt really nice, pointed well, and it had the functionality I was looking for. But what really threw it over the top was the fact that this thing is told to be totally reliable and will shoot and shoot well, no matter what. The only thing about it that bugs me is that it doesn’t hold more than a 1911 pistol. The price was also a concern, as it doesn’t go for less than $700 anywhere.
Finally, a gun I’d seen in numerous magazine articles popped up in a discussion…the Springfield Armory’s new XD .45. This thing feels great, handles well, and it holds 14 buwwets. Plus the fact that it’s under $600 and includes a holster, two 13 round mags with a magloader, it comes with everything you need to shoot but the bullets. Given all these things plus the reliability reports I’ve read, I’m thinking that this is the one.
I guess I’ll go back at some point and review my previous gun purchases, but I’m looking forward to getting one of these beauties. In all honesty, I would really like a .357 Desert Eagle (or possibly even a .44), but I don’t have $1200 and I certainly don’t have the know-how to make sure a gas operated weapon will continue to work.