Sidearms, which calibre?

#1
A friend of mine has just "gone outside" and is preparing to take up his new postion shortly. Apparently, he was having a conversation with his new employers, tying up a few loose ends etc, when they offered him his choice of sidearm, which incidentally will be his primary weapon. The concept of actually having a choice, momentarily phased him, but thankfully he had the presence of mind to reply with feigned indifference,"I'll let you know nearer the time.." or somesuch off-hand response.
So anyway, hes been asking round his SOI, but none of us are sufficently expert to advise him as he has to choose from a bewildering array including: S&W, SIG, CZ, GLOCK etc, and a range of calibres, 9mm, 10mm, 40S&W, 45ACP
Talk about being a kid in a sweetshop, he is understandably having trouble deciding.
Not only does he want to make the right choice technically, but he doesnt want to look like a cowboy "Oh yeh, make it a .50 Desert Eagle, cus I've got nads like grapefruit!"
I will admit to being a little out of my depth, so any advice I can pass along will be very gratefully received.
 
#2
From a recent discussion elsewhere:

Personally, I carry a handgun every day to work (its a police thing) and pretty much everywhere else I go (yup, still a police thing). My choice to carry a .40 has little to do with economics or departmental policy (I write the policy and we allow officers a bit of latitude in what they carry) – it’s a choice based on the fact that its part of the overall best system I can field to allow me to accomplish my highest goal (which is to go home every day safe and sound to my wife and children). I have three varieties of .40 - all Glock (a lighted G-35 for tactical operations and warrant service; an old G-22 that is soooo sweet to shoot, and a G-23 for around the office/plain clothes/off duty) and you can say all you want about the combat tupperware, but the Glocks are in my estimation the AK-47 of handguns – they just run, and run, and run . . . . . groups aren’t too bad either – at the fall quals this old guy put away all the kids with their pricey, gee-whiz Kimber and Springfield 1911s – NOT Dumping on 1911s, Kimbers, Springfields, or .45s in general – I own two and plan to keep them). As to why my Gs are in .40 S&W, the answer is easy. A high-performance, bonded-core HP (ala Rem. Golden Saber, Speer Gold Dot, etc.) in .40 S&W pretty much approximates performance (i.e., wound channel and penetration) of extant .45 acp duty ammo, and my Gs allow me to deploy w/ 17 rd mags - all this in a 9mm sized weapon envelope. This cartridge/weapon system gives me: (a) more shots w/o reloading - more total rounds on my LBE, (b) the most potent caliber for the envelope, and (3) a weapon that’s highly dependable and reasonably accurate. It’s a compromise, but the best I’ve come across – for me personally and professionally. This size handgun fits me (and a lot of other folks) better than any of the double stack .45s. The .40 cartridge also provides a worthwhile increase in performance over 9mm in penetration of commonly encountered barricade materials (auto sheet metal and safety glass, wallboard, etc.) – its fairly simple physics (but like there are no truly powerful handguns that are practical for me to carry to work every day – hmmmm, I guess that’s why I also drag around a rifle). It was stated earlier that shot placement is the key element (I COULDN’T AGREE MORE – SHOT PLACEMENT is EVERYTHING when fighting with a handgun.) Several officers from my department (fortunately, not me - my one ordeal was long ago and favorably terminated with a 12 ga.) have been in a situation where they’ve had to shoot another person to defend themselves or another officer with their handgun in the last few years – two (2) involving a .40 S&W (poorly placed shots to the leg and arm w/ 150 gr. Cor-Bon in a running gunfight w/a very bad guy armed with an SKS fitted to accept 30 rd mags: result - bad guy stopped – the shot to the legs penetrated one thigh just below the groin and traveled abt half-way through the adjacent thigh expanding to 16mm with a total penetration of abt. 13” or so; in the other incident, the officer placed his one shot in the 10 ring and severed the spine w/ 155 gr.Gold Dot – knife wielding attacker DRT) and one (1) involving a .45 acp (one shot in the lower abdomen and another shot in the shoulder w/ 230 gr. Golden Saber – no trauma to vital organs or major blood vessels – both projectiles lodged in the target without exit: result – spear wielding attacker stopped – the jail nurse commented on her surprise at how insignificant the wounds actually were – she packs a .45, go girl). We also had one incident (like not relevant to this analysis) involving a .308 – rifle armed officer shot bad guy armed w/ an AR-15 who was shooting at the arrest team - .308 to the ten ring, bad guy DRT, no surprise – duh). I guess the point of this discourse is that a .40 might be the superior choice if you’re a police officer with many daily “unknown risk” contacts – but 9mm and .45 are certainly very good too. We issue SIG P228s w/ no complaints and quite a few of the younger officers carry single stack 1911-type .45s (I think this stems more from the fact that FBI HRT and LAPD SWAT have adopted this system than anything else).
The best gun to have is one that: (a) fits you, (b) you’ll shoot a lot, and (c)routinely carry with you - 9mm, .357, .40, .44 or .45. All of this can be explained by Fream’s first and second laws of physics (#1 “Power is not the answer.” and #2 “If you don’t use it, you don’t have it.” JLF). Just my nickle (probably too long to call two cents)
 
#3
What Oddbod said! :twisted:

I've never fired a round in anger or carried a wpn for real, but the only thing I can add to it is that if you're not going to train a lot, use a 9mm cos it's easier to control & is less likely to get you gun-shy. As for what he said for the Glock, it's spot on - I hate the Glock with a passion on the range, but if I were allowed to carry, it would be my 1st choice (G19 in particular). It's definitely a love-hate thing! Oh, and another point - the Glock has no manually-settable safety, so if you go with that one, train lots and lots and lots holstering & unholstering to avoid damaging yourself.

http://www.securityarms.com/cgi-local/sa.cgi?noframes;read=656

The Holy Gospel According to John (Moses Browning)

1. In the beginning was the 1911, and the 1911 was the pistol, and it was good. And behold the Lord said, thou shalt not muck with my disciple John's design for it is good and it worketh. For John made the 1911, and lo all of his weapons, from the designs which I, the Lord, gave him upon the mountain.

2. And shouldst thou muck with it and hang all manner of foul implements upon it, and profane its internal parts, thou shalt surely have malfunctions, and in the midst of battle thou shalt surely come to harm.

3. And as the ages passed men in their ignorance and arrogance didst forget the word of the Lord and began to profane the 1911. The tribe of the gamesman did place recoil spring guides and extended slide releases upon the 1911 and their metal smiths didst tighten the tolerances and alter parts to their liking, their clearness of mind being clouded by lust.

4. Their artisans did hang all manner of foul implements upon the 1911 and did so alter it that it became impractical to purchase. For lo, the artisans didst charge a great tax upon the purchasers of the 1911 so that the lowly field worker could not afford one. And the profaning of the internal parts didst render it unworkable when the dust of the land fell upon it.

5. And lo, they didn’t install adjustable sights, which are an abomination unto the Lord. For they doth break and loose their zero when thou dost need true aim. And those who have done so will be slain in great numbers by their enemies in the great battle.

6. And it came to pass that the Lord didst see the abomination wrought by man and didst cause, as he had warned, fearful malfunction to come upon the abominations and upon the artisans who thought they could do no wrong.

7. Seeing the malfunctions and the confusion of men the lord of the underworld did see an opportunity to further ensnare man and didst bring forth pistols made of plastic, whose form was such that they looked and felt like a brick, yet the eyes of man being clouded, they were consumed by the plastic pistol and did buy vast quantities of them.

8. And being a deceitful spirit the lord of the underworld did make these plastic pistols unamenable to the artisans of earth and they were unable to muck much with the design, and lo these pistols did function.

9. And the evil one also brought forth pistols in which the trigger didst both cock and fire them and which require a "dingus" to make them appear safe.

10. But man being stupid did not understand these new pistols and did proceed to shoot themselves with the plastic pistol, and with the trigger cocking pistols for lo their manual of arms required great intelligence which man had long since forsaken. Yet man continue to gloat over these new pistols blaming evil forces for the negligent discharges which they themselves had committed.

11. And when man had been totally ensnared with plastic pistol, the lord of the underworld didst cause a plague of the terrible Ka-BOOM to descend upon man and the plastic pistols delivered their retribution upon men. And there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land.

12. Then seeing that the eyes of man were slowly being opened and that man was truly sorrowful for his sinful misdeeds, the Lord did send his messengers in the form of artisans who did hear and obey the teachings of the prophet and who didst restore the profaned 1911s to their proper configuration, and lo, to the amazement of men they didst begin to work as the prophet had intended.

13. And the men of the land didst drive out the charlatans and profaners from the land, and there was joy and peace in the land, except for the evil sprits which tried occasionally to prey on the men and women of the land and who were sent to the place of eternal damnation by the followers of John.
 
#4
Thanks for that Oddbod. A few of us were sitting around yesterday afternoon discussing this, and the G22 did come up as a serious contender. Some other suggestions were the Berretta 92f, which was dismissed quite quickly (frame cracks ?) SIG P226, good, but only 9mm, and too obvious, Browning Hi-Power :roll: H&K USP (extreme waltism) Obviously, the rest of us were all slipping into Hollywood fantasy mode, which wasnt really helping. Somebody even suggested (with a bit of an excitable gleam in his eye) a Walther PPK! the bruises will be gone in 7-10 days.
But seriously, The .40 Glock does sound like a good choice.
 
#5
stoatman said:
What Oddbod said! :twisted:

I've never fired a round in anger or carried a wpn for real, but the only thing I can add to it is that if you're not going to train a lot, use a 9mm cos it's easier to control & is less likely to get you gun-shy. As for what he said for the Glock, it's spot on - I hate the Glock with a passion on the range, but if I were allowed to carry, it would be my 1st choice (G19 in particular). It's definitely a love-hate thing! Oh, and another point - the Glock has no manually-settable safety, so if you go with that one, train lots and lots and lots holstering & unholstering to avoid damaging yourself.

http://www.securityarms.com/cgi-local/sa.cgi?noframes;read=656

The Holy Gospel According to John (Moses Browning)

1. In the beginning was the 1911, and the 1911 was the pistol, and it was good. And behold the Lord said, thou shalt not muck with my disciple John's design for it is good and it worketh. For John made the 1911, and lo all of his weapons, from the designs which I, the Lord, gave him upon the mountain.

2. And shouldst thou muck with it and hang all manner of foul implements upon it, and profane its internal parts, thou shalt surely have malfunctions, and in the midst of battle thou shalt surely come to harm.

3. And as the ages passed men in their ignorance and arrogance didst forget the word of the Lord and began to profane the 1911. The tribe of the gamesman did place recoil spring guides and extended slide releases upon the 1911 and their metal smiths didst tighten the tolerances and alter parts to their liking, their clearness of mind being clouded by lust.

4. Their artisans did hang all manner of foul implements upon the 1911 and did so alter it that it became impractical to purchase. For lo, the artisans didst charge a great tax upon the purchasers of the 1911 so that the lowly field worker could not afford one. And the profaning of the internal parts didst render it unworkable when the dust of the land fell upon it.

5. And lo, they didn’t install adjustable sights, which are an abomination unto the Lord. For they doth break and loose their zero when thou dost need true aim. And those who have done so will be slain in great numbers by their enemies in the great battle.

6. And it came to pass that the Lord didst see the abomination wrought by man and didst cause, as he had warned, fearful malfunction to come upon the abominations and upon the artisans who thought they could do no wrong.

7. Seeing the malfunctions and the confusion of men the lord of the underworld did see an opportunity to further ensnare man and didst bring forth pistols made of plastic, whose form was such that they looked and felt like a brick, yet the eyes of man being clouded, they were consumed by the plastic pistol and did buy vast quantities of them.

8. And being a deceitful spirit the lord of the underworld did make these plastic pistols unamenable to the artisans of earth and they were unable to muck much with the design, and lo these pistols did function.

9. And the evil one also brought forth pistols in which the trigger didst both c*** and fire them and which require a "dingus" to make them appear safe.

10. But man being stupid did not understand these new pistols and did proceed to shoot themselves with the plastic pistol, and with the trigger cocking pistols for lo their manual of arms required great intelligence which man had long since forsaken. Yet man continue to gloat over these new pistols blaming evil forces for the negligent discharges which they themselves had committed.

11. And when man had been totally ensnared with plastic pistol, the lord of the underworld didst cause a plague of the terrible Ka-BOOM to descend upon man and the plastic pistols delivered their retribution upon men. And there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land.

12. Then seeing that the eyes of man were slowly being opened and that man was truly sorrowful for his sinful misdeeds, the Lord did send his messengers in the form of artisans who did hear and obey the teachings of the prophet and who didst restore the profaned 1911s to their proper configuration, and lo, to the amazement of men they didst begin to work as the prophet had intended.

13. And the men of the land didst drive out the charlatans and profaners from the land, and there was joy and peace in the land, except for the evil sprits which tried occasionally to prey on the men and women of the land and who were sent to the place of eternal damnation by the followers of John.
Thanks Stoatman, thats two votes for the Glock. He certainly isnt gun-shy, and as its a racing cert that he will have to use it in anger, the .40 has the edge, just a bit more performance all round.
 
#6
If i was doing it all again, I'd probably choose a Glock .40 as the best balance of useability, handling and stopping power.

Having said that, I did once carry a Webley MkVI .455 - more intimidating than an auto from the wrong end, and a big lump of metal if it comes down to biffing the locals.

If your friend is as inexperienced with handguns as he sounds, then maybe a revolver is the best thing to carry - always ready to hand, but safer than having one up the spout in an auto.
 
#7
4(T) said:
If i was doing it all again, I'd probably choose a Glock .40 as the best balance of useability, handling and stopping power.

Having said that, I did once carry a Webley MkVI .455 - more intimidating than an auto from the wrong end, and a big lump of metal if it comes down to biffing the locals.

If your friend is as inexperienced with handguns as he sounds, then maybe a revolver is the best thing to carry - always ready to hand, but safer than having one up the spout in an auto.
I guess experience is all relative. He is proficent and competent with a handgun, but I always like to err on the side of caution. He has 12 years in, but I knew that there would be people on this forum with 20, 30 or even 40 years experience, I take that sort of expertise very seriously, as it never pays to overestimate yourself.
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#8
Oddbod said:
, and a G-23 for around the office
Must be a pretty rough fücking office:

"Do we have any more paperclips"

"Check the stationery cupboard"

"I did, it's empty"

"No it isn't"

"You calling me a liar?"

"Goddamn right I am"

BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM
 
#9
4(T) said:
Having said that, I did once carry a Webley MkVI .455 - more intimidating than an auto from the wrong end, and a big lump of metal if it comes down to biffing the locals.
Fantastic! 8) The emperor-king of all shorties! You have my utmost respect for using an icon of the empire operationally. Do tell us the circumstances.

You could only go one better by lumping around a pair of .577 howdah pistols. 8O

PS Is the 4(T) of your moniker in relation to the No 4 sniper variant?
 
#10
An acquaintance of mine was issued with a .455 S&W M1917 in the 2nd big adventure - he thought it was a gahstly thing. He much preferred the Luger he'd captured in Norway at the start of the war, but his CO wouldn't let him carry that!
 
#11
Go for all out funny and pick a 44 magum. See what his employer does.

On types of ammo, don't bother going above .40. I've fired both .40 and .45 and the difference between the recovery of the two is amazing.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#12
BigJobs said:
Go for all out funny and pick a 44 magum. See what his employer does.

On types of ammo, don't bother going above .40. I've fired both .40 and .45 and the difference between the recovery of the two is amazing.
8O

What sort of 45 have you been firing ? Long Colt from a derringer ? :D

I've never had any problem with either the 40 S&W or the 45 ACP, and I wouldn't describe the 45 as being particularly more difficult to control.
 
#13
Stoatman wrote:

1. "the Glock has no manually-settable safety..."

That's true. However, I see that they are now available as an after-market modification. It's a thumb-actuated dingus that blocks the striker, I believe. Similar in appearance to the safety on a Browning Hi-Power.

2. If you are going to carry a Glock with a live round in the chamber, you need a holster which fully enshrouds the trigger guard. Glock makes a good plastic holster. In no event should a Glock be carried informally stuffed into the operator's waistband. (I don't think that's a good idea with any handgun, but it can be particularly disastrous with a Glock.) If Sleeper_Service's pal is taking a civilian job in the middle east, he probably needs to carry with a live round in the chamber, from what I've read of the place.

3. Most of the accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wounds, involving American policemen, of which I've read, involved Glocks. I suppose it's the combination of the relatively light trigger and the lack of an external safety. I doubt whether that really represents an intrinsic flaw of the weapon. I could guess that it does exemplify uncritical continuation of habits of carrying and handling developed with other handguns.

4. I've never fired a shot in anger at anyone (and it'll be no tragedy if I never have to do so). Nevertheless, my "armchair commando" opinion is that it's a good idea to carry a handgun as powerful as circumstances, including the physical characteristics of the operator, reasonably permit. It wouldn't do to inflict a mortal wound on your bad guy, only to have him live long enough to kill you.

I'd therefore like to put in a good word for the 10 mm cartridge. Half again as much kinetic energy at the muzzle as a 9 mm/P. I'm an average-sized man and I can handle it without difficulty.
 
#14
I spent a coupla weeks in south africa last year. I spent christmas eve with my host on the range with colt .45's, making pretty holes in paper cut outs of what appeared to be a nelson-mandela/idi-amin look alike competition.
Cracking fun! Also did a robin hood type competetion, with a coathanger at 20yrds.
 
#15
Sleeper_service said:
Somebody even suggested (with a bit of an excitable gleam in his eye) a Walther PPK!
I recall reading, a long time ago, that the bodyguards protecting the royal family used to carry those.

As I remember, they dumped the PPK after two incidents in which the officers were obliged to draw, and attempted to fire, only to be stopped by jams.

They switched to H&Ks, or so I read.

All the same, Walther products, including the PPK, have an excellent reputation.
 
#16
The problem with the 10mm is that you have to go up to a .45 frame, or suffer the inevitable kaBoom. .40 works well enough in a 9mm sized frame, and is easier to handle.

I believe the problem with the bodyguard's PPK stemmed from him being initially trained to take a left-thumb-over grip with a revolver - alledgedly his initial programming returned to him in the shootout, and the PPK jammed.

The .32 PPK is lovely, but it's a mousegun & has a rotten double action 1st shot. The 9mmK version is controllable, just. The recoil's a bit sharp on it, due to the gun's light weight, and if you have fleshy hands it'll bit you & you won't want to train with it. I will hopefully be babysitting a .32 PPK & possibly a P99 whilst a mate is working in London for a couple of years :D
 
#17
I take it that if there is a good likelyhood of him using it then access to extra ammunition is not a problem?

If there may be a problem then I would go for 9mm. You can pick it up almost anywhere.

Agree that the Glock is a good pistol apart from the safety issue. Don't forget that all Sigs have the ability to be de-cocked with a round up the spout. It just means that the first round requires extra pressure to release the trigger. Or you can pre-cock the hammer cowboy stylee!
 
#18
Dibble said:
I take it that if there is a good likelyhood of him using it then access to extra ammunition is not a problem?

If there may be a problem then I would go for 9mm. You can pick it up almost anywhere.

Agree that the Glock is a good pistol apart from the safety issue. Don't forget that all Sigs have the ability to be de-cocked with a round up the spout. It just means that the first round requires extra pressure to release the trigger. Or you can pre-c*** the hammer cowboy stylee!
Context Insensitive Software!! :D
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#20
Dibble said:
I take it that if there is a good likelyhood of him using it then access to extra ammunition is not a problem?

If there may be a problem then I would go for 9mm. You can pick it up almost anywhere.

Agree that the Glock is a good pistol apart from the safety issue. Don't forget that all Sigs have the ability to be de-cocked with a round up the spout. It just means that the first round requires extra pressure to release the trigger. Or you can pre-c*** the hammer cowboy stylee!
I was issued the CZ75 at one stage and having used them before was impressed by the forethought of the procurement team.

It's available in 9mm, 40 S&W and 45ACP, (different model nos,) a decent mag capacity & great 'pointability.' It can be carried safely hammer down on a loaded chamber or cocked & locked which gives the same triggerpull for each shot.

If a pistol is the primary wpn then I assume there will be a fair amount of trg with it.
I like the Glock for people that don't envisage using it much, it has the lawyer-speak 'safe action'.
I'm happy for trained people to carry nearly anything cocked & locked, but the ambulance chasers seem to assume that because they know the square-root of phuqall about these tools then neither does anyone else.
 

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