Saturday, December 18, 2004

Gun post post mortem

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds at instapundit, I have a large amount of advice to sort through. Which is good, because i was not planning on doing anything today at work because of the dumb work Christmas party. The bulk of suggestions has stopped coming in. A few stragglers are coming in ever once and awhile, and i will try to add their votes or suggestions to this tally.

Final Tally

Glock 23 (20-1 votes)
HK USP .40 compact (8 votes)
Springfield XD (4 votes)
Sig P228 9mm compact (3 votes)
Sig P245 .45 ACP compact (3 votes)
Kahr Arms (PM40) (4 votes)
Hk P7 (3 votes)
Ruger P345 (2 votes)
Ruger P944 (2 votes)
Browning Pro-40 (2 votes)
CZ 2075 RAMI (1 vote)
CZ P-01 (1 vote)
Taurus PT-911 or PT-940 (1 vote )
Kimber Pro Carry in .40SW. (1 vote)
Glock 21 (.45 ACP) (1 vote)
Glock 19(2 vote)
Makharov 9x18mm (1 vote)
BERSA THUNDER 9 (1 vote)
Para Ordnance C6.45 LDA (1 vote)
Sig P239 (40 S&W) (Glenn Reynolds choice)
Sig P229 (1 vote)
Walther P99 (1 -1=0 votes)
Sig Pro 2340
S&W Model 39 in 9mm

ruger sp101 (3 votes)
S&W 640 in .357 (2 vote)
Charter Arms "Bulldog" .44 Special (1 vote)
S&W Centennial in .38 Special (1 vote)
S&W stainless .357 mags (1 vote)
S&W Airlight:(1 vote)
S&W 642 .38 Special titanium (1 vote)
S&W 637 in .38 (1 vote)
S&W 65 (1 vote)
Taurus 85 Total Titanium (1 vote)

Get a doggie. (1 vote)

The "-1" is where someone had something negative to say about that particular handgun. I counted that as a vote against that hand gun. If multiple handguns were mentioned, i gave votes to several. If multiple handguns were mentioned, but they specified which one they carried, i just counted the vote for the one they carried.

Personal feelings

I think i am further from making a decision that i was before i asked from help from the blogging community. That is not a bad thing. I learned a lot. I had my heart set on an autoloader, but now i am a little torn between a revolver and an autoloader.

Personally, i like the autoloader better and i think would "enjoy" having the gun more, but the more reasonable side of me keeps coming back to the fact that the revolver is more reliable. I think i see revolvers are old (which they are, one guy mentioned 1860), and i am young and very technology oriented, so autoloaders of the plastic variety have a strong pull to me.

I will start thinking about this problem after I have shot a revolver and once i put a few boxes through one.



John Clifford said...

Hello Cube, please read my comments under the original topic. I think you will find them useful.

Cubicle said...

I promise to read them soon. I have not read them yet, but thanks for the help and the advice.


Anonymous said...

The Sig P229 in .40 S&W is an excellent choice. It is very similar to the P228, same size and frame, but beefed up a bit to handle the .40 S&W and the .357 Sig, and weighs only an ounce or two more than the P228. The P228 is available only in 9mm.

I have a P229 and have both .357 Sig and .40 S&W barrels for it. To switch from one to the other is simply a matter of switching barrels. The magazine handles both. I wouldn't trade it for a ranch in Texas.

Anonymous said...

-1 for Kim du Toit's opinion? Surely you jest. And this Clifford guy may sell guns, but he damned sure isn't a shooter. Kahr??? Get real. Go talk to the shooters, and leave the magazine readers alone.

Cubicle said...

All votes must be counted. :)

As far as getting a revolver then moving to a autoloader, that does make sense to me.

John Clifford said...

Isn't a shooter?

Well... just for grins I have taken a Kahr K9 out on our plate shoots (5 8" plates @ 10 yards) and have run sub-4 second times cleaning the plates -- beating the Glock shooters. (With the right gun on the right day, under 3 seconds for five plates from the leather has been done.)

I've taken an off-the-shelf S&W Sigma 40 with a brand-new Level III retention holster rig and shot the high score (295) that day on the WA state security guard qualification test up against a large aerospace company's security guards and trainers.

I've scored a 297 out of 300 on the LFI-1 qualification course. I'm qualified at the expert (high) level on the John Farnam/DTI course (2 consecutive runs under 10 seconds).

I've won state championships in my classes for high power and metallic silhouette.

As a casual and extremely occasional trap shooter I break over 20 birds -- my first time I broke 23. I've shot sporting clays maybe a half-dozen times in my life and break more than 40 birds in a 50-shot course. I shot skeet competitively in college (also smallbore rifle).

Re "shooters versus magazine readers", I owned and operated the largest indoor range and retail gun shop in my state for almost a decade. I've had hundreds of guns on our rental rack and I've seen what works and what breaks. I've published articles in magazines and am considered an expert on the subject. And I have been fortunate enough to have been able to be trained by some of the best in the industry.

Anonymous, your judgement of my recommendations is about as accurate as your assessment of my background.

Brian said...

And the lesson here is...asking about guns is a lot like asking "What brand of pickup should I buy?" The Ford guy will tell you he's an expert, drove a pickup truck all his life, and there's nothing like a Ford, hoo boy. The Dodge guy says the Ford guy is obviously a suburbanite, and that real men who do real work drive Dodges, yea buddy. The Chevy guy would like to remind you that "a Mopar is a slow car." And everybody pretty much agrees that the Foreign guy is probably gay. In the end, you'll get the most "votes" for Ford. But that doesn't tell you that Fords are best, just that more people own them. (Note: this may in fact be a very rough proxy for quality, but who can say?)

Not that any of this is helpful, of course. I was just struck by the inanity of the conversation between your commenters, which has a very Rolling Stones-ish feel:

But he can't be a man, 'cause he doesn't smoke
the same cigarrettes as me!

Cubicle said...

yea, knew that going in. though, i did find some of it very helpful. though like i said, i am not any closer to buy a gun, though i have recived some great advice.

Of couse if you belive in the market place, this was a great expierment.

John Clifford said...

I think the lessson here is that not all opinions are equally valid, and taking a vote from a variety of sources who generally have very limited experience is not the best information gathering method.

Having solicited opinions from numerous sources, your responsibility (Cube) is to weigh each opinion, try to understand WHY certain recommendations were made and in what context.

There's something to "buying a Ford" because they don't sell all those pickup trucks for no reason. If you match the demographics of the average pickup truck buyer then you'll be happy with the best-selling F150 2-door 2WD. If you don't... then you need to understand why people bought other models and/or brands and decide if those reasons make sense for you.

For instance, Glocks were originally designed to meet the requirements for a military handgun where the user is assumed to be a medium-to-large-sized male (with a correspondingly-sized hand). They are a favorite of law enforcement because the user and usage requirements are generally the same as for the military. Concealed carry was not part of the original design requirements for the Glock, and that is why Glock brought out small models (the G26 et al). However, other manufacturers offer designs where concealability is emphasized over other attributes (like magazine capacity). Glocks are incredibly rugged and reliable, but smaller shooters or people who need to carry concealed without having a lot of bulky clothing on may need to look elsewhere because of the Glock's size, thickness, and grip shape.

I've never liked the "reference to authority" argument ("my brother is an expert and he says 'Buy Ford!'"). I am a big fan of the rational argument ("I bought a Ford for X, Y, and Z reasons, and here's why I think you should, too.").

Buying a self-defense handgun, like buying a pickup truck, isn't merely a matter of opinion. Decide what benefits you are trying to obtain, determine what features or other aspects (e.g., company background) provide those benefits, and then choose accordingly. And, realize there is no one right answer as to specific make and model -- similar products with similar features and designs from different (reputable) companies will often be equally effective.

Anonymous said...

You got me thinking. I own a number of rifles (rimfire, centerfire), shotguns (pumps, singles, SS, O/U), pistols (revolvers, autos)and have a concelaed weapon permit. Over the years (I just realized) I went from being a shooter to a gun owner. Its time to reverse the trend. I seldom carried since I don't have what I would consider an easily concealable weapon. So I started researching, visiting gun shops, reading reviews and yesterday purchased a Kimber Ultra CDP II and bought a 1,000 rounds of 10mm (one of my pistols is a Delta Gold Cup) and .45 ACP. Time to start practising again.

Dave (No blog) DuBose

Cubicle said...


thanks for droppign by and good shooting.

Anonymous said...

-In response to your first column, I mentioned the "Bulldog" and recommended the Smith Centennial (or clone). There is some value to the Ford vs. Toyota comparison: look at the gun models suggested and note the features they have in common & where they diverge.
-The primary issues remain as training and familiarity. Is there a gun club nearby or a shooting range where you can rent or try different guns as well as talk to the people who own/carry them? Can you afford to get a .22 "plinker" for informal target practice on the range? Shoot at paper and learn to hold and group, this isn't Olympic slow fire preparation.
-What do you know about your local laws?
-In my opinion the best aid is a good mentor without an axe to grind.

Mister G. said...

I'd like to suggest taking a slightly different approach.
The first thing that I think you should do is take a gun safety course with an NRA certified instructor.
Then I would suggest that you purchase a pistol in caliber .22 long rifle. A revolver would be your best bet for reasons of safety and reliability but an autoloader is fine as long as you realize that you'll need to put a little extra effort into mastering it.
With such a gun, you will be well equipped to begin the process of learning to shoot.
First, the low recoil of a twenty two will make it easy to learn to shoot accurately.
Secondly, .22 LR ammo is cheap. You can get 500 rounds for as little as ten bucks. That will encourage plenty of practice. Practice will build proficiency and confidence.
Hopefully, having an easy to shoot gun that fires inexpensive ammo will make the experience fun for you and turn you into a firearms enthusiast.
A .22 while far from ideal can even serve as your first home defense gun. It’s certainly better than nothing and no matter how experienced you become it will always be a gun that you can enjoy shooting.
My preference is for Smith & Wesson revolvers and for an autoloader I like the Ruger Mk 2 but there are plenty of other good choices.
While you are gaining experience and knowledge with your first gun, you’ll have plenty of time to think about your ideal defensive handgun.
I also think that you should pick up Massad Ayoob’s “In the gravest extreme”. It’s a small book but it’s one of the best when it comes to guns for self defense.
I hope this helps.