Tested out six 45 ACP pistols yesterday for my birthday :)
Tested out six 45 ACP pistols yesterday for my birthday DISCLAIMER: My personal opinion only. Your mileage may vary.
Testing location: The Firing Line, Burbank, CA
Pistols tested: Kimber, Glock 21, Springfield Armory XD 45, Ruger P345, Smith & Wesson (I forget which model, I only fired twice and hated it), Glock 30.
Friend and I went over because I'm thinking of acquiring a handgun for recreational shooting and home self-defence in the near future. I've shot 9 mm before but I wanted to see if I could handle a 45 with reasonable accuracy and which one(s) I liked.
Kimber: Nicest looking one of the lot IMHO. They had a stainless steel model that was quite a looker. We tried it out first on the recommendation of the guy behind the counter (both guys manning the counter said they owned one and love them). Loading was easy enough. First time my friend and I tried it, we both shot it a bit badly (me worse than him). Once we tried out the Glock 21 and the XD, our shooting improved and so we gave Kimber a try again and shooting results were much better this time.
Glock 21: Second weapon we tried out (Both guys behind the counter claimed not to like Glocks). My friend and I both liked the accuracy and the balance. Squeezing the trigger took me a bit getting used to in the beginning, but once I got the hang of it, I could place shots pretty much anywhere I liked. Friend put his first four shots into the head of the target easily and I went for body shots initially and head shots once my confidence improved. Only thing to bitch about was that loading the last two cartridges in a 10 round mag was hard. First 8 went in easy and the 9th one put up a fight, so we both shot with only 8 in the mag. Next time, I should ask for the speedloader attachment. My friend has shorter fingers, so he found the trigger a little harder to pull than me.
Springfield Armory XD: This was a breeze to load, unlike the Glock 21 and the Kimber. It also shot very well. Since this was the third weapon we shot, we were getting better at hitting everything. We both liked its balance and accuracy. Trigger pull felt a bit worse than the Glock for me, but I loved the fact that I didn't have to fight with the mag to fill it up.
After we got good results with the Glock and the XD, we decided to go back to the Kimber to see if it was because we were just getting more used to shooting. As it happens, we both got more accurate the second time around and changed our opinion about the Kimber immediately. I also shot much more accurately with the Glock 21 the second time around.
Sidenote: Guy next to us brought his own H&K USP 45. Would have loved to try the H&K too, but they didn't have one for rent. He was teaching his girlfriend to shoot and they were also trying out a couple of other models. Incidentally his gf was wearing a low-cut tank top and ended up with hot cases in her bra twice .
Ruger: We actually had asked for the Smith & Wesson, but the guy gave us the Ruger next to it by accident instead. The trigger was a bit too mushy for me. Accuracy was pretty decent though. Also, the curve at the back of the hand grip didn't sit in my hands too well and I didn't like the balance. My friend didn't mind the grip (single stack fit his hands better anyway) but he didn't like the mushy trigger either. We only fired a few rounds with this one (something like 10 rounds between the two of us)
S&W: We went back and asked for the S&W and the guy apologized for giving us the Ruger instead. He told us that if we didn't like the Ruger, we would probably hate the S&W. He was right -- the trigger was mushy on this one too and the I didn't like the feel either. I gave up after 2 shots and unloaded the rest of the cartridges.
Glock 30: Accurate as the 21. Friend liked this one's grip better than the 21 though, but it didn't make any difference to me, I preferred the 21 slightly if anything.
Final Conclusion: Kimber was the nicest looking of the lot and I wouldn't mind getting one if it wasn't so darn expensive compared to the rest. I shot best with the Glock 21 and the Springfield XD and liked them both, so my choice is narrowed down to these two. I would also like to try out a Glock 21 SF and see whether I like that one better. Perhaps a Sig and a H&K as well.
Are you a fan of the 1911 style pistols? I had the same delema when i was out lookin for a pistol. Held just about every pistol including the Spingfield XD (not a bad little pistol really). I had an eye for the 1911 styles, so i eventually went with the Taurus 1911B. For what its worth its an awesome pistol and all the features on it would cost alot more if you would have gotten them done by a machine shop. Now im in the market for another pistol.
No Sig P220 for rent? Too bad. H&K makes great firearms-I just have an issue with the ergonomics of the grip on their full-size USP. It's like gripping a toy woodblock, not too ergonomic. Some people use Hogue slip-ons on those grips. They seem to have addressed that with their P2000 and P30, but those don't come in .45 cal. A big kudos to you and your friend for actually shooting the pistols you're interested in purchasing. When you decide on one, I suggest taking a home defense/tactical pistol course. Good luck on your search.
"Incidentally his gf was wearing a low-cut tank top and ended up with hot cases in her bra twice." (I hope she was hot, no pics? J/K!)
Thanks for the advice, sir. You have an impressive arsenal. Different tools for different applications.
"that SIG you pictured would work, although I prefer a revolver for home."
Actually, I have the impression that for defensive use, that Sig in the picture wouldn't be the best choice, and that seems to be the consensus of opinion.
I've have heard that revolvers are "more reliable" (less ****e to jamming) than automatics, but I'm guessing that if you buy a quality automatic, you'll likely have no problems.
Is that a fair statement?
I've also heard (I seem to be repeating a lot of second hand opinions) that chrome would reflect sunlight and the glare would be a problem. Also, that same individual said that stainless wouldn't have that particular problem.
Is any of that true?
I'm not sure what would be wrong with that Sig for home defense. It doesn't have to be concealed, should be very reliable, and very easy to shoot rapidly and accurately. The only problem might be the sights. Tritium night-sights are awesome for defensive use, bullseye or target sights less so. just replace them with whichever you need.
revolvers are indeed generally more reliable, although, yes, a high-quality auto (and Sigs are high-quality) is very reliable. revolvers tend not to have any issues at all, but if they do it is usually a gunsmith job. autos, when they do have a jam or failure, can usually be cleared easily, and often fixed by simple parts replacement.
I would imagine the reflection off of a chromed gun would be annoying in bright sunlight, although I have no experience with the issue (I normally shoot indoors, and nothing I have is chromed). stainless would be less likely to have that problem, and most chromed or stainless guns have serrations on top of their slides or frame/barrel assemblies, which should mitigate the issue.
if a bad guy is in my apartment, I WANT him to be able to see the big-ass revolver pointed at him. I might thus be able to avoid actually having to use it, although he will have to surrender very quickly.
definitely a good idea to try out another 1911 besides Kimber. most Kimbers have a really oversized grip safety compared to other makes. Kimber does also offer models in the high $500 to $600 dollar range.
I am fond of Springfields, myself, both the XD and their 1911's.