Baddest Tactical Pistol I Can Afford

Discussion in 'Anything Else' started by Netfotoj, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    I'm thinking my next pistol should be a full-size "Tactical" (whatever that really means) semi-auto with as much capacity as can be crammed into the grip, which can definitely be as fat as the fattest Glock 'cause the Good Lord blessed me with big, skinny hands. When I say "full capacity" I'm thinking at least 15 rounds or more. I realize that leaves .45 ACP out of the running with only 13 rounds max capacity of any semi-auto I know about, but I decided to make an exception for that caliber and leave it in.

    At present, I have two subcompacts, S&W 9mm and G29 10mm, one compact 357 Sig Steyr and one 9mm Kel-Tec PF-9 pocket pistol, so I'm thinking a full-size SHTF pistol is the next hole to fill in my personal defense outfit.

    Here's the caliber candidates first, with the hottest rounds I could find on any ballistics table or website:

    Grains/Type/Mfg./FPS Muzzle/Ft.lbs. Muzzle

    357 Sig:
    125/JHP/Gold Dot DoubleTap/1450/584 ft. lbs.

    9mm:
    124/JHP/Gold Dot DoubleTap/1301/473 ft. lbs.

    10mm:
    135/Nosler JHP/DoubleTap/1600/767 ft. lbs.

    .45 ACP
    165/JHP+P/Cor Bon/1250/573 ft. lbs

    .38 Super
    125/JHP/Winchester/1240/427 ft. lbs.

    9x23
    124/JHP/Winchester/1460/587 ft. lbs.

    So to rate the calibers from baddest to least bad (but still pretty bad), 10mm is 1st, 357 Sig is 2nd, .38 Super and 9x23 are combined for 3rd place, .45 ACP is 4th (with the 13+1 handicap) and 9mm is 5th.

    I combined .38 Super and 9x23 because full-size EAA pistols will hold 18 rounds of each and will shoot each interchangeably without any modification. It's a good twofer because .38 Super is cheaper ammo but that 9x23 Winchester round outperforms everything else on my chart except 10mm, plus ammo is cheaper than 10.

    So now, let me consider pistols. The Glock 20 and the EAA Witness and Elite Match are, so far as I know, the only 15-shot 10mm pistols available. The EAA Witness and Elite Match are also available in .38 Super/9x23 with a full capacity of 18+1, which in my mind gives it a leg up over the 10mm choices.

    Choices in 357 Sig are limited to what I can afford, probably a Glock 31. Wish I could afford a genuine Sig. Sigh!

    Choices in .45 ACP are a bit better: Springfield XD, Glock, S&W M&P, all 13+1 and roughly same price range.

    Choices in 9mm are even wider, including the above and others, but as noted, 9mm is my last choice.

    What thinkest thou, fellow Steyroids?
     
  2. RiceCakes

    RiceCakes Guest

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    Well if its SHTF, youve already got 2 9mms, common ammo, so I would go there. Otherwise I would prolly vote for the XD 45 or the HK USP.
     

  3. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    I'm just curious why your thought process is "hottest is best, so let's design around that"? Are we talking about putting on exploding milk jug shows post-SHTF, or designing a pistol for serious work with terminal ballistics in human beings in mind?
     
  4. madecov

    madecov Active Member

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    Para Ordnance make the P-14
    14 rounds of 45 ACP.

    The Glock 21, has high capacity

    My next pistol is going to be a replacement for my P-99. I had one, sold it and miss it dearly. It was one of the nicest handguns I have ever owned.
     
  5. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    Definitely the latter. That's why I defined the "baddest" caliber in terms of both fps and ft./lbs. All the speed in the world ain't worth jack s*** if it ain't got a whopping big load of foot-lbs. behind it to deliver the goods on target.

    That's why 10mm leads the list, highest combo of both, with 9x23 right behind, then 357 Sig.

    I should have also added that what I can afford is max about $600, so that leaves out a lot of fine pistols.

    As I start the process, the G20 is leading the pack as no. 1 in caliber, capacity and price. Who knows where I'll end up as I research the availability. I don't expect to make the buy until August or September, so there's no rush. :mrgreen:
     
  6. RiceCakes

    RiceCakes Guest

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    This is kind of outside what your looking for, but you already have 4 pistols, and good, reliable ones. Have you thought about a rifle or shotty for HD? You can almost get an ak and an 870 for 600. Neither are my favorites, both both are cheap and reliable. If your seriously worried about SHTF, make sure your balanced already. Otherwise, get what feels good in the hand and what you love to shoot. But a serious long term SHTF concern is ammo availability, so that would narrow you down to 10mm or 9mm, unless you want to stock another load.
     
  7. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    Got an Ithaca Model 37 pump 12 ga. with barrel shortened to barely legal 18.5" and a fair supply of 00 buckshot. I also just purchased a Remington Model 742 30'06 semi-auto. A handful of 10-round magazines for the 742 and a good load of ammo and I'll call the short and long ends of the arsenal in pretty good shape.

    A Ruger .44 magnum carbine is somewhere on my list for the close to mid-range power, but after a full-size, highest-capacity, baddest-caliber pistol. I probably already have too many different calibers, but I'm sorta hooked on wanting at least one of everything!

    I had a pair of SKS rifles, but was not impressed with the 7.62x39 round, so they're gone. I've also looked at a Saiga .308 AK, so that's another possibility that's on the list. I love gun shopping! :mrgreen:
     
  8. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    Hate to break it to you, but speed and energy are definitely not #1 indicators of a well performing round. Look at RBCD, Glasier, Magsafe, or tons of other fast/light loads. Judge your loads by penetration, expansion, and then energy in that order. Speed/energy hurt, penetration kills. I'm not particularly dogging on your choices, but I knew from previous conversations that you were basing your criteria on those numbers that a lot of junk manufacturers push so hard. You will find that in a lot of cases the heavier loads perform much, much better way more consistently. You're betting on a lot of ideal circumstances when you go the light and fast route.

    /steps off his soap box

    .45 is an obvious winner IMHO if you can handle it. Again, from past conversations there is zero doubt in my mind that the recoil will be a problem for you, so I would probably go that route. I would, however, step up to a 230gr. load. Look at 230gr. Double Tap w/ Gold Dots if you want a hot, heavy, well performing round. Step up to their +P if that isn't enough for you... 8) I would likely opt for the XD as it offers high capacity, comes fairly well recommended, and has accessories/aftermarket support galore.

    10mm is attractive, but due to lack of platforms, grip size, ammo scarcity, capacity, and a host of other considerations, I would likely pass.

    There is nothing wrong with a good 'ol 9mm stack high with 147gr. or 127gr. +P+ Winchester Rangers - do your part and I'm quite sure the BG won't have the luxury of wondering what caliber you just hit him with. Also, in a post SHTF scenario, 9mm is going to be available practically anywhere, though I wouldn't let that factor in too heavily in your decision.

    Of course, you could just let me live vicariously through you and build another M9A1 that I'm dying to throw together. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

    Since you don't already have a 9mm, I'm secretly hoping you go that route. 8) :twisted:

    As for the rifle, look at PTR .308's - they're not terribly high priced, but come highly recommended. And stroke that shotty with #1 buck - it works better than 00 buck on people at social distances, period. (30% more wound trauma) :wink:
     
  9. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    Prior to my purchase of my first 10mm, the only pistols I had ever shot more than a round or two were 1911 .45s, which I considered the be-all and end-all of all pistols. And I wouldn't pee on a 9mm if it was on fire.

    Obviously I've changed my opinions about both. I still like 1911s, they just don't go bang often enough before locking open. I do rate the high-capacity .45s highly and I do have two 9mms, but neither is a Steyr. One of my biggest regrets is ever letting my FEG Browning Hi-Power clone go. Should not a done that. Best shooting 9mm pistol I've ever handled, though my experience is limited in that area. Would I love to have a custom Steyr M9-A1 built by Syntax? Is the Pope Catholic? Does a wild bear s*** in the woods?

    Could I afford it? Highly unlikely unless a rich uncle dies that I don't know about. :mrgreen:
     
  10. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    In SHTF a major concern is availability of everything, including ammo, and carry weight. I would go with 9mm to match what I had; and would probably use all the money for ammo and mags, rather than an additional gun. I would bring the S&W and the Kel-Tec and opt to get the ammo I thought would be most efficient ballistically, weight-wise, availability-wise, and cost-wise (to me that would be Win Ranger T and/or Speer Gold Dot 147 gr. 9mm). If I wanted to satisfy my recoil/muzzle blast/noise quotient, I would bring some +P or +P+ 9mm from those same manufacturers and maybe some Double Tap to get me into 357 Sig specs.
     
  11. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    How about a Kel-Teck SU-16 in .223? I've seen those done up 9 different ways of tacticool and you can even throw a 100 round AR drum mag on it... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
     
  12. RiceCakes

    RiceCakes Guest

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    For the win.
     
  13. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

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    As SYN pointed out, post SHTF, 9mm ammo will prob the easiest and most plentiful to acquire...

    I know there are a lot of haters out there....

    I know its not the most comfortable pistol to shoot....

    I know you have larger hands and can handle it just fine....

    Just shouldnt be ANY argument....

    Glock 17 [Glock 18 preferred, but thats a whole other conversation!!!!]

    PERIOD

    ...once you get yours, I can help ya NOT make the same mistakes I did to keep it 100% reliable and yet give it some personal touches.... I just got to carried away with my first G17....
     
  14. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    At this point in my investigation, I'd have to rate the G20 as leading the pack, particularly since I have found I can get a carbine kit from Mech-Tech for $350 and a 9x25 barrel from DoubleTap for $115. Now that's three to draw to, as they say in poker. And staying with a round I already have in the G29 makes sense, not to mention 10mm is king of the mountain, ballistically speaking, while 9x25 even takes that to another level. Probably overkill, but more seems always better to me. And DoubleTap will provide the 9x25 ammo.

    Here's the specs on DoubleTap 9x25 ammo:

    Caliber : 9X25
    Bullet : 115gr. Speer Gold Dot
    Ballistics : 1800fps / 827 ft.lbs

    I try not to get too carried away by just numbers, but holy moly, compare that to the hottest 115 gr. 10mm load, 1650 fps and 695 ft./lbs. That is mind-blowing stuff! Only question is whether to go with a stock 9x25 barrel for the G20 from DoubleTap or go with the 6" hunting version, which will stick out about an inch and a half beyond the slide. Since this is not a carry pistol in the first place, I'm thinking the 6" barrel. From what I've read, one should not shoot a 9x25 next to anyone else at a range without double ear protection. And probably not even then. The muzzle blast is said to be sufficient to scare Atilla the Hun into taking early retirement.

    Then there's the Mech-Tech carbine conversion kit, shown with a 1911 in it:
    [​IMG]

    In second place is an EAA Elite Match in .38 Super/9x23, 18 rounds, which will also cycle 9x23 Winchester as reliably as .38 Super. EAA also sells 10mm, .45 ACP and 9mm conversions.

    Let me add one note: When I started out this thread by comparing ballistics, I tried to stay a close to grain weights as possible when listing the calibers in consideration, so as to compare apples to apples.

    In the real world, nobody I know of would shoot 115-gr. 10mm rounds, including me. The standard is 180 to 200 grains. Same goes with .45 ACP. I cited numbers on a lighter grain to keep comparisons as near equal as possible. But the standard load that almost everybody uses with .45 ACP is 230 grains.
     
  15. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    My disdain for glock aside, it sounds like a decent enough decision. I would definitely go with the longer barrel since you will not be carrying it - no reason not to have the extra weight to soak up slightly more recoil, the length to slightly decrease muzzle blast, and the added velocity increase certainly won't hurt your case. Is this going to be a nightstand gun? If so, the 9x25 muzzle blast might make you think twice about this one... I usually don't let that weigh too heavily, but if it's as bad as you say it could be an issue.
     
  16. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    My criteria stems from a quote I heard or read somewhere: Everybody wants the smallest possible carry pistol, but time comes they have to use it, they want it to magically transform into the biggest, baddest pistol on the planet.

    I figured why not start out with that turned around: the biggest, baddest pistol on the planet -- yet small enough to carry concealed, at least on "big gun night."

    Hence my criteria, full-size auto pistol, at least 15 rounds, on my list of the baddest calibers possible.

    I have a pair of subcompacts, 9mm and 10mm, plus a 9mm pocket pistol, so I figured the next pistol should be full-size, max capacity, and hottest caliber: all adding up to the baddest semi-auto on the planet, for $600 max.

    As for the 9x25 barrel option, at least from what I've read that would definitely not be an option when using a G20 as a nightstand gun. Way too much muzzle blast and probably too much penetration also. Most likely the 9x25 would be only for hunting, or if all-out war arrives on the shores of Rockingham, NC. Hopefully not very likely.

    As for stock Glocks, my ignorance is vast. Never shot one. My G29 is heavily customized, including a grip-angle change, 2.5-lb. trigger and other mods. So I hope to get the chance to shoot a stock G20 before I buy one.

    The stock Glock trigger might be the deal breaker, as I have not heard great things about it vs. the Steyr trigger. The two pistols I shoot best are the G29 with its light trigger and my S&W 669 with its DA/SA trigger. That alone pushes me toward the EAA Elite Match, which is SA only; or the EAA Witness, which is DA/SA. When it comes to precision shooting, a single-action trigger beats a double-action one every time, at least for me. And I can get either EAA model in 10mm or .38 Super/9x23. So a lot depends on how well I like the G20 DA trigger.

    For a carry weapon, my M357-A1 is most likely going to continue to be my first option for that forever. This new full-size pistol will likely never be carried, except for the possibility of hunting and/or full-out war here at home. :mrgreen:
     
  17. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

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    I looked into the Mech-Tech carbines for my G17.....

    and I looked into the Kel Tec SUB 2000 carbines as well:

    [​IMG]

    I elected to go with a pair of the Kel Tec's for several reasons...

    I already have a pile of G17 mags for these babies [uh-oh, Senator Biden's gonna say I 'm mentally unbalanced now....] looking for some action, so thats one less set of magazines to purchase....

    And I like the 'folding' function, makes for easy storage and transport....

    just another 2 cents from my way....

    :wink: :wink:
     
  18. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    I shot BigTaco's Kel-Tec 9mm sub on a recent trip to Pittsburgh and while it was a hoot to shoot, I've still got the powder burns on my right jaw to remind me that some guns just aren't made for lefties.

    The bolt opening on the Kel-Tec is so close to the end of the buttstock that every shot I fired I could feel the powder burning. Fool that I am, I shot the whole 30-round mag anyway.

    The Mech-Tech ejection port is in line with the lower frame of the G20, much further forward from the buttstock than the Kel-Tec, so it should be fine for lefties.
     
  19. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    Just when I think my plan is firming up nicely, along comes Uncle Sam and sticks his long nose in uninvited.

    Anybody here know anything about fed BATF permits for SBRs and AOWs? I'll explain both acronyms in a minute.

    Here's the deal. From Lone Wolf Distributors, I find I can get a 16" IGB barrel for $250 to customize the G20 that's my top choice for the Baddest Full-Size Pistol I Can Afford. http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=4010

    [​IMG]

    No problem with the feds so far, near as I can tell. Then it gets complicated. That's just the barrel so I need a buttstock. Mako Telescopic Stock G17 is another $90 from Lone Wolf: http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=4505

    [​IMG]

    How-some-ever, Lone Wolf tosses in this kicker: "Possession of this telescopic stock and a Glock pistol at the same time classifies it as a SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) and will require registration with BATF. All NFA rules apply." But if it's got the 16" barrel installed on it, then it's not a SBR, is it? So do I need the SBR if I have the 16"?

    As if that's not enough headache, then there's the handgrip to fit on the rail of the G20 to make this muzzle-heavy monster shootable. Mako Tactical Folding Grip is another $30. http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=3988

    [​IMG]

    And here comes Lone Wolf's second curveball: "If you own a handgun with rails and you decide to mount this grip onto your handgun, your handgun will be classified as an Any Other Weapon (AOW). You must register your weapon with ATF." But if my handgun has a 16" barrel on it and a buttstock, then it's no longer a handgun, is it, so I don't need the AOW permit? I bet one thing. If I ask a fed, I'm going to be told not only yes, but bet-your-sweet-bippy yes, I need to pony up the cash and aggravation to get not one but two ATF permits.

    So for $370, I can turn my as yet unpurchased G20 (Best price locally is $521) into a 10mm carbine. But in addition to that, I'm apparently looking at two fed permits at what I've seen quoted as $200 each!

    Or I can flush all of the above and drop back to the "at least it's legal plan" and get a 6" 9x25mm Lone Wolf barrel for $115. Unfortunately, there seems to be no 16" 9x25 barrel, which would be the ultimate "monster."

    Here I thought I found all the answers and with them comes more questions. As Doc Watson sings, "Life sure gets tedious, don't it?" :shock: :mrgreen:

    P.S. Guy at glocktalk says I can avoid the SBR if I throw away the stock barrel that comes with the G20. Even if that is true, as the KJV says, that sucketh! Bigtime!
     
  20. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    As I understand it, it doesn't work like the auto sear rule where possession ruins you... As long as you install the barrel and then the stock, you are legal. Stupid, I know... (IANAL) Since carbine kits are available for the Steyrs, we should have a few resident "experts" on this matter.

    But if we're converting this thing to a full on carbine complete with buttstock, it's hardly a "tactical pistol" IMHO. I think you've taken the initial dream outside the scope of your initial inquiry, but hey - it's your dream. :wink: