which 1? oh which 1? my head hurts.

Discussion in 'New Member Check-In' started by broas, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. broas

    broas Guest

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    Hi. pardon the long post. im new here and to guns. trying to decide which pistol i should buy as my first (and possibly last) gun. narrowed down the choices to 3 pistols: MA1 in .40, MA1 in 9mm, and glock 17. in truth, i already have a decision. but as i am new to this scene, i could have missed some things that are critical in making the proper choice. so if you may, i appreciate your opinions. :)

    Reason to buy a gun: defense. Peace and order have seriously deteriorated recently around where i live. in my town, at least 6 individuals (1 of them i personally know) have been held up and shot dead in the last 2 months, most of them on the way to the bank. thieves have entered my yard at night to steal (electric cables, truck parts, 5 piece PATIO FURNITURE set!!, etc.) 4 times already in the last 3 months. (dogs aren't enough a deterrent. guards are too expensive. law enforcers in my town are as vigilant as a potato.) conclusion::buy a gun and maybe set off a few rounds a week for the neighborhood to hear. the gun i buy, i fear, will have a good chance of being shot at somebody. maybe im overreacting. i hope im overreacting.

    i've never shot glock nor steyr, only tried a couple of 1911 .45 (1 standard, 1 smithyied). Anyway, here's my pros and cons (based on what i need) for the MA1 in .40, MA1 in 9mm, and glock 17:

    MA1 in .40 pros
    -the MA1 is designed in .40, yes? so reliability, i assume, should be better than, say MA1 in 9mm
    -better stopping power than the 9mm's (but im thinking that maybe 9mm hollow points is enough for the job)

    MA1 in .40 cons
    -i have 2 50+ year old aunts living with me and they might need to shoot the gun. recoil might be an issue for them
    -i've shot about 200 shells (overall) of .45ACP in 1911 and recoil isn't an problem for me (in 1911 at least); but reacquiring the target after shots might be quicker in M9A1 than in .40
    -if i get hooked on shooting as a sport, it would be more expensive :p


    MA1 in 9mm pros
    -perceived recoil, i assume, is softest among the 3. if my aunts need to shoot the gun, this gun is best for them

    MA1 in 9mm cons
    -may be the least reliable of the 3


    glock 17 pros
    -should be most reliable among the 3
    -has a trigger connector for a 3-lb pull (already ringed up a dealer and it's available)

    glock 17 cons
    -i tend to yank the trigger. a bigger grip might make this more pronounced
    -my hand size is just enough for a comfortable grip. my 2 aunts, both around 5'2" would probably struggle with this gun
    -unsupported barrel - or is this just for bigger caliber glocks? (i dont really understand what "unsupported barrel" means but it sounds like a possible dealbreaker)


    Assumptions:
    1. I will learn to use and maintain the equipment to the level of a bad-to-mediocre hobbyist.
    2. My aunts will not bother with the gun unless they feel imminently threatened.


    Given this scenario, which would you choose? Do you think i am doing the right thing by considering ease of use for my aunts? or does this encourage ignorance, negligence, and misuse? are there more points i should consider? are some of the points i listed marginal or insignificant? Your insight would be appreciated.

    The points i considered to narrow down the choices to these 3 pistols are:
    -reliability
    -weight
    -ergonomics
    -trigger weight and travel (i hope the figures posted in their respective websites are accurate)
    -magazine capacity

    My choice runs around these 3 pistols like a triangular wheel. although i slightly favor 1 over the others, the gap isn't big enough to proclaim a definite winner. but i still have a few days before i have to make a final decision. i've read as much as my head can get around to. i dont have anyone whom i can borrow or rent any of the said pistols. Your input would be appreciated. Much thanks. :)
     
  2. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    I would go with the M9A1 (big surprise, eh? 8)) for one definite reason - you said thieves - plural. You can rattle off rounds like you are playing laser tag with the M9A1 in stock configuration (let alone modded :twisted:) with deadly precision. Also, magazine capacity is important to me if I'm possibly going up against multiple assailants. Reliability is not an issue unless you get a lemon, and you run that risk with any of your choices - do not let that concern you. Whatever you get, I assume you are going to break in and start to develop skill ASAP, so you'll know in little to no time whether or not the chosen one is a performer. Modern 147gr. 9mm (Winchester Ranger, Federal Hi-Shok Tactical HST) often expand MORE than modern .40 (no, really - go see for yourself) and sometimes even have the edge in the penetration department. Energy will be greater with the .40, but temporary wound cavities (I will expand on this further if you wish) are a joke with handguns - shot placement is king and behind that, penetration is priority, expansion is a distant second, and energy is an even more distant 3rd. Toss low recoil into the equation, and 9mm has the edge IMHO. You can throw together a Wulf special magazine and you'll have 17+1 or 18+1 rounds of 147gr. on tap which makes for QUITE the formidable package.

    The M40A1 would be my second choice because the other option is a glock, and friends don't let friends shoot glocks :p. The ergos are better on the Steyr's, it points more natural, and the trigger is way better (YMMV). But if the glock works for you, that's what matters and you shouldn't let my disdain sway you.

    So to recap... go buy a rifle 8). Never knowingly walk into a firefight armed only with a pistol. If I seriously expected to have to use a firearm to defend my life, possibly soon, there would definitely be a nice .308 MBR riding bedside. At the very least, get a .223 or 7.62x39 carbine or a shotgun. Then get a M9A1. All of the above would be ideal, but I definitely understand financial constraints putting a damper on the firearm purchasing.

    Welcome to the club, and I sincerely hope your circumstances never require you to put to test any of the advice I or any of the other board members will be offering. :)
     

  3. 73sbVert

    73sbVert Member

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    I personally feel that the Glocks feel like holding a brick, very uncomfortable for me to hold. I'm 5'10", medium build and medium sized hands, and the Steyrs feel much MUCH more comfortable in the hand, more ergonomic.

    Secondly, the perceived recoil in either of the Steyr models is very low since the bore axis is so close to the hand. Shooting my M40 is much like shooting my friend's Sig OR Glock 9mm (don't know what particular models though). Time to get back "on target" is low also because your hand literally is not kicked up any higher than a standard 9mm anyway, especially with training (get your aunts out on the range!! You simply MUST teach them to shoot ANY gun with confidence.) and a firm grip.

    I would personally go with the .40 cal since "there's no replacement for displacement"!! Just like car engines, the bigger the piston, the more power made! I went with the .40 because I wanted one shot stopping power without having to go all the way to the .45 ACP round.

    Hope this helps, and good luck in your town.

    Paul
     
  4. rosebud

    rosebud New Member

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    If you are in such a violent place, you might want to look at getting a moderate to low level of body armor that can be worn under a polo shirt, especially if you plan to be confronting criminals on your property.

    http://www.bulletproofme.com/Bullet_proof_Vests_Catalog.shtml

    Remember that your truck, money, or yard furnature are not worth your life, though.
     
  5. PeskyGee

    PeskyGee Guest

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    Get 2 :). Get the .40 for yourself and see if they can handle it. I know my X used to try and shoot my M40-A1 and she just couldn't handle it. She is not a small girl but it was just to "snappy" of a kick for her. Same with the M9-A1. just too much kick for her. She was not able to control it to shoot accurate at all. If they are just too much perhaps you should look into something like a .380 for them? Not the best for stopping power but it will if used properly. Its better than nothing and at least maybe they will be able to shoot it accurate. Perhaps a Bersa Thunder 380? I know I got one for my X and she just loved it. Very little kick, felt good in her hands and she was actually very accurate with it. Hey, it will only set you back about $280 or so. As for the Glock, they certainly do feel like a brick in the hand. I have a G21 and my X hated that thing. I think she shot it 3 times and that was enough for her. take one of them to the shop with you and let them hold a few to see what feels good to them. Also, as posted above. Get a shotgun or rifle to have around just in case. It doesn't hurt :D
     
  6. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    I would like to chime in and say that I personally think my Bersa Thunder .380 to have more recoil than my M9A1 - it's a lesser cartridge, but in a smaller/lighter package. I have let quite a few ladies try both back to back and they all hands down preferred the Steyr - I was surprised. I also want to address the original poster's comment about the 1911 - just because you can handle a 1911 in .45 doesn't mean that recoil isn't a problem for you - .45 recoil coming off a 1911 ranks somewhere between most 9mm's and .40's IMHO - 1911's are very large, very heavy guns that soak it up. The gun you ultimately go with will probably have more effect on recoil than the caliber you choose - recoil varies widely in the same caliber depending on specific load (ie CCI vs. Doubletap) and platform (1911 vs. glock g36). Try before you buy is always recommended...

    I would also like to address 73sbVert's fallacious "one shot stopping power" statement - one shot stop statistics are good for selling books and supporting weak/uninformed arguments in forum flame wars (no offense intended :)), and not much else. Every shooting is radically different and basing platform/caliber/load decisions on these numbers is a fool's pursuit. Trust you ammo specs (penetration and expansion) and your shot placement - anything else falls into the realm of chance and luck.
     
  7. squirrelpotpie

    squirrelpotpie Premium Member

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    +1 on a shotgun.
    I always recommend a shotgun for yard pests. Might consider a 20guage semi for your aunts, if they are available.

    When I was about 7 or 8 Mom looked out the kitchen window and saw a couple of guys trying to make off with Dad's new lawn tractor. I had to help her find the shells but she was able to step out on the porch with the doublebarreled 12, yell at them and shoot into the air. They were discouraged, jumped in their truck and took off like a bat outta hell.

    We lived out in the country but if you live in a heavy populated area you want to consider that rifle and pistol bullets can travel pretty far and could injure someone unintentionally.
     
  8. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    Definitely the M9A1.
    I have shot and carried Glocks for 7 years (19, 17L, 26, 22, and 21), but I currently CCW the Steyr 9mm with 147 gr. Win Ranger Ts or Speer Gold Dots.
     
  9. broas

    broas Guest

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    Thanks for making me welcome. :)

    i didnt think of a shotgun or a body armor at all. brilliant!! :D ill ask my dealer about them.

    the bersa thunder .380 isnt a contender. the reasons are:
    1. DA trigger. my aunts will refuse to learn to shoot. much less learn about its DA trigger. unless i convince them that john moses browning wrote the 10 commandments using his 1911, religion and shooting would be conflicting for them.
    2. low magazine capacity.
    3. it may cost $280 to you. but it costs $500 to me. and i live in a 3rd world country making 3rd world money. a CZ-75 clone or a chinese 1911 would be a better than a bersa thunder .380 in my situation. they both cost about $350 to me.

    rifles might be overdoing it. the distance i might need to shoot at is 0-50 meters (0-55 yards). my impression of rifles is that you need them if you are going to shoot at about 500 meters (550 yards). do correct me if my impressions are wrong.

    ill visit my dealer after my local clearances get released (probably 2 more days). the insights are great!compensates my inexperience. thanks. keep them coming. :)
     
  10. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    The reason we recommend rifles is because the staggering damage they cause, especially at close range. Handguns lack the ability to cause a temporary would cavity capable of causing incapacitation. Hitting vital organs is the ONLY means a handgun provides for forcing incapacitation. This means that your shot placement will need to be spot on, luck had better be on your side, and your ammo had better be able to perform. More often than not, blood loss will be the main factor which causes incapacitation with handguns. This means your target must lose 20% of their total blood before losing consciousness. Of course some folks are more predisposed than others to just falling down when getting shot, but do you really want to count on how predisposed they may or may not be to falling?

    Rifles take some of the guess work out of the equation - consider a .308 - the "ripple effect" of the bullet passing through the body will cause some of the surrounding tissue to tear - significantly more damage than any handgun cartridge can induce. This means you are allowed a little more leniency in your shot placement - an organ close to the bullets temporary wound cavity may indeed be rattled enough to tear/be severely damaged even if you miss it. Also, even more surround tissue will be rattled and will snap back into place with little or no damage, but this can matter. Consider a bullet passing through a person's body which exits close to the spine. With a handgun, you would be out of luck if no other vital organs were hit and the spine was missed. With a rifle, even if the bullet misses AND the temporary cavity damage doesn't quite reach the spine, hydrostatic shock may be great enough to jar the spine, which will almost certainly result in a person on the pavement. You also get reliable fragmentation with many rifle rounds (.223 inside of limited ranges, et al.). Frangible handgun ammunition can do this too, but they simply lack the energy to penetrate anywhere NEAR deep enough and to send the fragments very far from one another. The terminal ballistics of rifles are a whole different beast than handguns - handguns are meant to defend your life when you least expect it to be threatened and a fast response is the only thing that can save you. Rifles are meant for just about anything else - they work infinitely better at the same task.

    Shotguns are the poor man's alternative to a rifle, and truly are the unrivaled man-stopper. Equipped with #1 buck (the absolute best choice for work on humans), receiving a blast to the chest by a 12 gauge is roughly equivalent to being shot in the chest 16 times by something just under 9mm - in an instant. That is truly a daunting thought, IMHO - 16 shots to the chest delivered at the same time. The only real complaint is pattern over distance (not a problem at social distances if you won't miss), recoil, and speed of getting off the next shot. If you practice regularly, hitting your target should not be a big problem, recoil will become significantly less of an issue, and a pump gun can be very fast in the right hands. I realize your aunt will not reap the benefits of practice, but it's still worth considering because they work that good. And a 20 gauge is nothing to scoff at, either...
     
  11. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    If you are looking for a home defense application only, then I would go with the 12 ga. pump shotgun and buck and slug ammo.
     
  12. broas

    broas Guest

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    ordered me a 12 ga. and a M9A1. :)

    was at the gun shop today and went for a 12ga. and an M9A1. processing will take 45 days according to the shopkeeper. time to learn some maintenance. :p

    will order the body armor from the site rosebud suggested soon. :)

    thanks for all your help. :)
     
  13. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    Excellent! When in doubt: buy BOTH. :)
     
  14. broas

    broas Guest

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    huehahahahaha!!!

    at last! after a few months and a gunban. my guns are finally here. i picked them up yesterday.

    i shot 40 rounds armscorp 124gr. through my M9A1 (i'm only allowed to buy 50 rounds per day. i saved 10 rounds just in case...). limited it 10 rounds per mag since the springs were new/stiff. the gun performed as expected. shot every round and ejected every shell. trigger was good. it's not the lightest of triggers but it was comfortable enough. if i have to complain, i would focus on it tossing brass on my head. i'd say 2 out of every 5 shells landed on my head. this should go away after a few hundred rounds, yes? all my shots were low (spot on, horizontally). i'd attribute that to either flinching or a wrong sight picture. i will have to work on that. i noticed the M9A1 have made a dent on the rear circular edge of all the spent shells. is this normal behavior to the M9A1?

    i shot 20 rounds jethro#00 (local brand) through my hatsan escort pump 12ga shotgun. it too performed as expected. i got a bruised shoulder and a huge smile on my face afterwards.

    i'm giving my guns names. any suggestions?

    :twisted:
     
  15. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    Here's my names for my guns

    Shells on the head does seem common, mine did it for the first few hundred rounds and finally stopped.

    The "dent on the rear circular edge of all the spent shells" may be something others have called "primer smears" but it apparently is not a problem. Didn't do that with mine.

    Sight picture is another topic that's been discussed here. Short version: tip of front sight is point of aim with rear sight sides lined up with outside edges of front sight. Closest I can do on keyboard: /^\
     
  16. broas

    broas Guest

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    you sure know how to pick the names for your guns, Netfotoj. :D i'm kind of inclined to name my shotgun "tweety-bird" or "sissy"; and my M9A1 "Manlicker". Teeheeheehee.

    have't gone to the range again, so i've got no progress to report. :) soon though.

    the "dent on the rear circular edge of all the spent shells" i refered to were LCI marks. and yes, i do have primer smears. i wouldn't have noticed if Netfotoj didnt give the name for it. i'm not worried about it. thanks. :D
     
  17. kraigster414

    kraigster414 Guest

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    There is nothing more lethal or audibly/visually intimidating that a 12-gauge pump shotgun for home defense. My personal preference is the Remington 870, a true workhorse of a weapon. I happen to own the police version, a beefed up vesion of the civilian model (either will suffice for your purposes and the civilian version is quite a bit less expensive). There are some excellent low recoil loads available both in buckshot (00) and slugs. But the fact of the matter is, plain old bird shot will suffice for the first couple of rounds. If that doesn't end the "discussion, your follow up shots should be buckshot - #4 or 00 and the final round/s consider slugs. Keep in mind buckshot has tremendous penetration and today's thin wall board is no match for it. Something to consider when there are others living at home.

    To complement your 870, IMHO an M9A1 would be a great choice. Lower recoil than a .40, quicker follow-up shots, and higher capacity, and there some very effective factory loads available. Corbon DPX being just one if it proves reliable in your gun.
     
  18. butch_d

    butch_d New Member

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    Hey Broas,

    glad to hear your guns were finally delivered. Maybe we can shoot a few one of these days.
     
  19. broas

    broas Guest

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    thanks for the tips, kraigster. definitely will consider them. :) let me make sure i understood what you meant. say the shotgun carries 7 rounds. ammo for pump shotgun is first in last out, yes? that means you would first load it 2 slugs. then 3 buskshots (00). finally 2 birdshots. is that right?

    butch_d, let's shoot when the rains stop. my permit to transport (PTT) should be out next week.

    :D
     
  20. kraigster414

    kraigster414 Guest

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    Right you are broas. First one in the pipe is the last one to fire. In lieu of the first couple of rounds of birdshot, some manufactuers offer a personal/home defense, low recoil load that is essentially the same thing. Typically, just racking the action on a pump shotgun will stop further discussion right then and there. It's a sound most bad guys never want to hear unless they are so pumped-up on dope they are for all intents and purposes brain dead in which case trigger activation becomes your only option (assuming you are on solid legal footing).