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New Firearm

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Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:27 pm

I wanted to get some opinions from the users of this forum that have experience with gunpowder firearms. If you don't own/shoot gunpowder firearms, you don't need to read any farther (but feel free if you want to).

I'm looking for a new multipurpose, workhorse handgun.
It will be used for plinking, target shooting, and also kept for self defense considerations. As such, it needs to be versatile, reasonably light weight and compact, reliable, and needs to deliver enough punch to put an end to a lifethreatening situation with one round.

I've pretty much worked it down to two guns:

#1, Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum / .38 Special (will chamber either) Model 386 revolver: http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/Sm ... _large.jpg

Holds 7 (not technically a six-shooter, lol), 2.5" barrel, lightweight titanium frame construction, weighs 21.5oz empty, $800.

Advantages to the revolver:
No safety (double-action trigger prevents accidental firing. No safety means nothing to mess around with in a panic, adrenaline-rush situation)
Simple (fewer moving parts, more reliable than a semi)
Lighter weight than most semi's
.357 Magnum is a more powerful, more versatile caliber than most semiauto cals (9mm, .40, .45)

Disadvantages to the revolver:
Only holds 7 rounds (though you should never need more than two in most self defense situations)
Slower reload time
More recoil than a comparable semi
More expensive
Ammo is more expensive


#2, Springfield XD .45 Compact, .45 ACP, holds 13 in the magazine plus 1 in the chamber, dual safties (trigger and grip safety), 4" barrel, 30.0 oz empty (with empty magazine), $600: http://www.gunsandammomag.com/new_produ ... 22005A.jpg

Advantages:
Holds 14 rounds (reload half as often as the revolver)
Faster reload time
Less felt recoil (faster shot-to-shot time)
More accessory options (easier to mount lasers, tac lights, etc...)
Less expensive
Less expensive ammunition, too

Disadvantages:
Safeties could be one more thing to fumble with when you're awakened at 4 AM by glass breaking in the next room....
.45 ACP does not deliver the expansion and knock-down power of .357 Magnum
Technically, semiautomatic pistols have a higher jam rate than revolvers (the Springfield XD is rated to jam once in every 20,000-25,000 rounds, where most revolvers have a 50,000-60,000 round between failure rate, although this is nearly negligable)
Requires more frequent cleaning

I don't really care about the atheistic looks or "intimidation" factor of the gun. I'm looking for a reliable workhorse to be used for plinking, target shooting, and potential concealed carry.

I know the best answer is, "Go shoot both and see which you're more comfortable with", which I intend to do before making a final decision. I want to know your opinions about revolvers vs semiautos for a workhorse gun, and if anyone has any experience with these guns or recommendations for another.
I don't like Glocks, besides that, I'm open to almost anything in this general price range.

I appreciate any input you have to offer :)

Peace,
Pete Zaria.
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Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:45 pm

The Smith is a fine choice for a firearm. It mainly chambers .357 magnum but (as you already know) it also fires .38 special, just make sure you clean the firearm thoroughly as the .38 special cartridges are approximately 1/10 of an inch shorter and will leave residue in the cylinder, making later shots less accurate, especially for a short barrel.

As for the reloading, if you're looking at buying a revolver, you probably already know about the speedloaders. With practice, you can learn to use this speedloading system quite efficiently.

As far as the XD, I noticed you said you did not like Glock. Well, the XD is Springfield's version of the Glock (although 13 or 14 rounds of .45 are nice). An XD does shoot, in my opinion, better than a Glock but that might be the .45ACP round compared to the .45GAP round from Glock.

In my opinion, I have shot several of these and, if your looking for that workhorse, the revolver is the way to go. I would, however, consider maybe a longer barrel, as the 2.5" barrels do not tend to be very accurate.

Oh, and as far as more stopping power, the .357 has more energy but the .45 is a bigger round and shoots slower (which means less chance for overpenetration). If you choose the .357, I would recommend Hydrashock by Federal. They cost a little more but there is a very good chance the round will not overpenetrate and will stop the intruder.
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Unread postAuthor: iPaintball » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:54 pm

I peronally have shot the XD, and in my opinion, it's an OK .45. It's strongest point probably being that it holds 14 rounds, but is is also very accurate. If you do want to go with a .45, I would recomend the Taurus 1911. As well as having a higher capacity and having to reload less often, having multiple magazines means you can reload in a flash. Not to metion it has many customizeable features. And even though it may not have as much stopping power as a .357, I highly doubt the person you are trying to defend yourself from is going to care whether or not he gets shot by a .45 or a .357. If it's a 9mm you want, your best value would probably be thw Walther P99. For a workhorse gun get a revolver.
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Last edited by iPaintball on Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:55 pm

hubb017 wrote:The Smith is a fine choice for a firearm. It mainly chambers .357 magnum but (as you already know) it also fires .38 special, just make sure you clean the firearm thoroughly as the .38 special cartridges are approximately 1/10 of an inch shorter and will leave residue in the cylinder, making later shots less accurate, especially for a short barrel.

As for the reloading, if you're looking at buying a revolver, you probably already know about the speedloaders. With practice, you can learn to use this speedloading system quite efficiently.

As far as the XD, I noticed you said you did not like Glock. Well, the XD is Springfield's version of the Glock (although 13 or 14 rounds of .45 are nice). An XD does shoot, in my opinion, better than a Glock but that might be the .45ACP round compared to the .45GAP round from Glock.

In my opinion, I have shot several of these and, if your looking for that workhorse, the revolver is the way to go. I would, however, consider maybe a longer barrel, as the 2.5" barrels do not tend to be very accurate.

Oh, and as far as more stopping power, the .357 has more energy but the .45 is a bigger round and shoots slower (which means less chance for overpenetration). If you choose the .357, I would recommend Hydrashock by Federal. They cost a little more but there is a very good chance the round will not overpenetrate and will stop the intruder.


hubb017,

Thanks for the input.

I have a S&W .357 / .38 SP. revolver with a 6" barrel that I use for target shooting and home defense (too big to carry though). Almost the exact one in my avatar ;) I love that gun. Smooth as hell, never once had it misfire. I'm familiar with speedloaders and have used them, but you can't deny that changing magazines in a semiauto is faster than using speedloaders in a revolver.

I don't like Glocks simply because of the "spongey" trigger. The Springfield is a Glock-type pistol, but with a more colt 1911 style trigger, MUCH more "crisp" than a Glock's. Besides the trigger I have nothing against Glock at all.

I agree, a 2.5" barrel is a bit short for anything past about 75ft, but I don't want to carry around anything bigger.

.357 is in my opinion a better all-around caliber than .45 ACP, it has more knock-down power, better penetration, better expansion, more types of ammo available, but it's also significantly more expensive than .45 ACP. If I got the revolver I'd use .38 SP for target shooting and practice, anyway. I clean all my guns before and after every target shooting trip ;)

I appreciate your opinions. My main concerns are the reliability and panic-situation ease-of-operation of the XD, vs the simplicity of the revolver. Any input here?
Any input on the importance of larger magazine?

Thanks.

@iPaintball,

I've shot a few 1911 pistols, and I have no complaints whatsoever about the construction or the action, but it's a bit too big for me to carry frequently. I'm looking for something a little more compact, and lighter weight.
I'm set on .357 or .45. I don't trust my life to anything smaller.

Thanks!

Peace,
Pete Zaria.
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Unread postAuthor: iPaintball » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:00 pm

In a panic situation, a revolver would be a better choice because, like you said, there's no safety to worry about. Revolvers are mostly more reliable too.
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Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:06 pm

iPaintball wrote:In a panic situation, a revolver would be a better choice because, like you said, there's no safety to worry about. Revolvers are mostly more reliable too.


This is true, however, with failure rates of 1 in 30k and 1 in 50k respectively, reliability isn't a huge concern. I'll keep either one nice and clean, anyway.

As for the safety, yes, this is a concern. However, I figure that once I've put a few thousand rounds down the barrel of that XD, I'd know it well enough that turning off the safety would become second nature. It would only be an issue for the first month or two I own it.

All in all, which do you think would make the better workhorse, multipurpose handgun?

Can you recommend anything that you think would be a better choice?

Peace,
Pete Zaria.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:11 pm

Well I'll tell you one thing I myself would steer away from, trigger safeties. I know Glock uses them, but I don't know about other makers. These are those little safeties that look like a trigger within the trigger, I hate them with a passion. I've shot the .45 Glocks that our local PD uses and I hate those safeties, some of them will get loose or something and will pinch your finger every time you fire, it's annoying as heck.

As for revolver vs. semi, it really depends on what you want. Revolvers tend to be lower maintenance, and are generally easier to carry concealed, depending on the model. Semi's obviously carry more rounds (especially with a hi-cap mag), shoot faster, and kick less. I personally would go with a revolver for carry, even though overall I prefer semi's. Revolvers tend to be a bit smaller and more comfortable to carry. For home defense though, I would get a non-compact semi with a hi-cap mag and some good hollowpoints.

No matter what you carry though, you definitely need to get hollowpoint rounds.

EDIT: But if you're using it for plinking etc., I'd go with a semi. They carry more, ammo is cheaper, less kick. Hehe, course, you could always get a Desert Eagle...
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Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:25 pm

In a panic situation, one has the tendency to tense up. On a semi-auto single action, this may be a problem with a light trigger. On the revolver, if it is double action, this tensing tendency should not be a problem.

As far as a larger magazine, it is important on the range (so you can shoot more without reloading the mags) or if you are faced with multiple assailants (more than 3 or 4, which isn't likely in a home invasion situation, unless the mob is out to get you).

The better workhorse gun is a revolver and the .357 is one of the best.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:28 pm

hubb017 wrote:In a panic situation, one has the tendency to tense up. On a semi-auto single action, this may be a problem with a light trigger. On the revolver, if it is double action, this tensing tendency should not be a problem.

As far as a larger magazine, it is important on the range (so you can shoot more without reloading the mags) or if you are faced with multiple assailants (more than 3 or 4, which isn't likely in a home invasion situation, unless the mob is out to get you).

The better workhorse gun is a revolver and the .357 is one of the best.


Of course, 3 or 4 assailants won't be a problem with the .357 if you can get two of them lined up. As long as the rounds aren't hollowpoint, you can get a twofer.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:00 pm

Pete your giving tough choices, seems to me you picked top of the line for either.
I prefer a Colt revolver and undecided about semi's.

My advice to you, write each one down on a little piece of paper, putum in a hat and pick one. Then when your ready for another buy the 2nd one you didn't draw the 1st time.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:06 pm

jrrdw wrote:Pete your giving tough choices, seems to me you picked top of the line for either.
I prefer a Colt revolver and undecided about semi's.

My advice to you, write each one down on a little piece of paper, putum in a hat and pick one. Then when your ready for another buy the 2nd one you didn't draw the 1st time.


Haha, that's one way to do it. I say you take a piece of paper and list qualities of both guns, and see which gun meets more points that you want it to. List things like ammo capacity, reload time, safety, kick, comfort, things like that, and put two boxes by each, one for each gun. Check the box of the gun that is better in that area, then look over the final results and see which one has more of what you want.
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Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:01 pm

hubb017 wrote:In a panic situation, one has the tendency to tense up. On a semi-auto single action, this may be a problem with a light trigger. On the revolver, if it is double action, this tensing tendency should not be a problem.

As far as a larger magazine, it is important on the range (so you can shoot more without reloading the mags) or if you are faced with multiple assailants (more than 3 or 4, which isn't likely in a home invasion situation, unless the mob is out to get you).

The better workhorse gun is a revolver and the .357 is one of the best.


I'm accustomed to shooting both semiautomatics and revolvers, and I tend to tune my guns to a reasonably light trigger pull (around 4.5 lbs single action), I'm not worried about that part. I have slight concern about operating the XD's two saftey's under panic conditions, but I'm pretty sure after a while I'd get used to it.

I agree that in 90% of self-defense situations you're likely to run into, 6 (let alone the 7 that the S&W holds) rounds should be enough. But if you were in a shoot-out where your opponent(s) are behind cover, multiple targets, or in a "martial-law" situation, that extended clip would be a lifesaver. Though I admit, the odds of running into that situation are slim to none.

The .357 is more reliable and more simplistic but I'm not sure that makes it the better workhorse gun; taking into account things like carrying weight/position, recoil, ammunition prices, etc... there are definate pros and cons.

jrrdw wrote:Pete your giving tough choices, seems to me you picked top of the line for either.
I prefer a Colt revolver and undecided about semi's.

My advice to you, write each one down on a little piece of paper, putum in a hat and pick one. Then when your ready for another buy the 2nd one you didn't draw the 1st time.


You're absolutely right, both are excellent weapons and neither could possibly be a bad choice. But I intend to get one weapon and train with it until I know it like the back of my hand (3 thousand rounds or so at a target range and a hogan's alley should do it...) so I want to narrow it down to one "workhorse" gun. I'll be renting both guns for a week and shooting them a bit before I make a final decision. As of this moment I'm kind of leaning towards the XD .45 because I already have a nice .357 revolver, though it's far too large to conceal.

Thank you EVERYONE for your comments, feel free to give me more input! I appreciate everyone's experience.

Peace,
Pete Zaria.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:27 am

I don't have anything to offer gun knowledge wise, but for the safety thing you could learn to draw your weapon flciking the safety in one motion, correct me if im wrong but the Police Force learn to draw their weapons and flick the safety in two seperate motions to prevent accidental misfires, but the FBI are taught to draw their guns and flick the safety in one motion, if you get confident enough doing this you might be able to pull it off if/when the real things happens.
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Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:37 am

The XD.45 would be a lot funner to shoot if I say.
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Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:57 am

MrCrowly: Most police officers in the US carry Glocks. These do not have any type of motion safety devises, other than the trigger safety which is built into the trigger (there is another internal safety but, again, it does not have to moved before it is shot). Other firearms, like the Beretta, also do not have a manual safety that need to be switched before the weapon is fired.

Oh, and schismatized, that would be the better choice out of anything.
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