This is a great email

I normally don’t post emails that I get… namely because I just flat out get too many of them. And I may not answer them all. But I do read all of them.

Hi Ogre,

My wife and I have been batting around the idea of purchasing a pistol or two for a few years now. Considering some recent events, on both national and local scales, we are making that more of a priority. We’ve visited our local Cabellas and a couple of independent shops, test fired a few pistols, and so on, but we’ve still got some lingering uncertainties about exactly what we want. With that in mind, I thought it might be worthwhile to ask someone who knows about guns, and isn’t going to try to swamp us with a load of BS in hopes of making a big sale – i.e. you. (If you already have something like this on your site, I apologize for missing it.)

I understand that “what do you recommend” is a difficult question to answer without some additional info, so here’s what I think you will need to know to provide some useful advice:

1 – The primary purpose will be home/personal defense, and by extension target shooting to build up the relevant skill and confidence that we’ll need to use the weapon properly.
2 – We’re reasonable sure that 9mm is the ammo size we want – Good stopping power with not so much recoil as to be problematic for inexperienced users like ourselves.
3 – We want our weapon(s) to be semi-automatics. I’ve seen enough that I am confident in the mechanical reliability of newer weapons, and we also like their recoil-damping capabilities compared to revolvers.

Here’s what we’ve tried so far, and our impressions:
Beretta 92FS / M9A1 – This is our overall favorite to date. We especially like how the decocking lever and slide release work, although when test-firing, the accuracy seemed a bit random. That could be our lack of skill, or because the specific weapon is a range gun that anyone can use, and has probably had 50,000+ rounds shot through it by now. We found the slide to be a bit stiff when racking in a round. I thought it would have been a bit large for my wife’s hand, but she said she was comfortable with it. I kind of wish the decocking lever were below the slide, but you can’t have everything.

Beretta PX4 – This was the easiest for my wife to use, and she also likes how the slide will not manually operate one a round has been chambered. I don’t care for that as much, as it seems to make removing a dud round without dropping the magazine difficult. The rotating bolt also seems to be more mechanically complex.

CZ 75 – This one seemed to be a knockoff of the Beretta 92 – This one seemed loose, our shots went all over the target, otherwise the differences we noted were mainly superficial.

Kimber Team Match II – This one was a near-immediate reject for us. The slide was so stiff my wife could barely operate it, and while the grip safety is nice, it seemed that when we racked the the slide, the lever safety would come off and we would have to manually re-engage it. Neither of us liked the thought of accidentally firing a round because the safety came off when we didn’t expect it.

I know there are many other manufacturers out there – S&W, Springfield Armory, Sig, Glock, Wathers, HK, etc. etc. etc. Each with various pros and cons, but if we spent the time to handle and test every one, we’d spend months thinking about it and enough money on range fees to have bought one or two pistols.

If there is anything else you need to know in order to make recommendations/suggestions, please drop me an e-mail.

Thanks much!

This is how to write an email of this type… he gives me enough background information so that I might be able to give the best possible response. Because normally my response would be “Get a SHOTGUN and a GLOCK.” Because I know those work and without any additional information, that’s the best that could be done. “Oh, for you, I’d get the SIG 226. Absolutely the SIG 226.” Yeah, see, I can’t do that, because I don’t know you and that means everything. How big you are or are not, how you dress, where you go and how you get there etc. And this guy knows that I don’t know him, so he fills in the details.
No, don’t send photos of yourself… Unless you are a Smokin Hot Mamma wearing something small and thin. Other than that, just fill in the information like this guy did.

Now, to answer the question.  Let’s get to it!

The Beretta is indeed one of the finest fighting hanguns you can get, and if your wife can handle it, it’s a solid choice.  They are extremely accurate and reliable.  Your evident problems with accuracy though, means it would require some additional range time with the gun, which is great, but you need to do that before you can carry it.  So while I would recommend it… that’s a commitment you would have to make.  I’ve sold several to women who say that like the feel and have no problem with the gun’s grip size, but it is large.
Mechanically the CZ and the 92 are about as different as a V-8 and a Wankle Rotary Engine.  Both are great, but operate differently.  And like the guns, I like both engines.  The CZ is a great handgun, one of the best.  In fact, the late Jeff Cooper hailed it as one of the most advanced 9mm pistols you could get.  I’ve had several and all of them were very good.   You can’t go wrong.
The Px4 Storm, is once again, a very different system mechanically and operates just like the 92 from the Operators standpoint when shooting.  The upshot to the Storm is that more novice shooters will find the Storms to be more accurate and softer shooting thanks to that rotating action taking some energy from recoil.
For general use as you indicate, I’d say go for the Beretta Storm and get to know it better.  The barrel and locking lug should be lubricated with some Slipstream Grease while the rest oiled normally with a good gun oil… such as Slipstream Styx.  You can order those off or as you wish.
For some other pistol options, I am of course a fan of the Glocks.  A Model 19 would fit the bill perfectly for both of you, if you can both handle a 92, the 19 would be no problem.  A Gen 3 19 is the way to go as pulling the slide back for your wife will be no problem.  Another pistol to look at if you can find one, is the Caracal F.  Much like the Glock in that there is no exterior manual safeties, but the internals are different and the trigger is better, smoother.  I really like the Caracal and have shot one rather a lot.  I could probably be tempted to trade off something to get one.  The Caracal has a grip more like the CZ and much less blocky like a Glock.  Butter smooth action too.   Take a look.

With these options, it’s just a matter of taste as to which one would best suit your needs.

An Open Letter to your Sheriff

The highest Law Enforcement Authority in any given area is the County Sheriff. He is an elected official and thus has more authority than any appointed commissioner or chief. This is by design. He is the arbiter of law enforcement and sets the tone for how laws are enforced in his area.
Most Sheriff’s are solid patriots that hold the Constitution close to their hearts. As do all patriots in our Nation.
In the light of the recent political dialogs, we feel a great pressure against the Constitution, specifically against the Second Amendment. Most of the new regulations that are threatening our rights are not applied to Law Enforcement. Famously, the New York 7 Round restriction was not written to exempt Law Enforcement and it was quickly altered. Weapon types, Magazine restrictions, all of these Reasonable Infringements on That Which Must Not Be Infringed, are Law Enforcement Exempt, and only apply to “Civilians”.
Let me make something very clear. Law Enforcement Officers are Civilians as well. A Local PD Officer or Sheriff’s Deputy, for all their authority, are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the UCMJ. As such, they themselves are also “Civilians”. They are US and we are Them.
The Sheriff and his deputies swear Oaths, just like those of us who enlist… to uphold and defend the US Constitution and the Rights of the People.
Here is how you do it. The Sheriff has the right to appoint special deputies. I submit that the Sheriff’s in Utah swear in everyone with a Concealed Carry Permit and everyone else he knows to be a Patriotic American that is legal to buy a gun and carry it… Swear them in as Volunteer “Special Reserve Deputies”. Put them in a Roster and assign them a Badge Number. Thus doing so, any Federal Regulation that would effect the masses, would not effect them. Allow these people also to purchase a “Badge” of some sort with that number. This also will serve as a National Carry Permit. This way, the Sheriff’s Constituents, and Citizens, can travel anywhere while being Armed and Safe, thus increasing their safety and the safety of those around them.
All of this would only take the Sheriff a moment and for the Department to keep an extra Spreedsheet file. So if someone is stopped, the officer doing the stopping can verify that the person is on file and is legal to carry, just like they already do.
They could even allow these Patriotic Citizens to attend, at their own cost, training classes, which could in effect help pay for the training for the rest of the department. I am pretty sure that in our local county, it could pay for the training of the deputies themselves and then some.
This would cement the relationship of the Deputies with the Citizens and foster much greater cooperation between the Agency and the Public. This also gives the Sheriff an large roster of willing people to call immediately in the face of an emergency or other event that could overwhelm the capabilities of the department.

A Sheriff doing this, would also pretty much never have to worry about getting re-elected and would then be able to focus on what he was elected for and not have to play the politician every four years and waste that time and money… as long as he serves the public well. And in doing this, he would.