Tag Archives: Pistols

Current Top 1911 Picks

My current picks for the best production 1911’s you can buy.   I’m going to roll with some specific guns and give some more details.  But following the recent AR-15 article pattern, I’m going to stick with regular production 1911’s and not touch on Custom and Semi-Custom.  Otherwise this list would be all about Nighthawk, Ed Brown, Les Baer, and Wilson Combat.

1.  Springfield Armory:  I’m putting Springfield as a top choice because their guns are consistently well above par, and their customer service just might be The Best in the entire gun industry.  Their policy is that they want you to be happy with your gun.  So you can buy a Springfield without hesitation.   Any complaints I have heard about Springfield usually involved the person having some extreme form of Unrealistic Expectations.  “I had a problem with my GI Model so I think Springfield should give me a TRP!  With a 3 day turn around!”  That kind of thing.
Picking 3 guns out of their line up, the TRP, the MC Operator, and the Champion LW Operator.  (Champion being Springfield lingo for “Commander”)   I would really like to see Springfield do a “CCO” type pistol, and Loaded LW Commander, er… Champion.
As some do not know,  MARSOC was buying and using the Springfield MC Operators for years and years before Colt snagged the contract.  Considering Colt’s new CEO is a former Marine General… Hmmm… I’m sure that contract award was completely legit.

2.  SIG.  SIG really hit the ground running making just what could be best overall 1911’s you can buy.  Problem with them though, is that they departed from tradition with a sharp turn.  Non traditional external dimensions/profiles, with external extractors.   Then they came out with their “Tradition” series – which does look like a regular 1911, but still has that exterior extractor.    However, these guns are so good… I just love them.  Very much so.  Their C3 and RCS are amazing CCW guns.  And this gun here…. It hits all the right buttons.  Make this a Commander sized, SIG.  Please.   You can’t go wrong with a SIG 1911.

3.  PARA USA.  It’s not a secret that I’ve just never really cared for Para’s guns.  But ever since Para Ordinance became Para USA, they have been making huge strides.  Their LDA trigger system, I still don’t care for.  If you like it, that’s fine.  I just don’t.  However their regular 1911’s… They have evolved into guns that are just excellent.  Their new Black Ops 1911 is unquestionably a fine 1911 handguns by any measure.  But it’s their Elite series that I really dig.  Simple, no front slide serrations… and this one is almost perfect.   Just please, get rid of that fiber optic FSP.  I’ll take a regular tritium FSP, thank you.  I’ve talked with some of the guys from PARA USA, and they are taking their guns very seriously.  They want to be the best.  And you know what?  They keep on this road, they sure will be.  I’m liking where they are going.

4.  Remington’s 1911 R1.  This comes as a surprise to me… but Remington’s R1 family of 1911’s are just flat out excellent.  All of Remington’s problems do not exist in or effect their 1911’s.  And they are offering these well built and solid 1911’s at extremely reasonable prices.   They make one that I would be very tempted to add to my own collection.  Tell me that isn’t just gorgeous.  Remington is using a very good steel alloy, and are sporting very nice finishes.
Now if they could just put this attention to detail into the Marlin Lever Actions – I’d be a happy happy Ogre.

5.  STI.  Specifically, STI’s Lawman 4.0, and the Nitro 10.   I favor the Single Stacks, and I favor the guns that use the bushings… but that Nitro 10 is just too cool, so I can forgo the bushing requirement.

6.  Dan Wesson.  Because Dan Wesson.   Their Bobtail Commanders are probable the most FLAWLESS 1911’s I’ve ever seen that didn’t cost more than a good used car.   Their 10mm Razorback is just too damn good.   But the ones to really look hard at, are the Valor Black and the CCO.   Perfection.   Where is the Valor Black Commander though?  Oh, and hey, CZ USA – Make these in 10mm as well.  I don’t really dig the Titan 10, because I don’t hunt Vampires, professionally, so I don’t need all the race-gun hints.  I want a clean and simple 1911, in 10mm… that’s not stainless.

Here’s what I look for in a 1911:  Simplicity and understated elegance.  I don’t like bushingless bull barrels.  I don’t like full length guide rods.  I really don’t even particularly care for ambi-safeties.  And the one thing I really don’t like – but they are almost universal… The Novak style ramped rear sights.  But I can live with it.   I will also stay away from anything that even resembles a “Series 80″.  I prefer Commander length barrels.  The 4″ to 4.25″ barrel lengths.  They balance just right to me.  I do prefer if I can get it, the light weight frames, but will take solid steel happily.  I also do not like extended slide releases and safety levers.  The “Tear Drop” style safety lever is my favorite.    I do prefer a bobbed hammer or commander style hammer, followed up with a nice wide high ride beaver-tail.  Those work for me.

One to keep an eye on:  Rock Island Armory is getting better and better, not every year, but every day.  They are like the Kia Motors of 1911’s… they used to be cheap and laughable, but now they will make you turn your head, “What is that?  THAT’s a Kia?!?”  RIA is having that same effect.  While not one of my top choices now, they could be at some point in the future sooner than anyone could expect.

My favorite 1911 Configuration.

To me, saying “1911” is like saying “Pickup Truck”.  There are many Makes and Models out there, all different, all with different purposes. But they are all 1911’s so they are pretty good and should all pretty much run the same way.   But one configuration of 1911 that always makes me drool…
A Lightweight Commander.  Specifically a two tone LW Commander.  As far as pistols go – these are my Redheads.  My Kryponite.  My weakness.

SONY DSC

 

This one is very nice… Subdued colors.  A big visible dot on the front sight… Very nice indeed.  I’m not a huge fan of the ramped rear sight, but I can deal with that.  On this gun the higher end red wood grips are a little dressy on the flat finished gun.

colt_04860txt_commander_eliteThis one is nice too… Subdued colors again, but with a set of black grip panels.  I like that a bit better due to the fact that it’s more in keeping with the motif.  The first one is like having White Wall tires on a Mustang GT.   I guess that would be fine if that’s your thing… it’s just not my thing.   And if it is your thing… and you like that… Well, “America”.   Bully for you!

kobra4Here’s one that’s very good.  Micarta grips, brushed stainless and a moderate polish on the slide… Not Subdued, but more natural.  I really like that.  I also like the Bobtail… a lot.  But it’s not necessary…  Just really really nice.  Like Navigation or a Back Up Camera, or XM Radio.

Yost_left_rearOh man… Here we go.  This is the higher end.  We have a high polish on that blued slide and burled walnut grips.  This one is so nice that it’s almost too nice.  We call guns like this “BBQ Guns”, but it’s what you wear to a BBQ at your friends place… your nicest gun in a nice leather holster.  Not something I’d EDC, but wear to special occasions.  It would be like having a date with a Super Model… You are not going to take her out on the rounds of your usual haunts, but to some place special.  (Unless she asked to go to the regular haunts mind you)   So for me, that last one there, the more natural one, that’s the one I’d pick.

What do all these Commanders have in common?  Two Tone Finishes, with Dark on top of Light.  The current Vogue due to the advent of stainless slides on polymer frames is to have a light colored slide on a dark frame.  This I don’t care for.  It makes all manner of sense though, sure.  It’s PRACTICAL.  A stainless slide will show less wear than a blued slide.  And frames will typically show less wear than slides… So putting a stainless slide on that black frame makes Reason and Logic smile.  But it doesn’t make me necessarily smile, no, just the opposite is true.  And let me tell you why.

Growing up reading every gun magazine I could get my hands on as a kid, I stared with wide eyes and great wonder at the custom 1911’s made by true master level gunsmiths… and all of them were two tones with stainless frames and high polished blued slides.   That LOOK defined “Custom” for me then and it does so now.  So the stainless slides on black frames just look “off” to me.   So my ultimate has to have a black slide on light frame.   That just visually tastes right to me.

Ruger’s new LC9s.

Ruger is rolling out a new version of the LC9, the “LC9s”.

Screen-Shot-2014-07-29-at-5.54.42-PM-390x277

The “S” of course, means “Striker”.  It is said that this has a very good trigger pull.   If that’s the case, and it really does have a good trigger pull… well then.  That changes things in regards to my opinion of the LC9.  The S model would then be a pistol well worth considering.    Let me tell you why.

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Armchair Quarterbacking: BERETTA.

I’ve not always been a fan of Beretta.  I’ll admit that.  When I was first told to turn in my 1911 to be issued an M9, I was not a happy camper, and that caused a burning hatred of the 92 series pistol that lasted for a good many years.  Two decades later and I find myself to be a rabid 92 series fanatic.  It took a long time to come around… but the gun garnered my favor the hard way.  It earned it.  Working at the gun counter for almost a 9 years, I had sold a great many Beretta products.  And I do not remember a single one that ever came back with an issue.  Say what you will about Beretta, I know they have their share of detractors out there… But I love Beretta.  But I also know they are far from perfect.  Let’s hit the high notes:

The 92FS:
92fs
I hate to admit it, but this gun is a dinosaur.  I love mine, and I think these are the best looking automatics ever built… But the design is dated and need revision.  Oh, wait… You did revise it.  And you called it the 92A1:
92a1_zoom001
You added a rail.. which is a good… but better yet you gave it a dovetailed front sight post which was desperately needed, and you improved the internals… All of this is good, fine and well… Making this gun the best 92 you can buy.  But then you changed the trigger guard to differentiate it from the M9A1.  What I don’t understand though is why do you have these two very different pistols?  Because a holster for an M9A1 wont work with a 92A1, not even close.  I do not see the roles that these two different pistols fill.   This pistol just leaves me scratching my head.  So here’s what you need to do.   Kill the 92A1.
Wait, what?  I just said it improved everything an was the best 92 you can buy!   Yes, I did.  But it still needs to die.   Namely because it doesn’t stand out in the 92 series line.  Same with the 96A1.   I would build the 96A1 within the same frame as the M9A1, same trigger guard.  Giving the 96A1 the Civilian frame with the rounded trigger guards makes no sense.  It’s a tactical gun and needs to be better compatible with the lights.  I think this will fill that 96 nitch much better.    Now, back to the 92A1… Yes, kill it.   And fill the hole in the line up with with a reintroduction of the 90-TWO, renaming it simply as the 2092:
90two
This gun looks amazing, feels amazing, and shoots as good as it looks.  The reshaped safety levers are an improvement.  This gun moves the Beretta family forward.    It only failed because someone gave it a stupid name and your Marketing effort was completely lacking.
This was the stupidest name ever in the firearms industry.  It was a failure from the start.  But the pistol was awesome.  It needs  second chance.  So rename the bloody thing and bring it back.  Also, make a 2092 INOX.  And just for fun, maybe INOX slides on the blackened frames and barrels… and vice versa… because two tone guns are sexy.  There should also be a COMPACT version of the 2092 as well.

Here’s another gun that needs to make a comeback:
Shiny92

The Billennium.  But instead of it being blinged out… Just make it Black and Inox.  Here’s why.  It answers the #1 Complaint that people hate on the 92 for – the Slide Mounted Safety.  The Billennium’s Frame Mounted Safety – Especially if you matched that up with the old Vertec Frame – would be a WINNER.
98-96-Vertec-Steel
You guys actually had it… and like the 90-Two… you failed to market it correctly.  In fact, I didn’t even know this thing existed.  All steel though – so it was a heavy pig.  Nice idea, bad execution.  Make THAT but with an alloy frame and your current rear sight… Beretta… I’m telling ya… WIN.    How come this hasn’t been done already?

The NEOS.  I like the pistol.  But it’s skinny grip and extreme angle is ridiculous.  Have you looked at a Ruger MKIII or Browning Buckmark?  Well look again.   Because I don’t have hands like an adolescent E.T.
Cylon
This is why I’ve never bought one.  I can’t even hold on to the thing.   However I’ve sold it to people with smaller paws than mine, and they have loved it.   Never have I sold one to a guy with bigger hands though.   Look at Ruger… They have the option of a .45 like grip frame.  Do that, but with maybe your Storm.  A Storm like grip frame.  Seriously Beretta, as much as you guys may like this thing as it is – at American Gun Counters, it turns off far more people than it impresses.

The Storm Series:
PX4_SD-1
I love the Storm Pistols.  Two things though… the Sub Compact with the tilting barrel…  Get rid of it.  It does nothing the Compact can’t do and it’s using a different action so it’s not really a sub compact version.  The SD as shown.  Where are the 9mm and .40 cal versions and where is the Compact version?  Remember when the Navy bought a lot of HK pistols recently?  They bought the compact version of the HK45, and not the full sized.  Huge handguns are good… but sometimes those Operators who operate operationally need something a bit smaller so they can conceal them.   And US Citizens like do something called EDC with guns with many of these features.   That Midsized handgun is the sweet spot, and you need to maximize that.

This Thing:
cx4-1
I could write a 2,000 word report on everything wrong with this thing alone… But I don’t have time.  So I’m going to quickly outline what it needs to fix it.  It needs a major work-over.  The pyramid iron sights… Kill it.  Run a full rail across the top end to end.  Let customers use AR style irons of their choice.  No one likes these sights that doesn’t work for Beretta and have to say they do.   Extend the the body out till only an inch from the muzzle.  Thread the barrel.  Give it a thread cap.  Threads should be a common type.  Supply a flashhider/muzzle brake with it.  I like the lack of rails on the side and bottom, but put mounting hardware in there so rails can be added where needed.  The bottom of the pistol grip makes fast reloads a challenge.  Shape it like a normal pistol grip.  The Bolt Release needs to be a Safety.  On both sides, make it ambi.  Push the bolt handle out front and give it an HK style bolt catch and release.  That stock.  Get rid of it.  Put on a SCAR style Folding/Adjustable stock.  Done.  Now just rename it.  Your other rifles are the ARX series… call this one the ARX9 or ARX40 or ARX45 per caliber and you have a WINNER.   You’ll sell more than you ever had before.

I’m only going to touch on 1 shotgun.
1301tactical
I want a pistol grip version and I want the feed tube to run out to the end of the barrel.   Make these options.  I also want mounting points at the front end so I can attach a short rail section to add a tactical light.  That’s it.  Simple.

The 1911 Platform Observations

The 1911. It’s a fantastic shooting platform. I had gotten away from it for some years and now I’m back to it for the time being. As an instructor I’ve made many observations on the guns and the shooters and I think I’ve come up with some conclusions.
PX9105MLP

1. The 1911 demands loyalty. You can’t cheat on it and have it be faithful back to you. If you are going to carry a 1911, you need to marry it. Here’s why… In most every class I’ve taught that had a 1911 shooter in it, I’ll catch a guy draw his weapon, push out from the high compressed position, and then crush his trigger to no effect because he forgot to sweep the safety off. Most of the guys that do that, do so because their other guns are not 1911’s. They are Glocks or XD’s or M&P’s or something altogether not 1911’s. Don’t cheat on the 1911. Because that’s going to lead some issues.
2. Don’t go shorter than 4 inches. 1911’s that are shorter than a “Commander” start to give up reliability. You give up other things as well to the point that you are detracting from the fantastic qualities that make the 1911 the 1911 in the first place. The long sight radius, the accuracy, the pointability… These things make a 1911 what it is. Chopping them down to 3 inches… you’ve ruined it. You no longer have the pointing, the accuracy, the very things we love the 1911 for. And I’ve never seen a compact 1911 of any sort complete one of my handgun courses without turning into a hot mess of problems. The Commander is 4.25 inches. Many 1911 makers are doing a 4″ version, and they seem to be running just about as well as any good full sized 5″ “Government” model. Shorter than 4, it’s effecting the geometry and the timing and it’s just not worth the risk in reliability for the perception of greater concealment.
3. The 1911 needs to be well lubricated. Some guys like oil, some grease, and others a combo of both in different places. However you like it – that’s fine. As long as you oil it. Most every 1911 I’ve seen with issues that wasn’t shorter than 4″, was a pistol that was bone dry. Just like an AR-15, it can be hot, and dirty… but it can’t be dry. The 1911 likes to be wet.
4. The 1911 is a traditional type of pistol so it needs a traditional type of holsters – leather. Good leather. Most 1911’s are north of $1,000 dollars, so don’t even think about it letting it ride in a cheap rig. And remember what I said about marrying the 1911? That means showing it the respect that it deserves… let it ride in something nice. Let it know you care. Here’s the other reason… The 1911 is not for the Duffers. It’s a pistol for the experts. It’s for the experienced shooters. It should show some miles on it. Let it get some holster wear, let that holster break in… And you do that by #5…
5. You Must Train with it. Practice your draw. Practice your re-holstering. Practice getting that one thing that the 1911 excels at – that fast and precise first round heavy hit. All gunfights have one thing in common. That first shot. Make it count.

My Top 3 Interesting Handguns

I’ve a rather short list of handguns that are of interest to me, at the moment.  Perhaps the fascination will pass on these, but the Want Factor has been quite high all year so far.

1.  The Walther PPQ M2 5″.
PPQ-M2-5inch
The P99 I reviewed for Concealed Carry Magazine really impressed me, overall. But a couple things that irritated me to one degree or another on the P99 was removed or fixed in the PPQ.  Namely the mag release and the decocker button on the top of the slide.  The PPQ retains everything good about the P99, just cleaned up.  Like a Subaru WRX without the Spoiler and Hood Nostril.  Talking to some other guys about the PPQ, such as Jon Hodoway from Nighthawk Custom Training… it’s quietly becoming a favorite in the class of Polyframed Striker Fired pistols.

2.  The SIG M11-A1.
SIG-Sauer-M11-A1
This is basically a reintroduction of the  very excellent SIG P228… Which is what SIG is now calling the 229… but the 229 has rails.  Don’t try to figure it out – it’s SIG and they just do things like that.  But it takes nothing away from the M11A1… Which is an excellent pistol and one that’s been on my mind more and more lately.  Slightly shorter than the full sized 226, the M11A1 comes home to that “Just Right” size for me.  For EDC work both Open or Concealed, this gun can get it done.  And has been getting it done under the 228 tag for a long time.  I had a 228 that I used as a backup gun for some time and it was quiet excellent.  I did have some problems with the trigger return spring, but that was an easy fix and it never troubled me again.  I miss that gun.  This is it’s resurrection.

3.  The Ruger Super Blackhawk, 4 5/8″, .44 Magnum.
ruger_70181
Nothing quite says “You’re Doomed” like thumbcocking back the hammer on an accurate and powerful single action revolver.  I’m more fond of the western style revolvers than I am the more “modern” double action types.  There’s something about the classic heritage of the breed that is both fascinating and just… I don’t know how to say it… “The way it should be”.  Especially when dealing with full potency magnum loads.  The only thing I’d do to this gun would be to get a Gold Bead front sight put in.  That’s it.  The reason I picked this over the Vaquero… the sights… the magnum frame… and a grip that fits my hand better.  The Vaquero felt too small to me.  Nice, but too small.  That and with the Blackhawks I can really place my shots.  For me, that’s a requirement with a gun with only a few rounds in it.  The shorter barrel looks properly handsome as well.    If I was in a rural area again where Open Carry didn’t even cause folks to look twice – That’s what I’d be packing most of the time I think.  (Along with a Truck Gun in the same caliber… Such as a Rossi 92 20″)

They don’t make it, but I want it.

Beretta_90TWO

The Beretta 90-Two.  Beretta’s best and worst in one single package.  Let me explain why.

On one hand, it’s absolutely the best.  The best handgun Beretta has ever made.  It has all the latest features and updated good looks that really take it into the next century.   I love the swept lines and new contours in the frame on the safety levers.
On the other hand, it has the worst name they could have given the pistol.  I had people come to me at the gun counter and say “I want a Beretta ninety two.”  Yes, I have that right here.  “No, a ninety two.”  You get my point.  It’s name was made of confusion.  Had they called in a 2092 or something, it would have worked.  Colt and STI did similar things for the “1911” and it worked.  Worked just fine, without being cute.  In fact, it was more descriptive and accurate if a name.  People knew what you were talking about.
The internal buffer and the dovetailed sights are both features of the 92A1… and that’s great.  But the 92A1 doesn’t have the fresh new look.
I’ve been wanting one of these more and more this year.  For no specific reason.

75958

Here’s the other gun I’m wanting.  The 92FS Compact.  I have no real justification for it.  It’s only a little bit smaller than the standard 92FS.  A little shorter in barrel and slide, a little shorter in the grip frame.  So it’s really not so “Compact”.  It’s more of a 92 “Commander” in that it takes the gun that feels rather large and turns it into a gun that feels “Just right”.  I can’t describe it any better than that.  It just felt oh so very “right” when I drooled on one at the last gun show I went to in Utah.  I passed it up, but the gun has been on my mind ever since and as of late as been doing laps like a motorcyclist in one of those round steel cages.

Both of these guns are very high in Want Factor for me.  I want them bad.  But I can resist buying them because of rational reasons.  But rationality can only go so far.

Now, if Beretta made a 90-TWO Compact.  I’d just have to throw my hands up and surrender to the Beretta Trident and do something very foolish to quickly raise the money to buy one immediately.   Because that’s what I really want.  I don’t think I could take living in a world that has that and me not having one.

Top Service Pistols for 2014

I’ve talked about the best choices for Concealed Carry, but what about for the guys who have to carry openly?  Law Enforcement, PMC, Security Contractor, or general Open Carry use, these are going to require a different type of handgun.  Basically as much gun on your hip as you can get.  Full sized, full capacity, none of the compromises required for Concealment.

SIG 226/220.  This full sized SIG is a classic and the choice of a great many gunslinging professionals.  A big capacity and rugged construction combined with reliability and accuracy. It’s everything you could want in a Side Arm.  Unless you want a larger caliber.  The 220 everything you like about the 226, but in .45 Auto.  This big bore auto is known as “The Thinking Man’s .45″ and that does indeed make sense when you’ve spent time with the gun.  Same capacity as a 1911, but offers a decocking DA/SA fire control profile.  This is probably the safest autoloading handgun I know of. (226 included)  They are also very accurate.

Glock 17/22.  Depending on your choice of 9mm or .40 cal, these guns are probably the first choice of more police departments than anything else.  Very low bore axis, and a simple striker fired trigger mechanism makes these guns very easy to shoot well with once you get used to the triggers.  17 rounds of 9mm was an improvement over the typical 15 rounds others guns had, and 15 rounds of .40 cal is nothing to sneeze at these days.

Glock 20/21.  10mm or .45, these full sized beasts give you everything you need to pull duty on a dark and storm night.    A lot of Law Enforcement Officers are running the 21 and I know a few that are running the 10mm.  15 rounds of 10mm is a lot of firepower.  With good accuracy and legendary reliability – A Glock is never a wrong choice.

Beretta 90 Series.  The 92FS, 92F, M9, M9A1, 92A1, 90-TWO, 96, 96A1.  Shooting the big Beretta is like driving a Cadillac.  Big, comfortable, comforting, reliable and accurate all with Hollywood good looks.   Beretta has a lot of visual style, but what I like best is the almost straight line feeding.  Mine can feed empty casing.  Super smooth action as well, thanks to it’s unique locking block.  The Beretta won the US Army contract for a good reason.  Like it or not – and I know I’m going to open a can of worms here – it kicked SIG’s ass in the Trials.  It kicked everyone’s asses in the Trials.  So much so that the Army actually had to “dumb down” the test just so the SIG could stay in the race and the Beretta wouldn’t be a lone competitor.  The 90 Series is battle proven around the world.

Beretta Px4 STORM.  This is Beretta’s newest service auto.  It uses a unique rotating barrel action with a traditionally Beretta like DA/SA trigger mechanism.  This action makes the Storm a soft shooting pistol as it takes more energy out of the recoil.  Like the 90 Series, the sights and the barrel maintain their relationship, they are very accurate shot to shot.  With good triggers and comfortable recoil – it’s easy to be a good shot with the Px4 STORM.  Even the Mid sized version… But the full sized is seriously just a pussycat.  You can get it in 9, .40, and .45 auto.  It’s one of my favorite new autos.

S&W M&P.  S&W decided to get serious with the Poly Striker platform and forced Glock to rush the Gen 4 to market.  Smith took a lot of LEO sales away from Glock. The Swampy as some call it, is a good pistol and a huge step up from Smith’s prior Glock Attack, the SIGMA.  *shudder*.   I bought one for my eldest Son, who upon getting the pistol, loading it, and having never fired it before – drilled the X in the target as perfectly as an Olympic Marksman from 20 yards.  They are accurate guns.  Like my Glocks, his Swampy has never failed.

Walther PPQ.  This gun surprised me.  The prior P99 was a gun that surprised me too.  500 rounds of mixed ammunition, it never failed.  But it had a couple characteristics that made it an oddity.  Such as the push down mag release and the top of the slide decocker button.  The PPQ does away with the decocker on top and gives the gun a normal and familiar mag release. Honestly I didn’t mind the P99’s mag release and I found that I would use my trigger finger to drop the mags, just like I did with my HK.  The PPQ is now available in either 4 or 5 inch barrel lengths and in 9mm or .40 caliber.  The PPQ feels good in the hand and is probably one of the best and most under-rated service autos on the market.  Let me put it this way – I really want a PPQ and will be buying one this year. Or Trading for it. A few years ago I had said that Walther was struggling to maintain it’s validity.  The PPQ anchors it.

Springfield Armory XDM.  Good trigger, good sights, and huge capacities make the XDM a solid choice.  If you can get passed it’s “only a mother could love it” looks.  While I’m not the biggest fan, I have to respect it. They are super accurate and easy to shoot well with.  I know owners who have dumped a lot of rounds with astounding accuracy through their M’s.

HK P30 and HK45.  The Germans really do engineer some fine hardware.  But the P30 and the HK45 are both over priced and in my opinion over rated.  With a standard trigger package, I find their triggers to be lacking in the quality of trigger pull that I would expect from such expensive guns.  And I don’t like glow in the dark toy like sights that come on them stock.  Again, for such an expensive gun, I want Tritiums on it right out of the box.  Don’t get me started on the price of spare mags.  For what you pay for an HK, it should come with Tritiums and 4 spares.  All that aside – these guns deserve consideration.  They are sharp looking, and they feel good in the hand.   You can not go wrong with an HK, you really can’t.  They are very well made.  And after you dump enough rounds through it… Cost wise, would be enough to put a kid through a 12 credit semester of college, the trigger does feel pretty decent.   They do look good… Like new BMW or Mercedes good looking.  Pistol-Training.com’s Todd Green did a long term test on the P30 and it ran some 93,000 rounds before forced retirement.  You could buy a new car for that much… Or you could afford to get sick or even have a (small) accident under Obamacare for that much money.  I believe that none of his other tests have run that distance… Which ultimately makes the HK’s probably the best choice out of the lot.