Developing Preferences

bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior MemberPosts: 2,465 Senior Member
I’ve learned a great deal of good, sound information and practices from participating in this board, and I’m grateful for that. I’ve only been shooting since 1998, and started carrying in late 1999 (just in time for the Y2K hysteria), so I haven’t had as much time as many of us on this board to gain experience and develop preferences.

That being said, I have found some things that I prefer, and some that I thought I would prefer that turned out to be wrong. What’s funny about that for me is that I only really thought about it recently, when three different people close to me asked me about guns, looking to me for recommendations. Each of them are new to guns and are deciding if/when they want to acquire them and what they will use them for. It was surprising to me that they trusted my knowledge and opinions, because I feel like such a newbie when I am on this board. It’s the main reason I don’t post that often; I spend most of my time here reading and learning.

One of the guys that came to me had read an article online that listed the “best” guns for concealed carry, and asked me for my thoughts. I responded with this:
There are some good choices there, but there is no such thing as “the best”. That is ALWAYS subjective. Some have a good reputation for reliability, others for accuracy, others for ease of use, still others for fit/finish. Some can even combine all of those qualities well, but it’s always a matter of opinion.

What I recommend for anyone just starting out is to try a lot of different things, while considering these four things as you go:
1. Purpose – are you looking for something to keep in the house, or will you be carrying it?
2. Fit – subject to its purpose, does it fit your hands and will it fit your body if you carry it?
3. Control/Chambering – can you operate it safely, efficiently, and without having to think too much about it? Can you manage the recoil when you fire it? Bear in mind, this improves with time and use.
4. Economy/Quality – how much do you have to spend? Is the gun that fits all of your previous criteria also a good economic choice? Depending on the chambering, how expensive is ammo? Will you be able to afford to practice with it regularly? Generally, you get what you pay for, but there are some interesting variables.


That was a quick and crude response that doubtless can be modified to be more useful. I’d welcome some feedback on that.

For myself, I’ve had some time to really think about some of my preferences for carrying that have developed over my few years, which only came to light at my last range session two weeks ago:

1) I like revolvers a lot; specifically, the way the recoil feels in my hand. The problem is I’m not near proficient enough with reloads to feel truly confident in my ability to successfully deploy one in self-defense. I truly believe that the ability to execute an efficient reload is critically important in self-defense, so while getting there with a revolver is a fun process, semi-auto is the way to go for me for now.

2) I don’t think that a DA/SA semi-auto is a smart choice for a sidearm. This is mainly because of the inconsistency of the trigger pull. I bought my FN FNP45 thinking that, since it can be carried cocked & locked, it would be a higher-capacity option that is consistent with the 1911 I usually carry. However, the hammer is much thinner and pokes me in the side when it’s cocked and locked (no beavertail soften the profile), so I find myself decocking it, making the first shot with it a DA shot, with a much heavier trigger pull. As Eli would say, that is no bueno. This has been in the back of my mind ever since I read BigSlug’s opinion on it a few years back. I didn’t get it then, but I do now. As a result, the FNP45 is now my at-the-ready HD weapon, to fight my way to the shotgun.

3) If you’re ambidextrous like me, pick a side and stick to it. A physical confrontation is the wrong time to find yourself fumbling your draw because you didn’t remember which side you’re carrying on. I can miss with equal frequency with either hand, so I bought some of my holsters for left-side carry, and some for the right. My right finger is stronger, but my drawing from my left side feels more natural. My holster graveyard is growing.

4) I prefer color on my sights, not plain ones. Fiber optic is best for my visibility, and night sights are handy. Anything but plain black.

I’ve got a lot more to learn, but I’m making progress. As I said before, I welcome feedback on anything I’ve put here; if people are going to ask me questions, I want to be as informed as possible.

Thanks for reading; this is my longest post ever.
Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.

Replies

  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,461 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    it’s always a matter of opinion.

    What I recommend for anyone just starting out is to try a lot of different things, while considering these four things as you go:
    1. Purpose – are you looking for something to keep in the house, or will you be carrying it?
    2. Fit – subject to its purpose, does it fit your hands and will it fit your body if you carry it?
    3. Control/Chambering – can you operate it safely, efficiently, and without having to think too much about it? Can you manage the recoil when you fire it? Bear in mind, this improves with time and use.
    4. Economy/Quality – how much do you have to spend? Is the gun that fits all of your previous criteria also a good economic choice? Depending on the chambering, how expensive is ammo? Will you be able to afford to practice with it regularly? Generally, you get what you pay for, but there are some interesting variables.[/I]

    :that:

    For a total newb, you have to get him/her on the path to learning. Once they decide what they are going to do with it, then, and only then, can you make a general guess at what might work for them. It doesn't matter if you love Glock's, wheelguns, or happen to be correct and favor the 1911, your hand and your experience are not the same as the person asking you the question.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,702 Senior Member
    I am sorry, did you not get the latest memo from your Govt.

    You are no longer allowed preferences. They will tell you what you prefer.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    I am sorry, did you not get the latest memo from your Govt.

    You are no longer allowed preferences. They will tell you what you prefer.

    Spoken like a True and Loyal Subject of King Obama!!!

    ___:yikes:___:bang:___:rotflmao:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    I’ve learned a great deal of good, sound information and practices from participating in this board, and I’m grateful for that. I’ve only been shooting since 1998, and started carrying in late 1999 (just in time for the Y2K hysteria), so I haven’t had as much time as many of us on this board to gain experience and develop preferences.

    That being said, I have found some things that I prefer, and some that I thought I would prefer that turned out to be wrong. What’s funny about that for me is that I only really thought about it recently, when three different people close to me asked me about guns, looking to me for recommendations. Each of them are new to guns and are deciding if/when they want to acquire them and what they will use them for. It was surprising to me that they trusted my knowledge and opinions, because I feel like such a newbie when I am on this board. It’s the main reason I don’t post that often; I spend most of my time here reading and learning.

    One of the guys that came to me had read an article online that listed the “best” guns for concealed carry, and asked me for my thoughts. I responded with this:
    There are some good choices there, but there is no such thing as “the best”. That is ALWAYS subjective. Some have a good reputation for reliability, others for accuracy, others for ease of use, still others for fit/finish. Some can even combine all of those qualities well, but it’s always a matter of opinion.

    What I recommend for anyone just starting out is to try a lot of different things, while considering these four things as you go:
    1. Purpose – are you looking for something to keep in the house, or will you be carrying it?
    2. Fit – subject to its purpose, does it fit your hands and will it fit your body if you carry it?
    3. Control/Chambering – can you operate it safely, efficiently, and without having to think too much about it? Can you manage the recoil when you fire it? Bear in mind, this improves with time and use.
    4. Economy/Quality – how much do you have to spend? Is the gun that fits all of your previous criteria also a good economic choice? Depending on the chambering, how expensive is ammo? Will you be able to afford to practice with it regularly? Generally, you get what you pay for, but there are some interesting variables.


    That was a quick and crude response that doubtless can be modified to be more useful. I’d welcome some feedback on that.

    For myself, I’ve had some time to really think about some of my preferences for carrying that have developed over my few years, which only came to light at my last range session two weeks ago:

    1) I like revolvers a lot; specifically, the way the recoil feels in my hand. The problem is I’m not near proficient enough with reloads to feel truly confident in my ability to successfully deploy one in self-defense. I truly believe that the ability to execute an efficient reload is critically important in self-defense, so while getting there with a revolver is a fun process, semi-auto is the way to go for me for now.

    2) I don’t think that a DA/SA semi-auto is a smart choice for a sidearm. This is mainly because of the inconsistency of the trigger pull. I bought my FN FNP45 thinking that, since it can be carried cocked & locked, it would be a higher-capacity option that is consistent with the 1911 I usually carry. However, the hammer is much thinner and pokes me in the side when it’s cocked and locked (no beavertail soften the profile), so I find myself decocking it, making the first shot with it a DA shot, with a much heavier trigger pull. As Eli would say, that is no bueno. This has been in the back of my mind ever since I read BigSlug’s opinion on it a few years back. I didn’t get it then, but I do now. As a result, the FNP45 is now my at-the-ready HD weapon, to fight my way to the shotgun.

    3) If you’re ambidextrous like me, pick a side and stick to it. A physical confrontation is the wrong time to find yourself fumbling your draw because you didn’t remember which side you’re carrying on. I can miss with equal frequency with either hand, so I bought some of my holsters for left-side carry, and some for the right. My right finger is stronger, but my drawing from my left side feels more natural. My holster graveyard is growing.

    4) I prefer color on my sights, not plain ones. Fiber optic is best for my visibility, and night sights are handy. Anything but plain black.

    I’ve got a lot more to learn, but I’m making progress. As I said before, I welcome feedback on anything I’ve put here; if people are going to ask me questions, I want to be as informed as possible.

    Thanks for reading; this is my longest post ever.


    One thing your post reminded me of, the more I handle different types of actions the more I do appreciate the old 1911 single action. I've got a Smith and Wesson DA 9mm that really limits you. You can't cock it with your thumb because the hammer is way too small. About the only way to cock it so you don't have to pull the trigger to shoot that first round with about a 12 pound trigger pull in DA, is to rack the slide back slamming a round in the chamber. That takes time. You can't walk around with the hammer cocked on a live round like with a 1911 because when you put the safety on a cocked hammer, it decocks the hammer. So you have to rack back the slide, which chambers a round. If you already have a round in the chamber it's going to be ejected and another round chambered, which just lessened your capacity by one and the round hit the ground which could be lost in a hurry up situation. That's a waste! I see very little advantage with a DA Semi Auto. J.M. Browning was a true Genius. I don't see how anyone ever thought they could improve on a 1911.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,261 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    I am sorry, did you not get the latest memo from your Govt.

    You are no longer allowed preferences. They will tell you what you prefer.

    Didn't y'all just lose a PM or whatever you call it for being a perve?
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    Started out with 1911s, N Frame revolvers, Smiths...both striker fired as well as DA/SA, a Beretta, an FN 9mm DA/SA, over the years I believe that I actually have developed a preference...




    my%20edc%207.jpg
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,461 Senior Member
    Thats like loosin your taste buds.......... :wink:
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    Thats like loosin your taste buds.......... :wink:

    :tooth:

    Nah.....I've just discovered that I REALLY like ramen noodles.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,051 Senior Member
    Why you no stipple second from left?
    Overkill is underrated.
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    Why you no stipple second from left?

    I bought that one with the express intent of sending it to a professional plastic melter (which is where it's at right now). My grip stuff is 100% functional, but I'll be the first to admit that they are ugly as homemade mud. I wanted one that was purty (relatively speaking) as well.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,051 Senior Member
    Me like you stippling.


    BTW, I know you have ARs.... ever stippled the grips on any of those?
    Overkill is underrated.
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member


    BTW, I know you have ARs.... ever stippled the grips on any of those?

    I have.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,051 Senior Member
    Been thinking about doing my carbine's grip. Make it grippier.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    How about stippling your PMAGS?
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    This was the last carbine class I was at...

    talon%20defense%20carbine%20manipulations%20037.jpg

    talon%20defense%20carbine%20manipulations%20035.jpg

    Don't know if you can tell from the pics, but it was POURING down raining.

    I had previously considered stippling the grip on my carbine, but wasn't sure if it was worth the work/time (took a couple hours to do the grip), after 10 hours of playing in the red clay mud, the first thing that I did when I got home was break out the soldering iron. I'd never really considered your grip on a carbine to be terribly important, nowhere near as important as your grip on a pistol, but after several hours of running the gun with a combo of wet red clay, Mobil 1 oil, and a small amount of blood on you hands......turns out that the grip is pretty damned important.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,379 Senior Member
    I started out carrying a G19 OWB, simply because it's what was available. Concealed under a baggy shirt it seemed to work well enough. I then switched to a 5" 1911 IWB, same story.

    As my mode of dress has progressed and my needs changed, I now carry a M&P Shield IWB, in a holster that I can quickly remove. It's small enough that I don't have to go up a size in pants to wear comfortably, and I can conceal it under a normal shirt instead of a baggy one. I know you're supposed to tailor your wardrobe around the gun, but the way some CC folks dress outs them quicker than a bulge ever would. For me, the small, slim auto works best.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    Ya done good, bobby. Just remember that when people ask for advice, they usually want your blessing on what they have already decided. :tooth:

    Usually, unless they ask specifically about something I'm familiar with, I tell them to get something they like that is reliable, and practice with it until they start getting an idea about what they like. In the right hands, almost anything will be better than nothing, if the operator is competent and doesn't lose his head. I do try to steer folks away from subcompacts, unless they are already pretty good shooters. I like them, myself, but am well aware of my limitations with them.

    Anyway, you know as much as I do, so I'll leave you to the experts. :up:
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    Eli wrote: »
    Started out with 1911s, N Frame revolvers, Smiths...both striker fired as well as DA/SA, a Beretta, an FN 9mm DA/SA, over the years I believe that I actually have developed a preference...
    That's exactly what I mean; you've tried a bunch, found what works for you that you can operate efficiently, and committed to it, while still appreciating the good and bad of other designs. Your choice comes from experience, not from a magazine or an online article.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    Ya done good, bobby. Just remember that when people ask for advice, they usually want your blessing on what they have already decided. :tooth:

    Usually, unless they ask specifically about something I'm familiar with, I tell them to get something they like that is reliable, and practice with it until they start getting an idea about what they like. In the right hands, almost anything will be better than nothing, if the operator is competent and doesn't lose his head. I do try to steer folks away from subcompacts, unless they are already pretty good shooters. I like them, myself, but am well aware of my limitations with them.

    Anyway, you know as much as I do, so I'll leave you to the experts. :up:

    That has been true for me all too often. Thanks very much.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    My father-in-law was one of the people I was speaking of who had been asking me questions. He was looking to get his first handgun, so a couple of weeks ago, I took him to my favorite local range to try a few things and get a sense of his level of competency/proficiency. To make a long story short, he liked the Ruger GP100 4" and the Kimber CDP (full size) best. He has solid fundamentals and said he had a great time.

    This past Saturday I took him shopping with his son. We found a Rock Island TCM TAC Ultra 9mm/.22TCM combo that we both really liked, so we added it to the list of possibles and moved on. https://us.armscor.com/products/tcm-tac-ultra-ms-combo-22tcm-9mm

    While at our second store, I suggested (based on his stated purposes for the gun and my limited evaluation of his skill level) he have a look at the Springfield XD MOD 2. It fit his hand perfectly, and he bought it on the spot. It fit my hand perfectly too, so I'll be going back for a second look at that, since I don't have a 9mm and I've always liked XDs.

    He doesn't yet have a CC license, so he's waiting to be declared a real citizen so he can pick it up. Local Sheriff's office is his next step; the CPL makes purchasing a lot easier, and he just might go back for that Rock Island!

    Adding a pic:
    XD%20MOD2%20target.jpg
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    I had convinced myself early on that I preferred large grips. Even though I have small hands, I just prefer large grips. That's what I used to tell myself anyway. What I believe I was latching on to was how much easier it was, as a new shooter to hold onto a gun with grips that filled my hands.

    What I believe now, is the larger grips were compensating for my poor grip technique. Once I learned to grip my guns properly, the large grips were a hinderance, not a help. Slimmed down the grips on my 2 pistols, instantly brought my point of impact more in line with my point of aim.

    Only took me 2 years to figure that out...smaller hands should use smaller grips. Who would have thunk it?
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    It took me a few years to realize that the distance from the grip to the point where the trigger breaks is the main determining factor for my pistol accuracy. I shoot the guns pretty well that have a longer distance, and less over-travel. I mistakenly believed, for a long time, that the over-all size of the gun was a good indicator. It may be, in medium or large sized guns, but in subcompacts, it varies a lot. Kahrs are very short, XD models are longer, and everything else I've tried is somewhere between, even though the guns, themselves are the same size.
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    Bis, do you find that a trigger with an arc/swivel operation is significantly different from straight-pull (like a 1911)? It definitely is for me.
    snake284 wrote:
    I see very little advantage with a DA Semi Auto. J.M. Browning was a true Genius. I don't see how anyone ever thought they could improve on a 1911.
    Totally agree.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    Bis, do you find that a trigger with an arc/swivel operation is significantly different from straight-pull (like a 1911)? It definitely is for me.

    Absolutely. That is my problem with Kahrs. The Apex trigger and sear kit I installed on my S&W Shield corrected that problem by making it similar to a 1911 pull. The 'arc travel' triggers are fine for folks with small to medium sized hands, but they just don't work for me.
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    Absolutely. That is my problem with Kahrs. The Apex trigger and sear kit I installed on my S&W Shield corrected that problem by making it similar to a 1911 pull. The 'arc travel' triggers are fine for folks with small to medium sized hands, but they just don't work for me.

    Yeah, the stock M&P trigger pull feels long and spongy to me. The Apex trigger fixes that. Only shot a 1911 once and it was a rental. But it was a Springfield TRP and I liked the trigger a lot.
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    Absolutely. That is my problem with Kahrs. The Apex trigger and sear kit I installed on my S&W Shield corrected that problem by making it similar to a 1911 pull. The 'arc travel' triggers are fine for folks with small to medium sized hands, but they just don't work for me.

    I'll need to do that to my daughter's Shield; that trigger is awful. I'm surprised that S&W would put it on the market with a trigger that sloppy.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    Here's the one I put in:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KHFGA9I?psc=1

    It's actually gone up in price about $10 since I bought mine - pretty steep for what you get, and not really what I'd call 'drop-in,' as advertised. You will need 1/8 and 3/32 pin punches, a small mallet, needle-nose pliers, and a hook-type tool for the springs. It's not rocket surgery, but it takes patience. In my case, I had actually disassembled the gun once, already, and tried to improve the trigger by simply filing and polishing the sear. It helped, but not enough, so I shelled out for the sear kit, plus the 'straight' trigger kit. It was much, much easier the second time I disassembled/reassembled.

    Yesterday, I helped a friend do a Ruger LC9 trigger kit install (Galloway kit) and the Shield kit is definitely easier to install and delivers a better end product, in my opinion. I was not impressed by the LC9, and I didn't see major improvement after installing the trigger kit. It works differently from the Shield, with way too many parts, in my opinion.







  • KSDeputyKSDeputy Member Posts: 55 Member
    I disagree. When our Sheriff's Office transitioned from S&W .357 revolvers to the new S&W .45 semi-auto we were trained on DA/SA pistols. I like them, and as such almost every pistol I own is DA/SA. I do not like DAO pistols, and find it difficult to understand why pistols changed to DAO, unless it was the inability of shooters to learn how to shoot and operate a DA/SA.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I can tell you this, the NYCPD before the transition to *Glock would only approve DAO Revolvers for on and off duty carry for one reason and one reason only, to prevent officers from being able to cock revolvers whilst holding or handcuffing suspects etc, and just being able to cock Revolvers in general.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
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