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Current 9mm auto recommendations?

JaphyJaphy Posts: 68 Member

I have finally decided to buy a 9mm semi auto handgun.  I deer hunt with the Ruger Super Blackhawk (.44) in the midwest brush, take a Ruger MKII to the local ranges,  hunt birds with a vintage Franchi 12ga.   I researched 9mm and was surprised at the actual performance…and comparative price of ammunition vs 44 mag. 

There are composite designs, steel frames; there are 1911 designs, and other variants.

This is not a concealed carry, $1000 max, as accurate as the MKII, I think I would like an adjustable rear sight?  I think I would like a barrel longer than 4in?  Absolute reliability.

Any pros and cons of what is available that fit most or all of those criteria?  Cost?  I own Rugers but have no brand preference.







Replies

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,503 Senior Member
    edited June 2020 #2
    First suggestion, would be to visit a local gun store that has a wide selection of pistols and start holding as many as you can to see what you like and fits you best. Narrow down your options and then research the best choices for you. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,084 Senior Member
    What he said...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,949 Senior Member
    edited June 2020 #4
    What they said. Be sure to try out a CZ-75 and/or its many variants, I love mine but YMMV and all that. Try the Glocks, try the various 1911s, and see what feels right...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 68 Member
    Thanks all
    selection is very limited these days... I will have a look at what is in stock this weekend.
    Ive never shot a center fire auto handgun! Just wanted to know if my criteria was reasonable? and available?
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,383 Senior Member
    What's this thing's job?

    It is really hard to beat a 9mm 1911 if you're mainly trying to check the "nice to shoot" box.  You get all of the excellent ergonomics with half of the .45 recoil.  The 5" Springfields are NICE, and they have a couple match sight options.

    For "absolute reliability", that's kind of what Glocks DO - especially in that chambering.  Won't rust and simple to work on.  They're also cheap.  They take a little more work on your part than a "practically shoots itself" 1911, but they're typically capable of more accuracy than we are.

    Adjustable sight - there's a big "WHY?" that goes along with that.  On something like a .357 or .44 Mag revolver, that can shoot ammo with a huge variety of bullet weight and load pressure, it makes sense.  On a competition bullseye gun on which you need to maintain a specific sight picture for best results, it makes sense.  On a short-ish range autoloader operating within standard load envelopes, it's more moving parts I don't want or need.  Drift for windage and call it good.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 68 Member
    @Bigslug ..Thanks for your helpful comments.

    Even deer hunting with the blackhawk i typically run 12 through it at the beginning of the season.  I use federal 240 grain jhp factory ..thinking back I haven't touched the rear sight...but i like to shoot it.  my typical deer range is inside 20 yds from a tree off a rest, iron sights.  I have likely put too much weight on an adjustable rear?  The MKII has an after market trigger and grips, bull barrel..I love that thing and I can hit anything I can see within 50yds.

    The 9mm auto will be to shoot steel at a nearby range and keep as home defense. I want to shoot it..often. I read about some 1911s having miscellaneous problems with parts either too tight or too lose and didnt really know what to look for in 1911.  The Ruger MKII will not run on just any  ammunition I use CCI 40gr standard.  I don't want that problem  with a more expensive 9mm and i want to swap between fmj and jhp with no issues.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,383 Senior Member
    Lost sight of this thread for a few days - sorry.

    I know both 1911's and Glocks really well.  I don't know 9mm 1911's so well but can give you the following generalizations:

    The 1911 has the possibility of being an extraordinarily durable and reliable pistol and it is absolutely NOT a complicated machine when compared with just about anything BUT a Glock.  That said, when it comes time to work on one for basic tuning, an understanding of what's going on inside the guts is a little more essential

    The Glock is less of a "tuning" sort of gun and more of a "This problem might be caused by these three parts - I replaced them all and the problem went away" sort of gun.

    Feeding factory profile ammo is not likely to be a problem for either.

    The guys here have heard me say this a lot:  the 1911 is in many ways a victim of its own brilliance:  It can be built as a rock solid combat arm (that in all reality will be mechanically capable of delivering more accuracy than 99% of the people that ever pick it up can produce from it).  It can also be built to super-exacting tolerances as a match pistol that only true athletes with ice water for blood can approach the potential of. Most folks look and only see a 1911 and then decide they want everything - - which is how we end up with $3,000 Bullseye pistols with fixed night sights on them.

    It can also be a victim of its own ubiquitousness.  This may be less of an issue with 9mm's, but with .45's, you've got everybody and their 2nd cousin claiming to have a better (name any part or accessory) and it may or may not be - - or may or may not be compatible with the five other parts that got swapped out.  The Glock is kind of getting there with aftermarket bits, but if you keep factory parts and mags in it, they pretty much run.

    Short version:

    9mm 1911 - sexy sports car that's a pleasure to drive, but you need to know maintenance.

    9mm Glock - Vintage Toyota Land Cruiser.  More challenging to drive, but very tolerant of no maintenance at all.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 68 Member
    Thanks again for your insight

    I am settling on a 5in 1911, and I am rethinking the 9mm idea.  Less expensive ammunition is extremely appealing, but since the 2020 ammo shortage began 9mm was first to disappear and likely last to be restocked.  Last weekend there were still a few boxes of .45 ACP and 10MM on the shelves.

    My ball park calculations suggest i could reload .45 ACP or 10MM or 9MM all for very little cost difference. I do not expect the current ammo situation to abate anytime soon.  For the cost of an extra set of dies I could cover the .44. Self sufficiency is compelling.
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 68 Member
    So one new question..
    If 9mm, .45, 10mm ammunition was all the same price
    which would you choose in a 1911?

    my thinking now is that the original design was .45 and that any refinements may be better implemented in the .45 version.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,383 Senior Member
    Sounds like your making a long term decision on a temporary problem.  I am glad you've made the decision, but - not to put too fine a point on it -  if a zombie has a straw in your ear and is sucking out your brain, it's probably too late to start preparing for the apocalypse. ;)

    The truth of the matter is, right now, your available options probably SUCK.

    The primary advantage to the .45 in the 1911 is that careful shopping can get you a gun with GI spec guts, which opens you up to a HUGE range of standardized spare parts.  A properly selected 9mm will give you a fair amount of this, but you are more likely to run into proprietary-to-manufacturer or "reserve the right to change stuff at our whim" issues.  Buy a good one (Springfield) and you'll have a lifetime warranty and little to worry about. 

    In terms of terminal effect on hominids, the 9mm these days is as good as anything else you can carry on your hip, and a large facet of that is it takes less work on your part to learn how to effectively deliver the goods with one.  If you have to meet the original 1911 design criteria of taking down a thousand pound cavalry horse, non-expanding flat point .45 WOULD be about the best way to do it with an autoloading handgun. 

    10mm - meh.  I drank that Kool Aid for a couple years, and my Glock 20 is now pretty much used as a weight for holding documents down in the safe.  Little it can't do that the major revolver rounds can't do better.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 68 Member
    My uninitiated take is that the 1911 was designed from the get go as a 45. I will get one very soon. .45 is my current preference after learning more.  Springfield is in my list as are others. I am a shooter not a tinkerer. 
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,383 Senior Member
    Can't go wrong with Springers.  They are mechanically 100% GI for the working guts EXCEPT the firing pin and firing pin channel, which are both of the narrower .38 Super/9mm spec for all calibers.

    Their Range Officer PI912BL will both meet your $1K budget and desire for adjustable sights.  Any number of higher and lower end options depending on your tastes.

    If you ARE going to be reloading for .45, there is one decision you should make early and for certain:  .45 brass can now be had with the old standby/standard large primer pocket, and a bunch of manufacturers are now making it with small primer pockets.

    I personally regard the small primer stuff as Hell-spawned, because I have an IMMENSE amount of the old spec stuff, and small simply gums up the works.  Something I used to take for granted when picking up .45 brass is now something I have to spend an extra step looking for  - EVIL!

    BUT. . .the advantage to small is it uses the same primer as 9mm, .38 Special, and .40, which can REALLY simplify setup of progressive presses.

    Some factory ammo uses large, some small.  Worth knowing when you shop.


    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,386 Senior Member
    Japhy said:
    So one new question..
    If 9mm, .45, 10mm ammunition was all the same price
    which would you choose in a 1911?

    In order, 45 (own 2)
    10mm (own 1)
    9mm (own 0)

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • BamaakIIBamaakII Posts: 313 Member
    edited June 2020 #15
    Your choices are almost limltless.  Since it is for plinking and not carrying, Full size would be my choice.  Next you need to define what you like best, striker fire (think Glocks and M&Ps) or hammer fired (1911s, most CZs, and so on).  Plastic or metal?  American or foreign?  Iron sites or ready for a red dot? Capacity?

    Since you have and like ruger, They have a very nice line of 1911s in your budget.  Springfields are supposed to be nice as well but I don't buy that brand.  You may find a colt 1911 for around 1K in 9mm.

    Plastic guns in order of my personal preference, S&W M&P, Glock, Sig and then everyone else.  Glocks are a learned to like thing, some people never learn to like them as they have a different grip angle.  Perhaps save the 1911 experience till you get a .45 but the Ruger 9mm is on my list be a baby brother to my .45 Ruger.  They also make an aluminum frame version that is lighter.  Best of luck on a tough decision.  Let us know what you choose.

    edit to add, if you want a smaller frame gun, look at the Ruger EC9, Smith Shield and sig P365 and maybe even the Springfield Hellcat.  all are more budget friendly but with shorter barrels, less accurate, especially at distance.
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 68 Member
    Thanks again to all,

    I have to get this in gear ..the mrs just brought home a really nice S&W M&P...  but alas it doesn't really fit me..she did well first time out...2 mags nothing but black on a 25yd slow fire wow! with that short barrel and mediocre Winchester range 115gr fmj

    @knitepoet
    .45 is my first choice now. have a Ruger superblackhawk .44mag to hunt so the 10mm might be almost redundant?

    very helpful comments and suggestions.  you are dead on unlimited selection,  limited availability

    On the reload front I am aware of primer differences in some 45s.  I would select tooling  that works with 44mag also.  I see Springfields now in stock online several places. I would like look at it in person first....but not holding my breath for that.  I will check locals once more this week  and check a great store I know in Central AZ..maybe better stocked?  I need an excuse to get to cooler temps anyway






  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,872 Senior Member
    Reloading/handloading is a very enjoyable hobby. I've never regretted purchasing the tools and books for it.

    Auto loaders are a pita to pick up the fired cases from the ground. 44mag is a particular joy to handload and lends itself to tremendous versatility in power level, bullet types and weights. Well delivering accuracy without fuss.
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 68 Member
    Thanks again to all,

    I have to get this in gear ..the mrs just brought home a really nice S&W M&P...  but alas it doesn't really fit me..she did well first time out...2 mags nothing but black on a 25yd slow fire wow! with that short barrel and mediocre Winchester range 115gr fmj

    @knitepoet
    .45 is my first choice now. have a Ruger superblackhawk .44mag to hunt so the 10mm might be almost redundant?

    very helpful comments and suggestions.  you are dead on unlimited selection,  limited availability

    On the reload front I am aware of primer differences in some 45s.  I would select tooling  that works with 44mag also.  I see Springfields now in stock online several places. I would like look at it in person first....but not holding my breath for that.  I will check locals once more this week  and check a great store I know in Central AZ..maybe better stocked?  I need an excuse to get to cooler temps anyway






  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 68 Member
    Thanks again to all,

    I have to get this in gear ..the mrs just brought home a really nice S&W M&P...  but alas it doesn't really fit me..she did well first time out...2 mags nothing but black on a 25yd slow fire wow! with that short barrel and mediocre Winchester range 115gr fmj

    @knitepoet
    .45 is my first choice now. have a Ruger superblackhawk .44mag to hunt so the 10mm might be almost redundant?

    very helpful comments and suggestions.  you are dead on unlimited selection,  limited availability

    On the reload front I am aware of primer differences in some 45s.  I would select tooling  that works with 44mag also.  I see Springfields now in stock online several places. I would like look at it in person first....but not holding my breath for that.  I will check locals once more this week  and check a great store I know in Central AZ..maybe better stocked?  I need an excuse to get to cooler temps anyway






  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 68 Member
    great news a Springfield 1911 Range Officer Elite 9mm will arrive in a couple days. First preference was .45 but out of stock and an undetermined wait.

    It’s hot here now (AZ) so when it arrives time for a run to the cooler north to check out the new arrival. Can hardly wait. Even located 9mm ammo locally 

    Thanks for the helpful input
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,503 Senior Member
    I have a Range Officer in 9mm and it shoots exceptionally well. Really like the gun. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,949 Senior Member
    I shot a 9mm Range Officer once upon a time and REALLY liked it.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
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