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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents,

Let me start this thread by saying it is not about gun OR ammunition selection, but rather a interesting phenominum I have noticed amongst shooters and our own members.
What I'm talking about is our coming back, repeatedly, to one platform and/or caliber after we have trained with or carried other handguns. Sometimes for years.
As a trainer I have to know about the available platforms, how they operate, and something about calibers/ammo selection. This is what I refer to as "the good, the bad, and the ugly" of defensive handgunning. As I am asked, repeatedly, what gun or caliber is "best". While I can make recommendations only YOU can make the decision as to what caliber and handgun you will carry based on those criteria.
What I have noticed, in my own case and with others, is that no matter how many other handguns we may use there is one or two we always go back too. I've come to refer to these as my "go to" guns.
Handguns must do three things. They must fit the user, be reliable, and be chambered in a suitable defensive caliber (I'll leave that one up to you). So, if this generic prescription works and I know platform or caliber are not that big a deal WHY do I feel more "comfortable" going back to a couple handguns and specific calibers? The only reasoning I can find is that they make me feel more comfortable and it is a combination that I TRUST more than others. Those feelings are purely subjective in my case, but I listen to them.
For me, my "go to" gun has always been a single-action semi-automatic. My first choice being a full size or Commander length 1911 chambered in .45 ACP. My second choice is a BHP in 9mm or .40. For some reason there is a level of trust and confidence in those calibers and platforms that make me feel more secure and comfortable when armed. Other handguns, while excellent, leave me cold after a while, and I go back to the favorites. The ones I trust implicitly and honestly believe are the best choices for me and my lifestyle.
While "any gun will do if you will" and "have a gun" may well sum up the spirit of the defensive handgun I believe that our "go to" guns are the soul. That's the best way I can describe the phenominum, as I see it.
It will be interesting to see what makes others "comfortable" and why.

Wes
 

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For a long time, I was trying every gun I could buy or trade for, or "riding the firearms ferris wheel" as Louis Awerbuck says. I guess some of it was from wanting to play with a bunch of guns, but I really wanted to find the ideal carry gun for me and couldn't do that without trying them.

I noticed that between new guns, I kept coming back to either the 1911 or HiPower. I didn't want to like the 1911, since "they" all talked about how it was the greatest fighting handgun etc, and just couldn't take it anymore. I guess it never dawned on me that there was a good reason why "they" felt that way.

I finally realized there were some good reasons why I kept coming back to the 1911 and BHP, and stayed with them. No matter how long I used something else, it was always easy to get back into the 1911/BHP swing of things.

Later, I gained an HK P7 and added it to my comfortable list.
They are all easy to shoot, with SA triggers and good handling qualities. They all fit my hand well. They all carry well.
They each serve a need for me. I usually switch bewteen a 1911 or BHP, according to what I feel like or have shot the most recently. The HK P7 get used when I can't conceal the other two very well, and sometimes just because I want to.

The "little guns" that are most comfortable to me are the Kahrs. The grip is sorta like a mini-HiPower, the sights are good, and I like the trigger as well or better than any DA or "safe action". They aren't very big, but the grip suits me a lot better than the J-frames I carried previously, even with a variety of custom grips. That also allows me to shoot it better than I ever could a J-frame.

So that's mine.
 

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Wes,

A very interesting question. I learned to shoot pistols that were single actions, so I just always feel like I am shaking hands with an old friend with one on me. My short list would be a full sized 1911 or a BHP. Then I attended a gun school my agency sent me to, which taugh a new grip. To my frustration the only pistol I inadvertently lock the slide release up with during a magazine is the BHP. So it now has to be my "fun" friend, that I no longer carry for self defense.

More recently I have been please to discover the CZ75B and SP-01 fit my hand very well, remind me a great deal of the feel of a BHP, and do not cause me any problems using the grip now ingrained in my muscle memory. Also as Barry noted, I just shoot the Kahr K40 much better than I ever did a J frame with rubber grips, which always used to be my backup boot gun.

So my short list now is a full, steel framed CZ, 1911, P226, and Kahr K40. All of my carry pistols are on steel frames, because that is what I feel most comfortable with. Some folks love an alloy or polymer frame pistol, but that is why they make Fords and Chevys I reckon.

It is rare I ever cary just the Kahr, as it simply lives in my boot when I am out and about. One of the other 3 are always somewhere on my waist in some type of carry holster, along with spare magazines.

I have recently become a major fan of the 357 Sig round. The more I shoot it, the more I want to. My Sig 226 was purchased in 357 Sig with the other two barrels to give me all 3 calibers, but the 357 barrel lives in the weapon now. My CZs will have the Sig barrel as soon as my barrel company offers them in the CZ line which they are working on now. If I could find a 357 barrel for the K40, I think that would be one truly amazing platform for such a small package.

Just my thoughts, but I did enjoy your question. Thanks for making me think about what normally goes out with me, and why.

twoguns
 
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A Smith K or N frame .357 magnum is my go-to. No L frames need apply. (Still looking for a 520 -- It's my S&W Holy Grail.) I'm especially fond of snubs, too. They just give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Other than that, I have found my CZ-75B to be exceedingly reliable, and I feel that the 124 gr. Golden Sabers nested happily inside of it, at the moment, are the best 9mm round out there, for the money.

For a backup, the J-frame .38 is king, in my book. Little autos will ALWAYS have problems. I just don't trust 'em.
 

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Regulator,
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gents,

Thanks for your replies. The underlying feeling I'm getting with our selection(s) is we TRUST them to do the job, if we will.

Appreciate you gents "baring your souls"... ;)

Wes
 
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