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T O P I C R E V I E W
Posted - July 17 2018 : 10:40:51 AM Have any of you ever run into what you might call 'the perfect handgun' - for you at least? Where everything just felt right about it, grip, natural pointer, controls right at the fingertips? I have several BHPs that would fit that description but not - only after changing grips, safety, sights, and removing the magazine disconnectors. A Sig P225 was a 'must have' years ago and I have never changed anything about it, but its only eight rounds, but it feels and points just right. I can live with the sights but... .The P226 with the ergo grip feels right, and is my second favorite handgun but is a little on the large side for concealed carry, but I can get around that. I have a couple of friends that both claim that the stock M&P compact does it for them but I've never held one. Anybody ever picked up what you would call "the perfect handgun", for you?
25 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
Posted - October 22 2019 : 4:58:31 PM Necro post I suppose, but... Not perfect but if I had to pick ďone gunĒ out of my safe, it would probably be my CZ P-01, or if constrained to a revolver a D-frame Colt. I prefer the controls on a S&W revolver but a K-frame is a tad too big with grips that cover the back strap, a J-frame is only 5 shots, but a Colt D-frame with stocks that cover the blackstrap is ďjust rightĒ.
Posted - May 19 2019 : 1:42:47 PM Those cute little NAA .22 magnum single-action revolvers that Ace likes so much, are my new Ďperfectí handguns; for a whole slew of reasons:
They have the highest foot-pounds-of-energy-per-ounce ratio of any gun out there!
And the muzzle flash alone is enough to scare off all but the most determined assailants!
Theyíre definitely the most concealable guns you can find...
And I can easily carry 5 or 6 of them in each pocket.... talk about a New York reload on steroids: fire one till itís empty, drop it, and grab out another...
With those minature powerhouses, I can carry more spare guns than most people carry spare rounds....
And while those .22 rounds might not stop a truly-determined attackeró at some point he wonít be able to resist glancing down to count the rapidly-accumulating pile of empty guns at my feet....
at which point I can seize the opportunity to hightail it out of there....
Posted - May 19 2019 : 1:14:30 PM "Iíd like to shoot one of those Steyrs someday. I do seem to like most things they make." The new guns are not exactly the same, but you are likely to like the new ones too. The trap sights are one of those love it or hate it things. I love them. My S9 has been my #1 EDC piece since I bought it in '04. IMHO, a carry gun is one of those things that you have to trust and trust has to be earned.
Posted - May 08 2019 : 5:48:47 PM Hey, I just thought, according to Lucky Gunner and the Czech Republic, life would be much simpler if we all traded in our 9mm's and .32's in exchange for .380's. rev.
Posted - May 08 2019 : 1:27:19 PM
For some of us, tinkering is in our blood...
Posted - May 08 2019 : 12:54:37 PM Little Bill thanks for the nice compare on the 32vs380. I like my .45, makes a bigger hole. Right now I'm having fun trying to get a Browning 1911/22 working right and playing with a Bersa CC 380 as a bug. What fun..Bill
Posted - May 08 2019 : 09:52:55 AM Little Bill, this is interesting and amusing. Quoting Lucky Gunner; "with FMJ ammo, there doesn't seem like there's much difference between a .380 and a .32" end quote. I read an article that said when the Czech army adopted the CZ38 in .380, they said they didn't see much difference between one 9mm hole and another. Hey, just quoting, it is kind of funny. rev.
Posted - May 07 2019 : 9:29:58 PM As it happens, Lucky Gunner just ran an article about .32s. Iíve cut-and-pasted some of it below:
ďOne hundred years ago, .32 ACP was quite possibly the most popular semi-automatic pistol cartridge in the world. It was developed by John Browning for the FN Model 1900 which was the first ever production pistol to feature a reciprocating slide. .32 ACP quickly caught on, especially in Europe where it is typically known as 7.65 Browning. During the first half of the 20th century, .32 caliber pistols were among the most common sidearms for police and military in Europe. Here in the US, we used larger caliber handguns in those roles, but compact .32 pistols were still successfully marketed to civilians for self-defense.
Semi-autos like the Savage Model 1907 and the Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless were some of the most common pocket guns. They were much larger than what we think of as a pocket pistol today ó they were more like coat pocket pistols ó but that was still considered small by early 1900s standards. Itís easy to see the appeal of these old .32s. Itís a light recoiling cartridge and when you load it in a steel framed pistol with a single action trigger, itís incredibly easy to shoot.
Despite that appeal, the popularity of .32 ACP gradually declined in the second half of the 1900s and thatís a trend that continues today. Pocket pistols are still big sellers, but now .380 ACP is by far the dominant cartridge. According to the ATF, in 2007, there was roughly one .32 ACP pistol made in the US for every three pistols chambered for .380. Since then, the popularity of .380 has exploded while .32 has dwindled to almost nothing. In 2017, for every .32 caliber pistol made, there were 100 .380s.
But of course, a lot of people are most concerned about the perceived lack of power of the .32 ACP compared to the alternatives. Unfortunately, ... there is just not much data on how .32 ACP performs in real-world defensive shootings. So again, letís take a look at some ballistic gel to give us a rough idea of what this round is capable of. This is just a quick, informal test, we will be doing more testing of .32 ACP later on at the end of this series along with all the other pocket pistol calibers.
Staring with a couple of rounds of Speer Gold Dot, the average penetration depth was almost 11 inches. Thatís a little less than weíd like to see and there was no expansion. Thatís not really a surprise, though. With small caliber hollow points, you typically get either good penetration or good expansion. Sometimes, like in this case, you get neither. They just donít have enough energy to expand and penetrate. Full metal jacket rounds are often recommended for mouse gun calibers because they at least have a decent chance of penetrating.
So the next load we tried was Federal American Eagle full metal jacket. The first round stopped at 15.5 inches and the second made it all the way to 20 inches. Technically, thatís over penetration, but with the smaller calibers, the reality is that the bullet is most likely going to lose all of its energy by the time it exits the target, so shoot-throughs are not a real concern. We tried one more jacketed hollow point, this one from PMC. Again, there was no expansion, but the penetration was a little better than the Gold Dot with an average of 13 inches. Thatís deeper than the ideal 12-inch minimum that weíre looking for, but I still think Iíd prefer a full metal jacket in this caliber, especially considering the rim lock issue with the hollow points. A round nose FMJ is not crushing a lot of tissue like we see in the wound channel of a good penetrating hollow point, but thatís just a compromise you have to accept if youíre going to carry a small caliber pistol.
Letís take a look at how these numbers compare to a few of the .380 loads from our tests a couple years ago. Those tests were done with a Glock 42, which has a longer barrel than the KelTec so itís not a totally even comparison. The Gold Dot in .380 had the same kind of shallow penetration as the .32 Gold Dot except that it did expand.
The Hornady Critical Defense was really the only .380 that had decent expansion and penetration, but some of the tests Iíve seen with that load from shorter barrels were not so great. So if your gun launches those .380 hollow points with enough velocity to make them penetrate and expand, the .380 might have a bit of a ballistic advantage. On the other hand, if youíre following the advice to carry FMJ ammo in a pocket pistol, it doesnít seem like there is much difference between a .380 and a .32.
So overall, my take on .32 ACP is that it has potential and itís really a shame that we donít have more options for both guns and ammo in this caliber. There might be 100 .380s being sold for every one .32, but at Lucky Gunner, the gap between these two calibers is not nearly as wide in terms of ammo sales. We sell about one round of .32 for every eleven or twelve rounds of .380. Now, thatís not proof of anything, but it does suggest that there are lot of people out there buying these little pocket .380s but not shooting them. They are guns that require a lot of practice to master and for the most part, people are not actually practicing with them because theyíre uncomfortable to shoot. If all of those .380s were .32s instead, I think more people would be getting trigger time with their carry guns.
Posted - May 07 2019 : 8:38:46 PM Reading all these posts reminds me of how we are all different and have different needs and desires. I'm reminded sitting here that in my father's day men felt well armed with all steel .32's of both auto and revolver varieties. He had a .32 Mann in the night stand drawer. I remember my father taking me into Stoeger arms in NYC and seeing case after case of revolvers with a few autos here and there. Today, that's all gone. So for me, I figure, since I don't frequent "bad places", my potential adversary will probably be some fellow in a Wall Mart parking lot. With the advances made in ammo, I feel well armed with a plastic framed pocket variety .380 loaded with Lehigh Defense solid copper rounds. Or with a Ruger Light Carry Nine s pro model loaded with 115gr. Gold Dots. whatever suits my fancy at the moment. I'm comfortable with single stack mags, just the one in the gun will do. I don't frequent walking through bear country since just walking is a real effort for me so the N frames are out, so something that will go bang in a bad guys face will suffice. I know my choice of armament will not please everyone, but as I said, we're all different. So God bless all (oops, I said the G word publicly). rev.
Posted - May 07 2019 : 4:02:21 PM I put about 30,000 rounds of .38+P loads (125 Power Factor)through a four-inch GP-100 revolver in IDPA competition before it needed attention (and that was just the barrel/forcing cone... the action was fine). Competition shooting isn't quite like "shoot 6 slowly and carefully reload". It's "slam/bang slap the cylinder open, hammer the ejector rod, shove new bullets in, and slam the cylinder closed" while running that trigger as fast as you can keep the front sight on the target zone.
High speed competitive shooting can be brutal on a DA revolver... but mine went 30,000 rounds of that abuse... with +P loads. They are quite sturdy.
The reason that I went to S&W M&P semi-autos for my IDPA/USPSA/Steel Challenge semi-auto guns is because the grip angle on them was a perfect match for the GP-100s... draw the gun and the sights were in the same place for both. That's the reason my carry gun is a M&P 9c.
Both the M&P and the GP-100s could be called "The Perfect Gun" for me. They get right to the target and they work
Posted - May 07 2019 : 3:33:38 PM Rexster, a couple of years ago an armored truck that services my local bank pulled up while I was there. Both of the guards were carrying GP100's. I'm sure they were company issued but it was surprising to see what they were carrying at this day and age.
Posted - May 02 2019 : 10:00:54 AM Yes; a well-built Ruger GP100, with the original-style, pre-Hogue OEM grip, is my exemplar for a perfect handgun. It is as if the GP100 was designed by my long-lost twin, from whom I was separated at birth. Not all of them have perfect trigger actions, but that can be remedied.
I bought my first GP100, 4Ē with full lug and adjustable sights, about 1990. It served as an interim duty handgun, for a while, until I switched to a lighter-weight K-Frame duty rig. (The Safariland 070 holster for the Python/GP100 contained so much dense polymer-like plastic that it outweighed the K-Frame-fit 070 by an amazing amount, so the relief was considerable.)
That GP100 was my duty sixgun the night I had to use it in what Mas Ayoob calls The Gravest Extreme. One disturbed man did not walk away from that one. This event did not make the GP100 any more perfect, in my eyes, but it validated my belief in the GP100.
PD rules disallowed patrol rifles until 2002, so my GP100, or one of its later-acquired variants, remained a part of my duty gear kit, toted in a Safepacker or gear bag, after I switched to autoloaders on the duty belt. Several felons had the opportunity to look into the bores of these Ruger .357 sixguns, while the auto remained in the duty holster. Why? Well, my accuracy potential with a GP100, or a K/L-Frame, has not been equaled, to this day, by any other handgun. On a good day, I can shoot several autos as well as a GP100 or K/L-Frame, but on a bad day, I shoot a good DA revolver better than any other handgun. I reckon that a gunfight may well happen on a bad day. Plus, I am functionally ambidextrous with most handguns, but more so with a GP100.
A GP100 is not the easiest weapon to conceal, on my person, especially here, in the humid, green eastern edge of Texas, so I will concede that I not always carry the Perfect Handgun. There are other revolvers and autos that are sufficiently good enough.
Posted - April 17 2019 : 12:26:04 PM when i think of perfect for me it is protecting myself from bad things that happen. for me thats personal defense and for that i keep m&p 2.0c in 9mm, there are bigger but this works but with that being said if you were in bear country there would be better choices.
Posted - February 23 2019 : 10:56:07 AM EDC-2 G43s are my "personal salvation" Inside the Gates- 3 1/2 inch Colt SAA or 3 1/2 inch S&W Triplelock or 3 1/2 inch S&W .357 Hand Ejector [pre 27]. I never feel under gunned. For Shear Joy-Any of Many Colt 1911s.
Posted - November 18 2018 : 10:29:35 AM Carried Legally every day since 1976. Since the late 80s I have ascribed to the "Marshall Theory", Always 2. There have been many 2s. Recently, this year, I have settled on 2 G43s with 2 round mag ext. I have no guns that I shoot Better inside 10 yards. Currently my "Best". Also, it helps that I shoot Every Day.
Posted - October 01 2018 : 10:29:30 AM Perfect!
Perfection: always just one gun away....
Posted - October 01 2018 : 09:39:54 AM After considering the premise of the subject here, I've decided the 'perfect handgun' is the one I want next. At this time, it's the 5" GP100 .44. Ace
Barry in IN
Posted - October 01 2018 : 01:13:06 AM Iíd like to shoot one of those Steyrs someday. I do seem to like most things they make.
Posted - September 27 2018 : 11:43:06 AM Steyr S9 for me - not perfect, but pretty darn good.
Posted - September 27 2018 : 01:39:58 AM There's a Ruger P95 that I still half-own (it's been at my son's house for years, but I never gave up calling it mine). Except for the DA trigger pull, it was a great gun. It seemed to weld into my hand, and the best group I ever shot (center target even!) at 25 yds was with that gun. But I haven't shot it for years, so maybe the pistols I like now would change my mind about how good it was for me.
Posted - September 02 2018 : 4:49:57 PM Well, one of the best woods walking guns I have is the LCRx 3". It is light, has a very good double action trigger along with adj. sights and a good feeling grip. It handles +p very well and spits out wadcutters like a pro. While I would not call this a perfect handgun it is very close for what I want in one. Russ
Posted - September 02 2018 : 4:49:38 PM Well, one of the best woods walking guns I have is the LCRx 3". It is light, has a very good double action trigger along with adj. sights and a good feeling grip. It handles +p very well and spits out wadcutters like a pro. While I would not call this a perfect handgun it is very close for what I want in one. Russ
Barry in IN
Posted - September 02 2018 : 4:28:41 PM You guys are making me cry.
Posted - September 02 2018 : 09:48:55 AM Amen GW!
I do realize that there are some guns that are produced today that are reliable, and more than adequately accurate and even "shootable".
But there is something to be said for craftsmanship!
I snagged a commercial P-35 a few years ago that was made around 1936 or 7 (not a Nazi, I have one of those as well). Its action is smooth as butter.
I have a 1939 Colt N.M. that is the same way.
Boy could those old boys turn out a handgun!
Posted - September 01 2018 : 09:12:53 AM I was looking at an older Belgiun Hi-Power the other day, unfired still in the box.
slide to frame fit was smooth like it was riding on ball bearings
I've owned a few Brownings, never felt one so well fitted.
really makes you want to carry something that nicely fitted