3rd Handgun Suggestions?

33 posts in this topic

So, this morning I went to Heritage Guild in Easton, PA - that place is impressive. I was on a mission to try a bunch of .45s over the course of a couple of hours, and I did. I rented six .45s and bought 200 rounds of .45 ACP.  I also shot my CZ 75 SP-01 a bunch. It was a fun morning

So here's my "range report".  I probably shot about 30 rounds with each - some a bit more or less depending on how I liked it. I don't consider myself an expert on any of this stuff at all obviously, so take what I say with a grain of salt.  This is just what I felt today:

HK45: Felt great in my hand ergonomically, was accurate, but had quite a bit of recoil. It also threw a steady barrage of brass in my face. I expected better recoil, and less brass in my face, from the pricey polymer.

Glock 21 Gen4: Felt good in my hand, recoil was not bad at all (a little less than the Glock 41 if I recall correctly) and very accurate. I still hate that trigger which stings my finger.

FNX-45: I really liked this gun.  Unfortunately it had suppressor height sights since it had a threaded barrel. Those sights took some getting used to but, when I did, I pretty consistently put the shots where I wanted. The FNX had the softest recoil of all the polymer .45s that I've tried. It was enjoyable to shoot. It looked and felt great in my hand.  It can hold 15 rounds and has a rail which makes it a strong consideration as a nightstand/home defense gun.

S&W M&P45: This was a disaster. First, when I put the mag in, the slide slammed closed without me pressing the slide release. I looked at it and the slide was uneven. I showed the RO and he saw that the slide was out of its groove.  The guy who cleaned the gun didn't put it back properly.  The RO fixed that, but the trigger pull was horrific.  I don't know if this gun was a dud or the trigger was just that bad, but I had to squeeze ETREMELY hard to get the gun to fire.  It felt like something was stuck.  Both ROs tried it and it felt funny to them too.  I probably should have gotten a refund for that gun, but the ROs acted liked it was just a crappy trigger.  Whatever.  I stopped shooting it after about 10 rounds.

Walther PPQ: Similar to the HK 45 in that it felt great in the hand, had considerable recoil, and was accurate.  Unfortunately, like the Glock, it had a trigger that stung my finger. The Glock and Walther both had trigger safeties - so I assume that design simply does not work well for me comfort-wise. Unlike the HK, it didn't consistently hit me in the face with brass. This was a nice gun which I wish had a different trigger.

Sig Sauer 1911Emperor Scorpion: I was NOT planning to try a 1911. Lol. However, the Sig P220 that they had there had a suppressor (which was "pinned" and could not be removed) so I didn't feel that would be a good way to try that gun since I would never have that in NJ and it would likely give the gun a different feel/balance. That was disappointing because I really wanted to try the P220. I was going to try a Springfield XDM45, but they were having "Springfield Day" and it was only available to rent with a certain promo which just didn't fit into my plan of trying 3 guns/hour for 2 hrs. At this point the person working there said "Just try a 1911 - how about this Sig?".  I was like "What the hell.. why not?" I knew this would open a can of worms. Lol. And, of course, it did. Holy accuracy Batman! Why the hell don't most guns have that trigger design?! I'm sure there's a reason, but it certainly makes a difference IMO. Being all-metal, of course, the recoil was better than all the polymers - except maybe the FNX which really was "soft-shooting". The Emperor Scorpion appears to be very similar to the Sig 1911 Tacops, which I've held, liked, and considered, so it was good to try this out. 

So, if the FNX-45 didn't impress me so much, and meet all of my home defense/range needs/wants, I probably would be saying "Screw polymer, I'm going with a 1911 or an all-metal non-1911 like a Sig or CZ." I'm still not sure. I might just get an FNX-45 and then do the big 1911 search when I get more permits. If I decide to pull the 1911 trigger now (pun intended), I'll probably get one with a rail to mount a light for home defense.  Was obviously hoping to be 100% sure at this point, but I've ruled out quite a few (and had fun/learned while doing it)  I'd like to try the P220, and maybe another 1911, before making a decision but time is running out.  I'm leaning towards the FNX-45, but I'm gonna think about it for a bit longer.  Hopefully I'll decide before the year is over. Lol. 

I'm telling ya that FNX will grow on you...had mine for 5 years now and it's the only gun that comes with me to every range trip. Like you said, soft recoil nice DA/SA trigger and 15+1 of .45 in an accurate, comfortable (albeit big)package.


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Edit..not sure if you know but the basic FNX has non threaded barrel and regular sights..dont see a reason for Tac model unless your running an RMR or can

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Well, with the FNX 45 you are back to a DA/SA hammer fired pistol. So, the only other polymer DA/SA hammer fired .45 I can think of for you to try would be the Beretta PX4 in .45. They also make the PX4 .45 SD (special duty) model. Rotating barrel, very ergonomic, probably the most underrated pistols ever. Also, fairly large grip. Capacity is only a meager 9 or 10rd mag.



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Well, I FINALLY made up my mind.  After my day at the range where I tried a bunch of .45s, I basically narrowed it down to the FNX-45 or a 1911.  I was very close to getting the FNX, but I kept going back to my experience with the Sig 1911 Emperor Scorpion.  I was really impressed with the accuracy and had been checking out the Sig 1911s (in addition to other brands like Kimber and Springfield) for the past couple of months at Heritage Guild in Rahway where they have a nice selection of Sigs to look at. When I held the Sig Fastback Nightmare, I liked it. Then the guy showed me the Sig 1911 Tacops and it felt better in my hand.  I liked the look and feel of the Tacops.  The Emperor Scorpion that I fired at the range is essentially the same gun as the Tacops, with a different look.  The more I researched the Tacops, the more I found that this was a consistently well-reviewed gun.  Many of the reviewers were highly skeptical of Sig 1911s, since that isn't what they're known for, but came away really impressed with the quality, reliability, and accuracy of the Tacops.  Most felt that you really got a lot for your money with the Tacops (quality, features, accuracy, extra mags, etc). The negatives I would read had more to do with it not being a truly "classic 1911"  since it has a rail and an external extractor.  Not being some sort of 1911 purist, by any stretch of the imagination, those were non-issues for me.  So after a few days of shopping/researching, I bought a new Sig Sauer 1911 Tacops from a reputable seller through at a good price.  It arrives at my FFL's today and I'll probably pick it up some time within the next week.  I may come back here with a "range report" at some point, but it might be a few weeks since my wife just gave birth to our daughter a week ago and things are kinda busy.

I want to thank everyone again for all of their input/suggestions! You guys have been very helpful.  I feel good about my choice and, hopefully, it performs as well as I expect it to. Thanks again and have a great weekend.

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