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Old 03-30-2020, 12:04 PM   #1
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"Only one" centerfire handgun

There are fairly regular conversations of 'what would be your ONE rifle', but not so much with other firearms. So... what would be your "one" centerfire handgun? This would be for always and eternity, keeping in mind all potential uses, all potential future regulations/bans, etc.

If I were to settle on one for the current world I live in, it would be something simple & medium, like a glock 19, 26 or 43X. Decent caliber, decent concealability, great reliability & longevity, etc. Not anything earth-shaking in any one category or trait, but a pretty good do-all. It would work well for ccw use, home defensive handgun use, woods protection (not ideal imo, but adequate if loaded well), and fun enough for range use.

But for a handgun that would be more likely than most to survive future bans/regulations, strangely perhaps Iíd go with a 9mm moonclip-fed revolver with a 3-4 inch barrel. I donít own that exact gun yet, but do have one very similar, a seven shot S&W with a 2ĹĒ barrel. They only offered it at the time with a 2ĹĒ or 5Ē barrel a the time, and the 5Ē was just too much imo. I started competitively shooting revolvers with a borrowed k-frame in 1977 or 78, but never owned a moonclip gun before this one and I was stunned at how much faster reloads are with moonclips than with speedloaders. Iíve been using speedloaders for more than 40 years, but in less than a month of using the moonclips was hugely beating my speedloader reload speeds; just no comparison. Plus moonclips are substantially less bulky to carry, fitting nearly twice as many reloads in the same space. And I figure that if any gun survives future bans, itís likely to be revolvers.

If my current gun had a 3.5" barrel instead of a 2.5", it would probably be about as close to a ban-proof, versatile "one handgun" as I could come up with.

Curious what would be your "one" centerfire handgun; if it was the only one you could have available for always & eternity..?
 
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Old 03-30-2020, 12:07 PM   #2
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I'd consider something in .45 (long) Colt.

If you had to you can reload it with shotgun powder. I never tried it, but I've been repeatedly assured that you can do so.

However, I bounce back and forth between a 9mm and a .45ACP for daily use.
 
Old 03-30-2020, 12:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorobuta View Post
I'd consider something in .45 (long) Colt.

If you had to you can reload it with shotgun powder. I never tried it, but I've been repeatedly assured that you can do so.

However, I bounce back and forth between a 9mm and a .45ACP for daily use.
Springfield Armory Trophy National Match 1911 in .45 acp with a Kimber .22 Conversion Kit. As for .45 Long Colt, I have been happily using Red Dot and 255 grain cast lead bullets for about 4 years now.
 
 
Old 03-30-2020, 12:37 PM   #4
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45 LC is great no matter how you look at it! Along with a carbine. Both loaded with 8.5 gr. Unique an a 255 SWC.
If only one gun, I could never choose. Sitting here now with a Sig Pro 2022 IWB an a 365 Sig in pocket.
If it really came down to one, it would be a Browning Hi Power. Kinda hate to carry one a lot, don't want to take a chance of a scratch on one. Those are the only guns I really take care of. Best shooting 9mm ever built. Two recent ones were NIB, that didn't last long. Loaded with a Lyman 356402 bullet sized to 357 an loaded with 4.5 Unique, any target any size at any range is hit. The Gluck fanboys are in awe when one comes out while they are patterning their Glucks at 5 yds. What an embarrassment to to the shooting sports those things are.
 
Old 03-30-2020, 04:46 PM   #5
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I think I would go with a 9MM. Either a CZ P-09 or a Glock 17. I do prefer .45 ACP, but I also own a Ruger PC which would fit the one caliber criteria. I could also live with a .45 Colt Ruger Vaquero and a lever action rifle in the same caliber.
 
Old 03-30-2020, 08:23 PM   #6
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P938 9mm, shot only with wussy loads and only 2k times per year or less. The rimfire pistol to be a highly modified M21 Beretta. If you're not already highly skilled, you'll just have to realize that you never will be, and you'll have to use airsoft and .177 pellet pistols a lot. Which is why such mind games are silly. You have to have a practice gun, to take the wear and fouling off of the carry gun,
 
Old 03-31-2020, 07:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by BigBassMan View Post
If it really came down to one, it would be a Browning Hi Power.
That was the issued pistol when I was in the Army, the vast majority of problems I encountered with the issued Browning was because of the magazines. During my 28 years in the Army, I owned 3 of my own Browning's, so if I was going to be issued with one, I used my own magazines. Never a problem, plus during that time I shot IPSC with it for a 6 year period.
 
Old 03-31-2020, 07:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorobuta View Post
I'd consider something in .45 (long) Colt.

If you had to you can reload it with shotgun powder. I never tried it, but I've been repeatedly assured that you can do so.

However, I bounce back and forth between a 9mm and a .45ACP for daily use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garand View Post
…As for .45 Long Colt, I have been happily using Red Dot and 255 grain cast lead bullets for about 4 years now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBassMan View Post
45 LC is great no matter how you look at it…
I love the 45LC, and if it weren’t for potential ccw use, that would likely be my choice. I have one revolver that is a .45acp/.45LC combo, that uses moonclips for the acp and so would have the same moonclip advantages as the 9mm revolver. For woods use, I’d actually rather have the .45 over the 9mm, but the ccw aspect is what pushes me toward the 9mm. Even though the 9mm is a seven-shot versus the 6-shot of the .45, the 9mm is still substantially more compact in cylinder thickness, which is the worst part of concealing a revolver:





The Taurus .45LC snub would be a more size-comparable comparison, but I don’t have a pic of it with the 9mm revolver. If I had to go with .45LC for ccw use, I’d actually be pretty comfortable with the Taurus; it’s been a very reliable and good-handling gun. But of the two, for personal-defense use I’d rather have seven 9mm’s on hand than five 45LC’s, and the Taurus doesn't allow use of moonclips, which I really like.



Additionally, besides the gun itself, even if using the acp instead of the longer LC cartridge, the 9mm still carries a lot more ammunition in a similar space. On the right is 24 rounds of 45acp (45LC would be even bulkier), vs 42 rounds of 9mm on the left:


I wouldn't mind being 'stuck' with the .45LC or .45acp either one. But if I had to choose "just one" for everything including ccw use, the higher capacity, faster-loading, and smaller profile of the 9mm wins it for me personally.

Last edited by John in AR; 04-20-2020 at 11:48 AM. Reason: {edit to correct '45CL' to '45LC'}
 
Old 03-31-2020, 08:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boati View Post
P938 9mm, shot only with wussy loads and only 2k times per year or less.
After years of railing against large-frame 9mm's and double-action pistols as a species, that's the "one & only" you'd choose; a full size double-action 9mm that's as big as a full-size 1911?

Personally, there's no way I intend to spend the rest of my life shooting only 2k rounds per year, and a P38 will never have the round-count life expectancy of a glock. It will never be as environmentally tolerant and robust. It's a lot more complex and failure-prone mechanism, with not only a more complex manual of arms, but a more complex (DA followed by SA) firing sequence. It also costs a whole lot more than a glock unless you buy one that's a half-century old. And if you do buy the old one, you’re getting one with a steel frame that weighs nearly 2lbs empty (more than half a pound heavier than the G43X).

And when it’s all said & done, it's still no more ban-resistant than a glock or any other objectively better autoloader. It's larger, heavier, less concealable, and in no way a pocket gun; and you're the one that's preached the supremacy of the pocket nine (or pocket 356TSW, or pocket 9x18JD) for years.

Curious why you’d pick a non-pocketable, heavy (2lb loaded) DA/SA action gun after all this time?

Fwiw, I personally like old, hammer-fired guns more than I do modern striker-fired ones, but they're just not as practical or functional; they've been surpassed the same way the revolver was surpassed with the auto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boati View Post
...The rimfire pistol to be a highly modified M21 Beretta. If you're not already highly skilled, you'll just have to realize that you never will be...
Different discussion – this thread is about centerfire handguns.

{edited to correct a typo - 'yars' to 'years'}

Last edited by John in AR; 03-31-2020 at 09:15 AM.
 
Old 03-31-2020, 08:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in AR View Post
I love the 45LC, and if it werenít for potential ccw use, that would likely be my choice. I have one revolver that is a .45acp/.45CL combo, that uses moonclips for the acp and so would have the same moonclip advantages as the 9mm revolver. For woods use, Iíd actually rather have the .45 over the 9mm, but the ccw aspect is what pushes me toward the 9mm. Even though the 9mm is a seven-shot versus the 6-shot of the .45, the 9mm is still substantially more compact in cylinder thickness, which is the worst part of concealing a revolver:





The Taurus .45LC snub would be a more size-comparable comparison, but I donít have a pic of it with the 9mm revolver. If I had to go with .45LC for ccw use, Iíd actually be pretty comfortable with the Taurus; itís been a very reliable and good-handling gun. But of the two, for personal-defense use Iíd rather have seven 9mmís on hand than five 45LCís, and the Taurus doesn't allow use of moonclips, which I really like.



Additionally, besides the gun itself, even if using the acp instead of the longer LC cartridge, the 9mm still carries a lot more ammunition in a similar space. On the right is 24 rounds of 45acp (45LC would be even bulkier), vs 42 rounds of 9mm on the left:


I wouldn't mind being 'stuck' with the .45LC or .45acp either one. But if I had to choose "just one" for everything including ccw use, the higher capacity, faster-loading, and smaller profile of the 9mm wins it for me personally.

I have S&W 25-5 in .45 Colt. it's a fun gun to shoot, and I have used it in the past for handgun hunts. (Now days, I use an AR pistol in .300 Blk)
 
Old 03-31-2020, 08:42 AM   #11
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Sig 938 is a small pocket size single action 9mm. Looks like a shrunk 1911, very light weight. Holds 7, 8, 9 rounds. Very nice Sig with alloy frame (no ****ing plastic) reliable an accurate. And Sig makes a 22 conversion for it an also available as a complete 22. Read about it.
 
Old 03-31-2020, 09:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by BigBassMan View Post
...The Gluck fanboys are in awe when one comes out while they are patterning their Glucks at 5 yds. What an embarrassment to to the shooting sports those things are.
Don't blame the gun; it's the carpenter, not the hammer. Glocks - like almost every handgun - are a lot more accurate than most shooters are. It's just that the guys who love to spray lead are more inclined to show up with a glock than with a nice Browning or a .45LC revolver.
 
Old 04-01-2020, 08:27 AM   #13
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Again, I simply and civilly ask:
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in AR View Post
After years of railing against large-frame 9mm's and double-action pistols as a species, that's the "one & only" you'd choose; a full size double-action 9mm that's as big as a full-size 1911?..
 
Old 04-09-2020, 11:14 AM   #14
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Again, asking. Your "one & only" would be a full size, single stack 9mm with an exceptionally long trigger pull, roughly the size of a full-size 1911?

Just curious why..?
 
Old 04-09-2020, 04:57 PM   #15
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you never saw me say that. I'd use the pocket sig. with a .22 unit, because I dont need to shoot much live ammo to be far better than the average swat cop or seal with a pistol. Because of my age, the little pocket 9 would suffice. The commander 9mm is 28 ozs and it would be the choice if I was a lot younger and needed more durability. You apparently dont know what model numbers Sig uses. You never say me advocating any big DA or double stack, ever, for anything. I sort of liked the CM9, when I was mostly considering it for the wife, but she hates that long, heavy trigger pull. That's what happens when you teach people properly, with a properly set up 1911. They learn to not put up with bs handicaps put on their performance by failures in gun designs. Most people are far more worrried about not having an ND than they are about needing to be swift and accurate. I am not of that persuasian, (thankfully, cause i"ve had a dozen ND's). :-) When you practice dryfire at home, are EXTREMELY fast on the draw and then load the chamber, for CCW, you'd better watch the eff OUT! That's one reason why I mostly carried chamber empty in my Illinois days. I did not do so in CA or CO, cause getting the gun empty was not going to help my legal situation, whereas it MIGHT have done so in ILL, when it was just a misdemeanor. However, since I'd already been busted for doing so once, any repetition would have been a felony, a fact of which I was unaware as I ccw'd everywhere for 10 years! :-) I've sat in cop cars at least a dozen times, while getting a ticket, while ccw'ing. The cop would have crapped his pants had he known, most likely.
 
Old 04-09-2020, 06:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in AR
Again, asking. Your "one & only" would be a full size, single stack 9mm with an exceptionally long trigger pull, roughly the size of a full-size 1911?

Just curious why.
Quote:
Originally Posted by boati View Post
you never saw me say that. I'd use the pocket sig.?.
Oop, youíre correct; my mistake. When I read your initial response I read it as P38, not P938. That makes more sense. I couldnít fathom why you would suddenly prefer a large frame DA style like that. My error, thanks for clarifying.
 
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