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10/9/2013 10:07 PM
 

This is not a post about trying to bypass laws or work the system.  I'm familiar with local laws and permits and such and plan to follow them.

I'm wanting to pickup a new handgun and I'm looking for opinions on what you guys think would be the best fit for carrying while hiking around in my home state of Colorado.  I've been shooting 9mm, .40, .45 all S&W M&P.  I'd rank them for me as:

1: 9mm (most comfortable and accurate)

2: .45

3: .40 (recoil seems to affect me the most of the 3, affecting target reacquisition)

My dilemma however is that due to our new Colorado Laws, I can't get a full sized M&P9 with a 17 round mag.  Yes, I waited too long to make this decision.

Sticking with my top 2, my choice mainly seems to be between a M&P9c with a smaller mag and frame and barrel length, which would probably negate the better accuracy I see with a FS 9mm, or going with the .45.

For those of you that have shot the M&P9c, how do you feel it compares to a FS frame?

Is there something other than the M&P that I should look at in a 9mm that I can currently buy and get mags?  I need something that is economical, but solid, which is why I've been focusing on the M&P line.

I've seen a lot of mention of the 10mm.  I'm thinking that doesn't fit into my economical category, but please correct me if that assumption is wrong.  Where would it rank compared to the others in ease of use?

I appreciate any input!


Not all those who wander are lost - JRRT
 
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10/9/2013 11:05 PM
 

 I'm in Virginia, so I don't have to deal with the same issues you're faced with out there, although I hope you Colorado boys have continued success with getting the anti-gun people out of your government.  That said, my EDC is a Glock 19 9mm, which I'm pretty happy with.  Pretty accurate and reliable.  I'm used to the frame from carrying it on active duty in the military.  The M&Ps seem like pretty good guns...so if you decide to go with your 9mm for backcountry carry and all-around use...you might look into 147gr JHP rounds.  I got to observe some ballistics testing and that round was producing numbers surpassing  .40 and getting close to being on par with .45.

Just some food for thought to help out with your decision.  More available rounds than a .45 and good stopping power against both four and two legged predators.  But...I'm pretty sure everyone can agree that the .45 is still the strongest of the three, overall.  I've got magnum wheel guns, but undoubtedly my next pistol purchase will be a 1911 in .45 cal.  For now, I feel pretty good to go with my G19.

Not sure if that helps with your decision or not, but hope it at least provides some more data to mull over.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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10/10/2013 1:26 AM
 

 Operating within your rights is...well...within your rights.  Carry on.

Comments related to caliber, and choices within the caliber:

+1 to Alpendrms - Mass saves your #*&.  Consider the lug nut rule in vehicles(4 bests 3, 5 beats 4, 6 beats 5, 8 beats 6, and so on)

In the 9mm, 147 gr is a solid performer(2 legged).  147gr at 1,000fps is hotter than a 158gr .38+p(at 890fps), and milder than a 158gr .357 mag(at 1,200-ish fps).  Plenty of solid history of performance(2 legged) for your choice.  Not knowing your backcountry challenges(4 legged), be considerate of the need for penetration into the potential receivers of your rounds, and the resulting requirements for durability of your projectile.  Mass and strength of your projectiles impacts the ability to penetrate to vitals(2 and 4 legged).  The Hill Brothers,and others on this forum, have a great deal of robust wisdom/insight into your situation.  Scouting the site will provide many tenured, informed perspectives.

Compact chassis(in your case, 15 rounds or less) simply requires more skill to control(lighter weight piece).  More skill comes from solid technique and reps(with coaching).  You already knew that.  The trade off of weight/capacity(full size) for "carry-ability"(compactness) is worth considering.  Better to have and not need, than need and not have...  Sometimes, smaller is easier to "have" with you.  Recall Rule 1...have a....

Choices among calibers:  Plenty of options and opinions, and to some extent, some data(hard to account for, or control, real world variables).  In the west, accuracy being constant, seems as though the larger the hole, and the heavier for caliber the projectile, the stronger the probability of the intended result.  True for longarms, and for sidearms.  YMMV.

Please consider sharing the results of your inquiry.

Thank you,

112Papa

 
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10/10/2013 1:27 AM
 

 Controlled pair.

Apologies, all around.

112Papa

 
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10/10/2013 6:19 AM
 

 112Papa....that's some sound wisdom!  You've laid it out pretty completely.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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10/10/2013 9:24 AM
 
Thurin, By backcountry....what exactly are you referring to? What is the threat you are most worried about facing? Will this be a secondary weapon or a primary? One has to remember, .45 is the gold standard by which all other semi-auto pistol calibers are compared. Since '86, there has been much gnashing of teeth, wailing and wringing of hands and many attempts in the industry to simply get something smaller up to the level of performance of a .45acp or a .357 mag. Whole careers have waxed and waned on this pursuit. And they are getting close....at least in gelatin. But in the end, the wheel was already there and sitting on the shelf despite the best attempts at denial. It always has been... Small block, big block. 9, 45. Its been done to death. And yes, I'm quite familiar with the testing that has been spoken of in this thread. But keep in mind, humans do the testing. Humans work for agencies and thus, bureaucrats with agendas. Statistics are easy manipulated to further that agenda. And humans come into situations with their bias firmly in place. And I'll leave it at that. Bottom line, the .45/.357 performance IS the gold standard in human self defense pistol calibers. I suspect until such time as we come up with a Star Trek like phaser, it will remain thus. The whole capacity argument is smoke and mirror bullshit. Why? Because the only thing that limits an "operator" from carrying more ammo is the operator...and in your situation, rather than operator, I'd just say individual instead. Here is a dirty little secret amongst the law enforcement set: the vast majority of those cats touting high capacity guns (glock) carry said glock without a spare mag in sight....oh, maybe they have a few stashed in their car. Bread and circuses brother. Yes, there are some out there that walk the walk and talk the talk and use/carry their gear appropriately. Hat tip to them and those are the cats I'd prefer to do my drinking with. But they are largely few and far between. You will gain a skosh more velocity and penetrative performance with some loadings of the 10mm over the .45. But you also gain in the recoil department and significantly more muzzle blast. Also, cost of ammunition and thus training goes up exponentially. You do plan to train right? If you are shy on money and are recoil sensitive, go 9. If you are a competent shooter, don't mind the extra cost, go .45. If you just want to be different and/or believe you are somehow carrying a pocket rifle (you won't be, but its a nice delusion) go 10. The .40 really does nothing better than either of those 3 rounds quite frankly.... As to what "platform" (how I hate that stupid term), that's a whole nuther story. Under CO law, you are good to go with a G19. Anything that is capped at 15 rounds in the hopper. And unless you plan of encountering law enforcement with an agenda, no one is going to check your magazines anyway, much less go to the trouble of prosecuting you. So I wouldn't lose any sleep over that. Not encouraging you to be a playground rule violator, just telling you straight up how it is. Want a real backcountry weapon capable of brining you and yours home? Get a rifle.
 
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10/10/2013 9:48 AM
 

Brian - really good to hear from you. I was thinking about you the other day, but didn't feel like I had time to open a dialogue.

El Mac - your whole post has me grinning from ear to ear. Right on.

Thurin - I haven't seen any bad advice in this whole thread. On paper, the 10mm offers enough more power than the .45acp in premium loadings to make it worth choosing if you're only concerned about backcountry. On anecdotal pine round penetration testing, it performs noticeably better than .45acp. However, when you back out the cost of training and factor in the desirability of a single pistol for backcountry and frontcountry use, the 10mm loses some luster. I standardized long ago on .45acp for all uses. When 10mm started being widely more available, I decided that it didn't offer enough of an upgrade over the .45acp to mess with. If I want more power, I step all the way up to .41 magnum. I've never carried a .41 in Colorado. One piece of advice I will add is to make sure you end up with a pistol that will take a weapon light. It's not a backcountry carry piece without one.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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10/10/2013 10:11 AM
 

Thanks alpendrms, 112Papa, El Mac for the info and advice.  Good stuff there to think over.

By "backcountry" I'm mainly referring to dayhiking and/or multiday backpacking trips through areas of Colorado like the Lost Creek Wilderness area. As far as threat goes, both 4 and 2 legged, but in the 30+ years I've been wandering around the mountains of colorado, neither has been a real issue.  But it's better to have and not need...

I do plan on training, and have already done some formal defensive handgun training and I spend time on the range whenever I can.  Even though I don't own a handgun yet, I borrow or rent as often as I can in order to get some practice in.  Hence my trials with the 9, .40, .45 so far.  I also enjoy plinking with my .22lr and doing sporting clays with my 12ga.

I think I'll concentrate on getting more comfortable and competent with the .45.  At some point I plan on moving from backcountry to urban carry as well.

Thanks again!


Not all those who wander are lost - JRRT
 
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10/10/2013 10:13 AM
 

Thanks Evan!

As I said in my above post, I think I'll take your and other's advice and focus on getting competent with the .45.


Not all those who wander are lost - JRRT
 
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10/10/2013 10:29 AM
 

I had a big long post I just deleted, and the gist was that back country for CO 9mm is an alright choice given our threats.  The reality is I choose to carry a .45 since I spend so much time in the backcountry not just in CO, but elsewhere, that I don't want to be switching guns back and forth based on where I am headed on a given day.  If I was looking for a first pistol and only got out into the brush a couple of times a year so I was looking primarily for city use I would probably look at 9mm and then figure out the right ammunition when I was out and about. Unless you aren't willing to pay the increased ammunition cost to practice and train with a .45 for back country use it really is a better choice.  Others have already covered the advantages and disadvantages of 10mm, but I don't think anyone mentioned that ammunition even during good times can be a pain to find, and you will most likely have to order offline.

Like Evan said light rail, and I would go further and recommend a modern polymer since they remove some if not a lot (given magazine restrictions) of the capacity advantage of the 9mm and are lighter weight than older designs.

If a 9mm is what I had I wouldn't run out and buy a 45 just for back country use on occasion. Blank slate get the .45.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/10/2013 1:26 PM
 

Since someone else asked specifically about Grizzly country, below are our previous discussions. 

Personally, these days I just change the load in my .45 from Gold Dot to XTP for grizzly country, but double tap just came out with a load for the .45 I am interested in trying out. I stick with the .45 since I already have carry, use, and support dialed in. All pistols are poor for grizzly, but I am confident on getting good quick hits with my .45. I do have a .41 magnum, but find the semi-automatic easier to perform with on demand, and consider it more reliable. In reality if I am worried about Grizzly a long gun is close by.

 

See also:

http://hillpeoplegear.com/Forum/tabid/679/forumid/24/threadid/6109/scope/posts/Default.aspx

http://hillpeoplegear.com/Forum/tabid/679/forumid/24/threadid/7255/scope/posts/Default.aspx

http://hillpeoplegear.com/Forum/tabid/679/forumid/24/threadid/220/scope/posts/Default.aspx

http://hillpeoplegear.com/Forum/tabid/679/forumid/24/threadid/3021/scope/posts/Default.aspx


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/10/2013 1:36 PM
 

Previously asked by Paulgus:

"And if so would you recommend a .41 magnum or larger for something along the lines of a grizzly bear over pepper spray.  I know that mileage may vary on this topic, but just wondering what the thoughts are on this forum."


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/10/2013 1:42 PM
 

 Thanks Scot

 
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10/10/2013 1:50 PM
 

No problem it is just easy to get confused on what thread you are posting in with two similar ones going. To elaborate, the more I learn the more I become convinced that the primary goal is shot placement, and then caliber. If I miss the shot it doesn't matter if the bullet/caliber I am using will atomize an elephant.  The .45 caliber gives me something I can get a good hit with and a larger bullet. I have also found that given my time limitations focusing on shooting one handgun really well is better than shooting several decently. I have already noted why I don't shoot a 10mm, and I just find revolvers harder to shoot. I read an article recently where Kay or Jerry Micluek was advocating starting with a revolver as a new shooter because after that everything was easier. I think given modern time constraints most are better off going straight to the semi-automatic.

 


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/10/2013 3:21 PM
 

Thanks Scot for the info and the links to the other threads.  Good reads.

I think I'm going to find a place where I can try a Glock 19 and compare it to the M&P9c and also try to spend some more time with the .45.  Narrow it down and pick one to stick with for now.  My biggest takeaway from this thread so far is: pick one, regardless of the caliber, and get good with it.

Thanks,

Nathan


Not all those who wander are lost - JRRT
 
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10/10/2013 4:41 PM
 
"My biggest takeaway from this thread so far is: pick one, regardless of the caliber, and get good with it." WISDOM.
 
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10/10/2013 5:18 PM
 

 +1 on that^^^!  Amen and done.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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10/11/2013 12:04 AM
 

 It's the driver, not the car....

One gun, one carry...

112Papa

ps:  Thanks for the great posts, all.  El Mac, you made my day.

 
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1/26/2014 5:31 PM
 

scothill wrote 

 

I have also found that given my time limitations focusing on shooting one handgun really well is better than shooting several decently. 

 

Sound logic.

 

Bruce Lee said something to the effect of " I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times, more than the man who has practiced 10,000 different kicks once" .  

 

Practicing with a single handgun, until you attain the level of unconscious competence with it is a much better plan than shooting a few different ones periodically. Of those discussed in the OP, based upon your needs and expectations, the .45 makes perfect sense.  I carry .44 mags a lot, but when going into wolf country I pack my Glock .45. When making trips back and forth packing out an animal (such as an elk) I usually leave my rifle back at the truck. Having an easy to shoot, big bore auto makes a lot of sense. The plastic ones such as the m&p or Glock make even more sense for the weight savings and practical durability in inclement weather.

I have had revolvers freeze up in extreme cold. One day I had a Model 29 that I could cock, but the cylinder would not rotate. I ended up having to thaw it out on the dashboard of my truck with the heater running. I finished that Jack rabbit hunt with my .45 Glock, which functioned flawlessly. Those kinds of things don't happen often, from my experience, but if you spend enough time afield in inclement weather, stuff simply happens.

 

Cheers!

 
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2/3/2014 7:14 PM
 

 If you are wanting to stay with the full size M&P 9mm, S&W offers a 15 rd magazine for areas with such limitations. 

 
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