.45 ACP recommendations

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by flatwater bill, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Elite

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    I still have not gotten around to buying a handgun. Ready now. I want a reasonably light .45 ACP and would appreciate any advice. I am a rifle-shotgun guy, not much pistol experience. Thinking ease of carry, probably single stack magazine, maybe shoot 45 super at times? Some of this was covered in the 45 super post and 10mm thread, sorry for the repeat, but the best firearm for the purpose not addressed specifically. (with regard to 45 acp). A lot of combined experience on this site. What should I get? Thanks.....FWB
     

  2. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    Depends on a few things. I carried a Sig Sauer P220 when I was a patrolman. Then switched to a Browning Hi Power when I went to investigations.

    I used to be a "45 only" guy, but have changed my tune over the years. Anymore, 9mm ammo is of very good quality, plus it's about 75% less expensive than 45 ammo; and about half the weight of 45 ammo (think 230 gr vs 115/124 gr in 9mm).

    P220 is a DA/SA. That isn't appealing to a lot of guys. But, carrying cocked-and-locked with a traditional Colt/Colt knock-off is scary to a lot of guys, too.

    Then there are all of the striker-fired options. Lots of guys don't like striker-fired. However, they're the simplest to operate and shoot.

    Let us know what your tastes are, and we can tailor recommendations based on that.
     
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  3. Trogon

    Trogon SILVER SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    I have a Kimber Custom II in .45 ACP, no frills to it but has been a solid shooter. I also have the .22 LR conversion kit for it, simple to switch over from the .45 set-up, you can definitely save some money on practice ammo. I also have the Colt Competition 1911 in 9mm, love plinking with that pistol, factory ammo is almost cheap enough now to forego reloading typical 115 or 124 grain hardball loads.
     

  4. Wade J VanGinkel

    Wade J VanGinkel AH Enthusiast

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    There's others here with far more experience than mine.
    That said, a 1911 is easiest to shoot accurately.
    Striker fired are simple but take a little longer to adjust to the trigger when your not used to it.
    In the striker fired the S&W fits my hands the best.
    I carry a Dan Wesson Cco,
    In comparison to Kimber, Colt and a couple cheap rock islands it was far superior.
     
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  5. Opposite Pole

    Opposite Pole AH Fanatic

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    1911 of some flavour is an obvious but not only choice. There are 1911s to suit any budget and purpose: expensive, cheap, large and small but there are other choices out there too. Glock makes a couple of 45s (ACP and GAP). Glock is relatively cheap, it feels cheap, has atrocious trigger out of the box (it can be fixed with aftermarket parts) but it works and you can get 13 round magazines for it.
     
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  6. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I doubt you'll find a small lightweight in 45acp. Caliber alone dictates some size and weight. Probably about as small as you will find is an Officer's Model Colt or similar. Nowadays a 9mm is just about as effective and a whole lot smaller, lighter and cheaper to feed. I've tried about everything out there and I am and have been since the 1960s a 1911 man. Simplest, safest and most reliable semi I have found. Good luck in your search.
     
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  7. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Look at the Springfield XP-S and the Glock 36. They both meet your criteria.

    I ended up with the XD-S and really like it. That said, it's a bit snappy due to the size and weight (or lack of it), so it does require quite a bit of practice to get second shots off quickly. If I had it all to do over again I'm not sure that I wouldn't have just gotten another 9mm, just for the quicker second shot.
     
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  8. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Elite

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    Thanks to everyone posting. I must research "striker fired" a bit. Not sure what it means exactly. I have 1000 rounds of good 45 ACP that I bought from an auction.....perhaps the wrong reason......I handled one 10mm and it was too heavy........should I relook at a 9mm? .....FWB
     

  9. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    FWB, take a look at the offerings from STI. They are a very solid pistol. And having a 1000 rounds laying about is a perfect reason to buy a handgun!
     
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  10. Stephen Ausband

    Stephen Ausband SILVER SUPPORTER AH Member

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    I just traded off a Glock 36 that I had owned for several years. The G36 is a single-stack 45 acp, is slender and conceals well, and I found it to be pretty accurate. Like Glocks in general, it was absolutely dependable. I own or have owned several 1911s--Colts, Springfields, Remingtons, Kimbers--but the G36 was a LOT easier to conceal under a light shirt, and it didn't threaten to pull my pants down. I got tired of it, and (as Sgt Zim pointed out), new 9mm defensive ammo is a whole different ball game from the old stuff. So I traded for a CZ 75D compact in 9mm. Not quite as slender, but it holds over twice the rounds, still conceals easily, and (unlike lots of folks) I really like the SA/DA on the CZ, especially with the decocker. Shop around, shoot different guns when you get the chance, and find what you like. You'll find something that fits your needs. Shucks, I could have given you a good deal on a nice G36 w/ night sights a few weeks ago.
     
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  11. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Go to a good range with loaner or rental guns. Try as many as possible. The subcompact Glocks and S&W M&Ps both work well in my hands, but as stated above also try a 9mm subcompact in the same brands and models. JMO& E.

    I have pretty much gone back to 9mm as my grip in old age has weakened. Went from 45ACP to 40 S&W and now to 9mm. Next 380 and finally 22LR I guess.
     

  12. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    FWB I've been watching this post to see what kind of answers you were going to get. I shoot 45(s) competitively (a discipline called Bullseye) The NRA has me classified as a Master and a 2600 shooter. I've also won the Distinguished Pistol Medal as a civilian, (mine was number 1039 awarded in 104 years of competition.) I also "carry" on a regular but not routine basis. Let me start off by saying that NO GUN is perfect for everything. Accuracy depending on how you define it is expensive. A top of the line Bullseye 45 is somewhere in the 5 to 6 K range. But you don't need that for general use. The first carry gun I purchased is a Para Ordinance Companion with the Carry option. It has a long double action trigger. It does not have to be carried cocked and locked. This gun is extremely accurate at self defense distances but it is also very heavy, but at the same time comfortable to shoot. There are a number of other guns that I have tried and do carry from time to time. I have a 40 Cal Shield that is more powerful than the 45 and much lighter. It is a bi**h to shoot because it hurts my hands. I also have a number of 9(s) and 380(s) that get carried on occasion especially in the summer when smaller guns are more in order because they are easier to conceal. My advice to you is to go to a range where they rent guns and start trying them for yourself. Decide what is most important to you at the moment and purchase accordingly.
     

  13. MBaugh

    MBaugh AH Member

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    My everyday carry is a Springfield XPS 3.3 with 185 gr Hornady FTX. Recoil is very manageable, accuracy is excellent for close range. Just my two cents worth.
     

  14. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    @flatwater bill - if you're in or around Houston, I can send you a link to the guy who ran my CCH class. He probably has 40 or 50 handguns you can try out for a day.

    Yes, on striker-fired pistols, the triggers are "different" from a standard 1911 or like my old Hi Power (was stolen), and VERY different from DA/SA like my old P220. But "different" is just different, not bad.

    I used to own a Glock 19, but I ended up giving it to my wife to teach her how to shoot. She has really long fingers, and I couldn't figure out how to show her an appropriate grip which didn't have too much finger on the trigger. So I sold it and got her a Walther PPQ-M2. I replaced my stolen Hi Power with an H&K VP9. I like the triggers on both of them.

    90% of pistol shooting is mental. When I was a Houston officer, I had to start off with a S&W 686, then after I got off probation, I switched to the Sig. I shot high expert with the wheel gun, the Sig, and the Hi Power (usually about 593 or 594 out of 600 possible points, just never could cross the line to "Distinguished Expert," which started at 595) - anyway, you couldn't find 3 more different triggers. Unless trigger pull is like dragging a concrete rock across 50-grit sandpaper, in my mind, a trigger is a trigger. A GREAT trigger matters if you're shooting IDPA or IPSC. For defensive shooting, it doesn't matter, at least not to me.

    A shooting buddy of mine has an STI. Yeah, it has a GREAT trigger, with a bit of weight forward that allows for fast recovery. But I'm not going to spend that kind of money on a tool which serves a similar function as a ratchet wrench. It's a tool for an "oh shit" span of a few seconds. As long as a handgun goes "bang" every time you pull the trigger, you can learn (with maybe 500-1000 rds) how to be at least a competent shooter, no matter the platform.

    If you've got the money to spend, nothing at all wrong with an STI. But they are spendy.
     
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  15. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Elite

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    I'd suggest getting either a Kimber or a Springfield Armory Commander size 1911 with an aluminum frame. You'll have a full size 8 rnds magazine with a shorter barrel, and easily to conceal, without breaking the bank.
     
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  16. WebleyGreene455

    WebleyGreene455 AH Veteran

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    A 1911-type pistol of any sort is ideal for a first-time .45. They come in so many varieties and can be customized so easily, they're not hard to make fit you exactly as you want (or use for practice). They can be light or heavy, long or short, single-stack or double, pretty much anything you could want. I'd suggest an Auto-Ordnance, which is a clone of the standard WWII-era USGI M1911A1 with an added firing pin block to avoid misfires when lowering the hammer manually to half-cock or uncocked. Plain, no frills, won't cost you too much money, and if you want to change anything on it, you can do so without trouble.

    Others I'd recommend are the SIG-Sauer P220 (you can find older ones made in West Germany if that's of any interest); the SIG-Sauer P227 (discontinued, prices will be fairly high); the H&K USP45 (beefy, a bit expensive but strong); the FNX-45 (cheaper than the HK but more ammo per magazine).

    Many folks will tout Glocks as their sidearm of choice, and there's nothing wrong with them but they're not a particular favorite of mine; I prefer hammers and manual safeties/decockers on my pistols, so that's what I mentioned. Good luck with finding your ideal. :)
     

  17. Rick Cox

    Rick Cox SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    DA/SA? Sorry, don't know what that is. In fact I'm pretty well in the same camp as @flatwater bill .
     
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  18. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    Double Action (long, heavy pull like a standard DA revolver - think SW 686, Colt Python, Ruger GP100) on the first pull, then Single Action (short, lighter pull like a Ruger Blackhawk on subsequent trigger pulls) until the decocker drops the hammer onto the hammer block.
     

  19. Matt_WY

    Matt_WY AH Veteran

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    My small 45 is a G36. Like it pretty well, but in reality i carry a 9mm (exact variant depends on situation) 90+% of the time. New ammo is very effective, it's easier to shoot, and holds more ammo.
     
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  20. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I carry a Springfield Arms XD-S in 45 ACP and also have a full size Remington in 45ACP for range shooting
     
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